Zero Wants To Sell You DLC For Your Electric Motorcycle


Cyberpunk, as a genre, as been in a bit of a renaissance lately. With media like Altered Carbon, Blade Runner 2049, and the sprawling expanse of Cyberpunk 2077, anyone looking to escape into a world of futuristic technology underpinned by slimy, greed-driven corporations can simply turn on a TV and be immersed. Or, you can buy a Zero motorcycle.

We’ve covered Zero’s all-electric motorcycles before at Jalopnik. The verdict? They’re pretty good! The company recently updated most of its lineup with new tech for 2022, but its road-focused SR line was conspicuously absent from the upgrades list. Now, we know why: The base SR is totally new for 2022, and it introduces the line to the company’s new Cypher III+ operating system — and with it, app-enabled upgrades for your bike.

Photo: Zero Motorcycles

We’ve seen subscription-based upgrades for vehicles before, but Zero’s approach is more akin to Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” package: Pay a couple grand, Zero flips a switch, and suddenly your bike has more range or charges more quickly. A one-time fee, and not an inconsiderable one, to access hardware that your bike had from the factory.

Zero’s website claims that some upgrades do need additional hardware installation performed at a dealership, but a press release implies that everything — from navigation to heated grips — can be purchased and activated through the company’s “Cypher Store.” It’s unclear if these upgrades would transfer to successive owners, or if the next buyer will have to pay all over again.

Photo: Zero Motorcycles

Personally, I’m waiting for the third-party methods of unlocking these features. I cannot wait to purchase a Zero in ten years’ time, hook up a microcontroller and a mess of wires, and suddenly have supercar acceleration. Give me electric bikes covered in breadboards, with ammeters and seven-segment LCD displays haphazardly mounted to the bars. That’s the cyberpunk future I want. Hack the Planet.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here