Monday 17th December: Tracks Closed.

The Future is Here & Now

Electric Trail Bikes

maddix park mx

Electricity powered vehicles have been in the news a lot recently, in general, relating to cars and, more specifically, to the man who made NZ motoring history by driving his electric Nissan Leaf from Cape Reinga to Bluff and back.  However, this brilliant technolgy is by no means limited to 4 wheeled forms of transport.

The Isle of Man Government  for many moons had a motorcycle road racing prize of ten thousand pounds for the first electric bike in the TT Zero class to crack the 100 miles per hour barrier and that prize was finally claimed in 2012.

The all electric technology extends equally to off road motorcycles and it is believed that Redshift electric MX machines will be available in NZ from 2016.

The world of trials is well ahead of that mark.

For trials riders, the future is here and now.

Yesterday I watched two quietly perfect men in action at the first of the Tauranga Trials Group's Saturday events.  I wasn't aware which bikes were participating and to my inexpert eye, all the bikes looked pretty much the same.

Then, from the trees, came a gentle whirring sound and a rider, almost silently, emerged. He descended a slippery bank to the water and negotiated the semi-submerged uneven rocks and stones, and yet the only noise was the splashing of white water on wheels and the "babbling of the brook" as the poets say. I could even hear the birds still twittering in the trees above.

The bike was one of the two electric trials bikes competing and the rider was Francis Sydenham, the Tauranga based NZ distributor for Electric Motion Trail bikes.

"Electric power is the way of the future" says Francis. "The Electric Motion (EM) trail bikes are completely green with zero pollution and virtually silent. They are easy to ride, there is no kick starting, no warm up, you just turn on the switch and go. There is no clutch to worry about, no gears to change, no messy fuel to carry or mix and virtually no maintenance. What more could you ask for ?"

Most people would probably ask about the battery and how much riding you get before you have to do the recharge.

"One charge lasts a whole trials event," says Francis. "The battery takes about an hour and a quarter to recharge at a cost of about 25 cents. If you are doing a trail ride the usage will be a bit different.  If the trail is on flat ground then you would get 2 to 3 hours.  If there were lots of uphills, then obviously you would get less time."

The other question people ask is about the cc rating. For trials riders this is not an issue as the classes are divided on a skills level basis.  There is no cc rating for the EM machines but there are 5 settings on the handlebar which include Novice, Trek and Trial.  Depending on the setting used, the EM machine becomes the equivalent of a 125 to 250cc fuel driven motorcycle.

One noticeable feature is the height of the bike. It is particularly user-friendly for women, young people and the shorter-legged amongst us. For many, it is a confidence builder of great comfort to sit on a bike and have feet touching the ground.  

Francis advises that a competition trials bike that can also be used, with the seat, as a trail bike or green laner is available now.

The 2014 Electric Motion 5.7 comes in two models, standard and sport.  The EM 5.7 will appeal to riders from all walks of life who want to be able to just get on and ride.   It is the perfect answer if you are riding where there may be a fire risk, animals you don't want to frighten or stock you may need to quietly check.

All EM bikes sold in NZ  come with a removable seat and also the larger capacity battery charger making for a one hour recharge - this battery and the seat are normally optional extras.

For more information go to the web Electric Motion NZ or Facebook or phone Francis Sydenham on 0274956236.

 
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