A Pure idle revolution: New electric trials bike gains idle function to help it stay upright

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Electric motorcycles are on an evolutionary path that has seen them progress from practical run-arounds to bonafide superbikes. Now Electric Motion (EM) have released their latest Epure Race trials bike, which can ‘tickover’ at a standstill just like a combustion-engined machine.

So competent is the trials-focused bike that two were entered last year into one of the toughest off-road events in the UK, the Scottish Six Days Trial, finishing 19th and 72nd in a field of almost 300.

The Epure Race first appeared in 2020 and became the first electric bike to have a hydraulic clutch, vital for trials riders who want to hold their ground and then launch themselves up a rock face. EM have now added a TKO (tickover) feature which allows the motor to continuously rev at 900rpm while the bike remains at a standstill.

2023 EM Epure Race

“Up until 2021, the bike had a hydraulic clutch, but effectively it was a rev and go, almost like riding a scooter,” explains Matthew Alpe, owner and MD of Inch Perfect Trials, and the UK importer of EM bikes – and one of the two riders to compete in the 2022 SSDT.

“In 2022 they brought out the tickover function, but only in two of the three power modes, so effectively if you didn’t use a clutch, it would be like putting a petrol bike into gear and setting off without using a clutch. The bike would just, all of a sudden, take off.”

He added: “So you pull the clutch in, press the map button and then the motor starts spinning at 900rpm and idling, you can hear it. As soon as you let the clutch out the bike sets off exactly like a petrol bike would.” 

Team Epure at the 2022 SSDT finish

For the 2023 Epure model the TKO system is available in all three power modes with the constant rotation of the motor creating a gyroscopic force which aids bike stability when stationary.

The Epure Race also features an anti-reverse feature that allows the rear wheel to lock under extreme riding conditions for added safety.

“If you were going up a hill with a combustion engine and you didn’t make it, the bike would probably stall and the gears would then hold you in place on the hill,” explained Alpe.

EM Epure motor

“In the case of electric motor, up until 2023 if you didn’t make it up the hill you could potentially roll back down out of control if you couldn’t get a hold on your brakes quick enough.

“The anti-reverse creates a lot of resistance in the motor and stops the bike rolling backwards out of control. So you can then safely get yourself off the hill, sort of disengaging that resistance with the clutch bit by bit.”

EM hope to enter the SSDT event again in 2024 having skipped the 2023 event. The Epure Race retails for £9499.

EM Epure sets off in 2022 SSDT

Epure Race in detail

  • Back stop: To engage the anti-reverse feature the rider can either pull the brake lever, or you can press the FRB button.
  • Flying high: The Epure Race features a new flywheel for more inertia and stability and more power at higher rpm.
  • Background noise: The bikes tickover of 900rpm can be heard while the bike is stationary and can be adjusted to rev at different rates in the three rider maps.
  • Mapping it: The three modes, 125, 250 and 300 are changed with the map button and are colour-coded as green, blue and red.
  • Trial by fire: The EM Epure Race competed in the 2022 Scottish Six Days Trial finishing 19th and 72nd amongst the 290 finishers.