Alta Motors of California are building seriously capable electric off-road bikes. MX legend Kurt Nicoll raced one in an EnduroCross race (indoor assault course for motorbikes) and won his class. The same weekend, Alta prepped a dirt tracker for Evan Anders to compete on at the recent CFTA Santa Rosa short track round. Alta have experienced dirt track mechanic/engineer, Dale Lineaweaver on board. I saw the bike, and was impressed by the whole set up. I'm not sure if electric bikes are the future, but I like the idea of them. Silent motorcycling, stealth blasting through the countryside. Yes, please.
Think of [the short track] format like the Roller Derby to EnduroCross's Tough Mudder. It is handlebar-to-handlebar chaos, with riders skating on the edge of traction non-stop from start to finish around an 1/8th mile dirt oval. Dirt track racing has tremendous ("hyuuuge") historic and cultural significance in America as the roots of our motorcycle racing, and has experienced a recent revival with major manufacturers like Ducati, Triumph, and Yamaha introducing street bikes based on the dirt track aesthetic.
'This format should be a stretch for the Redshift MX, built as a Lites class (250cc equivalent) motocrosser with 40hp, competing against tuned 450cc gas-powered bikes putting down 50% more horsepower. Under up-and-coming rider, Evan Anders #32z, the Redshift blew some minds, taking a 2nd place in a Friday night heat and taking a holeshot and leading for three laps of the Saturday night semi-finals. As with the EnduroCross, no one outside of Alta was expecting this kind of result.
This same event was Polaris' Indian Motorcycles' first race campaign of their brand new purpose-built FTR750 flat track racer, with a massive presence at Santa Rosa including a top pro rider, banners, booths and sponsorship of a few racing classes. In the pits, despite a much more modest presence, the buzz was about the Alta. It's hard to describe what it feels like to hear that excitement and enthusiasm from such a traditional crowd, but it tells me that the revolution has started and because we did this right, from the inside out, it's actually being welcomed.