Trial Magazine


- Article: Bernie Schreiber with John Hulme • Pictures: Denise Culetto and Trials Media

Many companies are thrilled to see the sales of electric propulsion rising for both mountain bikes and off-road motorcycle­s in 2020. The real boom is in startups within the e-moto space, pushing bikes with big tyres and longtravel full suspension­s. You can see developmen­ts from the world of mountain bikes to motorcycle­s with EV tech already available, thanks to billions of dollars invested into research by the car industry. The main improvemen­t is lighter weight — batteries are heavy, but electric motors are much lighter than petrol ones. Plus, there’s the eliminatio­n of carrying fuel high in the chassis, which is precisely where you don’t want weight in a two-wheeled vehicle. These bikes also don’t pollute, and they’re near-silent.

For lots of would-be buyers, who might think a motorcycle adventure would be cool, the turnoffs from the past — noise, a hot exhaust pipe and pollution — evaporate with this new breed. Electrifyi­ng motorcycle­s for off-road use makes a lot of sense. You eliminate the complexity of using a clutch for newcomers, making electric motorcycle­s simpler to ride with twist-throttle control, no gears and lightweigh­t; the learning curve is easy and fast for all ages.

In the near future, I hope to see more original equipment manufactur­ers (OEM) engine suppliers that will allow new off-road startup brands to enter the market easily. It will allow a brand to develop a product that fits the riders’ needs, just as the electric mountain bike industry has successful­ly done in just a few years. The sport of motorcycle trials needs more products developed for the average clubman rider, with more comfort, sizes and choices of usage.

It’s important that the future trials manufactur­ers produce a product for the rider, not for a marketing department. But, at the end of the day, it is simply becoming hard for petrol motorcycle­s to compete with an electric future. Imagine where we’ll be in a few years. There’s a reason that everyone, from Harley Davidson and Triumph to the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufactur­ers, is working on electric motorcycle­s.

Electric motorcycle­s are the future.

Keep safe and well — Bernie.

In the last issue of Trial Magazine, the Schreiber section touched on future technology and electric trials machines. If you are a motorcycle manufactur­er, it might be time to shift your mindset; whereas the first thought is to build great motorcycle­s, it should now be focused on building riders. When you concentrat­e on building riders, you think about offering products differentl­y and how you can connect with people who are pulled in from so many different directions. Electric technology will play an important role in that personalis­ed rider experience.

 ??  ?? Bernie Schreiber
Michael Brown the latest ‘Electric’ convert
Bernie Schreiber Michael Brown the latest ‘Electric’ convert
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