No, before you ask, the new motorcycle brand Stark Future, isn’t anything to do with fictional squillionaire superhero Tony Stark, also known as Ironman. No, they’re a new company (est. 2019) based in Barcelona (but with Swedish roots), that are going to ‘design, develop and manufacture cutting-edge electric motorcycles to push boundaries of performance and set new standards for sustainability in the industry.’ Nice, Greta will be pleased.
The biggest problem with most electric motorcycles up to now, has been battery life. Some electric bikes are actually quite good, but (for the most part) they don’t last long enough or go far enough. But if we’re to believe Stark’s latest press release, all that’s about to change. Stark Future are claiming up to six hour’s of battery life. Granted, that’s only if you’re trail riding, but they do say that you’ll get full race distance at MXGP intensity; an MXGP race is 30 mins and two laps. If you can (reasonably) easily swap a flat battery for a full one, that could work. And you’d have to say that six hours of trail riding is probably enough for most people. In fact, what they are claiming is that the battery range is roughly equivalent to a full tank of petrol.
If that’s the case, it’s a big step forward.
The VARG might be the only bike in their range so far, but they’re saying it’s actually more like 100 bikes rolled into one. You can customise the power delivery (using your smartphone) to match that of a 5bhp kids bike to an 80bhp racing weapon. The electronics will match the bikes performance with everything from a 125cc two-stroke, to a 650cc four-stroke.
I should point out that 80bhp is a hell of a lot for a motocross bike. A decent (but standard) 450cc four-stroke MX bike (like a Honda CRF 450R) will make about 55bhp. So 80bhp is bordering on insanity. But I suppose that’s the great thing about technology, if 80bhp is too much (it will be) you can dial it down.
And all that power doesn’t even come at too big a price, weight wise. Electric bikes do tend to be a bit heavier, but this one is only 110kg, which is about the same as the aforementioned decent (but standard) 450cc four-stroke MX bike. This ought to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, MX bike ever to grace the planet.
And it looks like a proper MX bike too. It’s got Kayaba suspension and proper MX bodywork, for a start. And when you see what Josh Hill, pro MX rider, and Sebastian Tortelli, legendary MX rider and former world champ, can do with it, it’s obviously very capable. Obviously a proper MX bike, not just a trail bike dressed to look like a MX bike. A sheep in wolf’s clothing, so to speak. As it happens, ‘varg’ is Swedish for wolf… and they’re quite fast, aren’t they?
As well as building a really fast electric motocross bike, Stark also want to save the planet. Or at least help save the planet. That means ‘pushing the boundaries to develop and create sustainable products that will outperform current non-sustainable options’. Something else they class as unsustainable is burnouts. They don’t like burnouts; so now you know.
If this Stark Future VARG is as good in real life as they are claiming, then it might be a real game changer. If it really is as fast as they say it is, handles as well as they say it does and goes the distance, I’m in. I’ll have one.
For now though, I might just have to reserve judgement. It almost seems too good to be true. And as we all know when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Because the fact is, to be able to build something that’s so much better than the competition would be virtually impossible to do, without some sort of new technology; be it battery or drivetrain technology. Perhaps a small company on the outskirts of Barcelona, that nobody has ever heard of, has invented a new type of lithium ion cell, or electric motor, that’s going to revolutionise the EV industry. But I doubt it.
If you are a bit braver than I am, with a deposit of either $100 or €100 (they’d probably take £100 too) you can reserve one today, for delivery in September 2022. As yet though, we don’t know how much they’re going to cost; I’m guessing it’ll be the thick and of £10k. Maybe more. Let’s see.