Case in point, the FIM has just announced the "first ever race for electric motocross bikes": the E-MX. While we can understand the desire to unremember unaffiliated happenings, such as the MiniMoto SX and, perhaps, Zero Motorcycles' 24 Hours of Electricross, it puzzles us how it manages to forget its own pioneering Ride Green Eco Enduro. It all just distracts from what could be a very significant bit of news – which we will now focus on, now that we feel better after getting that off our chests.
A significant hole in the electric motorcycle racing continuum might be about to be filled as the first E-MX event kicks off this week in at Circuit Zolder in Belgium, part of CleanWeek 2020. The contest will feature about a dozen riders, who will be split into two groups for sets of sessions for practice, qualifying and a semi-final. The top three riders from each group will then take to the track and face off in a five-lap final.
A varied assortment of riders includes the likes of 10-time world MX champion Stefan Everts and, interestingly, BMX Olympian Arnaud Dubois. Instead of his pedal bike, Dubois, and the rest of the riders, will compete using a small fleet of not-yet-for-sale-to-the-public KTM Freeride E motocross bikes. There will also be some representation from other manufacturers, as Zero Motorcycles and Quantya (now Vrone) bikes will be used for some "test runs" before the qualifying begins.
It's not clear whether the FIM E-MX, as it is called, will be an annual event or perhaps the beginning of a proper series. We, of course, hope it is the latter since motocross is the most popular form of motorcycle racing and the use of electric propulsion would help demonstrate to a wider audience the advantages of a quiet, yet powerful drivetrain. Scroll down for video from last September's original announcement which includes some getting-dirty demonstration footage, along with the official press release. If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of Zolder Circuit on Thursday, definitely go check it out. Admission is free.
As part of the annual Clean Week, Circuit Zolder and BMB (Belgian Motorcyclists Association) with the support of the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) organize the first ever race for electric motocross bikes. The inaugural E-MX event assembles an interesting cast of top GP riders, up and coming and experienced riders, MX legend Stefan Everts and BMX Olympian Arnaud Dubois!
The first motocross in the history of the sport (1934) not only took place in Belgium, the name motocross itself was a Belgian 'invention'. A start with all riders behind a starting gate was another Belgian first. Moreover Belgium can boast the highest number of individual world titles in this spectacular form of motorcycle racing. This trailblazing tradition is now carried over into the 21st century with the premiere of the first electric motocross race. Even the timing of the E-MX launch event is no coincidence as Circuit Zolder's annual Clean Week 2020 provides an outstanding showcase of new technologies in the field of mobility and environment since 2010.
Who will be the first E-MX winner?
Exactly ten years after his historic team victory -at the same venue- in the FIM Motocross of Nations global MX hero Stefan Everts makes his return in the highly anticipated first ever competition for electric motocross bikes. The ten-time motocross world champion will face Britain's Jake Nicholls, Red Bull KTM rider Ken De Dycker, EMX 125 winner Damon Graulus, Marvin Van Daele, Yentel Martens and a few other top local riders. All riders will compete on the groundbreaking KTM Freeride E. Although racing with electric motocross motorcycles is still in its infancy the E-MX demonstration of May 2, will follow the same clear and professional set-up you'd expect from any other race at the highest level. After free practice, qualifying and two semi-finals the best six riders will fight for the overall win in an exciting 5-lap final! The compact, panoramic track was specifically adapted for this new discipline.
Not only motocross riders are hungry for the electric revolution. The interest from other sports people in the 100% green type of motorcycle racing is striking. Olympic BMX rider and European Elite vice champion Arnaud Dubois is keen to test his skills against the pro motocross guys. National BMX coach and former MX GP rider Chris Jacobs will join the fun to see what all the hype in motocross is about. Because no revolution is possible without the support of the people, entrance to the E-MX demo race is free. Be there!
E-MX demonstration day program
May 2, 2013 Circuit Zolder.
• 16h 30: Arrival and briefing on the E-MX circuit
• 17h 00: Free practice Group A (6 riders)
• 17h 15: Free practice Group B (6 riders)
• 17h 30: Qualifying Session Group A
• 17h 45: Qualifying Session Group B
• 18h 00: Interviews + test runs with Quantya and Zero motorcycles
• 19h 00: Semi-final A (5 laps = total race time around 6 minutes)
• 19h 20: Semi-final B (5 laps = total race time around of 6 minutes)
• 19h 40: Final with top three from each heat
• 19h 50: Podium