Custom built dirt bikes. WAS IT HARD TO RIDE THE CUSTOM ELECTRIC BIKE?

Custom Octane One Zircus DJ (with DYEDbro’s Matrix Frame Protector)

The Zircus is an aluminium all-round dirt frame perfect for playing in the city and off-road. It’s a lightweight and strong aluminium frame set with ‘Pro’ dirtjump geometry designed to fit 26” wheels, forks with 80-140mm travel and a single speed drivetrain. However the frame includes a removable derailleur hanger so you can convert the bike into serious all-purpose off-road machine with gears if needed. Designed for riders who prefer the feel of aluminium frames. slack and stabile than the radical steel Void frame. The BB is lowered for more stability, the top tube and chain stays are slightly longer than those in the Void and the head tube angle is more slack. Tough enough for jumps, perfect for pump-tracks, comfortable enough for trail riding.

The Zircus uses beefy AL-6061 tubes that give it a super clean look. Behind the simple looks you can find nice tech details such as custom shaped and butted tubes (a very strong DT near HT area with no need for an additional external gusset), a new custom shaped fully integrated tapered head tube, custom rounded smooth looking tubes and sweet arched seat stays bridge that give lot’s of tire clearance.

This frame is all that you will need to rip like a pro in any terrain. Although the Zircus is a very strong frame it weighs only 2.1kg and has a very reasonable price.

INCREDIBLE BIKES YOU’LL WANT TO RIDE

Draco Bikes Custom Built Octane One Zircus Dirt Jumper

custom, built, dirt, bikes, hard

Description

ZIRCUS aluminium dirt / all round frame for 26” wheels

The Zircus is an aluminium all-round dirt frame perfect for playing in the city and off-road. It’s a lightweight and strong aluminium frame set with ‘Pro’ dirtjump geometry designed to fit 26” wheels, forks with 80-140mm travel and a single speed drivetrain. However the frame includes a removable derailleur hanger so you can convert the bike into serious all-purpose off-road machine with gears if needed. Designed for riders who prefer the feel of aluminium frames. slack and stabile than the radical steel Void frame. The BB is lowered for more stability, the top tube and chain stays are slightly longer than those in the Void and the head tube angle is more slack. Tough enough for jumps, perfect for pump-tracks, comfortable enough for trail riding.

The Zircus uses beefy AL-6061 tubes that give it a super clean look. Behind the simple looks you can find nice tech details such as custom shaped and butted tubes (a very strong DT near HT area with no need for an additional external gusset), a new custom shaped fully integrated tapered head tube, custom rounded smooth looking tubes and sweet arched seat stays bridge that give lot’s of tire clearance.

This frame is all that you will need to rip like a pro in any terrain. Although the Zircus is a very strong frame it weighs only 2.1kg and has a very reasonable price.

custom, built, dirt, bikes, hard

MAIN FEATURES

-material: A6061-T6 custom formed and butted tubes.recommended fork travel: 80-140mm.top tube (physical c-c): 571 mm / 22.5”.chainstays: 385 mm / 15.1” slammed.frame size: 335 mm / 13.2”.head tube: integrated tapered IS42/IS52, head tube length 115mm.fits forks with standard 1-1/8” or tapered 1.5 – 1-1/8” steerer tubes.head tube stack: 115mm / 4.5”.BB shell: standard threaded 68mm (compatible with MTB cranks and 3pcs BMX cranks with Euro BB).biggest chainring: up to ~34t.rear hub: spacing O.L.D 135x10mm, suggested bolt-on hubs.disk brake mount IS (International Standard), max rotor size: up to 185mm.disk brake only (no V-brakes mount).tires: maximum size recommended 26”x2.35”.seat post/clamp: 30.9mm / 34.9mm.max seat post insertion 275mm.rear derailleur: optional bolt-on hanger sold separately.clean look.weight: ~2.09kg

Geometry

-angles with 505 mm fork (around 120mm travel): head angle: 68.5 deg, seat tube angle: 71.5deg, BB:.20mm, WB: ~1041mm.angles with 485 mm fork (around 100mm travel): head angle: 69.5 deg, seat tube angle: 72.5deg, BB:.25mm, WB: ~1033mm BB: bottom bracket height WB: wheel base (approx)

DRACO BIKES CUSTOM OCTANE ONE ZIRCUS COMPONENTS

Inspired by the opening scene of the classic movie Matrix, DYEDbro brings you this new design with a bit of DYEDbro spice.

To have a customized Dirt Jumper complete build of your choice, please contact our builder directly. He’s happy to answer any and all your questions about our bikes and products. Scott’s direct line is (561) 693-0180 or email: info@dracobikes.com

American Dirt Bike Brands

With higher expenditure in labor, materials, and overall operation, dirt bikes made in the USA found it difficult to compete with most imported products. Still, two brands made their name in the industry. You can still find some of their most popular models being used and sold, especially second-hand units.

ATK Dirt Bike

Mostly marketing their old dirt bike models, selling parts, and distributing service manuals, ATK Motorcycles’ main headquarter is located in Centerville, Utah. They started operating in 1985 and produced two main series, the Rotax and Cannondale. Both also have several models.

The ATK produced featured the patented A-Trak machine, formerly known as Anti-Tension Kettenantrieb. It’s an engine with improved handling due to chain torque elimination.

The first few models made a name because of the several competition wins in a span of one year, specifically from 1985 to 1986. These wins included the 1985 Four-Stroke Nationals Finals, 1985 ABC Superbikes Event Semi-Finals, 13th Overall at Ascot TT Nationals Semi-Finals, 1986 Four-Stroke Championships, and 1986 CNC Four-Stroke Nationals.

Rotax (From 1988 to 2001)

Of course, improvements were made not just in the engine but also the unit’s body and frame. This series is available in two-stoke 250 and 406 engines and four-stroke 350 and 604 engines. You’ll also find two different models, Motocross (Mx) and Cross Country (CC). In other year models, each model was available in two different starter features, namely kickstart and electric.

Throughout the years, other upgrades included eco-friendly features, better tires, double exhausts, and self-cooling engines. The Rotax series’ last models were released in 2001, and they are the 250/260 Enduro, 605 Enduro, and the 600 Dirt Tracker.

Cannondale (From 2002 to 2008)

The other ATK series was the Cannondale that included the upgraded versions of the 2001 Rotax models. Other models introduced were:

  • 125, 350, 450, 500, and Mini Enduro
  • 450 and 500 Dirt Tracker
  • 700 Two-Stroke, and 450 SuperMotard

Alta Motors

Being one of the most popular American made dirt bike brands, Alta Motors wasn’t as established as ATK Motorcycles and didn’t last long in the industry. It opened its doors in 2007, but in 2019, the Canadian group BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) bought the companies assets. Still, Alta Motors maintains a legacy in the modern electric motorcycle industry.

This Brisbane, California-based company had several electric bike line-ups, including Supermoto (SM), an Enduro (EX), and a Motocross (MX). The latter being the most popular series, below are two models that made a name.

Alta Motors Redshift MX

In comparison with other MX2 and Lites classes, Alta Motors’ Redshift MX had no air filter, oil system, and internal combustion engine. Rather, the unit has a 350-volt lithium battery that pumps up to 5.8kWh of speed, a lightweight orientation of 261 pounds, and a clutch-free transmission.

Additionally, the Alta Motors Redshift MX has a PMAC motor with a maximum power of 42HP and a max torque of 120 feet-pounds. It’s also equipped with a lightweight chassis, a dirt-track suspension, and reliable Brembo brakes.

Alta Motors Redshift MXR

As the last model of an electric motorcycle released by the company, the Redshift MXR is an upgraded version of the Redshift MX. Its motor produces a maximum power of 50hp, a torque of 147 feet-pounds, and a speed level of 14,000 RPM.

It’s also worth noting that the MXR’s motor has a water-cooled case, so you can ride it even when the temperature is high. It also has a waterproof and dust-proof design, so it requires little to no maintenance.

Another great upgrade is its battery, which has two off-board charging systems, namely 3.3kW and 2.7kW. When you use a 240-volt charger, it will take 1.5 hours to get a 100% battery power, while three hours if you use a standard 120-volt charger.

The unit’s engine control unit (ECU) has four maps: Sport, Eco, Overclocked, and Performance. Depending on which map you tune the unit in, the battery can last up to approximately four hours when you use it in the woods, while 25 minutes when motocrossing.

The Cobra Dirt Bike Brand

Located in Hillsdale, Michigan, Cobra Moto has been specializing in manufacturing mini motocross bikes since 1993. They have their own RD, engineering, business operations, assembly, welding, and machining departments.

You should note, though, that you can’t consider their products as American made dirtbikes since they’re only designed for motocross and not for “real” off-road, dangerous terrains. The company’s bikes for the youth are said to have received hundreds of national titles as of writing.

Motorcycles

Under the Cobra Moto motorcycle series, you’ll currently find five different models, namely CX50 JR, CX50 SRX, CX50SRX FWE, CX65, and CX50P3. All of them have two-stroke engines with cooling casing.

They’re also lightweight enough to be handled by young riders, but not too lightweight, which might cause an accident while riding. Similarly, each of the models is durable enough to withstand the test of time. That is, of course, with proper and regular maintenance.

  • 2021 Cobra CX50P3: This is a popular beginner-friendly motocross bike with a 50cc venom-type engine and one-speed automatic transmission. It has a ground clearance of 178mm and an approximate weight of 79 pounds.
  • 2021 Cobra CX50 JR: A little heavier and with a higher ground clearance than the CX0P3, this unit is ideal for beginning riders. It has the same engine type and transmission as the CX0P3.
  • 2021 Cobra CX50SRX or CX50SRX King: Having a similar engine and transmission as the two units above, this model has a higher ground clearance and total weight.
  • 2021 CX50SRX or CX50SRX FWE: Featuring almost the same specs as the King, the FWE has twin radiators and more power, torque, and over-rev.
  • 2021 Cobra CX65: This unit has a 65cc engine equipped with an electronic power valve and a six-speed sequential transmission. It also has the highest ground clearance at 250mm.

Is KTM American Made?

Now that we’ve discussed famous and reliable American made dirt bike brands, let’s talk about a dirt bike brand often thought of as USA-based because of its two dealerships in the country.

The Company

Officially named KTM AG, they are a manufacturer based in Austria founded in 1992 and formerly called KTM Sportmotorcycle AG. They’re well-known for their off-road supermoto, motocross, and enduro off-road bikes. They also specialize in manufacturing sports cars and street motorcycles.

The Dirt Bikes

If you don’t want to opt for American made dirtbikes for adults, especially since they’re mostly old models, KTM has a lot to offer.

Home Made Electric Dirt Bike- Riding Rather B Welding’s Full Custom E-bike at Durhamtown

The MX Models

The MX line-up offered by KTM has four, two-stroke 2021 models. Two of them are for adults, while the 2021 65 SX is designed for kids between the ages of eight and 12, and the 2021 50 SX is best for beginning riders, aged four to 10.

For their four-stroke MX models, you can find four 2021 editions and one 2020 unit that all have great features for off-road terrains and motocross racetracks. Lastly, KTM also has an electric MX perfect for inexperienced and experienced junior riders.

The Enduro Series

Similar to the MX line-up, the Enduro series is available in two-stroke and four-stroke models. Additionally, there are three limited edition two-stroke Enduros. The 2021 300 EXC TPI Erzbergrodeo that comes with a unique graphic kit and KTM PowerParts, and the TPI Six Days units that have top-of-the-line KTM features.

On the other hand, the four-stroke Enduro units have features that work for riders of all skill levels. They are reliable both off-road and on motocross racetracks. They have great torque, low weight, and engine efficiency.

The Supermoto

The Supermoto only has one model: the 2020 KTM 690 SMC R. Like any other KTM bikes, this is easy to handle and ergonomically designed. It has a powerful, low-revolution 690 LC4 engine that consumes fuel economically; in fact, it only requires 10,000 km service intervals.

Other Dirt Bike Manufacturers

With a limited number of USA-made dirt bikes, you might encounter problems searching for a model you can use on your training, adventures, or competitions. We understand that the US has some of the best standards and strict regulations for manufactured products. However, like KTM, there are other reliable dirt bike manufacturers that you can consider.

Yamaha

Yamaha Motor Company is among the most popular and oldest manufacturers of road and off-road bikes, as well as motorcycles and scooters. They have a selection of two-stroke and four-stroke units for racers, adventurers, and hobbyists. Like American made dirt bike companies, though, the great quality of their products comes with a high price tag.

Honda

Honda Motor Company is another established Japan-based manufacturer that has several factories and dealerships worldwide. They have off-road bikes for trail riding, competitions, and adventures, as well as dual-sport models. With their great variety of units for all skill levels and riders, their products are also quite pricey. The good thing is that with their popularity, you can easily find compatible accessories such as a quality clutch cover.

Kawasaki

If a combination of affordability and reliability is what you’re looking for, the Kawasaki brand is worth considering. They have motocross and cross country units for adults, whether in regular or full sizes. They also offer several motocross models for younger riders.

Buying your own dirt bike has its advantages

Buying your own dirt bike also has its disadvantages.

  • You are not aware of the quality of source pricing of the individual components that the manufacturer or assembler has incorporated into the dirt bike you are buying.
  • There is not much you can do to specify any components you want to see on your bike as it is as per the manufacturer’s standards and component sourcing policies.

Best Option – Buy and Incrementally Build

A decision that you make on our topical question of whether you build or buy your own dirt bike fully depends on the following, among others:

  • your budget or the investment amount you are willing to put down
  • level of quality you expect in your bike
  • how durable you want your bike to be
  • how knowledgeable you are in DIY procedures to build your own dirt bike
  • how much control you want in selecting components for your bike
  • how much time you are willing to invest in this project

If you are a serious DIY person who has the know-how and is well experienced in building dirt bikes then building from scratch is a possibility. I would say 99.9% of the population needs to go a different route. There are reasons why dirt bike manufacturers spend millions of dollars year after year perfecting their product line. To assume that you can produce the same quality of a product yourself is a pipe dream, to say the least.

If you fit into the 99.9% of people looking for a bike but are not extremely experienced, then the sensible option for you would be to buy your dirt bike at a reputed brand store near you.

The big catch for this is that you need ready money to pay upfront or the ability to pay monthly installments with applicable interest. Of course, you need a good credit history and a means of income to finance your purchase.

Let us consider the probable best option for most people. This is very simple to understand and implement.

You buy a cheaper model with decent parts or components built into its assembly. All the better for you if the bike is discounted. Try ensuring the bike has a strong frame and attached fork. Certain components are bound to wear out and need replacement as you continue using it. When you do your replacements, buy better quality components for your bike.

In this way, you will save money on your initial investment and learn a few DIY processes along the way.

Takeaway

We have checked out three options to answer our topical question. To buy a bike or build your dirt bike? While both building or buying have their own pros and cons, we have come up with another option that is probably best.

  • You can build your bike from scratch if you have the experience and know-how of the DIY process and time to invest, or
  • you can buy your good brand quality dirt bike if you have the money to invest but not the time or DIY knowledge involved in building a dirt bike, or
  • you can buy a decent bike and replace/upgrade worn-out components as wear and tear occur due to use, which could be the best option for most people.

Maybe now is the right time to head to a dirt bike store near you and start weighing out the options. Don’t forget to check marketplace, Craigslist, or your favorite app for used bikes as well.

HOW FAST WAS THE SSE ELECTRIC BIKE?

It was impressively quick! For the first two laps, the bike rivals 450 four-stroke power, but after two hard laps it starts to feel more like a 350, and shortly after that a 250. It is difficult to gauge just how fast the bike is without the sound and vibrations coming from the engine. It’s easy to twist the throttle aggressively and be caught off guard by how fast you’re going. It’s also unimpressive to stand by the track and watch other test riders ride it. It is especially confusing when you have to clear big jumps. Without a roaring engine, it’s hard for your mind to process how fast the bike is going. It’s like watching a flashy young Pro rider and a smooth and experienced Pro on the track at the same time. Your eyes are drawn to the flashy kid who looks and sounds faster (and is much harder on his equipment), but when the gate drops or the lap times are revealed, the smoother rider is surprisingly quick. Watching the electric bike go is similar, only it’s magnified because it’s so quiet.

The biggest difference between an electric bike and an internal combustion engine dirt bike is the consistency of power. Dain’s YZ450E was snappy and fast for the first couple laps, but the battery’s strength slowly depleted throughout the session.

HOW DID THE SSE ELECTRIC BIKE HANDLE?

Prior to the 2023 Yamaha YZ450F, the words “nimble” and “YZ450F” had never been used in the same sentence—especially not with the 2015 YZ450F; however, even with the Yamaha chassis, this bike didn’t ride like a Yamaha. On any dirt bike, the handling characteristics are never the sole product of the frame and suspension—the powerplant always affects the bike’s balance. A 125 two-stroke engine, with its lightweight piston and crank, has less “rotating mass” with less inertia than a 450 four-stroke. This gives 125s a nimbler quality on the track and allows them to lean over easier into turns.

Electric bikes have almost zero rotating mass inside the motor, and that means that they have less rotating mass nestled inside of the bike’s frame. The motor produces power, but it doesn’t produce inertia. All of the inertia is created in the front and rear wheels. This allows electric bikes to lean into corners in a different manner.

Additionally, Dain added a regeneration mode (re-gen) into the bike, which acted like engine braking and recouped some of the kilowatts that we expended on the track whenever we let off the throttle. The re-gen was also linked to the rear brake lever; whenever you pulled in the brake, the bike regenerated more energy to extend the ride time ever so slightly. Additionally, Dain has ways to cut the power whenever the brakes are pulled in. This means that if you’re on the throttle and you drag the rear brake coming down a hill or on a straightaway, the power is cut until you let off the brake. We didn’t want any part of this, but it was interesting to learn about the capabilities of the SSE.

The re-gen mode was preferred because it acted like engine braking. It helped load the front end coming into turns, which helped us set up for the corners because of the increased traction. With the re-gen turned off, we had to rely much more on the brakes. The bike handled more like a downhill mountain bike; the rear end skipped out over bumps, and it was difficult to turn.

Long-time MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton came to test the bike with us, and he was a great help, because he had been a test rider on the Alta electric motocross bike project. One of his main quibbles with all e-bikes is their throttle response. Without being able to feel the engine rev up or use a clutch, it can be difficult to figure out when and how to get on the throttle coming out of turns. As with switching from a two-stroke to a four-stroke, it takes time to learn the different styles.

WHAT IS THE WORST PART ABOUT THE SSE ELECTRIC BIKE?

The worst part about this homemade e-bike was the battery life. Because it was so much fun to ride, we just wanted to keep going; however, we can’t knock Dain on the battery life because he built this bike for himself, and he doesn’t ride longer than 20 minutes at a time. Of course, he would like to have a longer battery life, because then he wouldn’t have to charge it as often, but he prefers having big power for a short time over having small power for a long time. Plus, Dain has three young kids who ride, so while his e-bike is charging, Dain either rides his YZ450F or he’s helping his daughters have fun on their bikes.

Beyond the battery life, the second downside of the SSE electric bike (and any electric dirt bike for that matter) was the lack of engine noise. The power was snappy and fun, dare we say “electrifying,” but the RC-car-like motor noises combined with the chain slapping against the swingarm, rocks hitting the fenders, and knobbies bending with the terrain, makes for a less-than-exciting sound. All these noises make you feel like you’re riding a mountain bike or a cheap Chinese dirt bike. Yes, the rider experience is still thrilling and fun, but onlookers are perplexed by the quiet ride. It’s hard to tell when an e-bike rider is going fast, and it’s visually confusing when you see one jumping a sizable leap. You also don’t hear them coming through the pits, which can make them dangerous to pedestrians.

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