Gates Carbon Drive

Belted Blog

Zero Emissions, Infinite Thrills

  July 2, 2019

The Zero SR/F that competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb shows the future of clean and quiet belt driven electric motorcycles.

Powered by a Gates Carbon Drive belt, the Zero powers up the Pikes Peak course. Kevin Wing photo.
Powered by a Gates Carbon Drive belt, the Zero powers up the Pikes Peak course emblazoned with Gates logos. Kevin Wing photo.

“I’ve got to thank Gates Carbon Drive for pushing me up this mountain without a chain, we did it with a belt,” racer Cory West said following his run up Pikes Peak on Sunday. Gates sponsored Zero and West in the legendary mountain race to highlight the advantages of Gates belt drive technologies versus chains on high-torque motorcycles such as the SR/F. “Props to Gates for making something that can handle so much power.”

Unlike the loud gasoline-powered and chain-driven motorcycles in the race, the Zero SR/F emits only a whir of sound. The quietness of the electric motor and Gates belt caused a humorous moment in the race, when announcers initially missed West ripping through a speed check section at 117 miles per hour (188km/h). West held the fastest time for a while before being surpassed by higher-powered motorcycles, ultimately finishing 9th overall and 5th in the heavyweight category.

West and Zero charging into the start. Kevin Wing photo.
West and Zero charging into the start. 25 mph? Nah. Kevin Wing photo.
A quiet rocket. Kevin Wing photo.
West puts a knee down on his quiet rocket. Kevin Wing photo.

The Gates sponsorship of Zero comes 12 years after the company entered the bicycle market with its Gates Carbon Drive system that is now used by hundreds of brands worldwide on pedal and electric bicycles. Due to its success in the bicycle market, the company is expanding its focus on electric mobility, with a growing portfolio of belt drive products for electric motorcycles, electric scooters, eBikes and other light electric vehicles.

“Pikes Peak is a great proving ground as Gate expands its offerings within the electric mobility space and brings solutions to consumers and manufacturers of high-performance electric vehicles,” says Chris Vasiliotis, Global Product Engineering Manager for Gates Carbon Drive.

Experience the thrill of leaning into the corners and powering through the straightaways in the POV video of West’s run, which follows a brief interview, below. The quiet whir of the bike is somewhat obscured by the noisemaker system required by the race organizers for safety.