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  • Sur-ron Electic Bike

    I am VERY keen on the idea of electric motorcycles, and so try to read as many articles on them as I can when I see them, and watch videos of them on YouTube. Up until now they seem to have fallen into 2 main categories - very expensive MX replicas (Alta and Freeride-E), or what amount to essentially electric mountain bikes. The most promising of the "electric mountain bikes" has been the Stealth H-52 Hurricane, but sadly it seemed to be ALL compromise with the price of a really well spec'ed dirt bike, but definitely more "mountain bike like" and with poor range. That hasn't been particularly attractive to me, but a few months ago I came across a new electric bike called the Sur-ron Lightbee which is much closer to the mark. It is still essentially an electric mountain bike, but at half the price of the Stealth. So after much research, and then having a test ride on one, I decided to take the plunge and get myself one.

    When I first started looking into getting one I was going to have to deal with the factory directly in China, but I can't read Chinese or speak Mandarin/Cantonese, and the few Asian friends I have that CAN speak/read it could not help me much. Fortunately a guy named Adam did the hard work though, and he has now become to official importer of Sur-ron for Australia and NZ. I contacted him and he could not have been more helpful. Oh, before I go on, I have NO affiliation with Adam, no commercial interest in Sur-ron or Adam's company, etc. etc. I am just a customer and when I come across a business that gives good service I like to give them credit as all too often we are happy to slag off poor customer service but not commend it. Anyway, he has set up a site now if you're interested - https://www.aebikes.com.au/

    I got the Silver/White Sur-Ron Light Bee 60V with the higher spec DNM USD-8S Downhill Forks (coz I am a suspension nerd). I thought I would start a thread here in case anyone else on DBW is interested in electric bikes like me. I have gone into this with my eyes wide open - I do NOT expect this bike to be a replacement for my KTM 300EXC as it will be nowhere near as powerful or have the range of the 2T bike. This is an "in between" bike that I will be able to take on mountain bike tracks without attracting any unwanted attention coz of noise, and hopefully not freaking out mountain bike riders because the bike is stuffing up "their tracks" (which I understand they are quite protective of). At this stage this bike is NOT road legal.

    The bike is pretty small compared to a dirt bike, and even to a mountain bike really. I don't think this will be a problem though - at least not an immediate one - so I thought it was worth giving a go.

    Anyway, the bike specs are here - https://www.aebikes.com.au/specifications.html

    I'll try to keep an up-to-date "index" of the posts in this thread here so that in future people will find it easy to skip to the section of the thread they want.

    Thread Index:
    Taking delivery - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040319
    A bit of a closer look - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040320
    High Torque sprocket - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040338
    60V battery weight - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...26#post2040426
    Rear shock dirt protection needed - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040428
    Footpeg fitting measurements - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...51#post2040551
    Brake cutoff switch removal - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...50#post2041550
    Battery charge and longevity - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...08#post2041608
    Fitting wider footpegs - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...67#post2041867
    X-Controller Sine Wave controller - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...44#post2042244
    X-Controller install - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2042245
    Fastace fork install - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...51#post2043051
    Mud protection - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2043052
    New High-rise bars - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...23#post2044623
    Steel bashplate upgrade - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...01#post2050401
    PROPER dirt bike ride test - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...24#post2052024
    Hooter delete and cover plate - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...54#post2054554
    Downhill MTB 26" front wheel - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2054555
    3D printed rear mudflap - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2054556
    Battery charge port cover - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2054557

  • #2
    Taking delivery

    I got an email from Adam saying the shipment of bikes had arrived last week, so I arranged to get one first thing on Saturday. When I got to his place he was still sorting out the boxes of bikes, but once I confirmed what colour I wanted he pulled the box out and helped me load it in the van. I was pretty chuffed to be putting the bike together myself, though I'm not sure how others feel about it.


    With the box straps cut off the top of the box came off and showed the nicely packed bike waiting for minimal assembly.


    There is a "box of bits" that includes the last few items you'll need to put the bike together.


    Very basic tools are included that should be enough to put the bike together if you don't have tools at home:


    The 60V charger is a pretty hefty 10A unit so needs active cooling. Seems pretty sturdy.


    The battery is nicely put together with an easy plug system that can't be plugged in the wrong way. Apparently it uses Panasonic 18650 cells though I am not game enough to crack it open and see just yet. It is fairly heavy, though I forgot to weigh it so I can't say what it weighs right now. I'll update later if I remember. It has a power meter screen on it which shows the state of charge when you press the button. There have been reports of the batteries coming with pretty low charge levels, which Lithium Ion batteries do NOT like, but mine was at a healthy storage charge of 66% which I'm happy about.


    The battery goes in a compartment with a flap where the fuel tank would be taking the space where a cylinder would be on a typical motorcycle.


    Only one of the footpegs is fitted, so you need to fit the other one that is in the box of bits. There are 3 positions for mounting which I will have to play with. I set them on the middle hole for the moment. The footpegs are pretty narrow, so I reckon I'll be looking to fit a decent set of wide ones fairly soon. I'm not sure how well the stock mounts are suited to taking standard motorcycle ones, or whether I am going to have to fabricate up something myself.


    Fitting the front wheel was a bit of a pain as the axle holes on each fork didn't line up properly. I ended up using a tie-down strap to align the holes before fitting the wheel - made life easier. It looks like the front wheel axle is a downhill mountain bike sized 20mm diameter axle, but I'll need to take more measurements. The 19" front wheel seems small and prone to making the bike "stinkbug" like leaning forward. Adam has experimented with different front wheel diameters and I think the one that looks the most promising is a 26" downhill mountain bike front wheel. Bicycles appear to measure wheel diameter based on the outside tread diameter rather than the rim diameter like motorcycles, so the 26" bicycle wheel is pretty much the same size as the 21" motorcycle front wheel. Adam has also custom fitted a motorcycle 21" rim to a Sur-ron front wheel hub, but the weight of the wheel (not to mention the cost!) is a little off-putting to me.

    The tyres on the rims are 70/100-19 motorcycle tyres, which is the standard front wheel size for smaller dirt bikes I believe. This should make replacement tyres pretty easy! The downhill mountain knobby bike tyres seem to be more than suitable for this bike too if that is the direction I go. Tubeless tyres would be a nice benefit of going that route too!

    The handlebar had the left grip and rear hand brake already attached, but the throttle tube and front brake lever were not attached so the handlebar could be slipped in parallel to the forks. This is actually pretty good as it meant I had an idea of the orientation of the bars from the position of the rear brake handle. It looks like a pretty standard motorcycle throttle tube and grip, so I expect I'll be fitting my favourite grips in time. All in all it took me about an hour to assemble to bike.

    Comment


    • #3
      A bit of a closer look

      So Sur-ron reckons it is 50kg (including battery) and it even gives front/rear weights distributions of 24kg front and 26kg rear. I think that is for the base model with the RST mountain bike type forks and the 48V battery though as when I put my bike on the scale the front is about 2kg heavier (my 60V battery weighs in at 11kg as a matter of interest):


      The rear shock setup is a a linkage style setup, but quite different to a motorcycle linkage. On the plus side I guess the changes of getting hung up on the linkage with obstacles is lower. The DNM RCP-2S "Burner" shock is meant ot have a stoke of 87mm and the rear wheel an overall stroke of 210mm. If the typical ideal rider sag for motorcycle is meant o be about 1/3 of the stroke, I guess that means I should be aiming for about 70mm of rider sag on this bike - experimenting will tell I guess. At some stage I will be delving into the shock internals too, but I expect it will not be too different to a motorcycle shock. At this stage I haven't even checked to see what compression/rebound adjustments it has.


      The specs don't say what the motor is rated at power-wise, but it dows say its max torque is 200Nm. A max motor speed of 4500rpm doesn't mean much to me, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. At least the motor seems to be pretty well protected by a bash plate, though I have no idea how strong it is.


      I have a set of Renthal Twinwall handlebars at home and wondered whether they'd fit. 1 1/8" bars translates to about 28.5mm, where the stock bars are 31.78mm - so to fit the motorcycle bars I would need to put some shimming material in the clamp to make sure it is heald securely. The bars I have are CR High Bend bars which might have too much sweep for this bike - I guess I will find out in time. They might also be too high?


      There is a "mid drive" between the motor and the chain sprocket drive which is a belt drive as stock. Adam has found that in muddier conditions the teeth on the belt drive pack with mud and it starts slipping, so he has found a chain driven setup to replace it. I thought it was a good idea so I have bought the kit, but have not yet fitted it. I'm guessing you can play around with the gearing at that point if you want, but finding the right sprockets might be a mission, so changing the final drive ratio will be easier. The stock rear is a 48 tooth sprocket, which I think is more geared towards a faster flatter riding setup than I am likely to want.


      There is a "Hi-tourque" 58 tooth rear sprocket that is meant to let you attack steeper inclines easier, so I got one of them. The bike runs a smaller 420 motorcycle chain, which will handle the workload, and it readily available too, which is nice. I hope to fit this fairly soon. On the one ride I had around the local park the bike did seem to struggle on inclines, so I feel this upgrade is a must for me at my weight (which is higher than the bike is rated for!)

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow Im waiting for the ride review

        Im sure we will see one soooon.
        1998 KDX200 sold

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for contributing yourself & all of much to DBW Arctra.
          I recommend this Puerto Rican: He knows-much EV stuff imo.
          https://www.youtube.com/user/jehugarcia/videos

          Edit: OK Arctra; nowhere, pics nor spiel, is-any ownership.
          I'm the sucker for thinking that-you'd actually bought one.
          The More I Learn... The Less I Know.
          That Which Doesn't Change... Stays The Same.
          Those That Don't Fall... Just Aren't Trying Hard Enough.
          Genius or Idiot... Sadly it's Defined by the Mediocre Masses... With their Hindsight.
          Dicklaimer... The Text above is to be Evaluated by a Responsible Person... Prior to Any Action Being Taken.

          *George Carlin*What We Do*No Bravery*Tell the Truth*911*Genetic Armageddon*Carbon Tax*Interplanetary Climate Change*Fracking*Shock Doctrine*Extinction Protocol*

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jallopy View Post
            Wow Im waiting for the ride review
            ...
            Why the head banging?

            Originally posted by hairyone View Post
            ...
            I recommend this Puerto Rican: He knows-much EV stuff imo.
            https://www.youtube.com/user/jehugarcia/videos
            Yeah, I'm a subscriber to his channel. I'd love to know how he sources all of his 18650 cells!

            Originally posted by hairyone View Post
            ...
            Edit: OK Arctra; nowhere, pics nor spiel, is-any ownership.
            I'm the sucker for thinking that-you'd actually bought one.
            Um, I'm confused.... I did actually buy one. Are my pics not showing up?

            Comment


            • #7
              Great thread Actra, Iím sure some bank balances will be dropping 5K much to the dissaproval of significant others in the near future

              Comment


              • #8
                High Torque sprocket

                I got home this evening and could not resist fitting the 58 tooth sprocket and testing it.

                The 58T is quite significantly larger! :speechles


                Unlike fitting a new chain on a dirt bike, it wasn't so simple to put the new chain on as I expected. The lack of "freewheel" meant that it took quite an effort to turn the small sprocket to get it to turn and take the new chain. I would definitely recommend connecting up the new chain to the one you're replacing properly with a masterlink in order to pull the new chain through without the link failing. Anyway, the new sprocket fits nicely.


                The new "High Torque" sprocket lops a LOT of the top speed off the bike! The speedo said I got up to 45km/h (though I have no idea how accurate that is) whereas with the stock one I think I got up to about 65km/h (I wasn't paying too much attention). The bike did handle the incline I tested it on better, but she certainly isn't hill climbing machine. It would have been nice to have a clutch to feather to help, but alas...

                I guess I am just going to have to adapt to what the bike is capable of in time and ride accordingly. Still, I reckon I will get to enjoy it, especially since I can get home and go riding right in the parks/bushland nearby.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arctra View Post
                  I'll try to keep an up-to-date "index" of the posts in this thread here so that in future people will find it easy to skip to the section of the thread they want.

                  Thread Index:
                  Taking delivery - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040319
                  A bit of a closer look - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040320
                  High Torque sprocket - http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/forum/s...=1#post2040338
                  If more people did this the world would surely be a better place:grinning-

                  A mountain bike without peddles seems a bit like a dirtbike without a kickstarter.
                  Have you tested the range yet, or had to push it far to get home?
                  I'm looking forward to some 60V wheelie & burnout videos^roost

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 380EXCQLD View Post
                    If more people did this the world would surely be a better place:grinning-...
                    :grinning- It's probably because it takes an effort to do that it is not done more often. I learnt on my Beta Bike Build thread that it was pretty useful (to myself) down the line to find the specific info I knew I had posted somewhere in the thread.

                    Originally posted by 380EXCQLD View Post
                    ...A mountain bike without peddles seems a bit like a dirtbike without a kickstarter....
                    Yeah, I can appreciate your perspective. "Range anxiety" is a known massive barrier to EV's, and it would be disingenuous of me to say that I don't have range anxiety concerns. Then again, I had similar concerns with all of my previous bikes and vehicles before I actually did a test to see how far I could go on a tank before I hit reserve (or the fuel light came on). I will learn how far I can ride on a charge and then make sure I do rides within that range... pretty simple really.

                    I specifically did NOT want pedals actually. The Stealth B-52 Bomber bike is basically a pedal version of the H-52 Hurricane bike, but the idea of riding with my feet in an offset position because of the pedals puts me off. I measured the length of my "typical" rides for a while to see how far I rode, and typically I was averaging between 30km and 40km, so a 60km range is acceptable to me. As I said, this is not intended to be a motorcycle replacement for me - when I want a proper dirt bike ride I still have my KTM to ride, and I expect it will be a LOT more fun. This bike will be for more convenient, shorter, close to home riding more than anything else.

                    As for a "dirtbike without a kickstarter" argument, there have been several threads on that topic that always degenerate into circular arguments. My KLX had no kick starter and I can count on 1 hand the number of times that was a problem for me... so I can personally live with taking that "risk".

                    Originally posted by 380EXCQLD View Post
                    ...Have you tested the range yet, or had to push it far to get home?...
                    No - I only got the bike on Saturday, put it together on Sunday, and have had 2 short test rides in my local park lasting all of 10 minutes each. I will be posting up ranges when I do some more comprehensive testing as I know that is going to be of paramount importance to a lot of people. The fact that I have put the 58T sprocket is probably going to have a significant effect on the range of the bike though, so I'm not sure just how useful it will be to others.

                    As for "pushing it home" goes, that would be a problem because there is no clutch to disengage the wheel from the motor - so there is significant resistance from the motor when you try to push the bike. If I was to run out of charge I reckon I would have to call someone to come and give me a tow out. I have also been thinking about some sort of backup battery to carry in my backpack, but I'll see if I feel it is necessary in time.

                    Because this is an electric motor rather than a IC engine, I am not too concerned about it "breaking down" like a dirt bike... though that may just be naive

                    Originally posted by 380EXCQLD View Post
                    ...I'm looking forward to some 60V wheelie & burnout videos^roost
                    Hmmmm - don't hold your breath mate. Wheelies might be something I try, but I doubt there'll be any burnouts. I think I remember seeing some video of people playing around on them - do a search on YouTube and you might find what you're looking for.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As for "pushing it home" goes, that would be a problem because there is no clutch to disengage the wheel from the motor - so there is significant resistance from the motor when you try to push the bike. If I was to run out of charge I reckon I would have to call someone to come and give me a tow out. I have also been thinking about some sort of backup battery to carry in my backpack, but I'll see if I feel it is necessary in time.
                      If you had to push it far you'd take the chain off I'd imagine.

                      If I had one I'd be riding locally rather than long multi day rides. Range probably wouldn't be something I'd be worried about.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by axel View Post
                        If you had to push it far you'd take the chain off I'd imagine...
                        That is a good point - thanks! :grinning- I'd better put a screwdriver and/or some long-nose vice-grips in the toolbag so i can do that on the track (if I am unfortunate enough to need to).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Looks good. I may have missed it among the detail in this thread but how much roughly if you don't mind me asking?

                          I will be following this thread closely, I can see one of these being parked in my shed very shortly!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Medium Rare View Post
                            Looks good. I may have missed it among the detail in this thread but how much roughly if you don't mind me asking?

                            I will be following this thread closely, I can see one of these being parked in my shed very shortly!
                            Don't mind at all -
                            https://www.aebikes.com.au/ - Price $4950.00 AUD, 60 Volt Version
                            (I think he might only be bringing in the 60V version, but I'm not 100% sure about that)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arctra View Post
                              Don't mind at all -
                              https://www.aebikes.com.au/ - Price $4950.00 AUD, 60 Volt Version
                              (I think he might only be bringing in the 60V version, but I'm not 100% sure about that)
                              That seems to be a reasonable price. I was looking at another brand several years ago now and they were around double that from memory. I will be very interested in your long term review.

                              Comment

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