How Motocross is Turning Electric


Image derived from StarkFuture website

Mia M (Year 12), Contributor

How motocross is turning electric – hello stark future varg  

I’m sure all motor enthusiasts have heard about how the ACT is to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2035, whether you’re into muscle cars or JDMs, it’s agreeable that electronic cars are not as welcomed as governments expected. With the end of V8 against V6 enthusiasts in sight what does this mean for engines everywhere including motorbikes? 

Almost every bike brand has begun designing both road and dirt bike models onto electric. The debate will no longer be 2 s against 4 strokes, but now electric will be added into the question. Looking specifically at the motocross world and the new bikes coming in, many brands have included an electric bike in their 2023 collections, but what significance do these bikes hold? Well, the new framing and equipment mean a much lighter bike, because the weight of an engine has been replaced by a single battery. With the weight of this gone, it is possible to achieve higher speeds and better handling on tougher trails due to the new control gained from the decrease in weight, as opposed to one weighted down with a whole engine. I, as a female rider whose bike is heavier than myself, once had my bike fall on top of me, and it proved very difficult to get myself out, but I imagine with a lighter bike these things would be much less of a problem. Although I have not been given the chance to ride these new bikes myself, many reviews prove themselves worthy of the Mx (motocross) title. The emergence of e-bikes has brought many new brands into the MX industry such as Stark Future. When compared to known and loved MX brands such as KTM and Honda, the new bikes have an arguably better performance.  

Stark future VARG 

With a smooth futuristic cosmetic look, the Stark Future VARG bikes have certainly proven impressive, “lightest motocross frame on the market, the lowest centre of gravity and an optimized weight distribution the Stark VARG provides agility and a featherweight riding sensation.” With 30% more power than a 450-combustion engine, it is laughable to even doubt the speed on a stark. The bike even comes with a phone where you can customise every detail of the bike’s performance from engine braking to traction control and even the power curve. From a carbon fibre sleeve motor to a water cooler built into the framework to minimise weight and size, this bike has “the highest power-to-weight ratio in the motorcycle industry”. The suspension has 310mm of travel on both the front forks and rear suspension and 7 different suspension stock settings depending on the rider’s weight and even comes with an enduro and off-road set adding another 60mm ground clearance. With a 6-hour ride time, an impressive 1–2-hour charge time, and the absence of exhaust, this silent motored stark will be able to take you places faster than a regular combustion bike. This bike could even be considered one of the most low-maintenance bikes with no filters or oil to change. This style of e-bike could change the MX industry forever and just wait until they start competing.  

With reviews from motorcyclist magazine stating “wheelies… it can do them anytime anywhere at any throttle position,” riders of the stark seem to be more than impressed, “stark wasn’t wasting his time.” The magazine later states how going from riding a 450-combustion engine bike to the stark caused the 450 to feel “sluggish” and how once swapping back to riding stark it, how the stark felt “awakening”.  

What does this mean for the environment? 

As we all know, batteries are not suitable for the environment to produce or decompose. However, for a bike without exhaust and no use of petrol or oil- meaning no carbon emissions- compared to a combustion bike, the Stark is a greener option. 

Cost-wise, the price of the Stark, including its many features and revolutionary performance, currently sits at around $18,200, and that is just for standard issue. When considering the price, it is essential to remember that spending money on repairs will not be nearly as often as a combustion bike, as well as the convenience of not having any petrol refills, or if you’re a two-stroke rider, you will never have to mix petrol again. Another extra convenience would be the ability to plug it in for a full charge in just two hours. The comparison of the price of the Stark to its supposed counterpart (450 combustion engine bike) is considerable as bikes such as the KTM 450 SX-F, MC 450F or YZ250 cost around $12 000 – $13 000.  

The Stark is not the only e-bike on the market currently, however, it is arguably better due to the company’s specialisation in the field of electric bikes against other brands who specialise in combustion motors. If you are a two-stroke lover or a four-stroke lover, it’s undeniable we have some competition in the upcoming years with electric bikes. For better or for worse, the Stark bike’s performance is undeniably good. What are your thoughts, two-stroke, four-stroke or a Stark?