Alta Motors Makes First Redshift Customer Delivery

12/17/2015 @ 3:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS


It has been a long time coming for Alta Motors (the electric motorcycle company formerly known as BRD) to bring its electric motorcycles to market, but that day has finally arrived.

Alta Motors has delivered its first motorcycle to a customer yesterday, with Eric Gauthier and Jeannine Smith of Suspension Performance taking delivery of their new Redshift MX.

“We’ve been quietly driving towards this moment for over 8 years in pursuit of creating the best motorcycles money can buy,” said Marc Fenigstein, Co-Founder and CEO of Alta Motors.

“The result is a machine with a whole suite of new technologies, and a very different motorcycle than anything that has come before.”

“The Redshift feels immediately comfortable to anyone who has ever thrown a leg over a state of the art performance motorcycle, but offers a leap forward in control, feel, and the connection between the rider’s brain and the tires on the ground.”

“To have successful, speed-minded customers like Eric and Jeannine take delivery of the first Redshift is a tremendous honor for Alta Motors,” finished Fenigstein.

The $15,000 electric dirt bike features 250cc class performance figures, though with the obvious benefits that come from an electric drivetrain, such as instantaneous torque.

What separates Alta Motors from many in the field is the fact that components were developed in house, including the motor. The chassis is clean-sheet design, while the components are top-shelf items from trusted moto-industry brands.

For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, Alta Motors started as BRD Motorcycles back in 2007, with Fenigstein co-founding the company with Derek Dorresteyn and Jeff Sand.

With serious founding now secured, Alta Motors recently moved into a new facility in Northern California, where it has begun production on the Redshift MX off-roader and Redshift SM road-legal supermoto motorcycle models.

Asphalt & Rubber was lucky enough to be the first publication to test the Redshift SM prototype, which was a promising machine, even back in 2009 when we rode it. We have been a fan of the project ever since.

As such, we are excited to see the improvements that Alta Motors has made to the machine in the time since that first ride. Look for some thoughts on the production machine in the coming months.





Source: Alta Motors

  • El Apestoso

    Great, it’s nice to see someone finally coming around to possibly give some competition to Zero. The breed definitely needs more of that.

  • Miles Prower

    Big news! But no email announcement from Alta to all of its preorder customers who’ve been waiting 7 or 8 years for this milestone event? And no posting of the event in Alta’s website?

    Or perhaps Jensen has a time machine, and we’ll be hearing from Alta directly when it really happens a year or two from now.

  • I’d be surprised if you didn’t hear something from them today. We got the exclusive on the news, that’s all.

  • tbowdre

    I really, really liked the blue and red bike from way back when… that was the first e bike I thought looked really cool and well put together…. still is.

    Then today I see a bike that looks… like a KTM?… why orange? why the twin engine cradles that look like they are straight off an ICE bike? The black supermoto looks promising in the background there.

    Maybe the spec sheet improved over the past several years?

  • Ryan McDonnell

    I’ve been drooling over the Redshift at SF BMW, where these photos were taken, for a couple of months now. Really wish a 15k toy was something I could afford. For now, petrol is still the way to go for me. Fucing sweet bike though.

  • PaulScott58

    Nice looking bike. I hope they sell a lot of them. Are they going to make a street bike? And why the chain over the belt drive like Zero uses?

  • paulus

    Probably because of the tension needed for belts. For off-road you generally need more slackness for the increased suspension travel, unless it is driven directly in line with the swing arm pivot. BMW did try that but the bike would behave ‘unconventionally’ when on/off the power. Buyers didn’t like it.

  • The supermoto model is street legal.

  • drivin98

    If it makes it any easier, this should qualify for a 10% tax credit, so really about $1,500 less than MSRP.

  • Ryan McDonnell

    Still a hard price to justify for a commuter/city bike for me. Most of my rides are 250-300 miles.

    Commuting, it’s really an attractive package, minus the price. I do about 30 miles a day commuting, so the range isn’t an issue and I could charge at work. Sadly, I like to get far away from the Bay Area and the Alta won’t let me do that.

  • Yeah, but they’ll be bitchin’ bikes on track/trails, and that’s the company’s focus right now.

  • Ryan McDonnell

    I get it, but that’s why I referred to it as a toy earlier. It’s a bad ass bike, undoubtedly, and I’m glad they’re doing what they’re doing.

  • ‘Mike Smith

    You aren’t joking about the tension. My Zero’s belt is so tight, it barely flexes when you touch it.

  • Hi Miles, an email did go out to all of our depositors, including the ones that date back to the original launch in late 2011. Did you place your deposit under a different name? We don’t have a deposit on record for “Miles Prower,” and I wouldn’t want you to fall through the cracks. You can reply to if you don’t want to respond here.

  • Hi tbowdre, thanks for the kind words. The production bike represents a pretty huge leap forward from the original prototype (and should be given the time, effort, and money that went into it…), with some of the changes more conspicuous than others. Overall, there are thousands of changes that represent the difference between a well-running prototype, and a production bike that can live out in the world on its own and keep performing to our standards. That’s the case for really any hardware product, and it’s often hard to tell the difference from photos and marketing content. Jensen does a really good job here, but much of the tech media just blurs that distinction between prototype and “real” product. There is twice as much time/money/blood that goes into the work that comes after that first prototype than before.

    To your specific questions… The cradle structure proved to be the best way to achieve our structural goals, which included being able to withstand a cased triple. Overall, the production chassis gained 40% strength (in vertical landings), multiples in impact protection, better flex characteristics, and didn’t gain a pound over the prototype design.

    The blue and red from the original prototype are also still part of the brand palette and will likely reappear (the red is a highlight on the SM colorway), but we added in the gold (it’s about halfway between yellow and orange in person) simply because we all liked it better, at least on this first bike. Bodywork on the SM and MX is the same, so you’ll have options from the beginning and we’ll add more with time.

  • Hi Paul,
    The SM is street legal and will be out in a few short months. These bikes are built as race machines, and a chain is currently the best way to achieve the offroad durability (gravel especially), adjustability (in final drive), and optimum traction (swingarm pivot location – as BMW discovered with their concentric efforts) for race success. Belt drive has advantages in maintenance and noise, but for motocross and supermoto just wasn’t worth the downsides – we would consider it for future applications where durability, adjustability, and traction aren’t so critical.

  • Brandon

    Cant stop thinking about this bike, like a dream come true! Are you going to release a spec sheet for this, and can you comment on which manufactureres cells are used and how they are cooled? Also, any chance if I ordered it today I could race it this season?

  • Brandon, glad to hear the excitement. It will depend a bit on where you are in the country and when your race season starts, but the deposits list is pretty long at this point so chances are you’d get it in the second half of the year if you put in a deposit now. We also expect the deposit list to grow pretty rapidly once magazine reviews of the production units come out, so that wait will probably only get longer…

    On the battery pack, it’s clean sheet, patented tech we developed, and manufacture in-house. To our knowledge, we have the highest commercialized total system level (TSL) energy density in transportation at about 190wH/kg. That’s within spitting distance of the DOE’s targets for 2020.

  • Brandon

    Thank you for the response. As for the battery I was actually referring to the individual cells, not the pack. That is impressive at the pack level though, considering top shelf lithium ion is around 250Wh/kg at the cell level. So many additional things go into a pack keeping it low weight and even harder low volume is a challenge. The reason I ask is I actually design next gen solid state lithium batteries for a living and have tested lots of current stuff, so I wanted to make sure you were using quality cells. From the looks of the rest of this bike you would be using the good stuff. Can’t wait to hear the magazine reviews, going to blow some minds for sure!

  • Gotcha. We’ve shared in other places that it’s an 18650 format and we’re not disclosing our specific cell, but yes, it is very high quality.

  • ‘Mike Smith

    I think it’s time for a shoot-out!.

  • Tonewall Jaxon

    for 15 I hope those are Ohlins…..

  • al

    Is a street only version planned?

  • Sup doo

    Just because it doesn’t meet your needs doesn’t mean it’s a “toy”.

  • Ryan McDonnell

    It sure does, to me.