Posted by Jason Kaplan on

When I was a child, riding my bicycle up the steepest hills I could find, I would imagine a burbling v-twin between my feet to whisk me to the top. Once gravity got the best of me, I’d begin my return descent. In my mind, I had the fastest bike in the neighborhood, capable of taking on any Harley or Ducati that came in my path.

I should have dreamed bigger.

Alta Motors created a line of motorcycles that includes everything on my adolescent wish list—then they electrified it—meaning I can zoom past anything on wheels without burning a drop of gasoline.

How? It all starts with a passion for speed.

“Our goal is to create motorcycles that are easier to ride fast than anything else out there,” says Alta Motors on their website. “We build electric bikes because we love instant throttle response and flat, endless torque. Because we want the next bike we purchase to be faster than our last one.”

The company’s first sketches of an electric motorcycle began in 2007. Two friends, Derek Dorresteyn and Jeff Sand, began talking about a bike with a smooth, perfectly responsive torque curve.

With a few years of design, engineering and fabrication expertise under their leather jackets, they embarked on producing the Redshift MX—a motocross bike built specifically for 30-minute races.

Next, they rolled out a street-legal version of the Redshift, called the Redshift SM—better suited for weekend rides and commutes (Read: smoking the competition).

With a full-time staff of 50 employees, Alta Motors makes all the electronics and battery packaging for their bikes. Battery cells, wheels, tires, brakes and suspension systems are supplied by outside companies.

But why build these speed machines out of their own factory in northern California when they can outsource to other markets better known for motorcycle manufacturing?

CEO and co-founder of Alta Motors, Marc Fenigstein, says, “Everything we’ve done in-house we’ve been able to do faster, cheaper and at higher output than outsourced.”

All electric. All American. Sign us up!

The best part (and our favorite bit of news)—you can experience Alta Motors first-hand at American Field San Francisco on October 8-9.




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