Quantya placed first and second in a ten-bike race against rival Zero Motorcycles. While it appeared that the Zero X had a performance advantage on the flats, riders aboard the Quantya Track looked more comfortable attacking jumps; achieving more air and higher speeds. Perhaps most impressive was how hard riders for both manufacturers were able to push the bikes; Ryan Dudek tore the spokes out of the rear rim on his Zero on only the second lap.
We wrongly assumed that the lighter and more powerful Zero X would
easily win the race, but it seems the beefier components of the Quantya
Track gave it a significant advantage. Quantya was able to narrow the
performance gap by running short gearing.
Brian Roth was the winning rider, beating teammate David Lodermeier for
first place. Alexander Smith placed third aboard a Zero X, finishing
just ahead of Quantya-mounted Mike Metzger.
MiniMoto SX, despite its high profile in the dirt world, seemed an odd
venue for an event like the first ever two-manufacturer electric bike
race. Compare it to the mainstream exposure TTXGP is receiving and you
can see that Zero and Quantya are perhaps failing to capitalize on
interest in their products. The venue’s announcers didn’t know what to
make of the electric bikes, blasting Nü Metal during the race to make
up for the lack of exhaust noise. Standing close to the track, the
sound of dirt flying, suspension bottoming out and spokes breaking was
far more exciting than the cheeseball music. The audience too — flat
bills and tribal tattoos — didn’t appear terribly excited.
In fact, the race itself was merely a sideline to the main event. We’re
guessing the idea was to put both machines in front of the traditional
dirt bike audience, but concentrating on that crowd could prove a
mistake. While larger motorcycle manufactures are fighting for the
decreased purchasing power of a shrinking audience, Zero and Quantya
could be using their green credentials and alternative business models
to pursue new riders instead of rednecks.
As the announcer put it, “I guess these bikes are, like, green and stuff. That’s awesome, right?”