Dirt Bike Magazine has recently begun to explore the realm of electric motorcycles, and for all the different types we’ve ridden, it seems that trials riding might be where electric motors have the most potential to be competitive at this time. In trials, the bulk of the workload is done in short bursts with plenty of time for the motor to cool down between sections. In short, trials riding presents an ideal use case for electric motors.

Electric Motion (EM) added some new features to the ePure Race to enhance its performance. A top feature is the hydraulic clutch, which allows the rider to both modulate the power and load the suspension. For 2023, EM improved last year’s control switch by swapping the position of the “map” and “FRB” buttons to improve the ergonomics. With the ePure Race, the Fixed Regenerative Braking system applies an engine brake force depending of the speed of the rear wheel. The machine has six total maps for 2023. All of them have been improved upon for the new model year, and TKO is now available on the green map.

In the suspension department the machine has a new rear linkage, along with a new 6.7-inchtravel Reiger two-way shock and an updated 6.9-inch-travel Tech Aluminum Racing fork. The stopping power comes from Braktec, the tires are Michelin and the spec weight is 165.5 pounds.

Setting up the ePure took about the same amount of time as mixing two-stroke oil into 5 gallons of gas. Literally, get the controls where you want them, preferred air pressure in the tires, hit the power button and go ride. This electric trials bike offers several advantages over traditional gas-powered motorcycles. First, the lack of engine noise and vibration provide a uniquely good feel for the ground. With its electric motor, the bike eliminates the possibility of stalling the engine and produces much less noise pollution than traditional gas-powered motorcycles. However, riders should note that there is still some audible noise resembling that of an electric drill on steroids.

Another unique aspect to the bike is an impressive diaphragm clutch that feels strikingly close to a traditional bike’s clutch. However, the ePure’s clutch allows the rider to either use it or not. In addition, the bike’s throttle is exceptionally user-friendly, delivering quick and smooth power without just spinning the rear wheel. The rider can even apply enough pressure to the rear tire on a large log using the throttle alone and avoid spinning. That aspect makes us that much more intrigued with the bike.

It’s a unique sensation, as you almost forget that you don’t have gears to shift. This makes the bike more approachable for beginners who may not be familiar with shifting and allows more experienced riders to fully immerse themselves in the ride with one less distraction. Just smooth, linear and immediate power to the rear wheel, which might be the most inviting part of this bike. The intimidation factor of controlling the clutch around tight corners is out of the equation. Folks just getting into trials may be sold on that aspect alone.

We began with a classic trials warmup to test our static balance on the bike. Next, we tried some static front hops, and we were impressed by the bike’s balanced feel from front to back. Once we started moving, we felt comfortable with the ergonomics and ride feel of the bike, which is similar to normal gas-powered trials bikes. In general, it does feel slightly bigger and wider than most full-sized trials bikes. However, compared to some of its competition, the ePure is around 20 pounds overweight. This extra weight became noticeable when attempting rear-wheel hops or stoppies to make a pivot. Nonetheless, like any new bike, it took some time to compensate for the extra weight, and then the bike started to feel much more natural. However, a dedicated trials competitor may find the extra weight hard to get used to at first.

There are differences that require adjusting your technique to learn to deliver the power to the rear wheel effectively. Although it was bordering on frustration at first, we did put a deliberate effort in to adapt to the differences and started to become more efficient on the bike. An important factor to consider is that the throttle input requires larger hand movements to build up power, particularly when tackling bigger obstacles. Additionally, the clutch release has to be precise, and we found that was the toughest part to get used to.

Although this bike is capable of tackling big obstacles, it simply doesn’t have the same snappiness as a combustion engine. This can require more physical effort, and carefully modulating the throttle and clutch to achieve the necessary power and control. As a result, high-flying obstacles can be particularly challenging for riders. One more challenge is the slight resistance on the rear when rolling backwards. It’s common to need to roll backwards in trials, and the ePure suffers in that regard.

While there is a learning curve to adapting to the differences of this bike, particularly when it comes to clutch work, Electric Motion has made significant strides in the development of this technology. We are positive that in the next few years, Electric Motion will continue to make their electric bikes even more competitive.

Overall, we are impressed with what Electric Motion has achieved in this bike and are excited to see where the future of electric motorcycles takes us. And, while electric bikes may still be slightly heavier than gas-powered ones and not yet at a threatening advantage, the ePure Race demonstrates impressive and practical technology. We feel that especially people just getting into trials riding and not necessarily concerned with the huge obstacles will have an advantage with the ePure Race.





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