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Our friends: electric


Alta Motors of California are building seriously capable electric off-road bikes. MX legend Kurt Nicoll raced one in an EnduroCross race (indoor assault course for motorbikes) and won his class. The same weekend, Alta prepped a dirt tracker for Evan Anders to compete on at the recent CFTA Santa Rosa short track round. Alta have experienced dirt track mechanic/engineer, Dale Lineaweaver on board. I saw the bike, and was impressed by the whole set up. I'm not sure if electric bikes are the future, but I like the idea of them. Silent motorcycling, stealth blasting through the countryside. Yes, please.

We're going to race it over the winter. Until then, this is what the company said about their Santa Rosa experience.

Think of [the short track] format like the Roller Derby to EnduroCross's Tough Mudder. It is handlebar-to-handlebar chaos, with riders skating on the edge of traction non-stop from start to finish around an 1/8th mile dirt oval. Dirt track racing has tremendous ("hyuuuge") historic and cultural significance in America as the roots of our motorcycle racing, and has experienced a recent revival with major manufacturers like Ducati, Triumph, and Yamaha introducing street bikes based on the dirt track aesthetic.

'This format should be a stretch for the Redshift MX, built as a Lites class (250cc equivalent) motocrosser with 40hp, competing against tuned 450cc gas-powered bikes putting down 50% more horsepower. Under up-and-coming rider, Evan Anders #32z, the Redshift blew some minds, taking a 2nd place in a Friday night heat and taking a holeshot and leading for three laps of the Saturday night semi-finals. As with the EnduroCross, no one outside of Alta was expecting this kind of result. This same event was Polaris' Indian Motorcycles' first race campaign of their brand new purpose-built FTR750 flat track racer, with a massive presence at Santa Rosa including a top pro rider, banners, booths and sponsorship of a few racing classes. In the pits, despite a much more modest presence, the buzz was about the Alta. It's hard to describe what it feels like to hear that excitement and enthusiasm from such a traditional crowd, but it tells me that the revolution has started and because we did this right, from the inside out, it's actually being welcomed.