I’ve ridden every electric motorcycle out there. Here’s what I’ve discovered
Electric motorcycles are my jam. If I’m on two wheels and it’s not a bicycle, then odds are I’m on an electric motorcycle. I don’t ride them because they’re clean or green, though those are nice side benefits – I ride them because they’re fun and enjoyable. They’re infinitely better than sitting in a car watching the world go by through glass. And the ownership experience is so much nicer than gas motorcycles due to their greatly reduced maintenance, lower cost of ownership, lack of vibrating cacophony, and a laundry list of other reasons.
My love of these awesome e-motos has put me in a unique position of having ridden pretty much every one of them out there.
Now let me stop the pedants right here for a second. No, the title isn’t clickbait.
But to say it in more words than fit in a headline, I’ve ridden basically every electric motorcycle out there, not counting a few cool international models I’m still missing (Stark Varg, TS Bravo, etc.) and a few super low-volume boutique e-motorcycle companies in the US (Tarform, Lightning, etc.).
But other than those few edge cases, I’ve ridden every major electric motorcycle currently available in the US, and some that aren’t even available yet.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about each company, the cool bikes they build, and how they ride. And since I could never possibly cover each one in enough nitty-gritty detail in a single compilation article like this, make sure you click through to the in-depth reviews I’ve done on these bikes as well.
To avoid playing favorites, I’m also going to bang these out in alphabetical order. Sorry, Zero, but that’s on you guys.
One of the best parts is also just how many looks and Комментарии и мнения владельцев you get. The last time I was riding one was in San Francisco when I attended the Micromobility America 2022 conference. People were stopping me on street corners just to ask about these wild-looking things. Another experience near Miami was the same thing – people were riding up next to me on the street just to talk about it.
I also like how they have a locking trunk in back and how the rear seat can also be used for a decent amount of cargo space (when you’re not carrying a passenger).
The range is modest at around 100 miles in city conditions, but highway riding cuts that range down quickly. Don’t expect to go on long touring rides with these.
I’ve also tested the open-top Arcimoto Roadster, which feels more like a trike motorcycle. Its chopped top and sportier seating position give an entirely different sensation. It’s a lot of fun, but I prefer the FUV for daily riding.
Neither are the most practical vehicles on the road. They’re too wide to lane split but too small for carpool duty. But they make up for it in sheer charm.
The only other slight downside is that you’ve got to think about your placement on the road as a triple-track vehicle. Unlike a motorcycle, where you swerve around obstacles or a car where you straddle obstacles, triple-track vehicles like these trikes mean you have to be more accurate when “threading the needle” with potholes, road debris, etc. If this were your daily driver, then I’m sure you’d get used to it quickly. But each time I hop back in one, I have to remember that I’ve not only got three wheels on the ground, but each one follows a different line.
CAKE has three main platforms: the Kalk electric dirt bike, the Ösa electric utility bike, and the Makka electric moped. To be fair, I’ve only tested the first two, and it wasn’t a particularly long test ride on either, but they were both quite enjoyable.
The Kalk is their original dirt bike-style electric motorbike. It introduced the brand’s Swedish design with a love-it-or-hate-it appearance and showed that CAKE was here to play with the big boys. You’ll regularly see CAKE Kalks flying through the air and taking big jumps in stride.
The bikes are powerful, fairly lightweight, and a lot of fun to ride, though they’re pretty pricey at around 14,000.
The lower cost INK line drops the price by a couple thousand bucks, but these still aren’t budget bikes. Fortunately, they do have both on- and off-road versions of the Kalk line, meaning you can actually use them as street-legal motorcycles too.
The CAKE Ösa is a utility bike that was first marketed as a “workbench on wheels.” That feels like a suitable name for these things. They are incredibly modular and are designed to be customized based on your needs. Whether that’s delivering packages, powering an electric saw for a carpentry job, or working as a forest ranger and carrying around axes and chainsaws, they’ve been outfitted for just about everything.
They’re also quite powerful and fun to ride. I was having a bit too much fun with one in a gravel lot in Munich, leading to one of my only motorcycle crashes from getting a bit too jubilant in the corners.
CAKE’s rides are awesome-looking and fun-riding electric motorcycles, but they don’t have the same bang-for-buck you’d get elsewhere. You’re paying for fancy Swedish design, which is still worth something, but it means these won’t be the best option if you’re trying to squeeze every penny. For those that want something different looking though, CAKE takes the cake.
CSC is a California-based motorcycle importer that deals with largely Chinese-made bikes, both ICE and electric. They’ve got some of the best in the business, and they only work with good-quality imports. They also have an absolutely massive warehouse in LA that is stocked to the brim with dozens of spares of every part on all of their bikes, which ensures that you get US-level service if you ever need a spare part. I’ve tested all of their electric motorcycles, but my sister has their CSC SG250, and the head mechanic at CSC even walked us through a carb tuning question over the phone while we worked on the bike. So don’t think that just because these are Chinese bikes means you’ll get bad quality or poor service. You get good versions of both.
Now let’s get to the bikes. The most impressive in the lineup is the CSC RX1E. I rode one near LA, and it was so much more impressive than I was expecting.
It’s got a super comfortable adventure bike setup, even though it’s really more of an urban commuter. But with a liquid-cooled motor, top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h), and a range of 112 miles (180 km), it can handle any commute you can throw at it. At its current price of 8,495, it gets you similar performance to an entry-level Zero motorcycle but at a fraction of the price.
A much smaller bike in the company’s lineup is the CSC City Slicker, which is more like a Honda Grom-sized electric motorcycle. It has a lower top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) and is definitely meant for sticking to the city, hence the name.
The removable battery makes it convenient for charging in an apartment, yet it still gives you all the motorcycle fun of flying around turns while trying to drag knee. It may have scooter-level performance, but it comes in a motorcycle-shaped package. When riding the City Slicker, I would always get questions from people and thumbs-ups along the way. There’s just something about a mini-moto that makes people look up.
Speaking of scooters, the CSC Wiz has much of the City Slicker’s performance but in a true scooter platform. That means you get a cargo trunk, a step-through body for even more cargo space at your feet, and a big comfortable seat with plenty of room for a second rider. As long as you are OK with speeds in the low 40’s of mph, then the Wiz is a great, low-cost electric scooter option at just 2,495.
Last but not least, you’ve got to check out the CSC Monterey. At just 2,195, this vintage Honda Cub-inspired scooter looks incredible. It’s underpowered and only gets up to 32 mph (51.5 km/h), but it makes up for the lackluster performance in pure charm.
I got a Monterey, and everywhere I went, people would smile and give me a thumbs-up. When I parked, people inevitably want to ask me about it. It’s a crowd-pleaser for sure. I ultimately gave it to my father, who gets a kick out of the classic styling. It also goes nicely in his retro-themed garage. If you live in a beach community or other area with lower-speed roads where a 32 mph scooter will suffice, the CSC Monterey is a hoot to ride.
I’m more of a comfort cruiser type of rider than a super-tucked sport rider, and so while the Ribelle is fun, that streetfighter is sportier than I really need. The EsseEsse9 was my favorite with its lower pegs and higher bars, even if the bike has slightly less power than the Ribelle.
But when Energica launched the Experia, that bike quickly became my favorite of the bunch. The sport tourer combined a powerful drivetrain with a comfortable and upright seating position. And with level 3 DC fast charging, touring is a reality with quick charge stops while grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat.
The Experia is my hands-down favorite of the bunch, but any time I get a chance to hop on an Energica, I know I’m going to have a good day.
I was on the Ribelle for a couple of days on a recent trip to San Francisco and had a blast on the bike. While going over the windy bridges, I was glad to be on a solid, heavy bike as opposed to something much smaller.
So while I’d definitely opt for the Experia if it were me, the company’s sportier bikes are still a blast. The only model I haven’t tried is the Evo, which is just so much sportier than I’d ever need or want. But those who have them seem to love them, so to each their own!
Gogoro technically isn’t available in the US… yet. But since the company is rapidly expanding its presence, I’ll include Gogoro just in case they decide to come stateside soon.
The company recently expanded to Tel Aviv, Israel. For those who don’t know, despite being in the US often to ride new bikes and enjoy the country’s vast diversity of riding areas, I actually live in Tel Aviv most of the year. And so I was one of the first to get a new Gogoro S2 ABS electric scooter when they came out.
The scooters use a pair of swappable batteries that are the heart of the Gogoro Network. I’ve never charged the scooter – I’ve only ever swapped batteries. Theoretically, the range is well over 100 km (62 miles) in the city, but I’m often taking it up to its top speed of 95 km/h (59 mph) on highways, and so I often get closer to 60-70 km of range (36-45 miles).
But there’s a battery swap station every mile or two in Tel Aviv, and so range just isn’t an issue. When the batteries start to get low, I just roll into a battery swap station and pop in a pair of freshly charged batteries. The whole thing takes barely a minute if I’m moving slowly, and I can get it done in 30 seconds if I’m quick. A monthly subscription of around 38 covers my access to the swap stations.
The bike is also available in a chain-drive off-road version, though I like the belt-drive on-road version better as it’s quieter and also lower to the ground, which is nice for my 30-inch inseam.
The bike isn’t wildly powerful, but it’s enough to beat cars off the line at green lights, which is what I expect out of a commuter bike. Anything less, and you might as well get a scooter.
Kollter is actually known as Tinbot in Europe if you’re wondering why there are nearly identical-looking versions across the pond. And the company is coming out with several new models in the next few months that offer more power and speed, so this is going to be an exciting company to watch.
I LOVE me some LiveWire bikes. I was one of the first to ride the original production version of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire back in 2019, and my takeaway was that it was an incredibly-performing bike that was also grossly overpriced. Well, perhaps not grossly. But at 30K, it was pretty darn pricey.
The company ended up spinning off LiveWire as its own all-electric sub-brand and relaunched the bike as the LiveWire One.
At closer to 22K, now we’re talking. I’ve ridden the LiveWire one as well, and it feels pretty much the way I remember the H-D LiveWire to have felt a few years ago. The bike is incredibly powerful off the line with a 0-60 mph of 3.1 seconds.
It’s fun in the canyons and works great in the city as well, and I love the Level 3 DC fast charging for quick fill-ups. The last time I was riding the LiveWire One in LA, I made frequent use of the fast charging in 20-minute stops, which allowed me to get over half of the battery’s charge back into the “tank.”
I also had the chance to test an early prototype of the LiveWire Del Mar, which is LiveWire’s second bike, schedule to be released early next year.
At 17K, it’s a decent bit more affordable than the LiveWire One, but it still offers nearly the same 0-60 mph time. It’s not a toned down LiveWire One, though – it’s an equally fun bike in its own right.
In fact, I also find it more comfortable since it doesn’t have as long of a reach as the LiveWire One. The only downside in comparison is that it’s likely to have around two-thirds of the range of the LiveWire One. (We don’t yet have full battery or range specs from LiveWire at the time of publishing.) But as a more urban-oriented bike, even 100 miles (160 km) of range is going to be plenty for nearly any commuter.
After my LiveWire S2 Del Mar test ride, I was kicking myself for not pre-ordering one of the Launch Edition bikes. Those 100 individually numbered motorcycles are all but guaranteed to become collectors items one day.
This alphabetical ordering gives us some doozies, like NIU’s cute little city scooters following up behind LiveWire’s rocket of an electric motorcycle.
But I call ’em like I see ’em, and I see NIU as a great option for anyone who needs a modestly powerful scooter in the city. I have the NIU NQi GT Long Range, and it has served as my daily driver for just over two years. The scooter does absolutely everything I need it to do (well, except for taking my dog to the vet) and has been an awesome way to get an electric vehicle in the city when my wife and I neither want (nor can afford) something as large as an electric car.
The NIU isn’t the most powerful scooter out there, but it keeps up with the 125cc scooters off the line without a problem.
One of its quirks is that your feet are up a bit high since one of the two giant batteries is under the foot platform, but I got used to it quickly and stopped noticing. I also wish it had more built-in storage, but I just added one of NIU’s cargo boxes on back and that gave me extra cargo space.
With a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), it’s been sufficient for the city, but I’d certainly love to upgrade to the newer NIU MQi GT EVO, which tops out at 100 km/h (62 mph). I test rode one last year at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, and the first thing I noticed was how the more powerful motor accelerates even quicker than my NQi GT. If you’re going to be riding a lot with your partner or just want a faster and more powerful scooter, the EVO is a great option.
I haven’t ridden NIU’s RQi Sport electric motorcycle yet since it’s only been released in China. But the first chance I get, I’ll be on it.
The bike feels light and nimble, even if it’s not the fastest off the line like a LiveWire or Energica. But it makes up for it in style and experience.
The Anthem is also quite comfortable, especially for a smaller rider like me at 5’7″ or 170cm. But because you can raise the seat up by 4 inches, taller riders can feel good on the Anthem as well.
The last cool thing to mention on this bike is the removable battery. It may be small at just over 4 kWh, but it is removable with a quick release and even has wheels so you don’t have to carry the 65-pound pack inside to charge it. Instead, you just roll it like carry-on luggage. That’s a key benefit for apartment dwellers who don’t have a place to charge on the street.
But since this is a commuter bike and not really a long highway cruise type of bike, that’s probably going to be fine for most people.
I test rode one of the first production Metacycles in LA and took it on a combination of fast highway riding and local city street cruising. I got an extrapolated range of 40 miles (64 km), though that was with ample use of the sport mode. Not exactly the most impressive range, but obviously fine for anyone with a commute of less than 40 miles (or 20 miles if you don’t have a charge spot at work).
The bike itself is actually a lot of fun to ride. Not only is it a head turner and conversation starter at traffic lights, but it’s a nimble and easy-riding bike for weaving between cars and slicing through traffic.
In fact, it’s so easy to ride that it feels like a simple upgrade from an electric bicycle. If you’ve been riding higher-speed e-bikes like Super73s or other motorcycle-inspired designs and want to upgrade to an actual motorcycle, the Metacycle makes that transition quite easy.
The bike comes with some neat innovations I haven’t seen elsewhere, like a see-through glovebox with a wireless charger for your phone. The original 5,000 price was a great deal, but even the current 6,500 price feels reasonable for what you ultimately get.
Sur Ron Light Bee
The Sur Ron Light Bee is like if an electric bicycle hit puberty, lost its pedals, and grew some power. It’s not a “real motorcycle” in the sense that it’s barely 6 kW (8 HP), but it can hit a solid 45-50 mph off-road and is often found beating gas-powered motorbikes in races.
The thing barely weighs over 100 pounds, and thus it feels more like a heavy electric bicycle beneath you, except that it has a short enough wheel base and sufficient torque to flip you right over if you grab too much throttle.
The Sur Ron’s Achilles heel has always been its lower battery capacity, which can be sucked up in 40 minutes or less of super hard riding, though it could last for a couple of hours of leisurely trail riding.
But as a fun runabout that you toss in the back of your truck and take out to the boonies for off-road shenanigans, it’s a great starter off-road bike. And considering its usually priced at around 4,000, it’s just not that expensive either.
It may not be here for a long time, but it’s here for a good time.
I guess we saved the biggest for last here. Zero has so many models in its lineup that it’s hard to keep track of them these days. I think I’ve ridden most of them at this point. From the flagship SR/F and sleeker fully-fared SR/S, to the smaller Zero FXE and other bikes in between, there’s a bit of something for everyone.
I recently had the chance to test out the new Zero DSR/X, which is the company’s newest and perhaps most impressive model. The electric adventure bike gave me some of my first tastes of high-power adventure riding in the trails over Park City, Utah. Between the rider aides that help a so-so rider like me play at a much higher level to the utility additions like tons of locking storage space, that is one impressive bike! It also comes with a massive battery pack to match its massive pricetag of 24,495, so don’t expect to get into this one cheap.
Even so, Zero’s entry-level bikes in the FX line still offer a thrilling ride for closer to half of that price. I fell in love with a 2019 Zero FXS a few years ago, but the Zero FXE is likely my new favorite among the company’s starter bikes. As a commuter-level bike that still gets you fast speeds, powerful acceleration, and an entry ticket into Zero’s walled garden, it’s a hell of a ride.
Top comment by JeffnReno
I no longer ride but anyone that hasn’t had skin meet asphalt or gravel may not understand the need for protective gear at nearly any speed over 2 mph. I’ve got a few scars still to prove my point but still have many more happy memories to go with them. If I were younger and had little responsibility other than myself, I’d for sure be on 2 wheels as much as possible. Thanks for a nice article on today’s offerings.
As Zero’s have walked up, though, this undisputed leader of the US electric motorcycle market has been faced with a number of new start-ups trying to eat its lunch on the commuter end of the spectrum. Companies like Kollter, SONDORS, Ryvid, and CSC all offer interesting and unique commuter-level electric motorcycles that could give options to those that can’t afford (or can’t justify paying for) Zero’s higher prices.
One of the coolest things about the electric motorcycle market is just how quickly it is evolving. New e-moto companies seem to crop up every month, and new models are rolling out on a weekly basis.
Who knows what bikes we’ll see in the coming years?
The only thing for certain is that I’m going to need to find myself sitting in a pile of new saddles if I want to keep this up. And that ain’t a bad thing to me!
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Sur Ron X Electric Dirt Bike Review
What do you get when you cross an electric mountain bike with the Terminator? Ever wished to own a vehicle out of Batman’s garage? Look no further than the Sur Ron X Black Edition.
The Sur Ron X is a highly engineered monster electric dirt bike capable of reaching performance levels dwarfing that of even gas-powered dirt bikes. With its highly sophisticated styling, top of the line parts and performance, the “Light Bee” is easily one of the best performing, most recognizable headturners in the E-bike industry and was awarded the German Red Dot Award in 2018.
It is also very popular among professional motocross riders in competitive off-road sports. Needless to say, the Sur Ron X is a well known icon in the e-bike world.
Sur Ron X’s Features
Sporting a futuristic design, matte black finish, and badass off-road wheels, this bike looks like something Darth Vader would use. The structure of the bike resembles a mountain bike-dirt bike mix with the handlebars and front fork belonging to that of a mountain bike and the rest is that of a dirt bike.
The Sur Ron X features 5200w (7 bhp equivalent) electric motor which is a seriously impressive powerup for a mountain bike. That power mixed with the battery’s 2000 watt-hour capacity makes a 50 mile range at 50 miles per hour.
The Sur Ron X also features a keyed “ignition” and keyed battery compartment similar to that of traditional motorcycles giving it the impression of being a legitimate motorbike.
What makes the Sur Ron X stand out from the crowd is it’s dual front shock and single slanted rear shock which is a very rare feature in most other electric bikes. This also classifies the bike as a legitimate off-road electric mountain bike and not just a replica.
Some other unique characteristics of the Sur Ron X Black Edition include its informative heads-up-display (HUD) which displays the speedometer (in kph or mph), battery power, and trip meter, its new Sine Wave X-controller which is quieter, smoother and more powerful than the base model’s, and its new regenerative braking which the base model doesn’t have.
The brake levers are situated on the handlebars. Rear brake on the left and front brake on the right as with an actual motorcycle.
One downside of this bike is probably its brake stopping power during high speed off-road treks. For its speed, brake performance is mediocre making this a dangerous ride especially for beginners.
Sur Ron X Motor Performance
If you’ve seen the video featuring the Sur Ron X winning first place in a hare scramble race with gas-powered dirt bikes, you’d be thinking “How did a small electric-powered dirt bike beat a bigger bike with a more powerful and efficient gasoline engine?”
1st Place Winning Race | Sur-Ron X | Electric Against Gas Motorcycles (Source: Electric Cycle Rider) The Sur Ron X Black Edition’s motor features 5200W (7 bhp) of power and therefore the energy demand on the battery is lowered making the motor run cooler and more energy-efficient.
With a two-stage drive, the Sur Ron X motor runs more quietly and efficiently even on high rpms and without generating too much motor heat. One thing that sets it apart from other e-bikes is its ability to climb inclines. Its strong motor coupled with its lightweight build enables it to easily scale inclines that other electric dirt bikes struggle with.
What about Sur Ron X’s battery?
The Sur Ron — also colloquially called “Light Bee” — features a light but massive 2000 watt-hour 60v 32ah removable battery consisting of high ratio Panasonic PF battery cells, a host computer management process and data interface, high power battery management system, state-of-charge battery statistics and four real-time temperature sensors all contained within a hard case that slides into the “engine compartment” of the bike. This enables the battery to maintain a large capacity of energy while also being highly efficient and safe. A 10A cast aluminum encased battery charger is also paired with this battery
In addition to the above, the Sur Ron X Black Edition features a regenerative braking system which helps charge the battery and aid in hill descents. Though the system takes some practice to use, as the throttle switches between gas and brake, it’s still a nice touch despite its unrefined nature.
Sur Ron X suspension system
Sporting a DNM Volcano front suspension with RST oilspring dampening and a Fast Ace 8-inch travel inclined rear suspension, the Sur Ron X can handle big jumps and rough roads with ease making it a solid choice for both off-road and city rides. The Sur Ron has great suspension for its type although it pales in comparison to suspension found on gas-powered dirt bikes.
Is the Sur Ron X durable?
With a super light aluminum frame weighing only 7.8 kg, it’s hard to think that a bike like this can withstand the stress that comes with regular use. Formed using a large 6000 ton press, the aluminum used on this bike’s frame is several times stronger and lighter than ordinary aluminum. The bike’s swingarm is also constructed in the same way allowing it to withstand even the pressure and shock of high jumps while saving weight.
Apart from that, the quality control involved with the manufacture of this bike’s frame subjects it to dynamic high-pressure and impact tests. Therefore we are assured of the bike’s durability and quality
Advantages when riding the Sur Ron X
Aside from the insane amount of power that this ebike delivers, the main advantage of owning a Sur Ron is leveraging the industry’s most cutting edge technology. Starting with the spiked off road tires, impact-resistant spoked wheels, DNM Volcano front suspension with RST oilspring dampening and Fast Ace 8-inch travel rear suspension to soften impacts and maximize off road versatility.
And with a tempered aluminum alloy frame that’s several times as strong as regular aluminum, axial flux electric motor with the highest usable power and torque of any electric drive motor on the market, and a quiet Sine wave X controller.
The Sur Ron X comes with a light but solid frame that enables it to withstand the stresses of off-road situations. Complementing it is a very powerful motor, a highly energy-efficient battery system, top-of-the-line suspensions, and spiked off-road tires which makes the “Light Bee” a perfect choice for both competitive off-road riding and daily commuting or anything in between.
Disadvantages when riding the Sur Ron X
Even with all its upsides, like all technology, the Sur Ron X has its limitations. Being a lightweight vehicle, the Sur Ron X can be difficult to steer, especially for beginners. Its narrow and light structure gives it the tendency to oversteer during quick turns giving it a twitchy feeling.
Aside from that, the weight of the bike also affects its stability when accelerating. The sudden acceleration resulting from the motor’s strong torque may be prone to popping unintended wheelies, therefore increasing the chances of accidents (or unintended bursts of laughter depending on your riding ability).
The tightly packed nature of the Sur Ron X also limits its customization flexibility. Aside from adding pedals, decals and fenders, there’s really not much you can do to personalize the bike.
60V 2000W Fat Tire Electric Bike Mountain Bicycle Electric Dirt Bike (A7AT26)
Motor: 60V 2000W brushless motor Batttery: 60V 18AH large capacity, long range Controller: Intelligent brushless 60V 2000W Charger: 71.4V 3A 100-240V input Tire: 264.0 fat tyre Brake lever: Aluminum, cut-off electricity when braking Gears: Shimano 21 Speed with derailleur Display: Multifunctional LCD3 display Initiating mode: Pedal assistant ( Thumb Throttle) Max speed: 55KM/H
HOTEBIKE fat tire electric bike A7AT26 was designed with high power motor and high capacity battery and 26 inch fat tire to provide a superb ride on almost any terrain.
Talaria Sting Review: Similar to the Sur Ron but with some Key Differences
Overall, the Talaria Sting is larger and heavier with a bigger battery compared to the Sur Ron and that will appeal to riders who want something more substantial between their legs.
What I think
The Talaria Sting is the newest ebike in the electric dirt bike genre geared towards adrenaline junkies looking to have some good clean fun.
Talaria Sting vs Sur Ron: So what’s the Same?
- 19” diameter rims front and rear
- Front forks
- Suspension options
- Power System: 60V 3000W
- Similar style
Talaria Sting vs Sur Ron: Key differences
- Weighs more, 138 lbs vs 110 lbs
- It’s bigger… wider and taller
- ground clearance
- Longer seat
- Wider rear swing arm which fits a wider rear tire
- Bigger battery 38 Ah vs 32 Ah
- One battery connector instead of two
- New Throttle
- New display with more control
- Better regenerative breaking that is now more easily adjustable
- New Start button: because it’s easy to forget the bike is on, the start button helps to prevent accidental wheelies
- New Gearbox which replaces the problematic Sur Ron belt
- Gearbox requires an oil change every 1000 km
- Less noisy
- powerful initial acceleration
- Decreased turning radius
Why choose the Talaria Sting over the Sur Ron?
Stock and out of the box, both bikes are very good for riding streets and light trails.
The Sur Ron would be better for shorter riders and street riders since it is smaller and more lightweight.
The larger, more powerful Talaria seems to be more suited for heavier and taller riders who do more trail riding but the initially jumpy acceleration will take some getting use to.
A big consideration that many neglect in the decision making is maintenance and the Surron jackshaft and belt drive are notorious for needing repairs and replacing.
The Talaria eliminates that issue by using a sealed gearbox. Yes, the oil will need to be regularly changed from the gearbox, but that’s pretty simple compared to replacing bad bearings or a busted belt.
The heavier and bigger Talaria feels more like a motorcycle and it’s definitely more punchy off the line.
In conclusion, the Talaria is a bigger, heavier version of the Surron with some nice upgrades that should require less maintenance while the Surron is the time tested classic electric dirt bike with plenty of 3rd party accessories, parts and support.
Check out pricing and availability of the Talaria Sting at Grit Shift.
The Best Electric Dirt Bikes of 2023
Remarkably, only one of them went for the Dirt-E joke.
The motoring world is going electric. And it’s not just fancy, 1,000-horsepower, six-figure electric trucks. Electric motorcycle options have been increasing over the past few years. And even the relatively humble and underpowered dirt bike segment now offers a proliferation of emissions-free options — and we’re here to help you separate the battery-powered wheat from the chaff.
Why You Should Get an Electric Dirt Bike
Helps Save the Planet: Smaller motorcycles are far from the most fuel-thirsty vehicles. But electric dirt bikes still reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and every little bit helps.
Less Maintenance: Electric motors require far fewer moving parts. That means more time riding and less time (and money) replacing parts. You also don’t need to buy things like oil.
Less Noise: Electric dirt bikes do make some noise, but they make less than internal-combustion dirt bikes — noise that can diminish the enjoyment of being in nature for riders and those nearby.
Accessible to New Riders: Like electric cars, electric dirt bikes do not need a manual transmission. This may disappoint some riders looking for a traditional feel. But it’s also way easier to manage while off-road.
Torque: Electric dirt bikes tend to have a lot of torque, and it comes on instantly. This helps them accelerate rapidly and feel quick in everyday riding.
What to Look For
Street Legality: Like combustion dirt bikes, many of them will not be street-legal. And you may live in a municipality that will confiscate and crush them if you try to use them for that — electric or not. There are dual-sport electric dirt bikes (lighter than adventure motorcycles), which can also be used as commuter bikes. But make sure you clarify that before buying.
Battery Range: Range is a significant drawback to any electric vehicle. You want to ensure you have enough range to do the amount of riding you’re planning. expensive electric dirt bikes will have range that can exceed what most drives can handle physically. But that may be costly.
Battery Charging: A nother important factor beyond range is how long it takes to charge the battery. Shorter is better. Manufacturers may offer accessories that improve charging speed. Some dirt bikes can instantly swap in a newly charged battery and return to the trail.
How We Tested
Gear Patrol writers and editors are continually testing the best electric dirt bikes on a variety of terrains to update this guide looking at features like comfort, ease of use and riding characteristics. Our testers have spent time riding the Zero XF and the Cake Kalk INK so far; however, we’ll be updating this guide as we continue to test more models.
Zero’s FX isn’t a one-trick pony; it’s good at a little bit of everything. It’s fast but torque-heavy up front. For comparison, it’s nimble but still about 50 pounds heavier than KTM’s 350EXC-F. And it’s quiet, which anyone who’s ridden a dual sport before knows has distinct advantages and downsides. (Upsides include not disturbing nature as you ride through and saving your eardrums; cons include being unable to announce yourself to other riders on the trail or cars on the street.)
The FX’s ride is very smooth — from city streets to rutted-out trails and even completely off-road in the ungroomed wild. The tires grip well on city streets, even after a light rain. The FX can reach a top speed of 85, but I rarely found myself pushing it above 65 — this is a great cruising bike built for the trails as much as it is for the road. The acceleration feels torque-y until you get the hang of the feeling; I’d recommend starting in Eco until you get a feel for how the bike handles, experienced rider or not.
The profile is lean and mean, just as advertised. Your tester is 5’4” and weigh 110 pounds, and she could handle and maneuver this bike with relative ease, although she did make sure to get comfortable on the bike on uncrowded trails before taking it to the streets. Zero says the charging time is 1.3 hours, but I found it to be much longer than that. the bike was delivered to me with an 80 percent charge, and it took more than two hours to get it full. The range is 91 miles which is a solid day’s ride, but unless you have the means to give the bike a good overnight charge, you’ll be SOL the next day. And that 91-mile range is in the city — if you’re riding on the highway at 70 mph without starting and stopping, it drops to 39 miles per charge.
We’ve been fans of Swedish manufacturer Cake — and Stefan Ytterborn’s helmet/eyewear/apparel brand, POC — for years. Founded in 2016, Cake has consistently put out smooth, innovative electric bikes that offer both gorgeous looks and purpose-built function.
The Kalk class of offroaders, however, is much more about play than work. The street-legal Kalk INK picks up quick thanks to 252Nm of electric torque, while reliable suspension (200mm of travel) and beefy dual-sport motorcycle tires help you keep the shiny side up from the road to the trails.
- Removable battery charges from 0 to 80 percent in two hours, 0 to 100 percent in three
- Three ride modes and three braking modes adapt to your style and environment
- Not exactly the cushiest seat on the planet (or this page)
- You must come to a full stop to adjust ride and braking modes