Bad news from San Francisco today, as we learn that Alta Motors has ceased business operations, effective immediately, sending the company’s staff home as the electric motorcycle manufacturer looks for future funding.
Talking to an anonymous source, Asphalt & Rubber has been told that Alta Motors is in the midst of a strategic wind down, as it looks for an outside acquisition or investment.
Episode 69 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is a special one, since it is our recent live show, which was held at the Dainese D-Store in San Francisco.
The show covers a number of topics, and starts out with a discussion about the recent news that the FIM has picked its spec-motorcycle for the upcoming FIM Moto-e Cup series.
From there, we move into a conversation about the state of the motorcycle industry, and how organizations like the AMA and MIC represent motorcycling – or don’t, as the case may be.
This then leads into a talk about the industry as a whole in the United States, which is on the decline, and how we can fix that downward trend. The show then goes into a Q&A session, which continues these topics.
The conversations are pretty interesting, and well-worth listening to. Thank you again to all the Two Enthusiasts enthusiasts who spend their Wednesday night with us in San Francisco!
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.
We hope you will join the conversation, and leave us some audio comments at our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a fan of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast, and happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area next week, then we have a treat for you. This is because Quentin and I will be doing a live show on December 13th, at the San Francisco Dainese D-Store.
Things will kick-off around 6:30pm and we expect the show to go for about an hour and a half. Bring yourself, bring a friend, and bring a question for the Q&A. Kickstands are optional.
As always, 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. We hope to see you in San Francisco!
News from San Francisco tell us that Alta Motors has begun production on its electric supermoto, the Alta Redshift SM. We have been waiting a long time for this powerful electric supermoto to come to reality, ever since we rode the prototype model waaaay back in 2011.
The Redshift SM is Alta’s second model, as the motocross-focused Redshift MX started shipping to customers in late-2015, and was the company’s first electric motorcycle out of the starting blocks. The first street-legal model from Alta, the Redshift SM will cost a pricy $15,495 MSRP.
Rumors of street-legal enduro model, and possibly even a street-tracker bike have been coming from San Francisco as well, as Alta is ramping up its production after closing a $27 million round in funding earlier this year.
Today’s news means that Alta dealers and pre-order customers can expect Redshift supermotos on showroom floors around Labor Day.
Alta Motors is announcing that it has closed two fundraising rounds, for a total of $27 million capital raised in exchanged for preferred stock in the San Francisco based electric motorcycle company.
The B & C series fundraising rounds were led by Grassy Creek Ventures, with the Series C round joined by Latin American venture capital fund Mountain Nazca, along with motorcycle legend Bob Fox – of Fox Racing fame.
Alta Motors says that the use of funds goes to the expanding the company’s existing manufacturing and R&D facility in Brisbane, CA; refining the company’s vehicle technology; and developing more lightweight vehicles.
From the funding, Alta Motors sees two more board members added to the company’s board of directors: Travis Bradford, Professor of Practice and Director of the Energy and Environment graduate program at Columbia University, and Hector Sepulveda, Managing Partner at Mountain Nazca.
I had to check the A&R archives to see if we have even mentioned Lit Motors before, mostly because the the San Francisco startup has been slow to develop its self-balancing motorcycle, and I’m not terribly bullish on the project.
That doesn’t mean the concept is without merit though, and its apparently caught the interest of Apple. If that sounds strange to you, then you need to understand that Apple, along with a bevy of other tech giants, is working on an autonomous car for the masses.
This “Project Titan” as it’s called, has already seen Apple poach a couple of Lit Motors’ personnel, and now the most valuable company in the world is looking at acquiring Lit Motors, and/or other automotive entities, according to the New York Times.
It’s been a long-time coming, but customer bikes are starting to roll out of the Alta Motors production facility outside of San Francisco. That’s music to the ears of many patient and eager owners, and we’re pretty excited about it too.
This is because the Alta Motors Redshift SM is a designed to compete against any 250cc supermoto on the market, and the same can be said of the Californian company’s MX model as well, when it comes to motocross duties.
So far, every indication points to the Redshift living up to that promise (A&R will know first-hand, soon enough). Until then though, we’re chewing on this time-lapse video that Alta Motors posted to YouTube.
It’s interesting to see how the Alta Motors crew assembles their production electric motorcycles; but perhaps what is most striking, is the relatively clean and simple design that makes the Redshift come to life.
For a bike powered by batteries and liquid-cooled, there are almost no visible wires or hoses. See for yourself, after the jump.
The story of Skully is starting to sound more and more like a script for a soap opera, and today’s installment sees former Skully employee Isabelle Faithhauer bringing suit in the San Francisco County Superior Court against Skully and its founders Marcus Weller and Mitchell Weller.
Faithhauer is the former-assistant to Skully CEO Marcus Weller, and for a time, served as the company’s bookkeeper. In her complaint she alleges that Skully wrongfully terminated her, and brings several other causes of action that are related to that wrongful termination.
However in her filing with the court, Faithhauer also lists a number of incidents where Marcus Weller and Mitchell Weller allegedly used company funds to buy exotic cars, rent expensive apartments in San Francisco, and travel around the world.
If true, this sort of spending could help explain why Skully ran out of capital, and then officially closed its doors last week, despite having raised roughly $15 million from investors and would-be customers.
You can read the full filing of Faithhauer’s complaint against Skully and the Wellers here, which is a PDF hosted by the San Francisco County Superior Court and a public record.
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.
Let’s face it, we knew this day would come. Technology has finally progressed to the point where our beloved past time of riding motorcycles can now be done by a robot. Sarah Connor was right. Skynet is coming. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.
As tinfoil hat as we can make this story, let’s be honest…it’s pretty cool that Yamaha is developing a humanoid robot that can ride a motorcycle. It’s sorta creepy, but it’s also really cool.
To help lighten the blow, Yamaha is playing off its “Motobot” with a little bit of humor, having the machine taunt factory MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, and suggesting that one day the robot will beat the
ten-time nine-time World Champion at what he does best.
That’s fun and all, and it certainly grabs headlines, but the Yamaha Motobot is a really big deal for a lot more reasons that are less obvious than what has been put forth. Let me explain.
Most Asphalt & Rubber readers are aware of Skully, the San Francisco startup that is making a helmet with an integrated heads-up-display (HUD), and many A&R readers are also aware that Skully is now officially late in delivering its maiden product to the masses.
Finally acknowledging the tardiness to its 2,000 or so early-adopting customers, Skully has released a video (after the jump) explaining its activities, and that the company is on-track for its new delivery date, before the end of the year – or as they say in marketing speak: just in time for Christmas.
Of course we knew back in late-2013, when Skully first announced its helmet, that there was no way the company was going to hit its delivery promise for 2014, though now the company seems in good stead for its new 2015 promise, with an actual office in SF, a deal with Flextronics to make the augmented reality portion of the helmet, and manufacturing tooled-up.