Alta Redshift MX - First Ride - GoPro & Opinion!

Related:
Create New Tag

1/18/2018 10:03 AM



First Time on the Alta Redshift MX Electric Motocross Bike

A little background about myself;

- Weigh 155lbs
- Intermediate Rider (on a good day ha)
- Participant on the 2018 250f/450f VitalMx Shootouts See Here: https://www.vitalmx.com/features/2018...

I've been following Alta (formerly known as BRD) Motors since the beginning and if you want to know all the dirty details about Electric Vehicles and why I'm fascinated with them check out my forum post on them here: https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-R...

First impressions:
Alta has done an incredible job making the bike feel "normal" and comfortable in comparison to what most of us expect when you throw a leg over a bike. It's a bit heavy at 272lbs but the weight is somewhat non-existent once you get moving on the track. It's easy to figure out, turn on, charge, and change maps on.

The first lap didn't feel all that awkward at all. Since you don't have to shift or use a clutch you don't really find yourself trying to. Also, when you jump the bike handles fairly similarly to a gas bike and you just have to adjust a bit on how and when you chop the throttle to maintain consistency.

The brakes are killer (brembo) and the fork is the worst part of the bike. I would love to ride this bike with a better suspension setup to really see what it can do, but for the time being this will have to work.

The power is noticeably different between maps 1-4 and map 4 was impressive to say the least. The bike's ability to pull out of a deep sandy corner was awesome, though I found myself wishing it had a bit more umph as you get up to speed, it somewhat plateaus and falls flat from there and since you can't shift that's all you have to work with. Judging speed wasn't difficult for the small jumps, although I haven't had enough time on it yet to see what it might be like through rhythm sections and larger jumps but I would suspect it would be easy to adjust to.

The bike is thin, turns EXTREMELY well, and doesn't really leave me feeling like I didn't just ride moto. Aside from suspension and maybe a modified mapping change this bike would be cherry. No oil change, no air filters and not valve checks makes it pretty easy to wash and put back in the garage.

Enjoy the video and let me know what you think in the comments below!!!!

Thanks to Moto 1 in Nampa ID for the demo opportunity and shoutout to Alta Motors for helping broaden motocross as a sport!
|

instagram: @ginger969

1/18/2018 10:13 AM

Suspension looks like its set up for someone much heavier. The front is not nearly going through the entire stroke.

|

1/18/2018 10:33 AM

One-Hander wrote:

Suspension looks like its set up for someone much heavier. The front is not nearly going through the entire stroke.

The 4CS is troubled to say the least...Compression slowed down and it bottoms harshly, compression sped up and it bounces before even touching the stroke. The forks has major issues with staying within the useable action area of the stroke so I would would love to try the bike with an improved suspension setup at some point haha

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/18/2018 11:48 AM

Thanks for that review. With the price drop, and white plastic, these things are going to start multiplying like rabbits.

|

2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/19/2018 10:46 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Thanks for that review. With the price drop, and white plastic, these things are going to start multiplying like rabbits.

It will be cool to see some of these! I would love to have a little AX style track with an Alta at my house haha No issues there!

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/19/2018 11:29 AM

Nice ride report! looks like a ton of fun. Thanks for the post.

I'd have one in a second if you could swap batteries out in a a couple minutes. Does anyone know if Alta has ever mentioned anything like that? Is it something they might be working on? I sure hope so. I my opinion this is not a viable motocross racing platform until then.

No matter how far the lithium battery tech goes, it's going to be a long time before the run time is increased enough that these machines can tackle an entire motocross event without having to plug it in. If you could swap batteries out, run time would be almost irrelevant for anything but pro motocross. It would be expensive to purchase the extra batteries, no doubt, but it would also open up the door for aftermarket batteries, which could compete for price and performance.

now, off-road, thats a different story. I give it 20 years from now before one of these can go 3 hours, assuming there have been no new, industry changing, battery chemistry...which is certainly plausible.

Either way, I think the bikes are cool and definitely have their place.

|

1/19/2018 11:33 AM

Katoomey wrote:

Nice ride report! looks like a ton of fun. Thanks for the post.

I'd have one in a second if you could swap batteries out in a a couple minutes. Does anyone know if Alta has ever mentioned anything like that? Is it something they might be working on? I sure hope so. I my opinion this is not a viable motocross racing platform until then.

No matter how far the lithium battery tech goes, it's going to be a long time before the run time is increased enough that these machines can tackle an entire motocross event without having to plug it in. If you could swap batteries out, run time would be almost irrelevant for anything but pro motocross. It would be expensive to purchase the extra batteries, no doubt, but it would also open up the door for aftermarket batteries, which could compete for price and performance.

now, off-road, thats a different story. I give it 20 years from now before one of these can go 3 hours, assuming there have been no new, industry changing, battery chemistry...which is certainly plausible.

Either way, I think the bikes are cool and definitely have their place.

the batteries are swappable to my knowledge...

The batteries took about 2.5/3 hours to fully charge from empty in my garage. I would assume with a battery swap and/or a charge in between motos you could finish a day at the races. Ideally you'd probably want two bikes, two batteries while alternating charge and run I would assume!

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/19/2018 11:47 AM

Katoomey wrote:

Nice ride report! looks like a ton of fun. Thanks for the post.

I'd have one in a second if you could swap batteries out in a a couple minutes. Does anyone know if Alta has ever mentioned anything like that? Is it something they might be working on? I sure hope so. I my opinion this is not a viable motocross racing platform until then.

No matter how far the lithium battery tech goes, it's going to be a long time before the run time is increased enough that these machines can tackle an entire motocross event without having to plug it in. If you could swap batteries out, run time would be almost irrelevant for anything but pro motocross. It would be expensive to purchase the extra batteries, no doubt, but it would also open up the door for aftermarket batteries, which could compete for price and performance.

now, off-road, thats a different story. I give it 20 years from now before one of these can go 3 hours, assuming there have been no new, industry changing, battery chemistry...which is certainly plausible.

Either way, I think the bikes are cool and definitely have their place.

ginger969 wrote:

the batteries are swappable to my knowledge...

The batteries took about 2.5/3 hours to fully charge from empty in my garage. I would assume with a battery swap and/or a charge in between motos you could finish a day at the races. Ideally you'd probably want two bikes, two batteries while alternating charge and run I would assume!

Guy on here gets thru 4 motos and practice with a generator to charge between sessions. Ben990 is his name hes posted dozens of ride reports. He doesnt need 2 bikes and 2 batteries lol.

|

1/19/2018 12:07 PM

That’s the way to do it then I guess! How’s he do results wise comapred to his gas bike?

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/19/2018 12:52 PM

|

1/19/2018 12:56 PM

ginger969 wrote:

That’s the way to do it then I guess! How’s he do results wise comapred to his gas bike?

I've raced a bit of moto on it as well using the generator method and no issues getting through the day. Although I'm only C class, I definitely think I'm faster on the Alta for sure.

|

1/19/2018 1:01 PM

ginger969 wrote:

That’s the way to do it then I guess! How’s he do results wise comapred to his gas bike?

R.EX wrote:

I've raced a bit of moto on it as well using the generator method and no issues getting through the day. Although I'm only C class, I definitely think I'm faster on the Alta for sure.

Which map do you use?

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/19/2018 1:14 PM

I'm curious about his suspension setup since the 4cs fork is horrific for me -_-

|

instagram: @ginger969

1/19/2018 2:03 PM

yz133rider wrote:

Guy on here gets thru 4 motos and practice with a generator to charge between sessions. Ben990 is his name hes posted dozens of ride reports. He doesnt need 2 bikes and 2 batteries lol.

ok, well if Joe Blow doesn't "need" an extra battery, then no one in the whole world should want one? is that what you are saying? I don't even "need" a dirtbike...

I'm not interested in packing around, maintaining, and listening to a generator all day every single time I want to go ride for more than 25 minutes. Not exactly my idea of good moto. Yeah, that will get you through a day of racing, but is that ideal...is that what you want? I'd rather just have a couple more batteries that pop in in a couple of minutes. Crazy...I know.

now, imagine if you had extra batteries and brought a generator to the track. ooohhh!

.

|

1/19/2018 2:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/19/2018 2:26 PM

That's sick. I can hear it now. Future star of the sport is the Stewart of the electric bike industry.

Awesome post man thanks!!!

All the negative comments are hilarious. This is called progresion. It's new. It's where whether you like it or not we'll be some day. It's going to get better don't worry and at the heart of it you know that's where it's going.

I can only imagine how some of you and most people in general they first heard of solar power though wow what joke. Welp it's not idiot.

|

1/19/2018 3:15 PM

If anybody wants to pay the old retail $15k I bet a dealer would get you another battery..

|

2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/19/2018 3:27 PM

ginger969 wrote:

That’s the way to do it then I guess! How’s he do results wise comapred to his gas bike?

R.EX wrote:

I've raced a bit of moto on it as well using the generator method and no issues getting through the day. Although I'm only C class, I definitely think I'm faster on the Alta for sure.

ginger969 wrote:

Which map do you use?

I use map 3 for starts for sure. I haven't a whole bunch yet, but i've had success with both 2 and 3.

I know the generator is kind of annoying to always haul. Thats why I got my local track to install a 220v outlet.

|

1/19/2018 5:03 PM

Johnny Depp wrote:

If anybody wants to pay the old retail $15k I bet a dealer would get you another battery..

how easy and quick it is to change? Is it made to do that? are their capacitors that need discharged? does the battery have a switch or are the terminals always hot? do I have to wash the bike to change it...sure seems like you'd need to wash it if it was covered in mud.

There are many questions surrounding battery swapping...and no one has any answers and Alta is impossible to get a straight answer out of.

all I'm saying is this. Until battery swapping is a part of the "plan", and thoroughly integrated into the product, I don't see how this is more than a really cool novelty right now. The more I think about though, the more I'm sure thats in the future, and so I'll just shut up and wait until that happens. Probably right around the corner.

|

1/19/2018 5:32 PM

Katoomey wrote:

how easy and quick it is to change? Is it made to do that? are their capacitors that need discharged? does the battery have a switch or are the terminals always hot? do I have to wash the bike to change it...sure seems like you'd need to wash it if it was covered in mud.

There are many questions surrounding battery swapping...and no one has any answers and Alta is impossible to get a straight answer out of.

all I'm saying is this. Until battery swapping is a part of the "plan", and thoroughly integrated into the product, I don't see how this is more than a really cool novelty right now. The more I think about though, the more I'm sure thats in the future, and so I'll just shut up and wait until that happens. Probably right around the corner.

The best "official" word I have found is that the battery is swapable in about 15 minutes if you kow what you are doing. The caveat seems to be that the conectors are not designed for repeatedly being removed and reconnected.

Doing so may void the battery warranty as you will loose the IP68 abilities of the connectors.Everything should still function properly as long as it stays clean and dry.

In its current form the Alta is maybe not for everyone, but depending on your situation it can make a lot of sense as a second, or possibly even your only bike.

|

1/19/2018 5:35 PM

see...i do know what Im talking about. most people think i'm a blowhard around here...

|

1/19/2018 5:53 PM

IIRC a battery swap takes 13 minutes, so not exactly quick change.

|

2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/19/2018 6:15 PM

">Alta battery change
|

1/19/2018 8:09 PM

Katoomey wrote:

how easy and quick it is to change? Is it made to do that? are their capacitors that need discharged? does the battery have a switch or are the terminals always hot? do I have to wash the bike to change it...sure seems like you'd need to wash it if it was covered in mud.

There are many questions surrounding battery swapping...and no one has any answers and Alta is impossible to get a straight answer out of.

all I'm saying is this. Until battery swapping is a part of the "plan", and thoroughly integrated into the product, I don't see how this is more than a really cool novelty right now. The more I think about though, the more I'm sure thats in the future, and so I'll just shut up and wait until that happens. Probably right around the corner.

I pitted my Alta next to the Factory Alta ridden by Darryn Durham during the Slam Fest at Milestone last year. They made several battery swaps that day. The key is being able to support the bike without a conventional moto stand. Since the front cradle/footpeg support needs to be removed and the battery pack dropped there's really no other choice. The Alta guys simply used another tech to hold the bike upright while two more worked on dropping the pack. A three man operation and it took about 15 minutes. It didn't look very well choreographed to me. The way one tech carried the battery (very easily) I suspect it was a custom lightweight pack.

With practice and a couple of guys with the right tools I'll bet it could be done in less than 10 minutes. It would need to look like a NASCAR pit stop, however. The packaging just doesn't lend itself to anything much faster. I could probably do the job myself in less than 30 minutes. So, it's a viable option.

I don't know anyone (other than warrantee work) that's gotten an extra pack. My dealer has a hard time getting any parts yet alone an entire battery pack. If someone can hook me up with a pack I'm interested.

|

Retired Mechanical Engineer, published technical writer, mscperformance.com, Bisimotoengineering.com,

1/19/2018 10:15 PM

I had a chance to ride the alta earlier this year at Milestone, and share basically the same experiences that you have, Shelby.

Bike was easy to get used to. Mode 1 was like a mellow 125. Mode 2 was like stock 250f but with enhanced torque. Mode 3 was like a bone stock 250f. Mode 4 was pretty much insane, knobby killing, tire spinning power... maybe even more power than my stock motor 450.

One thing i really like about the Alta is it seemed like the throttle input was a direct correlation to power output; it seemed like 25% throttle was 25% power no matter how fast i was going. On a gas bike, that's not always the case. Once i got used to the direct correlation, i found myself getting on the "electric" sooner in corners, and i was able to modulate the power more precisely.

I had a conversation with an Alta rep that day and was asking about the possibility of custom engine maps; being able to tune the power map and engine braking. I was told they are working on it. I would really love to see that happen. Imagine really being able to fine tune both the power curve and the engine braking for exactly your liking. Talk about confidence inspiring.

I, too, didn't feel like the bike was any heavier than my 450. On paper its heavier, but the weight is low and the motor has less rotating mass. The bike was easy to turn in and felt pretty flickable.

I, too, thought the fork was terrible, as is the common opinion with the WP 4CS. I'm actually surprised you didn't test the new 2018 Alta with the AER48 fork on it. If i were to buy the 2017 model, i'd be buying it with the intention of putting a new set of forks on it before i even took it to the track. I feel like the 4CS really held me back from feeling maximum confidence on the bike.

|

1/20/2018 1:28 AM

How long before Yamaha, Honda, or KTM make an electric bike. I guarantee that its in the works, and when that happens, electric bikes will begin to take over. And the big manufacturers should be able to make them for even cheaper.

|

1/20/2018 7:06 AM

redrider400 wrote:

How long before Yamaha, Honda, or KTM make an electric bike. I guarantee that its in the works, and when that happens, electric bikes will begin to take over. And the big manufacturers should be able to make them for even cheaper.

KTM makes one but I believe it's like a mid size bike and nowhere near being able to hang with the Alta. Retail is $8200 or something along those lines. I'm sure the big 4 have it in the back of their minds but I wouldn't doubt if they just observe the Alta for the next few years to see what rules get put into place for it to compete in professional motocross and supercross and how marketable an electric bike really is. If we see the Alta being allowed to race pro motocross and supercross and getting podiums and wins then that is when I think the big manufacturers will start working on theirs. I can see Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki putting out something like the KTM E-ride, or whatever it's called, to get their feet wet and test the waters, but I don't see them putting out a full blown race bike any time soon.

|

1/20/2018 7:57 AM

Ive had the battery in and out of mine and it would be extremely frustrating to try and swap it at the track while wearing knee braces and boots. Ive found the better solution for a full day of play riding is to bring a generator and my 350 along. While the Alta is charging Im out riding the 350.

|

1/20/2018 11:02 AM

Lot of stuff to respond to here, but here goes:

The rear suspension is very good. The front forks, WP 4CS, are not as good. On some tracks they seemed fine, but on other tracks I didn't feel confident and couldn't charge like I normally do. With that said, I am 215 pounds, so any forks seem soft. I have since switched to close chamber WP forks with springs for my weight and the bike is way better for me. I want to try the new WP AER forks sometime too.

The battery can be swapped, but it is heavy and needs a couple people to do it. I think a battery costs a little over $3000 by itself too.

The Alta IS a viable map racing platform. I raced it in 12 local events and my results were the same or better than they would have been on a gas bike. At a mx race, I usually do 2 claases, which is 4 motos with 1 practice. A couple times I did 3 classes , which is 6 motos. This makes for a rough Monday! It was no problem keeping the bike ready to race with my 220v generator. I also won a $50 holeshot award at one race, my first big check in 40 + years of riding and racing! I think I holeshot 3 out of 4 motor that day.

The Alta IS the best cornering bike I have ever ridden, with the exception of my KX500. Just kidding, my KX500 corners like a 30 foot motor home pulling a 16 foot trailer. smile The Alta corners like it is on rails, and the power is always just right.

I start in map 4, and then switch to map 2 or map 3 for the rest of the race. It is pretty cool that you can switch on the fly. It will be awesome when you are able to customize the map to your liking.

I am coming up on 80 hours on my Alta, and it still runs like new.










|

1/20/2018 12:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2018 12:53 PM

I have been riding an Alta exclusively since after Day in the Dirt and am beyond impressed with the bike. I did quite a bit of pre-production riding on the '18 and have been riding a '17 almost every day for the last month or so. For those of you with suspension issues I would highly suggest TBT Racing's KYB internal conversion. It is a pricy upgrade because of the need for KYB internals but I was lucky because I happened to have a set of already valved KX450F spring KYB's laying in my garage. I had David Schmidt of Schmidt Performance set them up, and match the stock shock. He now works along with TBT and they were able to get it dialed. I believe he uses a modified Showa piston in the shock as well, which got rid of the "wallow" the bike tends to have in corners and definitely kept it from packing in rolling whoops or blowing through the stroke on the hard landings. As for the 18, the AER fork is night and day better than the 4CS and I really never had any suspension issues with it. It has an updated shock and linkage ratio as well. I have been working with Durham quite a bit and have really been trying to come up with some upgrade options for the Alta as he has a lot of knowledge of the bike after testing with them all summer. The dude knows his shit when it comes to testing and bike setup too. The 18's are great and fix most of the issues I have come across on the 17.

For me, FMX pays the bills but on a good day when I am in race shape I am a half-decent +30 Pro and I haven't felt the bike has held me up at all from trail riding in Moab, free riding in Caineville and Reche or track days in between. I love the convenience of the bike and have had a blast trying to figure it out and ways to improve it.

Photo

A post shared by wacker (@thrashedkid) on

|

1/20/2018 12:55 PM

For anyone in the market, ktmworld has some demo models for sale.

|