Automotive colossus ZF presents its first proprietary motor system. The ZF Bike Eco System comes not only with exciting key data, but also with some unexpected features. We had the exclusive opportunity to test the new motor system to find out what it’s capable of, and what it has in common with a can of coke.

ZF CentriX | 90 Nm | 2.5 kg | Manufacturer’s website

ZF are mainly known for being one of the largest parts suppliers to the automotive sector. However, very few people know that the German manufacturer also has an ebike department called ZF Micro Mobility. At Eurobike 2018, ZF presented their first ebike motor as part of a joint venture between Magura, BFO and BMZ: The Sachs RS. Back then, it caused a stir with some impressive key data, with a whopping 110 Nm of torque and 700 watts peak power. However, the drive was only used by a handful of bike manufacturers, including NOX. Now, six years later, ZF strike again, but this time on their own. For the 2025 season, the German brand presents its new ZF Bike Eco System, which includes not only the motor, but also batteries, remotes, displays and connectivity features. The new ZF ebike motor aims to impress with a combination of high torque, low system weight and compact dimensions. We visited R RAYMON in Schweinfurt and had the exclusive opportunity to meet with the developers and product managers of the new ZF Bike Eco System, ebike pioneers Susanne and Felix Puello. Here’s all the most relevant information, and our first ride impressions of the new ZF Bike Eco System.

E-bike pioneers Susanne and Felix Puello proudly present their new R RAYMON Tarok E-MTB with the new ZF Bike Eco System.
Patrik Rösch – Head of Application and Drivability
Christian Malik – Product Manager

The new 2025 ZF Bike Eco System in detail – what’s so special about the new ZF CentriX ebike motor?

At the heart of the new ZF Eco System lies the ZF CentriX motor. Just like its predecessor, the Sachs RS (which was the result of the previously-mentioned joint venture) and the 2023 Brose Drive³ Peak motor, it operates at 48 V. In theory, this should offer the potential to reduce the current due to the higher voltage. As a result, less heat is generated, especially in the cables near the battery, allowing for the installation of power cables with a smaller cross-section. With its cylindrical shape, the motor is reminiscent of a Coke can, only slightly larger and a tad heavier. At first glance, 90 Nm of torque, 600 watts power peak and 2.5 kg system weight sound very promising. For comparison’s sake: The Bosch Performance Line CX and the Shimano EP801 both deliver 85 Nm of torque and a maximum output of 600 watts. But be careful: we’re not going to compare the motors based on sheer numbers: if we’ve learnt anything over the years, it’s that individual parameters viewed and compared in isolation say nothing about the real trail performance of a drive system – but more on that later. The ZF ebike motor is also available in a slimmed-down version with 75 Nm of torque and 450 watts peak power, which is aimed primarily at urban and gravel bikes.

While it’s only slightly bigger than a can of Red Bull, with 90 Nm of torque and 600 watts peak power, the ZF CentriX actually gives you wings – and it only weights 2.5 kg!

To make the cylindrical shape possible, the ZF’s engineers opted for a single drive axle design. To achieve this, they used a shaft gearbox, which consists of just a few components and is extremely compact thanks to the single-stage construction. A malleable sprocket transmits the power with virtually no play, thus ensuring precise power transfer on the crankshaft. The great speciality of the ZF ebike motor: the engineers developed a torque limiter – a kind of special clutch – to absorb load peaks and protect the motor from overloads, thus ensuring a longer service life. Load peaks can occur, for example, when shifting gears under high loads uphill. or when the rear wheel locks up for a short moment when hitting a step or bigger obstacle.

The single axle design of the ZF CentriX motor enables the cylindrical design.

A motor without mounting points? Yep: ZF’s engineers are also breaking new ground in terms of motor integration. Rather than bolting directly to the bottom of the frame like a conventional mid-drive motor, the CentriX fits into a recess in the bottom of the frame, and is cradled by a bracket which wraps around and holds the motor into place, rather like the way a stem faceplate holds a handlebar. A small locator tab in the frame holds the motor in the correct orientation and prevents it from twisting. This should make it quick and easy for certified dealers to remove the motor for servicing.

The ZF ebike motor clamps into the frame from bottom to top using a special mounting plate. The motor itself doesn’t have its own mounting points.

The ZF ebike motor can be paired with batteries in two different sizes: 504 Wh and 756 Wh. The small-size tips the scales at 3.2 kg and the biggest one 4.2 kg, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The batteries click into place in the down tube via a specially developed rail system, which should always ensure a firm connection with the frame. This should prevent system failures and annoying rattling noises caused by repeated or incorrect installation, which is often the case with other manufacturers. In addition, the battery is secured to the frame with a key lock, which prevents thieves from removing the battery. ZF also give bike brands the option of using peripheral components like batteries, displays and remotes from third-party suppliers.

The batteries are available in two different variants with 504 Wh and 756 Wh capacity.
The batteries click into place in the down tube using a special rail system. This should ensure an optimal fit and prevent the battery from developing play, which often results in annoying rattling noises and connection failures.

The displays and remotes of the 2025 ZF Bike Eco System

ZF also supply the rest of the Bike Eco System’s hardware, like the display, remote and controller. The top tube-mounted ZF Core Controller acts as the brain of the entire system and is therefore indispensable. It’s used to switch the system on and off, and it also allows you to switch between riding modes when you’re not using a remote. Unfortunately, the LED display only provides limited riding data, like the battery charge status and selected support level – a bit like a Bosch controller. Specialized’s MasterMind display has the edge in this regard! A magnetic plug allows you to charge your smartphone on the go on longer rides.

The ZF Core Controller in the top tube acts as the brain of the entire motor system. However, the minimalist LED controller only displays basic riding info.

While the Core Controller is more than enough for most ebike scenarios, ZF also offer a display and remote for those who want more riding data and easier operation. The 2.8 inch colour display shows the battery status, speed and support mode, and is attached to the handlebars via a bracket. Using the touch function on the display, you can swipe through the various display views like you would on a smartphone, and click to adjust the individual information tiles.

The ZF Colour Display’s touch function allows you to swipe through the various display views to recall a wide range of information about the motor system.

The remote sits on the handlebars and has a total of four buttons, which can be used to switch between riding modes, activate walk assist and operate the display. The rubberised buttons ensure excellent haptic feedback.

The riding modes can also be changed using the remote on the handlebars, which offers excellent haptic feedback thanks to the rubberised buttons.

The connectivity features of the 2025 ZF Bike Eco System

Our world is more connected than ever, and connectivity has also become an integral part of the ebike segment. The interface to the world of the ZF motor system is the Core Controller in the top tube, which allows you to connect your bike to a smartphone via Bluetooth using the app. This can be used to adjust the motor’s characteristics and the sustained assistance of the four support modes, Eco, Active, Sport and Boost. Sport is a dynamic mode that adapts the assistance to the respective riding situation and, unlike the other modes, has a longer sustained assistance after the pedals stop turning.

Alongside the support mode adjustments, there will also be a navigation function, which shows arrows and basic directions on the ZF Colour Display – though the navigation function always requires an active smartphone connection. ZF are also planning to release over-the-air updates in the near future to add new features to the Bike Eco System.

Availability of the new 2025 ZF Bike Eco System

For the time being, the new ZF Bike Eco System will only be available on the new R RAYMON Tarok eMTB, which is due to be launched in 2025. The cylindrical motor shape enables seamless, stylish integration. The ZF CentriX motor draws its power from a big 756 Wh battery, which is integrated into the down tube and can be removed for charging with a downward motion through a big opening. R RAYMON went for the full ZF hardware package, with the ZF Core Controller in the top tube, ZF Colour Display in front of the handlebars and ZF Pure Remote on the handlebars. The Tarok will be available in 4 different spec levels, with prices ranging between € 6,299 and € 10,499. There will also be a lightweight version weighing 20.5 kg (manufacturer’s specification) with a smaller battery.

R RAYMON Tarok Ultra | ZF CentriX/756 Wh | 160/160 mm (f/r) |
Manufacturer’s website

New 2025 ZF Bike Eco System first test – what is the new ZF ebike motor capable of?

We had the exclusive opportunity to test ride the new ZF Bike Eco System to gain a first impression of the bike. Remember, the performance of an e-mountainbike depends on countless factors, so you should never consider the motor’s performance in isolation. Any motor is only as good as the bike it comes with – in our case, a prototype of the new R RAYMON Tarok.

Setting off from a standstill, the ZF ebike motor impresses with a natural ride feeling and doesn’t feel too abrupt. Nevertheless, it delivers plenty of power in all support modes, and it’s easy to modulate. The CentriX reaches its maximum power between 60 and 90 rpm and, especially in the powerful Sport and Boost modes, pushes you to the trailhead without too much effort, even on steeper ramps. The dynamic Sport mode is particularly suitable for technical climbs, as it adapts the assistance to suit the riding situation. It’s also the only mode which provides a longer sustained assistance, which helps you overcome obstacles. This allows you to approach bigger roots or steps with just a few pedal strokes, and let the motor’s sustained assistance do the rest when you can’t pedal. However, this requires some caution on narrow, technical trails, where the long overrun might provide too much power, pushing you out around tighter hairpin switchbacks. When putting your foot on the pedals at a standstill, the motor responds directly, which could take you by surprise if you’re not prepared. However, it’s far less abrupt than the Yamaha PW-X3. Riding uphill, the ZF CentriX works discreetly in the background with a gentle hum. Downhill, it’s totally quiet and doesn’t bother you with any annoying clunking noises typical of motors like the Bosch Performance Line CX and Shimano EP801 – awesome!

Our conclusions about the 2025 ZF Bike Eco System

ZF celebrate a successful return to the ebike world with the Bike Eco System. Compact design and low system weight meet plenty of power. ZF are breaking new ground in development and rethinking ebike motors. On the trail, the CentriX motor impresses with plenty of power and good modulation. The rest of the hardware, including the batteries, remotes and displays, round off the overall positive impression. We’ll tell you more about how the ZF Eco System performs as soon as we get our hands on a production bike for a comprehensive, detailed test of all the functions.


  • Compact dimensions
  • Quiet downhill
  • Powerful
  • Innovative motor mounting system


  • Sustained assistance in Sport mode requires a vigilant riding style on technical trails

For more information visit

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of E-MOUNTAINBIKE, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Mike Hunger Photos: Mike Hunger, Manufacturer

About the author

Mike Hunger

From slopestyle and landscape photography to enduro and action shots. Mike enjoys trying new things and loves action. He also loves craftsmanship, regularly going on road trips with his VW Syncro van, which he restored and converted himself. Of course, his bike and his camera are always with him so that he can ride the finest trails from Italy to the Alps and capture the most beautiful moments. Thanks to his training as an industrial mechanic, his experience in cycling and his photographic skills, he can apply his know-how perfectly as a bike journalist, testing the latest bikes and components and documenting his findings. As a photography nerd, he also captures the reviews with his camera and ensures that the magazine features only the best images.