Welcome to the first ever E-Bike Weekly from GritShift!
It’s a weekly round-up of notable e-bike content from around the world. We’ll usually concentrate on bikes that straddle the line between dino-powered dirt bikes and pedal-powered mountain bikes – namely Sur Ron, Segway, and Talaria models – and we’ll also cover events and news that affect the entire e-bike scene.
- Want money back on your mods? We’ll show you the one simple trick investors don’t want you to know: build a modded e-bike.
- If you’re looking for more power, we’ve got a Sur Ron Storm Bee on a dyno and a KO + GritShift tune on our bench.
- It’s Bicycle Safety Month, and while that might not sound like it relates to electrified motorcycles, these e-bikes have more in common with pedal bikes than you might expect – at least in the eyes of the law.
This is E-Bike Weekly.
Sur Ronster vs. The Desert
No e-bike round-up would be complete without the veritable king of e-bikes, Sur Ronster. If you don't know who Sur Ronster is, you're in for a treat: this debonair, well-spoken young man is one of the fastest-growing creators in the e-bike revolution. Now he’s taking on Joshua Tree National Park with some friends, and as always, it’s a thrill to watch.
Straight away in this video, something happens that you just can't do with gas bikes: Sur Ronster and friends pile their bikes onto a mattress inside a rented RV. Doing that with a gas bike would create a scene worse than Chipotle IBS, but with e-bikes there’s no risk of nasty chemicals ruining your sheets.
Of course, electricity can't fix everything – Sur Ronster and crew still put a solid $200 worth of gas in their RV during the video (and probably more off camera).
Watch the full video to see what happens when you hit an alien desert needle plant at high speed on an e-bike. That’s probably not the official name of it, so if you’re a botanist feel free to help me get it changed to that.
Storm Bee Ravages a Dyno
We don't know about you, but we're pretty excited for the Sur Ron Storm Bee to finally launch. This video shows a Storm Bee maxing out at 48 MPH and 23 horsepower on a dyno run at the hands of Luna Cycle.
That last number might not sound like a lot, and it's actually lower than what most people are expecting, but it's worth keeping two things in mind here. One, since this is almost certainly a pre-production example given directly to Luna for testing purposes, it might not match the final bike. And two, even at 23 horses, that’s still a darn good power to weight ratio.
My 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250 SE has 29.91 horsepower, weighs 375 pounds, and it does a sub-7-second 0-60 time. According to Electrek, the Sur Ron Storm Bee is only going to weigh 260 pounds (or 280 for the street legal version). That’s like taking an entire person off a Ninja 250!
That alone should be exciting enough, and if Sur Ron can’t get any closer to 30 horsepower on the final Storm Bee, we’re certain the aftermarket will.
KO + GritShift: Motor and Controller Tune
Speaking of aftermarket tuners, our in-house tune on the KO motor and controller is really coming together. After tons of hard work and effort between our teams, we’re seeing strong performance gains across the board.
This video demonstrates acceleration in EP Mode with top speed capped at 27.3 miles per hour, as well as full throttle acceleration in Sport Mode where we saw over 65 MPH on our GPS speedometer in our very first attempt. We’re going to keep making adjustments, but this is a strong showing from a highly anticipated motor and controller duo – just watch how it walks another modded Sur Ron with an off-the-shelf upgraded battery and controller. Serious speed is about to hit the streets.
Wheel and Tire Size Make All the Difference
This video from E-Moto Bros shows off the transformative effects of changing your e-bike’s wheel and tire sizes.
Their test mule was a Sur Ron, but the information in this video will apply to Talaria, Segway, and any other broadly similar e-bike – even custom builds.
Having a 21” wheel in the front and an 18” or 19” at the back transforms the handling of an e-bike in ways that are hard to describe, especially with a wider rear tire, so I’ll let the video speak to that. Tire choice makes an even bigger difference, which is why we asked a seasoned racer to chime in. Read his thoughts here.
By Mark Kitaoka - This article is about tires, those which I’ve used on my Sur Ron Light Bee over the past 3.7 years with 7900 miles on the clock ...
This video also demonstrates the drastic effects weather can have on woodland trails. These guys had a full week of sunlight before hitting this trail, yet they are sloshing around all over the place. There were several times when their front wheels washed out during tight low speed maneuvers, something that's unlikely to happen on a bicycle riding the same trail given the higher speeds and greater weight of an e-bike.
That's definitely something to keep in mind if you're planning on hitting your local mountain bike trails on your e-bike – the extra power, weight, and speed are going to make slippery conditions even slipperier. Is that a word? It is now.
E-Bikes for Sale
$5,300 OBO: Modded Segway X260
There’s currently an anomaly in the e-bike resale market: people are getting their money back on mods.
Not all of it, necessarily, but getting anything back rarely happens with gas-powered motorcycles – or even cars. Typically, if you use something, modify it, maybe even damage it a little, you’re gonna lose money when you sell it. But given the general shortage of everything electronic these days, modified e-bikes are in high demand.
This Segway X260 is currently on Craigslist for $5,300 OBO in Laguna Beach, California. That’s more than Best Buy sold them for new – but the operative word there is “sold” since the X260 has been out of stock from most suppliers for some time now.
This example has been upgraded with desirable Fox 40 front suspension, Magura front brake, stem mount and riser bars, and other bolt-ons along with a vibrant graphics kit. It’s got scrapes on the left side of the swing arm and the right side of the head tube, plus no mileage is given, and we wish there was a full picture of it in direct sunlight, but even if it’s been down everything looks straight and the aftermarket parts look to be unharmed.
Here's the description:
"Tons of upgrades. New fox 40 with gold stantions, riser bars, direct stem mount, magura brake, upgraded luna seat, bigger rear tire with heavier tubes front and back, pegs, grips, and graphics kid. Hit me up for it. Strong build and this surron rips with the fox 40 on the front"
Anyone in southern LA (or anyone else who doesn’t mind driving – or shipping) should give this bike some serious thought, especially if you’ve been looking for a Sur Ron, Segway, or Talaria and want some of the hard work already done for you.
New and Used Parts: 2021 Sur Ron
This large Sur Ron parts haul recently listed on Pinkbike in Duluth, Minnesota is a great opportunity to stock up on some spares.
Whether you're riding on the street or on dirt, chances are your bike is going to go down at some point. That's not something to dread, it's something to prepare for – if you have the means, having some spares on hand could allow you to get back on the road the same day.
The prices in this listing are pretty fair, including two new foot pegs for $25, used stock handlebars for $25, and various bolts and brackets that often become expendable as the miles start adding up.
Many of the parts are new, and the description explains that the used parts were only used once for less than an hour. The seller probably could have gotten away with calling those parts new, so their transparency gives us confidence that these parts are all as described.
E-Bike News and Events
Unnamed E-Bike Ride in California
- When: 10:00 AM, Friday, June 3rd, 2022
- Where: Santa Rosa Valley Park, 10241 Hill Canyon Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
- What: E-bikes take on local off-road trails (stock bikes OK)
If you’re near Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, or Ventura, this is what you're doing on June 3rd.
The plan is to meet at the park at 10:00 AM and leave on e-bikes at 10:45 AM to explore some local off-road trails. The event description points out that a stock bike can do the entire route – and we assume that means without recharging. Cameras are encouraged, so if you film this event be sure to tag us in you upload so we can check it out!
It's National Bicycle Safety Month, and while that might not seem like it applies to e-bikes like the Sur Ron, Segway, and Talaria at first glance, these machines are often legally classified as electric bicycles. These bikes blur the line between motorcycle and bicycle, something that’s evident from new laws that went into effect in Carlsbad, California on May 5th, 2022.
As reported by NBC San Diego, the major takeaways from the new laws are that e-bikes (and electric scooters and skateboards) must be dismounted whenever they come within 50 feet of a pedestrian, and they cannot be ridden on trails narrower than 5 feet wide.
We’re assuming that last bit doesn't apply to designated off-road areas, because not many off-road trails are more than 5 feet wide, but even some paved trails – and almost all desire paths – are narrower than that.
If laws like these went into effect nationwide, the last few minutes of this video would pretty much be illegal. It's going to be very interesting to watch how urban areas across the world respond to the e-bike revolution and local laws like these going into effect.
E-Bike Weekly: March 12th, 2022
That concludes the first ever E-Bike Weekly from GritShift!
We would love to know what you think in the comments below – we’re planning on doing this once a week, so if there's anything you liked or would do differently, be sure to let us know. And if you’d like to see yourself or your friends in the next one, tag @GritShift on social to be featured in upcoming articles!
Whether you want something or need something, our growing selection of parts, accessories, and complete e-bikes will scratch that itch.
If that wasn’t enough e-bike content for you:
Cover image: GritShift
Edit 5/13 - A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the California e-bike event date as May 14th.
Author: Justin Dake
Justin Dake is an automotive journalist and collector of anything with wheels.