Long Term Alta Ownership Considerations

F451

Well-known member
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411
Location
Seattle
#1
Hey guys,

I'm wondering what you all think about our prospects for long term Alta ownership? I have been loving my '18 MXR since I purchased it last year (thanks for everyone's enablement, I mean help, on that!) and I'm wondering about long term viability of the bike. I would like to keep the MXR for many years to come, but I do worry a bit about a failure of the battery, motor, and associated electronics.

The rest of the parts seem like they can be sourced one way or the other for the moment, and the Honda and KTM parts, of course, no worries there. We have been fortunate to have this great forum (thanks Philip!) to be more or less self supporting, and now with Liquid Performance offering parts (while supplies last!), I feel comfortable in the near term.

Do you guys think there will be battery packs that could be installed into an MXR in the future (with or without modifications for fitment), or is the Alta battery too "proprietary" for a battery pack swap?

Same question for the BMS and associated electronics and the motor.

Along the same lines, how about a "quick change" battery while we're at it? I would love a battery pack that is 1/3 - 1/2 the weight that I could swap out, even it if was 1/3 - 1/2 half the range/ride time (as long as the power output was comparable)?

And as long as I'm dreaming, if the battery tech advances, lets say in the next 5 years, the idea of a lighter battery with more power and range would keep me on the Alta for a long time, but if it can't be installed in the Alta, then of course it does us no good.

If anyone has any input I would love to hear it.

Thanks guys,

Eddie

AltaChangeMyMind2-S.jpg
 

Philip

Administrator
Staff member
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2,759
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Lake Havasu City, AZ
#2
I wouldn't worry much about it. Electric motorcycles are, just like other vehicles and electronics, are consumables. With a normal and regular use the Alta should last you at least 10 years. They haven't been breaking all that much, so it seems that this forecast is very realistic.

As they start breaking more, we will keep learning more ways to fix them. If they suddenly start breaking a lot, then their value would drop, and the spare bikes would become cheap and plentiful. If they prove reliable, well, that means you will likely be riding your Alta at least until something better comes on the market. They are not meant to last forever, or be passed to grandchildren, so enjoy your MXR whenever you can.
 

metallic88

Well-known member
Likes
131
Location
utah
#3
And as long as I'm dreaming, if the battery tech advances, lets say in the next 5 years, the idea of a lighter battery with more power and range would keep me on the Alta for a long time, but if it can't be installed in the Alta, then of course it does us no good.
the way the battery is built as long as the brd sees voltages and is happy with the temp signals, any type of battery could be made to work in the modules, Ive though about that same thing about solid state modules, and after playing withi the bcu It should be possible. my bike runs great so i havent wanted to tear it apart to test any more but i did have the bike running entirely of of 350v dc without the cells hooked up, just the brd. Most of the bike runs of of 12v.
 

C5tor

Well-known member
Likes
506
Location
San Ramon, CA
#4
Hey guys,

I'm wondering what you all think about our prospects for long term Alta ownership? I have been loving my '18 MXR since I purchased it last year (thanks for everyone's enablement, I mean help, on that!) and I'm wondering about long term viability of the bike. I would like to keep the MXR for many years to come, but I do worry a bit about a failure of the battery, motor, and associated electronics.

The rest of the parts seem like they can be sourced one way or the other for the moment, and the Honda and KTM parts, of course, no worries there. We have been fortunate to have this great forum (thanks Philip!) to be more or less self supporting, and now with Liquid Performance offering parts (while supplies last!), I feel comfortable in the near term.

Do you guys think there will be battery packs that could be installed into an MXR in the future (with or without modifications for fitment), or is the Alta battery too "proprietary" for a battery pack swap?

Same question for the BMS and associated electronics and the motor.

Along the same lines, how about a "quick change" battery while we're at it? I would love a battery pack that is 1/3 - 1/2 the weight that I could swap out, even it if was 1/3 - 1/2 half the range/ride time (as long as the power output was comparable)?

And as long as I'm dreaming, if the battery tech advances, lets say in the next 5 years, the idea of a lighter battery with more power and range would keep me on the Alta for a long time, but if it can't be installed in the Alta, then of course it does us no good.

If anyone has any input I would love to hear it.

Thanks guys,

Eddie

View attachment 4668
I am sure that the next installment of Mad Max will confirm that many Altas survived the devastation and are still thriving in the post-apocalyptic world, long after mankind and Harley Davidson have sunk into chaos. While many survivors are fighting to the death over the last gallons of fossil fuel, a close inspection of the background spectators to the carnage will see the majestic silhouettes of wildly painted Altas cruising the crests of ancient supercross tracks and MX parks. Somehow these savage but surprisingly mechanically-inclined tribesmen have cobbled together intricate solar sails and hydrogen fuel cells to power their ancient yet majestic conveyances to remain aloof and superior to their combustion-dependent brethren. Led by Keith Richard and other undying remnants of humanity, they remain defiant and independent on their silent electronic steeds, roaming the wastelands at will (for 1-3 hours at a time, depending on rider technique).
 

F451

Well-known member
Likes
411
Location
Seattle
#5
the way the battery is built as long as the brd sees voltages and is happy with the temp signals, any type of battery could be made to work in the modules, Ive though about that same thing about solid state modules, and after playing withi the bcu It should be possible. my bike runs great so i havent wanted to tear it apart to test any more but i did have the bike running entirely of of 350v dc without the cells hooked up, just the brd. Most of the bike runs of of 12v.
Good to know. For the moment my plan is to keep riding and enjoying the MXR until KTM or Honda, or someone, drops an Alta comparable e-dirt bike. At that point I'll pick up one of those and decide what to do with the MXR.

And as I mentioned, if someone figured out a clean solution for a lighter quick change battery pack, I'd definitly be interested in that, and of course the same goes for a battery pack that offered more range with less weight.

Thanks for the input guys. -Eddie
 

Redwolf

My dog thinks I'm cool
Likes
1,107
Location
Brinnon, Wa.
#6
Good to know. For the moment my plan is to keep riding and enjoying the MXR until KTM or Honda, or someone, drops an Alta comparable e-dirt bike. At that point I'll pick up one of those and decide what to do with the MXR.

And as I mentioned, if someone figured out a clean solution for a lighter quick change battery pack, I'd definitly be interested in that, and of course the same goes for a battery pack that offered more range with less weight.

Thanks for the input guys. -Eddie
If KTM or Honda just come up with a comparable bike, why would you spend the money to just get what you already have? I have no interest in buying a new bike until there is a substantial increase in performance or range, mostly range. Unless nothing better comes along before I wear my Alta out...
 

F451

Well-known member
Likes
411
Location
Seattle
#7
If KTM or Honda just come up with a comparable bike, why would you spend the money to just get what you already have? I have no interest in buying a new bike until there is a substantial increase in performance or range, mostly range. Unless nothing better comes along before I wear my Alta out...
I don't already have a manufacturer supported bike. So I'd gladly spend the money for that - if the performance was similar or better.

That would be a bike that is supported by the manufacturer, that I can stop by a dealership to get parts, order parts, get service, get advice, etc. I'd also prefer to own a bike that will be easier to sell if/when that time comes. Additionally, there's things about the Alta design that I do not care for (plastics, subframe design, Red Loctite everywhere, etc) that a Honda or KTM would build in a more traditional way. And after market support, after market parts for KTM's, Honda, etc, are plentiful, easy to get, and usually there are many options for the same part.

Right now we are fortunate that we're able to self support, but Alta ownership is not as easy or convenient as owning a KTM or Honda. Manufacturer and after market support and convenience are worth a lot to me.

I've owned a lot of red headed step child vehicles over the years, the Alta is the latest, and I don't have the enthusiasm for the experience like I used to. Chasing parts, chasing information, chasing the next buyer, keeping fingers crossed it all works out. If I don't need to do all that, at this point in my life, I'd choose a better, easier to live with solution.

I do love my Alta and think its an amazing bike, ditto for this forum and all those that support us (thank you all!), but if I can find a comparable bike that is manufacturer and after market supported, I don't see why I would keep a similar bike that is not supported by the manufacturer and after market.
 

Redwolf

My dog thinks I'm cool
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1,107
Location
Brinnon, Wa.
#8
That makes sense.

I have mixed feelings about having an Alta alternative on the market, on one hand I will be able to find parts bikes to keep mine operational cheaper, but on the other hand, my bike will be worth less if I ever decided to sell...
 

F451

Well-known member
Likes
411
Location
Seattle
#9
That makes sense.

I have mixed feelings about having an Alta alternative on the market, on one hand I will be able to find parts bikes to keep mine operational cheaper, but on the other hand, my bike will be worth less if I ever decided to sell...
I'm trying to time my Alta ownership perfectly, as in, sell my Alta for top dollar the day before Honda or KTM announces their Alta comparable e-dirt bike will be coming to market immediately. That's not going to happen any time soon I don't think, but I can dream.

I think I will keep the Alta at least through the spring, perhaps keep it another year, and sell next spring. Will see. Right now I have only one dirt bike, the Alta, and its limited range is a negative for me. I'm really missing my KTM 350 XCF-W and want to get another one (or a 350 EXC), not sure I can afford 2 dirt bikes at the moment though, will see.

The good news is I'm still loving the Alta and they seem to be selling quickly and for decent prices if I do decide to sell it, so its all good.
 

Redwolf

My dog thinks I'm cool
Likes
1,107
Location
Brinnon, Wa.
#10
I'm trying to time my Alta ownership perfectly, as in, sell my Alta for top dollar the day before Honda or KTM announces their Alta comparable e-dirt bike will be coming to market immediately. That's not going to happen any time soon I don't think, but I can dream....snip...
What brand crystal ball do you have? Mine doesn't work so well.
 

C5tor

Well-known member
Likes
506
Location
San Ramon, CA
#11
What brand crystal ball do you have? Mine doesn't work so well.
The battery in my crystal ball is broken too. And the company that made it (Merlin Scrying Devices, Inc.) went out of business several hundred years ago (after a failed campaign of conquest in support of its patron, King Harley of Davidson, a.k.a "Harley the Hog" or "Harley the Questionable Business Partner"). Good luck finding magic power crystals to power these things, unless you get lucky and find some on eBay or the occasional ancient castle estate sale. The CPCU (Crystal Power Control Unit) spell is usually stale on the used ones, though. Good luck finding a certified repair shaman to fix 'em.
 

F451

Well-known member
Likes
411
Location
Seattle
#12
What brand crystal ball do you have? Mine doesn't work so well.
No crystal ball, just constant wondering, pondering, thinking about our Altas, wishing BRP would revive Atla, or a major would drop an Alta v2.0. Thinking, thinking, thinking, Lol.

Nash1-S.jpg

Nash2-S.jpg

Seriously though, I think we're all in good shape with our Altas, they're selling for what I think are fair and reasonable prices, maybe a little lower then I would like, but they're still holding their value well. If one of the majors starts selling an Alta comparable e-dirt bike in the next year or two (I'm skeptical they will), it will be very expensive, so I think there will still be a market for a more affordable used high performance e-dirt bike like the Altas for some time to come.

And meanwhile we're enjoying ripping around on these super fun bikes, makes me smile every time I ride it. -Ed
 

C5tor

Well-known member
Likes
506
Location
San Ramon, CA
#13
No crystal ball, just constant wondering, pondering, thinking about our Altas, wishing BRP would revive Atla, or a major would drop an Alta v2.0. Thinking, thinking, thinking, Lol.

View attachment 4734

View attachment 4735

Seriously though, I think we're all in good shape with our Altas, they're selling for what I think are fair and reasonable prices, maybe a little lower then I would like, but they're still holding their value well. If one of the majors starts selling an Alta comparable e-dirt bike in the next year or two (I'm skeptical they will), it will be very expensive, so I think there will still be a market for a more affordable used high performance e-dirt bike like the Altas for some time to come.

And meanwhile we're enjoying ripping around on these super fun bikes, makes me smile every time I ride it. -Ed
I priced the new 2020 KTM Freeride E-XC at the local dealer in Sunnyvale CA. They had 2 in stock last week. Out the door cost with tax/license/fees was going to be $12,600! An extra battery would be $4000, if they had them available to sell, which they do not.
 

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