Elec­tric Mo­tion ePure Race


Progress in sales of elec­tric pow­ered tri­als mo­tor­cy­cles in the adult sec­tor has been progressiv­e, with the in­tro­duc­tion and ex­po­sure of the FIM Tri­alE World Cham­pi­onship in 2017. Gas Gas has paved the way in this world cham­pi­onship with three con­sec­u­tive wins de­spite the threat from Yamaha with their rad­i­cal and in­no­va­tive pro­to­type model. In the shad­ows and with no ‘Bells and Whis­tles’ the French Com­pany Elec­tric Mo­tion has been gain­ing ground as the mar­ket leader with the in­tro­duc­tion of its new ePure 2020 model range. When we asked Elec­tric Mo­tion for their thoughts on this new model the re­ply was: “Let’s get se­ri­ous”. We in­vited John Sunter to put the new ePure Race model through its paces in early Oc­to­ber.

The new Race model ar­rives from the de­vel­op­ment of the pro­to­type rid­den by the French rider Christophe Bruand and ex­pands on the Sport model with the in­clu­sion of a fully func­tional hy­draulic di­aphragm clutch as found on its two-stroke petrol-fu­elled coun­ter­parts. Both have a light­weight tubu­lar frame, fab­ri­cated us­ing 15CDV6 steel, which is only 1mm Ǿ and weighs less than 5kg. An alu­minium en­gine guard acts as a stressed mem­ber, and the swing­ing-arm is also made of the light al­loy.

Both mod­els share M4 air front forks with CNC ma­chined triple clamps and an R16V Olle rear shock, mak­ing it a very com­pet­i­tive pack­age. En­gine power is con­trolled by the three op­tions of dif­fer­ent elec­tri­cal maps: blue is for ev­ery­body of­fer­ing good us­able all-round power, green is the eas­i­est to use and is for riders who are start­ing in the sport of tri­als; and the red set­ting is the one to make you stand up and take note, with plen­ti­ful power on hand at the slight­est twist of the throt­tle.

Quick Spin – John Sunter

Our ‘Quick Spin’ test pi­lot is John Sunter, who is bet­ter known for his ‘speed’ ex­ploits on the fourstroke Montesa ma­chines at the fa­mous Scott Time and Ob­ser­va­tion Trial. As an in­struc­tor at the Inch Per­fect Tri­als cen­tre, John has a good knowl­edge of all the avail­able ma­chines on the tri­als mar­ket.

John Sunter: “Elec­tric tri­als bikes or mo­tor­cy­cles have been a very suc­cess­ful tool in our sport to en­cour­age more riders at all lev­els of abil­i­ties to be in­tro­duced to the joys of tri­als rid­ing. If I am hon­est, on the adult scene, we have seen very lit­tle se­ri­ous com­mit­ment from a man­u­fac­turer to bring these mod­els to the show­room floor — that was un­til Elec­tric Mo­tion made the bold move with its new and ex­cit­ing four-model range for 2020.

“With a new of­fi­cial UK im­porter and with mod­els in stock, it’s an ex­cit­ing time for the French man­u­fac­turer that of­fers these four ma­chines to a wide tar­get au­di­ence of off-road riders. Be­fore I start to ride the ma­chine, I will ex­plain about the all-im­por­tant battery. Lo­ca­tion is by way of three se­cure points which make it easy to change. Its phys­i­cal size is much smaller than be­fore, but in re­turn, it of­fers more power. The man­u­fac­tur­ers claim that it can cover six miles on a full charge and so should be able to do a ma­jor­ity of the twelve-sec­tion four-lap tri­als that we find in the UK, what­ever power set­ting you choose.”

Drop­ping the clutch

“With no gear­box to worry about, it’s the power set­ting that you have to choose for the change in the ma­chine’s per­for­mance out­put and, as we have ex­plained, this is by way of three coloured lights found on the han­dle­bars. Once on the move, it’s a case of get­ting used to the lack of en­gine noise and gear chang­ing, it is that sim­ple.

“Co­or­di­na­tion from the rider be­tween the throt­tle and rear brake takes a lit­tle get­ting used to as you can ‘load’ the en­gine power up just like on a petrol en­gine be­fore ‘drop­ping’ the clutch; yes, it is strange at first, but once you have adapted to the re­quired tech­nique it all works very well. When you re­lease the clutch lever, the drive se­lec­tion is very smooth, due to the new mo­tor mount­ing and su­pe­rior qual­ity of the frame and the trans­mis­sion prod­ucts. Our main haz­ard would not have been out of place in a York­shire cen­tre event, up a very steep rock-filled river gully. The secret here is to ride the EM just like a four-stroke, us­ing the clutch and the elec­tric torque to your ben­e­fit, slow your rid­ing down and pick the line up the haz­ard. Pretty soon, you will be re­warded with your new-found skills.”

Mass lo­ca­tion

The very neu­tral feel of the ma­chine’s bal­ance is achieved as the di­men­sions, and mass lo­ca­tion is very close to that of a fuel as­pi­rated model. Ex­cel­lent brakes and sus­pen­sion come as stan­dard, they are that good. The sus­pen­sion pack­age en­cour­ages you to ‘roll’ the throt­tle off and feel for the trac­tion. On the steep down­hill haz­ards where we tested, the co­or­di­na­tion of the clutch and brake is the same as your petrol mod­els.

“The power and torque at the bot­tom end of the power range can catch you out with the set­ting on the high­est out­put, but then this is where the su­per-ef­fi­cient hy­draulic di­aphragm clutch comes into play. A four-stroke en­gine on full power spits out rocks, whereas the in­er­tia from an elec­tric mo­tor is more lin­ear, al­low­ing you to feel through the clutch for the trac­tion. The low seat height al­lows for per­fect body po­si­tion­ing, and as the ma­chine feels very light, it’s easy to ‘flick’ and ‘pivot’ turn. By the way, the weight is bang on the FIM limit at 70kg.”

Elec­tric ex­pe­ri­ence

“Priced at £7,995, an elec­tric ma­chine does have its ad­van­tages. Just con­sider the en­gine main­te­nance — there is none! No more chang­ing cylin­der bar­rels and pis­tons and clean­ing out air fil­ters and car­bu­ret­tors. The trans­mis­sions have proved very re­li­able, as have the bat­ter­ies.

“I en­joyed my ‘Elec­tric Ex­pe­ri­ence’, and I am sure you will too; try and ‘blag’ a ride on one when you get chance or maybe or­gan­ise a test ride with the dis­trib­u­tor Inch Per­fect Tri­als. Be­fore I close, I just won­der how long it will be be­fore some­one en­ters the Scot­tish Six Days Trial or Scott on one — watch this space.”


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