… Well, as quiet as dirt sport can be, considering the inclination and application…
Honda is already known for having some of the most reliable dirt bikes on the ICE market; since they’ve long carried the title of “world’s first commercially available electric motorcycle (1994),” it makes sense their goals to punt out ten electric bikes by 2025 would carry forward their motocross successes.
Now, we’re told that the debut of the brand’s very first full-size, electric motocross bike took off to a raring good start at the All Japan Motocross Championship. They’ve labeled the thing “Electric CR Proto,” and the three moto rounds saw the bike holding up very nicely to ICE competition.
Here’s the official description on how things went from Honda’s press release:
The opening race was smooth, with Canard starting strongly, settling into a rhythm, and crossing the line second aboard the CR Electric Proto. As learning, development, and ultimately the pace continued to improve throughout the weekend, Canard closed to just 0.7 seconds off the fastest lap and was looking fast.
In the second moto, Canard again started well and looked to be set to keep building on the weekend’s momentum, but an early crash with moto 1 rival Jay Wilson, unfortunately, put him out of the race.
Returning for the third moto, Canard made the best use of the Honda’s instant electric torque and again started strongly, taking the lead exiting the first corner. In fact, Canard took two of the three holeshots on CR Electric Proto.
Starting to stretch that lead from his weekend-long rival, the #27 of Wilson, it would have been the perfect culmination of the weekend’s learning and work on the CR Electric Proto to take the machine’s first win in its first-ever competitive weekend—but unfortunately, as the track continued to get ever more rutted, Canard crashed with 12 and a half minutes remaining of the 15-minute race.
“Honda CR Electric Proto Shows Leading Pace in Valuable Debut Weekend,” October 29, 2023 (Honda)
Fun fact: Apparently, this zero-emission motocross machine was a bit more of a last-minute contender to the All-Japan Motocross Championship; despite this, rider Trey Canard and Team HRC Team Manager are grateful for the experience and eager to learn from the weekend’s shenanigans:
We had some shines of brilliance as a team, the starts being one of them, with two of the three holeshots. There were also some sections on the track that were very impressive, and that makes me excited for the future of this motorcycle. I’m disappointed to not finish all of the motos after all of the hard work the team has put in, but I think we showed that the potential of the bike is quite high, especially for our very first attempt at racing.
– Trey Canard, Team HRC, Honda
I would like to thank the development team and everyone involved for preparing the CR Electric Proto to be ready for competition in such a short time. I would also like to thank Trey Canard for showing his potential, even though he has only had a few tests. We had three heats for the first time today, and we will take what we learned from each race and feed it back to the ongoing development of the CR Electric project.”