Electric motorcycle manufacturer, Alta Motors, steps into the off road and enduro market with the 2019 Redshift EXR – is this the first serious electric enduro motorcycle?
The rise of Alta motors has been rapid: in 2010 the legend has it a ‘what if?’ conversation started the process that has led to a bona fide motorcycle manufacturer creating bikes capable of racing, trail riding and now enduro with the 2019 Redshift EXR.
Partly fuelled (pun intended) by our fascination with the ways in which an electric motorcycle compares with petrol fuelled bikes, the California-based manufacturer has been on the radar for several years already. It’s big news because Alta has bravely been stating its intention and laying it on the line by taking part in major events to show how their bikes can work alongside petrol powered rivals. It's been a very public childhood for this young manufacturer.
Taking on the challenges
Arguably the biggest challenge for Alta centres around proving itself in enduro and off road, not least because to create a machine capable at this game you need to answer the burning questions about battery life.
The 2019 Redshift EXR is “an off-road race bike with lights and a plate as standard” Alta says about its new model. With their latest generation battery and transmission, the EXR has more power and capability to go anywhere and aims to answer those questions. By entering ErzbergRodeo in 2018 with Ty Tremaine and Lyndon Poskitt, Alta made a bold statement about its technology, performance and intentions to be taken seriously across off road sport.
Photo Credit: Future7Media
Single track riding
Alta says: “We created a bike that could be ridden to local trails and then unleashed to flow through obstacles and effortlessly conquer even the most daunting hillclimbs.” The Redshift EXR is less about high-mileage adventure touring and more about single-track riding they add.
Very obviously the Redshift EXR has broad appeal to expert riders but also to novices – it’s impossible to stall and a “sure-footed” bike to ride they say. The other obvious point to make is how an electric bike has far less impact in terms of noise compared to petrol bikes. “No noise, no pollution, no detection.” Alta says.
Taking a closer look
The battery forms the main ‘bulk’ of where conventionally you’d find an engine on a petrol powered enduro bike. The Redshift has Alta’s R5.8 battery pack a major evolution of Alta's industry-leading A-pack technology, “already the highest-energy density battery ever put in a motorcycle.”
The R-Pack uses state-of-the-art cell chemistry to extend the full-power range at cooler operating temperatures. Additional upgrades to the Redshift platform’s firmware and software results in more range, increased power and faster charge times, making the 2019 EXR one of the most capable multi-terrain motorcycles available.
Alta’s software is simple and developed to be “as lean and elegant as possible.” With extremely fast development cycles for the components Alta are able to make rapid changes to the performance and function of the bike.
- Four unique ‘performance maps’ allow the rider to change the power delivery character, engine braking freewheel and flywheel effects.
- 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.
- Seamless Drive technology lets you focus on the terrain and the obstacles rather than what the engine clutch and transmission need from you.
Chassis and suspension
Alta have opted to use the well-known and most widely used stock suspension on earth, WP’s Xplor 48 forks and WP shock (to Alta’s spec). If the idea of an electric off-road bike seems unconventional then fitting conventional components like this WP stock suspension brings the bike towards the ‘norm’. The same too goes for the Brembo braking system.
The patented Redshift Bulkhead – the chassis core – functions as the outer motor casing and the cooling circuit for the motor and inverter, as well as the transmission case for the gear reduction. It is the main structural hub connecting to the rear suspension, airframe, forged chassis and trellis skid-frame. All developed to achieve maximum strength, minimal weight and optimal stiffness.
Adjustable triple clamps
Set-up as standard to be well-balanced for high-speed stability with strong cornering capabilities, you can also adjust the EXR’s trail to best suit riding style and terrain.
Increasing the offset will quicken the Redshift’s already intuitive turn-in characteristics, while high-speed terrain riders will benefit from the added stability that reduced offset offers.
Whichever way you look at it Alta is a motorcycle manufacturer taking huge steps forward, rapidly in an old and historically stubborn off-road world. Though it seems a long way off still, the days are numbered for oil-burning engines, like it or not. To keep off road riding socially acceptable fun and realistically competitive someone needs to keep takes these bold steps and Alta is that manfucaturer. We can't wait to ride one.
2019 Alta Redshift EXR Specifications:
Top Speed: 71 MPH
Power: 50hp, 42ft-lbs
Charge Time: 1.5 hrs (240v) 3 hrs (120v)
Front wheel/tyre: Warp9 Elite 21”/Metzeler 6 Days 120/90-18
Rear wheel/tyre: Warp9 Elite 18”/Metzeler 6 Days 120/90-18
Front Forks: WP XPlor 48
Rear Shock: WP Alta Custom Spec
Front Brake: Warp9 260mm rotor, dual piston Brembo caliper
Rear Brake: Warp9 220mm rotor, single piston Brembo caliper
Rake: 26.3 degrees
Trail: 113 mm
Adjustable Triple Clamp: 18/22mm adjustable offset
Curb Weight (wet): 273 lbs
Wheelbase: 58.75 in
Seat Height: 36.5 in
Handguards: Cycra Stealth
Skidplate: Full-coverage, polyethylene
More information: altamotors.co
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org