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2024 Electric Motion Escape X & XR First Ride

Electric Motion Escape X XR

After a series of failed attempts due to illness and self induced travel woes, I finally made the 5,000 trip from my headquarters in Colorado to visit the Electric Motion headquarters in France. More than an effort to meet the fine people behind the Electric Motion brand, but also to tour their brand new factory, gain insight into upcoming projects they are working on behind closed doors, and most importantly, test ride the highly anticipated Electric Motion Escape X and Escape XR. 

My tour guides for this first ride are a duo who possess more talent in their throttle-hand skills than I have in my entire body. 

Leading the way is Chris Bruand, an EM factory rider and four-time French trials champion. You may see him upside down more than right side up, but that is where he intends to be. Chris’ is no 1 trick pony, as his well rounded moto skills earned him an impressive finish at the recent Alestrem hard enduro, but I digress. 

Assisting Chris is Nico Deparrois, former Enduro World Championship racer and current coach and test rider for EM. Nico carefully developed this riding facility with the intention of offering a well-rounded off road experience. The hardest part? Keeping up. 

Escape XR vs Escape R

Before diving into the ride, let me highlight the key differences between the Escape XR and the well-established Escape R. The XR touts a new, reinforced frame, an increased battery capacity from 2.7kWh to 3.5kWh, enhanced power with a new controller, improved top speed, traditional dirt bike suspension featuring a 35mm FastAce upside-down fork with 250mm of travel, higher seat height and ground clearance, larger Nissin brakes, a bigger rear brake pedal, and a proper front fender and number plate or an optional headlight/taillight. 

Escape XR vs Escape X

Furthermore, let’s quickly delve into the distinctions between the new X and XR models. The XR sports a hydraulic clutch, while the X provides the option to add a clutch later on. The XR fork is prepped in-house at the Electric Motion Factory, whereas the X fork is standard. Additionally, the XR features a piggyback reservoir-style shock design for better cooling, while the X shock is standard. The X model utilizes a smaller controller with 1kW less power, weighs roughly 1kg more than the XR due to it’s additional components, and comes with a 15Amp Charger compared to the XR’s 25Amp Charger. In terms of street legality, the X already meets European requirements and is expected to meet US requirements in the near future.

Riding the Electric Motion Escape XR

The first thing that stood out to me was how much more the XR feels like a traditional dirt bike. The bike has all the familiar feel of the Escape R, but it feels like it hit the weight room and added some bulk. The XR feels more stable, upright, and confident at higher speeds. This can be attributed largely to the FastAce upside-down fork with longer travel, which slightly alters the headtube angle and increases ground clearance. The result is more confidence hitting obstacles at speed and a bit more reassurance when the trail points downhill. 

However, it’s important to note that altering handling characteristics to this extent does come with compromises. The XR loses some of the nimble characteristics found in the Escape R, but it compensates with a more balanced trail bike feel. While the Escape R leans towards trials characteristics, the XR leans more towards a trail or enduro bike.

Power

While the overall power of the XR doesn’t feel significantly different from the Escape R, the power delivery has a slight variation. On the Escape R, I typically avoid using Map 3 due to its abrupt nature, which feels like its punch is designed for trials maneuvers. However, on the XR, I found Map 3 to be smoother and more linear. The power is adequate for the bike, but don’t expect it to be a hot rod. The XR boasts a 10 km/h higher top speed, partly due to a smaller 38T rear sprocket. For those seeking more low-end acceleration, increasing the rear sprocket’s tooth count may be a popular option.

Brakes

The Escape XR exhibits greatly improved stopping power, thanks to the Nissin brakes with 260mm front and 220mm rear rotors. Compared to the Escape R, the XR’s larger brake pedal is much easier to feel when wearing moto boots, a feature I struggled with previously due to the Escape R’s smaller pedal size.

Battery

Considering the increased battery capacity and accounting for the changes in power and weight, I expect a fairly significant improvement in battery range compared to the Escape R. However, an official range test will be conducted at a later date. 

Before you burn us at the stake for not reporting range in this first ride, I should point out that this environment is impossible to test range due to the fact that during these first rides, we are constantly switching bikes, changing bike settings, re-setting for the camera, and riding unusually.

So sit tight, we’ll test the XR’s battery range and ride time on our turf when the bike arrives in Colorado. 

EM Connect App

Now, let’s shift our focus to the EM Connect app, which allows riders to tune various features on the bike. Within the app, users can view the total hours and battery cycles of the bike. The dashboard feature provides real-time information such as speed, RPM, battery percentage, and ride mode. 

The app also offers customizable map settings, enabling users to adjust throttle range, throttle dead zone, and brake force. Additionally, users have the ability to customize each of the three maps by tuning throttle reactivity, max power, and max speed. The app also allows selection or de-selection of the tick over setting, which engages the motor at idle. When tick over is engaged, idle speed and idle torque can be adjusted to fine tune this setting.

How much does an Electric Motion Escape X and Escape XR Cost?

Yes, of course, the question everyone wants answered!

The current price of a 2024 Electric Motion Escape X starts at $9,999

The current price of a 2024 Electric Motion Escape XR starts at $11,999

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Escape XR aligns better with my personal riding style. As someone who enjoys fast singletrack and mountain riding rather than hard enduro or trials, the XR feels much more well rounded for my style of riding. Most importantly, the XR’s performance at higher speeds addresses the frustrations I had with the Escape R’s suspension and ergonomics, without ignoring the trials DNA that so largely makes up the characteristics of Electric Motion.

The X and XR are two exciting new bikes in what is quickly becoming my favorite category of eMoto, which I’m calling midweight eMoto.

Looking ahead to 2024, we have plans for a lot more seat time with the XR, so be sure to let us know what specific information you would like to see. 

2024 ESCAPE XR Technical Specifications

BATTERY TYPE: Lithium-Ion, 50.4 Volts

BATTERY CAPACITY: 3500 Wh

LIFE CYCLE: 1000 Cycles

CHARGE TIME: 2hrs & 30min w/ 25A Standard Charger

RANGE: 49.7 Miles

NOMINAL POWER: 6 Kw

PEAK POWER: 12 Kw

MAPS: 3 Standard (+ adjustability w/ EM Connect App)

LEFT HAND LEVER: Hydraulic Diaphragm Clutch

FRAME: 15CDV6 Steel

SWINGARM: Aluminum

FRONT FORK: 35mm Inverted Fork, 9.8″ Travel

REAR SHOCK: R16V w/ Remote Reservoir

FRONT RIM/TIRE: Morad 1.6×21″ Rim, Michelin Enduro Medium

REAR RIM/TIRE: Morad 1.85×18″ Rim, Michelin Enduro Medium

FRONT BRAKE: Nissin Caliper, 260mm Disc

REAR BRAKE: Nissin Caliper, 220mm Disc

WEIGHT: 194 Pounds

WHEELBASE: 52.4″

GROUND CLEARANCE: 13.8″

SEAT HEIGHT: 33.5″

2024 ESCAPE X Technical Specifications

BATTERY TYPE: Lithium-Ion, 50.4 Volts

BATTERY CAPACITY: 3500 Wh

LIFE CYCLE: 1000 Cycles

CHARGE TIME: 4hrs & 20min w/ 25A Standard Charger

RANGE: 49.7 Miles

NOMINAL POWER: 6 Kw

PEAK POWER: 11 Kw

MAPS: 3 Standard (+ adjustability w/ EM Connect App)

LEFT HAND LEVER: Progressive Regenerative Brake (PRB)

FRAME: 15CDV6 Steel

SWINGARM: Aluminum

FRONT FORK: 35mm Inverted Fork, 9.8″ Travel

REAR SHOCK: R16V 

FRONT RIM/TIRE: Morad 1.6×21″ Rim, Michelin Enduro Medium

REAR RIM/TIRE: Morad 1.85×18″ Rim, Michelin Enduro Medium

FRONT BRAKE: Nissin Caliper, 260mm Disc

REAR BRAKE: Nissin Caliper, 220mm Disc

WEIGHT: 191.8 Pounds

WHEELBASE: 52.4″

GROUND CLEARANCE: 13.8″

SEAT HEIGHT: 33.5″

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