Electric bikes aren’t just something in the distant future anymore. They’re here and we’ve been having a lot of fun with them. I’m kinda tired of apologizing to the angry over-my-dead-body crowd. Get over it. The guys at KC Powersports in San Juan Capistrano loaned us a Surron Ultra Bee and as of right now, it’s on the top of our Favorite Electric Bike list. The key here is where we ride it. This isn’t a bike for Glen Helen or any prepped motocross track, but it’s awesome on tight trails. To confess, we ride it on local trails in semi-urban settings. Is that legal and responsible? Every community is different, but the Ultra Bee is quiet enough that we haven’t gotten in trouble and we go out of our way to be courteous to the people we run across.
The Ultra Bee sells for $6500.
We tested the Segway X260 two years ago, which is identical to the Surron Light Bee. The Ultra Bee is one step closer to being a full-size dirt bike in both power and scale. It comes with 19-inch wheels and has a 12,500-watt AC motor. It weighs about 190 pounds. That translates to 50 mph top speed and acceleration that’s akin to a Supermini. It’s taller than a mini, though. It’s more like an early 125 and fits a full-size adult easily.
The good news is that the battery can be changed in minutes. The bad news is that the cost of a spare battery is almost half the price of the motorcycle.
For comparison, electric bikes like the Segway, Surron Light Bee, Talaria Sting and Rawrr Mantis have about half the power in watts and weigh about 50 pounds less. They generally use components that are similar to mountain bike parts. The Ultra Bee has full-size motorcycle parts. The fork and shock are made by a company called KKE and have almost 10 inches of travel. The brakes look just like Nissin calipers and the axles are the same size as those of a Honda CR125. The rims are fairly narrow, though, with CST tires that have very small knobs.
The Surron Ultra Bee is much more substantial than the Light Bee or the Talaria Sting.
The motor has a primary reduction case with an internal belt that connects to a final drive chain. There is no clutch, no shifter and no foot brake, only hand brakes. A handlebar switch lets you choose between three power levels (Eco, Drive and Sport). It also has multi tiered traction control. The controller for the motor looks like a big rectifier with cooling fins in the front of the motor. It doubles as a heat sink that serves to keep the motor and battery from overheating. The Ultra Bee makes more than enough power for trail riding. The power delivery is actually pretty smooth, but if you grab a handful in Sport mode, you just get wheelspin. We usually ride it in Drive, but you can also use the traction control to make it more controllable. It’s all about the environment. We rode some of the same tight trails on a modern dual-sport bike, and the Ultra Bee could run circles around it. In more wide open space, on hills and in sand, the dual-sort bike is more in its element and the electric bike feels more toy-like.
Jacob Tilley fell in love with the Ultra Bee, but broke some spokes on big jumps on the first day. We think it has more to do with Jacob’s life choices than any flaw in the bike.
The range varies, but if you’re on the gas, you have to limit your rides to 30 miles or so. The saving grace is that the battery can be changed in a couple of minutes, and a full charge takes four hours from a 110-volt outlet.
A more limiting factor for the Ultra Bee is traction. On hills, it will spin before it runs out of power. We understand that Warp9 already has a wheelset available that lets you trade in the 19-inch wheels for a beefier 18/21 combo. We plan on mounting a set up. Look for a full test in the February 2023 print edition of Dirt Bike.
BETA HUNTER EDITION
While we ae talking electric bikes, Beta just introduced a new model called the hunter edition. Here’s what they say about it:
Roughly 30% smaller than a normal off-road motorcycle, the Explorer is designed to be less intimidating making it great fun for trail riding, camping, hunting, or just working around the ranch. The Explorer has three speeds including casual, medium, and for a quick 10-second burst, “Rocket” mode. Casual mode is the most popular setting that most riders will use as it also has the longest range of 50-100 miles. The medium setting offers roughly twice the speed and torque with a range between 30-60 miles. There is also an added reverse gear for backing up out of tight trails or roads.
The Explorer has no pedals but rather folding footpegs like a modern motorcycle. Riders have six different positions to choose from to make the ride the most comfortable. Hydraulic front and rear disc brakes are controlled by levers on the adjustable handlebar. Other features include a 74-volt battery that can be fully charged in about two hours. The battery can also be charged out of the bike as well so riders can charge one battery while riding with a fresh one. The batteries can be swapped out in about three minutes. Fully adjustable front and rear suspension provides a gentle ride perfect for trails and fire roads. There is also a storage space under the seat large enough to carry a water canteen, a small dome tent, or a nice lunch for a picnic. The included rear cargo rack allows the carry of even more gear.
The definition of Explorer reads; To transverse over a region for the purpose of new discovery. This sums up the motive of the Beta Explorer model line! For those who have not yet seen the world from a different perspective, the Explorer offers a quiet sense of freedom only found outside. Beta Explorer Hunter Edition models will be available at Authorized Beta USA dealers in January. Go to www.betausa.com to locate a Beta dealer near you and to leave a deposit to ensure delivery.
74V35 AH-One minute to remove
Two plus Rocket mode – reverse also
Forged aluminum with steel upper structure
Speed One: 50-100 miles
Speed Two: 30-60 miles
2-3 hours-standard 115V outlet
Hydraulic 210 mm disk, front and rear
Aluminum rims w/machined hubs
3.0×18″ Kenda knobby(rear)
2.75×19″ Kenda (front)
Adjustable compression, rebound, and spring preload – with linkage
Digital meter – shows range, mode, mph, with total miles
Water bottle/other under seat
Weight (including battery)
Warranty – Chassis
Warranty -Battery, charger, motor
Rear Cargo Rack
$5,290.00 plus $189.00 shipping
GNCC CLASS STRUCTURE FOR 2024
Tentative 2024 GNCC Supplemental Rules and National Classes Available for Public Comment
The Tentative 2024 Grand National Cross Country Racing Series Amateur, Pro and eMTB Supplemental Rules along with the National Classes are now available for inspection and public comment through December 16.
Thereafter, final rules and classes will be announced. The Pro Supplemental Rules will be issued next week. For convenience, changes are highlighted in red.
2024 Bike National Classes
2024 ATV National Classes
2024 GNCC Amateur Supplemental Rules
2024 GNCC Pro Supplemental Rules
2024 eMTB National Classes
2024 eMTB Supplemental Rules
Please direct all comments to [email protected].
GIFTS FOR YOURSELF
BACKROADS DISCOVERY ROUTES
We love the concept of the Backroads Discovery Routes, which is a non-profit dedicated to laying out great adventure rides! It’s time for their 8th annual holiday auction, which helps fund the program. Here’s what they say about it:
We’re thrilled to announce the 8h Annual BDR Holiday Auction!
Packed with fantastic ADV experiences, enriching touring and training packages, and top-notch gear and accessories, this year’s auction is your chance to snag that perfect gift for a loved one—or treat yourself!
Generously fueled by donations from our industry partners and businesses along the BDR’s, the auction features over 100 backcountry-moto-inspired items. Head to the auction site now and bid with the knowledge that every dollar raised directly supports the BDR mission.
Don’t miss out—the Holiday Auction concludes at 12:00 PM (PST) on December 20th, 2023.
Have Fun Bidding & Happy Holidays!
-The BDR Team
Just a Few of the Auction Highlights
See you next week!
Source : DirtBikeMagazine