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Suzuki is developing an electric motocross bike that will fit in a standard ICE RM-Z chassis.

This diagram shows a Suzuki electric motocross bike that the Japanese manufacturer is currently developing.

Electric powertrains might still be less than ideal for mainstream high-performance motorcycles but they’re proving to be a strong option for competition motocross bikes – just look at the Stark Varg – and Suzuki is the latest to be developing just such a machine.

Honda’s CR Electric Proto is already competing in the All-Japan Motocross Championship against conventional ICE-powered racers, and proving competitive. We’ve also seen that Yamaha is developing an electric crosser of its own. Now a new patent from Suzuki shows its electric motocross powertrain, including a remarkably compact reduction gearbox designed to allow the unit to fit inside a standard RM-Z chassis.

A reduction gearbox allows the powerplant to fit inside a standard RM-Z chassis

Electric power works well for motocross thanks to the instant access to torque and the relatively small range of speeds the bikes have to operate in, playing to the strengths of an electric motor. Since the races are relatively short, there’s no requirement for vast, heavy batteries – smaller, lighter packs are all that’s needed to get to the end of a heat. 

What’s more, with a growing number of electric kids’ crossers already on the market, a generation of riders is being introduced to the sport with battery-powered machines. So it’s logical to offer an upgrade path using the tech they’re familiar with, particularly if it’s capable of achieving the same performance levels as combustion engine bikes.

Electric crossers will open opportunities for motocross tracks in new places, where combustion engine bikes wouldn’t be welcome. Non-polluting and nearly silent, they’re unlikely to spark complaints even if tracks are set up near residential areas, and can even be used indoors.