RedShift electric supermoto unveiled


August 5, 2011

RedShift SM from BRD Motorcycles

RedShift SM from BRD Motorcycles

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The performance of electric motorcycles may not yet be on par with their fuel-snorting brethren, but our outings on this new breed of two-wheeler have convinced us that they are well on the way. Now San Francisco start-up BRD is throwing its hat into this rapidly expanding ring by announcing plans for battery powered bikes designed to "outperform their gas equivalents." Called RedShift, the motorcycles are slated for production in 2012 and will come in "dual-sport" and "urban" variants with both promising performance that would put them in the same ballpark as a gas-powered 250cc 4-stroke.

BRD unveiled a pre-production version of the RedShift SM (the urban version) in San Francisco this week. The dual-sport RedShift MX is in parallel development and the preliminary specs have both bikes at about the 250 lb mark with "target power" of 40 hp and 5.2 kWh battery capacity. Range is likely to be around 50 miles per charge but the company isn't rushing to confirm this figure at this stage of proceedings. Given the wild variation we've encountered depending on how hard you twist the throttle on electric motorcycles, we can see the sense of this cautious approach.

The very sharp chassis design is also common to both models, as is the drivetrain and suspension. "We've developed a completely new method for manufacturing motorcycle frames that allows us to build a competitive chassis right here in California," said Chief Design Officer, Jeff Sand.

Speculation on pricing puts the bikes at around US$15000, which is it at the high-end of already relatively expensive options like the Zero range. If it turns out to be accurate, that kind of pricetag would seem to make the challenge of knocking gas-guzzlers off their perch even more difficult.

That said, early adopters are often willing to pay a premium and there are lots of reasons to like electric motorcycles - they're zippy, fun, quiet, require very little maintenance and they don't produce emissions at the tail-pipe. Range anxiety and twiddling your thumbs while waiting for the bikes to recharge are the clear downsides, but improved battery technology and designs that allow batteries to be swapped over should help address these issues moving forward.

BRD is definitely putting the focus on the performance. "We just want to make faster motorcycles" said CEO, Marc Fenigstein. "We're a team of riders and racers with high-performance gas machines in the garage. We're building the bikes we'd rather be riding."

More information on the RedShift bikes will be revealed at EICMA in Italy this November.

Sources: BRD, Wired.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007. All articles by Noel McKeegan

battery swapping is a dead end.

Facebook User

Yay! Another SuperMoto design! Has anyone mentioned to these marketing geniuses that in the US the biggest selling cycle style is cruisers followed by crotch-rockets? I\'m guessing, but third may fall in the Adventure or D/S or S/M category... why do these guys always seem to start out with one of the lowest-selling styles? (Same with the Zeros and the Brammos) I say: target the big sellers first, then move on to your own personal preference as to style... (Or, you could build one that matches my personal preference, if you feel like it! I don\'t mind!) ;-)


Beautiful picture on their web site:

Brad Lowe

I\'m sure there is a good technical reason why the fenders need to be 12\" above the wheels, but I don\'t see why. Hopefully there will be a BMW-type bike soon. I can\'t imagine riding from LA to San Fran on this thing. Consider also that many riders wouldn\'t take a $15K bike into the back country.

Fred Conwell

If and when Aptera sells for $25K minus the rebate I will pay $17.5K. Why would I pay $15K for a range of 50 when I can buy a car with a range of 120?


Clearly a car & motorcycle attract different people. Even though the range is only 50mi,It\'s a bike. Nothing compares to riding on two wheels. Given a motorcycle that\'s dead silent might be a little weird at 1st but I\'m sure we\'ll get by.

Jason Elizondo

One redeeming factor has not been mentioned net-wide, at least I have not found mention of the fact that a silent off-road motorcycle is an excellent hunting tool! Years ago I used to use a Honda trials bike for that purpose. I found out by accident what a boon a quite motorcycle can be when I ran up on she-bears with cubs not once but twice! Boy did I turn around quick and burn! So, if your just out for a quite ride in nature (in bear country), better wear a bell!

Will, the tink

Love it. as a man who hates fossil fuel but love bikes this is cool, Sadly just spent all our cash on a P.V array! so I can power it but have run out of funds! so can not buy it.

Buzz Knapp-Fisher
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