High Performance Ride with Alta Motors’ RedShift SM
Electric motors are becoming a more serious norm as manufacturers continue stepping up their game. Zero, Victory and Alta are a few companies that already have their electric offerings on the market, and there’s no doubt that reputable brands like Yamaha, BMW and Haley Davidson could also be having something in the offing.
High performance, charge times, battery range, build as well as the general quality of the electric motorcycle have definitely improved, as Albert Khoury of Digital Trends discovered when he received an invitation from Alta Motors to test one of their latest electric motorcycles, the RedShift SM.
The minimal maintenance expense (no gasoline, no oil change, no top ends), negligible recharging cost and next to no noisy exhaust are turning electric transportation into an increasingly viable option particularly for the commuters.
The new RedShift SM electric bike from Alta Motors is the latest exotic metal that could change how we look and perceive electric motoring. The SM–short for supermoto is an amazing recreational two-wheeled vehicle that has made a bold statement in the transportation industry, and which marks the beginning of a bright future for electric motors.
“This is just the beginning,” the Alta Motors CEO told me. “It’s a performance statement, and the potential is really broad.”
RedShift SM bike is narrow and lightweight, rendering it an easy slide. According to Marc Fenigstein, the co-founder and CEO of Alta Motors, a San Francisco-based company, riders can maneuver on very low speed while keeping both their feet on the pegs.
The powerful motocross indeed feels electric and riders can expect to drive 50 miles of range although it all depends on how you slide on the road. Its Brembo brakes and the adjustable WP suspension give the bike more range, making it ideal for racing.
The RedShift SM electric bike is powered by an in-house built 5.8 kWh battery which takes about three to four hours to fully charge. The battery packs also come in handy as they can be swapped out in spans of 10 minutes.
The Alta battery provides the SM motor with a 50 mile range “based on recreational trail and mixed road use,” while MX’s range is two hours under similar conditions. The battery is designed to be waterproof and can withstand any form of shock and vibration.
The 14,000 RPM brushless motor is water-cooled and its rear wheel can snuff out 40 horsepower and 34 pound-feet of torque. When combined with a 3.5:1 gear diminution, the bike delivers 122 lb-ft torque at the counter shaft from zero RPM. The 30kW SM weights 15 lbs and has the power to speed up when the throttle is goosed.
Want some fun between your commutes? Alta’s Redshift SM is definitely a high performance electric bike motorcycle that riders and enthusiasts have been waiting for all this while. The Redshift line includes the electric supermoto and motocross 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 three motorcycle fanatics; Fenigstein, Jeff Sand and Derek Dorrestyn. The team has since brought on board other personnel from GM, Tesla, Toyota, AMA racing and Volkswagen.
The 275-pound supermoto makes it extremely easy for riders to take excursions through people, potholes, and the aggressive cabbies in the city. Even on bumps, the bike absorbs the impact so nicely.
Beginners can hop on and crawl without having to worry about stalling. Those who enjoy kicking things along the track or on back roads are also guaranteed lots of fun. It’s so unbelievable that such an exciting machine can be street legal.
Alta Motors’ electric RedShift SM line features race bikes with comfortable seats and firm suspension which can be dialed down when necessary. The company’s MX is designed to be a track-only motocross and not a commuter. As such, we can only hope that Alta’s next big thing will be more street-focused.
Alta Motors’ street legal Redshift SM currently retails for $15,500 while its MX costs $15,000. Of course, this isn’t cheap, however; its build quality makes it worthwhile. Whether interested in buying one for yourself or not, keep in mind that the two performance machines are available for pre-order on the company website.
To sum up the Redshift SM…
- Easy to ride
- Instant torque
- No more oil changes
- Adjustable motor dynamics
- Supermoto construction can take abuse
- High price
- Low range
- 110-volt charging only
- Quiet operation takes time getting used to