What is the Light Bee X?
Sur Rons’ Light Bee X is a game-changer in the world of electric motorcycles. Boasting a 60 V 40 Ah battery which delivers a top speed of 47 mph, this e-moto allows up to 62 miles of fun on a single charge (Sur Ron Global). Similar in size to a typical 125cc gas-powered dirt bike, the Sur Ron Light Bee X (Also known as the Surron X or LBX) is proving to be a favorite for enduro riders, stunters, and commuters alike. The LBX has been described as ‘the two-wheeled equivalent of the missing link, effectively bridging the gap between bicycles and motorcycles’ according to motorcyclenews.com. One thing is for sure, the Sur Ron LBX has a reputation both for reliability and awesome fun! It could be arguably, the first ‘real’ factory-produced stand-alone electric dirt bike. Not a retrofitted electric bike, but a motorcycle designed from the ground up to be crafted for battery power. Sure, backyard enthusiasts have been pondering (and succeeding) in creating electric motorbikes, but the Sur Ron factory is bringing the electric motorbike into the mainstream.
Is it an Electric Bike? Is it a Motorcycle?
Simply answered, this Sur Ron e-moto is neither. It is roughly twice the weight of an e-bike, yet lighter than a comparatively similar ICE dirt bike. Ebike buffs will detest that it’s bulky and question the lack of pedals, dirt bike riders will wonder about the suitability of this lightweight, silent machine with no clutch. And in true ‘don’t knock it, ‘til you’ve tried it’ style, it is hard to explain the exhilaration and just how much fun you can have on two wheels!
The agile nature of a light frame that has been expertly crafted within the Sur Ron factory, the suspension that has been customized to match the powerful high-efficiency mid-mounted electric motor, and general riding ergonomics will pleasantly surprise all types of riders. What this e-moto lacks in terms of pistons, gears, and clutch, it makes up for in torque and state-of-the-art technology.
Getting back to the lack of pedals – it is possible to buy a pedal kit, although it wouldn’t be recommended unless purchased to comply with state laws. As this e-moto isn’t technically an electric bicycle, the lines of where it is legal to ride are somewhat blurred. Before venturing on the bike path, lane, or route with any e-moto, it is highly advisable to check your local laws. As a rough guide, for example, in many states across the U.S., the Sur Ron LBX variant L1E can fall under a Class 3 electric bike – it has a throttle and can be capped at 28 mph to meet legal requirements. In other states and countries, the e-moto is limited to riding on private property – much like an unregistered dirt bike. Minimum age requirements apply in some states and countries in public locations, as does the wearing of helmets and the need for a motorcycle license. If you’re unsure where you can or can’t ride your e-moto, head to Dirt Legal, GritShifts’ sister company, to get the low-down on your local laws. Read their article on street legal e-motos here.
If it’s not an Electric Bike, What is it?
In a class of its own, the Sur Ron LBX can be classified as an e-moto. Many top competitions are starting to have stand-alone categories for electric dirt bikes. Events like the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout –which is a hard enduro race. Read about the race here.
As power for an electric dirt bike is measured in Watts, instead of horsepower, you can only guess similar comparisons on speed/weight and riding style, and measurable statistics such as top speed or acceleration. It doesn’t have to always be a comparison of gas-powered to electric, although, for those who are new to the e-moto scene, it is easier to put things into some perspective. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Talaria Sting? Another very similar e-moto, that is a much closer comparison to the Sur Ron LBX. It has the same output from the powertrain, however, the Talaria is slightly heavier, taller, and wider than the Sur Ron LBX, therefore giving it a lower power-to-weight ratio.
Let’s explore some different riding styles for the everyday e-moto rider:
On-road Stunters / Supermoto
What would make a more perfect stunt bike? Low weight, high torque, and maneuverability turn this dirt-loving machine into a pirouetting, elegant trickster. Those who want to practice their tricks in built-up areas without annoying the neighbors would be drawn to the Sur Ron LBX. Swapping the nobbies for road tires, and completing the transformation with upgraded brake discs, sprocket, and chain, you’ll have the best supermoto bike around.
The closest ICE bike that could compete with the LBX may well be the Honda Grom. With a similar unmodified seat height of 30 in for the Grom versus 32.7 in for the Sur Ron. Weight, however, is surprisingly different. Weighing 224 lbs for the Grom and the LBX at only 123 lbs, the Sur Ron LBX is hands down a lighter machine.
Off-road Enduro / MX / Trail Riding
Off-road enduro is where this e-moto thrives. Being a light and nimble machine, trail riding, technically difficult MX tracks, and anywhere you find a patch of dirt, quickly become a playground for the Sur Ron LBX. Due to the lightweight and smaller suspension than relatively sized gas-powered dirt bikes, rough tracks could be a little more sketchy. However, if you’re competing or at least going for bragging rights with your mates, the whisper-quiet engine gives you a stealth advantage to pick your lines for the pass. Top speed is also noticeably different, but you’ll be struggling to have a full sustained twist on the throttle through tight turns and high berms anyway.
With a smaller overall size, the LBX could hinder some riders, especially those who are taller. With a seat height of only 32.7 in, it feels like a small dirt bike and has left some riders wanting more comfortable ergonomics. Luckily, this is an easy fix with a 2-in stem riser engineered and vigorously tested by GritShift. If you’re wanting something that is a simple install, built strong (made from 7075-T6 Aerospace-grade aluminum), yet light, check out the GritShift Stem Riser here. You will feel more comfortable and will gain better leverage over the front end, meaning more maneuverable. While you’re scrolling, check out the seat riser also, which gives you a 2.5 in height increase in the seat. Don’t be fooled by ‘only’ 2.5 in – this gives you the perfect amount of height increase allowing you to shift your weight around to master handling like a pro. Side effects of creating a higher seat are allowing more space for larger, upgraded tires and more battery room for a physically larger more powerful battery.
If you want the peppy and quiet Sur Ron experience but really need that full-size dirt bike grunt, check out their full-size e-moto, the Ultra Bee.
City Commuting on your Sur Ron
It’s already been mentioned the Sur Ron LBX is not an electric bicycle, however, it does make a great commuter. Rock up to work with no sweat, unless of course, you’ve been pulling a wheelie the whole way there! Which is very likely due to the fun, playful nature of this sprightly steed. Your workday will be 1000 times more fruitful as the smile on your face and spring in your step increases productivity. (Not officially tested, just assumed – prove me wrong!) In all seriousness, if you’re one of the lucky few who could commute to work on dirt roads, like this guy (below) who is ripping it up in France’s countryside, all the better! With potentially no registration to pay, pending your local laws, you’ll have no gas bills, and almost no maintenance, so you’ll be left with more savings.
What is the Cost?
On average, the Sur Ron LBX is slightly more costly than good quality e-bikes, and slightly less costly than quality dirt bikes, coming in at an MSRP of $4400 USD at the time of writing. But that is where the simple price ends. You can customize your Sur Ron LBX as much or as little as your heart desires. From a simple stem riser for just over $80, to power upgrade kits which are closer to $1000. For a full rundown of gifts for your LBX, head to this page for the mods you need.
If tinkering with your pride and joy doesn’t bring you enjoyment, you could look at searching for a second-hand e-moto that already has all the goods. Keep in mind that the mods you need will be solely dependent on your choice of riding style and terrain or whether you intend on racing or bush-bashing on weekends. If you’re thinking of becoming the proud owner of a Sur Ron LBX, or you already have one in your garage, make sure you visit www.gritshift.com to get the lowdown on all the must-have parts.