Keen on some silent running? The sort that takes you up hill and down dale - that’s a very steep hill and a very tough dale, by the way. Then an electric dirt bike is exactly what you’re looking for. Fossil-fuelled dirt bikes major as much on noise as they do on fun, causing all sorts of problems with those who understandably like their countryside to be on the quiet side. What’s more important to the rider is the instantly-there power that battery propulsion offers. All of this means it's a burgeoning market, so we’ve had a look around to find our favourites, from the minimalist Swede through the established superstar manufacturer to the offbeat and the upcoming. They’re all there in our list of the 10 best electric dirt bikes. Hill – and dale – finding? Up to you.
Best electric dirt bikes in 2023
Cake Kalk OR
Form follows function minimalism is the story behind this remarkable electric beast. Cake are an ambitious Swedish start-up seeking to reinvent the motorcycle for the electric era. Looking at their Kalk OR, you’d have to say that on aesthetics alone, they’ve succeeded. The Kalk weighs in at less than 80 kg, removable battery takes three hours for a full charge. Top speed of 55 mph is more than enough for your off-road yomping.
KTM Freeride E-XC
One of the most famous names in two-wheeled off-roading was an early adopter of battery technology. KTM first went electric in 2014, and the latest Freeride E-XC is exactly the formidable machine you’d expect from this storied Austrian manufacturer. Motor is water-cooled, battery can be charged on the bike or taken off to plug in elsewhere. You’ll get anything up to 90 minutes on one charge and three power modes make it, say KTM, perfect for the beginner.
All-electric motorcycle company Zero have come up with something of a stealth machine with their FX. Range is an impressive 90 miles in sedate city use, though when you’re out on the trail that’ll drop more than a little if you’re using full power. Company claim is that their patented Z-Force battery is the most powerful in the business - but you’ll need Zero’s charging accessories to reduce the time to reach a full charge from around nine hours to less than two.
Striking Vortex majors on ultra-minimalism with the aim, as this German-founded company puts it, of being “the ultimate off-road e-bike”, and you might just have noticed it’s as much a bicycle as it is a motorcycle. Vector are aiming to provide a machine that bridges the distinction between the two. Idea is that you’ll - literally - be able to climb every mountain and ford every stream. Weighs less than 60 kg, and there’s regenerative breaking to recharge on the move. One for the specialist off-roader.
Segway Dirt eBike X260
Segway, big name in e-scooters - and pioneer of the two-wheeled self-balancing machine - have produced a rugged, good-looking machine aimed at being tough enough for whatever terrain you can throw at it. Top speed of the Dirt eBike X260 is around 45 mph with 30 mph reached in just four seconds - and there’s an impressive 75 mile range claimed, too. Best of all is ultra-light weight: just 55 kg which makes for longer range and superior handling over those hills.
Company founder Ian Smith wanted an electric trails bike his son could ride, couldn’t find one and so built his own. Oset was born and still specialises in the youth market. Now owned by renowned British company Triumph, Oset’s adult electric dirt bikes are well worth a look, and the 24.0R is aimed at both old and young. This is very much a dedicated trails bike, weighing in at less than 50 kg and aimed at competitive riders. No-frills design adds to the appeal.
Sur-Ron Light Bee X
Hugely ambitious Chinese company suggests it’ll soon be producing 20,000 machines a year from state-of-the-art factory in Chongqing, a mega-city which specialises in hi-tech industrial production. Sur-Ron's Light Bee X weighs just 50 kg, there’s a claimed range of 62 miles - with regenerative braking to extend range - and a top speed of 45 mph. Charges up in less than four hours and there’s impressive off-road ability too. And did we say it looks great?
Specialist electric-only manufacturer Kuberg has ranges available for adults and children. FreeRider weighs a mere 40 kg - or a little more depending on your chosen specification - so this is a good option if you’re looking a truly dedicated off-roader since less weight means so much more manoeuvrability. It’s a real looker in our eyes and the enthusiasts are keen, too, not least because of the super-fast two and a half hour recharge time.
Boffins at Yamaha are still perfecting this one. Official line is that the TY-E is an "advanced development vehicle”. Mind you, it’s already been tested in competition in the Trial-E World Championships so this is no laboratory mule. Big news is the low weight for a full-spec machine: just 70 kg. Unusually, there’s a conventional mechanical clutch, allowing riders to feed in power slowly. Not yet showroom ready: promised sophistication means the TY-E may be worth the wait.
Alta Motors Redshift MX
We’ve cheated a little on our final choice because you’ll have to hunt down a second hand one, given that California-based Alta Motors are no longer in business. Aficionados insist the search will be worth it, and that given the reliability of electric motors servicing might not be an issue. Appeal of the Redshift is its sheer power, with 50 bhp available and the potential of a 70 mph top speed. Range is an impressive 100 miles. An outlier, but a tempting one.