San Francisco's BRD Motorcycles has begun taking deposits on the 2013 RedShift range of off-road electric motorcycles.

BRD claims the performance of the RedShift will be equal to or better than a top-end 250cc four-stroke race motorcycle, which is a lofty target.

The most remarkable aspect is that it will sell both the US$15,500 SM supermoto and the US$15,000 MX motocrosser with a police kit for an additional US$2500 with stronger subframe to hold the included hard luggage, plus an uprated electrical system.

The market for a high-performance police off-road machine is untapped, and may be quite significant given that electric bikes are almost completely silent.

The entire RedShift range (even the MXer) will be sold as street legal units to ensure they are eligible for any state and federal eV incentives. The race plastics will be sold as an aftermarket option so that lighting and switchgear can be removed for off-road and racing applications.

Pre-orders are being accepted via fully refundable deposits from tomorrow. The necessary deposit will be US$100 for the first hundred orders, and US$200 for subsequent orders. Orders will be finalized and delivered through retail motorcycle dealers in late 2012.

View gallery - 10 images