My buddy Mark, owner of Reign motorcycle apparel, has been after me to come out and try one of his Sur Ron electric-powered motorcycles for a year. The stars aligned today and we headed up to the Hungry Valley off-highway vehicular (OHV) recreation area.
The ranger would normally collect the outrageous entry fee of $5 but Mark has a season pass so we were ready to cruise on in after she checked our spark arrestors. That threw her for a loop. You’re not going to find a spark arrester (or an exhaust pipe) on a Sur Ron. She waved us in.
The Sur Ron feels…unique. It doesn’t feel like a motorcycle. It doesn’t feel like a downhill mountain bike. It is somewhere in-between. One thing for certain, it is an off-highway vehicle, not an e-bike. I mention this because I have seen this type of motorcycle incorrectly identified by clueless media outlets.
The power comes on as soon as you twist the throttle. You don’t need to use a clutch or to shift gears. Just turn the throttle and concentrate on picking your line. Since there is no clutch, the rear brake is applied by pulling the lever on the handlebar where the clutch level usually resides on a motorcycle. This means there is no brake pedal. I never had trouble applying the rear brake, but I sure searched for the nonexistent brake pedal all day. Old habits die hard.
The Sur Ron is not a powerhouse in stock form and that’s why I was laughing the entire first lap. It was so fun! The bike accelerates as soon as you twist the throttle but it is not the arm-pump-inducing yank of a motocross bike. It is a controllable power that has the rider changing lines at will and looking for smooth inside lines (that it sticks easily). Taking the chore of shifting out of the equation is another attribute that makes the bike so fun to ride. And it does all this with nothing more than an electric purr emitted from the motor. You need to remember that people on the track (that you are passing or who have fallen in a limited-view turn or jump) won’t hear you coming.
If I had ridden the same number of laps on a traditional motocross bike, I wouldn’t be able to type this article right now. I’d be too sore. I may feel something tomorrow, but I feel like I just finished a long mountain bike ride. You know, it is a “good” tired. Not a ‘hammered” tired.
I figured my lap-riding days were behind me. I’m not fit enough or properly conditioned to get a modern motocross bike up to speed. The Sur Ron changes that. The power is fun, not scary. You concentrate on riding, not shifting. And I should have mentioned earlier, it weighs just over 100 pounds. Another reason the rider does’t get beat to death.
I can’t give advice on buying a Sur Ron. I don’t know the company, I have no idea if you’ll be able to get a replacement battery in three years and who knows what is coming from more established players? It is too bad that the company only sells direct and doesn’t have dealers in the U.S.. This is a vehicle that needs to be test ridden. Finally, would the real Sur Ron please stand up? Here are a few links that might help you order a bike: Sur Ron Canada, Ebikezilla, Luna Cycle and Sur Ron UK. I can’t verify how legit any of these web-based businesses are. Buyer beware.
I can say that Sur Ron’s performance is ideal for a beginner rider, a smaller rider and that older dude who doesn’t want to scare himself. I can’t wait for Mark to invite me to ride again.