Quantya Electric Bikes

Swiss movement.

Quantya Electric Bikes

At a time when off-road riding areas are disappearing at an alarming rate and the environment is becoming more battleground than playground, it would make sense for the country that plays well with everyone to introduce a bike that might bridge the gap between green and mean. At the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York City, there was an interesting booth with a bike that could be a possible solution.

Swiss company Quantya was started in 2005 by inventor and motocross enthusiast Max Modena in response to the lack of riding areas and the banning of two-stroke motors by the Swiss government. Modena's latest machine, called the FMX, has the clean Euro look you might expect to match its clean zero–at least from the tailpipe–emissions.

The 195-pound FMX is packed with innovative features. Suspension components are premium Sachs and Marzocchi units that look to provide plenty of travel, and it rolls on 18-inch trials tires to reduce environmental impact (and improve grip). But it's the motive power, a DC motor, that sets these silent dirtbikes apart. The 48-volt motor is juiced by a lithium-polymer battery pack that Modena says will give 30-180 minutes of run time, depending on usage. Power is measured in kilowatts instead of horses but is equivalent to around 20 hp. More impressive is the prodigious torque, 23 ft.-lb,. which is close to that of a Honda CRF250X. Speed is governed to 40 mph.

Watching a video of the Quantya in action is strange; there are none of the sounds or smells of two- or four-stroke off-road bikes. But with no transmission and instant torque, the motor of the Quantya should make the future a little easier to bear.

Throttle is ride-by-wire, naturally. Photo courtesy of Quantya.

Since the Quantya was designed for use in rental fleets, the li-po battery pack is designed to swap out quickly. Forget about having a spare, though; battery cost is around $3900. Photo courtesy of Quantya.

The FMX?s AJP brake calipers are standard on most trials bikes. Photo courtesy of Quantya.

The FMX looks trim and compact, like a dirtbike should. A supermoto version is in development. Photo courtesy of Quantya.

The Quantya?s appliance-like mechanicals are made more interesting by the promise of instant torque. This photo and story lead photo by Gregor Halenda.

We don?t have a lot of information on the Quantya FMX, but we?ll try to get our hands on a test unit, purely in the name of scientific research. Photo courtesy of Quantya.