Segway X160 and X260: Mall Cop Names, but Secretly Surrons

Segway: The Company

Segway is an innovative company that has produced high-tech self-balancing transportation since 1999. In 2018, Segway changed tactics to form ‘Segway Powersports’ and in 2019 teamed up with Sur Ron to produce the e-moto X160 and X260, which is fundamentally the Sur Ron LBX (see the history of Segway). The X160 and X260 were produced in the same factory as the Sur Ron LBX, looking identical apart from the Segway color scheme and a few changes to the software.

However, unless you’re Mall Cop, you might have forgotten about Segway since they burst onto the scene back in 1999, with their two-wheeled personal transporter, something so futuristic and out-there, that was set to be ‘to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy’(Kamen, 2001). Potentially getting wrapped up in the brilliant product, Segway’s elusive marketing strategy and the extended rollout to release their product could have been the reason behind only 23,500 units being sold in the first 5 years. Or perhaps the world wasn’t ready for electric vehicles yet. Either way, the lack of sales didn’t come close to returning a profit after CEO Dean Kamen spent a reported $100 million in developing the original Segway. (Webbikeworld)

Segway PT
Segway PT

In 2009 the declining company Segway was purchased by entrepreneur and inventor, Jimi Heselden. In a strange turn of events, what could only be sadly described as you wouldn’t believe it to be true – Jimi Heselden tragically died ten months later after falling from a cliff on a Segway that was found to be faulty. In February 2013, Segway was acquired by Summit Strategic Investments, LLC, for $9M. SSI was driven to improve the original Segway PT and introduced two new PT models. 2015 was a monumental year in Segway’s history as Ninebot Inc purchased Segway for a reported $75M. (Segway)

Ninebot started modernizing the Segway products, increasing their product range, and appealing to the broader market.  Ninebots expansion included e-skates and Go-kart kits. In 2019, Sur Ron announced significant investments from Ninebot to create the X160 and X260 electric motorcycles.

Segway Electric Dirt Bikes

Segway’s move to expand its product portfolio included designing some fun products that were more affordable. (Revrides) So, the X160 and X260 were designed. Comparable to other e-motos (there’s a good reason, read on!), the X160 and X260 are made for off-road adventures.  When first released at the SEMA show in 2019, Segway announced the e-moto as a ‘hybrid between a dirt and mountain bike.’ Interestingly, Segway also mentioned that they are considered a ‘performance electric dirt bike.’

With top speeds of 46.6 mph for the X260 and 31.1 mph for the X160, this e-moto is more dirt bike than mountain bike! Weighing only 121.3 lbs (X260) and 105.8 lbs (X160), the acceleration from 0 to 31 mph in both models is slightly over 4 seconds. A fantastic feature of the X260 and X160 is the quick-change battery. After 40.4 miles (X160) or 74.6 miles (X260), you can swap batteries quickly to continue riding. (Segway Store)

What makes the X260 around $1000 more expensive? On the surface, they look very similar, with only 3 inches difference in length and 1 In in height. It is, however, easy to note the top speed difference and range increase in the X260, but it’s the parts underneath that make the X260 shine. The X160 runs a 48V 20AH battery, while the X260 runs a 60V 32 AH battery.

Would the Segway e-motos survive a spirited tabletop jump or endless whoops? From the factory, the suspension has been described as slow and sluggish from GritShifts Rusty, and prone to failure with hard hits.

Segway Suspension

Luckily when you work in GritShifts R&D department, you have the knowledge and expertise to fabricate the perfect components and put them through their paces. And, even better, Rusty’s designed suspension conversion kit can be purchased, so you don’t have to design it! If you would like to read his full X160 modding process, click here.

Read Rusty’s Full Moto Build here

Are Sur Ron and Segway the same?

Side by side, the Sur Ron and Segway e-motos are strikingly similar. Many people even questioned if they were the same motorcycle when Segway first released the X160 and X260. In 2019, Segway became the largest shareholder in Sur Ron. This explains the similarities. They are, essentially, the same e-moto. Segway’s director of marketing, Julie Tang explained ‘We want to keep expanding our existing customer base and give them more options’ (Revrides). To add additional ‘cool’ products, as Tang described, they enlisted the help of an already established electric product from Sur Ron.

Segway x160

Sur Ron’s PR team discussed the relationship between Segway and Sur Ron in a statement, reporting “This is a win-win cooperation. Segway has enriched its product line at the market level. On the other hand, Sur Ron can quickly transcend the limitations of ‘startup’.” (Revrides) Clearly, with the financial backing of a well-known brand, Sur Ron was able to produce the LBX and rebrand to Segway as the X260, as well as funding their own development.

Is the Segway X260 the same as a Sur Ron?

Both e-motos have the same riding feel. Physical changes are simple and don’t really change the bike’s feel. For example, the seat has slightly different stitching, Segway has a more extensive choice of color frames – black, silver, blue, and red, and a few other insignificant appearance-related items.

What is noticeably different is how you adjust the ride settings, such as the amount of power and braking force. On the Sur Ron, the rider must plug in a programming cable and make cumbersome changes using the brake lever. On the Segway, keeping with their advanced use of technology, created an app that you download to your phone. It is simple to make adjustments without clumsy cords.

Segway X260 vs X160

The X160 is a smaller version of the X260. Frame slightly smaller, power slightly less. Instead of a top speed of nearly 50 mph, the X160 has a top speed of 31 mph. This is due to a 20 AH battery connected to a drive train that produces a max of 3 KW instead of 5 KW on the X260. The Segway X260 was priced at $3999 USD at the time of writing, compared to only $2999 USD for the X160.

Would you buy a Sur Ron or Segway? (and can you still buy a Segway?)

Buying any type of motorcycle is a personal choice and one that is purely dependent on what you like to do and where you like to ride. You first need to ask yourself what size e-moto do you need? Will the smaller X160 be more suited for your style, or do you need the faster, larger X260 with a longer range?

Segway

Next, the question is: a Segway or a Sur Ron? As mentioned, there are a few differences. If color choice and tech are your thing, then the Segway would be your first pick. If the tech doesn’t bother you, then it could be either. Or could it?

A quick Google search will show that all Segway dealers and the online Segway store are out of stock of the X160 and X260. If your heart just sank as you were set on a Segway, a few unicorns can still be found on second-hand websites and some dealerships. Some may even be customized to your liking, and if it’s not exactly what you’re after, jump onto GritShift’s one-stop shop for all things Segway Parts here.

A conversation with a Segway employee after being asked if the X160 or X260 has been discontinued revealed ‘It has, we are coming out with a model to debut sometime next year’. Even more intriguing was the comment ‘Our next model will be a Segway original’.

Segway quote

Segway’s knack for producing out-their products with advanced technology leaves you wondering what is this new model going to be… This is going to be exciting!

If you want the latest news direct from GritShift HQ, be sure to subscribe to the free newsletter to be the first in the know, especially with a new, unknown model soon to be released! 

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