I had previously written about the field of electric motorcycles today, and then previously written about two (well, two and a half) electric motorcycles you can’t buy any time soon. So, where does that put us?
Both BRD and KTM are promising electric motocross bikes reeeeal soon now. KTM is a storied Austrian maker, with a long history in the motocross field. They charge a premium over the “Big Four” Japanese makers, and they get it. They also produce a few street models, and they’re not tokens, cobbled together from the parts bin and specc’ed with smooth tires.
Unfortunately, the KTM Freeride-e (due in limited numbers before the end of this year) isn’t much to speak of. It will have a mediocre battery capacity, and mediocre performance, at mediocre weight. All the while listing a premium, above KTM’s usual premium. Sure, the battery pack will be swappable in the field. But the lithium pack will be thousands of dollars, and possibly the majority of the purchase price. Who, exactly, will buy a second battery? The best we’ve speculated is that Freeride-e’s will be rented out by motocross parks. You’ll be able to blast around a dirt track for a while, then pull in and swap the pack.
Since e-motos aren’t noisy and smoky, these motocross tracks will be closer and more accessible to more people. And you don’t do all the frequent maintenance on e-motos like you do on gassers. (Really, maintenance every eight riding hours? Partial overhauls every THIRTY hours?) Thus, a no-maintenance electric would make a lot of sense in the moto field… except for the KTM Freeride-e, if these specs we’ve seen actually turn out.
BRD, however, has no such history to fall back on. This Bay Area startup thus has specs that match many gassers, and certainly got my attention. With no gasser products to cannibalize, the company’s electrics MUST be competitive. Unfortunately, they promise availability… real soon now. First we heard 2012… then we heard late 2012… then we heard limited availability late 2012. What more will we hear, that isn’t the sound of stock hitting the showroom floors?
It’s a bit of a shame. BRD appears to be staffed by people who get it; too bad we haven’t, so far.