My motorcycle riding background goes way back to the 70’s and was almost exclusively Motocross, with Trail Riding thrown in for fun & fitness. After a relatively successful Motocross career with many Provincial Titles from Junior through to Expert level and a Pro Canadian National #8 ranking back in 1980, Motocross was my #1 genre choice when it came to Motorcycle competition.
After leaving Motocross altogether for 6 straight years in 1981 due to injuries I came back in 1987 with a whole new resurgence. I have raced and ridden Motocross since 1987 right through to 2008 when while trying to defend my 2007 +50 Ontario Championship….I broke my back after coming up a wee bit short on the famous Walton Natural Double!
18 Months later I recovered enough to finally do something my all time MX hero 5 X World Champion Roger DeCoster had been saying since I was a teenager. If you want to develop good motorcycle riding skills then… Get a Trials Bike!
Well that I did, as I thought Trials will be perfect for me to ease my way back into riding.
Trials, simple, slow & easy, I naively thought… and boy did I learn fast how wrong I was!
Sure you can make Trials as simple as you like, but my competitive nature led me to study this craft by watching as many Trials videos of the pros as I could get my hands on. Wow, I thought…I could hurt myself just as easily trying to perform any of the numerous feats a good trials rider can demonstrate. Well with a #3 lumbar vertebrae that was already crushed in half and 30% of the front part no longer attached I thought I better take this slow & easy and that I did.
In 2009 I had invested in a top of the line GAS GAS 280 “Adam Raga Replica” and fell in love with this new form of riding where I could master my balancing skills and begin to try and learn what TRIALS was all about.
I got into Trials enough that I invested a bunch of money and trucked in over 15,000lbs of Limestone moss rocks & logs and began a landscaping endeavor that had the small village of my hometown Belfountain, Ontario all a buzz with gossip. What’s that crazy motorcycle guy up to now they were saying, but I kept all pretty quite while the work was being done.
Trials was my motivation for my new landscaping escapades…I wanted obstacles!
Well to make a long story short I’ve been riding Trials on my house property for nearly 5 years now and always with a bit of concern as to whether I was bothering the neighbors. After all a 2 stroke Trials bike is not totally silent and occasionally light clouds of bluish smoke would waft towards my neighbors but with all credit due to their tolerance…no one has ever complained.
Still though I always rode with that thought in my mind and as I clutched and shifted my way through my numerous obstacles I’ve developed over the years. I always had that nagging guilty feeling though. Many times I wondered, when would somebody develop an Electric Trials Bike that would work like my gas powered gem.
Well my dreams have finally come true with my recent purchase of the first ever Electric Motion 5.7 Pro Trials bike, the first one to arrive in Canada!
Let me just say that from my short period of time I`ve had the EM 5.7 I have been nothing short of amazed at its performance. Everything about the bike in relation to my gas powered bike is comparable from the handling characteristics to the brakes, suspension, weight, to ultimately its ride. With only a few rides under my belt, I knew I was in for a treat as I began to learn the slightly different techniques to mastering the delivery of the amazingly similar power to my traditional gas powered Trials machine.
The major difference between the two, was that with the EM 5.7 Pro, I no longer needed to use a clutch or shift any gears, it was all about balance, technique, and throttle control. In a very short time as my confidence grew I was cleaning sections perfectly that I knew were more difficult to do as smoothly on my traditional Trials Bike. Everything just seems to works as well and seemingly in most cases better.
The charging system for maintaining the Lithium Battery couldn’t be simpler…just plug the battery charger into any wall outlet and into the input on the top of the battery and 45 minutes later your good for about 4 hours of riding. I love it!
Now the most beneficial aspect to me personally is the sound or the literal lack of sound the bike makes while riding around my property. My first encounter with the neighbors occurred when I approached my friend Cathy who lives directly behind me and her comment was funny when she wanted to know what the heck I was on as when she saw me the first time she said…
“ I thought you were on a Bicycle…but I saw your legs were not moving“
Another neighbor Jim came over just the other evening (as I`m riding in the snow with studded Tires) and he had no idea I was on a new motorcycle and this was after 2 months of riding. Jim had just come outside to get some firewood and since it was at night he wondered who was out playing with what sounded to him like a remote radio controlled toy! When he walked down his long driveway to see what the un‐offensive noise was he couldn’t believe it being a motorcyclist himself and he was so impressed. If you can believe this he even offered up his own rather extensive property and said he had no issues with me making some trails in his wooded area that`s literally right across the street!
I felt like this has got to be a dream. No complaints and people offering up their own property for me to use to ride my motorcycle! That`s Crazy!
Needless to say I was over to Jims the very next day and gave him a chance to test ride the bike himself. Although it had been many years since Jim had ridden a dirt bike and was not used to the standing position he could tell this was one impressive machine. I told him a fact I`ve yet to mention here but the bike even came with a seat that bolts on with just two screws.
Another cool aspect of this Battery Powered Trials Bike is its 4 different power modes that you dial in with the turn of a knob or in the case of Trials mode a flick of a switch. Basically you have a beginner mode which cuts the power output way down, and then you have the Trek mode which is for trail riding and then Trials Mode with Level 1 for wet weather conditions and Level 2 for Full power. Brilliant!
The Primary drive I`m told is a belt that drives the shaft that moves the one of two supplied countershaft sprockets that uses a traditional motorcycle chain to the final drive rear sprocket. That’s about the most major mechanical part of the EM 5.7 besides the traditional hydraulic front & rear disc brakes. The latest Michelin LITES Trials Tires are stock on Wheels that look as good as the ones on my Raga replica and provide amazingly good traction. The foot pegs are wide and tough and the bars and controls are the same high level quality items. I’ve even added recently two tiny lithium battery powered Blackburn MTB Night Lights, one on each side of the nice crossbar pad and now night riding is a total option.
I will however stress that I am by no means a Pro Level Trials rider. So to report how this machine works performing Wall Splats or some of the other crazy tricks I`ll probably never do at this stage of my riding career, I can`t profess. I think all I need to say at this stage is let the results speak for themselves…The EM 5.7 in the hands of a Top Pro Trials Rider just recently in October 2014 wrapped up the #1 plate for the French National TRIALS Championships.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is a first for an Electric powered vehicle to take a National Championship while competing directly against gas powered machines!
Now that’s impressive!