The first UK motorcyclist to take advantage of a Government grant offering £1500 against the cost of a new electric motorcycle says that he is loving life with his American built Zero motorbike – and regularly takes the long way home from work!
Fred Murphy, 48, from Redhill commutes daily on his Zero FXS, a clean running and fully electric machine that can be recharged from a regular domestic power socket.
The IT specialist bought his Zero in March, becoming the first British rider to take advantage of the Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) grant for powered two wheelers. Since then he has ridden the Zero to work on a daily basis, as well as for leisure, racking up over 1000 miles.
Fred, an experienced motorcyclist, said: “I’ve been commuting on my Zero since I bought it and although the distance to work is only two miles if I go direct, I often find I’ve done 15-20 just because I’m enjoying riding.”
While Fred’s FXS costs just pennies per mile to run, he says that it was the riding experience that persuaded him to go electric.
He continued: “It wasn’t the economics that swung it for me. I used to find on a petrol bike that the engine had hardly got warm by the time I arrived at work. Now I can jump on it and go without worrying about warming the engine up. Talking of warming, I won’t miss the roasted nuts from the heat of the engine in the summer either! The lack of clutch and engine heat mean it’s as good to ride in the reality of awkward city traffic as it is on nice twisty open roads and friends who have jumped on and had a go have all been pleasantly surprised at the riding experience.”
This week marks International Ride to Work Week, where Britain’s Motorcycle Industry Association hosts a series of activities to raise awareness of the benefits of riding to work on a motorcycle. In many cases, commuting by powered two wheeler proves to be quicker and cheaper than traveling by car or public transport, parking is easier and, best of all, riding is great fun.
Not only that, research has shown that if just 10% of those currently commuting by car switched to two wheels, congestion would be reduced by 40% – and the number of available parking spaces would be significantly increased.
In addition to those benefits, Zero motorcycles offer the low running costs and environmental benefits associated with electric vehicles. With smooth and silent running, fully automatic transmission and virtually no maintenance, electric motorcycles have an appeal beyond traditional motorcyclists. All Zeros can be ridden by A2 motorcycle licence holders, while a range of A1 compliant bikes can be ridden on a provisional licence by riders as young as 17.
“At Zero, we are proud to support International Ride to Work Week,” said Rosanne Braams, Zero’s European Marketing Manager. “As Fred says himself, commuting by Zero is a fun experience and we’re delighted that he has been using his bike on a daily basis. We’ve seen a real rise in interest in our products since the introduction of the OLEV grant at the start of this year and we are in the process of expanding our dealer network to cover more of the country.”