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Male WalkingWounded
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So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

I was at Freedom this past Saturday (8-4) with two of my grandsons, and Ronnie Hollier. We arrived a little late, but the track was still in excellent shape. We were parked next to Larry Hughes, who is a rep for the Alta bike company. I have been seeing these bikes at different tracks consistently for a few months now. I certainly have a curiosity about them, and had seen others riding them, but I didn't want to impose upon Larry to test ride one. Between me and Ronnie riding, and keeping the two boys going, I had no plans on asking Larry for a test ride. Well, this time, I didn't need an opportunity to ask, Larry asked for me, so I said, you bet.

So I saddled up and Larry should me the controls. There is an on/off key switch, recessed in the left side shroud near the top. The bike has 4 power mode settings. 1 being the mildest, then progressively stronger up to 4. The throttle is variable as you would expect, not an on/off style. I decided my first lap I would start out in mode 1, and progress up through the stronger settings as I became familiar with the bike. The power settings can be change on the fly by just pushing a button. As I rolled the throttle for take off, and it was very gradual and silent, other than a slight electric motor whir and chain spin. As I'm just cruising at steady throttle, one thing that grabbed my attention, was the prevailing thought that I had a flat tire. With no engine sound, you can hear the knobbies taping against the dirt, and for several corners, I'm feeling/looking for a flat, but it was just part of the mostly silent world.

As I twisted the throttle for more speed, there was no hit throughout the rpm range, it was absolutely variable, and an endless rpm range as you twisted. I came down the first long straight with the throttle fully twisted, and as I came into the corner and released the throttle, I was surprised at how much engine braking it had. I initially was dabbing at the rear braking while chopping the throttle, and it was too much reduction for my speed coming in to the corner. In fact, I was reaching for the clutch and shifter getting ready to bump start the engine, thinking I had stalled it lol. Oh, and there is no clutch lever or gear shifter.

As I rolled down the next straight, there was a small roller followed by a small table. When I came over the roller, I decided to whack the throttle, and it responded instantly and predictably. Although the upcoming table was small, I only jump about 10-15 feet to get a feel for it leaving the face of a jump, and some airtime. As I'm coming up to more obstacles, and jumping a little further, it was very predictable, but a little different, but a good different. As you left the face of a jump, it responded well to chopping the throttle to get the nose down as much as you like, as well as revving the engine to get the nose up. As I went over the big camel, I hit a kicker on the lip, and the back of the bike tried to come up a bit. But I immediately twisted the throttle, and with no rev limiter to put you over the bars, it came back level instantly. It is easy to control the bikes attitude in the air with the throttle. Another item that was different on this bike, was calculating the needed speed to clear an obstacle without the engine sound and vibration. Once I got used to the silence, it was very easy without the noise as an added distraction to think and make decisions. You could tell by the sensation of your speed, and the wind noise in and around your helmet.

As I trekked my way around the track, I eased up through the power mode settings. Each one had more power, but still very variable and predictable. Although modes 1, 2, and 3 were fun, and have a use depending on rider skills and track conditions, 4 is where it's at, and it will get your attention. There were several sections of the track where the dirt was still very heavy and deep, and I wanted to test it's flat-tracking/plowing capability. I got out there in the fluff, and laid it over and was able to steer with the throttle. It had all the grunt I needed.

I rode a few more laps and was able to air out some of the bigger jumps, but left the big ones alone. As far as landing a jump on the down side, it was familiar like most bikes. Some of the jumps I was shorting them as not to get too much air, and when you would land, the bike was plush. Not sure of the bikes weight, but when I would short a jump, it was plush, but it felt like what I interpreted to a bit heavier than my 350. I'm by no means calling the bike fatso, it just feels different on shorted landings. Now as far as cornering, it is real easy to lay over in a rut, and bring it back up. In fact, it may have been as easy or easier than my 350. Also, the more I annealed with the bike, it was easy to control my entry speed with mostly the throttle. If you were a little on the hot side, just lightly drag the front brake; and the brakes are really, really good.

I only made about 4 laps on the bike, and became fairly comfortable, fairly quickly. Although my whole world has always been the exploding of decaying dinosaurs in a combustion chamber, I could see me owning one in the future, as I am a genetic gearhead, whether it be whirring, or kabooming.. One thing that is really attractive about the bike is, no transmission, clutch, piston, valves, timing chain, oil, radiators, air filter to clean, or gas can. Other than your normal consumables, tires, chain and sprockets, they are basically maintenance free. As with any new product, technology will improve them.

I want to thank Larry for taking the time to considering me for a test ride. I would consider racing one just for fun one day too....hint, hint. Thanks again Larry. coffee
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I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.

http://houstonmotocross.com/theforum/viewthread?thread=33552&offset=0

http://houstonmotocross.com/theforum/viewthread?thread=44047

Monty 14 KTM250SX's 2017 KTM350SX-F #045 - A Lot Of Pit Bikes, And Added Another One
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by WalkingWounded]
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Male wfoyz250
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

Always a good read from Monty. I don't know about this electric craze with 4 or 2 wheels but there is something about an exhaust note that's extremely appealing and an absence of it is just something I couldn't give up........it's part of the overall thrill.cool
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Larry Navarro, Spring Texas......dam glad to meetcha!

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Male ThorDude
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

It amazing how excited riders are when then ride one for the first time. They always come off the bike with a HUGE grin. Out of the hundreds of demo's I have done, I have yet to have one say that the lack of sound made the ride less impressive.

Last year at the AHRMA National at Rio, I let Steve Wise ride one during the parade lap. He could not believe it and still talks about it every time I see him. After he talked to Steve Stackable about it, Stack came over and asked if he could ride it during one of the practice sessions. He liked it so much that when he came in from that practice session, he asked if he could ride it in the next practice session.

Anyone is welcome to take one of my demo's for a test ride. Even if you think you will not like it, please take it for a spin and give me your honest opinion.

Feel free to reach out to me my phone, text or email. I would love to schedule a demo for anyone.

Larry Hughes
281.541.2767
Lhughes1162@gmail.com
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Male WalkingWounded
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

wfoyz250, the combustion process is certainly part of the thrill, and may even be engrained in our DNA. If I were ever to adventure into the silent world of electrons, I wouldn't necessarily give up my heavy carbon footprint machines lol.

The bike is definitely competitive, and like anything new, some are curious, some skeptical, and others immediately put up a wall and have no interest in change. I can see there being a need for it in riding/racing areas where noise is a problem.

Another attraction would be very low maintenance and it's longevity. Next time you see ThorDude, take one for a ride. It will at least have you pondering........secretly. love struck
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I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.

http://houstonmotocross.com/theforum/viewthread?thread=33552&offset=0

http://houstonmotocross.com/theforum/viewthread?thread=44047

Monty 14 KTM250SX's 2017 KTM350SX-F #045 - A Lot Of Pit Bikes, And Added Another One
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

Thanks for the detailed write up on your experience. I've been really curious about them, as where I live, noise disturbing the neighbors would be a big deal. I haven't had a bike, or raced, in years, but I've been thinking about getting back into the sport. Saw a video a few weeks ago where an 82 year old was racing MX. That REALLY got me going. I'm 54 and over the hill, but hell if he can do it at 82, why can't I?
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Male Since73
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

You can absolutely do it. The Alta, with it's multiple performance "modes", would be an amazing bike to gradually step back up to speed. But...at 54, you may very well have cut your teeth in MX during the 70's and/or 80's like I did (58). If so, there is one event you absolutely, positively, cannot miss coming up on the weekend of Nov 10-11 at Rio Bravo MX Park - the final AHRMA National series race of the year for vintage (Nov 10) and post-vintage (Nov 11) bikes.

Even most of the pit bikes are throw-backs to the early days; like stepping back in time. And it's hundreds of guys, many our age and older, having the times of their lives.
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1979 Yamaha YZ250
1979 Yamaha YZ125
2002 Honda CR125 - practice bike
1982 Honda MB5 - my college bike in '82
1983 Yamaha YZ125K - winter '18 project
1983 Yamaha YZ100 - sold
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

Yes, I raced in the late 70's all around South and Southeast Texas. Then took a little break for college, started a career, etc, then started racing again in 86'. Raced for another 3 years or so, until I got married, and that was that. I do plan to attend the old school reunion.
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Male TOPGUNMX
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

As my big XR sits in the garage with a bad crank seal leaking oil into a pan. I am excited at the idea of no more fluuds race gas ect. Ive never rode electric, but before too long with the XR fixed and sold Ill go for the off road alta version. Nothing better than sneaking off road and not being given away by four stoke exhaust?
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Honda of Houston, JT Racing,Maxima, EKS goggles, Sanders Clinic, Gearne
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Male ThorDude
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Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

Hey Sean,

All you have to do is contact me whenever you are ready to take a test ride. Anytime, bro
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tongue   Re: So I Finally Rode An Alta Electric Bike Reply to this Post

Larry thank you Sir
I sent you an email. Electric is the future, but being that the bike is silent some how is a threat to some guys ego (Harley mentality) my neighbor has a Harley and when he cranks his bike regularly has to rev it in the garage for 10 minutes before he rides man I wish he had an Alta !!! Ill take you up on yor offee when its not 102 degrees!
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Honda of Houston, JT Racing,Maxima, EKS goggles, Sanders Clinic, Gearne
2012 CRF 450 #461
2015 XR 650
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