Varg to compete @ British MX championships


Chadx

Well-known member
Location
Montana
I am afraid there will be low interest among the OEMs to make competitive electric dirt bikes if they are put in a "support class" and are not allowed to compete at the top level.

I'll add my take on this which leans towards "I don't care much if there is low interest from OEMs to make electric dirtbikes". Ha. Well, I do from the sense that OEMs might spur further advancements/innovations with their R&D budgets. But really, it's not going to be motorcycle companies that make the big advancements. What more is left to advance? Primarily battery energy density and motor efficiency; Neither of which is going to come from a motorcycle company. It will come from those specific sectors and the motorcycle OEMs will buy/license it to use it. But there are other potential benefits of OEM entering electric dirtbike market. The potential for reduced pricing to the consumer. A small part of that might be from competition from other manufacturers, but the larger part would likely be economy of scale by mass production and allowance for slimmer profit per unit because they are so large and diversified unlike Stark. Another benefit I'll concede is availability. Would be nice to walk into each of the four powersports shops in our area and have a nice selection of electric dirtbikes in the brand of your choice and a place to immediatly pick up parts without mail ordering or have maintenance and repairs done. OK, OK. I'll change my answer from "I don't care much" to "it would be kind of nice". Ha.

But OEMs will follow rather than lead. I have mixed feelings on Tesla as a company, but there are parallels to be drawn between Tesla and Varg from a market-entry perspective. OEMs will likely tinker in the background behind closed doors, but will largely take a "wait and see" approach and only introduce electric dirtbikes once the data indicates there is profit to be made or, perhaps, to stop the loss of market share. KTM seems to be the most open to electric based on them having a larger variety of electric bikes on the ground. It appears that they will take the approach of introducing the small bikes to a young generation and making electric dirtbikes to coincide with that generations age/size as they grow up because they won't have ridden anything but electric. They are grooming their future buyers. Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, etc. will be even more conservative.

I can see non-motorsports parents being more open to buying an electric dirtbike for the kids to ride around the yard or campground because they don't make noise and those parents may not be up for doing/learning, or paying a shop to do, ICE maintenance. I've seen this with co-workers. We have to be realistic, though, and realize that in the big picture for motorcycle manufacturers, offroad/dirtbikes are a tiny niche market. I see OEMs focusing on, and releasing, street legal, around town electric motorcycles before getting serious about electric dirtbikes. It makes more sense from a global sales perspective.

But, in the end, I personally don't care what brand of ICE or electric dirtbike I'm riding...or pickup brand I drive, or atv brand, etc. I'm not brand loyal. I buy whichever brand fits my needs the best at the time I purchase. And even if there is only one brand to choose from, if it fits my need, then I'll buy it and be happy with it. And I don't buy into the notion of caring about what brand everyone else is riding (including buddies, racers, or friends on the internet). And don't much care if anyone else notices or cares what brand I'm riding. The Varg is on the horizon and it will fit my use case great and once I take delivery of that and Stark sticks around, there really isn't any impact whether or not the OEMs are interested. I'll ride the Varg for the use cases it will cover and my ICE bikes/ATVs for the ones the Varg will not. When things advance more in the battery energy density front, which is really the only advancement that will benefit my trail riding use cases, then I'll look at what brands are available that fits my needs and change to that. Be that a newer generation of Varg, or one from the big OEMs, or some new startup that hasn't even been formed yet.
 

C5tor

Chief Comedic Instigator
Location
San Ramon, CA
OEMs will push the bikes they can sell. Noise and pollution standards will drive them to electric. You already can’t buy new 2-strokes in California, so why would they try to prove they are superior? There’s no money in it. As more jurisdictions ban 2-strokes and eventually 4-strokes because of noise, the OEMs have to follow the money. The OEMs race the bikes to prove they have the better product, and thus drive sales. They aren’t going to go out of their way to prove ICE bike are superior to electric if they can’t sell them in the end. It doesn’t really matter which ones are really faster. That’s why they ultimately switched from 2-strokes to 4-strokes in MX.
 

bayodome

Well-known member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Considering the way Stark does things, the public will be very aware of when Stark does officially enter its first competition. Great that governing bodies are beginning to adjust the rules for the inevitable rise of electric motorcycles.
 

Johnny Depp

Active member
Location
Austin TX
10-4. Thanks for clarifying. I, too, like and ride both ICE and electric and hope both are around for a long time (even though I prefer electric and, as their capabilities increase, find myself grabbing my electric bikes more and more). I just don't like the idea of governing bodies lumping very different types of bikes together into one class because that will likely lead to the disappearance of the ICE bikes in that class and force the hand of the riders if they want to stay competitive...which they do because, they are racers.

If they kept ICE and electric split into two classes, riders still might very well migrate to the EV class after they ride them and for all the reason that those of us that ride EV like them; performance, riding feel, low cost of ownership (no oil/oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, top ends, bottom ends, etc.) and no time spent doing that maintenance, lack of noise, etc. But at least that is an organic move due to rider preference rather than due to an arbitrary decision that lumped two very different types of bikes together in the same class.
You assume that the 4t-2t cc selection was an honest mistake. All of the manufacturers unanimously agreed to allow the bigger 4t's, and commit to spending millions in R&D and manufacturing on the newfangled designs. Do you really think that they would make that commitment and then have their newest latest greatest get waxed on the track by 2t's? Hell to the no. They made damn sure that they put a dagger in the heart of the 2t, on purpose. Don't expect to get the same manufacturer's to act any different, in their best financial interests. Developing and marketing e-bikes will be a big commitment and endeavor that won't be undertaken lightly when it happens, and you don't take your big investment and put it anywhere other than the premier series in the world to spotlight it with the star riders of the world for the retail purpose of win on Sunday, sell on Monday.
 

Philip

Administrator
Staff member
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I wonder if the manufacturers will make really big batteries or shorten the motos in MXGP and the US Nationals to allow their top riders to finish the motos. It is unlikely they will go for charging pit stops or battery swap stops.
 

Chadx

Well-known member
Location
Montana
You assume that the 4t-2t cc selection was an honest mistake.

I said it was a mistake (to mix the 4 stroke and 2 strokes in the same class)...I never said anything about "honest". Ha. No doubt there were many different agendas with that decision just like there will be with electric. I'd simply prefer electric was in it's own class rather than mixed in with ICE bikes. I fully understand the governing bodies and manufacturers don't care what I think and will do what is best for them in their eyes. But that doesn't change my opinion that electric should not be lumped into an existing class.
 

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