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Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by swamp, Jan 12, 2018.
The end of that video was money
I started yesterday to look into the idea of an electric clutch. The first thing is to understand what is there, on the bike and how it works. From the "throttle" there is a harness that contains four wires (red, black, white, brown). It would appear that the R is positive 12V, Bk is ground, and W and Br are signal wires to the ECU. There is a circuit card or something in line before the harness connection, this is an unknown. I want to tap into the signal to the ECU and place a potentiometer, in series to further alter the signal to the ECU and limit current to motor. I have yet to find a schematic (2017 MX Redshift). Can anyone help or comment if you have already done this? Schematics, pictures, diagrams, numeric values, etc would be very helpful so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. A clutch would make this bike even more awesome than it already is in gnarly singletrack.
I spoke to the manufacturer of the EM clutch yesterday ... the EM throttle signal simply varies voltage from 0 to 5V, the clutch, the handlebar map switch and even the mode switch all just limit the max voltage the ECU sees. One thing I’m not sure is whether the potentiometer he used for the EM is limited to 5V max or whether it would handle and correctly vary 12V (if say that’s what the Alta uses).
I should have the clutch in hand next Thursday so I can take photos if that helps but the electronics is all tucked away in a CNC machined enclosure..
You could run a cable clutch into this thing to attenuate your throttle action, perhaps. Not sure if it is a Hall sensor inside or a potentiometer.
Is the Alta throttle a Hall or Pot?
I have not seen anyone do a electronic clutch for a ev bike yet, it's a interesting concept. Some EV bikes have what is known as a zero travel switch, it's a standard micro switch that is only activated when the throttle is fully closed. It prevents the ECU from engaging drive when the throttle is partially open. It's possible the other 2 wires connected to the throttle are for one of these, but I am not familiar with the throttle on Alta's. It would be worth checking the voltage of the red wire at various throttle openings using black as a ground reference (bike secured rear wheel off the ground). It is also possible that the throttle on the Alta uses PWM vs a voltage range.
If the throttle works through voltage change, rigging a second lever actuated pot in-line would not be impossible. However you would need to calculate how much the pot would need to turn so output would match your voltage readings at 0 and 100% throttle. Also keep in mind with the clutch lever pulled it it would be sending the same signal to the ECU as when you fully let off the throttle, so regen braking would kick in.
I have to admit that I am kind of obsessed with the Alta Redshift EX. If I was within 2 hour of some good, legal single-track, I might have bit the bullet. As it stands, the legal riding out here is mostly open Pine Barrens ride that usually go between 40 and 80 miles and dual-sport events that go between 70 and 100. Would need another bike for those, which is a tough bullet to swallow, even if leftover 2018s can be had for $9k. But man, oh man do I want this bike...
I'm with ya man. Ready to buy, just need more range (or a swappable battery) to feel 100% comfortable with the investment. It seems the evolution of 'proof' for Alta would be:
1) Complete a hard enduro race here in the US. That would be enough proof for me
2) Complete a 2 hour enduro race with an 'A' level rider. That would convert even more lookey-loo's than the step above
3) Complete a WORCS/SORCS type hare scramble or an AMA MX race. That would seal the deal forever on gas v/s electric---but I would still keep my smokers for the sheer pleasure of fanning that clutch ;-)
Are dealers selling 18's already for $9k?
I can't believe no one out there is working on this idea of the electric clutch for the Alta. Has anyone found an Alta schematic that could be shared? It would really help.
Took a ~5 mile demo ride on a 2018 SM today.
Super light, wicked acceleration, amazing suspension & braking.
I was blown away - so impressed!
I am in very good standing with my local KTM/Husqvarna/Alta dealer, and have been offered a demo on the Alta EX (dual sport) before.
I'm afraid to take them up on the offer - I really like the idea of having the SM.
BE CAREFUL.............. that's how it started with me, just a test ride. It followed me home!
I mistakenly took an EXR for a test ride... Now it's helping me tear up my property. From low speed precision/technical work, to high speed runs through the woods, this machine does it all! It has become my new go to tool for getting around my property and neighborhood.
Looks like Ty Tremaine on an Alta had fun on a tricky Endurocross track , to a 4 th place finish... Sweet bike !
And now Ty Tremaine has put the Alta on the box in Reno! The bike and rider have got the goods!
Had a chance to put some ride time on two Alta's last month. For referance my ride is a 06 KTM 300XC with a Z-Start Pro Rekluse and a Smart carb. I'm a 60 year old B rider on a good day. Both Alta bikes were a dealer's that are raced. First one was a MXR (top of the line). It was equipped with Ohlins forks (the stock AER's were off for a revalve) valved for a -200 lbs, A vet enduro rider. The second bike was the dual sport version. Lights were removed (17lbs). Forks were OEM revalved 4CS and the bike was equipped with a LHRB. Both bikes were equipped with Flexxbars, bark busters and ran bibs with like new Michilin Starcross tires on the rear and I didn't check the front.
As I recall the differances in the MXR vs the EXR:
EXR 18" rear wheel vs 19"
MXR AER forks vs 4CS
Final drive on the EXR is a little taller
EXR has lights and is street legal.
Other than that they are pretty much the same bike. Operating the bikes was pretty straight foward with 4 map (power settings). The power could be described as map one; trail power (I say stock XR250R) and map four as a open bike (CR500? I say...maybe). The rest of the settings of course fall somewhere in between. I took the MXR bike out first. A fresh tight trail was laid out probably 3/4 mile in length. I took off in map1 and was able to peg the throttle in the first open straight. Map 1 isn't slow but most riders will want more very quickly. You can change map settings on the fly, so I bumped it up to map 2 which as just about perfect for this trail. Good power with enough boost to send you down the trail as fast as you would want. I didn't miss the shift lever at all, I did miss being able to poke the clutch lever some, but that's just me. While the motor/power was fine, not surprising though, I wasn't adapting to the chassis. Compared to my 300, the Flexxbars were high and a little wide, the rear brake pedal was high, the Ohilns forks a little harsh and the chassis felt a tad wide and heavy on the front end. The bike on a whole didn't feel particularly heavy at all. Once and awhile I could feel a little extra wieght but overall it was not an issue. I even laid the bike on the ground and picked it back up with no problem. I think this is because of what extra weight there is; it's centered and low in the chassis. So I struggled with the handling a bit on the tight trail. One other thing; the Alta's have programmable engine braking and these bikes felt like a big four stroke when the throttle was chopped. With my 300 having almost no engine braking it added to the "adapting" to the bike especially going into corners. The good news is you can re-program the amount of braking with a laptop. Then I took out the EXR. Same deal but the forks felt better but I didn't like the LHRB. The LHRB was to sensitive/strong and just hard to adapt to in the short amount of ride time on the bike. If you had the bike set up to your own personal taste it could make all the differance in the world as to the "feel" of the bike. I was able to make aound 10 loops between the two bikes.
The motor: Yup; game changer. I took my 300 out on the trail after I rode the Alta's. Right away it felt lighter in the handling department but getting the power to the ground was a little harder. The Alta's motor is a total blast even in these crappy conditions. Need more boost? Turn the throttle until the desired amount is obtained and the power is right there, right now. Hill climbing? Like you probably heard before; it's like cheating with this motor. Yeah you can fail but you gotta really be goobering up to not climb a hill with these bikes. Traction is almost unreal. With no engine/exhaust sound you hear the tires and on these bikes I swore they had flatted out from the sound the bib equipped tires made.
After I rode the two bikes I took the MXR out to the parking lot (gravel/hard base) and pulled holeshots in each of the four power settings. When I launched, I stayed way up on the front of the seat as I didn't want to pay for rear fenders. I've been told that rear fenders are the most requested plastic for these bikes. I always gave the bike full throttle off the start.
Setting 1: Uneventful; like a XR250R.
Setting 2: Much better, EZ to control but you would probably get beat to the first corner in a MX race.
Setting 3: Very strong but didn't want to wheelie.
Setting 4: A beast and I had to chop the throttle 15 feet off the line to keep from from looping out. I turned around to try it again. This time I gave the bike about 1/3 throttle off the line and then just rolled it on enough not to bring the front end up. Does that remind you of a CR500? With a gravel base; traction in this scenario was weak and if this was done on a deeper loam start I would probably have to treat setting 3 like setting 4 and totally re-think my approach to setting 4.
By the end of the day I had probably done about 10 loops on this trail with the E bikes as I had to let others ride the bike too :-( But before my day ended I got to take the MXR bike out on the old harescramble course loop. I had done this loop on my KTM earlier in the morning and the trail was awful. Typical totally chewed course after a hare scramble race. The terrain was a gravely base, with some clay sections. Ruts, holes and small exposed roots were everywhere. Every hole was filled with water from the T-Storms that rolled through around 6:00am that morning. It was a real beat down to ride it and not really much fun unless you just wanted to punish your body. I rode the whole thing in power setting 4. It wasn't hard; just treat the bike like it was a big bore and be careful with the throttle. Ideally power setting 2 or 3 would be the most effective for hustling through these woods. The motor is so fun (much like an open bike) and you crave a nice berm or open section to really let the power out. Again; hills ain't nutin' to this bike, the motor puts the power down to the ground really, really well and you are never lacking for boost. Just turn the throttle to the needed amount. I do think it would be nice if you could program the bike to give more boost/grunt in one part of the RPM range but honestly it would probably make you slower. As it is; the motor is predictably effective with no personality other than being fast. The motor doesn't bog, fall off the pipe, hesitate or do any off the unwanted things you get from a ICE engine. You probably have to practice a bit to get the effect of blipping the throttle to clear logs at low speeds. The only thing I didn't like that I think might be hard to get around was the heavy feeling front end. Maybe that could be adjusted out or it might be the weight basis of the chassis or just a matter of getting some seat time on the bike. If you are a big four stroke rider the front end may not bother you at all. The heavy feeling front end made lofting it something I didn't want to try at low speeds. With a few hours of ride time and getting the bike adjusted for the rider's personel settings, it should be awesome. If you are into Sprint Enduros or MX the charging time shouldn't be a problem. If the folks at Alta could just get the battery to last 2 hours they would probably increase sales 100X.
We haven't heard back from other folks who bought the Alta as to what range they are getting. Two hours run time is poor. I've been hoping someone would report a trail riding runtime that was longer. Maybe five hours on setting two would get many off the fence. It's all I would need for my usual riding.
5 hours? Ain't gonna happen unless your rolling down hill...a big, long downhill.
Also in referance to a CR500, the Alta can probably match the CR until the Alta tops out at around 60mph, which is about the time the CR500 pilot is thinking about shifting into fifth gear while pulling a wheelie on his way to a 80+mph end run. Braaapppp!