MX Sports announced last week that electric motorcycles will not be eligible to compete at the national level (namely, Loretta Lynn's AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship) until they feel more comfortable with the comparison to internal combustion engines. Read the press release here.
My question isn't about the capability of the bike. It isn't about how much better it's going to get in comparison to a 250F, which is where Alta would like to compete right now, or even a 450. My question is why does it need to compete with internal combustion? Why do we, as a motocross community, feel the need to fit things into existing categories (looking at you, MX Forums and Comment Sections)? Are we that narrow-minded that we just can't fathom a different class structure?
Look at what happened with the 2-stroke/4-stroke evolution - and look at where we are today with that same debate. Everybody "loves" the 2-stroke and most people are still irate at the demise of it's dominance in motocross competition. Whether those feelings are merely nostalgia or rational, the debate is as loud today as it was during the transition.
So why do we want to go through that again? DC (of Racer X Illustrated and MX Sports) put together a really good piece on this decision in last Friday's Racerhead. So why does the MX community bash the powers that be for not wanting to jump to a decision that will completely alter the entire sport(s) of offroad motorcycle racing?
I wonder if auto racing fans threw as much fit to get a Formula E car lined up with whatever classification of internal combustion car is somewhat comparable? Can we not just put e-bikes in a class of their own and let it grow? Sure, Alta may be the only game in town, right now, and it may seem for a while it's just a running advertisement for their brand until other manufacturers get in the ring, but so what? Competition creates evolution. Let the other OEMs play catch up and then we'll really see what the potential is for these motorcycles.