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Stark VARG’s developers claim it’s the best MX bike you can buy


advrider

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stark-varg-2.jpg

We’ve seen a long list of electric motorcycles hitting the market these past few months, or at least unveiled in prototype form. Established manufacturers like Kawasaki and BMW are hinting at or promising upcoming new models, and everywhere you look, some upstart manufacturer is offering some sort of practical commuter based on battery power.

The new Stark VARG offers something else. The people behind this developed-in-Spain machine say it’s the best motocross bike you can buy. It’s not a lame, ride-to-work-and-back grocery-getter, it’s a full-power performance bike. Or, it can be a tamed-down ride, if that’s what you want, thanks to smartphone-enabled tuning.

Here’s what Stark’s website says about it:

The VARG is the most versatile and advanced motocross bike on the planet. It can be easily customized to your skill level and riding style at any circuit. Through the Stark VARG App you can create up to 100 ride modes, adjusting the power curve, engine braking, traction control and virtual flywheel weight according to your liking, and have five modes actively installed on the bike.

But, will you have enough power? The VARG boasts peak performance of 80hp, 30% more than a typical 450cc four-stroke. We also give you 938 Nm of torque on the rear wheel, more than double of any of the 450s.

Control the VARG’s power. You can adjust from 1 to 80hp in just a few seconds through the Stark VARG App, an intuitive and comprehensive tool available in your display, or through your Apple or Android phone.

Bold claims indeed. Stark takes it further, saying the 6 kWh battery will handle up to six hours of easy trail riding or a full moto on a single charge. Recharging takes 1-2 hours, depending which power outlet and charger you’re using. Also, the battery is a lightweight, coming in under 70 pounds, thanks to some clever design work. Stark says there’s a new lightweight honeycomb magnesium battery case that connects every cell directly to the battery casing, for high conductivity in the air-cooled case, and well-regulated battery temperature.  It also lightens the battery casing (which meets IP69K requirements).

Suspension comes via Kayaba. Stark says it partnered with Kayaba and Technical Touch to sort front forks and rear shock, with 310 millimeters of travel at both ends. Suspension is hard to get right, but Stark says “The standard linkage progression curve is optimized for comfort and stability whilst improving traction. There are seven different stock settings for riders within a 5kg weight margin, meaning that you choose the suspension adapted to suit your weight and ability.” If that actually works out to an easily-tuned fork and shock, that would go a long way towards making this bike a success.

The VARG weighs 242 pounds, which works out to excellent power-to-weight ratio. If the handling backs it up, it’s easy to see a lot of riders wanting this bike.

And yet, if the industry does not revise racing rules to allow this bike, it will still face a challenging battle for acceptance. Indeed, previous electric MXers have often not been welcome in sanctioned events, although they generally put up a good showing when they do. Will the VARG be the bike that bucks that trend? Keep an eye on events like Red Bull Straight Rhythm, or other one-off competitions. Maybe that’s where the work of convincing the public will start?

Pricing starts at $14,900 US. Gulp. For more details, check out Stark’s website.


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