Discussion in 'Newsroom' started by Johnrg, Oct 19, 2018.
Just read about this on the D37 page. Oh well, maybe they'll be back.
Maybe they need an E-bike class at races. At a price point for a short duration event could be viable and no noise or emissions for many communities. Indian should develop an e-FTR from the Brammo purchase.
This is sad news. With Alta closing it pretty much buried anyone who was thinking of joining the band wagon and developing e bikes in the future, I hope they come back
That's too bad. I kinda liked their stuff.
They looked really close to public acceptance. Moto GP is adding an E-Bike class in 2019 to races... https://www.autosport.com/motogp/news/134239/motogp-reveals-motoe-bike-for-electric-series
An update, more could be found at the alta owners forum but a bunch of the assets have been sold to BRP Bombardier recreational group. I do not have a link with the actual press release but this one is pretty close to it.
A lot of people seem to like to blame Harley Davidson for pulling out of some deal no one knows the specifics of. My take is they produced a bit less than 1000 bikes and had about 300 unsold at the time they stopped operation.
I am in a trail rider club, I never got invited to test them out but apparently quite a few guys did and all the ones I spoke with were quite impressed with how well they were set up without any suspension mods. One guy in the club bought one, I know his name but not sure who he is. There was another one also riding around the pits at our hare scramble I have been told, no one entered one best as I could tell.
I don't think there is anything that will replace the sound and unique power delivery of a gas driven dirt bike but I'm also fond of new technology. Alta showed that e-bikes could be fast and fun enabling dirt bike fans to ride in areas sensitive to noise pollution.
This youtube came about 18 months after Bombardier bought Alta's assets, which was the final nail in their coffin. Things may have turned out different for Alta if more videos like this one would have come out a couple years earlier. Supercross pro AJ Catanzaro shreds on Evansville MX track piloting an Alta. The video is long so if time is short for you I recommend cutting to 18mins where AJ rides with the Alta in map4. Seeing a pro on one of these was an eye opener for me.
Couldn't help but laugh at the opening, the sound of the green powered Alta being charged up using a gas powered generator, oh the irony of it all.
I remember having watched this video and having found it quite interesting.
I'm courious about the reliability of electric motorcycles, because if they really are more reliable than the ones having internal combustion engines, or if they could become more reliable after the manufacturer has accruded experience, then they could be a very good choice for motocross. They say it's almost maintenance free in this thread.
The only thing that I really dislike about dirtbikes is that they are way more unreliable than road bikes; if my bikes were as reliable as a road bike, I would use them way more often.
One problem of electric vehicles is that if you drain the battery you can't just refill it in the middle of nowhere with a plastic bottle, but in a racetrack you would just have to push it to the parking lot.
I don't know whether the bike becomes less powerful as the charge of the battery gets lower.
Almost maintenance free for the engine part and way quiter than gasoline engines so they could be used in more places. Yes, they are not as fascinating, but I think I could accept that considering that the maintenance problem gets fixed‼
I guess that if they had become popular then their price could have become lower and if they are more reliable maybe their price would have already been lower anyway in the long run.
In these situations, I think that what you need is to make something trendy... for some reasons, here in Italy SUVs became trendy about 15 years ago and I guess that they already were elsewhere: well, still nowadays a lot of people buy them; the propriety of that is still questionable to me. I think that a good marketing move could have been to make some easy MX tracks in populated areas like Paris or NY and let people rent those e-motorcycles. The slogan: "we bring MX to people". Then youtubers would have started to review and compare those bikes and AJ is not the only pro who produces such videos. At that point, people see that they are cool and as fast as a 450 and they start to desiring one...
Just my idea, I am not a marketing man.
" for some reasons, here in Italy SUVs became trendy about 15 years ago and I guess that they already were elsewhere: well, still nowadays a lot of people buy them; the propriety of that is still questionable to me."
This surprises me - I thought the cost of gasoline in Italy would deter sales of SUV's
Good point, but, well, this wouldn't be the first case in which people spend extra money to be trendy (I personally don't!).
Anyhow, I have collated some data about this Alta MXR and I've found out that:
• the performance doesn't decay until it's completely discharged
• it runs 25-30 minutes and then it needs to be charged for 90 minutes; I guess that, if e-MX bikes became more popular:
- they could be sold with two batteries replaceable by the owner (increasing their initial cost, I know),
- MX track owners could make recharge points.
• It does have coolant but the power will be automatically limited in case of overheating.
• It has 80 ml of gear oil which needs to be replaced every 40 hr; no clutch to service.
• In theory 1000 hours should elapse before the engine needs to be opened and the battery will deteriorate but should be "good" for about 1000 charging cycles; for 30 minutes of use per charge, that would be 500 hours.
In this video an owner talks about the maintenance of an MXR (I've linked the time at whcih he starts being specific about the electric motor).
So I don't know about the real long term durability of the battery, but all the above sounds very promising and already pretty feasible to me! I think that if only the big companies started to produce electric dirtbikes and make them popular then I would personally buy one and start riding way more often!
Yes, tuning the carb or replacing the piston etcetera can keep you trained in mechanics and it can even be pleasant, but -IMHO- not much if you have to do it quite often in order to ride every weekend.
Here are two more videos about the capabilities of the MXR:
Nate Adams | FMX Pro - YouTube
Straight Rhytm (I've linked the start of the main races)