Another established manufacturer is signaling its electrification, this time with the OEM being Husqvarna Motorcycles. The Swedish brand is tied in ownership to KTM, which has its own EV program, so perhaps the news isn’t that shocking, but nevertheless, here we are.
As such, you can expect the first electric Husqvarna dirt bike to come during the 2020 model year, as the Husqvarna EE 5 was put on display at this year’s EICMA show.
The motorcycle is a bold step forward, though not a big one, as the 2020 Husqvarna EE 5 is designed with young riders in mind.
Much was said about the 2019 Honda CRF450L before it even debuted in the United States, and the resounding collective opinion of the moto-journalists in attendance at its press launch was that the 450cc dual-sport is potent off-road, and well-mannered on the street.
Our own thoughts on the new Honda CRF450L are quite positive, and it rises to the top of the list of dual-sports that we would put in our garage. Getting an up-close look at the machine, you can see Honda’s quality shine through, from the engine to the switchgear, and even the body panels.
Making roughly 45hp at the crank, the CRF450L isn’t the most powerful bike in the category, put the torque curve on the Honda is tabletop flat and without holes. This makes the machine easy to hookup on the dirt, and refined for street riding…all the way to 85mph or more.
One of five new 450cc dirt bikes from Honda, the CRF450L is a true dual-sport – letting bikes like the CRF450RX and CRF450X fill the enduro niches for racing and pure trail riding. Thus having a weapon for every use, Honda smartly focused the CRF450L to be a dual-sport that can actually handle on street riding, instead of just compromising an exist dirt-focused machine.
Where do you begin about the 2019 Honda CRF450L? You can start with the dearth of 450cc dual-sport motorcycles for the American market, for one. You can talk about Honda’s new 450cc dirt bike lineup, which has spawned five separate models for the 2019 model year.
We of course have to mention the domination of the market by a certain European manufacturer, which prefers the color orange. And naturally, we should give a nod to the resurgence of the American off-road scene, and how Big Red wants to be part of that growing movement.
The truth is, all of these points are realities when it comes to the new Honda CRF450L – a dirt bike that is street-legal from the factory, for all 50 states of the Union. The United States is the target market for the 2019 Honda CRF450L, and for good reason. Honda sees a real opportunity for a 450cc dual-sport in the USA, one that can slot in between the woefully old Suzuki DRZ-400S and the “race bike with lights” KTM 450 EXC-F (sold in the US only as its kitted-out “Six Days” variant).
Among the first in the world to ride the 2019 Honda CRF450L, American Honda brought Asphalt & Rubber out to our own backyard, and let us loose on the CRF450L in Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Providing a mix of gravel roads, single-track, double-track, and proper street use, we spent over 100 miles getting to see how well the Honda CRF450L plays on both the dirt and asphalt. In short? Very, very well.
I always joke with industry folk that “it’s called Asphalt & Rubber for a reason,” as I am a dyed in the wool street bike guy. So when Alta Motors invited A&R to ride the new Alta Redshift MXR, I knew there were better people for the job than I.
This is where heterosexual life partner Carlin Dunne comes into the mix. On top of being one of the fastest men ever up Pikes Peak on two wheels, as well as the fastest electric motorcycle to compete in The Race to the Clouds, Carlin is an accomplished off-road racer – both with and without a motor between his legs.
So, we sent Carlin down to Southern California to ride Alta’s newest machines, and with already a bevy of time in the saddle on electric motorcycles, I can’t think of a better person’s opinion for these electron-powered off-road racers. I think you will find his insights very interesting. -JB
It was a crisp mid-week morning as we pulled into Perris Raceway for the 2018 Alta Motors product launch. Backed up against a boulder strewn hillside, opening up into a open valley, Perris MX offered a unique backdrop for the unveiling of a uncommon motorcycle.
The weird new kid usually gets picked last for dodge ball, so in its sophomore year, Alta hopes its 2018 offerings and their undeniable performance numbers will get them on the court in the brutally competitive MX bike market.
And here we are today at Perris raceway, being presented with two models from their 2018 range, the competitively priced Redshift MX and the new Redshift MXR.
KTM was the first major motorcycle manufacturer to debut a production-ready electric motorcycle, all the way, way back in 2011. In true KTM fashion though, it has taken six years for the “Ready to Race” brand to be ready for the US market with its electric motorcycle design.
This is because KTM North America is finally bringing the KTM Freeride E-XC to the United States, starting with a handful of dealerships (11, to be precise) who will carry the electric dirt bike, reportedly in limited quantities.
Not one to let the other brands have all the fun, Yamaha has debuted its all new 450cc class motocross bike, the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F, which features the first engine tuning app available for a production MX bike.
The new Yamaha YZ450F is truly an all-new machine, with a new engine, frame, and bodywork. For bonus points too, the new YZ450F comes with an electric starter, which means MX riders can now skip leg day at the gym, and still get their bikes running on race day.
Available in July, in either “Team Yamaha Blue” or “White” color schemes, the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F will cost $9,199 MSRP. This price includes the onboard communication control unit (CCU), which allows the rider to connect to the bike via smartphone.
We shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Husqvarna will be following suit with its Austrian sibling, and adding fuel-injection to several of its two-strokes enduro motorcycle for the 2018 model year.
After a long history of rumors and development, KTM finally debuted fuel injection for a production two-stroke model just a few weeks ago, using the technology on two of its upcoming enduro models, the KTM 250 EXC TPI and KTM 300 EXC TPI.
Husqvarna will use the same technology for its own motorcycles in the same segments, announcing today the the all-new 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i and 2018 Husqvarna TE 300i enduro models with transfer port injection.
The good folk over at ADV Pulse have some interesting news for the dual-sport crowd, as British marque Clews Competition Machines is getting ready to discontinue its CCM GP450 dual-sport/adventure-tourer.
Replacing it will be a 600cc model, which will share the same engine as CCM’s recent Spitfire roadster model, which is really a big-displacement single-cylinder lump from SYM, which is really just a liquid-cooled four-stroke motor from the BMW era of Husqvarna. Still with us on that?
Confusing lineage aside, the new CCM GP600 Adventure sounds like it will be the perfect choice for those in the ADV category who want a dirt bike that can go on the highway, rather than a highway bike that can go off-road.
Depending on your geography, the start of snow bike season might finally be here. These modified dirt bikes have snowmobile-like treads at the rear, a ski at the front, and look like an absolute blast in the frozen white stuff.
We’re sure that any time two snow bikes find themselves together, that some form of racing ensues. But now, to make things a bit more legit, the American Motorcyclist Association has officially sanctioned snow bike racing, starting the AMA Championship Snow Bike series in the process.
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.
Astute readers will realize that if there’s a Yamaha PES2 electric concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, then surely there must be a Yamaha PED2 concept as well, as the two electric concepts were two-sides of the same coin, back in 2013.
Yes Virginia, there is a PED2 concept, and while it looks closer to being production ready than its predecessor, Yamaha seems content to simply call this electric motorcycle a concept…for now.