BRD's Electric Motorcycle Takes Aim at 250cc Motocross Market
Electric motorcycles are "cleaner" than gas bikes, we're told. Safer, lower maintenance, and more accessible for novice riders, too. That's all well and good-noble, even. But what about those of us who only care about going fast? Not only are electric racebikes much slower than gas-fired counterparts, they also weigh too much and run out of juice too soon. Fail.
Our disappointment is not evidence of any inherent limitation with e-bike technology, says Marc Fenigstein, CEO and Co-Founder of Bay Area eBike start-up BRD Motorcycles, but, rather, a problem of application. Electric superbikes are a non-starter, Fenigstein says-the energy requirements necessary to compete with a 400-pound, 186-mph internal-combustion superbike are simply too high. But what if you draw a bead on something more accessible, like a 250cc, four-stroke motocross bike? This is what BRD has done with its forthcoming RedShift, and unlike eSuperbikes that pale in comparison to their I.C.E. competition, a short test ride confrms the RedShift could be the best Lites-class MX bike on the market-regardless of propulsion.
A competitive 250 MX bike weighs much less than a superbike, has a lower top speed and a shorter effective range, so the energy equation for an electric bike in this space adds up. The RedShift still doesn't achieve range parity with its gas competition-it offers approximately two-thirds the range of a conventional MXer's 1.5-gallon fuel tank, Fenigstein says-but it is beyond performance parity. "Our value proposition is this," Fenigstein says: "Range is what it is, but if that works for you, there's nothing faster around a race track."
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