The Sur Ron Firefly Electric Light MX Motorcycle is one of a kind. Seriously, there’s really nothing quite like it in the market. Are there cheap electrics out there? Yeah. Under-powered, questionable batteries, cheaply built. AKA, worthless.
Are there fast, awesome light MX-style ebikes? Sure thing. For 3X the price of the Sur Ron. For the price, nothing else even comes close to matching the performance and clean engineering of this bike though.
So usually the first thing people ask about a bike is regarding the motor or performance. When dealing with electric bikes though, this is a slippery slope that you have to be careful of. “How powerful is that motor?” is usually answered with “Oh, its 3000 watts!” or something along those lines. But what the hell does that mean?
Motors are rated at nominal watt utilization, meaning “how much energy can this device use for an extended period of time without overheating or otherwise destroying itself?”
In the Sur Ron’s case, that number is 3000 watts. But you might notice, I said that is how much energy the motor USES. This is like saying your V8 uses 4 gallons of fuel per mile. That PROBABLY equates to a fair amount of power. But there’s other ways we describe that power in motorsports. Like… horsepower maybe? Or torque? Actually, electric motors are in fact rated by their torque output, in Newton Meters. However, just due to how electric motors work, most ratings are in “Rated Torque” and “Peak Torque”. The Sur Ron is rated at 10Nm, with a peak torque rating of 25Nm. To convert that into something more familiar, that’s 18.44 lb/ft of torque. As a comparison, the Kawasaki Ninja 250cc street bike pushes 21.7Nm at 10,000RPM.
Yep. The peak torque rating for a bone stock $3500 Sur Ron is higher than the peak torque for a Ninja 250cc street bike. This is pretty mind blowing for a few reasons. One, the Ninja 250 is a highway legal motorcycle. Often, small electric motorcycles like the Sur Ron are compared to 50cc scooters, bicycles with electric motors attached or 100cc off road only dirt bikes. But out of the box, its clear that this little bike has the power to keep up with much larger ICE bikes.
The specs on the battery are just as impressive. The stock battery is an 18650 based 60v 32ah affair using high quality Panasonic batteries. Look for a 30q upgrade soon from Luna Cycle too.
The Battery Management System on the Sur Ron is all theirs, made in house, and can handle up to 80V without blinking.
The first thing that hits you when you check out the drivetrain is the engineering quality. This is good stuff. Parts are beefy and strong. Heat sinks are solid. It is clear that a lot of work went into both the design and manufacture of it.
Almost inevitably folks will ask, “How fast does it go? And what’s the range?”
Well… that’s a good question. And the answer is… it depends. How heavy are you? Are you riding on flat ground? Are you riding it wide open throttle? We are setting up a range test with a 200lb rider soon, so we’ll check back on that here, but the stated range and top speed are 45mph and 40 miles of range. Will it go 40 miles at 45mph? Probably not, especially with a big guy like me on it. Could it go 40 miles at 20-25mph? Oh yeah, definitely. So your total range will be somewhere in between there.
The better question is, how does it feel? Does it feel “fast”? For an ebike, yeah. Super fast. Like… just really fast. For a small motorcycle? Still, damn fast. Out of the box you’re not taking on any R6s or other speedy bikes, but you’ll probably blow the doors off anyone with a scooter (wait, do scooters have doors?) and outrun most cars off the line at stop signs.
More importantly, like everything else, performance hop-up parts are coming. As mentioned, new batteries are being designed down at Luna Cycle, and they also have a custom BMS in development that will boost power output by around 20%. That’s a really insane number, but I’ve seen their development bike, and there’s more to come. They have a Sur Ron with their own special battery and BMS that is slapping around 450cc race bikes. However, as can be expected, that bike is nearly unrideable by anyone who isn’t an expert. I’m pretty sure I’d loop it within 5 seconds of getting on.
OK, so let’s get this out of the way. This bike is NOT street legal out of the box in most places in the United States. You can 100% buy it for playing in the dirt on private land without a second thought.
That being said, there’s a number of people (myself included) that are working on finding a solution to that issue. The laws, at least where I live, are actually somewhat vague. This bike would fit in perfectly into the “Electric Moped” category (give or take the speed being a bit high). It has performance matching ICE mopeds (especially the 2 strokes from the 1970s and 1980s). In fact, those mopeds often had higher top speeds than the Sur Ron.
Fogging up the laws even more is that most DMVs don’t really understand electric vehicles. Rating bikes by wattage is, as you read above, pointless. You could have a really efficient motor that was much more powerful in Nm output than a motor that wasted heat, but the inefficient motor would be illegal because of watt ratings. They also rate bikes by top speed. This is, again, missing the point. I can gear my bike to go any speed I want. Of course, you could put in a speed limiter, but these can very easily be disabled (and there’s speed limits on roads and paths anyway”).
So are we saying don’t get it to ride around on the streets on? You’re an adult. You can make that decision yourself. In our experience, we have not been bothered even once by any police officers. Your mileage, as it were, may vary.
At this point I’m pretty sure a majority of you want one of these amazing machines. I don’t blame you. To get one, go to Luna’s Sur Ron page and order up one of your very own. Currently (like… literally this moment as of 11:15AM PST on June 19th, 2018) you can get a silver model immediately or pre-order a Gray, Red or Blue one. If you do get one, tell them Techfiend.com sent you.