I woke early on New Year’s Day and while everyone was still asleep, I crept downstairs to enjoy some solitary peace and quiet to try and get over the madness that was Christmas in the Sutton household.
However, the silence was soon broken by the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps as I was joined by Bear – the family Chihuahua.
As I sat there in my post-Christmas comedown, feeling somewhat pensive I must admit, I watched the dog chasing his tail. It’s at that point I thought, ‘hmmm, that dog is easily amused’ before realising that I was sat there watching the dog chasing his tail.
So I snapped myself out of it and turned on the telly, flicking through the sports channels to see if there was anything that potentially floated my boat.
And, as it turned out, there was as one of the bazillion channels was showing the Andros Trophy which for the uninitiated out there is like rallycross racing on ice but also has a solo motorcycle support class called the AMV Cup that is more enthralling to us dirty bike types.
Through the wonder of studded tyres, the AMV Cup guys put on quite a show on the snowy surface, riding mostly 450 motocrossers while wearing lurid, luminous clothing that makes them pop out from the mostly white background.
As pre-breakfast viewing goes it certainly beats those infomercials for car polish, vegetable dicers and exercise machines…
The bikes did their thing, the winners sprayed their champers and then it was back to the four-wheeled action which seemed to be missing something, although it took me a moment to realise what it was exactly.
You see, the Andros Trophy is now for electric vehicles only and while the speed, sideways sliding, snow shifting action was all there, the only noise was coming from the car’s tyres as they cut through the snow. It was bizarre…
However, the lack of engine noise didn’t detract from the spectacle and so I tried to imagine what a field full of electric motocross machines might sound like.
It has to be said that since motocross shifted more towards four-strokes, the aural pleasure has been far less as the braap has now been replaced by something sloppy and flatulent sounding – it’s certainly not what it was, anyway.
So in all fairness, maybe a move to e-power, would be a bit of a positive in more ways than one…
Also, during the festive period, I watched an interesting report on CNN Money about how Swiss FMX star Mat Rebaud had fully embraced the more ecologically-friendly electric bikes to use on a professional basis.
Although there’s perhaps not too much future in the ALTA-brand machine that he’s currently using, the message was clear that e-bikes are the future and this was fully supported by motocross industry visionary Eric Peronnard.
One thing EP was clear about, though, was that the off-road community is far from ready to make the change and he might be right. But what would it take to persuade people to change allegiance from two-strokes and four-strokes to no-strokes at all? I guess a financial incentive would certainly help but what will an e-bike cost?
Years ago it was the cost of the batteries that were prohibitive but as more products come to rely on associated technologies then that price will come crashing down.
There are definitely fewer moving parts in the motor itself so that should also make the cost less – we’ll see in due time I guess.
In very different news I’d just like to send out a big shout to the guys at FatCat Motoparc as one of their customers – Justin Barcia – went out and won the opening round of the AMA Supercross series just over 10 days after visiting the UK’s #1 all-weather practice facility for a pre-Chrimbo ride out. How cool is that?
Until next week…