RIDING THE EM ESCAPE ELECTRIC OFF-ROAD BIKE: THE WRAP

A few weeks ago, we got our hands on an Electric Motion Escape XR electric off-road bike. Electric Motion is a French company that’s on top of the electric trials bike scene, and now they’re pushing into the general-purpose off-road market as well.

At this point, the trials world is way ahead when it comes to electric motorcycle technology. While the motocross world is still trying to figure out the whole weight vs range balance, trials riders have moved on to the next issue, which is all about performance. Most other makers of electric bikes are still insisting that things like clutches and gearboxes aren’t necessary. We’re here to tell you they are. Despite the fact that an electric bike doesn’t stall, you still need a clutch to spin up the motor for a sudden release of torque. The gearbox makes that even more effective, especially for advanced riders. The Escape XR has a hydraulic clutch, which combines with a simulated idle, which they call “TKO.” This model doesn’t have a gearbox, but we know the company is working on that as well. Their top trials bike already has a four-speed.

Jacob Tilley on the Escape XR.

In overall layout, the Escape still has a lot of trials influence. It’s extremely light–under 200 pounds. It does have a seat, but it handles best when you stand up. Once you get used to that, it can keep up with most off-road rides. The power is pretty good. In the highest of the three levels it can accelerate and climb hills about like a 250 four-stroke. We took it on a trail ride in desert foothills with a mixed group of gasoline powered bikes and it fit right in. Performance-wise, the only real limitation was suspension. It has about 250mm of travel at both ends and it’s set up very soft. That’s great for really tight stuff, but you use it all up when speeds climb over 30 mph or so. Range is a bigger issue. With a 200-pound rider on hilly terrain, we ran out of juice after 25 miles. That was a 2.5 hour trail ride, although the hour meter on one of the gasoline bikes registered 1.7 hours. We actually squeaked out another 2 miles with the Escape in Limp mode with very limited power. We don’t know how much farther it would go like that and we’re not anxious to find out.


We also rode it on neighborhood trails in a very urban setting. That’s where it really shines. It isn’t always acceptable to go out and poach horse and mountain bikes trails, but you will clearly be more welcome on the Escape than you would be on a gasoline bike. It’s super quiet and range is never an issue when you’re close to home. With the influx of electric bicycles, Surrons and Talarias, ebike access is becoming a hot topic in some areas. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. The Escape doesn’t really belong in the same category as most of the Chinese E-Motos. It’s built to much higher quality–essentially equivalent to a European trials bike. There are two versions of the Escape: the standard model for $9999 and the XR (which we have) is $11,999. We will have a full test in the September, 2025 print edition of Dirt Bike.

VEGAS TO RENO

 

Best in the Desert is offering special gifts to early entries for the Vegas to Reno. This race has been the premiere point to point, long-distance off-road race in the United States since 1996. That’s when Casey Folks brought cars and trucks into his Best In The Desert motorcycle racing series and created the now epic event. Vegas to Reno traverses dry lake beds, (most of the time), rocky, high mountain passes, river washes, and bottomless silt beds. Conditions range from cold, wet and windy, to stifling heat that can boil your fuel before it even reaches the engine. Teams have to be patient if they want to win such a long haul, but at the same time, if your pace isn’t flat out, you’ll get left behind.
The renamed  “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno is approaching on August 14th through the 17th.

Bonus Racers Edition 2024 “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno Lunar Dunes Desert Red Ale from the Celestial Mechanics Beer Company.

Plus, Commemorative “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno T-Shirts featuring distinctive graphics from our very own Scott Socia.
Each of the first 100 teams to register will receive two 1-pint cans of the special Lunar Dunes Desert Red Ale, and enough commemorative T-Shirts for the team. Only 55 spots are left. And once they’re filled, these special bonus gifts are gone.
IMPORTANT DATES:
Wednesday July 31st: Draw for Starting positions
Wednesday August 14th: Time Trials – Select Classes
Thursday August 15th: Registration, Tech, Contingency & Event Expo
Friday August 16th: RACE DAY!

KAWASAKI TECH

Kawasaki just sent us this video outlining the changes to the 2025 KX250. We already love the KX, and now we expect it to be even better.

HI-POINT NATIONAL MX

Saturday, June 15th will be round 4 of the 2024 Pro Motocross Championship season from Mt. Morris, PA at the High Point National. The High Point National will be broadcast live domestically on Peacock and Internationally on the SuperMotocross VideoPass beginning with Race Day Live at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET. Coverage of all four motos of the 250 Class and 450 Class will air at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, followed by the post-race show at the conclusion of the afternoon.

COMING UP NEXT

Heritage Husky project.
The Husky Memorial today.
Geoff Aaron on the EM Sport electric trials bike.
BMW F900GS

We have a ton of stuff coming up in the next print issue of Dirt Bike, ranging from trials bikes to adventure bikes to a feature on the true story behind the Husky Memorial in the high desert. Stay tuned!

See you next time!

–Ron Lawson

 

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