Positioned to be the next ultimate riding machine, the Sur Ron Ultra Bee is the latest electric motorcycle in the Sur Ron range, released in 2023 with additional variants due late 2023 – early 2024. Sporting a healthy battery output of 74V and a top speed of over 56 mph (90 kph), this lightweight powerhouse is set to be a favorite for both enduro and single-track road riders.
The Sur Ron Ultra Bee complements the top-selling Light Bee X (LBX) and its bigger brother, the Storm Bee. Paving the way in the e-moto world, Sur Ron is a company that stems from a combination of cutting-edge technology and rigorous product development, releasing their original Light Bee e-moto in 2018. Since ‘storming’ onto the dirt bike scene, Sur Ron has surpassed expectations delivering top-notch technology, even winning the coveted ‘Red Dot’ design award.
The Sur Ron Bee Family
So where does the Ultra Bee stand in the Sur Ron lineup? Physically bigger and more robust than the Sur Ron LBX, lighter and more agile than the Storm, the Ultra Bee really is in a category of its own. If you love the Storm, you’ll find the Ultra Bee fast and nimble, if you’re a Light Bee fanatic, then get excited for the extra power of the Ultra Bee. All up, it’s both the perfect entry into the world of e-moto or a fantastic addition that will quickly become like your most favored child! You could liken the Ultra Bee to the YZ125 from the typical gas world, yet it’s something more. It’s a far cry from pedal power or the e-mountain bike scene.
We’ve worked out what it’s not. It’s not a pedal-powered bike or an e-mountain bike. The lack of e-mountain bike parts isn’t the only giveaway to its enduro heritage. More robust and ‘dirt bike’ parts warmly hug this machine. We’ll get to that a little later. It’s not a stand-alone commuter, although it could be. Especially if you don’t need an excuse to pull a random wheelie, or even a quick stoppie as you rock up to the office! (You will need to check compliance in your country) But in all seriousness, this e-moto could sit in the mid-size trials category, perfectly catering to the dirt bike rider. In the words of Sur Ron, it is the ‘ultimate riding machine’.
Sur Ron Ultra Bee Specs
Although the Ultra Bee oozes Bee DNA, this e-moto has been upgraded and optimized in numerous ways, using the race experience data gained from the past few years. It boasts a 4th generation power platform, which gives ‘precision lightweight handling, smooth power output, and integrates Sur Rons refined off-road traction control system’ (Sur Ron). It has a brand-new purposely designed front suspension and a race-refined braking system. All 187 lbs (85 kg) of this machine are evenly distributed over front and rear, giving the rider a precision lightweight feel.
The Sur Ron Ultra Bee marketing material exclaims this e-moto is ‘balancing on the cutting edge’ – a super light aluminum alloy forged chassis mated with their well-tested power train, delivering 12.5KW. Fuelled by a 74V 55AH battery giving a range of 86 miles (140 kilometers). An ergonomically improved ride mode switch design allows changing modes mid berm, without taking your eyes off the track. And although I can see the benefits of reverse, I still can’t mentally process reversing on 2 wheels yet, yes Sur Ron has even improved reverse mode!
The inverted forks on the Ultra Bee come with a healthy 9.4 inches of travel and are fully adjustable, which is an awesome upgrade from the Light Bee. Another one of the Ultra Bee’s features (that would come in very handy) is the hidden space under the seat. Designed specifically for the Ultra Bee’s charger, you can charge when you get to your destination. Or, in the case of this writer – never lose your charger or leave it at home!
What is the difference between the Sur Ron Ultra Bee and Sur Ron Light Bee?
The comparison of the Ultra Bee vs the Light Bee starts from the size. Physically smaller, the Sur Ron Light Bee is a compact e-moto that packs lots of key features. On the other hand, the Ultra Bee is closer in size to a full-size e-moto (more typical 21” front wheel, 18” rear wheel) with bigger everything – more range, faster, and more robust. Both e-motos have the Sur Ron Traction Control system and Energy Regenerative System.
Apart from the noticeable weight difference of the Sur Ron LBX at 123.5 lbs (56 kg) compared to the Ultra Bee at 195 lbs (88 kg) and the physical size, the other big comparison that needs to be addressed is the power system. Although the charge time of 4 hours is much the same on both models, the power output of the Light Bee is much less than the Ultra Bee. You could argue that the difference in weight could offset the power output, but there is no excuse for the range. 43.5 miles (70 km) versus 87 miles (140 km) is literally double on the Sur Ron Ultra Bee.
GritShift’s R&D Head, Rusty, considers his Ultra Bee a true comparison to a 125-horsepower ICE dirt bike. Power and weight feel similar, although he feels the Ultra Bee could do with some upgrades to the suspension. Luckily this is an easy fix with a few clicks of a button on the GritShift website. The quick swapping battery is a highlight for Rusty, allowing for endless fun for enduro, track, or trails.
Why Choose the Sur Ron Ultra Bee?
You’re about to flip a coin on the Sur Ron Ultra or Light Bee – which do you choose? This is a very personal question – and very dependent on your riding style. Do you want a light, agile feel with quick acceleration or an e-moto that can dominate all the off-road terrain that’s thrown its way? Both are outstanding e-motos with features suited to different riders.
If you’re a dirt bike rider who is curious about the e-moto hype, the Ultra Bee would be your choice. Ergonomically it is closer in feel, with the seat height at 35.8 inches, comparative suspension, and full-size ‘dirt bike’ brakes. It would be a dirt bike at home on the motocross track or technical trails. Another option that could be worth considering is swapping the knobblies for some slicks and jumping onto the tarmac. Adding some 110/60-17s on the front and 140/70 – 17s to the back would turn this versatile machine into a supermoto weapon.
However, the Light Bee has its definite advantages also. Smaller means easier to transport, closer in weight to an e-mountain bike, and if you’re someone who just wants a good fun muck-around bike, the Sur Ron Light Bee would be your pick. Don’t forget, if you want a pocket rocket with extra oomph, why not look at modding to make it truly one-of-a-kind, made-for-you? Check out the extras you could gift your pride and joy here.
Is the Ultra Bee the next best thing?
For those already converted to electric motorcycles, I’m guessing you’ve already heard of the Cake Kalk. If not, the Kalk is a quality mid-size e-moto built for performance. It has proven itself many times in first-class competitions, alongside some of the best. A good friend of GritShift, Dustin Langston, ran his Cake Kalk OR in the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Hard Enduro.
You can read about his eventful race here, but the quick recap is he pushed his mostly unmodified Kalk to the finish line in a hard enduro against both bigger e-motos and gas bikes – with excellent results. With that in mind, I want to highlight a few points. The Cake has a 51V battery with peak power from the drivetrain of 11kW, producing 20Nm at the wheel. Top speed of 56 mph (90 kph) and a range of 53.5 miles (86 km). With an all-up weight of 152 lbs (69 kg), this e-moto is the envy of all who race electric dirt bikes. It’s also worth mentioning that Dustin decided to leave his Sur Ron LBX behind in favor of using the Cake, because he found its full-size chassis better suited to hard enduro. He also told us that if he had an Ultra Bee in the stable, the decision would have been much more difficult.
The contention over the extra weight in the Ultra Bee versus the Kalk could be argued for or against. Extra weight means more stability and feeling connected with the track, or it could mean slower to accelerate. I’ll leave that for you to ponder. But the rest of the data is impressive. The Ultra Bee boosts an extra 1.5kW from the power system, a staggering 24Nm at the wheel powered by its 74V Battery. The range on the Ultra Bee is vastly more.
So, is the Ultra Bee the next best thing? Compared to the Sur Ron LBX, the Ultra Bee will appeal to the dirt bike rider who likes technical terrain and the range to play for longer. Against full-size e-motos like the Cake Kalk and KTM Freeride, the specs don’t lie! If you want the power and range, the Ultra Bee would have to be top of your list. One thing is for sure, you’ll just have to get one to try!