For the most part, cars tend to garner much of the attention when it comes to the all-electric limelight. From what began with Tesla’s mainstream zero-emissions initiatives to more conceptual 4×4 all-electric SUVs and trucks, we’re witnessing a sort of paradigm shift in what it means to be a gearhead. Meaning no longer does burning oil have to be a prerequisite for adrenaline-infused fun. Similarly, as you would expect, we’re witnessing this same trend take hold within the world of motorcycles.
Even more so, it’s become evident that the dirt bike niche isn’t immune to these changing tides either. Here, we find some established players, like KTM for instance, offering all-electric versions of their popular off-road dual-purpose rides for the taking. All the while, electric-only brands like Alta continue to spark interest among those looking for cleaner alternatives to the more antiquated petrol options still available on the market. From here, we’ve also witnessed a spark of newer all-electric motorcycle brands looking to establish themselves in this emerging trend. So, with all this in mind, we decided to do some research ourselves and pull together a short list of the best electric dirt bikes for your perusal. Ride on.
Worth the Hype?
Initially, the world of electric dirt bikes (even electric motorcycles for that matter) were marketed towards inexperienced riders and kids who wanted to get started on the right track before upgrading to something more powerful. Which, honestly, was understandable at the time given the earlier limitations of battery-powered vehicles and the established stereotypes surrounding electric vehicles in general. How was anyone to take these offerings seriously? Wouldn’t the nature of a battery-powered dirt bike place serious limitations on how fast, powerful and long an individual could get out of these not-so-inexpensive options? These, at first, were the worrisome questions many die-hard riders were asking themselves.
Fortunately, within the past couple of years, advancements in modern technology have made the electric dirt bike a formidable player in this space. We’re talking powerful and fulfilling examples meant to get the adrenaline pumping in even the most experienced riders. For this, we really have the likes of CA-based Alta Motors to thank for showing us the light. Here, they successfully began mass-producing professional-quality electric motorcycles and dirt bikes that could easily hold their own on either the track or in the backcountry. After setting this example, and seeing there was, in fact, a market for such machines, we’re now seeing the likes of more established legacy brands – both domestic and foreign – conceptualize and release their very own versions of the all-electric dirt bike. Needless to say, with some options boasting upwards of 50 horses, close to 100 ft-lbs of torque, and an incredibly lightweight build, it’s without a doubt the hits will continue to keep on coming as time wears on in the not-too-distant future.
Lightweight, capable, and one hell of a good time, Kuberg’s Freerider certainly offers everything you could ask for in an electric build. We’re speaking, of course, on the nearly silent and emission-free ride you’ll enjoy while ripping across forested trails or desert lowlands. For that, we can thank the Freerider’s unmatched power to weight ratio compliments of their proprietary 48V motor delivering upwards of the 8 kW of power to the drivetrain. Also, with a set of Maxxis Creepy Crawler tires, Manitou front forks, a DNM Burner-RCP shock out the back, and a Tektro Auriga brake system, you’d be hard-pressed to find any terrain or obstacles this little dirt bike cant handle.
Top Speed: 34 mph
Output: 11 hp
Charging Time: 2.5 hours
As a member of their wholehearted electric family, the Zero FX draws its style from the brand’s outdoor roots. And believe us, we’ll be the first to admit this is more of a dual purpose ride than strictly off road. However, we’re not complaining one bit. Instead, we’re visualizing the versatility of the FX from mud to asphalt and back again – taking in the sights, sounds and heart-pumping adrenaline that comes with such a ride. It’s all thanks to their Z-Force battery – available in two separate configurations – that can deliver up to 91 miles of city driving and a top speed of 85 mph.
Top Speed: 85 mph
Output: 46 hp; 78 ft-lbs of torque
Charging Time: 9.7 hours
KTM Freeride E-XC
Naturally, with all the fuss around concerning electric builds, it was only a matter of time before KTM took to building one of their own. Fortunately, their newest iteration is one aggressive-looking ride alluding to classic dirt bike stances. The only real difference? Their Freeride E-XC that’s suitable for both road use and backcountry adventuring. It boasts a peak power of 18 kW, a continuous power output of 9 kW and, as an added bonus, complies with the A1 driver’s license making it a great beginner dirt bike for ages 16 and up. Also, the E-XC offers three different ride modes (Economy, Enduro, and Cross) that work to adjust the powertrain to different rider skill levels as well.
Top Speed: 50 mph
Output: 25.5 hp; 30.9 ft-lbs of torque
Charging Time: 2 hours
Alta Redshift MXR
California-based Alta Motors has quite the reputation in the electric-powered community. Which is not surprising all things considered. They build a reputable product that’s powerful, well-designed and – most of all – doesn’t scream “electric.” The MXR is no different as it was originally designed to compete with the modern 350 thanks to an output of 50 horses at the rider’s disposal. Additionally, Alta designed the MXR for both novice backwoods riders and professional-class motocrossers which make this ride a superior beginner bike. Clearly, it requires no air filters, oil changes, or backbreaking rebuilds so more time can be spent in the saddle than in the garage – if that’s your thing of course.
Top Speed: 65 mph
Output: 50 hp; 42 ft-lbs of torque
Charging Time: 3 hours
In the market to somewhat redefine the style and silhouette of a dirt bike – all while pulling from the tenets of minimalism, the Cake Kalk started as a pre-order campaign not too long ago. What soon resulted was enhanced hype around the bike and a subsequent production date sometime in late 2018. Meaning, these aren’t yet available on the market. What we can tell you, though, is that this off-road-use-only dirt bike boasts a 15 kW mid motor, an Ohlins stock suspension, carbon fiber body, and upwards of 50 miles worth of range. Needless to say, as you can probably determine from the above image, the Kalk is a light and agile ride, making it a fun alternative to any larger gasoline-fueled dirt bikes you may already have in the collection.
Top Speed: 50 mph
Output: 16 hp; 31 ft-lbs of torque
Charging Time: N/A
6 Professionally Picked Motocross Riding Essentials
Got the bike now need the gear? Look no further than these professionally picked motocross riding essentials suggested by none other than those who are the best in the biz.