Two Modes (Sport and Econ)
Since the Zero DS runs an electric motor, the throttle response is based on how much current the battery dumps into the motor when you twist the throttle. There is a rocker switch by the Speedo with Sport and Econ modes of operation. In Sport mode the throttle response is much more aggressive and that comes at the expense of range. In Sport mode the regen is also less so when you roll off the throttle there is less engine braking and less current going back into the battery pack.
In the real world, acceleration is different on an electric bike and one reason is the gearing. There is only one final gear ratio so it is effectively like starting from the line in top gear. Acceleration from 0-5 MPH is underwhelming as current starts to flow and the motor pushes into that tall gear. Once underway, roll on acceleration is quite brisk and fun, especially in Sport mode.
In comparison to ICE powered bikes I would rate it roughly equivalent to a 300-400cc motorcycle. It is not fast and will not pull power wheelies, but it is entertaining and fun.
Power delivery is extremely smooth. There is no vibration, no noise, nothing shaking under you as more current is poured into the motor. It is an entirely different experience in many ways.
Wind_Rider screwed with this post 03-09-2013 at 09:22 PM