In an earlier feature previewing the Micromobility Expo and Conference in Sydney (25-26 November) it was noted how a bicycle shop in 2022 is entirely different to what it was only 10 years ago. The same applies to the showroom floor at motorcycle shops…


– Part of a series on Micromobility (by Rob Arnold)


Zen Motorcycles opened earlier this year in Sydney. As the owner Bruce Crerar explains this is a motorbike shop in 2022 – in other words, it’s entirely different to what even he thought Zen would be when he started the business not too long ago.

“We have three pillars [of the business],” says Crerar. “The service of traditional petrol bikes, the customisation of bikes – and that can be electric or petrol bikes, and we’re retailing new electric bikes.”

Currently you’ll find four electric bike brands on the Zen Motorcycles showroom floor: Benzina Zero, Evoke, Stark Future and Energica but Crerar expects this to grow significantly, and very soon. “We hope to be a dealer for eight to 10 brands within the next 12 months,” he says about Zen’s e-motorcycle range expansion plans.

“We want to offer a new electric bike to any rider at any price range.”

The kind of bike Zen Motorcycles started out selling…

And another kind of bike that now appears on the showroom floor at Zen Motorcycles.

Bruce is passionate about riding on two-wheels but this is a different kind of interview for me and, to an extent, for him as well. We’ve been involved in our respective ‘niche’ markets for years – me in cycling, Bruce in motorcycling – but now there’s another common thread: electric-power vehicles that are breathing new life into these markets.

Call it what you want, but there is a name for this movement and it soon becomes obvious that ‘micromobility’ is not just a buzz-word or fad. It’s enticing stalwarts of various industries to change their thinking about how they move around town, cities, roads and trails.

– Find out more at the Micromobility Expo and Conference:
open to the public with space to ride and sample all kinds of vehicles –


One of the brands that will be exhibiting at the Royal Randwick Racecourse (24-25 November 2022) is Benzina Zero. This is an Australian scooter company that is committed not only to growing the electric bike market but also to ensuring that their products are as clean as possible, not only with regards to reducing the use of fossil fuels but also in the way spent batteries are managed.


The Micromobility Expo 2022 will be held in the Kensington Room at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, 25-26 November 2022.
Entry to the expo is free if you pre-register.
(Click the link to register.)

Currently, there isn’t a mandatory requirement for batteries used for e-bikes and e-scooters to be recycled in Australia. In some European countries, however, there are strict regulations about ensuring these items don’t end up in landfill and create more environmental hassles.

Still, Ben Silver of Benzina Zero is passionate about limiting his environmental footprint. A horticulturalist by training he is now a co-owner of a e-scooter business that is thriving.

When he talks about the transportation options that exist thanks to Benzina Zero’s entry into the micromobility market, each point seems to be highlighted by how it’s better for the environment than many other products.

When it comes to the notion of battery recycling, he recognises that he doesn’t need to abide by laws that don’t yet exist in Australia but that doesn’t mean he’s exploiting a loophole. Rather, he’s being proactive to ensure his business is doing the right thing from the outset.

“Benzina Zero is intent on being as clean as possible,” says Silver. “We voluntarily pay a stewardship fee that is linked to battery recycling.” And the brand is working with various agencies to map out a mechanism for used batteries to be safely disposed of or, better yet, recycled.

The batteries on Benzina Zero e-scooters – which can reach reach speeds of up to 75km/h and have a ride time of around 70 minutes on a single charge – are obviously rechargeable but they won’t last forever.

“You’ll get around 1,000 cycles out of our batteries,” explains Silver. “If you ride once every two days, you’ll get around seven years of service.”

Law changes required…

The electric bike market is growing so quickly that it’s hard for legislators to keep pace and create regulations that will ultimately serve this emerging industry well. This is one theme that will be discussed during the conference component of the event in Randwick, and it’s something all involved in micromobility are aware of.

There is uncertainty about which of these new vehicles can go where: do you, for example, ride on the road or bike path?

Similarly, there are hurdles for e-scooter companies and their retailers and it relates to licencing requirements as well. In Queensland, for example, almost anyone can ride a Benzina Zero e-scooter, but in NSW you’ll need a motorcycle licence.

There aren’t answers yet for some questions that… well, weren’t being asked not too long ago. But the way we move is changing and it’s changing fast!

For Zen Motorcycles, it happened without planning. Rather, it was simple the reality of seeing a product that was so cool that it seemed obvious to pursue a different path from what the business had originally planned to take.

“Ironically,” says Bruce Crecar of Zen, “electric wasn’t on our radar when we started out.

“We wanted to build custom bikes and service ICE bikes – which is Internal Combustion Engine bikes. [Then] my business partner Ben and I saw a particular electric bike online and we got super excited about it. We said, ‘We want to be a part of that…!’”

Classic motorbikes alongside e-scooters

While the shop fit-out was being completed during the first few months of Zen Motorcycles presence in a new location near inner-city Sydney, a brick wall separated the showroom from Euston Road. This is a major thoroughfare which effectively connects the massive West Connex toll road to the city in Alexandria.

On the weekend of the Micromobility Expo and Conference slabs of brickwork that have hidden Zen Motorcycles from public view will be replaced by glass and that’s when Crerar and his cohort expect to see a glut of new customers… and it’s sure to be traditional motorbike riders as well as the curious who are lured in by the arrival of electric bikes.

I’ve ridden by Zen Motorcycles often but usually in the early hours of the morning and I’ve never seen what’s inside… until today.

When I dropped in for a chat with Bruce Crerar, in what appears as a rather non-descript warehouse building just near the start of the M8 motorway, I discovered a few two-wheeled treasures including bikes by Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Harley Davidson and some of the long-established names of the motorcycle world.

Alongside these classic machines – some new, some restored, some works of art… and most powered by an internal combustion engine – you’ll find the Australian brand from Queensland that is rapidly making waves in the market.

My visit to Zen came after a discussion with Ben Silver of Benzina Zero.

“We started the company five years ago,” Silver tells me over the phone a day before he made the trip from Brisbane to Sydney for the Micromobility Expo. “The business has grown rapidly and we’re now looking at considerable international expansion.”

Benzina Zero is a play on words, drawing on the Italian heritage of Silver’s business partner and co-owner of the company, Joe D’Ercole. It’s a translation of Italian for ‘petrol’ followed by ‘zero’, spelling out the obvious: these scooters don’t burn any fossil fuels.

The Brisbane-based company already boasts representation in five countries outside Australia and it won’t be long before their distribution hub in the Abruzzo region of Italy is active. For now, however, Benzina Zero is steadily changing the way people ride – starting in Queensland, with a strong focus on the eco-tourism market but also with dalliances with food delivery services. Who knows where next this mysterious ride as part of the micromobility will take the brand?

Silver is optimistic and the growth of his company suggests he’s on the right path. Crerar never expected to be selling something that could accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than three seconds without a violent bone-shaking sound spewing from an ICE engine… but such a machine now exists in the electric bike market.

What happens next is anyone’s guess but join the ride and discover what’s already out there and be sure to attend the Micromobility Expo and Conference this weekend.


– By Rob Arnold


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