The Stark VARG electric motocross bikes are here! Your questions answered:
The Stark VARG’s have landed! Last month Alex and Tobin from our team were invited to the Australian Stark Dealer Day at Queensland Moto Park. After 2 long years of waiting – we finally got to ride the VARG. And boy – it did not disappoint! Off the back of that session and with our first customer bikes leaving Spain next month – we thought it would be a great time to answer the most common questions we get about the Stark VARG.
- Will the Stark VARG be approved for Road Use?
This one is easy – no the VARG will not be road legal and you will not be able to register it. The VARG model will be imported as ‘Not A Road Vehicle’ or NARV. This means these VINs will not be able to be added to the Registered Approved Vehicle list and will not be road-registerable. There is a whole other approval process that imported road bikes need to go through. While Stark’s first bike isn’t going through that process because it’s primarily an MX track bike – Stark representatives have informed us there are plans for other models which will be road focused. An enduro bike is probably the next iteration but there have also been discussions about an adventure bike and scrambler.
2. How fast is the Stark VARG?
This is a bit of a trickier question. Stark claims the VARG is the fastest and most powerful MX bike on the market. But Stark haven’t release official information about the top speed of this bike. We rode the 80 HP version at QMP and it was very fast. We’re pretty sure it would blow away almost any 450cc dirt bike off the line – but top speed is a bit of an unknown. From what we could tell – the 80HP variant was capable of at least 80 MPH or 130 KM/H on our test day. Some videos on YouTube have shown the VARG on a dyno reaching 96 MPH. For Stark’s claims of this being the fastest MX bike in the world – the top speed would need to be over 120 MPH or 190 KM/H which is pretty insane. For now – we aren’t able to confirm the top speed – but it’s bloody quick! If you plan on riding this bike at a track or most off-road venues, top speed is probably not going to be an issue.
3. How long does the battery last?
This is one we can answer clearly. On the day we rode the VARG – we use 40% battery in 2 hours of riding. We aren’t MX riders and we weren’t pushing the bike as hard as other riders there – but the battery life was surprisingly good considering it’s size of 6.4 kWh. That’s about a quarter the size of the biggest electric motorcycles we sell at AEMC. So for the VARG to be able to squeeze out 2 hours of riding without using 50% of the capacity was impressive. Especially considering the power available. We saw good MX riders burning through most of the capacity in just over an hour when they were really ragging the VARG and some pro riders have said the same. I think the overall consensus on the battery capacity is that if you are pushing the VARG to extremes – you will get 60 mins of ride time. If you are riding it a little less aggressively you are going to average 2-3 hours of ride time.
4. How long does the VARG take to charge?
2 hours from completely empty. 1 hour for 30% or more to 100%. Charging on the Stark VARG is a lot more simple than other electric motorcycles we deal with. The offboard AC charger is built into the bike stand which means no bulky AC onboard charger on the bike itself or the need to run high voltage to accommodate DC fast charging. We think this is the right call for an off-road bike which will be mostly used on tracks or on private property. Those locations are unlikely to have fast-charging facilities/infrastructure so being able to charge your dirt bike from a standard 10 or 15a plug is a good option. The VARG charger runs at around 3 – 3.5 kWs from what we could see at the demo day. Like most electric motorcycles – the first 20% and last 10% of the battery pack is going to be slower at charging than the rest of the pack.
5. What’s the build quality/durability like?
Another easy one for us – really good! Our 2 biggest concerns about the VARG before the dealer demo day were the battery capacity/range and the bike quality. Quality – because Stark Future are a new company. They have amazing aspirations and early reviews are showing the VARG lives up to expectations. What we don’t currently have however, is long term usage data. There simply aren’t enough production bikes that have been out in the field long enough to know how these bikes hold up after lots of riding. What we were able to tell from the demo day was – the bikes are durable and the component quality is high. The demo bikes we rode have been all over Australia – ridden by pros and amateurs alike, on tracks and paddocks and pretty much everywhere anyone can ride them. Bar minor scratches – the plastics were holding up well and the other components like the footpegs, handlebars, suspension, screen, seat, etc all looked great and showed no signs of damage. So unless this bike ends up having lots of firmware/software issues – we think Stark have built something really impressive that looks like it could outlast most petrol MX bikes you can currently buy.
6. Rear hand brake or rear foot brake?
Another question we get asked a lot. If you’re a seasoned MX rider that is so used to a rear foot brake – anything else is just going to feel weird – then go for the foot brake. For almost all other riders – we think the rear hand brake is much more intuitive and makes the VARG way easier to control. Even dealers that had been adamant on the foot brake – seemed to be changing their mind on the demo day once they had got used to the hand brake. You can plant the balls of your feet really square on the footpegs, allowing you to focus on shifting your weight on the bike rather than having to adjust for the foot brake. Again – really personal preference but from what we could see – most people seemed to prefer the hand brake and our orders reflect that with around 60% of the VARGs customers have ordered from us having the front brake option.
OK that’s our main Q&A’s for the Stark VARG for now. We’ll add more when we get more questions from customers. More info about signing up for our local Stark VARG demo days below:
We have locked in the details of our South East Qld/Northern NSW Demo Day and we are excited to get these bikes out on to a track. Spaces are limited so fill out the details below to reserve your spot for the Stark VARG demo day.
Tuesday 10th October @QMP
Saturday 21st October – Burleigh Heads – not MX track
Tuesday 24th October @QMP