Many of you reading this right now grew up around motorcycles. They are greasy, oily machines. The air filters need cleaning, the oil needs replacing, the coolant needs checking, and most importantly, the gas tank needs to be filled.
But on Alta Motors' Redshift MX bike, every single one of those tedious bike maintenance practices are a thing of the past. Couple this with the greatest threat to our beloved sport: Land usage, noise and pollution and there really is no other way to go than forward.
The electric motorcycle need only be plugged in and charged, not unlike the phone and/or computer on which you are reading these words right now, and it is ready to race against any motorcycle in the world. With Josh Hill at the helm, the San Francisco-based manufacturer set out to prove to the world that electric technology is not only coming to motocross; it has arrived. The team's debut at Red Bull Straight Rhythm this year was a massive talking point coming into the race, and the Alta crew knew that the scrutinous and ruthless eyes of the motocross faithful were locked in on them at this year's race.
Other than rider related modifications like grips, pegs and suspension, the Redshift MX bike Alta Motors will be running in the Red Bull event is pretty similar to the stock version sold through its dealer network. It will be powered by the same company-designed liquid cooled 40,000 rpm motor coupled to its own 5.8 kWh, 68-lb (30.8 kg) lithium-ion battery. The result is a power output of 40 hp (30 kW) and 36 ft-lb (49 Nm) of torque, with gear reduction making 122 ft-lb (165 Nm) of torque available at the counter shaft from a dead stop. Weighing all of 15 lb (6.8 kg), the motor comes with a set of pre-programmed throttle maps making it easy for the rider or racer to tune the bike's performance for riding conditions and style. This can be particularly helpful as track conditions can change to become more hardpacked throughout the course of a typical race day. A fully charged battery on the MX model can run for two hours and take about 2.5 hours to recharge. The bike's 250 pound (113 kg) weight is partly the result of a specially-designed chassis core that functions as the outer motor casing and the main structural hub. The company says that since the design moves the weight more toward the center, the result is a more balanced bike and a more intuitive riding experience. Alta used a number of parts from well-known companies to round out the Redshift MX, including Brembo Brakes, Acerbis plastic bits and subframe, and built-to-spec WP 4CS suspension.
To see Josh Hill in action on the Alta Redshift MX at the recent Red Bull Straight Rhythm check out the video below.