12 Innovative Electric Dirt Bike Machines For Tackling Tough Trails
Would You Take An Electric Dirt Bike Out For A Spin?
So, what about an electric dirt bike? No fuel, no fumes, no noise pollution, no clutch, and no fuss – but many riders are still reluctant to turn their backs on convention and go electric. Hopefully, this list of the best electric dirt bike models will be enough to tempt you into giving one a try. It’s no secret that the popularity of electric motorcycles is on the rise but with prohibitively expensive prices and lackluster range capabilities, many riders aren’t convinced enough to ditch their tried and tested gasoline machines in favor of battery powered two-wheelers, and that’s fine.
But what about an electric dirt bike though? Since it’s for off-road trail riding, the range shouldn’t be such a big deal, and the prices…well, they’re still pretty high, but if you’re looking for a dedicated off-road machine that you’re not going to go cross-country touring on, why not invest in an electric dirt bike and explore a brand new motorcycling niche?
How Do You Ride An Electric Dirt Bike?
One reason many riders aren’t interested in trying out an electric bike is the fact that they don’t know how to ride them. Manufacturer’s press releases simply say “it’s electric” and don’t go into the details about how the bike’s operation differs from a conventional motorcycle. Riding an electric dirt bike is pretty simple, but if you’re not used to it we can see how it could be intimidating on a test ride – so we’ll give you a quick outline of how it all works.
Since electric motors can offer instantaneous power delivery, there’s no need for a gearbox, and no gearbox means no clutch. On the bike’s handlebars you’ll find two levers in the usual places, one operating the front brake as usual, while the left hand lever that usually operates the clutch now controls the rear brake. The throttle is in the usual position, and you simply “twist and go” to move forward. If you’ve ever ridden an automatic scooter, the operation is identical. It’s as simple as that. Alien, weird, and hard to get used to at first, but thankfully it’s a simple thing to grasp.
Are They Road Legal?
The legality depends on what electric dirt bike model you’re buying! Since these are dirt bikes, they don’t have to conform to road regulations since they’re designed for off-road riding, but some have been treated with some street-legal components for dual-purpose riding…while others haven’t. A couple of electric dirt bike models on this list actually come with pedals, which puts them in the moped category, so as long as the top speed is limited to a certain speed, you can probably get away with some kind of road riding. It’s best to always check with the manufacturer and your local DMV, as laws vary from state to state.
Wait, Some Have Pedals?
Yes, some do. Thanks to the simplicity of an electric motor, some quick-thinking designers thought that putting an electric powertrain in a frame that’s not quite dirt-bike and not quite mountain-bike would be a good idea, and they were right. They might not look like much, but some of these pedal-powered electric dirt bike machines are very, very capable and offer top speeds of up to 50 mph and useable riding ranges of around 50 miles too – which is more than enough for an afternoon of trail riding. Having pedals means that you don’t get stranded and have to push your bike home. You just pedal it like a regular push bike instead. But that’s enough about that, let’s take a look at some of the best electric dirt bike models out there! We’ll start the list with “light” electric dirt bike models, and then move on to the more heavy duty motorcycles, because the electric dirt bike industry is kind of split into two separate categories.
12 Electric Dirt Bike Models To Look Out For!
#12. The Stealth H-52
The Stealth H-52 has proven itself as a more than capable electric dirt bike ever since it rolled onto the scene a few years ago. While it’s not the most powerful bike on the market, it has more than enough grunt to tackle off-road trails and churn up the dirt. Powered by a 4.5kW motor, the H-52 boasts exceptional acceleration, the ability to climb tough hills with ease, and offers a comfortable and steady ride for all those who take one for a ride.
With a top speed of 50 mph, the Stealth H-52 provides more speed than you’d probably ever need, and offers a ride range of around 35 miles. On paper, 35 miles doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re riding hard on the trails, 35 miles of hard riding is probably a lot more than you can handle in one sitting. However, if you need to go further, simply pull over and relax for a couple of hours, because the battery can fully charge in around 120 minutes. Add some long travel suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and you’ve got a fully functioning electric dirt bike on your hands. And the cost? Prices start at around $9,500.
#11. The Sur-Ron Firefly
If you like the idea of the Stealth H-52 but don’t feel like paying that kind of money, check out the Firefly from Chinese company Sur-Ron. Ok, it’s Chinese, but Chinese doesn’t always mean bad, and Sur-Ron prove that with their Firefly electric dirt bike. In a nut shell, it’s essentially the same kind of light electric dirt bike as the Stealth model listed above, but at a fraction of the price. It’s cheap, it’s Chinese, but it’s good – and you shouldn’t discount it because of where it came from.
Performance-wise, we’re talking about an electric dirt bike that will hit a top speed just north of 45 mph, a peak torque figure of around 18.4 lb-ft, and will give riders a nice ride time of around two-hours for decent trail riding. As you can see, its claimed performance isn’t any better or worse than the rest of the light electric models listed but here’s what makes the Sur-Ron Firefly so special – the price for one of these bad boys starts from $2,000. That’s for the lowest battery specification and without any import fees on, but even for the top model and taxes included, you’re looking at no more than $3,500 for these rather special (but not at all road-legal) electric dirt bikes.
#10. The Kuberg Freerider
If you really can’t shake the Chinese provenance of the Sur-Ron Firefly then your next best bet for a similarly priced electric dirt bike with similar specs would be the Kuberg Freerider. Kuberg have been producing these cool looking bikes for a good few years now and they’ve built a reputation for delivering quality electric dirt bikes. The Freerider is one of two adult models made by Kuberg, and while we like the street-focused Freerider Street Edition, we prefer their off-road model more.
Powered by a 48v motor that delivers around 11 hp and reach to speeds of around 34 mph, the Kuberg Freerider isn’t the fastest electric dirt bike on the market but what it lacks in speed it makes up for with other redeeming features. The 22 Ah lithium-polymer battery pack promises a continuous ride time of around an hour providing that you haven’t been overdosing on cake, and the battery can be recharged to full in two and a half hours – or even quicker if you invest in the optional quick charger. Not only is it fast charging, it also comes with a dongle and an app that connects the bike’s sensors to an app which will allow the rider to monitor battery life, track speeds, assesses torque, and limit the motor’s output if 34 mph is too scary for you. Though that sounds condescending, 34 mph on a bike like this will feel seriously fast. Especially when the bike between your legs has a total weight of 79 lbs. Prices start from around $3,999 but that doesn’t include any taxes.
#09. The Cake Kalk
Yes, that is the real name of this weird electric dirt bike that some sources are going as far as to call “the Tesla of motorcycles,” and while it’s impressive, it’s hardly the Tesla of the motorcycle industry at all. Well, it’s electric, looks pretty cool, and carries a hefty asking price, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good electric dirt bike. The unusually named Cake Kalk comes all the way from Sweden, features a wide range of advanced components, and generally looks like blast to ride…but comes with a price tag of $14,000…And that’s pretty pricy for the performance specs, but it is a limited edition model, so that’s something.
It’s expensive but you get some cool features for your money. The electric motor is capable of propelling the Kalk to speeds up to 50 mph, produces around 16 hp, and offers around 31 lb-ft of peak torque, all in a carbon fiber package that weighs less than 150 lbs. The lithium Ion battery pack is good for a maximum range of approximately 50 miles, but that depends entirely on what riding mode you’ve selected, because the Kalk has three on offer. And what’s more, it comes with Ohlins-developed suspension, which is pretty impressive. $14k impressive? In the right hands, definitely – but this isn’t an electric dirt bike for the casual rider.
#08. The Bultaco Brinco R
Bultaco may not be the same as it once was, but when the company resurfaced in 2014, they decided to move in a whole new direction, manufacturing high quality electric dirt bike machines that live up to the legendary Bultaco trade name. The first new platform launched by the newly resurrected marque is called the “Brinco” and there are four separate models within the range. They’re all fairly capable off-road, but the Bultaco Brinco C is the ideal choice for those who prefer to ride real dirt. And it has pedals too, which is pretty handy.
The Brinco C is powered by a 1.3 kWh Lithium Ion battery that can be fully charged to full capacity in only three hours, offers a maximum range of 60 miles in Economy mode, and can be manually pedaled when you run out of juice. As for the top speed, it’s limited to just over 15 mph but that can be more of a blessing than a curse, because it makes it road legal in plenty of states in the USA, but you’ll have to check with your local DMV for specifics. The price isn’t as cheap as it could be, but considering that you’re also buying into the Bultaco brand, it’s expected. $6,500 ish for one of these.
#07. LMX 161-H Freerider MX
Our last offering in the light electric dirt bike division is the LMC 161-H Freerider MX, a model that made its name on IndieGoGo and managed to impress enough investors to move into production. As a light trail bike that was “developed in France for riders and by riders” and promises to be an electric dirt bike that is “optimized for extreme off-road use,” – and we believe them. Comparable to a small 80cc dirt bike in performance but weighing a hell of a lot less with a total weight of only 92 lbs, the 161-H has incredible power, tough suspension for real jumps and hard landings, and can easily be thrown in the back of your car. What more could you want?
In terms of actual performance, this LMX electric dirt bike can hit a top speed of 28 mph and has a maximum range of around 50 miles, or between 2 and 3 hours of hard off-road riding. In total, it requires about 3 hours to fully charge the battery and that’s not bad at all. For the USA, you’ll need to buy a model with the pedal attachment kit, otherwise it won’t be street legal. Prices aren’t cheap but if you feel like parting with around $9,000 (excluding tax and import fees), then you can get one of these as soon as they ship, which will be around mid-2018.
What About A More Powerful Electric Dirt Bike?
#06. The KTM Freeride E-XC
The KTM Freeride E-XC is KTM’s first electric bike and it has already proven itself to be a roaring success in Europe, but now it has arrived in the USA. This isn’t a street-legal electric dirt bike and it never will be, it’s not the fastest bike in the world either, and it certainly won’t be famed for its massive range, but if you’re into hardcore off-road riding but can’t imagine hitting the trails on anything less than a KTM, then this is your weapon of choice. Boasting an electric motor that promises 21.5 hp, 31 lb-ft of torque, the Freeride E-XC is more than enough for most trails, but what makes it so special?
While the approximate ride time per charge is advertised at an uninspiringly low one hour, you’ll be pleased to learn that KTM have kitted the Freeride E-XC with an absurdly fast charging time. For a full 100% charge, it only takes a mere 80 minutes – and that’s crazy fast. In fact, after an hour of intense off-roading, a nice hour and twenty rest is a welcome treat. Ride, recharge, rest and repeat. It’s a simple formula, but it makes the KTM a real contender for the best electric dirt bike crown. The price is quite attractive too, especially when compared with some of the lighter models above, with an MSRP of $8,299.
#05. The Alta Motors Redshift MX
Alta Motors are an all-American motorcycle manufacturing company and they’ve been producing some excellent electric dirt bike models out of their California based factory over the past few years. While some prefer the supermoto variant, for real off-road riding the Redshift MX is really what you need. Designed and built to rival conventional gasoline powered 250cc dirt bikes, the Redshift MX makes for the perfect off-road tool no matter what the conditions demand and comes equipped with some top shelf accessories like WP suspension and Brembo brakes.
Thanks to the combination of a modern Lithium Ion battery and a high-speed PMAC motor, the Alta Motors Redshift MX is capable of shooting out the equivalent to 42 hp and a giant 120 lb-ft of torque, can achieve a top speed of 80 mph, and travel to a maximum range of 50 miles per charge. 50 miles is more than enough, and when you learn that it can charge to full in 4 hours (or 2 with the rapid charge option) you can see why the Redshift MX is such a popular electric dirt bike choice. Unlike other Alta models like the supermoto or electric enduro, the MX is not street-legal. Prices for this bad boy start from $10,495.
#04. The Armotia Due X
Armotia is an Italian company with two rather special electric machines in its line-up. One is a road-oriented supermoto motorcycle, and the other is an off-road focused electric dirt bike. What makes them different from the rest of the bikes on this list is the fact they both come with two-wheel drive. Obviously, this makes for an incredibly capable off-road machine. We’re not entirely sure why a road bike would need 2WD, but it sounds fun regardless. With that in mind, we’re here to talk about Armotia’s Due X electric dirt bike.
Powered by a 5.1 kW battery, the Armotia Due X is quoted to have a top speed of around 50 mph, a power output of 15 hp, and a ride time of approximately one hour and thirty minutes per charge. Those kind of specs are pretty standard, but what really set the Armotia Due X apart from the crowd is the use of top end components like Ohlins suspension, and the really cool fact that the company will send you the relevant STL files so that you can customize and 3D print your own custom bodywork for the bike! Not a bad touch, eh? The prices are a little high at $13,460 a go, but come on: customizable bodywork and two wheel drive!
#03. The Mugen E-Rex
The Mugen E-Rex might only be a concept at the moment, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. If you’re not familiar with Mugen, they’re effectively a branch of Honda that specialize in electric bikes, and have a rather amazing track record for winning the Isle of Man TT Zero races. While this isn’t a thoroughbred racer, it’s clearly a design exercise that proves that Honda are eyeing up the electric dirt bike category. Though it’s only a concept, there’s a lot going for the “E-Rex” that would suggest that some kind of derivative will be with us shortly.
We don’t know anything about the electric powertrain, but we can see that the E-Rex shares the same frame and swingarm as the Honda CRF250R, and wears similar hardware often found on Honda’s dirt bike range, such as the Showa suspension and Nissin brakes – though the Nissin brakes are paired with carbon-fiber rotors, which is an unusual choice. Other cool features include the Excel rims, and Dunlop Geomax tires. And of course there’s the insane bodywork which features a…dinosaur…theme. We’re doubtful that the E-Rex/T-Rex theme will make it to full production, but watch this space because the Honda Mugen electric dirt bike is coming in the near future. Surely.
#02. The Tacita T-Race Enduro
When it comes to electric motorcycles in general, we think Tacita are on to something. They understand the reluctance of old-school riders to convert to electric motorcycles, so they’ve come up with a compromise: manual electric drive trains, with selectable gears. So if you want an electric dirt bike but still want to make use of a clutch, then the Tacita T-Race Enduro should be the bike for you. Proven to be capable of tackling tough desert trails, mountain tracks, and perform just as well on the road, this Italian electric dirt bike should impress you.
At the heart of the T-Race Enduro is a 34 kW motor that can produce the equivalent of 45 hp and 62.7 lb-ft of continuous torque, which is mated to a 5-speed transmission for ultimate control. The battery is also pretty tidy and promises over 80 miles of range or over 3 hours of riding on off-road tracks. The Tacita T-Race Enduro is also available in different “engine” sizes to suit your needs, so if you need something smaller to help circumvent certain licensing laws, they’ve got your back. The top shelf model’s prices start from around $18,800 – not including tax and all that jazz though.
#01. The Zero FX
There are plenty of electric dirt bike manufacturers these days, with more and more surfacing every month but in our opinion, none have been able to usurp Zero and their FX model as the best electric dirt bike option. These days, Zero have become a name that you can trust and rely on for building quality electric motorcycles, from their road going SR to their off-road diamond, the Zero FX. Equipped with top-end hardware and boasting some high-tech gadgetry, the Zero FX is a great do-all motorcycle, and we highly recommend it.
What makes it such an attractive electric dirt bike is the power train more than anything. By spending a little more you can make the most of more peak power, faster charging times, and superior range, so we’re going to be quoting those figures. Capable of producing 46 hp, 78 ft-lb of peak torque, a top speed of 85 mph, and good for around 90 miles of standard riding, you can see why we like the Zero FX so much. However, it gets better – with the fast charging kit the battery can be fully charged in just under 2 hours – which is exceptionally fast. The only real downside to the Zero FX is the price. While it’s not as expensive as some other electric bikes out there, the asking price of $13,990 (with all the optional extras) is quite steep.
But that’s the nature of the game with all electric vehicles at the moment. The technology is relatively new, and therefore still expensive. What’s more is that the technology is continually evolving – so even if you’re not impressed by the quality of these electric dirt bike machines now, you certainly will be in the near future. The electric revolution is coming, whether you like it or not!