Have you rode an American made dirt bike?

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6/11/2017 8:10 PM

I've gotten the opportunity to ride many different bikes over the years despite having only owned a few myself. Today I got to ride an Alta, and I was very impressed.
A little about myself before I divulge into the Alta. I bought a KTM 150 a few years ago and fell in love. Honestly the best bike I've ever ridden, its just fun and seems to do everything well. Single track, moto, she does not care. I'm a thin guy, so I really appreciate a light weight bike. She is pretty much stock, I did do a little port clean up but otherwise everything is OEM.
Last year I had a nasty accident, so I've only been on the bike a few times since. My strength is pretty dismal, endurance is awful, and Im out of practice. I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash.

Now onto the Alta. After putting in a clean air filter, I loaded up my KTM and went to Highland Park here in Georgia, where I got to demo one. After signing the waiver, and a quick how to session. I was off to MX3, a small track more akin to a kids track. Off the first jump I realized this is not a 2 stroke, I also figured out panic revving works just the same on the electric bike. Thank god. The engine braking isn't aggressive, but it is stronger than my small bore 2 stroke. Getting a little comfortable I tried braking late and diving into a corner. Now I understand why they don't come with a left hand brake. I tried to pull the clutch.... that couldve been bad.
The bike felt good, corners somewhere between a 250F and a 125. I feel I can throw it into a turn more aggressively than a thumper, while pulling out of turns with more authority than a 250F. It'll go as fast as you can get traction, without having to shift.
After landing more than a few jumps on the front wheel, I decided to head off to the trails. I did get a couple right, but I haven't rode a 4 stroke in about 2 years. Muscle memory wants to totally cut the throttle on the lip.


I hit up several different trails, from tighter single track, to more open ATV trails. The Alta felt much faster than my 150 in the woods, despite not feeling that much faster on the track. It's ability to pull over the nastiest of surfaces is borderline mind blowing. Places my 150 gets wild, the Alta just pulls. One of my favorite trails has a long, rocky, downhill with an off camber turn at the bottom. This is the only place I noticed the Alta's weight. I headed into that downhill a little hot, and really struggled to get her slowed down. Loose rocks don't lend themselves to traction, and 260lbs is a lot of bike to get slowed down. I managed to make the corner, but I wasn't sure it was gonna happen. Everywhere else it seriously didn't feel like 260lbs.
On the main "road" is a windy uphill with a couple small jumps. I like to open up the KTM here and let it kick around. I can't gain much speed going up it, but it's fun to try. The Alta on the other hand, just chugged. Don't think the rear wheel spun once, and I ended up getting to the top much faster than I was expecting. Scared the crap outta me when I realized how fast that turn was coming grin

I played around with the maps, I'm not a fan of map 1. It's just too weak. Map 2 is my favorite, plenty of power but not too much. Map 3 is fun, and if I had more seat time, maybe a new favorite. Map 4 is just too much. A crack of the throttle both lifted the front wheel, and kicked the rear wheel to the side. Felt like a dumb kid hitting the powerband of a 250 smoker for the first time. shocked Map 4 didn't get used much after that.

After 30~45 minutes of riding, I rode back to the shop. I had only used ~15% of the battery. Sweet. Got back on my old girl, she started first kick and puttered away. But immediately I noticed the vibrations. I've never noticed them before, not on my bike. But now... now I feel them. Pulling back into the parking lot reminded me of the troubles that come with ICE. Guy is kicking, and kicking, and kicking his CRF. My bet is tight valves. Eventually he got a quad to pull him across the parking lot and bump start it. Another guy on a KTM is jump starting it with his truck. YZ450 opens the throttle up, clearly he hasnt repacked the muffler. Later in the day I passed the CRF guy, he looked pissed but turned down my offer for help.
I've had problems with my gas bikes, bad spark plugs, water in gas, plugged jets. Can't help but think if I had had an electric bike...

I can't comment much on the suspension, as it wasn't set up for me. However it was better than I expected. Soaked up chop, and resisted bottoming. Enough rebound to keep settled in corners, but not so much that it packs up. I'm skinny and slow, so it might be too soft for some of yall.

Pros: fast, very fast. Strong brakes (same as KTM). Great feedback from the tires. No need to shift. No vibrations what's so ever. Well built. Silent. No top ends, or bottom ends to do. No air filters! Stabile. Did I say it's fast?

Cons: it's heavy. Like I said, only noticed it on that one downhill. But I couldn't see myself racing harescarmbles with it as is. I'm just not a big enough guy to wrestle this thing for 2 hours. The foot pegs aren't great, and that really disappointed me. It's obvious the people at Alta spent a lot of time designing this bike, and did a great job at it. Yet somehow they just threw some bland foot pegs on. My feet never slipped off, but they didnt feel planted.

If I had $15K I wouldve bought one today. If the Alta is homoglated next year, expect them to get a win or 2. The Alta is Ryan Dungey's dream bike. If you're on the starting line next to an Alta, I hope you have one too.

An interesting observation, even though I feel I'd get worn out wrestling the Alta in the woods (and thus couldn't race a hare scramble with it) I wasn't tired after riding it. I had trigger finger, but that's because I haven't been riding. My 150 actually wore me out faster. I'm not sure that'd hold true if I crashed and got the bikes stuck somewhere, but itd also be harder to get "stuck" on the electric bike.

Hope this helps someone, and if you get the opportunity I strongly recommend you ride one of these. It's an impressive motorcycle.

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6/11/2017 8:14 PM

Lots of kids have they are made by cobra.

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6/11/2017 8:16 PM

"I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash."

Probably the funniest thing I have ever read on here.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

6/11/2017 8:17 PM

Thanks for the detailed write up. However I'm still trying to deal with the lack of blue smoke at the races.....I'm not ready for this. I'm gonna need a support group if the combustion engine starts disappearing.

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6/11/2017 8:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/11/2017 8:34 PM

Great write up! I hope to ride one soon.

As far as wins go, it's not going to remarkabke easy for them. Not saying it's impossible, but I remember the bike getting pulled at the RBSR. Those factory 250fs are a completely different beast. I think they still have a little more work ahead of them to make them equally competitive at the pro level. The amount of progress they've made over such short time is remarkable though!

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6/11/2017 8:34 PM

Yup, I've ridden a Cannondale and a bunch of ATK's

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6/11/2017 8:39 PM

sickboy3636 wrote:

Thanks for the detailed write up. However I'm still trying to deal with the lack of blue smoke at the races.....I'm not ready for this. I'm gonna need a support group if the combustion engine starts disappearing.

Haha I understand that, I love my little 150. I'm not a fan of 4 strokes and wish they never came around. But I'm pretty excited about the electric bikes.
4 srokes or 2 strokes, people will bitch about the noise and we'll continue to lose places to ride. Electric bikes are going to open up many new places, and I know some people are saying the eco-nazis will still bitch. But if they don't see you, and don't hear you.... they'll likely be ignorant of your backyard track.
And I really look forward to not pitting next to a 450 with a blown out muffler. I'm tired of it. The noise those things put out is exhausting.

Also, I see electric bikes saving professional racing. Been talk about the lack of entries, and the associated costs of racing a 250F all season. So sure, the Alta is expensive, but if privateers can find a dealer willing to give a free bike for sponsership, or loan out a bike. The only racing expenses will be to show up to each round with fresh tires. No more race gas, oil changes, clutches, top ends, bottom ends, valves, cam chains, radiators to smash, exhaust to smash, spark plugs. Just tires, and chain/sprockets as needed.

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6/11/2017 8:40 PM

moto0852 wrote:

Yup, I've ridden a Cannondale and a bunch of ATK's

I'd love to try out a Cannondale. Sad they didn't/couldn't stick with it.

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6/11/2017 8:48 PM

I have a Honda Elsinore that was made in the USA.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

6/11/2017 8:50 PM

I'll give them bonus points on using all that ktm chassis/susp parts and not re-inventing the wheel. Hell, they should have used EVERYTHING, even the plastic and seat design. Just like you said about the pegs, they should borrow as many ideas as they can from stuff that works and slap their elec engine in there to make the crossover as easy as possible.

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-'09 KX500AF

- '19 KX450F

6/11/2017 8:51 PM

Off-week has become Alta-week. I like it. Great write-up.

Saw Nicoll go through the matrix section (telephone poles) at the Ontario Endurocross and it was like cheating. Eyebrow raised.




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6/11/2017 9:41 PM

colintrax wrote:

I've gotten the opportunity to ride many different bikes over the years despite having only owned a few myself. Today I got to ride an Alta, and I was very impressed.
A little about myself before I divulge into the Alta. I bought a KTM 150 a few years ago and fell in love. Honestly the best bike I've ever ridden, its just fun and seems to do everything well. Single track, moto, she does not care. I'm a thin guy, so I really appreciate a light weight bike. She is pretty much stock, I did do a little port clean up but otherwise everything is OEM.
Last year I had a nasty accident, so I've only been on the bike a few times since. My strength is pretty dismal, endurance is awful, and Im out of practice. I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash.

Now onto the Alta. After putting in a clean air filter, I loaded up my KTM and went to Highland Park here in Georgia, where I got to demo one. After signing the waiver, and a quick how to session. I was off to MX3, a small track more akin to a kids track. Off the first jump I realized this is not a 2 stroke, I also figured out panic revving works just the same on the electric bike. Thank god. The engine braking isn't aggressive, but it is stronger than my small bore 2 stroke. Getting a little comfortable I tried braking late and diving into a corner. Now I understand why they don't come with a left hand brake. I tried to pull the clutch.... that couldve been bad.
The bike felt good, corners somewhere between a 250F and a 125. I feel I can throw it into a turn more aggressively than a thumper, while pulling out of turns with more authority than a 250F. It'll go as fast as you can get traction, without having to shift.
After landing more than a few jumps on the front wheel, I decided to head off to the trails. I did get a couple right, but I haven't rode a 4 stroke in about 2 years. Muscle memory wants to totally cut the throttle on the lip.


I hit up several different trails, from tighter single track, to more open ATV trails. The Alta felt much faster than my 150 in the woods, despite not feeling that much faster on the track. It's ability to pull over the nastiest of surfaces is borderline mind blowing. Places my 150 gets wild, the Alta just pulls. One of my favorite trails has a long, rocky, downhill with an off camber turn at the bottom. This is the only place I noticed the Alta's weight. I headed into that downhill a little hot, and really struggled to get her slowed down. Loose rocks don't lend themselves to traction, and 260lbs is a lot of bike to get slowed down. I managed to make the corner, but I wasn't sure it was gonna happen. Everywhere else it seriously didn't feel like 260lbs.
On the main "road" is a windy uphill with a couple small jumps. I like to open up the KTM here and let it kick around. I can't gain much speed going up it, but it's fun to try. The Alta on the other hand, just chugged. Don't think the rear wheel spun once, and I ended up getting to the top much faster than I was expecting. Scared the crap outta me when I realized how fast that turn was coming grin

I played around with the maps, I'm not a fan of map 1. It's just too weak. Map 2 is my favorite, plenty of power but not too much. Map 3 is fun, and if I had more seat time, maybe a new favorite. Map 4 is just too much. A crack of the throttle both lifted the front wheel, and kicked the rear wheel to the side. Felt like a dumb kid hitting the powerband of a 250 smoker for the first time. shocked Map 4 didn't get used much after that.

After 30~45 minutes of riding, I rode back to the shop. I had only used ~15% of the battery. Sweet. Got back on my old girl, she started first kick and puttered away. But immediately I noticed the vibrations. I've never noticed them before, not on my bike. But now... now I feel them. Pulling back into the parking lot reminded me of the troubles that come with ICE. Guy is kicking, and kicking, and kicking his CRF. My bet is tight valves. Eventually he got a quad to pull him across the parking lot and bump start it. Another guy on a KTM is jump starting it with his truck. YZ450 opens the throttle up, clearly he hasnt repacked the muffler. Later in the day I passed the CRF guy, he looked pissed but turned down my offer for help.
I've had problems with my gas bikes, bad spark plugs, water in gas, plugged jets. Can't help but think if I had had an electric bike...

I can't comment much on the suspension, as it wasn't set up for me. However it was better than I expected. Soaked up chop, and resisted bottoming. Enough rebound to keep settled in corners, but not so much that it packs up. I'm skinny and slow, so it might be too soft for some of yall.

Pros: fast, very fast. Strong brakes (same as KTM). Great feedback from the tires. No need to shift. No vibrations what's so ever. Well built. Silent. No top ends, or bottom ends to do. No air filters! Stabile. Did I say it's fast?

Cons: it's heavy. Like I said, only noticed it on that one downhill. But I couldn't see myself racing harescarmbles with it as is. I'm just not a big enough guy to wrestle this thing for 2 hours. The foot pegs aren't great, and that really disappointed me. It's obvious the people at Alta spent a lot of time designing this bike, and did a great job at it. Yet somehow they just threw some bland foot pegs on. My feet never slipped off, but they didnt feel planted.

If I had $15K I wouldve bought one today. If the Alta is homoglated next year, expect them to get a win or 2. The Alta is Ryan Dungey's dream bike. If you're on the starting line next to an Alta, I hope you have one too.

An interesting observation, even though I feel I'd get worn out wrestling the Alta in the woods (and thus couldn't race a hare scramble with it) I wasn't tired after riding it. I had trigger finger, but that's because I haven't been riding. My 150 actually wore me out faster. I'm not sure that'd hold true if I crashed and got the bikes stuck somewhere, but itd also be harder to get "stuck" on the electric bike.

Hope this helps someone, and if you get the opportunity I strongly recommend you ride one of these. It's an impressive motorcycle.

Wow, Very fun review! Thanks for putting the time and effort in to this. Good read!

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6/11/2017 9:56 PM

Photo
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6/11/2017 10:04 PM

moto0852 wrote:

Yup, I've ridden a Cannondale and a bunch of ATK's

colintrax wrote:

I'd love to try out a Cannondale. Sad they didn't/couldn't stick with it.

Thoses bikes were bad news. You are better off as is never riding one. Canondale's were heavy poor handling piles of crap. underpowered too. If they would have kept it simple the outcome may have been different.
A bicycle company tried to reinvent mx wheels and failed. 1 test lap was enough for me on one of those.

Maybe Alta can give us a good American 2 stroke someday that turns like an RM..... I'd buy 2

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6/11/2017 10:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/11/2017 10:10 PM

Sears 106?

Italian

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6/11/2017 10:15 PM

Cut the throttle on the lip?

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6/11/2017 10:35 PM

RhinoRider wrote: Photo

I've ridden one.

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6/12/2017 1:05 AM

moto0852 wrote:

Yup, I've ridden a Cannondale and a bunch of ATK's

colintrax wrote:

I'd love to try out a Cannondale. Sad they didn't/couldn't stick with it.

I've ridden a Cannodale twice, and blown up a Cannodale twice. Enough said tongue .

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6/12/2017 2:17 AM

sickboy3636 wrote:

Thanks for the detailed write up. However I'm still trying to deal with the lack of blue smoke at the races.....I'm not ready for this. I'm gonna need a support group if the combustion engine starts disappearing.

They can add a fog machine if it makes you feel better!

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If you're not mixing gas, you're not haulin ass.

6/12/2017 7:03 AM

Nice job masking another Alta thread under the guise of "american dirt bikes". OP makes no mention of ATK, ADB, Highland, Cannondale or Harley Davidson.
(I'm just busting your chops, man tongue )

Hey, weren't there a couple of years when the Honda Elsinores were built in the USA? Like late 70s?

I'm not anti-Alta by any means but aside from weight and price....I can't get over the appearance. Those shrouds, and side panels aren't doing it for me. Also, the bottom of the shroud is zip-tied to the frame....from the factory! Yeah, I know...."form follows function" but that just seems ghetto.

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6/12/2017 7:17 AM

Put Yamaha spec kyb on one, make the battery good for 2.5 hours and I would sell all of my bikes and buy one tomorrow. I hated the idea of electric bikes at first but it is growing on me. I feel like the technology is superior and I will be able to ride 7 days a week with no drama from hunters and land owners.

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6/12/2017 8:54 AM

mx_563 wrote:

Nice job masking another Alta thread under the guise of "american dirt bikes". OP makes no mention of ATK, ADB, Highland, Cannondale or Harley Davidson.
(I'm just busting your chops, man tongue )

Hey, weren't there a couple of years when the Honda Elsinores were built in the USA? Like late 70s?

I'm not anti-Alta by any means but aside from weight and price....I can't get over the appearance. Those shrouds, and side panels aren't doing it for me. Also, the bottom of the shroud is zip-tied to the frame....from the factory! Yeah, I know...."form follows function" but that just seems ghetto.

Send an email to Marc or a PM! Maybe they'll change it for you smile

I don't think many people are crazy about the side panels. I'm sure they'll be changed or interchangeable with another set.

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If you're not mixing gas, you're not haulin ass.

6/12/2017 9:02 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/12/2017 9:10 AM

BobPA wrote:

"I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash."

Probably the funniest thing I have ever read on here.

Epic!

After 3-4 hours in the garage last night til past midnight sweating, cursing, trying to get good light to see in tiny spaces where only my left hand can reach and cramping up etc. I would not miss "Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance". All of this for an oil change and fresh spark plug. Please help me get more seat time and less garage time, electric bikes have more advantages than many realize. What is it worth having time in your life for other things and less aggravation?

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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

6/12/2017 9:17 AM

BobPA wrote:

"I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash."

Probably the funniest thing I have ever read on here.

Johnny Depp wrote:

Epic!

After 3-4 hours in the garage last night til past midnight sweating, cursing, trying to get good light to see in tiny spaces where only my left hand can reach and cramping up etc. I would not miss "Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance". All of this for an oil change and fresh spark plug. Please help me get more seat time and less garage time, electric bikes have more advantages than many realize. What is it worth having time in your life for other things and less aggravation?

3-4 hours for spark plug and oil?? Seems like user error to me.

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6/12/2017 9:26 AM

Don't get me started, there were several. Despite me being stupid and creating my own problems, the factory plug tool had to be modified to work. Drained the engine side thinking it was the trans, then filled the trans on top of old oil. Then overfilled the engine side due to a fresh filter being dry and sucked oil into the engine from the overflow oil fouling the plug. Not one of my proudest moments. Save me from myself.

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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

6/12/2017 9:30 AM

My first "real" dirt bike was a green-tanked Penton 125...does that count?

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6/12/2017 10:19 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Don't get me started, there were several. Despite me being stupid and creating my own problems, the factory plug tool had to be modified to work. Drained the engine side thinking it was the trans, then filled the trans on top of old oil. Then overfilled the engine side due to a fresh filter being dry and sucked oil into the engine from the overflow oil fouling the plug. Not one of my proudest moments. Save me from myself.

Jesus. One too many late night beers or bong rips?? Lol

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6/12/2017 12:01 PM

BobPA wrote:

"I'm a C rider with the random burst of B level speed. Usually followed by a crash."

Probably the funniest thing I have ever read on here.

Yep, and Johnny is pretty damm funny and honest too. smile

Hey, some of us are not the most mechanically adept.

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6/12/2017 1:22 PM

TeamGreen wrote:

I have a Honda Elsinore that was made in the USA.

Same here but it's Hodaka.

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6/12/2017 3:37 PM

sickboy3636 wrote:

Thanks for the detailed write up. However I'm still trying to deal with the lack of blue smoke at the races.....I'm not ready for this. I'm gonna need a support group if the combustion engine starts disappearing.

TrailDigger wrote:

They can add a fog machine if it makes you feel better!

Lmao........I like where yur heads at.

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