Mini-Bike Showdown – 50cc Mini vs Mini-E?
Late last year, near identical press releases from KTM and Husqvarna announced that each brand’s all-new electric-powered mini-bike model – KTM’s SX-E 5 and Husky’s EE 5 – were now eligible to compete in a new Mini-E (4-6 years) Junior class at the 2020 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship (part of America’s infamous annual Loretta Lynn’s event). Needless to say, those who’ve worked hard on developing these new e-powered mini-bikes at KTM’s and Husqvarna’s Austrian HQ are thrilled about the development, and the opportunity it gives young racers to participate in the world’s largest amateur motocross program.
Nathan Ramsey, Orange Brigade Team Manager, referred to the decision as “…a necessary step for our industry to look into the potential future of our sport…”, while his counterpart at Husqvarna, Race Team Coordinator, Sean Murphy, drew attention to how much he was “…looking forward to seeing youngsters compete on these environmentally friendly, easily adaptable machines at the highest level of amateur motocross racing”.
Restrictions for the new Mini-E (4-6) Junior class include: battery energy limited to 1kWh; maximum (adjusted length) wheelbase of 41 inches; maximum wheel size of 12 inches; and a maximum seat height of 25 inches.
It makes perfect sense to make these revolutionary little e-machines eligible to race in their own class, especially as they both come with ingeniously designed bodywork and suspension that allows a wide range of adjustment in seat heights, and a lowering kit accessory that’s available for particularly small racers. But are there moves afoot here in Australia to follow suit? And what about the prospect of electric mini-bikes being eligible to race against their 50cc fossil-fuel-burning counterparts in the same class?
Well, according to National Marketing Manager for KTM and Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia, Alana Baratto, it appears that Australia has gone one step further than the USA by allowing the integration of these ‘Mini-E’ models into existing racing classes. “Motorcycling Australia (MA) has confirmed that the KTM SX-E 5 and Husqvarna Motorcycles EE 5 are both permitted to compete in the 50cc Demo, 50cc Division 2 and 50cc Auto Classes here in Australia in club and/or open race meets,” Baratto told Transmoto. “MA will monitor their introduction and review the regulations accordingly, based on the performance and suitability in each class and discipline. But until MA can confirm further regulations applicable to these electric-powered mini-bike models, they are ineligible to compete in state or national championships.
“At KTM and Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia, we are excited to launch an electric revolution with the introduction of these two models, both recreationally and on the race track. This new era of riding offers Aussie kids greater usability, greater accessibility and, best of all, low maintenance and no noise,” Baratto went on to say.
These all-new electric-powered mini-bike models from KTM and Husqvarna are now available through authorised dealers for an RRP of $8395.