Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport New Horizons for Off-Road Motorcycling

New Horizons for Off-Road Motorcycling

Electric Future

Due to the restrictions that exist today, many riders of off-road motorcycles are confronted with great difficulty if they want to practice their sport.

Regulatory requirements, demands from neighboring residents and general objections have and are leading to closures of enduro and motocross tracks.

The decisive criterion against the use of dirtbikes in heavily populated areas is almost always a question of an excessive level of noise.

Ideal riding conditions are getting more difficult to be found, even on closed tracks or in special purpose parks. Whether you have a stock pipe or spark arrestor, your Honda CRF, Kawasaki KX, Suzuki RM, KTM MX, Yamaha YZ or any other 250 or 450 is not going to cut it.

Today, I have to load my bike into a pick-up truck and drive 60-miles from Orange County California, an off-road haven of yesteryear, to find a motocross track and even further if I want a pure off-road experience.

In order to give the off-road sport more room and create new possibilities, there is no better solution than the zero-emission "green" motorcycle.

Manufactures such as Zero Motorcycles and Quanta are selling electrics today, while KTM, a leading off-road manufacturer, is aggressively pursuing electric alternative that is due to hit the market in the next 18-months.

These electric-motored bikes are lightweight and sporty yet not commanding enough to keep up with today’s leading gas-powered motorcycles. But they are emissions-zero and noise-free. And overall mobility (in terms of both power and charge) of these electric bikes is increasing rapidly as the technology evolves.

With these developments it is now possible to bring the sport, off-road riding, back to more densely populated areas. Establishing new off-road tracks and riding opportunities, where until now has been unthinkable, is certainly not out of the question.

As well, bring electric motorcycle riding closer to home may generate interest in a new generation of riders. What about an iPhone as your dashboard controller and a MacBook for monitoring and tuning your electric? I am not quite ready to give up my thumper, but more and more "green" is sounding like a cool alternative.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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