NOTE: A couple years ago I posted a short article on an electric dirt bike conversion kit by a company called EV Drive. The kit was only available for the Honda CRF250. However, looking at their website today, it appears they no longer offer it. It got me wondering, are there any other company’s that are now offering electric dirt bike conversion kits?
After a quick search, there doesn’t appear to be much available. I have a feeling it may stay that way too. For anyone interested in converting a petrol-powered dirt bike to electric, the custom conversion route will likely be your only option. There seems to be some smaller company’s here and there that have, or had prototype kits in the works, but it’s difficult to find any that are in production and readily available.
Challenges with Mass Produced Electric Dirt Bike Conversion Kits
It will likely be a challenge for manufacturers to get model specific kits into production based on a few factors. To start off with, you’re certainly dealing with a very small niche market. There likely isn’t a lot of people looking to convert there gas dirt bikes to begin with. When you start to look at all the different models, and even changes over the years to the same model, there’s quite a few configurations to deal with. Bracket mounts, geometry, and clearance issues are just a few of the challenges. With mass production comes lower prices. When dealing with so many variables it will likely be nearly impossible to get the quantities that can lower manufacturer costs.
Electric Car Conversions vs. Electric Dirt Bike Conversion Kits
Only a few smaller companies offer “bolt-on” kits for converting gas cars to electric. These kits are typically limited to only a few models and some times a very small range of years. Cars are also in much larger production quantities than dirt bikes, so again, there’s already a smaller market right off the bat.
Even a “universal” electric dirt bike conversion kit might not be viable. A typical engine bay of a car is a lot more forgiving with the additional open space it as. When dealing with a motorcycle frame’s fairly compact size, but also varying geometry. Particularly when trying to fit a battery pack, the slight clearance issue could quick cause considerable headaches.
As with the case of cars, I just don’t think electric conversion kits will become mainstream enough. With so many different components involved, it would take a lot of R&D and prototyping for a company to reach a very small market for a specific bike. And then, how many potentially interested buyers do you actually have?
Can You Still Convert to Electric?(Custom Conversion Kits)
There are a handful of people who have converted their own dirt bikes to electric. As stated above, with so many different sizes, angles, spacing, and mounting points between models, the custom conversion route is likely going to continue to be the most common option.
Is the Future of Dirt Bikes Going Electric?
KTM currently offers their Freeride E-XC. Will Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, or Kawasaki soon join in? Zero Motorcycles discontinued their Zero MX in 2013 and encourage people to consider their Zero FX instead.
There also seems to be a new category of bikes that fall somewhere between electric mountain bikes and dirt bikes. These are bikes such as Sur-Ron (which is also rebranded by Segway) and some other Chinese-based companies. I’m not sure if these have an official name or category just yet or not.
More On Electric Vehicles
Whether it’s on 2, 3, or 4 wheels, check out more of our articles on electric vehicles, both custom conversions and those direct from manufacturers: https://fabville.com/category/automotive/electric-vehicles