Riding An Alta Redshift MXR Makes It Even More Devastating That They Don't Make These Anymore

Illustration for article titled Riding An Alta Redshift MXR Makes It Even More Devastating That They Dont Make These Anymore
Image: Electrobraap

Whatever you do, don’t ever ride an Alta Redshift MXR. It won’t do you any good. You’ll simply be ruined for all future off-road motocross riding experiences. There is no easy way to say this, but these electric motocross bikes are the G.O.A.T. and the worst part is they already went out of business. If you want one, you’ll have to be prepared to pay out the nose for a used one, because 2018 was the last year these glorious things were made. The company’s assets were sold off to BRP last year, and nothing has been done with them since.

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This weekend some newly minted pals in the electric motorcycle world, known online only as Electrobraap, indicated to me that they would be in my area with a few cool motorcycles to ride out at Moon Rocks ORV area, about 30 miles from my house. I told them I’d ride out to visit them for some rocky trail riding and a warm up around the camp fire on Saturday afternoon. I’d never been out to Moon Rocks before, so I was excited by the opportunity. I loaded myself into the saddle of the Zero DSR Black Forest I’m borrowing, and headed northeast.

Illustration for article titled Riding An Alta Redshift MXR Makes It Even More Devastating That They Dont Make These Anymore
Photo: Bradley Brownell
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Moon Rocks is definitively in the middle of nowhere. Head 20 miles into the desert outside of Reno and you’ll find a gorgeous sandy, rocky, hilly area where thrill seekers and fun havers gather for a ripping good time. This crew had hauled their goodies over the hill in all manner of trucks and campers, setting up in a deep sandy wash. I found out quickly that the terrain here was in over the DSR’s street-oriented head. Once I got parked up and shoved a rock under the Zero’s kickstand, it stayed put for a few hours while I jumped onto something lighter with a more aggressive tire.

The Alta Redshift MXR was a racier version of the 2017 Redshift MX with a slightly lighter chassis, a more powerful motor, an improved battery array, and more aggressive racier suspension. Unfortunately the model lasted just the one year as the company was out of business just a few months later. The 5.8 kWh battery stack in the MXR was optimized for cold temperatures, which is good because we were out whipping in the mid-twenties, even in the sunshine.

Illustration for article titled Riding An Alta Redshift MXR Makes It Even More Devastating That They Dont Make These Anymore
Photo: Electrobraap

With miles and miles of deep sand, open brushy terrain, hard packed whoops, hill climbs, steep drops, and man-modified berms and circle tracks to tackle, we headed out as a trio of two-wheelers looking for trouble to get into. And boy howdy does the Alta want to get into trouble. It soaked up everything we could throw at it with aplomb, despite me being a huskier-than-thou rider.

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While we were only out for maybe two hours before the sun went down, I was hooked instantly on the bike’s incredible power delivery. Weighing in at just 259 pounds, and delivering an instant 42 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel, this was plenty to haul even my fat ass up a steep climb. After a couple hours of riding, and only dumping the bike on myself twice, the battery was still well above half and could have taken a whole lot more abuse.

Illustration for article titled Riding An Alta Redshift MXR Makes It Even More Devastating That They Dont Make These Anymore
Photo: Bradley Brownell
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I can’t thank the Electrobraap guys enough for the experience, despite the biting cold and three days of sore muscles. It was among the most fun experiences I’ve had all year. Albeit, this year has been a really weird one. The Alta Redshift is a wonderful, incredible, exhilarating, and powerful ride. If you like riding off-road, you’ll love the MXR. And that’s the problem. They just don’t exist.

A great bike with great technology. It was a flame that burned too bright and was gone before its time. It’s a shame these didn’t sell by the truckload, because Alta would still be here right now if it weren’t for those financial woes. Everyone and their brother should have bought an Alta Redshift, and I’m actually really bummed that I didn’t when they were new.

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And finally, I don’t know exactly why they zip tied a stuffed monkey to the handlebars of the Alta, but he made for an exciting riding partner. I sent this picture to Stef Schrader and she approved.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

This review reads like the restaurant/burger review I wrote the other day.

Pure unabashed joy and exhilaration.

Fucking love it Bradley. Like (just about) everything you write.

Speaking of bikes and riding, the reason I had a fantastic meal was a great one... I bombed about an hour’s north from home, as one does not simply ride an over torque-ed Bandit 1250 up I-495 in MA to Mordor the north shore with reason. Nay good motorcyclist, I was on a quest.

In fact, it was a twofold quest, one of the greatest proportions!

That of a lovely lass, a damsel in distress if you will. She being of the returning rider (after some time off) and in possession of a lovely vintage Vulcan 750 which I had already ridden. Who was I to say no to the god of fire? Not I good sir, not I. We had agreed to meet at her castle apartment and go riding for a bit so she could work up her confidence again in her magnificent steed (seriously, the stock seats on the OG Vulcans are fucking INCREDIBLE).

Ok, I can’t do the faux GOT/Ren faire shit anymore.

Amanda is a great friend of mine for years. I rode her Vulcan about 80 miles from her parents house to her apt. 2 months ago because she wasn’t confident in riding it, as she hadn’t been riding in like 2 years. I had never ridden ANY cruiser before but I got on that bike and holy hell did I have fun bombing up at 80 mph the whole way. To quote her when we got to her place: “You got on the highway and... oh... ok... we’re doing 80 the whole way. Ok! I guess the bike is working well!”

Anyhow, since then we’ve been texting and I’m like “hey how’s the bike running? feel better riding it?” and it’s always “I feel dumb, I feel like I’ve forgotten everything!”. Which, yeah that happens with time away.

“Want me to come up and ride with you? We can go over basics and stuff?”

“That would be great!”

So cue this weekend, finally make a plan for a Sunday in November, when it’s in the 70's (F) in New England. Let’s. Ride.

Show up, she’s still working on doing low speed stuff like U-turns on her street. Sigh. Ok. We agree to ride around the neighborhood a bit so she gets comfortable. Lots of stopping at stop signs. Never getting out of 2nd gear. All the low speed shit that is... important! But never builds confidence.

After about 20 minutes of this, at yet another dead street slow U-turn I’m like...

“Look, let’s just hop on a back road and ride 15 minutes to a gas station”

She agrees.

We get on the closest back road and it’s.... it’s the fucking idyllic shit. Easy sweeping turns, super pretty fall colors, almost no traffic, etc...

We ride like 20 minutes and she pulls into a gas station and we fuel up. Amanda is no longer the timid, stalling the bike on a U turn rider, she’s flushed and happy and says “hey if it’s ok, we can continue riding to Ipswich”

Yes that’s a real town in Massachusetts.

So we do! We ride to Ipswich and get there and she pulls over (uh-oh).

“So... you were planning on riding up to NH to the HD dealership right? Would you mind if I came along?” **

Mind? 30 minutes ago you didn’t want to leave your subdivision (and the restless dreams of youth) and now you want to ride up the coast to a different state!? Fuck. Yes. Girl.

If you’ve ever ridden rt. 1 up MA/NH - you know this is a shit ton of traffic/assholes/lights etc... but uh... Amanda does fine. She does GREAT. We stop at Seacoast HD, and get the gifts I need for a friend. We have lunch on route 1. We take the fucking interstate back home. Over lunch I ask “so uh... I-95 back home?” She’s totally down for it. She does great.

We show up back at her place about 5 hours after we left. Her roommate (who also rides) is like “whoa! been gone awhile!” and we’re all super happy. She was super pumped. You know that look. That look when you get off the bike and your face says “I want to ride MORE” but you can tell the person’s body is spent.

She did ~80 miles that day. That’s more than she’s done in YEARS. And, not like I’m some great coach or person, but it took me going “look, let’s just ride down a country lane so you get comfortable again” to get her to really RIDE again and ENJOY it.

Oh and lunch. It was fucking amazing. WHYM on route 1 in NH has a fucking stellar menu and one of the best burgers I’ve ever had (get the “Hipster Cowgirl”) and took Covid protocol SUPER serious.

Yeah, Amanda doesn’t like being in pictures.

Here’s the burger review:

If you find yourself on the seacoast section of NH/route 1 - do yourself a favor and goto WHYM Craft Pub & Brewery. Not only is there an extensive beer list (sours, porters, stouts, IPAs, etc.. from all over the area) but the food is FANTASTIC and the menu is pretty damn extensive for a brewpub. I had the “Hipster Cowgirl” burger and it was a fantastic, delicious, gooey melange of the chipotle aioli, pickled red onions, parsley, and goat cheese all on top of a delicious burger. Possibly in my top 5 burgers ever. They also get the award for THE FRIGGING BEST Covid protocols I’ve encountered: Sanitize hands on entering, masks until seated, contact tracing, online menus only, etc.. Staff was super awesome, beer was super awesome, food was super awesome.”

** - the reason I was at a HD shop (even tho none of use ride one) was to buy gifts for the dude who saved my ass in NY state on my trip a few months ago, when I blew a tire (completely off the rim) at 90 mph on the interstate and took my back wheel off and got me to the local track day to get a new tire. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.