This is actually happening: An electric motorcycle will compete against traditional combustion machines at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm in Pomona, CA on Oct 22.

Designed and launched by San Francisco-based Alta Motors, the Redshift MX is an electric bike designed for sites class racing. With 40 horsepower, 36 foot pounds of torque, and a two-hour racing span, the bike is on par with most combustion bikes.

And also, an electric motorcycle is more accurate than a combustion bike, in terms of the name. This is because, to be perfectly geeky about it, a motor generates kinetic energy using an outside energy source (battery), while an engine generates its own energy. So for our purposes, and maybe in the near future, we can refer to motorcycles and engine cycles, to tell the difference.

But back to the specs for the Redshift: It runs a waterproof batter pack, designed to handle heavy shocks and vibrations. The bike has a top speed of 65 mph.

Of course, running an insane desert race with an open throated 110 mph is a desirable thing, but on the track against competitors in tight quarters, the Redshift could make a showing with pure sprint and maneuverability.

We’ll be interested to see how it fares against the engines. And with a price tag just over $14,000, it could well become the weekend sportster of choice for the Tesla set.

We shall see.