Alta Fails, Zero Sails: The Innovator's Dilemma

John Burns
by John Burns

While Zero seems to be hitting its marks, bringing prices down and performance up with its latest 2019 models, cross-state rival Alta is currently dead in the water. What’s going on with that, and what does the future look like for electrics and all motorcycles? Meanwhile ebikes are suddenly so popular in America that Yamaha can’t spare one for us to “test.”

Michael Barnard has written an interesting article over here at, laying out the who, where and why as to what’s going on, as electric intersects with ICE and the modern consumer.

John Burns
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  • Craig Hoffman Craig Hoffman on Oct 31, 2018

    Alta going down is a bummer, as their bikes are 10x cooler than any Zero ever made. Alta chose to prove their tech in the most demanding use there is - off road, and they kicked ass. It is a pity, given enough time and runway, I suspect Alta had a good future ahead of it.

    One of my riding buddies, who won the 55+ "A" class last year on his KTM 350 XC in the RMEC (meaning the guy can seriously ride off road) got a chance to ride an Alta on the trails and was extremely impressed with it, and he is not an easy guy to impress.

  • Allworld Allworld on Nov 01, 2018

    It is unfortunate of Alta's failure, hopefully Zero will continue with it's success.
    There are other E motorcycle companies, it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.