Electric Bikes Are Coming to Motorcross

In a world where the focus on electric vehicles seems almost entirely to be on cars and other on-road vehicles, Silicon Valley firm Alta Motors are taking a different path, with the firm preparing to release a number of electric off-road motorcycles and supermoto bikes.

The company was created by motorcycle enthusiasts Derek Dorresteyn and Jeff Sand, whose aim is to build fast, quiet electric motorcycles. An electric motorbike isn’t an original creation, with a number already in existence. What makes Alta’s bikes different is that they want their bikes to be able to tackle the rigours of off-road motorcycling, with riders being able to freely fly over jumps at high-speed and race down tough courses reliably, all while competing with other racers.

Many electric vehicle companies want to have their developments appeal to tech lovers and early adopters, but Alta are different, they want their bikes to be picked up by real motorcycling fans. In order to achieve this, their internal “ride team” have been entering into competitions on their bikes, in the hopes that they will be able to compete alongside traditional petrol-powered bikes. The Redshift MX has one major advantage over regular bikes, a lack of gears. This provides both instant access to the same power regardless of gear and lets the user be free from worrying about shifting in tough track conditions. It is quiet too, which would make it far more acceptable to be ridden near places populated by both humans or animals.

These bikes aren’t cheap, with the MX model coming in at $15,000 and the SM model costing, at least, $500 more. On a bike that is ridden in the most rigorous conditions, however, the reduced number of components that will need to be maintained (it has no exhaust or transmission), could help to cut costs. And with the only competitor for electric bikes, KTM, not selling their bikes outside of Europe, Alto could have the US market all to themselves and even so, Alto claim to be ready to go head-to-head if need be.