ELECTRIC DIRT BIKES REVIEW: Alta Redshift MX & EM’s Escape

From http://tractionerag.ca Every year it seems electric dirt bikes are getting closer to reality. We asked some of the best riders in the world to come along and do some reviews and test rides, and very sensibly they declined so you will just have to watch us gumbies messing around on this EM Escape electric trials bike.

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This was my first ever ride on an electric trials bike but I wasn’t up for any heroics due to some bruised ribs. I was impressed. A very gentle initial response but grab a handful of throttle and there is plenty of torque to throw the bike forward. It only took a few minutes to feel comfortable with no clutch and no gear changes. And of course for anyone who has ridden bicycles the left hand rear brake on this EM electric trials bike is very easy to adapt to, and actually far better than a foot brake in so many ways. Over a distance you can barely hear that electric engine, also there’s enough sound when riding to give you feedback on how hard the engine is working. So this was our EM Escape electric trials bike review.

Will we see electric enduro bikes in mass production soon? I hope so. The Alta Redshift MX model is probably the closest yet. It did very well at the recent Red Bull Straight Rythm event and we also filmed one at the recent Red Bull Rocks and Logs in Canada. Various manufacturers are dabbling with electric bikes, but the ones that stand out so far are the Alta Redshift MX electric dirt bike. The trials models from Electric Motion. The KTM E-ride, and electric version of their Freeride. And Zero who make this dual sport model and a few road bike models too. Zero, Alta, EM, .KTM Freeride. Currently all these electric bikes are still at a small disadvantage in terms of power and weight compared to their noisy smelly cousins, but they are getting very close. So close that for some riders all the extra benefits are making these current models well worth buying now. The technology is improving so rapidly that it may not be too long before` we’ll see these bikes become more powerful, and lighter, than the gas guzzlers. This Alta Redshift MX review shows electric dirt bikes are already a reality. Personally, I can’t wait. But what do you guys think? Keen to hear your opinions so leave a comment.

MUSIC
Title: Altitude (feat. Danyka Nadeau) by Eminence & Alex Klingle from Hollow Mind EP
iTunes Download Link: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/hollow-mind-ep/id1140511433
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGFqTGR5kCM
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1wlOByiDcotVTfdGky1JlM

Comments

mattdedasc says:

I am very fond of these. They will allow us folk to ride in the woods and near houses where noisy engines are banned. I’ll still want to hear a CR500 at full chat, but this offers a future for all of us.

Arnan de Gans says:

5 hours driving range vs 10+ hours on my bike doesn’t seem useful for touring/exploring/adventure stuff. For tracks and races it doesn’t really matter.
Plus, why does none of those bikes come with a solar panel built in…
The electric engine sounds like shit – Would be a deal breaker for me.

tkfore2one says:

its funny how many people are so against electic bikes. And its all just because they made their minds up before even checking them out.

It is the same way in the rc world. So many people were against electric cars and planes and now they are huge in the industry and a lot of people have made the switch simply due to the amount of time you don”t have to spend on maintenance

kdxkyle says:

I think not having a clutch is one of the big things that would bother me about an electric bike. That and you can’t do a 2 hour hare scramble when the battery only lasts 45 minutes.

Brown Bomber says:

have never liked e-bikes and will never like e-bikes even when they put out more power and weigh less than a 2 stroke or a four stroke. Can’t beet the feeling of a big bore two smoker trying to pull your arms out of ya sockets and shake itself to bits .

Anyone else start there two smoker up with all the doors closed in the garage reckon i might start putting it in a bottle and selling it anyone keen.

Dougie P says:

would keep my kranky old f#$kers of neighbours happier (well not sure they have any level of happiness in them)

Brett Crochiere says:

I’d like to see how much maintenance would be over 5 years compared to buying a new $9k two stroke or four stroke compared to one of these at $15k. I can’t imagine the batteries will be cheap once they go

ElectroMoto says:

I, personally, welcome our new electric overlords! All hail the all mighty Ampere!

Freeman says:

I´m really not stoked on the support and grants that development of battery driven bikes are getting. Hydrogen already solves a lot of problems that batteries present, but development in that area is getting very little attention. Compressed air looks quite promising, but it gets even less support than hydrogen.
With battery driven servos, we still can´t make batteries in environment friendly way, we can´t make the power in that way either, or the power grid that would support it. The batteries lose most of their capacity in four years so it´s even worse than rebuilding a top end. They also heat up a whole lot when used and charged. And then there is the charge time ofc, the faster you charge, the more you heat it up and shorten it´s life.
Ofc., it´s quite possible that we will solve all of these problems and well, that would be downright awesome, because just a simple servo connected to a battery is very simple and elegant concept, but we really shouldn´t lock ourselves up with just one concept. I mean, hydrogen driven vehicles are also quite simple, filling up takes only a little bit longer than conventional cars/bikes, you get a decent range, you can transport and store it as a much less reactive compound and we should at least give it a shot.

BikeBreakers Enduro & Supermoto says:

The most important thing for me is the range.. 45min is just too little

Clyde Butler says:

Wow! I’ve never seen so many comments on your web-site in so short a time Barry.

I ride Trials and I’m very interested in the electric bikes. But! I will never buy one without a clutch. The clutch is your safety valve, and use of the clutch allows the rider access to maneuvers that can’t be achieved with the throttle alone. If the prices come down and the range goes up, I will buy one, if it has a clutch.

TheMarlowFTW says:

I don’t know how far this guys are in the production part but I think you guys should have a look http://www.tacita.it/t-race-enduro/

Hudson Parker says:

I seriously think that all bikes should be electric. Think of all of the places we could ride without all the noises of gas and two stroke. Not to mention the whole no clutch and shifting thing. While this is great on a gas bike, why would you want it if its not even necessary?

aloshka says:

Exciting, but another con is price. It’s going to be weird not having a clutch.

Bill Ness says:

I’ve never ridden an electric bike so I have no opinion to give, but I want to try the Alta dirt bike and the Dual sport!

Stevie Gee says:

Bloody awesome me thinks, it’s about time.

Julien Lallemand says:

I see Alta bikes often as I live close to the factory. I love the idea of an electric bike in terms or reliability (likely), noise level and greenhouse gaz emission reduction. I would have considered getting one if they were not 20% more expensive than a ktm6days. Most of my ride are no more than 2 hours long but I occasionally spend the entire day riding with just enough range to go from a gas station to another and even if 2 hours of riding is doable on one charge, likely not 4 hours riding mountain trails. I’m definitely looking forward to improvement in range.

Glynn - Moto says:

Have you seen the electric trials bike gas gas are producing? A very powerful motor with a 6 speed gearbox and hydraulic clutch, very interesting

jakezarkowski says:

I just like dirt bikes…

WRAction says:

Well, two words: awesome and sad

Tim Wefler says:

Looking forward to continued improvement. Being able to easily change out batteries would be huge. Taking an emergency battery pack with us in a backpack would allow more remote riding.

Caveheaven Tulum says:

The Escape is the same sort of price as a Beta, which is at the top end of the price range for many bike riders, including myself … I am not saying one is better than the other, but we’re not talking 30k usd, where the vast majority of us can only lasciviously gawp at – but never really expect to own – the engineering marvel. At 10k, I would like to give an electric bike a go – it can only get better and I can see that the more you ride it, the more it would make sense. Could you do one or more videos of comparative electric vs combustion engine performance with equally matched riders in different scenarios (trials, mx, enduro)? Great info, love the channel and the in-your-face Down Under humour!

Oded Mazor says:

How did you find the EM Escape for enduro riding? Is it suitable for tall riders (1.9m)?

Graeme SYDNEY says:

Tell them the price son, tell them the price.

Last time I looked I thought the price of the Zero was pretty outrageous. I think the potential to half the cost is there but it will take a major manufacturer, distributor, retailer to get the numbers up to reach the potential – years away? Mass market acceptance and technological standardisation is probably another hurdle to downward costs pressure.

Other than that I would love one. I think the instant torque will be absolutely ideal for off road riding. No question, they are the future.

Robson Enduro says:

finally we’ll be able ride wherever bicycles can 🙂 Don’t like the idea of no clutch though.
New helmets with solar panel on top will help with charging.

Scott Dunn says:

The question is not about poor range, weight and power but how much range, weight and power will you sacrifice to be able to keep riding?
I think given 2 choices we will all pick poor range, weight and power over nothing.

liam mcnair says:

I’m never going to give up my gas guzzler until it becomes illegal to belch fumes into the atmosphere.

Darcy Foster says:

I would never get one

findvoltage says:

I cant wait for electric bikes man. No gas, and incase you didnt already know there are no cancer causing carcinogens like there are in a tank full of 2stroke and 4 stroke. Clean for the environment and your hard earned stays in your pocket. Like smoking cigies in the 70s and 80s we were really unaware of the dangers of smoking and second hand smoking. How stupid do all us ex smokers feel now after realising the truth? It will be a good day the last time i see a 2 banger on the trails. Not that they will never cease to hold a place in my heart. ‘RIP, ICE’

conmiester hd says:

I could never ride electric. I need to feel the power of a bike and the smell of burning oil

dreamgetter13 says:

I can’t wait either then I won’t have to drive hours to ride and I can just terrorize the local backwoods and no one will know! I CAN’T WAIT TO GET AN E BIKE! Not even to mention all the maintenance you can forget about as someone who just likes to ride and hates maintenance. These E bikes are straight from Heaven…

twowheelsdown2002 says:

I have ridden the Zero FX, DSR, and SR. I really liked them a lot. I rode each about 20 miles on the street only. They have excellent acceleration, and great passing power. I passed a semi on the freeway and looked down and was doing 102. (on the DSR) I would love to have one for my 40 mile round trip commute. It is so fun blasting away from some dork in a Mustang, in total silence. And the Cops don’t hear you blast the throttle and turn their attention to you. You can really hammer the throttle, and nobody even hears it. But it feels like someone is trying to pull you off the back of the bike.

spacecowboy rides says:

I would love to get an electric motocross bike.

tgraham7r says:

I think it’d be fun to explore the city with the beta mini trials

SuperDRAY88 says:

The thing that upsets me is the battery life.. how can you go for a day at the forest/track when you will barely last a few hours, if that.. I mean if the batteries are cheap and charge quickly no problem, but I doubt that..

Charlie Kohn says:

When the range gets there ill start shoping for one. If i raced motorcross id probably highly consider the alta.

Tim Henry says:

Bla. Not for me for now.

M Blake Jr says:

No thanks

Campbell Hicks says:

I think they will open up all sorts of new opportunities especially because of the quietness of them. e.g. Motocross, Enduro, and Trail riding in the city (Tracks can be through the streets or actual dirt tracks right in town). I have a friend that has an electric trials bike for his 8 year old son with a track in the back yard, he can practice at any time.

Luke Morphett says:

Noooooooooo!

(Call me stuck in the past, I can’t go electric. Or I will at least resist for years.)

Spooners outings says:

I’m all for the electric future, I’m even thinking about selling my enduro and having a stealth B52 as it has the speed no noise and no restrictions on where it can be ridden so a hole new world just weighting to be opened up. The future is bright the future is electric ⚡️

darren fitzpatrick says:

Be a great way to ride here in ireland in places , that l can’t ride my 2 stroke , but you can ride mountain bikes , but they will find a way probably to stop them too

feckless7 says:

The battery’s really need to be standardised so they can be swapped out/ exchanged at fuel stations and spares carried, that would allow the industry to evolve and make it user friendly

The Hundredth Monkey says:

its the automatic vs manual of the moto world!
and as a hardcore manual guy when it comes to my 4 wheels life…. I really wanna try one of these in my 2 wheels game

Mikl R says:

I’d be keen to try one, I’d been thinking my 300RR might be my last dirt bike but if they bought out a lighter electric version I’d be tempted.

WeRideLikeThis says:

i was born at the wrong time. 5 or 10 years earlier and i would be having a blast, i cant buy anything new now as im to young, and dont have enough money tot go out and buy all the latest things, im going to miss mixing gas and hauling ass

RIPPERTON says:

Exhaust noise is highly over-rated. Not having to shift gears is far more important and faster than noise.
However the Alta has a crappy gear whine noise which drowns out the real sinusoidal hum you normally get from a 3 phase magnet motor. Alta pro’s, Big Bike, big suspension, real power, 350v battery and awesome power density.
Alta cons, Gear whine, no dedicated regen control, no reverse button and no quick release battery pack.

Cyrille Molé says:

there is OSET to

wayde leech says:

Electric where its at. Rapid changes afoot across a range of industries ( mine included) . When not if  battery tech makes the next leap the main steam manufacturers will quickly get on board. Thanks again Barry for another top vid .

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