E-bikes and electric dirt bikes are some of the most innovative things on two wheels. That might not be news to the seasoned e-bikers out there, but to anyone outside this space, they might think these bikes are toys! Little do they know, with just a few tweaks a Sur Ron, Talaria, or Segway can win an MX race any day of the week – and all signs say they’ll be getting even better in the coming years.
This week we’re concentrating on the newest, best, and most promising aspects of the e-bikes we know and love. We’re also happy to announce that we have two more GritShift-upgraded versions of the Talaria Sting that will be available soon! Along with that, our highly anticipated GritShift KTM 85 MX Fork Conversion Kit is available for preorder now. More about that later on.
But enough about us – let’s dive right into some of the most impressive moments in the electric dirt bike scene from the past two weeks.
This is E-Bike Weekly.
The best new e-bike videos, hand-picked just for you.
KO-Tuned Talaria Sting Runs a Hare Scramble
Our friends over at Electric is Better just put the KO Technologies Talaria Sting tune through its paces, and to the surprise of every gas-powered bike there, it hauled some serious ass.
It all went down at the WFO Harescramble in Atkinson, Illinois on July 3rd, where the KO-powered Sting managed to cross the line in 7th place in a field of 18. Better yet, there were no problems to speak of. The stock batteries did overheat a few times, but that’s expected when you’re running 150 amps and pushing hard the whole time!
This video also gives us a brief look at the KO mobile app, an innovation that promises to greatly improve the process of viewing and changing your bike’s parameters on the fly. We love what the team at KO is accomplishing in such a short time – we've even been developing our own take on their (motor and controller) combo! Here's the latest video on the GritShift + KO collab. Be sure to subscribe to Electric is Better to see their forthcoming video on the specific controller settings used on the KO-tuned Sting featured in this video.
Moto Suspension Is Coming to Your E-Bike
Do you feel like your Sur Ron, Segway, or Talaria is restricted by its bicycle-style front suspension?
It’s a problem that’s rarely encountered by casual riders, but once the bike is pushed to its mechanical limits – which happens pretty much immediately in a racing environment – the need for beefier components becomes clear.
That’s exactly what our lead R&D tech, Rusty, was thinking when he developed the GritShift KTM 85 MX Fork Conversion Kit available for preorder now. Ahead of our run at the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 2022 in August, Rusty created a way to adapt KTM 85 or 85 SX dirt bike forks directly onto a Sur Ron, Segway, or Talaria. All you need are the forks, brake caliper, rotor, pads, and line from a KTM 85 along with the front wheel of your choice (KTM or other) – no fabrication required.
Now it should be said, this is a serious investment for riders looking to push the envelope of what these bikes are truly capable of. In our experience, you’re looking at about $1000 all-in for an earlier fork setup and $2400 for a brand-new 2022 KTM air fork setup (providing you can find one). It’s serious money, but you’re getting serious performance in return – and we’ve made our part as inexpensive as possible while still delivering the ruggedness and durability you need to win races day in and day out.
Supermoto Body Kit for Sur Ron
If you're a fan of the motocross look, the 4MFoundry Moto Kit will enhance your Sur Ron’s electric style with a big helping of dirt bike flavor.
In this video, Tyler Monagan shows us how easy installing the 4MF Moto Kit can be. Once it’s on, the kit completely changes the style of the Sur Ron by adding triangular side fairings, a new tail section, and a slick supermoto seat that’s reportedly more comfortable than stock to boot. There’s a front fender as well, but we agree with Tyler about leaving the fender off and running just a number plate at the front.
Either way, you end up with a sick supermoto Sur Ron with a polished looking body and a seat that gives you more ergonomic options than stock – in other words, more places to put your butt.
Get your Sur Ron Moto Kit over at 4MFoundry. Note that it fits Sur Ron and Segway electric dirt bikes with stock batteries only and no seat risers.
Awesome Innovations at Eurobike 2022
At first glance, a bicycle-focused tech expo might not have much to do with the sort of high-powered electric dirt bikes we cover here at GritShift. It’s easy to forget that Sur Ron, Segway, Talaria, and similar e-bikes are electric bicycles at their core – they are often allowed anywhere a Class III electric bicycle can go in the United States, and almost all of them come equipped with bicycle suspension and brakes straight from the factory.
That means innovations in the bicycle industry will have a direct influence on the future of our favorite electric dirt bikes, possibly even more than advances in full-size dirt bikes.
With that in mind, this video from Electric Mountain Bike Network takes us through a plethora of innovations at this year’s Eurobike 2022 festival in Frankfurt, Germany. From a waterproofing demonstration with an electric motor running while submerged, to Pirelli’s new e-bike-specific tires featuring sidewall technology straight from their dirt bike tires, to advances in apps and gauge clusters allowing more fine-tuning on the fly than ever before, walking around this expo makes it clear that bicycles – not motorcycles – are where big innovations are happening at a blistering pace.
With big names like Valeo getting into the game, and with new companies coming on every year, it's such an exciting time to be a fan of e-bikes and electric dirt bikes. It reminds me of the early days of the automobile, where thousands of names were fighting for attention based not on clout or name recognition, but on innovation alone. This could be the fastest pace this tech has ever moved at, and if you can’t wait to see what’s next, be sure to check out part 1 and 2 of Electric Mountain Bike Network’s Eurobike 2022 coverage. And if you'll be around Frankfurt this time next year, mark your calendars to see all the interactive demos and test rides of Eurobike 2023 in person.
E-Bikes for Sale
The best deals, the worst deals, and everything in between.
Abundance in the UK
Talaria Stings are extremely rare on eBay in the United States, but our former rulers in the United Kingdom are spoiled for choice – if they are willing to pay the price, that is.
Across the pond, prices for low-mileage Stings are substantially higher than what we expect here in the States. £4,000 is the cost of entry, but that’s about $4,800 USD at the time of writing, which is nearly $1000 USD more than we would expect to pay for a used Sting over here. That’s even more than a GritShift Upgraded Talaria Sting with your choice of forks! We don’t currently offer international shipping, but with the right conversations it’s certainly something we’d be open to doing in the future.
The most expensive Talaria Sting currently live on eBay.co.uk is £4,800 – that’s about $5,750! What’s going on over there?!
3-Mile Talaria Sting: Pulled by the Seller, Possibly My Fault
Looks like someone out there didn’t want their brand-new Talaria Sting, and although it’s been pulled by the seller, you might get a heck of a deal if this auction ever reopens.
The seller says this Sting is brand new with just 3 miles on the clock, and it looks mint in the pictures so we’re inclined to believe it. Here’s the description:
You’re looking at a brand new Talaria sting! Only 3 miles on it! I ordered it hoping to replace having a dirt bike but it doesn’t quite suit what I need it for. Its a great bike though, lots of fun and for someone looking specifically for one of these it’s a great buy, no shipping and already assembled. If you don’t know what these are, they’re amazing! Dirt bike performance in a lighter, smaller package!
This auction was only in its 5th hour when I came across it. Sensing an opportunity for memes, I threw my hat in the ring, but I was outbid almost immediately. So it goes.
I was about ready to throw down the gauntlet at $420.69 when I got the notification that the auction had been cancelled. Could that have something to do with me placing nearly a dozen bids up to $69.69, all ending in 69? The world may never know.
E-Bike News and Events
This section pretty much describes itself.
Hawaii’s New E-bike Incentive Program
Since our beloved electric dirt bikes like Sur Ron, Segway, and Talaria are often classified as electric bicycles, that means they are able to use the same public roads, trails, and bike paths as bicycles, which in turn expands their usefulness from MX riding to commuting, McDonald’s runs, and even stunting into the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
As electric transportation gains popularity, we’ve seen a gamut of government incentive programs aimed at helping people afford these often costly modes of transport. Hawaii just introduced a generous e-bike incentive of their own in which the state will pay up to $500 or 20% of the cost of a new electric bicycle for qualified buyers. Eligible Hawaiians must either qualify for low-income assistance, be enrolled in school, or be without a registered motor vehicle of their own, according to the aforementioned Hawaii News Now article published July 16th.
This isn’t the most ambitious e-bike assistance program we’ve ever seen, but it could be lifechanging for qualified buyers looking to electrify their commute. And Hawaiians are already seeing it that way – Hawaii News Now quoted Ebikes Hawaii rep Iniki Galway as saying, “It’s definitely something we’ve been looking forward too, as we’ve seen gas prices rise and the cost of having a car in the city has also been rising. […] Insurance rates have gone up and parking is never cheap in town,” all indicative of the primary goal of converting petrol power to pedal power.
In other words, if that $500 incentive makes the difference and allows someone to hop on an e-bike, their actual cost savings will be substantially more.
We’re not entirely sure all electric dirt bikes will qualify – qualifying bikes must be purchased new and must have a maximum speed of 28 MPH – but nonetheless we’re excited to see how this program influences others around the world. We certainly don’t expect its $700,000 budget to last very long, so hop in line if this sounds like the move for you.
E-Bikes Using Bicycle Trails: What’s the Real Cost?
It's a contentious subject: should e-bikes and light electric dirt bikes, like Sur Ron and Talaria, be allowed to use off-road trails designed for pedal bicycles?
Especially in places where these trails are made primarily of dirt, the concern is whether these bikes will tear up the trail due to having a higher power output than a regular bicycle, a notion that also applies to pedal-powered electric assist mountain bikes. Conscientious riders know to stay off the throttle to cause as little impact as possible, but not everyone is that thoughtful of the surface they ride on, and even a slight impact can quickly multiply when hundreds or even thousands of riders traverse the same patch of land in a year.
That's why the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Natural Resources recently started hosting pointed meetings in person and over the web in addition to conducting thousands of surveys, all to bring some data to this argument and establish public opinion on whether e-bikes should be allowed on bicycle trails.
The survey has now ended, having garnered thousands of completed surveys and hundreds of meeting attendees according to Seattle’s King 5 News. The organizers won’t have any data for us until at least September, but spokespeople have made it clear that they are not against the idea, sharing with King 5 News that e-bikes allow trails to be enjoyed by people who wouldn't otherwise be able to use them, but that it needs to happen in a safe and sustainable way, both for other riders and for the ecology of the trail itself.
We at GritShift are looking forward to the results of this survey, and we're hoping other parts of the country take after Washington’s lead. After all, the wooded trails of the PNW are just one of infinite terrains these bikes – and their riders – encounter on a daily basis.
Where do you fall on this argument? Should e-bikes be allowed on off-road bicycle trails across the board, and if not, what should the rules be? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.
GritShift’s E-Bike Weekly: July 22nd, 2022
That concludes a rather stinging edition of E-Bike Weekly, brought to you by GritShift.
The GritShift team of enthusiasts builds, sells, and races e-bikes. We have e-bike parts and accessories from small to large, so whether you want something or need something, chances are we have a solution. Check us out by clicking the button below.
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