Zero Motorcycles unveils faster-charging, even quieter 2011 motorcycle lineup (video)

To those who are still convinced that loud motorcycles make you more safe: it's best you look away now. The quietest bikes in the business just got even more silent. Zero Motorcycles just has unveiled its 2011 lineup of electric motorcycles and among a suite of generally tidy enhancements comes a change to belt drive. This means no more chains, no more chain lube, and no more rattling and grating noises. There's nothing but the sound of the wind and the faint scream of the motor, which you can hear for yourself in the video below. Also new is a 12.5 percent boost in battery capacity and a quick-charge option that drops charging times in half -- but does so at an up-front cost of $595. That's on top of the $9,995 for a road-going Zero S. Meanwhile the dual-sport Zero DS starts at $10,495, off-road Zero X at $7,995, and the higher-spec Zero MX $9,495. All are available for order right now.

Update: We spoke with the kind folks at Zero and got a little more information on that new trick charger. A current Zero S or Zero DS will take about four hours to charge, but if you opt for the $595 quick-charge it'll go down to just two hours -- though you can get a 90 percent in about an hour. The X and MX, meanwhile, can be fully charged in about an hour. This is without requiring any fancy plugs or DC converters, it's still just a standard 110 outlet!
[Thanks, Darius]