SUR RON X THE AMAZING VALUE e-MTB / DIRT BIKE
The most popular e-bike in the Sur Ron e-bike range, the Sur Ron Light Bee X Electric Dirt Bike, is making huge waves with electric mountain bike enthusiasts. The Sur Ron X appeals to mountain bike adventurers as it offers the weight, size, and agility of an e-MTB with dirt bike styling and a high powered electric motor.
FINISH AND STYLING
The bike is extremely well finished and the sharp looks match its performance. This is one of the most impressive e-bikes to come from China to date.
NEW FOR 2022
Historically, the bike has been for sale in low sheen black frame and componentry, with minimalist decals or other colored components. The 2022 models now have orange decals on the exposed black frame surrounding the black sub-structure.
The open frame is also available in a variety of colors: white, blue, and black on all models, and an additional red frame option available on most models.
The 2022 Sur Ron X has a modified controller that adds additional torque to the motor. The new sine wave controller is also smoother, more responsive, and noticeably quieter than previous model years.
At around US$ 4,000, the basic Sur Ron X is similar in price to entry level full suspension e-MTB’s from TREK, GIANT, Cannondale or Specialized. The price is stunning considering the sleek, dirt bike styling, powerful motor, massive battery, and top quality finish.
The Sur Ron X is a true All Terrain Vehicle. It is at home both on and off road, however, it is hard to pigeon-hole the performance.
In contrast to most dirt bikes, the Sur Ron X has narrower 19” wheels front and rear, requiring lighter forks and shock. The reduced weight of the -bike allows for a relatively diminutive frame. The X has more in common with e-MTBs than motorized trail bikes, as the designers have strived to minimize weight.
Tipping the scales at 100 lbs, the e-bike is around 40% heavier than most brand name enduro e-MTB in this price bracket. Sur Ron’s are, therefore, not as agile, or as easy to toss around, as a 250 watt, e-MTB with a relatively low capacity 500aH battery.
The additional weight of the powerful 5.4kW motor, and huge 2,000 aH battery bestow so much more performance than the typical e-MTB. Engine torque from the Sur Ron X is similar to a gas powered 100cc dirt bike or motoped. Sur Ron bikes are, however, half the weight of equivalent gas powered dirt bikes.
Enduro mountain biking is very different to the trail bike sector challenged by motopeds or other electric trail bikes such as the Segway X160. Although it has no pedals, the Sur-Rox X is the closest thing available to an e-MTB.
The Light Bee is equally at home as an off road enduro, or an everyday commuter. The bike has sufficient power to keep pace with city traffic, and the battery range to take the majority of commuters to work.
The Sur Ron X targets popular, established market leaders Sondors XS and B52 Stealth Bomber in the e-MTB sector. Although the most powerful Sondors XS has a relatively small 750W motor, and the B52 is way more than twice the price of the Light Bee.
The high power and relatively low weight (103 Lbs or 47Kg) give this bike a unique position in the market. The Sur Ron X is in a unique ATV class with e-bikes like the B52 Stealth Bomber. It loses some of the lively, sharpness of an e-MTB, but is far more spritely than a gas powered dirt bike.
The Australian built B52 Stealth Bomber has been my favourite e-bike for many years. The B52 is a few pounds heavier at 112 Lbs although it has a more powerful motor and battery. When riding the B52 it is faster, fractionally better accelerating, and it has a longer range. The B52 is, however, a $10,000 bike. This is more than twice the price of the Sur Ron X.
The heavy rear wheel hub motor of the B52 also gives different handling characteristics. The Sur Ron X is, therefore, a more accomplished off-road e-MTB.
When comparing the Sur Ron to a B52, the Sur Ron shines when riding enduro trails. The Light Bee X is a better balanced e-bike, more suited to rough tracks.
It is far easier to land doubles, switch lines, and painless to jump the back end on the Sur Ron, compared with the heavy rear engined, B52.
The long travel shock and forks soak up hard drops and the motor makes light work of steep climbs without having to pedal.
The Sur Ron then, is in a class of its own. It is a very capable enduro e-bike that can be used for commuting, hunting, or mountain biking. The ebike’s all-terrain capability, with powerful motor and large capacity battery, make it a perfect all rounder.
The weight of other powerful e-bikes in this sector make them more suited to commuting and cross country. The Sur Ron X is firmly targeting the popular enduro sector.
Sur Ron electric bikes carry sufficient potential for the US military (and Allied forces) to evaluate the e-bikes for use as a War Bike.
The relatively lightweight bike packs so much power that there are many strategic, tactical applications for the Sur Ron light Bee X and the Sur Ron Storm Bee. The military applications as a war bike is attracting interest from a number of countries.
The near silent running, and high power to weight ratio, present unique reconnaissance, transport, speed, and stealth advantages, for numerous tactical scenarios.
There are currently no separate bicycle infantry units at present, however, bike divisions have been used to assist strategic weapons deployment, and speed battalion transport in previous wars.
US, Australian, Norwegian, Swedish and New Zealand governments are trialing scenarios for light, powerful e bikes.
The lightweight electric Sur Ron Light Bee could provide more rapid deployment of paratroopers behind enemy lines. Fast electric bikes could assist patrols, scouting, messenger duties, or simply to aid rapid deployment of battle infantry.
With the use of the Light Bee X in military applications it is no surprise that this e bike would be a sensational choice for a fat tire hunting bike in many situations.
The Sur Ron is a Chinese manufactured machine. I expect that the leading US manufacturers of fat tire hunting bikes: Jeep, QuietKat, and Rambo, will be paying close attention to military evaluations.
The e-bikes potential as a strategic military vehicle speaks volumes. Not only about the Sur Ron’s application as an armed bicycle but the reliability and serviceability of the bikes.
Sur Ron electric bikes also offer an advantage over gas transport for doomsday preppers who understand that gas will be scarce in the event of an apocalypse.
IS THE SUR RON X ROAD LEGAL?
Even in standard trim, the Sur Ron X is not road legal for use in most states other than Florida and Mississippi.
The Sur Ron should be registered and insured to ride in public streets. State legislation changes frequently, and there are often additional city laws, so always check with regional law enforcement.
You can, however, opt for the Sur Ron L1e which is a reduced power version, based on the same chassis. The reduced power Sur Ron L1e has been modified to comply with road legislation.
For a more detailed guide to e-bike legislation across the US, click here.
Although pedals are not standard on the Sur Ron, they can be fitted if required.
Even when pedals are fitted, most states also limit the maximum speed of the bike to 20 MPH, and restrict the engine to less than 1000 Watts. Unfortunately, with the exception of Florida and Mississippi, the Sur Ron X does not comply with e-bike road legislation.
Many riders, however, enjoy their e-bikes off-road only. Road legislation is, therefore, not a concern to many enduro track enthusiasts, or hunters, who typically load their e-MTB into a truck to drive to the trail head.
Without modification, the Sur Ron x will typically pull 35 MPH (56 KPH) in standard configuration. There is, however, a very popular, and simple, hack which will up-rate the top speed to around 48 MPH (77 KPH). Simply cut the green speed controller wire which protrudes from the battery connector looms. Cutting this wire will increase both torque, and speed, of the standard motor.
The 5.4 KW, mid mounted motor, provides 184 lb-ft of torque (250Nm) through the single speed direct chain drive to the rear wheel. There are optional crank sets and sprockets which can modify torque at the rear wheel.
One of the most interesting options is an aftermarket controller which claims to provide an additional 2,000 Watts over to the standard controller. The system claims to increase both speed and power by up to 30%.
If the claims are true, this would increase the Sur Ron’s top speed to over 60MPH (100 KPH).
If you really want to stretch the capability of the engine, there is a Stage II controller which requires a higher capacity 72 Volt battery. The BAC8000 controller can triple the output of your motor. With the correct gearing, you could achieve over 80MPH from a converted Light Bee. These systems can only accept full throttle in short bursts as the excessive heat will damage the motor and wiring.
It is also worth considering the cost and weight that a BAC8000 conversion will add. A 72 Volt 42H EBMX battery weighs 13Kg and costs just under US$2,000 with a fast charger an extra US$150. The BAC8000 controller will lighten your wallet by over US$1,500.
SUR RON ELECTRIC BIKE UPGRADES
The Sur Ron X comes with great quality components fitted to the standard model. There are, however, a mass of upgrade options if you are looking for enhanced performance in a particular area. There are fatter tires, 17” wheels, inverted forks, improved hydraulic brakes, higher capacity batteries and high powered controller.
As the Sur Ron is designed as a mountain bike, many components can be easily swapped for MTB alternatives. A popular option for avid enduro enthusiasts is to swap the Fast Ace, 8” travel (200mm) front forks, and shock, to Fox 40’s, or RockShox BoXXer’s.
Similarly, brakes on the Sur Ron X (prior to the 4 piston upgrade of the 2022 model) can be improved immensely by replacing disc pads with Shimano alternatives.
SinTech also offers a 25Kw controller that claims to increase top speed and acceleration by 30%. With a controller of this power, it would be prudent to opt for the additional heat sink. The SinTech controller also extends the ability of the standard Sur Ron controller by providing customizable power profiles, and reverse gear capability, alongside regenerative braking.
The SinTech controller also claims to be more efficient so it will also extend the range the rider can travel with the standard battery.
The standard Sur Ron X is supremely capable in every department, but it is good to know that you can squeeze a lot more out of the bike if it doesn’t perform the way you like it out of the box.
Sur Ron X advertises (a hopeful) 60 miles / 100Km) range from the massive 60 Volt, 32 Amp, 2000 wH, Panasonic battery that comes with the standard bike. Although this is an incredible battery, the e-bike provides around 20 Mile range of typical use in unrestricted sport mode.
I know no-one that has ever achieved the 60 mile range on a single charge. To achieve the advertised range, you would have to be a very light rider, and find e bike Nirvana. Nirvana would combine perfectly level roads with no hills, junctions, obstacles, or traffic signals. In addition, you would have to ride extremely conservatively with the power switch set to Eco.
Eco mode simply smooths out power delivery to the engine so the motor becomes slower and a lot less responsive. The regenerative braking ability will please a lot of environmentalists but, again, it has limited practical application and recovers minimal power. To underscore how ineffective regenerative braking in charge recovery, switching to Eco mode disables regenerative braking. Regenerative braking, however, can be beneficial if you prefer to reduce wear on your brake pads.
The huge, 20 Lb (9Kg) Li-ION battery pack is locked into the center of the exposed Aluminum frame. This design keeps weight down, lowers the center of gravity, and provides cooling airflow to reduce stress on the battery cells.
The bike is supplied with a super fast 10A Charger that can fully recharge the battery in less than 3 hours.
At around US$ 4,000, the Sur Ron X is an amazing e-bike which will appeal to both mountain bike adventurers, and dirt bike enthusiasts. The bike is extremely well finished and the sharp looks match its performance.
With MTB wheels and light, open frame, weighs around 30% more than the average 250 Watt e-MTB’s. The Sur Ron delivers similar agility to an e-MTB, but with the power of a 100cc trail bike.
2022 models now have orange decals on the exposed black frame which surrounds the black sub-structure, and the bikes are now also available in several other colors.
The 2022 Sur Ron X has a smoother, more responsive, and noticeably quieter controller than previous models.
The Sur Ron X is a true All Terrain Vehicle as it is at home both on, and off road.
Sur Rons are not as agile, or as easy to toss around, however, the additional power from the 5.4kW motor, and huge 2,000 aH battery bestow so much more performance than the typical e-MTB.
The Light Bee is equally at home as an off road enduro, or an everyday commuter. The bike has sufficient power to keep pace with city traffic, and the battery range to transport commuters to work.