What are electric dirt bikes
Dirt bikes are powered by a motor and fuel that powers the motor. With standard dirt bikes, gasoline is the fuel that powers the motor. Electric dirt bikes have a motor, just like gas-powered dirt bikes. If some of you were asking what electric dirt bikes are and what is the difference between dirt bikes and electric bikes, here is the answer:
Over the past decade, we have been seeing a rise in a new type of dirt bike.
Gas fueled motor VS Electric fueled motor
However, the electric motor is powered by electricity that comes from a battery.
With the dirt bike’s electric motor, the power is like your on-off light switch in your house.
This means that when you open the throttle on the electric bike, there is no lag, and you get ALL of the power at once.
Electric Dirt Bike
- Quiet – little to zero noise
- No Fuel (gas)
- No oil
- Instant electric power
- No gears
- No Clutch
- No kickstart
- Easy to use
You can also get a LOT of power out of a small electric dirt bike motor.
Electric dirt bikes are quiet and powerful, and the power really is like an on-off switch.
Unlike gas-powered dirt bikes, electric dirt bikes have little to no maintenance.
Electric dirt bikes have no gears, no clutch, and no kickstart. This could make the dirt bike easier to ride.
Having no clutch on the electric dirt bike will be something that we old-timers may have a hard time with.
If you have ever spent time on a gas-powered dirt bike, you know that a carburetor or fuel injection system determines a power curve.
Gas-powered fuel systems have come a long way but still cannot match the one-off switch that a battery-powered electric motor produces.
Keep in mind the electric dirt bike industry still is working on producing a battery-powered electric dirt bike motor that can produce the same amount of power as the 450 four-stroke gas-powered dirt bike.
Right now, you can still easily make a more powerful gas-powered dirt bike versus an electric dirt bike.
The battery technology which powers the electric motor is the weak point.
With major car manufacturers like Tesla Motors investing in battery technology, this, in my opinion, will trickle down to the electric dirt bikes.
This also makes us wonder if you can get the same range with a battery-powered electric dirt bike as a gas-powered dirt bike.
Companies like Alta Motors and Zero Motorcycles started to produce modern electric dirt bikes and electric motorcycles.
Alta Motors focused on the offroad or motocross type of electric dirt bikes.
note Alta Motors no longer makes electric dirt bikes…sad, I know.
Zero Motorcycles are more on-road electric motorcycles.
Zero Motorcycle claims that the cost of ownership over the lifetime of the motorcycle is cheaper with an electric bike versus a gas-powered motorcycle.
But both of these electric motorcycle companies are small and not considered mainstream.
We have companies like Honda and KTM jumping into the electric dirt bike game.
KTM already has produced the KTM FREERIDE E-XC
For 2020 KTM has announced their Youth or kids electric dirt bike, models
Honda motorcycles have also shown the world a prototype electric dirt bike.
Honda has built this electric dirt bike of their popular CRF frames.
Companies like KTM and Honda building electric dirt bikes are crucial to the survival of electric dirt bikes.
Honda and KTM have decades of experience building quality gas-powered motorcycles and dirt bikes.
They have the money, research/development, and distribution channels.
Odds are you have heard of Honda, and if you are a dirt biker, you have heard of both Honda and KTM.
Chances are you have owned on.
As I mentioned, the major dirt bike manufacturers need to build electric bikes in order for them to survive.
We have already seen Alta motors go the way of the earth, and it wasn’t because they didn’t make a quality electric dirt bike.
I hope this article has explained what are electric dirt bikes.
About Sam Oldham
My name is Sam Oldham. Growing up I tried to ride anything with 2 wheels that I could. I have spent the last decade or more riding motorcycles and dirt bikes. Even after all of these years I still feel the same excitement I felt when I first rode a dirt bike as a kid. I have been interested in Electric bikes for years. Please follow me as I try and learn everything I can from riding these electric bikes.
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MCN guide: choosing an electric dirt bike in the UK
While the motorcycle world at large is taking its time to warm to electric alternatives to petrol, there’s one category that’s embracing the tech with open arms in the UK: electric dirt bikes.
Lightweight, unlikely to break down, torquey and with barely any servicing to worry about, UK electric dirt bikes are fast becoming a genuine alternative to petrol models. This is especially the case at the intersection between electric bicycles, electric motorcycles and electric mopeds.
If you’re using your bike for competitions or on private land (with the owner’s permission) then you don’t need to worry about the legal side of things. But if you want to use your electric dirt bike on the road or public byways then there are a few things you need to know.
Electronically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) can be ridden everywhere a bicycle can by anyone aged 14 or over without a licence as long as they adhere to the following rules.
- An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.
- It must show either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor.
- It must also show either the battery’s voltage or the maximum speed of the bike.
- Its electric motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph.
- An EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).
Any electric bike that doesn’t meet the above rules counts as an electric motorcycle or electric moped and must be registered and taxed. You can only ride it on the road if you can the relevant licence and you must wear a helmet.
Road-legal electric dirt bikes for sale in the UK
A 50kg crossover between a bicycle and a motorcycle with 8bhp and 28lb.ft of torque on tap and a 60 mile range. Not to be confused with the cheaper and non-road-legal X model, the L1E costs £4995 and requires at least a CBT licence to ride.
The Kalk (Kalk And) is the first road-legal model from Swedish fans of awkward bike names, Cake. The bike weighs 69kg and has a power rating of 13.5bhp meaning a top speed of 56mph. It’s much costlier than the Sur-ron with a price tag of £12,500 and you’ll need at least a CBT to ride it.
Competition only electric dirt bikes
Stark VARG motocross racer
Meet the Stark VARG: An all-new electric motocross racer claiming to outperform its combustion-engined rivals in every way.
Developed over the last two years on the outskirts of Barcelona, the Stark VARG (‘strong wolf’ in Swedish) weighs a claimed 110kg ready to race, with a suggested power figure of circa 78.9bhp.
Said to be more powerful than its 450cc petrol-powered competition, the bike has been developed alongside Stark Future by former AMA Motocross Champion Sébastien Tortelli and AMA Supercross race winner Josh Hill.
This performance is then delivered in a range of customisable power settings, with maps to mimic a 125 two-stroke, up to a 650 four-stroke – controlled via a smartphone app, which also doubles up as a dashboard for the bike. There are over 100 riding modes in total.
Housing that motor is a lightweight chassis, which uses the unit as a stressed component and features a carbon fibre sub section to help keep the weight down.
Providing the energy is a compact sub-32kg 6kWh battery, which claims to offer both full Gran Prix intensity or up to six hours of gentle trail riding – a performance they claim is similar to a 450 four-stroke with a full tank of fuel. Expect between one and two hours to recharge it.
On top of that, other quality touches include Pirelli MX32 tyres and KYB suspension with 310mm of front and rear travel.
If you’re interested, the Stark VARG is available to order online now for €11,900 – around £10,170 to you and me. Visit www.starkfuture.com
Ducati MIG-RR eMTB
Ducati paired up with eMTB specialists Thok to create the MIG-RR. Costing £5412, the MIG can be ridden anywhere a bicycle can with no licence requirement.
That’s because it’s an electric mountain bike rather than a dirt bike, but it’s still available to buy in the UK.
Yamaha XE4 Electric Dirt Bike First Ride Review
Electric dirt bikes have been making waves in the motocross industry in recent years. While new bikes like the Stark VARG and Flux Primo have garnered a lot of attention, the loss of Alta has left many wondering when Honda, Yamaha, and KTM will enter the full-size electric dirt bike market.
Amidst this yearning for new technology, it’s easy to overlook the decades of perfectly tuned chassis that have been developed by the best engineers, test riders, and racers in the industry, and they are ripe for electric conversion. Luckily, we’ve got some companies trickling into this space to make electric conversions that bolt on to some of the most proven motocross bikes that our industry has created.
Enter the Yamaha XE4 Electric Dirt Bike, built by Xtreme Electric MX (XEMX).
After experiencing a few successful electric conversions (and with other future ones in the works, wink wink), our attention has been captivated by the XE4 Yamaha, expertly crafted by XEMX. Our intrigue was piqued after witnessing JoJo Toole’s remarkable performance on the bike during the ECR eMoto Race at the 2022 Red Bull TKO.
XEMX Yamaha Electric Dirt Bike Specifications and Details
XEMX makes 2 different kits, the XE2 (air cooled) and the XE4 (liquid cooled).
The XE4 is a bolt-on conversion kit that is compatible with the Yamaha 250 and 450 YZF and YZFX bikes from 2014-2019 for the 250 chassis and 2014-2018 for the 450 chassis.
The liquid-cooled version utilizes the stock YZF radiators with a small 12v pump to circulate Engine Ice. Liquid cooling is the best way to keep the motor cool, making the XE4 more efficient the cooler it runs. The XE4 also features a proprietary fast-change battery swap technology, which is the fastest battery change on the market, taking less than 10 seconds to swap fresh batteries.
The XE4 bike that underwent our testing process is built upon a 2016 Yamaha YZ250F Chassis. XEMX currently utilizes a 12T front and 52T rear Sprocket, sometimes replaced by a 12T-54T combination. The bike’s components, such as sprockets, plastic, suspension, and grips, are all stock Yamaha parts. Front sprockets are sourced from a stock YZF450.
XEMX is currently experimenting with several different controllers to determine which one provides the best overall performance. The controllers under consideration include the Curtis 1236SE, Votol EM-260S, EBMX X-9000, Fardriver, Kelly, and the A5, which is a Curtis clone. All of the controllers will undergo racing tests to verify which one works best for the bike.
The Curtis 1236SE controller, rated at 450 amps at 72 volts, was the controller we tested on our bike.
XEMX’s batteries are rated at 72V nominal and 600 Amp max output, with a total capacity of 4.3kWh. Since the batteries are custom-made, XEMX can modify the type and amount of cells to meet the customer’s needs.
XEMX has developed proprietary fast-change battery swap technology that utilizes a modified aerospace connector, delivering 600 amps per terminal. The battery compartment features the lid formerly used for the Yamaha YZF gas cap. It’s a clean, straightforward design that takes less than 10 seconds to swap fresh batteries.
The bike has three ride modes that are fully programmable, as well as a reverse, auto regen braking, and options for lever regen braking. Additionally, the bike offers optional motor sounds with a speaker, a feature we’ve never encountered before.
The XEMX Yamaha XE4 is a custom order bike, but kits will be for sale once beta testing is complete. You can see below for a breakdown of cost options for the kits.
Riding the Yamaha XE4 Electric Dirt Bike
While we’ve had the opportunity to ride the Stark VARG and Alta Redshift, it’s more common to see the ECR crew on the KTM Freeride EXC and smaller, modified electric dirt bikes like the SurRon Lightbee X.
The XEMX Yamaha XE4 provides an incredible experience. The Yamaha YZF Chassis has become a reliable platform over the years, largely due to its unique reverse motor design that creates horsepower unmatched by the other manufacturers in the pro MX scene.
Since the motor is replaced by the electric powertrain in this bike, the gas power plant is no longer a talking point. However, the design allows XEMX to adapt the space for their motor and battery.
The Yamaha chassis is renowned for its stability and surefootedness in rough terrain. The proven KYB SSS suspension is sought after by many riders and comes stock on Yamaha YZF bikes.
Riding the XEMX Yamaha XE4 is an experience that lives up to all the hype that the Yamaha YZF chassis has received in the stability and suspension department. The bike feels incredible, especially after riding sub-150-pound electric dirt bikes that struggle in rough sand whoop terrain in Florida. It’s like you’re riding a Yamaha YZF250F, albeit with an electric powertrain, which is a great thing.
If there’s any complaint about the YZF chassis, it’s that the bike sacrifices some front-end steering for stability. It’s a bike that is notoriously known for benefitting from riders that “steer with the rear”, or those who prefer stability over a sharp turning bike like KTM, Suzuki, or Honda. Needless to say, we are simply splitting hairs here, and adjustments can be made to improve the turning characteristics and front-end feel of the YZF chassis.
In our video about the Yamaha XE4 electric dirt bike, we did encounter some issues. The bike would fault if we hit a sand whoop too hard when we were hard on the throttle. Mark from XEMX explained that the sensor and magnet in the motor were slightly misaligned from each other, causing the bike to shut off intermittently. This can be a common issue in new motors, and XEMX has resolved 99% of the issue since filming, claiming it is just an issue with the older style connectors. Regardless, it’s is an issue that will be resolved before kits will be sold.
In the field, Mark from XEMX made some changes by dialing the power back as much as 20%. In other words, only 80% power was being used when we tested the bike. This particular controller we were testing was only rated for 450 Amps, and the batteries have the capacity to put out 600 Amps. Needless to say, there is a lot more power that can be created on this platform.
XEMX Yamaha XE4 Electric Dirt Bike Pricing
XEMX have not officially started to sell kits, but will make Custom Billet motors(to order) and the parts needed for those who want them first. With their complete A kit, and rolling frame prepped, it is possible to build the bike in one day.
You will need a Yamaha 250 YZF or FX 2014-2019 or 450 YZF 2014-2018 Rolling Frame.
These motors have all Ceramic bearing with a Carbon sleeved rotor. They are finished all Black. (Cerakoting or Powder coating is extra)
BILLET 6061 ALUMINUM MOTOR ALONE: 3,500.
XE4 ALL BILLET AXIAL FLUX MOTOR WITH CARBON FIBER SLEEVED ROTOR, LIQUID COOLED, CERAMIC BEARING, 2.08 TO 1 GEAR REDUCTION. MAX RATING OF 58 HP. @ 600 AMPS NOMINAL 38 HP.
COMPLETE MOTOR A KIT: 6,995.
XE4 BILLET MOTOR AND KIT, WHICH INCLUDES: 1-3
#1 COMPLETELY BUILT BATTERY TRAY, BATTERY SIDE BRACKETS, BUSS BARS AND
#2 BRACKETS, FRONT, MID AND TWO REAR SEAT BRACKETS CARBON FIBER AIR BOX
COVER, SEVEN PIVOT POINT HINGE, HALL THROTTLE, WATER PUMP, MAIN CONTACTOR,
DC TO DC CONVERTER,12 T FRONT SPROCKET, CARBON FIBER AND MID SEAT PAD.
#3 CURTIS 1236SE-6571 PRE PROGRAMMED CONTROLLER AND COMPLETE WIRING
HARNESS. POWER PANEL, MODE AND ON/OFF SWITCHES.
QUICK SWAP BATTERIES SOLD SEPARATELY FROM THE KIT: 3,295.
INR 25R Samsung (400) 18650 CELL BATTERY 500 AMP PEAK AT 84V 4KW
10 MODULES (40 18650 CELLS EACH) MOLICEL P42 and P45 Available now also.
OPTIONAL CHARGER: 250.
MODEL S2500 BATTERY CHARGER INPUT: 120V AC VOLT
OUTPUT: 84V=10AMP WITH LED DISPLAY AND FINISH CHARGE INDICATOR.
(OTHER CHARGER OPTIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE (HIGHER AMP/FASTER CHARGING)
OPTIONAL PROGRAMMER: 695.
HAND HELD PROGRAMMER FOR THE CURTIS SE1236-6571 CONTROLLER
OPTIONAL SEAT: 250.
CUSTOM SEAT CONCEPTS SEAT COVER FOR QUICK SWAP BATTERY SYSTEM.
In conclusion, the Yamaha XE4 Electric Dirt Bike is an innovative new twist on a proven chassis that is sure to give riders yearning for a full size electric motocross bike something to look into. With a powerful electric powertrain and proprietary fast-change battery swap technology, the XE4 is a true work of art.
Young riders. The reason we exist. The reason that the first ever KUBERG was created. To build a fun, quality, performance machine both to teach little hands to ride with ease and to give them enough power to rip it up and give it everything.
Young rider features
To ensure your child’s safety, a kill switch with a wristband will immediately disengage the motor when pulled out.
Young Rider Models
Tiny bike, limitless possibilities
The best bike out there for the smallest riders. A great tool to learn and sharpen their riding skills safely, with fully adjustable speed and acceleration, and with the capabilities to allow them to progress quickly.
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Learn the ways of the trails. Practice your riding skills and push the edge.
Rip through the tracks in the spirit of friendly competition.