“I Am From the Future, You Are Not”

07/21/2015 @ 10:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler33 COMMENTS


Last week I was down in California, mostly for the World Superbike round at Laguna Seca, but also to replace a dead hard drive on a server named Heather, and for the Arai Corsair-X helmet press launch. It was a busy week, to say the least.

I was lucky though to stop be and see the folks at Alta Motors, the ranks of whom have swelled greatly since I was last there, as the company is readying itself for production and is soon moving to its new facility for that very purpose.

It might be too early to talk about 2016 model year motorcycles, but the RedShift SM is definitely a bike I am eager to see in its production form, since the prototype definitely impressed me…all the way back in 2011.

Alta seems just about ready to deliver on its “faster than gas” marching orders, and they have been quietly letting friends and family ride their pre-production units at the shop.

One such person was Jon Bekefy, a stalwart of the motorcycle industry, and no stranger to electric motorcycles, having recently worked for the now defunct Mission Motorcycles.

Equipped with a RedShift SM, a helmet cam, and a microphone…good things ensue. We imagine soon-to-be RedShift owners will have similar reactions once they get their bikes. Enjoy the video, after the jump…and Jon, do you really kiss your mother with that mouth??!

Source: Alta Motors

  • Ur Momma

    Arai Corsair X?!? I just bought a Nakagami Corsair V which is pretty close to perfect.

  • The X is an improvement over the V, but I wouldn’t get to worked up about it. They’re both good helmets.

  • Jon B.

    Jensen, I probably shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

  • Stephen Mears

    Throw a couple of stats in there and you would have one of the best video reviews I’ve seen.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    Every now and then I lament the lack of ‘road race’ culture here in America with another rider. If you ride dirt, there’s no end to the Lifestyle content you can consume or attend, but as soon as you’re talking course riding, it’s just tumbleweeds. The closest thing to SportBike Culture we have here is squid idiot clutch up boys (with due respect to proper stunting).

    Because race tracks must be built 8000 miles away from any house or desert tortoise, something that excites me about electric SM is the relative quietness of it all and, over time, an amortization of costs. I can see kart tracks done up for SM races, in and around cities so that people can actually fill the grandstands and become interested in tarmac racing. I think the next American MotoGP rider will get his or her start in E-SM – thoughts?



  • Haha, fair enough.

  • Csorin

    Seems this guy’s first time on a supermoto with all the talk about lightness and ‘who needs a sportbike?’. They are an absolute blast.

    I have a KTM 500 with an extra set of SM rims and it is indeed amazing fun around the city. I can’t imagine not having to shift and actually keeping the noise down. Definitely opportunity for incognito mischievous riding.

    When are these coming out and at what price point?

  • $15,500 for the supermoto. I would expect to see them available late 2015 or early 2016, but Alta hasn’t given a firm date yet. Like I said in the post, they’re just now moving into their full-scale production facility.

  • roma258

    My internal monologue while riding the Brammo, vocalized.

  • roma258

    Road race culture is there, you just seek it out.

  • Jon B.

    I’ve owned and ridden a ton of supermotos—I currently own a 690 enduro with a tubeless 17″ set-up—and I have a decent amount of seat time on electric motorcycles. When friends loan you a priceless demo bike and ask you to talk about the experience, you have choices. I chose to not be an all-knowing “expert” and narrate the experience from a humble and ridiculous place of honesty. But you’re right, it was truly a first for me; riding an electric supermoto with a license plate on the street. The talk of lightness and “who needs a sportbike” was meant with regards to my past experience at Mission developing a sub 600lb electric superbike.

  • So the most important question…does it wheelie?

  • Jon B.

    Totally, and I believe what I was riding was not production power, but rather it was somewhat limited, and yet the answer is still the same; totally wheelies.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    Well, yes, but my lament is that it is so pigeon holed away it is almost hidden. It could be grown organically, and should be. I don’t want it to be something like yacht racing where everyone involved is up their own arse (I don’t know if that’s the case, but any niche thing is susceptible to participants that think being involved makes them special)

  • I used to be a competitive sailor. The guys who race sailboats are awesome (a lot of petrol heads in those ranks)…the guys who fund that racing on the other hand, they’re douche canoes.

  • crshnbrn

    Term for the day: “douche canoes”.
    I confess, I had to look that one up, but then I have been known to exhibit a lack of vocabulary from time to time.

  • Old MOron

    I don’t doubt how much fun the rider had on this bike. But there’s a bit of a non sequitor. There may be one sweeper in the whole vid, but every time he says, “Oh my god, it changes direction so easily,” he’s actually going in a straight line. Kind of funny.

  • Jon B.

    Shrug. Again I spent the last year+ riding a very different platform: an electric superbike. So jumping on something the size of a CRF250, it’s all relevant. And a change in direction, a shift in mass, a lane change, it is all really noticeable. I do agree with you, SF needs more sweepers. :)

  • roma258

    The people I’ve met at trackdays are some of the most down down to ear and helpful folks I’ve met anywhere. The barrier of entry is really not that high (though it can add up quick).

  • Aaron

    Jon, what happened with Mission and their sportbike project? It seemed as though it had the potential to be the future of sportbikes, then nothing. I don’t know if your able to comment…

  • chinadoc

    Being a dirt rider and a HUGE MotoGP fan, you can’t argue with the “dirt” culture that is has some benefits to future track racers. I started on dirt bikes as a wee lad, went to street bikes in my twenties and now in my thirties went back to dirt bikes. I’ll have to say the transition from dirt to street was way easier than street to dirt. I was a better street rider because I possessed a lot of bad dirt bike habits that translated well to street bikes (oddly enough) Dirt is a good starting point.
    Track racing will never be as big in the US mainly due to “$”. Sponsorships is what brings the cash in and the US has so many let-me-decide-for-you-what’s-best laws that the biggest barrier is getting companies to want to sink money into a sport with such a high risk of failure to boot. There was a time where Motorcycle racing was rising (i.e. late 70s into 80s) but fizzled out due to lack of sponsorship as new laws were now being pushed to prevent companies (i.e. alcohol and tobacco) from glamorizing their use. (Poor Joe camel) Don’t get me wrong, I love the US but I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot.
    As far as electric bikes goes……My favorite part of racing is not only the sounds but the smell of race fuel. I have a 2 stroke KTM and I’ll admit that the smell from the exhaust turns me on a little. Am I alone in this?

  • Mario Baroz

    What kind of crappy review/video was that? Just full of his personal expletives. Suspension compliance? Build quality? What’s on the gauge? Weight? Seat height? Price? Options? Dealer Network? Recharging time? Not one iota of useful information with the biggest, most glaring omission….WHAT’S THE RANGE?

  • Jon B.

    It wasn’t a review, nor was it intended to be. It was a shakedown of a pre-production motorcycle, which was filmed and then determined to be funny enough to share. I would imagine that all the information you’re requesting will be supplied by professional journalists on productions bikes at some point in the future.

  • Jon B.

    Aaron, I would love to tell that story to Jensen one day and then allow him to share it here, but I think it’s too early. Unfortunately by the time I feel comfortable enough to share the story, everyone will probably find it very boring. :)

  • Mario Baroz

    Fair enough. It still would’ve been nice to hear you compare it to something that you’ve ridden in the past, just to go give us e-bike virgins some idea of what it’s like. I thought the coolest part of that video was that I recognized some of those streets from when I was visiting my brother. hahahaha… Ok, I’m going to the Alta website now. Thanks for a couple of laughs.

  • Keith

    Well last night I had a dream I was riding an electric Streetfighter and it was awesome. I think that video got to me! Great job Jon!

  • Mario, to (even more of) Jon’s credit, he did give us plenty of feedback relative to his other experiences, both gas and electric. In a public edit of a video we at Alta released, it feels like poor form to share direct comparisons with other bikes, especially those designed for very different purposes like road racing or commuting. We’ll let the public and the journalists do that for us in the near future.

  • Mitchel, we’re right there with you. While our sales plan isn’t counting on it, one of the things that I really hope emerges from these bikes is local, accessible sumo racing. With no maintenance and little noise, it feels like the kind of thing that can bring cheap, easy motorcycle racing into or near urban centers on an unprecedented scale. I personally would love to be able to put in an hour of laps instead of gym-time before or after work, and know it would pay huge dividends in my other riding.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    I apologize, I was just trying to think of a niche where enthusiasts don’t think about trying to grow the hobby. As a car fan as well, I get petrolheads.


    And I thought I was the word of the day guy…

  • imawalker

    A review by a rider/journalist who didn’t sound like a 12 year old skateboarder would have carried more weight than this guy. Stalwart? Why? Does he run to like Starbucks for like everyone dude?

  • So, Is Alta going to produce this bike with sportbike geometry for those that prefer that riding style?