Alta Motors delivers its first electric motocross bike

The evolution of viable electric transportation has led to the development of more recreational vehicles. Two-wheeled EVs are a smart, economical choice for moving around crowded cities, but what if you want to have some fun between commutes? San Francisco-based Alta Motors recently delivered its first electric motocross — a bike that could change the way you look at electric motoring.

The Redshift line includes electric motocross and supermoto motorcycles “We’ve been quietly driving towards this moment for over eight years in pursuit of creating the best motorcycles money can buy,” said Marc Fenigstein, co-founder and CEO of Alta Motors. “The result is a machine with a whole suite of new technologies, and a very different motorcycle than anything that has come before.”

Alta Motors was founded in 2010 by Fenigstein, Derek Dorrestyn, and Jeff Sand — all longtime motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. The team has since added personnel from Tesla, GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, and AMA racing.

Dorrestyn traces his interest in electric bikes to his childhood. “My whole life my father would say, ‘That rides like it’s got an electric motor. That motor feels electric!’ And he meant the bike’s engine had a really broad powerband, like the difference between a highly tuned 2-stroke and a detuned 4-stroke,” he writes in a post.

Dorrestyn also recalls discussing electric motors with future co-founder Jeff Sand. They wanted to create a high performance concept mostly to see if it can be done. They did not initially set out to build an entire company. However, as the computer simulations showed what was possible, they realized that they needed to build a prototype, and for that they had to form a company. Marc Fenigstein was brought in, and Alta Motors was born.

Upon completion, the prototype Redshift was brought to an abandoned airstrip and pitted against a KTM 250. In a 0 to 60 drag race, the electric bike won by a full length.

The Redshift SM also proved itself in November 2015 by winning the IMS Sacramento round of the Supermoto USA race series. Kevin Butler, an Alta technician and pro racer, started in last place on the grid and rode his electric bike to a first-place finish. What’s even more impressive is that this was his first supermoto race. This was also the first time that an unmodified production electric motorcycle beat out its ICE rivals.

The Redshift was developed and crafted by the factory from the ground up. Each part was tested and designed for these particular vehicles, with nothing being added from a shelf. Its components are designed to perform multiple tasks, to reduce excess weight and parts. For example, the aluminum bulkhead ties the rear suspension, airframe, monocoque chassis, and trellis skidframe together.

Alta’s 5.8kWh battery provides the SM with a range of 50 miles “based on recreational trail and mixed road use,” while the MX’s range is listed as two hours under the same conditions. The battery is waterproof and built to withstand shock and vibrations. The water-cooled 14,000 RPM brushless motor puts out 40 horsepower and 34 pound-feet of instant torque. Combined with a 3.5:1 gear reduction, it delivers 122 pound-feet of torque at the counter shaft from zero RPM.

The street-legal Redshift SM retails for $15,500, while the track-only MX goes for $15,000. Both are available for pre-order on the company website.

Product Review

The MacBook Air plays the oldies we love, but the band is getting old

We’ve waited for a long time for an update to the MacBook Air, and Apple finally delivered one. With a lot of features ported over from the MacBook Pro, is this new laptop what Apple fans have always wanted?
Home Theater

Looking for a podcast? Pandora’s Podcast Genome Project is just the ticket

Pandora has created a brand new service for podcast listeners. Powered by calls the Podcast Genome Project, the new podcast offering uses an advanced combination of algorithms and human curation to deliver the perfect podcasts for you.

AMD Navi: Everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Stay connected with the Surface Go LTE Advanced, coming November 20 for $679

The new Surface Go LTE Advanced model delivers benefits for anyone who is looking to enjoy LTE coverage and stay connected on Windows 10 when traveling on the road or away from home.

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.

Tesla raises prices and simplifies options on Model S and Model X

Tesla is making changes to its offerings of the Model S and Model X. The lower-range 75D models will increase in price, while the higher-range 100D models will decrease in price.

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

The new Track Mode introduced for the Tesla 3 Performance model adds stability to the drive while you're behind the wheel and is specifically designed for driving on closed track courses.

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.

Lyft’s new rewards program promises ride discounts and comfier cars

If you're always hopping in and out of a Lyft car, then you'll be pleased to hear that the ridesharing service is about to launch a rewards program. Perks include discounts on future trips and upgrades to comfier cars.

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.