The Electric Dirt-Bike Movement ? Still Going Strong Or Blown It’s Fuse.

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12/10/2020 6:53 AM

This was way back in 2009. Then, of course, the ALTA hits in 2017 and everybody is all “This is the future of Motocross”.... Are we awaiting battery development OR is the consumer market not there, or is it something we’ve never heard of...? * Yes, I do realize the EBikes (mtb) have been selling like hot cakes, love mine.... Photo
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12/10/2020 6:59 AM

I think we will have to work up to a long term reliable edirtbike. You can see it all starting with easier things like bikes and scooters. Right now the batteries just arent there nor is the demand. Eventually as more people embrace electric it will be more commonplace. I think you will see roadbikes and road scooters more and first. Alta was too far ahead of their time.

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12/10/2020 7:05 AM

Virtually everyone that has an Alta just raves about it. There is absolutely a market for it, particularly when the cost comes down a little bit.

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Brennan- "Didn't you read the rules?"

12/10/2020 7:13 AM

And perhaps, many of us awaiting that silently spectacular Honda or Yamaha....? Photo

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12/10/2020 7:22 AM

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, smell is all part of the fascination of motorsports. Who wants zero noise motorsports? Not me.

The other major hurdle? Your going to have 400 loud ass, gas powered generators at every race to charge these battery powered bikes. Does anyone for a second think these tracks in the middle of no where have the power supply readily available or the revenue necessary to put in 400 110 outlets? What about a regional of national race like Lorettas , the mini Os or the Daytona Amateur SX?

We are a long long ways away from battery powered bikes taking over motocross.

One other question. Doesn't battery powered bicycles defeat the whole purpose of mountain biking? I thought bicycles were about pedal power? Get yourself in shape, etc?

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12/10/2020 7:28 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

I agree 👍 on both your points. My local track can't afford prep or water let alone have infrastructure for charging.

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12/10/2020 7:31 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

John, on the EBike MTB thing, I can only speak for myself, but having that little push in the back up the hills, makes the MTB far more appealing, therefore I ride it more, than probably not at all. Recently going up the long hills at Kanuga Park in NC, I’d venture to say from the voices I’ve heard, everybody wants an EBike. Hop on one, you’ll be in the market, too.... Photo
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12/10/2020 7:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2020 7:47 AM

The answer is simple: we are waiting on battery technology to get to the point it needs to get to. Currently, its not even close to replace what we can do on our gassers.

Cost, weight, storage capacity. These are things we can't get around, and likely won't be getting around for a decade. There is an excellent YouTube channel called Engineering Explained that does a great deep dive into Tesla's current battery technology and compares it to gasoline. Its a worthwhile watch for anyone wondering how close we really are in terms of storage. Net takeaway, we're probably 1/4-1/2 where we need to be (skewing more toward the lower end)

When we do have a break through on the battery front, however, the entire industry will shift. To those that go "but I like the noise and smell". Cool. You know what we all like more than that? Performance.

For a myriad of reasons, an electric dirt bike that is of comparable weight, power and range will be great for the sport. From noise issues to ease of use, it'll put you, the rider, in a position to simply have more fun. To add, I sincerely believe it'll make maintaining your bike easier.

It is the future. But its also going to stay in the future for quiet some time...

EDIT: TO be clear, we need to get to the point you as a rider can do multiple motos on one battery with no performance loss. We also need cost to get to the point you could throw a few extra in your van and swap them out through the day. For the off road set, we need to get at least 50 miles out of one before its viable. I could see a "moto" battery and an "off road" battery. One obviously being heavier than the other. Regardless, this will be the only way we can expect this to replace what we have.

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12/10/2020 7:47 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

The market is 100% there for them. They just need to put out a solid bike like the Alta. The tracks won’t need to be way out in the middle of nowhere when we all get on board with e bikes. The e mtb market is blowing up! Every mtb manufacturer is now beginning to make them and they are selling fast.

Why do so many tracks shut down? It’s always extremely far from where the majority of people live right? It’s very loud and they get noise complaints. Is it cooler to hear an engine roar like we’re 12 again, or to be able to hop in the truck take a 10 min drive to a local track. Not saying this is everyone’s case, but I’ve witnessed a lot of tracks be shut down due to noise. Generators are no where near as loud as 20 450s. They may not be needed if a track is near a populated city that can then afford to provide electric outlets. I’d pay a smidge more if it was a closer track.

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12/10/2020 7:56 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

You still have to pedal an e-mtb.

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12/10/2020 8:06 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

Generators wont be required for long. Look at what ford is doing with the new f150. Its got a huge battery thats charged by the engine and you can run power tools off an outlet in the bed. This is going to be standard soon and the power available will be much higher.

You will be able to charge your alta off your pickup within 10 years.

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12/10/2020 8:06 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

deadlo wrote:

The market is 100% there for them. They just need to put out a solid bike like the Alta. The tracks won’t need to be way out ...more

Tracks are out in the boonies because that is where land is cheap enough to sustain a mx track as a business. Yes, noise is a problem but not for most. I don’t get all this we can have tracks near cities. Most cities have no land available and those that do its unaffordable for a track owner. Most tracks claim they barely make it now being way in the sticks, what makes us believe that electric bikes will change track overhead for the better?

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12/10/2020 8:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2020 8:26 AM

brocster wrote:

Tracks are out in the boonies because that is where land is cheap enough to sustain a mx track as a business. Yes, noise is a ...more

Noise is not a problem for most tracks? I believe noise is a problem with every single track. Ask dade city, ask chad reed, ask any florida track owner.....

Electric is the future man. You can disagree all you want, but look at the automotive industry. I’m not saying there won’t be motorized dirtbikes anymore, but why is everyone so against having electric dirtbikes? Everyone is all “grow the sport grow the sport” and then poops on something that could 100% grow our sport.

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12/10/2020 8:37 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2020 11:58 AM

I don't know that the electric race dirt bike movement was ever "going strong".

There was just one small manufacturer that made, by all accounts, a badass dirtbike, but they were probably over-reaching on their targets for what is essentially a new niche segment. That said, we are definitely still seeing an incremental movement up the foodchain from electric kids/playbikes/mtbikes from less ambitious manufacturers than Alta.

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12/10/2020 8:49 AM

1) I want an Alta. I always have. Can't afford one at the moment and there aren't any to buy even if I could. But I am a future buyer, hands down.

2) E-bikes are awesome. Every single person I've spoken to who rides one says:
a) "I still sweat and work out just as hard as I did on my pedal bike, but I go 40 miles instead of 10."
b) "Game changer."


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Braaapin' aint easy.

12/10/2020 9:02 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

kb228 wrote:

Generators wont be required for long. Look at what ford is doing with the new f150. Its got a huge battery thats charged by ...more

Are you sure there's an engine in it?

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HAF

12/10/2020 9:07 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

deadlo wrote:

The market is 100% there for them. They just need to put out a solid bike like the Alta. The tracks won’t need to be way out ...more

brocster wrote:

Tracks are out in the boonies because that is where land is cheap enough to sustain a mx track as a business. Yes, noise is a ...more

Most tracks are in the same exurbs that are huge targets for housing development right now,.

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12/10/2020 9:43 AM

mxracerjohn250 wrote:

The market is not there for them, nor is long range battery use. A majority of the motocross community, the motor, gas, noise, ...more

deadlo wrote:

The market is 100% there for them. They just need to put out a solid bike like the Alta. The tracks won’t need to be way out ...more

There's really only a market in relation to the company that's making them. Any of the big mfr's could do it just fine, but a new company that's only making an electric would have to do things differently from Alta, as in, you can't be paying everyone six figures and mfr them in the bay area. They thought they were making cool toys for rich hipsters, because that's kinda who they were, but that was deeply out of touch with reality.

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12/10/2020 10:04 AM

I would have bought an Alta a year ago had they not been bought out. Straight rhythm proved they are VERY competitive.

Everyone wants a big ass 450 with Ti header and PC exhaust that comes with a very loud tone that pisses everyone off who lives near where they are ridden. Noise is #1 complaint in why many former metro tracks and practice areas get shut down. Behind that is environment. But people hear the loud as farts all day Sat and Sun and they take steps to eliminate the annoyance.

I want an electric motocross bike so I can build a small track in my backyard just 20 minutes from a major metro city. I can ride pretty much any time I want and nobody will know I'm doing what I love to do. Can't do that with my KTM EXC even with the stock, restrictive muffler, or my KX250 two stroke. Gotta haul those bikes at least an hour to ride hassle free.

I wish KTM hadn't bought Alta. Alta had something special going which is why I believe they were bought out. The major manufacturers are obviously behind the curve and they wanted to buy out their competition while they were still relatively small.

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Ride like a girl!!!
Insta queenofspodes
2017 KTM 250 SX build thread
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

12/10/2020 10:05 AM

queen of spodes wrote:

I would have bought an Alta a year ago had they not been bought out. Straight rhythm proved they are VERY competitive.

...more

BRP bought Alta. And to be clear, only after they were in receivership.

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12/10/2020 10:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2020 10:40 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if the progress comes from the bicycle side, who are all in on adding electric motors to 2 wheels now. Bike companies building up ebikes until they are e-motorcycles with 10kW downhill bikes ridden in bike parks built on flat land with a hard pack surface not ripped like a moto track. I could see this coming in 5 years, then full size motorcycles being viable in 10 years.

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12/10/2020 10:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2020 10:25 AM

deadlo wrote:

The market is 100% there for them. They just need to put out a solid bike like the Alta. The tracks won’t need to be way out ...more

brocster wrote:

Tracks are out in the boonies because that is where land is cheap enough to sustain a mx track as a business. Yes, noise is a ...more

deadlo wrote:

Noise is not a problem for most tracks? I believe noise is a problem with every single track. Ask dade city, ask chad reed, ...more

I don't think we're saying ebikes aren't in the future, I believe they are. But as a few have said here battery tecnology just isn't there yet. They can barely get a moto out out of one, and forget offroad. Look at the new KTM 50 electric.
I think guys are saying something like 20 minutes fast riding on a charge. We still have a ways to go before they're a viable alternative, imo.

Noise can be an issue. But most of the tracks we ride here it isn't. But I think ebikes would open up lots of other options for private tracks especially.

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12/10/2020 10:35 AM

Honda unveiled their electric bike a few years back and it quickly disappeared. I’m sure all the manufacturers have something stashed away in the corner. It’s coming.... AMA might want to get a handle on it before it’s here.

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12/10/2020 10:39 AM

Dirty Points wrote:

BRP bought Alta. And to be clear, only after they were in receivership.

I stand corrected, thanks.

https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/brp-buys-alta-motors/

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Ride like a girl!!!
Insta queenofspodes
2017 KTM 250 SX build thread
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

12/10/2020 12:33 PM

I'd make the switch. My daughter has a Stacyc, and the only thing it requires is throwing the battery on the charger, checking the tire pressure and raising the seat. The things are so easy to maintain.

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12/10/2020 12:38 PM

early wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if the progress comes from the bicycle side, who are all in on adding electric motors to 2 wheels now. ...more

Yes this or even the Chinese machines like Sur ron. I’ve seen more and more people buying the Lite Bee. That little bike is no joke. Is it as capable as a Japanese mx’er? Hell no, but somewhere in between a downhill mtb and mx bike...it’s not far off.

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12/10/2020 12:45 PM

Talisker wrote:

Honda unveiled their electric bike a few years back and it quickly disappeared. I’m sure all the manufacturers have something ...more

That was a side project of someone at Honda.

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

Thanks to : Factory Effex, Simi Valley Cycles, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, Mika Metals

12/10/2020 1:48 PM

Talisker wrote:

Honda unveiled their electric bike a few years back and it quickly disappeared. I’m sure all the manufacturers have something ...more

mattyhamz2 wrote:

That was a side project of someone at Honda.

So was the YZ400F. 25 years later, here we are.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

12/10/2020 1:50 PM

Talisker wrote:

Honda unveiled their electric bike a few years back and it quickly disappeared. I’m sure all the manufacturers have something ...more

mattyhamz2 wrote:

That was a side project of someone at Honda.

Mugen?

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12/10/2020 1:54 PM

Talisker wrote:

Honda unveiled their electric bike a few years back and it quickly disappeared. I’m sure all the manufacturers have something ...more

mattyhamz2 wrote:

That was a side project of someone at Honda.

Dropbear wrote:

Mugen?

I believe that weird looking one for a movie was from Mugen, according to Ping in the last WTS with Mitch. Keefer said on Pulp that the other one was just a side project and Honda had no interest in taking it further than that.

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

Thanks to : Factory Effex, Simi Valley Cycles, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, Mika Metals