Quantya defeats Zero in first-ever two-manufacturer electric motorcycle race

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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?”

  • nick

    Wow, what the hell, suddenly, I am actually interested, VERY give a damn about electric bikes. I pray this keeps up, this should be fun.

  • Philip

    Cool beans!!! There are no losers here! Both manufacturers got the job done and we (including the environment) will all benefit down the road.
    Bravo!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Jefferson

    So wait, what? Am I right in understanding that decreased power and increased weight of the quantya won. Was this due to track layout? Did Quantya upgrade its specs (apart from gearing)? Did Zero incorrectly prep their bikes? Poor build quality of Zero? Poor rider ability of Zero (I’ve watched their promo vids)?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The Quantya is essentially an existing MX bike with an electric motor and battery stuck in the frame (it’s more complicated than that, but you get the picture). The Zero X is 100% unique, it’s smaller and runs lighter components. On the MiniMoto SX track the better ability of the Quantya to stick the landings and attack the jumps appears to have won out. Would that be the same somewhere else with different riders? Who knows. Both performed very well and were very fast.

  • sam

    “tore the spokes out of his rear rim” ummmmm is this acceptable in a production motorcycle?

  • Oscar

    So, what’s next? Baja?

  • Matt

    Won’t impress the flatbillers until the electric bikes are beating the 450s. Just like when the four strokes came out and started beating the 2t’s.

  • Brian

    Really? I’m pretty sure Quantya have a custom frame design and ARE NOT a conversion of an existing MX bike. Prove me wrong though…

  • Fritz

    The Flatbiller Acid test is indeed the bottom line,

    They should wake up and realize electric is the best case scenario for the future of MX but most of em ain’t dat schmardt

  • Christopher Johnson

    Reviewing the Zero specs a while back, I noted lots of downhill bicycle parts sourcing. While downhill is probably the most brutal of bicycle sport in terms of punishing the equipment, it’s still not really up to the abuse a supercross track can heap on a motorcycle. I think both companies need to put serious off-road m/c riders, like a Scott Summers or Ryan Hughes on their development teams.

  • http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/ skadamo

    Wes, thanks for the summary and insights. Sad to hear they were playing music during the race. I think your summary of the crowds reaction is the same thing I get when I tell my friends about electric motorcycles. It’s a big jump for most people. When I explain the possible advantages, little noise, few parts, lighter, and well yeah, they are greener, they start to get it. Even the rednecks will get it eventually. :D

    I say drop these bikes in a few areas where riding parks are closing due to noise. Maybe turn a few empty Walmarts in cold climates into supermoto tracks during the winter. Let riders market them to riders.

    The mountain bike parts come from the quest to be light. Probably why they put a 24″ mtb tire on the front of the X. That’s fine for rec trail riding. If people continue to demo these bikes on tracks it looks like the heavy moto spec is gonna be the setup of choice. Zero did mention they will but a 19″ motorcycle wheel on the front of their next version of the MX bike.

  • Carcrash

    Break one spoke, and they’ll all go in very short order.

    Its probably better to start to light and gradually make stronger than the other way around.

    For most green riders, the lighter weight is probably more important than extreme jump ability. Around here, you’ve got to get the bike through gates and fences to get to most of the trails, so a heavier bike might just mean no fun at all.

  • http://www.sideburnmagazine.com Ben Part

    Hows about the more eco PR stunt of holding the next race in a bird reserve? Bikes silently jumping unruffled flamingos and duck bills.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      You just want it at the bird park because you know there’d inevitably be some guy in the back yelling “PULL!!” every time the bikes hit a jump.

  • esteban

    an enduro / rally race is what they should do next

  • Giuliano

    i guess a lot of people dont understand that: in offroad bike the final result dont depend just from the engine performance and the weight.
    the suspensions for example , the quality of the frame , the brakes , the right flexibility of the frame , the correct disposition of the weight …
    quantya is made by people that already made a lot of experience in MX… how many frame builder of succesful mx motorcycle there are in USA? who draw zero-X start from a white peace of paper without point referrement and dont care 50 year of history of offroad frame evolution and now pay for that… let zero-x wrong from his mistake and probably with a more “conventional frame and with good italian suspensions and brake will win something…

  • Fybarra

    Awesome… electric bikes racing! It’s all good for R&D. However, an MX race may not be the best to showcase an electric vehicle. A trail/enduro race may be best. Here, the bike with the best suspension and MX racing components won. I want to see a test where the NEW stuff is showcased: battery power delivery, battery life, battery charging time… Chasis/suspension do matter, but that technology already exists and it’s easy to get. Most of us won’t go all-out racing anyway. In their fir electric comparo, Dirt Rider Magazine declared Zero the better bike of the two.

  • BPR

    Shit..these bikes from Quantya are insaine!!!
    i tryed freestyle tricks on them .. backflip etc..no prob at all!!!
    it’s actually more fun then on a original MX bike!!
    Wait till the X-Games next Year..I’m there on a Quantya!!