Alta Motors is one of the most exciting names in the burgeoning electric motorcycle market. By focusing its efforts on building off-road-focused electric bikes, it has been able to skirt the image problems suffered by other two-wheeled EV manufacturers and produce a compelling product that more than competes with its gasoline-powered rivals in performance, and now in price too.
Based in northern California, Alta has been making electric dirt bikes, enduro bikes and supermotos since 2010. Its Redshift line of bikes has been well received by the motorcycling press, and when you look at the specs of its new MXR electric motocross bike, it's easy to see why.
The 2018 Redshift MXR is even lighter than its 265-pound predecessor, produces 50 horsepower and a frankly staggering 147 pound-feet of torque. To put that in perspective, that's more torque than a BMW K1600, which weighs around three times as much as the MXR. It will do approximately 60 miles on the road or 40 miles off-road (give or take, depending on riding style and so on) and will now recharge in just an hour and a half on 240 volts.
The best part is that Alta's prices are dropping as its supply chain and production methods improve. The MXR will set buyers back just $11,995, which in motorcycle terms isn't cheap per se, but for an electric bike with these specs, that's dirt cheap. Other models in the Redshift lineup will go for similar money, but well under the $15,000 that one might pay for a comparable Zero.
"While the costs of combustion vehicles are essentially flat to purchasing power, electric is still moving down the cost curve and is now a clear contender in terms of performance," said Marc Fenigstein, chief product officer for Alta Motors. "Now that we've reached price parity and our vehicles outperform combustion in nearly every category, our plans are to bring electrics into the mainstream by making them more accessible to a more diverse set of riders and future motorcycle curious audiences."
I'm curious to see where Alta goes next with its product line. Whether it's an all-electric adventure bike, an electric trials bike or something else entirely, I'm looking forward to throwing a leg over it.