Shock and awe
Derek Dorresteyn and Jeff Sand didn’t found Alta Motors to create a green dirt bike. They set out to make a fast one: a race bike. Building a race engine is a pain. You often have to take it apart multiple times to dial in maximum speed. Because Alta opted for an electric motor instead of the usual petrol-fueled symphony of whizzing metal, engineers could tune for top performance with software—lines of code instead of elbow grease. This moto doesn’t even need an oil change after a race. But that motor, which puts out 40 horsepower and 120 foot-pounds of torque, is only the first lap of innovation on the Redshift. The bike’s frame is a work of industrial art: Coolant flows through channels cast into the metal instead of clamped-on hoses. The 350-volt battery pack, which nets about 40 minutes of racing (or two-plus hours on the trails), boasts a honeycomb construction that helps it take shocks of up to 50 G’s. That’s way beyond what you can survive; anything more is literally overkill.