Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.
Zero 10X Review
Zero 10X (23 Ah) Alternatives & Competitors
Our Take: Upgradeable On- and Off-Road Beast
The Zero 10X is a popular, high performance electric scooter with quality build. Most notable is its giant deck, Cadillac-plush suspension and dual 1000-watt motors that give all variants of this scooter a top speed north of 35 mph.
The 2020 10Xs come in three variants: two 52 Volt versions and a Mac Daddy 60V version that has the quickest acceleration and highest top speed. For everything you get, these scooter are competitively priced and sure to satisfy the needs of all but the extreme adrenaline junkies.
Zero 10X Review
Since its release, the Zero 10X has been one of the most popular scooters in the high performance class. As of 2020, the Zero 10X comes in three versions primarily differentiated by battery capacity.
*estimated from testing of different Titan T10-DDM 60 V, 21 Ah variant
All new Zero 10X models have different battery packs as well as improved features, including fully-hydraulic disc brakes on the 52 V/23 Ah and 60 V/21 Ah models. All new models come updated with a welded stem to reduce wobble and creak while riding. The Zero 10X is a solid performer with exceptional range and top speed, and head-turning good looks.
We tested both 52 V models of the Zero 10X: the 18 Ah and the 23 Ah. This review covers both versions.
The Zero 10X has formidable acceleration thanks to the dual 1000-watt brushless DC motors that have 1600 watts of peak output and are absolute savages. All of the 10X models have fast acceleration, but the 21 Ah, 60V version is lightning fast, widening its lead ahead of the 18 Ah and 23 Ah (52 V) versions as speeds increase.
During our acceleration tests, the 10X (23 Ah) reached 15 mph in a blistering 2.5 seconds, 20 mph in 3.6 seconds, 25 mph in 5.1 seconds, and 30 mph in 7.9 seconds. The 10X (18 Ah) reached 15 mph in 2.8 seconds, 20 mph in 4.3 seconds, 25 mph in 6.2 seconds, and 30 mph in 10.5 seconds.
The motors have a ton of torque. You can spin both wheels not only from a standstill but even at speed. It’s fair to say that the Zero 10X has enough power to smoke many other scooters — at least off the line.
The Zero 10X roared up our standardized 200 ft, 10% grade hill climb with a 165 lb rider in 8.8 seconds — about a second behind the reigning champion Wolf Warrior 11. Both the 18 Ah and 23 Ah version had the same hill climb time, while the 60V version is about a second quicker with higher average speed.
All 10X variants have outstanding hill climbing performance. It is unlikely that there is a hill in your city it cannot crush.
The Zero 10X (23 Ah) had an RG certified top speed (high-precision Racelogic GPS tracked) of 36.1 mph with a 165 lb rider. The 10X (18 Ah) is less than 1.0 mph slower, with a tested top speed of 35.5 mph.
The Zero 10X 60V has the highest top speed — 42.0 mph — estimated from tested data using a different 60 V/21 Ah Titan T10-DDM variant.
We test all scooters on the same urban loop with frequent stops, hill, and a 165 lb rider. The scooter is ridden as quickly as is safe and in the fastest (least energy conserving) mode.
Both models have great range. The Zero 10X (23 Ah) has a respectable 26.0 miles of range — you’ll likely not need more whether commuting or joyriding. The Zero 10X (18 Ah) delivered 23.9 miles.
You can compare this range with other scooters we’ve tested.
In the lower speed modes, the range should be much further — perhaps as much as double, depending on your terrain, riding habits, and weight.
The base 18 Ah version has cable-activated disc brakes, while the more premium 23 Ah and 60 V, 21 Ah versions have dual hydraulic disc brakes with massive 160 mm rotors. These are quality, legit brakes, and required no adjustments out of the box. They are absolutely needed to keep the reins on this dual 1000-watt scooter.
In our braking tests, we found the hydraulic brakes on the 10X (23 Ah) to be very strong — capable of bringing this monster to a halt from 15 mph in a mere 12.1 feet. They are powerful enough to lock up both wheels easily. The 10X (18 Ah), which has mechanical disc brakes, has a braking distance of 16.1 feet.
The brake levers provide decent feel for the brakes, with easier control and responsiveness with the hydraulic brakes. The hydraulic brakes are intended for experienced riders, as they’re tuned very, very strong. Beginner riders may have difficulty controlling them initially. After some getting used to, you can tell how much traction the beefy tires have, and maximally brake without locking up the tires.
All Zero 10X variants have excellent ride quality and come with dual spring suspension and massive 10.0-inch by 3-inch pneumatic (air-filled tires). The front and rear spring shocks soak up any rough terrain you throw at it. In the city, potholes, road debris, and trash will be no match for the Zero 10X at nearly any speed. Off the road, the suspension has enough travel to take jumps.
The dual suspension keeps you well connected to the road and stable when you encounter obstacles. It also reduces fatigue and makes the ride comfortable — especially if you are riding more than a few miles. More damping (like an additional shock absorber) would really help the suspension settle down over large bumps as it starts to feel floaty, but it’s a relatively quiet ride with no stem noise and zero wobble.
Along with dual hydraulic brakes on the 23 Ah and 21 Ah/60 V versions, serious speed, and lots of ways to upgrade the ride, the Zero 10X is at an excellent price point for its feature set in the high performance class. With various models providing you bigger batteries and better brakes, the 10X is evolving along with rider needs.
Zero continues to improve its build and ride quality, even reducing annoyances, like noise and stem wobble. One exceptional update to the 2020 design is that the 10X comes with a stem that has welded components to stop stem creaking while riding. The included stock stem clamp remains somewhat finicky and requires an iterative process to achieve maximum tightness.
Rugged Stem Clamp
We also tested the optional Zero 10X rugged stem folding clamp accessory (easily recognized by its red anodized levers). The rugged stem clamp stiffens up the stem, makes it easier to achieve optimal clamping, and nearly eliminates stem wobble. It can be a bit tricky to unfasten, but helps make the stem rock solid once secured. Offered as a $70 optional accessory, it’s a must-have that is well worth the added expense.
Zero 10X Features
If you want a 10X with a smaller folded footprint, you can upgrade from the standard fixed handlebars to folding handlebars. The upgraded folding handlebars are straight rather than curved where they affix to the stem, so have a slightly different ride feel.
Coming in at 80 lbs, the Zero 10X is a beefcake. You aren’t going to throw this into the back of an Uber, take it on a bus, or carry it up multiple flights of stairs. It’s a heavy scooter and not designed for that.
The stem folds to reduce the profile of the scooter, but it is still big overall. When folded, the Zero 10X is 50-inches (L) by 27-inches (W) by 20-inches (H).
Though we don’t imagine very many people lifting the 10X frequently, one notable drawback is that it does not have a locking stem. When folded, you will have to lift the 10X by the base rather the than the stem.
Often with folding handlebar designs, the folding mechanism allows the handlebars to loosen while you’re riding. This isn’t a safety concern, but is a nuisance.
The clamp on the Zero 10X handlebars is a little difficult to engage, and that’s likely why one of the handlebars gets a little wiggly when riding. One other thing to note is that the folding handlebars are straight, and not quite as comfortable as the stock curved handlebars for racing.
Also, we noticed that with the key-start ignition and voltmeter in place, it’s difficult to use the folding handlebars, as these components keep the handlebars from folding tight, and parallel to the stem.
If you want to make the Zero 10X more portable with the folding handlebars, we recommend you disable and remove the voltmeter and key-start ignition. With them installed, it’s near impossible to fold the handlebars flush against the scooter.
The cockpit is simple, functional, and well-designed.
The latest 2020 Zero 10X has standard curved handlebars like those you’d find on a mountain bike. At 27-inches. They are wide and give excellent steering control. The grips have been updated from the original 18 Ah version we tested and are now more ergonomic and meatier — making it easier to hold on while riding. The grips are securely clamped to the handlebars, don’t rotate, and provide excellent hand support.
The deck-to-handlebar height is 40.3-inches and the stem is fixed, not telescoping. Riders under 77 inches may want to try this height to make sure it is comfortable for them.
The 10X has a QS-S4 LCD throttle display. The LCD shows all your vital stats, including speed, odometer, mode, and battery readout. You can control performance features using the P-settings. The trigger throttle control is attached to the display and is index finger operated.
This type of trigger throttle can be uncomfortable for long rides but is really up to rider preference. Fortunately, the scooter comes with plug-and-play cabling, so you can install a thumb throttle if you prefer. This type of cabling also means you can swap out other electronic components should they break (or if you want to upgrade them).
Dual disc brakes are controlled by thick hand levers that feel sturdy. On the left side of the handlebars are push buttons that control dual/single motor and eco/turbo power modes.
Finally, an excellent added touch is a key-start ignition, which disables the scooter from powering on, as with a car. This means that you can leave your Zero 10X parked outside for quick trips — though we wouldn’t leave it for too long because it could still be rolled away.
Our Zero 10X (23 Ah) also came with an optional electric vehicle immobilizer alarm (available as a $50 accessory), which allows you to arm your scooter with a motion activated alarm and two remote key fobs. This component requires soldering, so best if professionally installed ahead of shipping.
The Zero 10X scooter has deck-mounted front and rear lights. There are also reflectors on the front and rear fender and along the sides of the deck. The low-mounted position of the lights is not ideal for visibility and they aren’t strong enough for serious night riding.
We recommend more powerful lights placed high on the scooter.
Read our guide to electric scooter lighting and visibility for tips.
The Zero 10X has monstrous 10.0-inch diameter by 3-inch wide pneumatic inner-tube tires. These provide great ride quality (along with the suspension). The tire width contributes immensely to feeling stable on this scooter, particularly when accelerating and decelerating quickly. The wheels are split-rim, making it easier to swap out the inner-tubes if you get a flat or change tire types.
At speed, these tires will soak up imperfections in the road (or off it). They’ll give you the confidence to push this scooter to its limits, because you know their supple rubber is helping to keep you pinned to the earth.
Read more about preventing flat tires.
One benefit of the Zero 10X being such a large scooter is the generous amount of deck space. The Zero 10X has 19.2-inches by 9.0-inches of standing space. The rear of the deck also has an integrated metal fin that is sturdy enough to stand on — giving you even more standing options.
The Zero 10X is is a fantastic dual motor scooter for commuting, but best if you don’t have to heft it upstairs or into a car. As a weekend joyride vehicle, this scooter has more power, top speed, and range than you’ll ever need. Its build quality will should keep it running for years to come.
Another often overlooked aspect of the Zero scooters (and Titan/Unicool variants, in general) is their customizability. Many dealers offer a considerable number of accessories to upgrade, tweak, or modify your scooter just how you like.
There is also a huge community of serious riders who have developed their own mods, repairs, and upgrades over the years that you can look to for support should you select a 10X.
If the 10X isn’t for you, check out our suggested alternative scooters. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.
Zero 10X Scooter: Review Conclusions
Overall build quality on the Zero 10X is very solid.
Virtually every component of the scooter is thick and metal. The swing arms, bolts, and pivots are oversized and durable. The steering is tight. The suspension is incredible — hefty but plush. The motors are surprisingly quiet, even under full-throttle acceleration or at top speed. The only downside of all this build quality is weight. Quality metal parts are steel and heavy. There are many accessories for upgrading this scooter to your preferences.
In summary, the Zero 10X will shrug off anything you throw at it — you’re most likely the one to take damage doing it. This scooter is a solid investment that will stand the test of time.