Arctic Leopard will bring a triumvirate of E-XE 880 electric bikes to the 2024 Dakar Rally, where they will compete in the Mission 1000 challenge with Willy Jobard, Su Wenmin, and Jack Cai.
2,170 mm long by 825 mm wide, the E-XE 880 is specialised for enduro competition, capable of 125 km/h top speed. It can either use a 105V57Ah or 90V75Ah battery. The bike was revealed at EICMA in October.
Arctic Leopard is the first electric off-road motorcycle manufacturer in China. Besides the E-XE, the company also produces the E-AT electric trial bike. Arctic Leopard, who hopes to produce two or three new models annually, is mainly selling its products in Europe and North America but has also fielded interest from militaries in Southeast Asia. China has increased its presence in the rally world in recent times, most notably with Kove Moto successfully completing the 2023 Dakar Rally in their rally raid debut before expanding into the World Rally-Raid Championship’s premier RallyGP class for the 2024 edition.
Jobard has sporadically raced the Dakar Rally on a bike since 2001, including a stint with Chinese manufacturer Zongshen as their manager. In 2021, he ran the Dakar on a hybrid bike. Before joining Arctic Leopard in April, he spent six years with Bosuer Motorcycle as their brand manager. Su was the first Chinese rider to race the Dakar in 2010.
The Mission 1000 class goes along the main Dakar Rally but competes on a separate 100-kilometre course. Each of its ten entrants use alternate fuel sources such as electric, hydroggen, and hybrids. Besides Arctic Leopard, Green Power Race and Tacita are respectively entering one and two electric bikes in Mission 1000, while KH-7 Epsilon Team‘s MAN truck, Rainbow Truck Team‘s Volkswagen Amarok, and the Japanese HySE-X1 are all hydrogen cars.
The 2024 Dakar Rally commences on 5 January.