Stark Future has unveiled a new electric motocross bike called the Stark VARG, and it could change MX forever.
As much as some will stamp their feet in protest, electric is the future for cars and motorcycles.
Long-established automotive manufacturers are throwing almost all their extensive R&D budget at electric innovation. But it’s not limited to Ford, Toyota, or the VW Group et al. Massive tech companies are dumping huge funds into secretive projects, while start-ups are finding angel funding to try and enter the market. And let’s not forget Tesla!
Electric off-road motorcycles are finding development a little bumpier. Alta looked to be on track only for the company to fold just as they looked to be making progress, while Japanese efforts currently look behind the curve. Meanwhile, the KTM Group has made good progress but are yet to bring to market a product that could genuinely challenge (on track) one of their combustion machines.
Now though, Stark Future, a company with Swedish connections but is based in Spain, could help drag the sport, well, into the future.
Stark, no relation to Tony, we assume, has announced a new electric motocross bike that they are calling the Stark VARG – Swedish for “Strong Wolf”.
The bike is not a prototype. The VARG is apparently for sale right now via their website. Although at the time of writing this, the website was not functioning for us.
The caveat is you won’t get your dirty mitts on the VARG until September next year.
In the press release, the company says: “The Stark VARG motocross bike will prove that electric technology is superior to gasoline equivalents in every single way.”
Stark has developed the VARG from the ground-up, and the company says it’s “physical proof that an electric motocross bike can outperform combustion-engine equivalents in every single way”.
That’s a big statement. But that’s just what the industry needs. Electric motocross bikes like the VARG could save motocross tracks from closure – like Butts Quarry – if they can arrive in time!
Here is the press release from Stark Future:
Changing the world: introducing the ground-breaking Stark VARG electric motocross bike.
Stark Future was born to challenge and inspire the motorcycle industry to sustainability. The company’s first serial production model – the Stark VARG motocross bike – will prove that electric technology is superior to gasoline equivalents in every single way.
The Stark VARG is the first electric motorcycle to be the performance leader within its category.
The new model will reorientate the industry with its patent-pending technology and design features, to inspire riders and racers towards sustainability. In order to outperform traditional technology, the Stark VARG has been developed from the ground-up, building the power train and chassis to work perfectly together and optimizing every component for its purpose. It is physical proof that an electric motocross bike can outperform combustion-engine equivalents in every single way.
How does the Stark VARG mark the difference?
- Multiple bikes ‘in one’ with customizable power settings to ape a 125 two-stroke up to a 650 four-stroke
- An innovative motor, cooling system and battery architecture for unparalleled performance
- A class-leading powertrain with 80hp at 9hp per kilogram meaning the Stark VARG is the fastest motocross bike on the market
- An ultra-small and light chassis concept with use of premium materials such as carbon fiber, magnesium, and aero grade aluminum
- A Smartphone dash and motorcycle set-up App
- Revitalized bodywork that prioritizes ergonomics, comfort, and performance
- Renowned suspension solutions from specialists KAYABA
- A ‘ride anywhere, anytime’ concept thanks to low maintenance, zero emissions and no noise
No detail has been left untouched or unexamined and no compromise has been taken: the Stark VARG has been in development for over two years and every single component has been carefully examined and cross-compared for utmost performance and potential. As well as the raw numbers and exceptional handling, the Stark VARG hits ownership targets thanks to its quick charging time and unbeatable durability (offering a full ‘moto’ at Grand Prix-like intensity or up to 6 hours of easy trail riding with a 1-2 hour recharge) and the absence of emissions and noise. The Stark VARG is also incredibly versatile. Through the brilliant Stark Future App – contained on the waterproof and shock resistant smartphone/dash, held in place by a new robust fixture – the bike’s power curve, engine-braking, traction control and virtual flywheel weight can be tuned in a few seconds and through as many as 100 ride ‘modes’. What kind of moto will you ride today?
The silent heart of the Stark VARG is the prized engine and power, providing 80hp – 30% more than any 450 – and with double the amount of torque. The drivetrain is surrounded by Stark’s production battery system which is one of the most compact and ‘energy dense’ in the world, boasting 6kWh of capacity at less than 32kg. The powerplant has been forged with advanced tech and ideas, such as the patent-pending magnesium honeycomb casing, ‘slippery-fingers’ cell holders, a pressure relief system and a one-sided powerboard configuring the battery cells. The Stark VARG’s ‘flying V’ system connects every cell directly to the tough, waterproof casing. This brings high conductivity to the air-cooled structure. The result is a very even and regular battery temperature that removes unnecessary weight for water or vapor cooling. The range from a full charge is similar to a 450 with a full tank of gas.
Low weight is key to the Stark VARG’s vivid handling. At 110kg the bike sets the best power-to-weight ratio of any model in any dealership. The chassis architecture uses the engine as a structural component, allowing Stark Future to build the lightest motocross frame in the world. The composition of the frame (and carbon sub-section) brings the right blend of lateral, vertical and torsional flex and a lower center-of-gravity placement to optimize the Stark VARG’s output on the terrain. The bike sticks and turns unlike anything else and the rider’s sensations are helped by the slim, sporty ergonomics (goodbye to airboxes, radiators and fuel tanks) and redesigned plastics, enabling more weight-saving. Japanese suspension experts KAYABA and Technical Touch need no introduction and the 310mm travel set-up can be tweaked between seven different stock settings depending on the size and bulk of the rider.
Look around the Stark VARG and there are details that will catch the eye. How about the innovative smartphone and dash housing that allows full set-up preferences? What about the patent-pending super-robust ‘floating’ dual compound skid plate that removes the need for a lower section of the frame and provides supreme protection? Or the wheels with CNC-machined 6082 T6 aluminum hubs, 7050 T6 rims, spokes made in Italy from high-grade steel and Pirelli MX32 tires? Then there is also the innovative chain adjuster ‘click system’ (erasing the need for measurement) and the flush axle and bolt composition for yet more effective profiling and protection. Even the Stark VARG footpegs are special: the parts are cast from a special stainless steel alloy, 40% stronger than titanium or chromoly steel and are lighter than any motocross footpeg. The installation process is also simple as Stark have taken away the need for a lock pin.
The industry has set their benchmarks for combustion-engined motorcycles and it focuses on minor incremental steps each year. Stark Future has blown this outdated and environmentally ‘unfriendly’ standard away from the track. The company want to take motocross ‘out of the rut’ and have analyzed and beaten every yardstick there is.
The Stark VARG is competitively priced, costing €11,900. The motorcycle can be ordered through the Stark Future website or through select, participating dealerships.
Stark VARG: the world’s fastest motocross bike is now electric
Seb Tortelli, Josh Hill and Mat Rebeaud ride the Stark VARG