Test rode an Alta last weekend, here are my thoughts

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9/12/2018 9:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/12/2018 9:48 PM



I had the chance to test ride the Alta MXR out at Diablo (Sand Hill) MX last weekend, and wanted to give a little review.

While I only got two laps on the bike, it was enough to get an idea of how the bike behaves. The first thing I noticed was the incredible front end traction. I was immediately taking corners faster than on my yz250, and I found that the front end steering style of the Alta fit me better than the rear wheel steering on the yz. Not to say the YZ turns poorly, but you need to adjust your riding style which for me isn't really a problem, I'm used to jumping back and forth between vastly different bikes from racing hillclimb, where different classes demand different types of bikes. Now, Alta claims a 50/50 weight bias between the front and rear, saying that every manufacturer strives for it but are unable to achieve it with a gas engine. After riding the bike, I'm a believer, I think this is something that is vastly overlooked between different bikes and makes a big difference. With the increased front end tractions, however, you're going to sacrifice some stability, but for me that is a welcome trade off because I have a very smooth riding style that makes stability a little less of an issue for me. The weight of the bike was also a non issue. You might feel it a bit when you're coming into a corner, but as far as actually riding the bike it's hardly noticeable since it's all so close to the center of mass. Static weight isn't the issue when riding, dynamic weight is, and the Alta does well in this respect.


As another point of interest, I timed what I would say was an average lap on my 250 and compared it with my second lap on the Alta. I was only 1.5 seconds slower on the Alta.


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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/12/2018 9:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/12/2018 9:45 PM

Nice riding, and thanks for the review. Some of your information is incorrect. As a MXR owner myself, allow me to clarify.

Weight bias on the MXR is roughly 48.5% front / 51.5% rear, and never changes unlike a gas bike as fuel gets used, and allows for amazing front end traction. Typically gas bikes are in the 44-46% front range. I weighed my bike on bath scales. Look here: https://altaownersforum.com/threads/has-anyone-measured-their-bike-weight.413/

The Alta's use an AC motor. The picture you posted is that of a DC motor. They are vastly different in their torque profiles.

Here is a dyno of an Alta Redshift MXR in each of the 4 maps:
Photo

Changing the gearing on the Alta simply slides the above dyno curve left or right if you go short or taller in the final drive ratio, respectively. Gearing on the bike isn't that critical because of the lack of transmission and the characteristics of the motor. That said, the motor uses electricity most efficiency between 6000-8000 rpms, which equates to 30-40mph on the MXR and happens to be a good medium for motocross. If you average faster than that, in the sake of energy usage you should probably lower the final drive ratio, and vice versa.

Many of us owners agree that having map tuning app similar to the Yamaha one would be sweet to have. We've heard from an Alta employee that bluetooth connectivity is coming in 2020, so it may very well happen.

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9/12/2018 9:51 PM

theycallmeebryan wrote:

Nice riding, and thanks for the review. Some of your information is incorrect. As a MXR owner myself, allow me to clarify.

...more

Thanks so much for posting this, I edited the original post since evidently most of my assumptions (not all that surprisingly), were not exactly on the mark to say the least.laughing I don’t want incorrect info out there, there’s plenty of that on the internet and the last thing anyone needs is me adding to it out of ignorance.

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/15/2018 4:55 PM

When did they put a level 5 on it? You are fast af.

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9/15/2018 6:40 PM

VetMX.com wrote:

When did they put a level 5 on it? You are fast af.

Haha thanks man, I'm a trail rider at heart but I can get around the track alright. I'd really, really like the opportunity to spend some time on one of these getting used to it and climbing some hills to see if it's a viable race weapon for moto and hillclimb. If it is I could absolutely see this being my next bike, it's just so fun to ride and the thought of not having to change an air filter is pretty enticing.smile

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/15/2018 6:51 PM

Bro, you were rippin!

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United States of America

9/15/2018 7:38 PM

it's so weird watching you go and listening to the other bikes make acceleration noise , The bike looks like it has plenty of power.

Also after watching you ride. can you imagine Thursdays at Glen Helen with the Pro's mixed in with those guy's ?

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9/15/2018 7:59 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Bro, you were rippin!

Ya but I gotta work on the tan bro, don't get any sun with the moto gear on and I just don't think I'm at the level of steeze where I can pull off the tanktop while riding ya know?

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/15/2018 8:09 PM

500guy wrote:

it's so weird watching you go and listening to the other bikes make acceleration noise , The bike looks like it has plenty of ...more

It's a trip for sure, its almost better in a way though because you're in stealth mode coming up on people and they don't do anything sketchy.laughing I kid you not two weeks ago I came up on some dude on my YZ before a triple, and something in my head told me to double it behind him for some reason. Next thing I know the guy goes for it and cross jumps across the entire track, right where I would have landed. Then on the next jump he proceeds to try to whip it toward me like a huge douche, so I parked him in the next corner. . . If people want to race around that's cool, but if someone comes up on you at approximately double your speed its probably best to just let them go and not try to kill them right? If a faster guy comes up on me I usually see it coming multiple straights before, plan ahead, and just take an outside line as they come up on me so life is good, that's not really that hard is it?

I can't even imagine how it would be for the pros. If there's no blind jumps it's really not that huge of a deal because you're looking ahead and scoping things out anyways, but if you can't see that someone hasn't jumped something in front of you that's pretty sketchy. Tracks here generally split practice three ways and it works really well, I'm spent after my 20min session anyways and once it's time to go out again I've had time to get a drink of water, check the bike over, and cool myself off. For the top guys there's no way I'd be riding a crowded amateur track, it's just inevitable for something to happen as we've seen. . .

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/15/2018 8:18 PM

Does anyone get mad cause there's no sound and they deem that unsafe?

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9/16/2018 7:42 AM

Was there anyone you didn't pass? wink

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9/16/2018 7:51 AM

I was watching some pre-edit video of Josh Hill free riding on his Alta and pulling off some amazing air...death defying skate-park jumps and even a “golf course” surprise reminiscent of the old Ty Davis video...that video showed me that...
Those bikes are very vast and capable of shredding at serious speed...
Josh loves his.

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

9/16/2018 7:58 AM

That was an awesome go pro. Thanks for the ride! Got a lil nervous for you when that guy looked back. Usually they look back one way and turn the other. Thought he was going to cut right over on you. Whew!

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9/16/2018 8:00 AM

JM, tell us about the power and feel. Does the power compare to a 250 or a 450 or somewhere in between? In the air and in cornering, does it compare to a 250 or a 450 or somewhere in between? Thanks in advance for your response.

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9/16/2018 8:11 AM

I rode the original alta redshift and can tell you that even that bike was every bit of a 250 4t power wise and felt like a 250 2t in the air and in corners. Haven’t rode a MXR but I can tell you that I would purchase one without a test ride. Version 1 was that good (sans suspension work) In my Vet B opinion of course.

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9/16/2018 8:58 AM

ccstrebe wrote:

JM, tell us about the power and feel. Does the power compare to a 250 or a 450 or somewhere in between? In the air and in ...more

The power is a little difficult to classify, but I'll try my best. Off the very bottom, such as taking off out of corners, it was slightly underwhelming from what I was expecting. At that area of the curve I would compare it to a 250f, which is by no means slow, but I'd want just a bit more if I were doing anything but moto on it. For strictly track riding I think it's probably fine since it helps get the power down, the lack of wheel spin is incredible after coming off my YZ that will light up the tire at a moments notice. On the Alta, go right ahead and punch that thing right out of the a corner because it's going to hook up.

Once we get to the midrange, the bike really begins to shine. It just pulls, and pulls, and pulls, which is pretty evident in the chart Bryan posted above. Once you get into the higher power area of the curve, I think comparing it to a slower 450 is definitely not out of the question. If anything I would compare it more to the KTM that has a smoother power curve, than to the Yamaha that has pretty brutal power right from the get go, but less overall power than both. You aren't going to be pulling your friends in a drag race, but the power is impressive, I might be more inclined to compare it to a very smooth 250 2t power wise. Where you really see it shine is the fact that the power doesn't fall off if you were to make a mistake and slow down a bit on an uphill, you just keep it twisted and the bike will pick up where it left off without you having to scramble to downshift or murder your clutch. From my seat of the pants test I would say the bike might be alright in the 250 class for amateur racing, but without really having some time on it to compare on multiple tracks I'm really reaching to make a conclusion like that, so take it for what it's worth. You would absolutely be outgunned in the 450 class, but with how smooth the power is it might not be as bad as you'd think.

In the air it's definitely an interesting change. I feel like throttle input doesn't have as big of an effect in leveling the bike out, but again with such a short time in it I really can't say a whole lot about it. Keep in mind absolutely nothing was set up for me suspension/ergos wise, so everything would be effected by that. The cornering was superb though, I was taking corners faster than on my YZ almost immediately. Front end traction was just awesome, and a welcome change from the pushy YZ front end. This might be partially due to the smooth roll on power that doesn't squat the bike back so much, but again with so little time on it I'm reaching a bit here. The weight can be noticed a bit when you're braking for a corner, but aside from that it feels just like any other four stroke really. Not as lively as my yz250, but not an ill handling bike by any means. I can ride just about any bike and be alright with it, so maybe I'm not the best at critiquing handling, but for any average guy the chassis and handling of this bike is not going to slow you down as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry for the novel, hopefully that helps a little. I really need to spend more time on one to give a better classification of the bike, but those were my initial thoughts on it.

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/16/2018 2:56 PM

What if you hit the rear brake midair to change the attitude of the bike? Normally you do this with the clutch in so the wheel stops but not the motor. In this case, without a clutch, you are bringing the motor to an abrupt stop as well.

I wonder both a) how the bike reacts and b) if this is hard on the motor/drivetrain

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9/16/2018 8:30 PM

mwr wrote:

What if you hit the rear brake midair to change the attitude of the bike? Normally you do this with the clutch in so the wheel ...more

The bike reacts in the same way you're accustomed to, if you look closely in the video I give it a pretty good brake tap on the jump before heading up the hill on my second lap. I wouldn't be concerned about it being hard on the drivetrain, I'm sure if it was an issue it would have been accounted for during the design of the system and/or noticed as a weak point in subsequent testing. I would have to imagine the forces seen on any of the drivetrain shafts would have to be greater when you are essentially pinning the bike in the air, only to have it drop a few thousand rpm in a split second as you land.

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

Instagram / YouTube: @485Josh

3dpmoto.com



9/16/2018 8:55 PM

Ah good point, thanks for that. I'm sold!

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