BRD RedShift MX and SM: as fast as a 250

Dailies -


The first products of fresh Bay Area startup BRD, this motocrosser and supermoto promise equivalent performance to 250cc four-stroke competitors. Making 40bhp and weighing 240lbs without lights, the BRD RedShift MX looks approximately equal to the KTM 250 SX-F, which makes 39bhp and weighs 228lbs. With 5.2kWh in its battery pack, the BRD should be capable of one if not two full motos too.

“We just want to make faster motorcycles,” says BRD 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.”

RedShift’s proprietary chassis is based around standard MX dimensions and angles. A monocoque design allows the batteries and motor to become stressed members, while locating them ideally for weight distribution and packaging.

“There are decades of development in modern motocross and supermoto chassis,” explains BRD cto Derek Dorresteyn. “We chose to harness the best of that while taking advantage of the torque and throttle response an electric motor delivers.”

The idea, apparently, is to give riders a familiar package, just one that plugs in to an electrical outlet. BRD claims the electric drivetrain delivers “more control, feedback, and confidence” compared to ICE.

The MX bike will come in street-legal form, weighing 250lbs, but that weight drops to 240lbs if you set it up for off-road only use.

The BRD RedShift SM is the one being unveiled in San Francisco as we speak and will obviously be road legal.

As for range? 5.2kWh would typically be good for 50-ish miles of commute-style riding, but BRD anticipates its bikes being used a little harder. “We expect people to ride the snot out of these in a way that hasn’t been possible on previous electrics,” says Fenigstein. “That’s going to affect the range and we want to be careful about getting the specification right.”

This is sort of a pre-production preview of these new bikes. More information is planned to coincided with EICMA in November. Pricing is likely going to be in the neighborhood of $15,000, which means you’re really going to have to want to be an early adopter to pick one of these over that $7,699 KTM.

  • Kevin

    I can’t wait until electric bikes are affordable\practical. If it wasn’t for the price and range, I would buy this in a heartbeat. That looks unbelievably fun.

    • Kevin

      I’m surprised they didn’t follow KTM and go without the linkage. Would’ve saved a few more pounds

      • Sean Smith

        KTM has added a linkage to most everything in their lineup. The weight difference is almost negligible and the performance is basically the same, but riders from other brands bitched and moaned for years that the link-less KTMs just didn’t feel right.

        As a mechanic, I prefer the old style linkless KTMs. The shocks come out in just a few seconds once the bike is on a stand :)

        • raphmay

          +1 for the linkless KTM set-up. Easy to work on, less bushes and moving parts to wear and as an owner of a KTM 200exc and a BMW R1100s with Linkless rear shocks I can’t tell the difference!

  • Chris Davis

    It’s nice looking for any bike, let alone an electric. Great flow to the subframe/fender/number plate/seat. Good looking frame. The inclusion of a “radiator shroud” is odd for an electric; I suppose it’s there for familiarity. The red box could use a little design love. Why is it only Motoczysz can make battery packs look good? Being the heart of the bike and the notable difference between it and its ICE competition it deserves some attention.

    • Scott-jay

      Lub it. But, not its Gummi bear styled cover beside foot-peg.
      Faux radiator shroud styling cues catch my eye, too. They abound today, seemingly required on any off-road bike.

      • Clark

        The shrouds may pull air under the seat to cool the controller.

  • mugget

    Ah – there’s the problem. I would have one of these in the garage without a second thought – except that I’m not so keen on the early-adopter premium.

  • JonB

    50, even 40 miles in SF on a motard is killer. Thats easy 1-3 days of commuting, going to dinner etc. So cool.

    Any updates on that norton featherbed frame e-bike from NYC?

    • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Sadly the best roads for riding a ‘tard are about 40 miles outside the city. D’oh!

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

    Very cool!

    If it were all white, it’d look like a skeleton! So much of what’s inside and outside of a motorcycle frame seems to be missing.

    Anyway, it looks great, and I’d love to see it with my own eyes.

  • Esteban

    very nice If the zero-x looked remotely similar, I would have one already go BRD!

  • fasterfaster

    Hi all. I’m the CEO of BRD. Been a lurker and commenter on HFL for awhile. Thanks for the interest in the bike – we’re pretty excited to finally share what we’ve been pouring ourselves into for the last few years.

    On the linkage – it’s a necessity for motocross and supercross. The MX version of the bike is being developed for Lites class racing, and at the top levels you’re simply not competitive without one. We worked very hard to not reinvent the wheel when it comes to chassis dynamics – the suspension design, chassis geometry, CoG, and rider position are all quite similar to class leading 250cc MXers.

    The “shrouds” are, in fact, functional air scoops. We use a centrally mounted radiator for our liquid-cooled drivetrain.

    Looking forward to sharing more as we’re able to disclose…

    -Marc F

    • Clark

      Great work! I cant wait to hear more about it.

  • protomech

    What part of the drivetrain is liquid-cooled? Batteries, motor controller, motor?

    Looks good. Price is high, of course, but hopefully that will drop over time.

    Few more questions:

    * Swappable or fixed batteries? Onboard charger? Fast charge option? Who manufactures the cells?
    * Can we expect to see a HFL (p)review? : )
    * When is the bike targeted for production?

    • fasterfaster

      Fixed battery. Our first gen design was swappable until we realized the challenges of swapping an 85lbs battery that is 50% of the value of the bike in the mud next to the track. Fixed is cheaper, safer, lighter, and easier to package.

      On-board charger is planned as an option and we’re working on fast-charging, but I can’t share details yet.

      Target for production is the 2012 riding season.

  • KR Tong

    Thats a pretty bike, but i havent read anything promising about EV technology in a while. Most recently was General Petraeus saying Afghanistan had lithium, which in the context of the article just sounded like he was looking for funding to carry out his invas–er, campaign to, “stabilize” the region.

    I’ll make due with gas for now, but congrats BRD on the design achievement.