Every year Motorcycle.com gets invited to the press introductions for several new motorcycles – it’s the biggest perk of our job, and the reason all of us have stuck around as long as we have! The cycle goes like this: at the end of one year or the beginning of the next, manufacturers talk a big game about a new model launch, and/or the internet goes wild with social media rumors and opinions about a new bike. In turn we, the media, can’t wait to be the first to throw a leg over said bike to see what the fuss is about. Sometimes the motorcycle in question is a dud, other times it exceeds beyond our wildest dreams. Then you get the rare model that didn’t get much fanfare but turns out to be unexpectedly awesome.
Alta’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Derek Dorresteyn, is a motorcycle racer, and in his prime during the early 2000s, he was trying anything he could to squeeze more power and performance out of his KTM 450, but any gains he got somewhere, he lost elsewhere. Derek and his riding buddy Jeff Sand, another eventual co-founder and current Chief Development Officer, would get together and talk shop all the time, and they loved the idea of a smooth and perfectly responsive torque curve but understood how difficult this was to achieve with a gas-powered bike.
Two weeks ago we got the opportunity to ride the all-new Alta Motors 2018 Redshift MXR, as well as the Redshift MX for comparison. It was my first time riding an Alta, and an electric dirtbike for that matter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. How easy would it be to ride and how would it compare to a regular gas-powered dirtbike?
As futuristic as the future may one day be, I’ll be the guy hoarding all the loud, leaky, inefficient, fossil-fueled motors that most of the world will consider to be boat anchors and giant paperweights – call it my Redneck 401k. One day they might be considered old-fashioned, but there’s just something extremely gratifying about an internal combustion engine that an electric motor could never replicate. Mostly it’s the sound and feel, obviously, and it used to be about the performance, but electric motorcycles have evolved and come a long way in recent years.