A 110 kg heavy motocross bike powered by an 80 Hp electric motor, with an excellent overall balance and extremely effective. We tested the Stark Varg, here’s how it goes
In a historical moment where more and more sports facilities are severely limited or forced to close due to the decibels emitted by the exhausts, the future of motocross arrives in an unexpectedly silent, but sensationally mediatic way. In fact, StarkFuture invaded the social world on December 14, 2021 with an extremely vigorous affirmation: “We build the fastest and most fun motocross bike in the world to demonstrate that electrical technology it is superior to that of petrol “. With this mission in their sights, Stark’s men have fueled an incredible expectation capable of generating more than 10,000 pre-orders in just 5 months of launch. An international phenomenon that has involved off-road enthusiasts from every continent and attracted the attention of distributors, dealers and motorcycle manufacturers. Has the future really arrived? To answer the question, we previewed the Varg, the first born of the Stark house, in the bucolic setting of the MX Golf just outside Barcelona. It is on sale at a price starting from 12,900 euros.
How is it made (part i)
The Varg, a term that in Norwegian indicates the wolf, is presented as a motorcycle with a futuristic and slender design. The ergonomic structures and the saddle are designed to be removed together with the aid of only 7 screws, like a dress that fits perfectly with the technology and shapes of the electric drive. The saddle-handlebar-footpeg triangulation is similar to a traditional motocross, but is extremely smaller and slimmer between the legs. The heart of the Varg project is certainly the electric powertrain which boasts a peak power of 80 hp and more than double the torque of a normal 450 4-stroke: 90Nm declared. Important numbers for a powetrain that is cooled by a system of about 500cc of liquid, with a radiator under the saddle, and lubricated by only 90cc of oil. The power of the electric motor is managed by a rugged smartphone which, positioned in the center of the handlebar, allows you to change the power curve, the engine brake, the traction control and the virtual flywheel effect with a simple touch of the touch. In fact, the StarkFuture men declare up to 100 driving modes available with the possibility of transforming the behavior of the motorcycle in a click, to simulate a 2 or 4-stroke engine, or to adapt to different types of driving / terrain. The “StarkPhone”, supplied with the bike, works as a real latest generation phone capable of taking pictures and giving moments of social sharing, as well as of course monitoring every parameter of training and of the bike as lap time. or residual autonomy. The engine is powered by a patented battery system that is one of the most advanced in series electric vehicles. The capacity is 6kWh and the declared weight is 32kg including the casing, the Bms (battery management system) and all the components necessary to guarantee the battery pack the waterproofing requirements imposed by the Ip69k regulation.
HOW IT’S DONE (part ii)
The cover is made of magnesium and connects all the cells directly using the honeycomb structure called slippery-fingers. The ingenious idea behind this patent is to exploit the battery casing not only as a container, but also as a conductor to parallel the hundreds of cells contained within. Thanks to the “flying V” shape, the Stark engineers finally tried to move the center of gravity of the cells back as far as possible, giving the Varg an almost neutral balance: 49% at the front, 51% at the rear. The autonomy is similar to that of a motocross bike with a full tank, i.e. able to withstand a motocross heat of about 35 minutes at very high intensity or to guarantee long off-road excursions (up to 6 hours) if you adopt a more relaxed and less expensive driving. To recharge the battery, however, it will take 1 or 2 hours depending on the type of charger available. In this first version the battery is not meant to be replaced, but the engineers assure that news will come soon. The declared weight fully loaded is 110kg which, although slightly higher than the 450 competitors, is extremely neutral in the driving phases thanks to the absence of the classic inertia of the internal combustion engine. The steel frame was developed in synergy with the engine, which acts as a structural component, in order to be able to obtain a weight that is 50% lower than the market references, while maintaining the same characteristics of resistance and flexibility. The suspensions, the brakes, as well as all the components used on this Varg, are from the premium range. Thanks to the collaboration with Kayaba and Technical Touch, Varg boasts the renowned SSS da 48mm and a rear kinematics which, in combination with a Kyb mono-shock absorber, guarantees an excursion of 310mm. An interesting novelty for Stark customers is the possibility of buying and receiving the bike directly at home with a hydraulic and spring setting calibrated to your weight and driving skills. Finally, Brembo brakes and Galfer discs complete the equipment of this pioneering electric motocross.
How is it going
Climbing on the Varg you perceive a series of absences: no gearbox, no clutch, no vibrations, no noise. The future has slender and streamlined shapes that make this Stark almost an S-size motorcycle. The seat surface, as well as the center of gravity, are lower than the petrol-powered competitors, but maintain a fairly relaxed and traditional saddle-footpeg-handlebar triangulation. . But the real magic happens when you start turning the throttle: a ‘incredibly sweet delivery and effective in the first 30/40% opening of the potentiometer, which then turns into a wave of power and torque capable of embarrassing even the most savvy rider. The Varg enters the curve like lightning with a precise and sincere insertion, but knows how to surprise perhaps even more in the distance where the absence of the inertia of the engine, combined with the fluid and impeccable delivery of the electric, give an ease of use and unmatched speed. In the jumps the Stark is balanced and neutral even if it is not so intuitive in the management of the throttle and speed when on the ramp: theabsence of vibrations and of the gearbox transmits to the driver different sensations than those of endothermic engines. The “quantum leap” compared to a traditional motorcycle is certainly large, not only in terms of torque and power, but above all in the choice of lines and gas management. A leap made even more evident by the transition from the Varg to a traditional motocross bike. After a couple of laps with one of the six 450 top players on the market we had available during the test, with great amazement and disbelief we understand that we are much slower, that it is extremely difficult to get the bike down in corners and to carry travel speed in the channels that seem narrower and narrower. However, we find again the noise of the limiter, the clutch, all the emotions that only an endothermic motorcycle can give, but we also lose speed and ease of use: the chronometer does not lie. In the afternoon we try to change the settings of the brakes, suspension and engine of the Varg to bring them closer to individual driving preferences. First we ask the mechanics to bring the rear brake to the handlebar, thus removing all the pedal controls: initially it is difficult to find the feeling with the lever but after a few laps you feel greater control of the distance and the trajectory, especially in the curves. right. In fact, with the handlebar pump you can manage braking even in the middle of the curve to try to bring even more speed without losing safety. The Kayaba suspension sector needs no introduction, but in the early rounds we found it a bit too “American” and supported; for this reason we asked to slightly increase the Sag and free the hydraulics of both the fork and the shock absorber. The sensations have improved without, however, regaining that smoothness that we Europeans love so much. Finally, we worked with the track engineer to slightly increase the engine brake intervention and make the bike easier to brake and engage. With great surprise, the behavior of the Varg has further improved and the distance has become even more effective.
The Stark Varg is the first electric motocross that is not only easy and fun, but that is already potentially competitive to be lined up at the gate with the petrol 450 sisters. Over the last decade, some startups have entered the world of electrical plugs, but no one had ever come up with such a concrete and effective project. Having doubts about the electric world is normal, especially for enthusiasts who grew up on “bread and blends”, but this Varg represents with incontrovertible certainty the beginning of a new era made up of unprecedented technological and performance achievements. The StarkFuture puts us in front of an epochal change full of stimuli and innovation, maybe it’s not romantic but it’s damn fast. Stark Varg is available for pre-order online in 3 colors (red, forest green and white) at a price starting from 12,900 euros. Deliveries will start from October 2022.
Low center of gravity and general balance; extremely effective cornering; performance of the power unit customization of delivery.
“American” suspensions, very sustained; not immediate feeling in the ramp phases of the jumps; small and petite for those over 1.80 m tall.
TECHNICAL SHEET STARK VARG
Power: 80cv Weight: 110kg fully loaded
Wheel torque: 938 Nm
Autonomy: up to 6 hours or 35 minutes at MXGp intensity
Charging time: 1 to 2 hours Battery capacity: 6kWh
Suspensions: KYB Front / Rear with 310 mm travel
Driving mode: Maximum customization via the smartphone supplied (power curve, engine brake, flywheel effect and traction control)
Price: starting from 12,900 euros
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