Is there an electric dirt bike in your future?

Alta Motors hopes so. They're banking on their rechargeable electric technology to usher in the next evolution of offroad motorcycling. As we learned more about their Redshift offerings it became more and more apparent– they just might pull it off.

The San Francisco-based company is developing technology that delivers a power/weight ratio comparable to current four-stroke machinery, but with the instant delivery only an electric motor can provide. The Redshift MX and Redshift SM bristle with impressive off-the-shelf hardware like Brembo brakes, WP suspension. But it's their homegrown hardware that's truly impressive.

Their battery system stores 5.8 kWh with a maximum output of 350 volts. This is alll crammed into an air-cooled package tested to withstand impacts up to 20Gs. The battery is connected to a water-cooled, brushless electric motor that is good for 40 HP and can zing up to 14,000 RPM. The combined powerplant delivers 122 ft/lb of tourque at the counter shaft and weighs a scant (by electric standards) 85 pounds. And since it's electric that torque output is available at any RPM above zero.

Frame design is no less impressive. The "bulkhead" as they call it, has been designed from the ground up. In addition to providing attachment points for all the wiggly bits, it's also the motor mount, part of the cooling system and the gearbox casing. The rear subframe is a thermoplastic design they claim is stronger and lighter than most, yet compliant enough to afford the rider more comfort.

Another bit of proprietary magic is the water-cooled power controller. This is an essential and complicated piece of the electric powerplant puzzle. The programming is done in-house and refined through track and real-world testing. The favorable hands-on accounts would indicate they've done their homework.

The Alta Motors dealer network is growing, yet miniscule. But their plans to revolutionize off-road motorcycling are not measurered in sales-per-month or quarterly projections. They are aiming for the long term goal of building a competitive electric-powered dirt bike to dominate the sport.

To learn more visit Alta Motors at

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