Why haven't one of the major mfr's released an Alta comparable full sized dirt bike yet?

F451

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Seattle
#1
I think Honda, KTM, and Yamaha are our best bets for the next mfr to release a full sized, full performance dirt bike, but they haven't yet.

Why not?

What or whom is holding them hostage on this? Is it some type of petro chemical cabal tin foil old men sitting around smoking cigars and counting money while the needy e-dirt bike fans grovel for satisfaction scenario?

I am wondering if the majors are delaying the release of these bikes as long as they can for fear they will make less money on parts and maintenance? Is their significant push back from their dealers and after market about selling full sized e-dirt bikes?

I know it sounds silly, but I just can't figure out why one of them hasn't released one yet. The obvious answer would be they just don't see it as a profitable venture yet, but I think they would sell every single bike they produce and people would love the bikes, just like they did with the Altas. With their deep pockets, established dealer networks, etc, all of the obstacles that Alta had to overcome are a non-issue.

Or they just haven't reached Alta levels of performance yet? I can't believe they can't duplicate, or come pretty close to what Alta did, its not like they can't get their hands on some Altas to study them.

What's holding them up?

I guess they are too busy making cash with their ICE offerings to take the whole e-dirt bike segment seriously. Meanwhile we have all kinds of e-dirt bikes cropping up like mushrooms from all kinds of small businesses and home brewed enthusiasts.

Does anyone know any of the big shots from Honda, KTM, or Yamaha and can ask them for me? It's kinda killing me, the wondering and waiting.

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Philip

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#2
With Alta gone, all you see on the internet now, outside of this forum, are the haters who were never going to buy an electic dirt bike in the first place. The idea has died. Temporarily.

But have you noticed how the prices for e-bicycles have gone down? And how they now have more and more power? It is only a matter of time when 40 and 50hp versions come out. Then the Big 6 will wake up again.

Right now, nobody at the Big 6 has the balls to push for electric dirt bikes and risk embarrassing themselves. But I am sure they will have to make that decision over the next few years... As soon as the stock market clashes, the world ends, and the economy starts recovering again.
 

C5tor

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San Ramon, CA
#3
Well, my understanding is that Alta sold under 1000 of these cool bikes in 3 years. Not a super profitable niche. Just look at the ATV market over the last decade, where most manufacturers stopped making small sport ATVs altogether.

Another factor is the durability of modern bikes. Used bikes are so reliable that you can easily buy a 5, 10 or even 20 year old dirt bike for a fraction of a new bike purchase. Throw electric bike durability and low maintenance into the pic, and it might be a decade before you would need to replace your bike with a new one. (1000 hours is a LONG time for major maintenance!)

The quality of the Alta in particular probably works against other manufacturers introducing new models anytime soon. If they introduce a model and it isn’t up to Alta performance levels, they will be criticized for making an inferior product. (“An Alta has twice the HP as this new bike..." or "The fit and finish isn't as good as the Alta...” or "It's cool, but not Alta cool..." etc.) I hear that all the time in the Sur-Ron forums: "It's a peppy little bike, but it's certainly no Alta."

In the meantime, I guess we can just ride around on our awesome unicorn electric dirt bikes and look cool. Mine never fails to draw an admiring eye and lots of questions when I am out riding. But that only happens because it is so unique. If everyone had a kickass high power electric dirt bike, my bike wouldn’t be quite as cool.

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Redwolf

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#4
In a word. "Range"
With the exclusion of MX and closed course type riding.

The cost in dollars and weight, it is just not possible yet to make a bike that will appeal to a broad enough demographic. If it's light enough, it won't go far enough, if it will go far enough, it will be too heavy. And modern consumers just don't want to think long enough out to justify the added expense up front for cheaper operation in the future.

As much as I love my Alta, I just found myself needing to add a new ICE bike to my fleet to allow me to ride more than 10 miles from home. And until an electric motorcycle has 100 mile range with a curb weight of 250lb or less, I just don't see the majors taking interest. Just not enough market to entice them with profits.
 

Philip

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#6
It's only the traditional bike manufacturers who do not have the profit margins. They spend maybe $1,000 to build a gas bike and the rest is spent on the manufacturing equipment, facilities, labor, marketing, dealers, and service. With electric bikes you can and must cut most of these costs.
 

teddyquinn

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New York, NY
#9
My money (hope) is on Yamaha, since I do like the brand and their trials concept is awesome. They've also been a leader in the electric, pedal-assist market for some time (nearly 30 years). Also, the tail-end of this video from a couple of years ago:
 

F451

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Seattle
#10
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses guys! I agree with every one of your comments.

Sooooo, no one knows any big shots at any of the mfrs? C'mon, don't hold out on me, I know one of you knows someone. 6 degrees of separation, Kevin Bacon, and all that.

I know if I can just lobby directly to some big shot all of our wildest dreams will come true, Lol.

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Motophyllic

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NY
#12
Even as great as the Alta is, it’s battery is only equivalent to .17 gallons of gas. The battery just needs to provide so much more for most people to justify it.

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Sumik

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Czech Republic
#13
The problem of producing electric dirt bikes is the business behind it. It's quite impossible to run the project profitable if you don't produce 1000 the same bikes a year! Alta Redshift is an absolutely cool bike which I love very much. But the project itself was a lost of about 30 milion USD!!! Why? Because (not only) the sold quantity of bikes was simply not enough. According to my information the number of produced bikes was less than 850. About 50 were used as trial prototypes, marketing bikes, for company's use, etc. and another about 50 were bought by dirt bikes producers to examine the competition. So the everage really sold production was about 250 bikes a year which is not enough to get good prices for purchased parts, to pay the staff, pay back the huge costs for all the molds, etc. Why should the big 6 canibalize their own business producing a bike which is less profitable than those which they produce now?
 

Sumik

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Czech Republic
#14
Serious question - how many of you would buy an electric dirt bike with followed parameters:
weight 265 lbs
power 40 kW (53 hp)
torque on wheel 8850 lbf in (1000 Nm)
battery 7 kWh
"recharge" in 1 minute
price 15.000 USD
Or may be a better wording - who of us (of you) would be able to sell 400 such bikes a year in the USA?
 

Redwolf

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#15
Serious question - how many of you would buy an electric dirt bike with followed parameters:
weight 265 lbs
power 40 kW (53 hp)
torque on wheel 8850 lbf in (1000 Nm)
battery 7 kWh
"recharge" in 1 minute
price 15.000 USD
Or may be a better wording - who of us (of you) would be able to sell 400 such bikes a year in the USA?
I think you're asking the wrong crowd, many of us have already bought that bike, without even as good a battery.

Selling one? I couldn't sell a glass of cool water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

But I definitely get your point.
 

Fod

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CA
#16
I only ride tracks, make that one track now. I'm content with our current battery... if recharge was 20 minutes or less, this would be huge and too good to be true! I have loved every ride with my mxr, and it will be my favorite bike of all time. I have gotten used to getting less riding in and a long rest between my motos, but for how well it rides and never having to worry about a miss shift (or worse false neutral) or bike seizing up, very low maintenance, no shifting, ... my mxr is priceless!!!
 

CookieMonster

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New Hamphire
#17
I notice no has mention noise pollution in this discussion. For off-roading and MX, which is under constant threat of closer due to noise pollution, electrics offer a great solution. My experience riding my ICE bike in New England has been one of scorn by residents in the area. In contrast, when I am on my Alta, people wave at me and think nothing of my presents. And then there's the parent who can now buy an e-bike for for their kid at Walmart for $200 to ride around the yard with little maintenance and no hassle from their neighbors over the noise. I suspect manufacturers will need to address the noise concerns as access to riding areas become more of a problem and younger riders who start on electrics motorcycles mature.
 

F451

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Seattle
#18
Sorry, I think you are stuck with us for the foreseeable future :devilish:
And you guys are stuck with me as I love my Alta and its not going anywhere, Lol. At least not for a while. Grip it and rip it!

And very interesting conversation guys.

Another thing that I don't think people who have not spent any time on an Alta appreciate, or get, is the nature of the ride, the combination of instant torque, minimal vibrations, quiet operation, no shifting/clutch, I LOVE it. It definitely different, and I think better, then riding an ICE bike. I can get in a "Zen" mode much quicker on the Alta, its pretty much right away when I ride it. I find it exhilarating and relaxing at the same time and I don't get as much of that with my ICE bikes which now seem kind of frantic with all the noise, chemical smells, rev'ing, shifting, clutching, etc.

And no doubt the perceived lack of profits is the reason the majors have not released full sized e-dirt bikes yet, but I think they are missing a major opportunity. Every single person that has ridden my Alta (its a bunch of people) has been blown away and kinda confused at the same time, it cracks me up. Its almost like they are trying not to like it and don't know what to do when they come back in all smiles. I've only had one guy who wasn't too impressed. And I'm not saying all those test riders wanted to plunk down big money for an e-dirt bike, but you can see the gears turning in their pre-mix addled heads, Lol.

And the reason I'm lobbying for one of the majors to drop a full sized e-dirt bike is I'd like to see improvements to the breed, all the usual things we want like lighter weight, increased range, shorter charge times, lower cost, etc. All of that won't happen as quickly without a major mfr giving it a go.
 

Philip

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#19
Serious question - how many of you would buy an electric dirt bike with followed parameters:
weight 265 lbs
power 40 kW (53 hp)
torque on wheel 8850 lbf in (1000 Nm)
battery 7 kWh
"recharge" in 1 minute
price 15.000 USD
Or may be a better wording - who of us (of you) would be able to sell 400 such bikes a year in the USA?
Sign me up! If it recharges in 1 minute, then it is no different from a gas bike, which refuels in 1 minute. Except there is no maintenance. I am fully in.
 

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