There aren’t any series to race electric motorcycles in because there aren’t enough electric motorcycles to build a series around, so nobody builds electric motorcycles for racing because there aren’t any series to race electric motorcycles in. It’s a little bit like the old argument about the chicken and the egg, isn’t it? And it’s just as maddening, especially if you’re one of those people who, like me, believes that competition improves the breed. If you are one of those people, though, you’ll love this good news coming from the AMA: it is launching a brand-new Mini-E Jr. national championship class that’s specifically designed for young riders on electric motorcycles!
The American Motorcyclist Association‘s (AMA) Motocross series are the most popular form of amateur motorcycle racing in the United States, with categories spanning everything from 4-year-olds on minibikes to grizzled, 50+ year-old veterans on stupidly powerful, 450cc machines. The races themselves are run on natural or man-made terrain, over courses that might include hills, bumps, jumps, and complicated turns. Events typically consist of two “heat” races (called “motos”) in each class, and a combined score from each moto is used to determine a rider’s overall place in final standings.
It’s complicated, sure — it’s also almost impossibly awesome!
Every year, the best amateurs in the country compete for a spot in the prestigious AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s. There, the best of the best compete for the coveted AMA Motocross Horizon Award, which is presented to the amateur racer who has demonstrated the most promise for professional success. It’s a huge deal for would-be riders, and its influence cannot be overstated.
“I am very excited to be able to see our SX-E 5 race at Loretta’s in 2020,” says Nathan Ramsey, KTM Motorcycles’ “Orange Brigade” racing Team Manager. “I believe it is a necessary step for our industry to look into the potential future of our sport. I am very happy to be a part of a company like KTM, who is always striving forward and always Ready to Race. I can’t wait to watch those little riders have an electric battle!”
I can think of just two bikes that are currently eligible to race in the new MA series. The KTM SX-E 5, with its suspension set to the lowest position, has a seat height below the 25″ rules requirement. The all-new for 2020 Husqvarna EE 5 electric Minibike is also eligible to compete in the new Mini-E (4-6) Jr. class.
Both bikes use an identical 907 Wh lithium-ion battery and 35 mm WP XACT forks that offer 205 mm of travel up front paired to a single, fully-adjustable rear shock (also from WP) to ensure exceptional damping characteristics. The Husqvarna (or “Husky”) in particular was designed, “to rival any 50cc fuel-powered motorcycle,” so expect these kids to have an absolute blast out there racing.
What do you guys think? Is a racing series like this just what’s needed to get manufacturers like Honda and Yamaha into the electric motorcycle business, or is this just a way to make the AMA get a tax break? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Source: Cycle News