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2019 Alta Motors Redshift EXR – Is the Future of Dual Sports Electric? (with video)

Some of us want a “dirt bike with lights” for a street legal dual sport … no frills. Take a dirt bike and add lights. Done. This is difficult, or impossible to do with ICE powered motorcycles, but electric bikes are different.

Fresh off its efforts to conquer the gnarly Erzberg Rodeo, among the toughest off-road competitions on the planet, Alta Motors has announced the street-legal Redshift EXR. If we have this right, the Redshift EXR is essentially the Erzberg bike ridden for Alta Motors by Ty Tremaine … with lights.

Priced at $12,495 U.S. MSRP, the 50 horsepower Redshift EXR should be in dealers shortly, with a 71 mph top speed and 273 pounds of “wet” weight. On the Redshift EXR website, Alta Motors is claiming a 50 mile range for “city commuting” and over 4 hours of trail riding time on a single charge, along with a 1.5 hour recharge time (at 240 volts). Charging with a 120 volt source will require 3 hours.  Have a look at the full press release from Alta Motors, followed by a video:

BRISBANE, Calif., June 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Alta Motors, the leader in high-performance electric motorcycles, today announced the release of its highly-anticipated Redshift EXR. The 2019 Redshift EXR is the ideal multi-terrain motorcycle for the performance enthusiast, but equally intuitive and easy to ride for beginners. It recently made a clandestine global debut at the notorious Erzberg Rodeo and made history as the first electric bike to ever qualify for the main event. Ty Tremaine positioned his EXR on the front row in 43rd position, ahead of 457 other bikes, proving the EXR’s performance in the most extreme race conditions.

“The Redshift EXR climbs ridiculously well,” said Ty Tremaine. “Even on the most treacherous trails, like the Iron Mountain, its really intuitive and easy to control. Hands down, this is the best enduro bike on the market, and a lot of fun to ride.”

Alta created a bike that can be ridden to local trails and unleashed to flow through off-road obstacles and effortlessly conquer even the most daunting hill climbs. Impossible to stall and incredibly sure-footed, the EXR is a purebred, single-track slayer with street legal capabilities. As a zero-emission, street legal dirt bike, the Redshift EXR has full access to all areas that permit off-highway vehicles, regardless of the season. With minimal engine noise, the riding experience heightens the rider’s senses to the terrain around them while promoting responsible land usage.

The 2019 Redshift EXR will be available at over 60 dealerships nationwide midyear.

Key Features and Benefits

R-Pack
Building off of Alta’s industry-leading A-pack technology, the highest-energy density battery ever put in a motorcycle, the new R-Pack represents the next evolution in battery performance. Alta’s new R-Pack utilizes state-of-the-art cell chemistry that delivers extended full-power range at cooler operating temperatures. The Redshift platform’s firmware and software upgrades result in more range, increased power and faster charge times, making the 2019 EXR one of the most capable multi-terrain motorcycles available.

Electronics
Alta’s proprietary software is developed to be lean and elegant. The company’s development cycles are extremely fast and have enabled Alta to create the most refined throttle feel in the industry as well as swiftly release new controls and capabilities. Four unique performance maps allow the rider to change the power delivery character, engine braking freewheel, and flywheel effects. The Open loop “rate of change” torque control has a response rate of 5,000Hz, yielding the closest thing to “theoretically perfect” torque control yet achieved in the motorcycle industry. The seamless drive technology lets you focus on the terrain and the obstacles rather than what the engine clutch and transmission need from you. This means more of your attention is on the ride.

Full Specs: 2019 Alta Redshift EXR

Top Speed

71 MPH

Power

50hp, 42 ft-lbs

Charge Time

1.5 Hrs (240v)

3 Hrs (120v)

Front Tire

Metzeler 6 Days 80/100-21

Rear Tire

Metzeler 6 Days 120/90-18

Forks

WP Xplor 48

Shock

WP Alta Custom Spec

Front Brake

Brembo 260mm rotor, Brembo dual piston caliper

Rear Brake

Brembo 220mm rotor, Brembo single piston caliper

Curb Weight (wet)

273 pounds

Wheelbase

58.75 in

Seat Height

36.5 in

Rake

26.3º

Trail

113 mm

Triple Clamp

18/22 mm adj

Handguards

Cycra Stealth

MSRP

$12,495

 


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49 Comments

  1. IMO this would only be useful for short trips to work, or to zip around town. Great seeing the development continue. I’m sure someday we’ll have a E-bike & e-cars with range that out lasts the drivers ability and some instant recharge system. Some kind of giant capacitor that instantly takes a charge.

  2. GT says:

    There’s a reason leasing is popular with the electric car crowd. You don’t get stuck with the instant depreciation from the constant adoption of advancing battery and motor technology.

    • Dave says:

      Why is leasing so popular with the ICE driving crowd?

    • GT says:

      Point being if the E-Bike makers were wanting quicker market expansion they might consider leasing. Be a bit of a slippery slope if the pricing and contracts didn’t cover damage and abuse properly. The question of what to do with off lease product would then be up to the maker. I’m sure they wouldn’t want to off load them at the same depreciation the consumer is now expected to pocket so maybe a plan could be implemented to retro fit returned units with more current battery packs for example as a way to meet the public half way on the depreciation hit.

      • Dave says:

        I believe that is part of KTM’s strategy with their e-moto. They are leasing specifically the battery to reduce the up-front cost of the bike and reduce the battery anxiety of the owner.

        The battery obsolescence is unfounded, though. Tesla’s cars are showing incredible battery life and Bosch’s e-bike batteries are also lasting a very long time. So long as there’s a way to swap the battery out somewhere down the road they should be ok.

        As electric vehicles proliferate, the aftermarket will also get involved and someone will figure out how to get/store/distribute batteries at much lower costs and offer battery pack “rebuilds” at much lower prices than OE replacements. The existing automotive battery market is filled with vendors and I’m sure they’ll want to get in on the action.

  3. DC says:

    Its only a matter of time. In 10 years the battery will be much lighter & provide much greater range. Think of the day; no crappy air filters, no gear oil changes, no motor oil changes, no carb tuning, no fuel injection, no mess on the garage floor. That will be sweet. But for now I’ll stick with my beta 300 & KTM 450 & let the early adopters take the lead.

    • Grover says:

      Let the early adopters pay for all the development costs. Like P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  4. Mick says:

    Interesting that it comes with the Xplor fork. The other models have 4CS, except the MXR (AER) and the Supermoto (SMR). I wonder if the 2019 versions of with the 4CS fork with get the Xplor fork. The 4CS is not all that popular among KTM owners. A cone valve mod is popular. The AER that is on my 300KTM seems to be a nice fork.

    Apparently you can use KTM wheels on Alta bikes. But Alta uses the same triple clamps for the supermoto and spaced all models accordingly. The front brake caliper needs to be moved inboard for KTM wheels. If you use KTM triple clamps, the Alta front hub will not be compatible. The rotor will be too far outboard and you can’t move the brake caliper in that direction. You can see in the above head on shot that the brake rotor does hang out past the outside knobs on the front tire.

    It is just a spacer thing on the rear wheel.

  5. Michael P. says:

    Having owned the Alta super moto version for 8 months now I can say that there are some real advantages off road with these bikes, on road, not so much, if you’re a decent rider, you can burn through a battery in about 20 miles or 20-30 minutes on the SM, then, you’re looking at 6-7 hours recharge time, yikes. The SM would be good for commuting and playing on back roads but to go out with your buddies and blast, forget it, their tires are just getting warmed up and you’re heading home. I have an electric assist mtn bike and am more than impressed with it’s capacity, AND, for now, we have premium mtn biking areas that allow them so I’m doing more of that nowadays. Another thing when buying elecric, resale is horrible on them, with so many advancements coming in the matter of a few months, a two year old bike is basically worthless.

    • Bart says:

      Thanks for confirming what I suspected re: range vs fun. E-bikes have progressed a bunch lately, and they got a ways to go to put my 250 EXC on CL. I can buy almost 1000 gallons of premix for the price of a 2nd battery. 20 miles range on trail 1 in Gifford Pinchot don’t cut it.

    • roma258 says:

      Pedal ebikes are where it’s at right now. I had a Brammo Empulse (bought the demo model) and it was a great bike, but range limited its application to either commuting or the rare destination trip where you tow out. With a pedal ebikes, they actually expand how far you ride, because now a 40 mile jaunt is no big deal and your commutes are way more fun (eMtb has gotta be a blast).

      That said, I think the Redshift is a slick bike and if it can really do 4 hours of single track trail riding, that’s actually not bad.

  6. Jabe says:

    I have owned dual sport bikes for over 30 years now and have never giving thought to the styling of any one of them, but when I look at this Alta I think they nailed it. However where I live and ride I would buy a horse before an electric bike. We have a lot more gas stations than electrical power outlets. 4 hours ride time? Not believing it.

  7. Magnus says:

    Zero FX has optional removable batteries. The FX is not as “serious” a dirt bike as the Alta but the price is lower and with a removable battery I have the option of using one battery to ride to the dirt, one to play (while the other two weight down the ground, not the bike) and then a fresh one to go home. Works for me.
    I’d buy the Alta if the battery pack could be popped in and out and carried like saddlebags. I can upgrade suspension easier than OEM batteries.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No offense, but people are Trippin’ if they think that electric dirtbikes are gonna open up new riding areas. You can’t even legally ride electric assisted bicycles on established mountain bike trails, let alone full-on electric dirtbikes.

  9. WSHart says:

    For the money it ain’t worth the money.

  10. wjf says:

    it seems like this company is on a interesting track, with little competition. And it also seems each iteration is better than the last. I wonder if they have a program in place, or will have a program in place, that will offer a guaranteed trade in….in a year or so

  11. Onto says:

    “71 mph top speed”

    Initially I thought that this was not good enough. If you run an ICE bike at is top speed for long periods of time the engine will not last very long. But I guess an electric motor can run flat out all day with no problems. Please, somebody tell me if this is not correct.

    • Dave says:

      It’s all dependent on the engineering. Generally, electric motors are set up to run within safe limits so that they don’t damage themselves, but if Alta were to compromise and say, run a smaller motor to save weight, then programmed it to run closer to it’s limits, they’d cook a few. We know that the makers of high performance ICE engines made that choice a long time ago.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Heat eventually kills anything.

      • guu says:

        Yes. Heat is a major problem in lithium batteries. Drawing current at max rate will create a lot of heat. Either you need a really good cooling (which might not be possible) or you need to have the onboard electronics slow the draw down or shut it completely. If you don’t you risk catastrophic failure of the batteries (read: fire). This is as true with a drill as it is with a car.

  12. Mick says:

    They apparently didn’t design the Alta around easily swapping the battery. It didn’t sound to me like it would be a difficult change for them to make however. I think it was something about wire connectors not being multiple use spec or something like that.

    I have moved to the northeast and I am not very happy about having to have street garbage on my dirt bike to ride most of the events here. Maybe something like this would take some of the sting out. But then many of the events here also have considerable range requirements.

    It’s not the future yet. But it is a light on the horizon.

  13. TIMOTHY BEAL says:

    The range issue is soooooo simple! Standardized, swappable batteries! Go to the Seven-Eleven and out front is the battery kiosk. Exchange when low. Keep extra batteries in the truck when out on the trails. Charge the battery only if you have time, like overnight or when at work. Soooooo simple! But they DON’T, so my next bike is a CRF450L this Sept! Charging your battery when on the road is like filling your tank through a 1/8th inch diameter straw!

    • Onto says:

      “Keep extra batteries in the truck when out on the trails.”

      I thought that years ago, until I found out the price of the batteries. At the time you could buy an electric dirt bike for $11,000. An extra battery cost $7,000. They never tell us the price of replacement batteries, or how many years they will last, probably because it would prove that electric bikes are not cheap to run.

    • Anonymous says:

      Might not be sooo simple unless they end up selling like hotcakes, because a spare battery will set you back about $3k.

  14. Randy says:

    I’m a little older, don’t get to ride as much as I should,like to ride gnarly trails on a 300 KTM, 270 Beta trials bike. I’m only good for a couple 3 hours before old hands give out. This thing looks like the ticket. Price would be an issue to me. I bet it’s legal in more places for noise and emission.

  15. Vrooom says:

    Needs a bit more range I think, but it’s close. Probably very fun to ride.

  16. RD350 says:

    The best things about this electric dual sport are quiet running and trail access by street. Here in crowded, uptight New England, an almost silent dirtbike opens up a whole range of trails that would otherwise be highly problematic.

  17. Jeremy in TX says:

    ”Take a dirt bike and add lights. Done. This is difficult, or impossible to do with ICE powered motorcycles…”

    Well, KTM, Husky and Beta (and now Honda) would disagree with that statement, for the time being anyway.

    That said, I think this is a win. The price isn’t bad, trail ride time seems adequate for a lot of riders (if legit), and you can run some errands in town if you want to. I like it.

  18. Mark R says:

    So, so close.
    Another couple generations with improvements in riding time and price drop and I will be ready to buy.

    Getting closer.

  19. dman says:

    It seems that one of the first aftermarket items people add to dual sports is an oversized fuel tank to get a 150-250 mile range. Or at least a Rotopax. No way to do that here … other than the fact that making an electric bike EPA and CARB legal is pretty easy, I don’t really see much point in a hard core electric dual sport.

  20. dave says:

    almost seems like a deal, when the new KX450 is $10K. 4 hours is not too bad, if it’s real…

    • Grover says:

      4 hours range seems pretty optimistic if you ride aggressively like most dual sport riders that spend KTM/Husky money on their bike. I would take 4 hours range with a grain of salt. Just say’in…

      • Dave says:

        Why? Do you think their test riders are novices?

        • guu says:

          You might want to look at what their claimed and tested motocross riding time is. Its no hours. Or how the bike did in Erzberg.

          That being said, Alta seems like a great product, nothing like the toys/mountain bike hybrids that some others have pushed on the market. I would love to have the motocross version. I just don’t know if dual sport is the right market to push into.

          • Dave says:

            I think a Dual Sport opens a lot if doors. Quiet/emissions free could result in better land access, road legality makes it much more useable.

            If this thing is eligible for EV tax incentives, it’s at least as price competitive as a ICE bike, with far lower cost of ownership post purchase.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I have a plated two-stroke, not because it is fun to tour on, but because there are lots of riding areas on public lands that (for some sections at least) require a street legal bike to access. So in that regard, the dual sport option makes sense. Since there aren’t any emissions tests to pass, it really is a case of “Why wouldn’t ya?”

            I’ve read that 3 to 4 hours is achievable on the lowest power setting, which I imagine is plenty strong enough for technical enduro work.

          • guu says:

            I meant from a technical standpoint. Alta has made it very clear that their aim is not to make an electric motocrosser. Its to make the best motocrosser, period. And I for one think they are on their way.

            In this application the limitations of battery technology are not as glaring. Most vets (who are the ones buying bikes now) won’t exhaust the battery before they themselves are done.

            In the dualsport realm anybody can run out of battery capacity. The worst case scenario is getting stuck in a mud hole at the far point of your trip. That not only takes a lot of energy but creates a lot of heat which is the battery’s worst enemy.

            Electric bike has no chance to be the best dualsport in the foreseeable future. ICE bikes can be made as quiet as you like.

        • Grover says:

          The actual range will be proven by actual riders not on the company payroll. Also, range decreases beginning with the first recharge, unlike petrol powered machines after a fill-up.

          • Dave says:

            ..until it needs an oil change, clutch work, or head work..

          • Anonymous says:

            Racer X tested the moto version, and according to them, the bike runs for less than 1 hour on the highest power setting, and 3-4 hours on the weakest setting.

            Price for a spare battery is about $3k

          • Dave says:

            Also of note, All EV’s have battery management systems that prevent deep discharging. The user doesn’t have access to 100% of the battery’s energy. It would be a long time before battery degradation encroached inside of the presumably conservative limits imposed by the BMS.

            Tesla’s batteries are reported to show less than 3% battery degradation after over 100k miles, which is far better than they claimed they’d perform.

  21. roger says:

    you list a wet weight , what is wet on that bike? fork oil -gear oil…?

    • Tom K. says:

      I don’t want to speak for Dirck, but I think that “wet” implies “fully fueled”, meaning “with battery”. So to be comparable, an ICE bike would have a full fuel tank (or maybe it would be more fair to have enough fuel on board for an equivalent range as the electric), when put on the scales. It takes some imagination to make the specs fair, so you’re not comparing apples to bowling balls.

      That being said, to the title of the article, “Yes”. Just like the future for ALL forms of transportation is electric, once the energy density of batteries gets closer to that of fossil fuels. Throw in improvements in solar and/or wind technology (once you can economically meet your individual electric needs with your own roof and storage system), and battery costs come down, it will be a no-brainer, gasoline will go the way of the Dodo. And good riddance, as far as I’m concerned, except for the nostalgia for the smell of Yamalube. But we ain’t there yet, my guess is another fifteen or twenty years, I’m personally hyped about the auto-guided electric flying cars. Or teleportation.
      This program was started about five years ago, I have to wonder how close they came to their stated goal:
      https://www.anl.gov/energy/batteries-and-energy-storage

    • Tom R says:

      I guess wet means fully charged….how much do the electrons weigh?

    • Jason says:

      Brake fluid too. “Dry” wets from years ago had a bike drained of every fluid.

  22. Dave says:

    Is this their 1st street legal dirt bike? I just saw one on a residential street in Portland, Or., yesterday.

  23. TwinDog says:

    So, 2 hours out, two hours back – then needs recharge. And that does not include any hill climbs, or mud work etc. Nah.