• Log In
  • Sign Up
    • How soon will the electric bikes start selling in numbers that really matter? That's a great question and one no one really knows but I'm excited about the future of electric dirt bikes. A big part of that excitement is due to the quiet nature of an electric motorcycle. Many riding areas have been eliminated over the years and I think this movement will bring many of them back. Of course it'd be nice to have a battery revolution but we'll have to settle for the continuing slow evolution of the battery. What would it take to make you buy an electric dirt bike over a gas powered version? (pictured is an Alta dirt bike)

    • For me, the big issue is range. I like long rides, and current technology does not support them. I'm not a motocross rider, but if I were, I think I'd be pumped since short, silent sessions near the charging station are already possible.

      While we are talking about these things, another issue is lack of a clutch. A friend of a friend raced endurocross on an Alta, and said he was petrified of some of the obstacles with only throttle control to rely on. Sure, they make instant torque, but the clutch lever gives a whole different set of options for control, which he really missed. I imagine a clutch lever could be made to work with software only (no actual clutch mechanism, just using the position of the lever to change how power is delivered). Does anyone else see this as a problem?

      What does everyone think of the KTM battery lease proposal? I think it is a deal killer.

      One last thing. I spend a ton of time on access issues, so I'm really aware of how sound is a problem for OHVs. But with that said, I've gone away from ultra-quiet exhausts (I aim for 90-92 db now, which is still under the legal limit) because so many mountain bikers and hikers use earbud headphones while recreating. I imagine there is a whole new set of user ethics to develop with quiet, and potentially quick, electric motorcycles.

    • I’m excited for what the maintenance schedule might be. Right now the price for a dirt bike with lots of torque, lightweight, and reliable is high maintenance overhead. Take a KTM EXC for example. I have to check valves every 50 hours (though the manual says much less) and change oil every 750 miles. I’m cleaning a sticky, dirty air filter all the time. I swear I spend the same amount of time maintaining it as I do riding it. I have to imagine an electric motor will have far less maintenance. 

      I bet the OHV access will still be an uphill battle. Ubiquitous EV dirtbikes would add to adventure riders’ defense, but there are many factors it doesn’t solve like whoop’ing up the land. Though besides that, how’s an EV dirt bike much different than an EV mountain bike in terms of environmental impact?

    • I can see how not having a clutch would be an issue for endurocross but also during extreme off road riding. By extreme I just mean the regular single track we do here in Alberta that requires us to ride over hundreds of downed trees, over many large rocks, roots and through very wet and slippery/hilly areas. There could be some software 'fixes' but I see no reason why they couldn't also use a clutch although this would add more weight.

      I haven't heard of KTM's battery lease proposal. Sounds interesting.

    • neduro the lack of range is also a deal killer for me at this time but if I had an acreage close to the city I might consider buying an electric bike.

    • The maintenance and simplicity of the whole thing is a real draw for me too.

      The question about ebikes is a good one. My thoughts so far after riding an e mountain bike for about 70km of hilly single track is that they have less of an environmental impact than regular mountain bikes. How could this be?? First off you can carry so much momentum that I never felt myself spin even once. I followed a friend as well and never noticed dirt coming off a spinning tire. It's definitely not like a dirt bike in this regard. The electric motor is simply an assist that adds some extra power to what you are already putting out. Another factor is that I was using fatter tires than I would on a regular mountain bike. This allowed me to get better traction by spreading out the load and reducing the pounds per square inch. I also found that braking involved a lot less skidding than on my regular mountain bike. I'd say part of this was the approximately 3" tire I was using. I was actually so surprised by how it road that I kept telling my friend I thought it was doing having less impact on the trails. After my ride I asked some sales people at a shop abou their thoughts on the trail impact of e bikes. One guy made a good point about saying it may have less impact on a section of trail but because it was an ebike you would liking be riding more mileage of trails per ride. That is a good argument. Without having done a scientific study I'd say it appears to have less of an impact on trails overall than regular bikes.