A new Swedish electric dirt bike company known as Stark Future has just unveiled the most groundbreaking electric dirt bike to shake up the industry in years. The Stark Varg combines extreme power and torque with a design that should have it competing with and beating gas-powered bikes on just about everything but price.
Developed over the past two years in Sweden and now entering production in Barcelona, the Stark Varg is European through and through.
The bike may not scream as loudly as its gas-powered competition, but its specs boast louder than just about anything else.
Power comes from a peak-rated 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor, pumping out a solid 20 more horses than the most powerful 450cc dirt bikes out there. In fact, the Stark Varg can support up to 100 customizable power and performance profiles that range from 125cc 2-stroke power bands up to 650cc four-stroke monsters.
The company claims that the Varg is the world’s fastest motocross, though they don’t actually list a top speed… yet.
The motor itself contains a number of key technological improvements. As the company explained:
By using the motor as a structural component, we have been able to develop a motocross frame which is almost 50% lighter than the competitors. All the while maintaining the same or higher strength properties and optimized flex characteristics. The electric carbon fiber sleeve motor generates a fraction of the inertia found on a four or even two-stroke motorcycle. This provides a unique lightness, agility and maneuverability.
As one might expect from an electric vehicle, the torque figures are also off the charts. The motor puts out 275 Nm (203 lb-ft) at the axle, with that number multiplied to a mind-numbing 938 Nm (692 lb-ft) at the rear wheel. That’s not just dirt slinging, that’s practically dirt liquifying.
The Achilles’ heel of most electric motorcycles and dirt bikes isn’t the power, but rather the runtime. Here too, Stark made sure the Varg came ready to compete. A massive (for dirt bikes) 6 kWh battery is claimed to provide the same range as a full tank of gas on a 450cc 4-stroke dirt bike. Stark says that should be enough for “a full ‘moto’ at MXGP intensity or up to six hours of easy trail riding and will fully recharge in one to two hours depending on the charger and power outlet.”
The battery is air-cooled, which has been an issue on some other electric dirt bikes when the riding gets extra intense for long periods of time. But Stark designed the battery casing such that every cell is mounted across the long axis of the bike and in contact with the battery case to aid in quick cooling. The battery even exceeds the requirements of IP69K waterproofing, meaning you could pretty much ride it under water.
That battery pack weighs just 32 kg (70.5 lb), which Stark says makes it one of the most energy dense in the world. For comparison, the Alta Redshift that was often considered the crème de la crème of electric dirt bikes had a slightly smaller 5.8 kWh battery and a significantly less powerful motor, despite weighing more than the Varg.
Tipping the scales at 110 kg (242.5 lb), the Stark Varg is actually comparable in weight to many 450cc 4-stroke bikes.
The bike also packs in some interesting technology, such as a ruggedized smartphone controller on the handlebars. It pops into a holder and allows the rider to make adjustments on the fly, choosing from dozens of power maps and profiles.
The Varg is also quite customizable from the factory, with riders being able to specify the suspension based on their weights, wheel size (18″ or 19″), and even the option to select from a rear brake controlled by either a foot pedal or hand lever (remember, no clutch lever needed).
Electric dirt bikes of course present a number of other ownership benefits. The lack of exhaust noise means that riders can often explore trails in areas where loud gas bikes wouldn’t be allowed. The electric drivetrain requires much less maintenance due to a significantly lower number of moving parts, and the upkeep is considerably less expensive. Stark even claims that the Varg requires “no more maintenance than a bicycle.”
Of course the purchase price is where the pain is, though, which is often true of new electric vehicles that still struggle to reach the economies of scale of megalithic gas bike manufacturers. The full power Stark Varg will set riders back $12,900, while a slightly less powerful version can be had for $11,900.
Orders are open now with a $100 deposit, but don’t expect to be riding before October 2022. Even so, with these specs, the Varg certainly seems worth the wait! Maybe tide yourself over until then by checking out the bike in action in the video below.