ALTA - a question for Marc or any dealers in the know

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2/1/2018 7:30 PM

i have been saying for a few years that i was considering an Alta. after seeing the new MXR, now i am seriously considering it. i live on 600 acres and would probably have a very expensive day when i buy one because i'll have to purchase a skidsteer on the way home.... i would instantly start work on a moto and an endurocross tracks. :^)

the one thing that is holding me back is the lack of a clutch... i realize that it doesn't have multiple gears but i have grown up on ICE bikes and now in my early 40s, the clutch is just second nature to me.... in the case of the Alta, i wouldn't need it for shifting gears but for modulating power... especially under very technical conditions such as mountain single track or endurocross. not only that but when i am tired in a race and have an "oh chit" moment, the clutch is a sure fire way to arrest a whiskey throttle.

my question is what is the probability that the Alta's would ever be equipped with a clutch lever that could modulate the electronic speed control to give the feel of a mechanical clutch? something like that would add minimal weight but give much greater control and with as much power as this bike sounds like it has, i have to imagine that there will be a lot of "larry loop-out" moments if something resembling a clutch is not added.

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2/1/2018 7:37 PM

I agree. I'd like to be able to cut the power with an easy to reach lever that I'm used to reaching for, should things get out of control and I'm flopping around like a rag doll.

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2/1/2018 8:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/1/2018 8:33 PM

Not Marc, but I work for him. I'm a regional sales manager based in Houston. In my 7 months with the company I have not heard any discussion about a clutch option. However, that doesn't mean that Marc or the team of engineers haven't talked about it.

I will tell you this. I have two MX demo's and have logged many hours on both of them. I was a privateer pro back in the 80's and have been riding again the last several years. With the 4 performance maps, it's very easy to control the power management. Late in the day or moto, if you feel tired and want to back it down, all you have to do is push the arrow down button right next to the left hand grip that will put the performance mode to 1.

My wife is a very slow rider, but at the same time she loves riding. Over the years she has gone from a YZ100 to an XR100 and the last several years has been on a CRF230F. She LOVES riding the Alta in mode 1. All the chatter you hear about our bikes is the horse power and the massive tourque. Just know that in mode 1 it's a lot more mellow.

Hopefully that helps. One of the best things about our close to 50 dealers is that most of them have demo's at their stores. Find one near you and try one out.

If by any chance you are planning on attending the Dallas SX February 17, there will be a demo day at near by Village Creek MX Park on Sunday February 18 hosted by Alta dealer Straight Line Motorsports. That would make for one heck of a weekend!

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2/1/2018 8:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/1/2018 8:37 PM

I really don't want to be THAT guy and you know it's coming so I'll just say it. Roll off the throttle. How often do you get tired, pull in the clutch to avoid a whiskey throttle and then still hit the throttle while you're costing? My guess is probably 0. I'd highly suggest you take advantage of a demo before you buy if you have the chance.

I've had a chance to ride the bike and didn't even think of the clutch as soon as I ripped off (thanks again Larry!)
It literally took me no time at all to adjust to the bike. It has so much instant power and handles so good you won't even notice.

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2/1/2018 8:39 PM

gjbruny wrote:

i have been saying for a few years that i was considering an Alta. after seeing the new MXR, now i am seriously considering it. i live on 600 acres and would probably have a very expensive day when i buy one because i'll have to purchase a skidsteer on the way home.... i would instantly start work on a moto and an endurocross tracks. :^)

the one thing that is holding me back is the lack of a clutch... i realize that it doesn't have multiple gears but i have grown up on ICE bikes and now in my early 40s, the clutch is just second nature to me.... in the case of the Alta, i wouldn't need it for shifting gears but for modulating power... especially under very technical conditions such as mountain single track or endurocross. not only that but when i am tired in a race and have an "oh chit" moment, the clutch is a sure fire way to arrest a whiskey throttle.

my question is what is the probability that the Alta's would ever be equipped with a clutch lever that could modulate the electronic speed control to give the feel of a mechanical clutch? something like that would add minimal weight but give much greater control and with as much power as this bike sounds like it has, i have to imagine that there will be a lot of "larry loop-out" moments if something resembling a clutch is not added.

If any of this happens.....please let me know! smile Neighbor.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

2/2/2018 3:15 PM

Zoom wrote:

Not Marc, but I work for him. I'm a regional sales manager based in Houston. In my 7 months with the company I have not heard any discussion about a clutch option. However, that doesn't mean that Marc or the team of engineers haven't talked about it.

I will tell you this. I have two MX demo's and have logged many hours on both of them. I was a privateer pro back in the 80's and have been riding again the last several years. With the 4 performance maps, it's very easy to control the power management. Late in the day or moto, if you feel tired and want to back it down, all you have to do is push the arrow down button right next to the left hand grip that will put the performance mode to 1.

My wife is a very slow rider, but at the same time she loves riding. Over the years she has gone from a YZ100 to an XR100 and the last several years has been on a CRF230F. She LOVES riding the Alta in mode 1. All the chatter you hear about our bikes is the horse power and the massive tourque. Just know that in mode 1 it's a lot more mellow.

Hopefully that helps. One of the best things about our close to 50 dealers is that most of them have demo's at their stores. Find one near you and try one out.

If by any chance you are planning on attending the Dallas SX February 17, there will be a demo day at near by Village Creek MX Park on Sunday February 18 hosted by Alta dealer Straight Line Motorsports. That would make for one heck of a weekend!

thanks for the info, i really appreciate it!

while i get the fact that for moto i could probably learn to live without a clutch, i ride and race a number of different disciplines. with moto, guys like reed use the clutch to modulate power nearly as much as the throttle... again, i realize that coming out of corners, starts and righting the bike in the air could all probably be completely compensated with the throttle alone, i think a clutch-like lever would be beneficial in endurocross and to be honest, almost a necessity in hard enduro. the ability to very quickly modulate power with a finger vs. the entire wrist would be a big plus and i feel it can be done more accurately with the index finger vs the entire hand/wrist. a simple example is to do a slow 12oclock wheelie without the clutch.... i'd imagine it could be done.... but it can be done much more precisely with the index finger when gravity pulling on your body and making the wrist pull double duty with being a main anchor to the bike and trying to modulate power..... same thing with steep uphills with very technical terrain. just a few examples

i wonder if you could pass this on to marc (though im sure they have talked about this). i can't imagine riding some of the technical terrain i ride without one and especially racing said terrain. i'd have no problem moto-ing one tho.

i guess what i'm getting at is i'd like to see Alta get a jump on all the manufacturers and build brand loyalty across the board before KTM and other manufacturers jump in that already have geometry, weight and suspension a little more refined.

i've been riding KTMs in the early days for offroad (suzuki and yami for moto) and only KTM for moto and offroad for the last 8 years. I'd love nothing more than to ride and american engineered bike for both.

thanks again for the info.

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2/2/2018 3:25 PM

40acres wrote:

I really don't want to be THAT guy and you know it's coming so I'll just say it. Roll off the throttle. How often do you get tired, pull in the clutch to avoid a whiskey throttle and then still hit the throttle while you're costing? My guess is probably 0. I'd highly suggest you take advantage of a demo before you buy if you have the chance.

I've had a chance to ride the bike and didn't even think of the clutch as soon as I ripped off (thanks again Larry!)
It literally took me no time at all to adjust to the bike. It has so much instant power and handles so good you won't even notice.

yeah.... no need to be that guy. i wasn't asking for riding advise, i can hold my own in just about any discipline involving dirt scooters. :^)

come ride some of my technical mountain terrain, let alone race it, and tell me if you still only need to "roll off the throttle." MX, no problem.... flat ground and maybe even endurocross (to an extent.... i still think lap times would be faster with one)..... i probably could even learn to ride my snowbike without a clutch.... but in extremely technical mountain terrain/hard enduro, it would make life a little more than difficult. as far as just the "rolling off the throttle comment" goes, ever been in a hard enduro for 2 hours and tried to "let off" when your arms are so pumped you can't feel your fingers? easier said than done.

any idea how accepting a guy like graham jarvis would be to not having a clutch?

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2/2/2018 3:29 PM

You really don't need a clutch to modulate power on an electric motor, power output has very little to do with rpm. Only throttle position.
That said I'd like to see a clutch for just in case moments. Of course if the time came I'd actually need the clutch, it probably wouldn't work from a lack of use lol

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2/2/2018 3:41 PM

I am thinking of those moments where I've done it, I made a big big mistake and it's done. Now I'm landing somewhere way sketchy, possibly from up very high, and will need to stop quickly when I land. Possibly I got bucked off from casing, and now I'm out of control. Either way, I know that I'm likely to be thrown back, and if I'm grabbing the handlebar, might accidentally grab a handful of throttle. In those moments, I grab the clutch and prepare for the big impact.

Or, put more simply; I just want a clutch, how about that? I too like to use it for wheelies, I prefer to pop it up that way over power wheelie-ing.

Without a clutch, I'm less interested. Not totally disinterested, an electric bike is in my future. I'm not sure, I might buy another gas bike first, but eventually I will happily switch. I am excited and look forward to it!


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2/2/2018 3:42 PM

I rode one for the first time the other day. You get used to no clutch fairly quickly. On technical trails i think it's actually better then having a clutch. I easily climbed up a step rock hill coming out of a turn my buddy on his 350 lopped out. It did take some getting used to entering and going through corners when turn tracking but in a day or two would be second nature. I can say for certain I got no arm pump in my left arm since the clutch was gone.

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2/2/2018 3:42 PM

colintrax wrote:

You really don't need a clutch to modulate power on an electric motor, power output has very little to do with rpm. Only throttle position.
That said I'd like to see a clutch for just in case moments. Of course if the time came I'd actually need the clutch, it probably wouldn't work from a lack of use lol

again, come ride extreme mountain/hard enduro terrain and tell me you don't need it. i ride the same terrain on my snowbike and could probably quickly adapt to not having a clutch..... but i'm also not having to navigate large rock step-ups, slick roots, get up and over large downed trees. etc.

lets say for one second you don't need it.... it sure would be nice to have it. in very quick instances i feel i am more accurately able to modulate with my index finger than i can with my wrist.

again, i'm not trying to argue who needs what and who doesn't. i PERSONALLY would like one and i can't imagine i am alone. i'd like and american bike company have ALL the bells and whistle when the more heavily funded manufacturers come to the table.

think of it this way, if KTM comes to seriously play in the E-bike arena with the same appetite they have had in the last 5-7 years, it would be nice if Alta has all the bases covered.

maybe the guys at Alta do ride extreme terrain and have decided they don't need it.... if that is the case then so be it.... but if they are primarily riding moto sprinkled with a little endurocross then they may not have realized that some riders may truly want/benefit from having one. i'm just hoping they add one. it will literally be the tipping point for me to put one in the shop next to my 350, 300xc and 450sxf with the hopes of battery technology advancing enough that i replace my ICEs with E-motors

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2/2/2018 3:45 PM

...I could see it as an aftermarket item maybe...? So the guys who don't want one don't have one, but if you want one you bolt it on and wire it to the doohickey. Alta, please add this to your list of optional accessories please.

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2/2/2018 3:48 PM

StevieTimes wrote:

...I could see it as an aftermarket item maybe...? So the guys who don't want one don't have one, but if you want one you bolt it on and wire it to the doohickey. Alta, please add this to your list of optional accessories please.

yes, i would pay handsomely for one just like i'd buy the 220v charger.

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2/2/2018 4:40 PM

Why not just add one yourself and use it as a kill switch? Surely there could be a way to make a standard clutch perch/lever combo act as a kill? Fabricate a contact switch between the perch and lever and bingo.

I don't claim to know anything about the bike but I'm guessing it's throttle by wire with some kind of infinitely variable resistance switch acting as the throttle. A clutch lever acting as a simple on/off switch, wired between the throttle and the bike's ECU equivalent would act the way the OP intended. It could not be used to modulate power the way we do on ICEs but it would still help in a loopout scenario.

Probably void your warranty too, but...

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Braaapin' aint easy.

2/2/2018 4:46 PM

colintrax wrote:

You really don't need a clutch to modulate power on an electric motor, power output has very little to do with rpm. Only throttle position.
That said I'd like to see a clutch for just in case moments. Of course if the time came I'd actually need the clutch, it probably wouldn't work from a lack of use lol

gjbruny wrote:

again, come ride extreme mountain/hard enduro terrain and tell me you don't need it. i ride the same terrain on my snowbike and could probably quickly adapt to not having a clutch..... but i'm also not having to navigate large rock step-ups, slick roots, get up and over large downed trees. etc.

lets say for one second you don't need it.... it sure would be nice to have it. in very quick instances i feel i am more accurately able to modulate with my index finger than i can with my wrist.

again, i'm not trying to argue who needs what and who doesn't. i PERSONALLY would like one and i can't imagine i am alone. i'd like and american bike company have ALL the bells and whistle when the more heavily funded manufacturers come to the table.

think of it this way, if KTM comes to seriously play in the E-bike arena with the same appetite they have had in the last 5-7 years, it would be nice if Alta has all the bases covered.

maybe the guys at Alta do ride extreme terrain and have decided they don't need it.... if that is the case then so be it.... but if they are primarily riding moto sprinkled with a little endurocross then they may not have realized that some riders may truly want/benefit from having one. i'm just hoping they add one. it will literally be the tipping point for me to put one in the shop next to my 350, 300xc and 450sxf with the hopes of battery technology advancing enough that i replace my ICEs with E-motors

It can definitely be done and offered as an aftermarket part. Electric Motion build electric trials bikes and they have an electric clutch add on.

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2/2/2018 4:54 PM

gjbruny wrote:

again, come ride extreme mountain/hard enduro terrain and tell me you don't need it. i ride the same terrain on my snowbike and could probably quickly adapt to not having a clutch..... but i'm also not having to navigate large rock step-ups, slick roots, get up and over large downed trees. etc.

lets say for one second you don't need it.... it sure would be nice to have it. in very quick instances i feel i am more accurately able to modulate with my index finger than i can with my wrist.

again, i'm not trying to argue who needs what and who doesn't. i PERSONALLY would like one and i can't imagine i am alone. i'd like and american bike company have ALL the bells and whistle when the more heavily funded manufacturers come to the table.

think of it this way, if KTM comes to seriously play in the E-bike arena with the same appetite they have had in the last 5-7 years, it would be nice if Alta has all the bases covered.

maybe the guys at Alta do ride extreme terrain and have decided they don't need it.... if that is the case then so be it.... but if they are primarily riding moto sprinkled with a little endurocross then they may not have realized that some riders may truly want/benefit from having one. i'm just hoping they add one. it will literally be the tipping point for me to put one in the shop next to my 350, 300xc and 450sxf with the hopes of battery technology advancing enough that i replace my ICEs with E-motors

You went wrong assuming I don't ride "extreme Enduro" trails. You ain't that hard bro
Seriously a clutch is not needed.
And like I said, I'd like one too....

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2/2/2018 7:14 PM

Yep, needs a clutch. Also, instead of maps 1-4, just a dial of sorts, to ramp up power output without a hard setting.

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2/2/2018 7:26 PM

I would highly reccomend riding one before assuming you need a clutch...

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2/2/2018 7:35 PM

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2/3/2018 5:29 AM

I love these "arguments" for a clutch, when it appears the mind is completely made up and no way X could be done by me with out it.

Everyone I have talked to that has done an enduro or hair scramble on an Alta loved it. The fact that the power was there when they needed and as much or as little was their choice. Other bikes stalling in very rocky technical climb sections while they just could just stop, no clutch needed, pick a new line to get around a stalled bike in front of them.

Maybe an Alta is not for you, just go and demo one instead of trying to nit pick it to death on a forum with out even haven ridden the thing.

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2/3/2018 5:40 AM

colintrax wrote:

You really don't need a clutch to modulate power on an electric motor, power output has very little to do with rpm. Only throttle position.
That said I'd like to see a clutch for just in case moments. Of course if the time came I'd actually need the clutch, it probably wouldn't work from a lack of use lol

gjbruny wrote:

again, come ride extreme mountain/hard enduro terrain and tell me you don't need it. i ride the same terrain on my snowbike and could probably quickly adapt to not having a clutch..... but i'm also not having to navigate large rock step-ups, slick roots, get up and over large downed trees. etc.

lets say for one second you don't need it.... it sure would be nice to have it. in very quick instances i feel i am more accurately able to modulate with my index finger than i can with my wrist.

again, i'm not trying to argue who needs what and who doesn't. i PERSONALLY would like one and i can't imagine i am alone. i'd like and american bike company have ALL the bells and whistle when the more heavily funded manufacturers come to the table.

think of it this way, if KTM comes to seriously play in the E-bike arena with the same appetite they have had in the last 5-7 years, it would be nice if Alta has all the bases covered.

maybe the guys at Alta do ride extreme terrain and have decided they don't need it.... if that is the case then so be it.... but if they are primarily riding moto sprinkled with a little endurocross then they may not have realized that some riders may truly want/benefit from having one. i'm just hoping they add one. it will literally be the tipping point for me to put one in the shop next to my 350, 300xc and 450sxf with the hopes of battery technology advancing enough that i replace my ICEs with E-motors

You have never ridden the bike, how do you know what you do or do not need. Lol you make it sound like you are the only guy out there that rides Gnar. You probably ride quad trails with a couple logs here and there.
Funny cuz I hear about all sorts of folks needing auto clutches to ride extreme conditions and they don’t seem worried about using a clutch.
And Jarvis does not ride an Ebike, so who knows if he would need a clutch or not. Maybe I will ask him for you. People say you can’t do hard Enduro on a thumper but he seems to to pretty well on a 250F.

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2/3/2018 5:51 AM

Only reason I don't have one is because they don't and don't want to sell them in australia. I have reached out but alta aren't interested. I hope someone will come through. I know ktm are working on electric bikes; please revolutionize and send them to Australia. ..

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2/3/2018 5:53 AM

The Alta seems to do just fine in the nasty shit with no clutch.





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2/3/2018 6:19 AM

StevieTimes wrote:

I am thinking of those moments where I've done it, I made a big big mistake and it's done. Now I'm landing somewhere way sketchy, possibly from up very high, and will need to stop quickly when I land. Possibly I got bucked off from casing, and now I'm out of control. Either way, I know that I'm likely to be thrown back, and if I'm grabbing the handlebar, might accidentally grab a handful of throttle. In those moments, I grab the clutch and prepare for the big impact.

Or, put more simply; I just want a clutch, how about that? I too like to use it for wheelies, I prefer to pop it up that way over power wheelie-ing.

Without a clutch, I'm less interested. Not totally disinterested, an electric bike is in my future. I'm not sure, I might buy another gas bike first, but eventually I will happily switch. I am excited and look forward to it!


Ever ride a modded CRF50 with an auto clutch? You can ride one with a clutch a lot faster. The Alta needs a clutch in my opinion. I wish they had a gearbox too.

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2/3/2018 6:26 AM

StevieTimes wrote:

I am thinking of those moments where I've done it, I made a big big mistake and it's done. Now I'm landing somewhere way sketchy, possibly from up very high, and will need to stop quickly when I land. Possibly I got bucked off from casing, and now I'm out of control. Either way, I know that I'm likely to be thrown back, and if I'm grabbing the handlebar, might accidentally grab a handful of throttle. In those moments, I grab the clutch and prepare for the big impact.

Or, put more simply; I just want a clutch, how about that? I too like to use it for wheelies, I prefer to pop it up that way over power wheelie-ing.

Without a clutch, I'm less interested. Not totally disinterested, an electric bike is in my future. I'm not sure, I might buy another gas bike first, but eventually I will happily switch. I am excited and look forward to it!


Squirrelings wrote:

Ever ride a modded CRF50 with an auto clutch? You can ride one with a clutch a lot faster. The Alta needs a clutch in my opinion. I wish they had a gearbox too.

Nope, I don’t ride bikes made for 6 year old kids.

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2/3/2018 6:27 AM

StevieTimes wrote:

I am thinking of those moments where I've done it, I made a big big mistake and it's done. Now I'm landing somewhere way sketchy, possibly from up very high, and will need to stop quickly when I land. Possibly I got bucked off from casing, and now I'm out of control. Either way, I know that I'm likely to be thrown back, and if I'm grabbing the handlebar, might accidentally grab a handful of throttle. In those moments, I grab the clutch and prepare for the big impact.

Or, put more simply; I just want a clutch, how about that? I too like to use it for wheelies, I prefer to pop it up that way over power wheelie-ing.

Without a clutch, I'm less interested. Not totally disinterested, an electric bike is in my future. I'm not sure, I might buy another gas bike first, but eventually I will happily switch. I am excited and look forward to it!


Squirrelings wrote:

Ever ride a modded CRF50 with an auto clutch? You can ride one with a clutch a lot faster. The Alta needs a clutch in my opinion. I wish they had a gearbox too.

Have you ever ridden an Alta?

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2/3/2018 6:27 AM

TOTALLY understand where the OP is coming from. A clutch is needed for those oh shit moments. How many people here pull in the clutch when you get out of control on a motorcycle? Being able to control or stop power on motorcycle can be critical in some situations, especially when we are talking technical, potentially dangerous trail sections. Those videos above are not examples of nasty shit. I couldn't imagine simply having to rely on my throttle control to save me from certain situations.

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2/3/2018 6:30 AM

gjbruny wrote:

i have been saying for a few years that i was considering an Alta. after seeing the new MXR, now i am seriously considering it. i live on 600 acres and would probably have a very expensive day when i buy one because i'll have to purchase a skidsteer on the way home.... i would instantly start work on a moto and an endurocross tracks. :^)

the one thing that is holding me back is the lack of a clutch... i realize that it doesn't have multiple gears but i have grown up on ICE bikes and now in my early 40s, the clutch is just second nature to me.... in the case of the Alta, i wouldn't need it for shifting gears but for modulating power... especially under very technical conditions such as mountain single track or endurocross. not only that but when i am tired in a race and have an "oh chit" moment, the clutch is a sure fire way to arrest a whiskey throttle.

my question is what is the probability that the Alta's would ever be equipped with a clutch lever that could modulate the electronic speed control to give the feel of a mechanical clutch? something like that would add minimal weight but give much greater control and with as much power as this bike sounds like it has, i have to imagine that there will be a lot of "larry loop-out" moments if something resembling a clutch is not added.

I’m not sure how the bike works but my skateboard and Volt have the ability to have braking while off the power or be free rolling.

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2/3/2018 6:31 AM

Get this fucking electric bike to Australia before KTM does...."from a KTMfan" it's an Alta funeral if you don't beat KTM.

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2/3/2018 6:36 AM

What about something you can adjust with different weights, like a Rekluse to give you some "pop" if you need to do that?

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