We probably should have seen this coming with the popularity of electric powered vehicles and more importantly the immense improvement in battery technology. But it’s been announced that an electric dirt bike is going to compete in the MX Lites class at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm event on October 22.
It wasn’t that long ago that when you thought of an electric dirtbike you pictured one of those power wheels style kids toys. But that couldn’t be further from what they are now. It’s called the Redshift MX, built by California-based Alta Motors, and it’ll be battling it out against the gas powered 250cc four strokes that currently dominate the MX Lite class.
The Reshift MX is apparently the real deal. Earlier this year at an EnduroCross event, veteran rider Kurt Nicoll won against the 250’s. What makes it so special is the one thing we have the most trouble with, the fact that its electric. It might be almost dead silent, but it’s quick, and I mean really quick. That’s because you have that instant torque of an electric motor and a ridiculous amount of it! We’re talking about an estimated 500lb-ft of torque available from 0 RPMs and 40HP on a bike that still only weighs 250lbs.
As a point of comparison, most of the 250cc bikes produce right around 45HP so it’s fairly close in that regard. It’s the torque that will be the Redshift’s strong point and if you think about it acceleration is going to be a lot more important in a motocross-style race. Coming out of a turn trying to launch a triple into a rhythm section I would bet that crazy torque would come in pretty handy. But I should also point out one major downfall in our opinion, the fact that it sounds like a giant RC car. Although I guess it could be worse.
Check out this short clip of the Redshift MX running a rhythm section and notice how quickly that thing gets up to speed. Could we be looking at the future of motocross, and heaven forbid motorsports in general?
We later found out that the 500lb-ft of torque was wildly exaggerated and is actually only 36lb-ft according to the Alta Website. So while the idea is still the same as far as instant max torque available, it’s just significantly less than what we first thought.