Motorcycles

Alta Motors Redshift electric motorcycles get slightly quicker, way cheaper for 2018

Alta Motors Redshift electric ...
Alta Motors Redshift SM: Electric supermoto madness
Alta Motors Redshift SM: Electric supermoto madness
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Alta Motors Redshift SM: Electric supermoto madness
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Alta Motors Redshift SM: Electric supermoto madness
Alta Motors Redshift EX electric enduro
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Alta Motors Redshift EX electric enduro
Alta Motors Redshift MX: Electric motocrosser is now surprisingly affordable
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Alta Motors Redshift MX: Electric motocrosser is now surprisingly affordable
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California-based Alta Motors has announced its 2018 Redshift lineup, and while performance is up, prices are down by up to US$4,500. With up front cost still being a major barrier to new buyers, this news could be huge for electric motorcycles.

Test-riding an electric motorcycle is enough to convince most folk that the zero-emissions future is not only inevitable, but awesome. Where people like them but don't choose to buy them, three factors seem to get in the way: range, charging time and price. All three are chiefly related to the state of lithium battery tech.

Nobody's arguing the Redshift bikes' performance pedigree anymore; on its first national-level race debut, the Redshift SM took first place in a 250cc supermoto race in Sacramento. Encouraged by the result, they entered the bike in the 450cc class as well, and came in second. These are seriously quick and fun machines.

But for a long time they've been roughly double the price of an equivalent 250cc combustion bike. And even though electrics run free of gasoline, oil and engine maintenance, and are basically cheap as chips to charge up, you'd have put a ton of miles on one to save enough to make the up-front cost worthwhile. That equation is getting a lot closer to even in 2018.

Alta Motors Redshift MX: Electric motocrosser is now surprisingly affordable
Alta Motors Redshift MX: Electric motocrosser is now surprisingly affordable

The Redshift MX motocrosser is now US$10,495, down from US$14,995. It compares favorably to the Honda CRF250R, which retails for US$7,999. Where the Honda makes a shade under 30 horsepower, the Redshift makes a very hearty 42, along with 120 lb-ft of torque and massive power any time you ask for it thanks to the terrific power delivery of electric motors. So the premium for going electric is now only a couple of grand.

The Enduro-focused, road registerable Redshift EX is down from US$15,545 to US$12,995 and makes the same power and torque as the MX, again comparing favorably with the closest Honda, which is probably the CRF250X. Here, though, the price gap is wider, as the Honda only costs US$7,599.

Alta Motors Redshift EX electric enduro
Alta Motors Redshift EX electric enduro

And the street-focused SM supermoto is down from US$15,500 to US$13,495, again with 42 horses and 120 pound-feet to play with. Honda doesn't make an equivalent supermoto, you'd have to build one yourself.

All bikes use the same 5.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which Alta Motors claims is good for 60 miles (~100 km) if you're commuting around town, or 40 miles (64 km) if you've got a boot up it. They take between 2-4 hours for a full recharge on a 240-volt wall socket, and the supermoto is geared for a top speed of 80 miles an hour.

So range is still going to be a killer for some buyers, but others will look at the MX in particular, and find that it stacks up pretty well. Plus it's silent, so it can be banged around a back block with gusto, and without annoying neighbors or campers. Good times and a good signal for the industry. Enjoy this video of two Redshift SMs going bananas around the streets and trails of San Francisco just for the heck of it:

Alta Redshift SM | Loose in the city

Source: Alta Motors Redshift via Asphalt & Rubber

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11 comments
CAVUMark
Thanks for the responsible riding demonstration.
akarp
Congrats on the product launch. As I uderstand it, a lot of motorcross technology and products design makes it way into a lighter version for mountain bikes. I am hoping electric cycles (in competittion to Internal Combusion Engines) do well as a product catagory...so we can have cheaper and better e-bikes!
Nik
When touring, at the most, I'd expect to do up to 800 miles per day. To achieve that I would need to travel at up to 90+ mph some of the time. 40 miles, per charge is pathetic! For those that want a weekend toy, for half an hour or so, per day, they may be fine, but whatever their speed and acceleration capabilities, electric machines have a long, long, way to go before they will be suitable to replace big touring machines, that take two up, and luggage, over hundreds of miles per day.
Captain Danger
Nik
You tour on a motocross? For a commute to and from work and a bit of fun on the side these bikes seem very reasonable. CAVUMark - Hell Ya!
guzmanchinky
I've been riding for 40 years. I own a Yamaha WR250R. So: 1.) Doing wheelies in front of cars, in a tunnel, and riding on national landmarks like the turrets above SF is irresponsible. 2.) 40+ miles will never be enough for someone who rides on trails and roads even for a single day. My bike does 150 miles on a 3 gallon tank. Do I ride 150 miles? No. But knowing I have that kind of reserve is nice in case I get lost, go down a trail that dead ends and I have to go back, get stuck in sandy/snowy/muddy conditions that drag mileage down dramatically, etc. This range is 100% fine for in city stuff or track, though. 3.) As soon as they offer a bike that size with 100 miles or more of off road range (150 miles of on road range) I'll buy it. I can't wait.
MartinVoelker
@Nik -- very few riders would even contemplate, let alone do 900 miles per day when touring, so why bring up inflated figures? These bikes are clearly not built for range but even so they may suffice for a majority of riders as daily commuters. The US Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, reports that 85% of commuters average commuting distance to and from work is below 50 miles, and for most it is much less. So no reason to disparage EVs of any kind if usage fits the driver.
JeffK
Questionable riding practices aside, it seems counter-intuitive to add an annoying musical track that negates appreciation of just how quiet these machines are.
Nik
MartinVoelker; First you need to read, I said ''up to 800 miles,'' not 900, but I assure you thats not unusual in Europe. In the USA, when I was looking at second hand bikes some years ago, there were many advertised 10 years old and 10k miles. ie 1K miles per year. As I also said, weekend toys. I used to ride Calais to Gibraltar, about 1600 miles, 48 hours, and that on old roads, single carriageway, not auto-route/interstate type, and an old British twin. When touring the USA, even with its pathetic speed limits, I travelled Charleston to Connecticut in a day, easily, as part of a 21,000 mile tour. I met one chap, American, who had clocked up 75,000 miles over several months, on a BMW. My comment was aimed at EB's in general, not specifically commuters. At the moment, all EB's are only suitable as weekend toys, they just dont have the range for anything else.
Derek Howe
loved the video, a bit irresponsible...yes, but looked like fun, and I was even enjoying the promo vid. Glad prices are coming down.
ljaques
The irresponsible riding demo was GREAT, thanks. Now we know they're wheelieable. And thanks for lowering the price. Let me know when they're half Zero's prices, about $5k less.