Will eBikes Shape the Future of Our Sport?

Our mission with Vurb is to play our part, however large or small it may be, in the future growth of our sport. We heavily support the grassroots of motocross for this primary reason. We meet regularly on how to get more kids on motorcycles and how we can get more pro athletes on larger media platforms, amongst other super important things.

Growing up as a kid who recorded every supercross to VHS tape and watched them religiously. It wasn’t Rick Johnson or Jeff Ward that truly made me want swing my five-year-old leg over a dirtbike. It was Ricky Carmichael (we’re the same age). I saw him race at a local track when I was a kid and the rest was history. My life as a very average motocross rider had begun.

Once I saw a kid my age do what RC was doing at the time, it struck a chord. I thought you had to be “big” to race motorcycles. But this was something I could relate to. Six months later I was staring at a yellow YZ 50 that my parents bought for my birthday.

Like many aspiring riders we lived in the country, surrounded by acres of wooded area. Noise violations? Yeah, never heard of them. Neighbors complaining to the HOA? What’s an HOA? I had an advantage of growing up in an area where having a dirtbike was not only accepted, but it wasn’t long before all my buddies were riding too.

Rural areas will always be more ideal for dirtbikes. But what about those city slicker kids? The millions of ankle bitters scattered across the suburbs of our great country? Better have a dedicated family to drive you to the track every weekend. And we all know how far that could be, depending on where you call home. Not to mention everything that comes along with it. A truck, oil, gas, chain lube, air filters…the list goes on. Needless to say you ain’t putting that crate in the back of a hatchback.

Now you don’t have to. A single mom with a Prius can now load up their son or daughters eBike and not only does she not have to worry about gas leaking in her back seat, she also doesn’t have to become a master mechanic.

KTM/Husqvarna/GasGass media relations manager, Andy Jefferson, agreed. “We’re taking a bottom up mentality in regards to how we approach the growth of our sport. Some companies think it starts at the top.”

Looking back at what inspired me to ride a motorcycle for the first time, we couldn’t agree more. It was seeing a kid no different than me do things I thought couldn’t be done. Sure, they were things that history has proven really can’t be done (RC is kind of a special talent in that respect) but it planted the seed for a life on two wheels.

But perhaps even more appealing than the ease of use are the opportunities the eBike movement open up for more densely populated areas. Take mountain biking for example. The bike industry has seen a massive influx in sales due to the exposure of more riding areas. From the inner city trails of places like Knoxville, TN, or what places like Missouri have been able to do with the xxxx trail system. Cities nonprofit organizations all over the country are investing money into bike trails. Hell, we even own a bike company called Singletrack Project. More on that later.

Mountain bike shops have also seen a huge tick up on the growth meter. They aren’t merely shops anymore, they are social gathering spots, with fresh beer on tap and a pump track out back. A place for families and riders to congregate and lie about how fast they are or how their kid is the next Aaron Gwin.

Sure, change will always be met with resistance, and I’m sure we’ll receive plenty of emails about how terrible eBikes are, but change is upon us, and if you ask us, we’re stoked for it.

Written by Bird Dog

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