Electric dirt bikes are getting better all the time. Not so long ago the choice was limited, with price and battery life being the main drawbacks. A competitive model would have set you back $12000+ and may only have delivered an hour or so of usable riding time. KTM was definitely ahead of the curve with their Freeride electric dirt bike.
TeamMA has spent some time studying the options for rider who want something a little different. Electric motocross bikes have started making appearances at major events, and even have dedicated classes at certain events. With the world moving rapidly towards electric vehicles as the norm, are battery-powered dirt bikes the future?
Best electric Dirt Bikes For Adults
Before we look at some buying tips, here are our favourite electric dirt bikes.
1. KTM Freeride – The Best Electric Dirt Bike
The KTM Freeride models give us a glimpse as to just how good electric off-road motocross will be in the future. An 80 minute charge time will return around an hour, to an hour and a half of riding, dependent on the terrain. Power is stored and delivered from 360 Lithium iON cells. Constraint does mean that an all-day adventure ride is a tricky proposition. If you have enough charged power packs and are riding with support, it is not impossible.
The KTM Freeride range is for shorter track or leisure rides. With 22bhp and 42Nm of torque on tap from the brushless, permanent magnetic, synchronous electric motor, the power comes in immediately, and is comparable with a 125cc petrol MX bike.
KTM has produced two competent machines, worthy of any MX circuit. The SX is the more focused circuit machine and the XS more of an Enduro machine. Neither of these dirt bikes is toys.
We spoke with KTM in Plymouth, UK and they said;
The Freeride-E is remarkably quick. It takes you by surprise. I guess the weirdest thing is the lack of engine noise, and the fact it is more like a twist and go
When it comes to power delivery, there are three mapping modes available:
This mode is the softest. Akin to a wet weather setting, it has a slower power delivery and a more sedate top end.
This mode starts softly and increases sharply in power towards the top end of the curve.
This is the full-fat MX mode, comparable to a 250cc four-stroke machine.
KTM has installed moisture sensors that shut down the motor, should any moisture be detected. Riding in deep water is not recommended. Remember, water and electricity do not mix well. The Freeride range come with the same quality of components that you would find on other KTM models. At 97Kg (27Kg of that, is the power pack) the bikes handle exceptionally well and turn almost instinctively.
Tracking ruts is effortless, and the well-balanced design means that they do everything you would expect of a top-end enduro bike. KTM’s Freeride electric bikes are earning their place among their contemporaries and will keep getting better and better.
Let’s be clear here though, the KTM Freeride range are thoroughbred off-road bikes. For short race sessions or casual rides when covering lots of miles is not a requirement; they are fully competitive.
You can contact your nearest KTM dealer for information on the Freeride range, or read more here: (https://www.ktm.com/en/e-ride/)
Expect to pay $11,000 approx (new)
2. Best Electric Dirt Bikes – Kuberg Freerider
One of the coolest entry-level e-bikes is the Kuberg Freerider. With aggressive motocross looks, the Kuberg is a competent off-roader. Cool-looking design and a lot of fun, the Kuberg is aimed at teens and adults. It has a top speed of 34 mph, weighs in at 36 Kg, and has a 1 hour riding time. Recharge time is 2.5 hours.
Kuberg offers different choices in terms of wheels and suspension so that you can tailor your bike to your needs. In many ways, it is the perfect dirt bike to get a young person into dirt bikes.
|Power||14KW (comes in two cheaper versions with lower power)|
|TOTAL WEIGHT||79 lbs (35.83 Kg)|
|FRAME MATERIAL||Powder-Coated Steel|
|FRAME COLORS||Matte Black|
|GEOMETRY MEASUREMENTS||48.5″ Wheelbase, 34.5″ Seat Height, 41″ Handlebar Height|
3. Oset 10 (Adults)
OK, strictly speaking this is a mini-pit (pit bike). The adult Oset 10 has up-rated suspension and bigger bars to allow riders up to 90KG and we have to say, it looks like a whole lot of fun! We have an article on best petrol pit bikes here, however the Oset is electric, so we included it in this article.
The Oset 10 is a superb machine for kids, but add the uprated components and you have a beast of a pit bike which will easily take on the 50cc petrol minis.
|Battery||OSET 20ah lithium battery|
|Power||48v OSET drive system (complete with 3-dial adaptability)|
|Suspension||Custom upside-down fork built to OSET’s specifications, Adjustable oil shock at the rear|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc brakes|
|Weight||For adults and teenagers – up to 90.0 kg|
4. OSET 24 Racing
The OSET 24 Racing is, by design, a trials bike. Having got over that initial hesitancy, it is clear to see that the 24 Racing can double up as a super-cool trail bike too. We would love to see a grown up version of the MX10 at some point, even perhaps a seat option for the 24?
There is no doubt the Oset 24 is well equipped. Brakes and power may be geared towards obstacles and maneuverability is bound to be good; that is after all, what trials bikes do best. However, once out in the woodlands, the dunes or the countryside, the Oset is a formidable trail bike. In fact you can even ride it around your garden. Check out the Oset crew doing just that here.
Specs and Comparison
|Battery||20ah high output OSET lithium battery|
|Suspension||Adjustable full-length RST forks, DNM rear shock|
|Brakes||SRAM hydraulic brakes with a 180mm discs front and rear|
|Transmission||1400w OSET motor unit with hardened sprockets and chain|
|Engine||OSET 3 setting power switch|
|Safety||OSET magnetic lanyard adds a level of safety and is competition legal|
Best Electric dirt bikes – What you need to know
Whether you are interested in the fastest electric motocross bike, or the dirt bike with the longest range; everything comes down to batteries. The power, capacity and weight of the batteries are critical. Thankfully, modern design has led to rapid advances in battery technology, although long distances are still a problem. If you are riding for short sessions at a race track, or sub-three hour trail rides, you should be good to go.
A portable generator is always handy if you intend on riding in remote spots, but as you are likely to transport any dirt bike on a flatbed or trailer, then this should not be too much of an inconvenience. The principle factor when comparing battery life is the amount of power on tap. Think of the battery as your fuel tank, and the electric it stores as your petrol. Electric is measured in KwH (kilowatt hours), so the higher the KwH rating, the further you will go. As with a petrol bike, the harder you hit the throttle, the more juice you will use.
Well balanced weight distribution
The other consideration when looking at electric dirt bikes, is weight distribution. Lithium batteries are heavy. Then again, so are engines, fuel and frames. The best electric dirt bikes make use of a batteries weight in the right places, creating a low centre of gravity. When done right, the battery can be incorporated into frame design to help balance the machine.
Finally, you need to look at power modes. Most decent electric dirt bikes will offer power mapping to adjust the rate of power consumption and how that is turned into power at the back wheel. With these basics satisfied, look at the quality of the suspension and the brakes.
Electric Dirt Bikes – The Benefits
One company which driven the Electric Dirt bike forward within Motocross, is Oset bikes, UK. We love the companies motto, ‘taking fun seriously’. With a dedicated class in competitive motocross and an ever expanding range of machines, Oset is experiencing a meteoric rise.
We asked founder and CEO Ian Smith what the future of the sport looks like from where he is standing.
Electric MX has to start with youth riders and grow from there. The older generation are too locked into noise and smell! I like it too, but I can also see the huge benefits with electric bikes. I have witnessed kids racing on tracks on MX-10’s, shouting and laughing with each other as they go round. I’ve also seen the trouble new riders have with racing 50’s with trigger clutches and powerbands, with Dads running across tracks to re-start their bikes when they fall.
(Petrol engines, and all that goes with them can be) a road block to enjoyment. Adults like the big 4-strokes as the powerband can be so much more linear than on 2 strokes. 4 strokes are trying to get to a beautiful linear powerband – like on an electric bike! As electric bikes improve they will become superior.
Ian Smith – Oset
Ian goes on to explain how noise pollution is one of the big barriers preventing young riders from practicing regularly, and enjoying their bikes around other leisure users. Electric dirt bikes can work well in parks, on beaches and near your home, whereas riding a petrol bike often means travelling distance.
These are all very compelling reasons to consider Electric dirt bikes and we wrote an article on electric dirt bikes for kids here.
When it comes to Electric Dirt Bikes, things improve year on year. Fingers crossed for an adult Oset MX bike, or maybe another manufacturer will fill that void between the $3000 and $12,000 dollar mark?
Have fun out there
Martin and TeamMA