The Honda CR Electric prototype is perhaps one of the biggest stories we have seen so far this year, as it shows a very serious effort by the Japanese brand to bring an electric model to one of its most important motorcycle segments.
Very few photos and details made it out of Tokyo when the Honda CR Electric prototype, except for our rather in-depth analysis of the bike for our A&R Pro readers. If you will allow the modest plug, that story itself is worth the modest price of admission that helps support the site.
Back to the machine, we have a little more news to report, as we have proof that the electric dirt bike is indeed a runner, as the motorcycle took some exhibition laps at the first round of the All Japan Motocross Championship.
It is curious that the past couple of weeks have been rife with internet chatter about Ducati working on a 450cc motocross bike. It is a strange rumor, and if true it would be big news for Ducati.
Of course, for the very same reason that it would be big news, this rumor is also hard to believe, if for no other reason than Ducati getting into the MX scene would be a huge jump for the Italian brand.
What is more curious though is the timing of the story, as it comes only two weeks after we published some thoughts about how Ducati can expand its lineup, through the acquisition of a brand like TM Racing.
Owners of a 2018 Honda CRF250R motorcycle should take note that American Honda is recalling these dirt bikes for a safety issue concerning the motorcycle’s clutch.
Specifically, the recall is for the CRF250R’s clutch basket and judder spring. Under certain conditions, the clutch basket can break and possibly lock up the engine in the process, which can lead to a crash and injury.
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.
One of my more favorite phrases to tell people is that it is called Asphalt & Rubber for reason, as I am very much a sport bike / street bike sort of guy. That is why I sent hot-shoe Carlin Dunne down to SoCal today to ride the brand new Alta Motors Redshift MXR motocross bike.
Revised with a bevy of improvements over Alta’s original Redshift MX model, the MXR is designed to be a proper race bike. So, we had Carlin pack some extra postage stamps, with explicit instructions go send it.
With 50hp packed into a 259 lbs body, the Redshift MXR has some promising specs, but beyond the spec-sheet, the electric dirt bike brings a new twist to riding an MX course, namely with promises for better hookup and more traction.
How does it work in the wild though? Well, we are going to ride it and find out.
Per our new review format, we will be giving you a live assessment of the new Alta Redshift MXR right here in this article (down in the comments section), and there we will try to answer any questions you might have.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Redshift MXR, before even Carlin’s own proper review is posted. As always, if we don’t know an answer, we will try to get a response from the Alta personnel. So, pepper away.
You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtags #RedshiftMXR
Episode 65 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we cover the recent Tokyo Motor Show, as well as the unveiling of the new Honda Gold Wing.
Finally getting to see the venerable tourer up-close in California, Jensen reports back on the new features that have come to the Gold Wing, which is much lighter and more compact than the outgoing model.
We also briefly discuss Suzuki’s recent decision to halt its MXGP and All-Japan motocross racing programs, which is curious considering that the Suzuki RM-Z450 got a significant update for the 2017 model year.
Turning to the Tokyo Motor Show, there were a bevy of significant releases making an appearance in Japan, which we discussed in detail: Honda Neo Sports Café Concept, Kawasaki Ninja 400, Kawasaki Z900RS, Suzuki SV650X, Yamaha Niken, and Yamaha MOTOROiD.
There’s plenty for everyone in this show, and we think you’ll enjoy it, but beep an eye out next week for our coverage of the EICMA show in Milan.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
In a shocking announcement, Suzuki Motor Corp. announced the withdrawal of its factory-supported teams from the Motocross World Championship (MXGP) and All Japan Motocross Championship – two high-profile series for Suzuki’s off-road racing efforts.
Suzuki says that the move comes after evaluating its motorcycle operations, as it plans to focus on its core business function, and it also restructures its motorcycle business. The result, as we have now seen, is the Japanese brand reducing its MX commitments.
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.
Valentino Rossi has suffered slight injuries to his liver and kidneys after crashing an MX bike while training. The Italian had been practicing at the Cross Park Cavallara, near Pesaro, where he crashed his motocross bike.
The crash was severe enough to cause chest and abdominal trauma, so Rossi was taken to the emergency room at Rimini hospital, where he currently remains.
Thankfully though, the nine-time world champion appears to have emerged from his motocross accident relatively unscathed.
The All-Japan Nationals for motocross always seem to give us a glimpse on what to expect from the Japanese manufacturers’ dirt bike divisions, so much so, that it has become a thing in moto-journal circls.
This year, Yamaha decided to drop some of the pretenses and help the journalists out, and even provided some photos and a statement about its upcoming motocross machines.
As such, the above motorcycle is the 2018 Yamaha YZ450FM – Yamaha’s revised 450cc motocross racing machine, and while actual details on the new motocross bike are thin, we can glean some details from the photos.
At the Isle of Man TT, Mugen is the team to beat, with the company’s Shinden electric superbike showing the state of the art, when it comes to electric motorcycles.
The asphalt is apparently not enough for Mugen though, as the Japanese tuning house has “partnered” with Honda to build an electric motocross dirt bike.
What you are look at here is the Mugen E.Rex, and don’t let the horrid dinosaur theme put you off, there is some seriously bad to the bone (sorry, couldn’t resist) pieces on this roost-maker.