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Alta Redshift MX

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  • Alta Redshift MX

    This past weekend I was riding my WR250R on the club motocross track and was passed by another bike. This is a fairly common thing for me as I ride a cushy street legal machine for fun and not to win. What wasn’t common was that instead of a Braaap or Ring-ding-ding going by, it was almost silent. I pulled off the track and parked to watch this bike go around again. On its own it sounded like a mean RC car zipping along. While on his next break, I went to speak with the owner. I have only seen one other Alta before and that was on a trailer on the QEW so this was a first up close. I must have looked like a fool admiring the all-electric bike. Surprisingly this gentleman offered to let me take a lap on the Alta. He set it for easy mode for my first ride. And wow was it easy. Just dial in a bit of throttle from a dead stop and it gently glides away in silence. Going up the steep hill to the starting line it was clear it would pull at even walking speed with no stuttering or stalling. On the track, the bike was amazing. Open the throttle all the way and it accelerates hard with no pause to shift. I have ridden other friends bikes on this track before so the bike felt like other MX bikes and not like my street legal beast. That aside, there was a huge difference in the machine. Instead of trying to keep a gas powered machine in the right gear and fiddling with shifters in stiff MX boots, I could just focus on my racing line and foot position. Cranking up steep hills, taking table top jumps and railing the berms was so much easier and more fun. I really didn’t want to have to return the bike to the pits. Currently getting an Alta in Canada means buying it in the USA and dealing with all kinds of paperwork to cross the border as well as registering for competition use only. I am really hoping Alta comes to Canada soon with the plate friendly EX model. They are expensive and the range would suck on the street but for casual trail riding it will go longer than I typically have time for and the track he said he gets an hour of aggressive riding time which is about all I do most visits to the track before my legs turn to jelly. My WR is a fairly advanced machine with titanium valves and fuel injection but hopping back on it after riding an electric felt like what I imagine it would feel like going from an internal combustion engine to steam power. Gassing up, changing oil, cleaning air filters, adjusting valves, clutching, shifting and such isn’t much better than stoking the coal fire to heat the water.

    Terence B.

  • #2
    I haven't ridden an Alta but the first time I rode a Zero was mind-opening for sure.

    Comment


    • TerenceB
      TerenceB commented
      Editing a comment
      For trail riding and the MX track, electrics just seem so much better. We almost never burn through a tiny tank of gas playing around for a morning or afternoon so electric range becomes less of an issue than on the street or worse, the highway. The instant torque and lack of shifting is a huge advantage. The Zero bikes aren’t meant for real off-road with skinny 41 mm fork tubes and belt drive. They are really just street bikes (snd the first couple of years were just electric bicycles). I would still consider the longer range Zero SR for a future street bike but will wait for Alta to come to Canada for my next dirt bike.

  • #3
    So this was a dead thread right out of the gate... And apparently so is Alta Motors. Let's hope someone buys them. Honestly, every skeptic who says like me "I prefer shifting gears and operating the clutch" there is a believer after a short ride. I would be lining up with life savings in hand if Yamaha or Honda bought Alta and went mainstream with an electric bike like that.

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    • #4
      Originally posted by TerenceB View Post
      So this was a dead thread right out of the gate... And apparently so is Alta Motors. Let's hope someone buys them. Honestly, every skeptic who says like me "I prefer shifting gears and operating the clutch" there is a believer after a short ride. I would be lining up with life savings in hand if Yamaha or Honda bought Alta and went mainstream with an electric bike like that.
      I agree! And thanks for jumping on and contributing TerenceB !

      Comment


      • #5
        KTM still makes real dirt bikes that are electric, right? So there's that.
        I must admit an electric play bike sounds like a lot of fun. Little noise, little maintenance (I guess the chain, sprockets, and tires will still need maintenance and occasional replacement).
        Then all I need is a place to ride it and a way to get it there.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Motorcycle Ry View Post
          KTM still makes real dirt bikes that are electric, right?
          Make? Yes
          Sell in Canada or actually anywhere outside of Europe? No
          Also, apparently KTM doesn't sell you the battery or charger, they lease it.

          If they sold them here at local dealers, I would be very interested.

          The only electric bikes here are the Zero and Electric Motion bikes that I know of. I have ridden the EM trials bike. It was seriously cool too. I am no trials rider but I have tried a few trials bikes at a trials school before and the EM was easier to ride and was ridiculously quiet. The gentleman who let me try his bike said he stealth rides it in parks in Toronto and nobody complains. Try that with a two-stroke without the police showing up.

          Terence

          Comment


          • #7
            I didn't realize they don't bring the electric bikes to Canada. Too bad.

            I'm still waiting for someone to produce a truly viable electric street bike. I suspect I'll be waiting quite a while. Multi-hour charging times are a non-started for anything that might be used for touring. Quick charging is nice, but requires the right hardware on the bike to handle all that juice, plus at this point level 2 public chargers are still pretty hard to find. Definitely rare in many of the places where I might end up on a multi-day tour (think rural Quebec, northern Ontario, upstate Pennsylvania, etc).

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