Two Years with Jackson!

June 13 2020 I’ve owned my bike for two wonderful years. No issues whatsoever other than the brake sensors that I removed. BMS, Battery Pack, motor have all been sweet.

June 13 2020 – Not one commute mile on my bike. All fun miles.
June 13 2018
May 29 2020

Podcast with Tucker Neary – the winner of a race against the ICE bikes in Colorado

October 24 2019

Tucker Neary working at the Squaw Valley Resort in Olympic Valley, CA on March 21, 2012.

Like myself, Tucker is a freelancer so trying to schedule a time when we both had availability was like herding cats! But we did it! I asked him several questions about the race, why he entered, his feeling about the Sur Ron’s primary advantage over the ICE bikes and how his bike was modified. (Spoiler alert, it was a bone stock X Rockshox version!) I know that many folks would love to think that the primary reason Tucker did so well in the Sportsman class race was due to the Little Sur Ron That Could, but in reality Tucker’s racing skills were the primary reason for his success. Regardless though it’s amazing to see how this little bike with a skillful rider can do so very very well.

Here is the podcast we did on Thursday October 24th:

You can sort of tell during the FPV video he made during the race that he seems like a nice fella. But I can personally attest that HE IS a nice person. He plans on supporting the emerging EV community by continuing to test and post YouTube videos about the Sur Ron…and perhaps others as well!

Tucker’s site can be found here.

Update: September 12 2019

As luck would have it Tucker contacted me and we got a chance to chat by phone. During my ride today I came up with the idea of doing a PodCast with him to ask some questions about his experience racing against ICE bikes. So as we figure out a date that works with both of our insane schedules I thought it would allow some time for you to post some questions you’d like me to ask Tucker during the Podcast.

Please list your questions in the comment section below this post. Be sure to scan the questions to see if someone else has asked the same question you’re posing. If you don’t check and yours is a redundant question I’ll just delete it.

Watch this Sur Ron electric motorcycle win 1st place racing against gas motorcycles

Just like the little Sur Ron Light Bee!!!

electrek posted a video showing how the Sur Ron held up against ICE bikes in an actual race. The Sur Ron racer, Tucker Neary stated:

“I placed 1st in my class and I’m pretty stoked about that! I think the bike did really well. I almost finished with the battery, but on that third lap I went into EP [economy] mode and about three or four corners from the finish it finally gave out but that’s about the best place possible to have the bike die on me. Each lap was just slightly over 5 miles so I basically got 15 miles of hard riding and my total time elapsed was 58 minutes.”

I’m sure his riding skill contributed greatly to his first place finish. But it’s also nice to know how this little bike can hold its own against ICE bikes in what appeared to be a more wide open track. Congrats Tucker!

Podcast with Seb Gagnon of Luna Cycle

Seb of Luna Cycle

Since I once worked as a manager in the Customer Service Department for Playstation, I know first hand the importance and pressures of assisting customers. So I decided to do a short Podcast with Seb of Luna to put a face to a name. Most of us simply know him through email and I wanted to introduce him simply as a fellow human being beyond letters on a screen. He not only supports the Sur Ron, but all other EV products at Luna.

Podcast recorded on October 15 2019

 

Why I love my Sur Ron Light Bee

Updated July 10 2019

For some reason this week has been filled reconnecting with friends I have not seen in decades. First a friend who just got Principal Horn for the Chicago Symphony, one of the top three symphonies in the USA! Then my former teammate James who was the fella in the trauma center where I awoke after crashing in turn 10 at Thunderhill Raceway at 140 MPH. I don’t remember this, but apparently I yelled out “James what the fuck are you doing in my bedroom man!?” LOL Ah concussions, they make one crazy…. Anyway I let him take my bike for a spin and you can judge for yourself his reaction…..  Holy shit man you put an Ohlins shock on the rear?!

He’s a goner now.

In my photography life I’ve always held that a camera is just an excuse for me as a way to meet people. Sure I love the craft of creating imagery, but it’s the people I meet and befriend that motivates me to do it over and over and over. The Sur Ron is the same way. Although the majority of people I interact with are ‘virtual’ friends who I’ve never met, when I have the opportunity to meet one of my brethren I jump at the chance. Eli, a fellow owner sent me a note to tell me that he was visiting the area where I live. So I rode over to meet he and his best friend Nick so we could shake hands and meet in real life. My favorite. At this point the Sur Ron community is small. But those I’ve met through this amazingly well engineered device are great folks.

You can’t tell but it has been raining off and on here. So when I went to meet Eli I used the shower cap to cover my beloved custom suede seat.

First off this is a completely different then the technical information about the Sur Ron then on this site. This one focuses on the many varied aspects of my enjoyment and love of this bike. I purchased it sight unseen on April 11 2018. It was backordered and didn’t arrive to my driveway until June 13 2018. Two months are two days of agony.

I’ve owned, raced and ridden a ton of bikes both off-road and on road. 1968 is when I started riding seriously and I ended my road racing track days in 2006. Thirty eight years of riding. There was a brief stint when I didn’t own or ride a motorcycle, it’s when I had kids and my wife and I decided we didn’t want to have daycare raise our children. So it went from a DINK (Double Income No Kids) family to a family of four with one income; meaning no money other than for food and shelter.

So years later I bought myself a Specialized Rockhopper hardtail mountain bike and fitted Rock Shox air forks. At least I was still on two wheels! It was fun until the day I was on a trail in mud just after a heavy rain, my foot slipped out of my toe cage and my balls impacted on the crossbar. After I lifted myself out of the mud and hauled my bike home, my right nut swelled up to the size of a softball. A doctor at the ER used what I still recall as the longest, largest diameter needle that I swear was shaped like a corkscrew with a blunt end to draw out the fluid. If you’re a guy reading this it’s OK to cross your legs and grimace, yeah it was bad.

The thing that made mountain bike riding kinda boring was the limited amount of wrenching I could do on my bike. Compared to a motorcycle, MTBs are well….yawn! But at the time and with my limited funds and time it was a ‘nice’ alternative. As the kids got older and my income increased I began an on road racing segment of my life. First as an individual, then as a team member and finally as a racetrack trainer. Those were some of the best two wheeled times of my life. The comradery was exceptional and I will forever remember those days with a smile.

The ‘team’ That’s me with hair on the right.
Laguna Seca turn 5
Me and Ginny goofing around during a class. We got into trouble of course….
Turn 2 at Thunderhill conducting a student lesson. They were in the infield and I started the infield on fire with my illegal knee sliders. I got Black Flagged during fucking class!

So later in life I got interested in eMTBs. I had looked at the FLX bikes which were crowdsourced electric bikes, but decided against them. Crowdsourcing was just not for me for 1500.00. So I ended up purchasing a Haibike Fullnine RC and LOVE it. Electric two wheeled vehicles became my new love. I rode and still ride it everywhere. But then came the Sur Ron…..

So why all the crap about my bike history? For those who may be considering the purchase of this bike I wanted you to know that I’ve come with some two wheel history to the Sur Ron. I enjoy the following things about any two wheeled vehicle I’ve owned:

  • Riding it
  • Working on it
  • Looking at it

So I’ll cover those three things about the Sur Ron

Riding it

It’s NOT a motorcycle. It’s NOT a bicycle. It’s somewhere in between and in the best way I would have never imagined. It’s small, it’s silent, and it’s an automatic. No gear changes, no gasoline, no oil, only fun. I ride my bike damn near everywhere. E V E R Y W H E R E ! On bike paths, on gravel roads, on small motocross tracks, in fields, in vacant lots, on public roads. Because mine has the pedal kit I’m treated like a bicycle. Sure I have a California moped plate too, but find I never use it. As a police officer told me one day “As soon as anyone sees a license plate, you’re treated differently. But as a bicycle, you are well, a bicycle – just a damn fancy and cool one!”

The pure joy of just charging up my bike, turning on the key and heading out to ride without disturbing a soul is amazing. I’m fortunate to live in the land of Milk and Honey where the varied number of venues to just go ride are endless. I can ride in neighborhoods with a vacant lot, or an area where construction is being done and because of its silent nature no one even blinks.

I ride on public roads when I feel like doing errands on the bike. I ride in the bike lanes. I ride through public parks, or over wooden foot bridges. I’m NEVER an asshole because I don’t want to be one. So many people ‘worry about cops’ but police have way more important things to investigate then an old fart on a fancy electric bike. The things I do concern myself about are assholes who ride like they are on their own racetrack. People with cell phones collectively calling to report those folks ARE THE PEOPLE THE POLICE MUST RESPOND TO. So being friendly and courteous is just the right way to behave in my book. And unfortunately I have not yet matured enough to not speed up to those riding fast like asswipes and either stop them or yell out “Slow the fuck down asshole.” Direct confrontation dies hard in my family history.

This bike is more enjoyable and fun than any bike I’ve ever owned. EVER. Enough said.

Working on it

OK I like, no wait, I LOVE to tinker with my mechanical stuff. There is just a pleasure for me to analyze and if necessary improve or replace components of a bike to customize it to my liking. It’s just who I am. As I stated earlier MTBs even eMTBs just don’t have quite ‘enough’ mechanical stuff to satisfy my itch. For this point in my life I want something that I can improve, but not be too easy, but not too much of a hassle. ICE bikes are a total hassle for me now; though they weren’t in the past. It’s kind of a ‘had been there done that’ type of thing. The thing I’m not as educated about is electric engines and batteries…but I’m learning. Suspension, brakes, fasteners, fabricating…..ah heaven on Earth for me. Just enough to keep my hands and mind happily occupied; or not if I don’t want to do so. Make no mistake, like any vehicle be it a bicycle or car it does require attention. Checking brake pad/disc wear, tire pressure, chain adjustment and lubrication are all part of the deal. If you’re the sort that just expects a self-driving vehicle you won’t be happy with a Sur Ron. LOL!

Changing the forks was the smartest thing I did for my taste.

Looking at it

Ever had a girlfriend, boyfriend, dog, movie poster, porn channel…oops that you cannot stop looking at? For me my Sur Ron is just that, easy on the eyes, a piece of art, a masterpiece of engineering. Since my day job is as a professional photographer….. of course I’m going to photograph my fucking bike! I primarily use my cell phone, but on rare occasions have used my work camera and strobes. As my daughter bluntly put it “Dad you shoot your bike like you shoot naked women.” I can see her point.

 

One of the reasons I bought the bike sight unseen was due to Matt’s assembly video of the bike. In it his daughter Macy was happily running around. I fell in love with her on screen and actually flew down to LA just to create a portrait of she and Matt. She’s even more adorable in person.
And what kinda photographer friend would I be if I didn’t do a badass environmental portrait of Matt?! A boy with all his toys surrounding him in a Reservoir Dogs mood shot. His beloved Audi, his Specialized Levo, his Sur Ron and man , all of those cool tools!

So after all of this if you do or do not decide to own one of these machines it makes little difference to me personally. I don’t sell or have a stake in those that do sell Sur Rons. No skin in the game if you will. But the amount of joy I derive from owning/riding/working on/looking at this bike is incredible. And I had loads of life joy even before the Sur Ron! I want it cremated with me. (just be sure to remove the battery pack first….or there will be BIG fireworks! LOL) Enough said.

When the Sur Ron Arrived

OK so like you I searched a LOT on Google about the Sur Ron. Lots of video reviews were done and the ones I especially appreciated are from Homes Hobbies on YouTube. John (ahem he must get a LOT of shit about his name…LOL!) has such informative and useful information I highly respect his channel. The other resource I found helpful is by Sur-RonUSA and I’ve followed several of his recommendations on my own bike. I also researched Luna Cycle and had originally planned on flying down to LAX to visit their location. I grew up not far from LAX (Crenshaw) and know right where El Segundo is, but after reading TONS of information about the Sur Ron I opted to nix that idea. Why? Because reviews from actual users about both Luna and the Sur Ron convinced me to just pull the trigger. Eric and his crew at Luna seem like no nonsense, no bullshit fellas, the kind I like. As a matter of fact Eric reminds me of Paul Buff, a guy who doesn’t give a good hot shit about what established makers think of what he’s doing. He seem to only care about innovation and quality, much like Paul (may he rest in peace). And like Paul he has built his own company albeit a bit smaller and younger than PCB.

I can tell that Luna is a young and growing firm, having the same growing pains all young companies experience. But what instilled trust in me parting with 3500.00 USD plus tax and shipping was the level of response I received from his crew. And the other web posts that talked about his other products, those developed well before he became the sole US distributor for the Sur Ron. His video on the teardown of a Sur Ron was the final selling point. Having wrenched on Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles has shown me how brands stand above and beyond each other. Small things like bosses welded into frame points rather than loose connectors are the small things that show build quality. The video and the fella’s comments illustrated that. And when I received my own Sur Ron I confirmed the quality of the build. It’s a Honda level quality build and that’s saying a fucking ton.

Shortly after I made my purchase I noticed that Luna had discounted the pre orders by 200.00. I wrote to them to ask if I could get that price. They responded immediately that my account was credited 250.00 for any future purchases. Again, excellent customer service, well done and timely.

June 13 2018

Luna shipped my bike via FedEx Freight which is different than the way I normally received FedEx packages. I was told from Luna that the driver would contact me via phone to confirm a date/time when my bike would be delivered. As I waited for the day my bike showed it was to be delivered, I received no call. And their website never showed “Out for Delivery.” So I called FedEx and was transferred from the number I normally call to their Freight division. I was pissed when I was told that the bike which showed it was to be delivered on a Friday would not be delivered until the following Wednesday. As a young man I had the patience of a teenage male’s stiff dick and as a more elderly person now I have a little more patience….of a 28 year old hard on! LOL!!! Just be aware that when you get notification from Luna that FedEx has picked up your bike, CALL FedEx Freight. Their number is 866-393-4585, don’t call their normal package delivery number. Don’t just trust their website, call!

My Sur Ron was well packaged and included the installed Pedal Kit which I had ordered. As a matter of fact had Luna not offered the pedal kit I would not have purchased the unit. In reality the pedals don’t really do much to propel the bike forward. And of all the elements on the bike the rotating spline on the pedal kit is the weakest link. It is not well machine and has a significant amount of play while rotating. Why get the pedal kit at all? I’m not going to answer that for you, but it should be obvious why you’d want them…..enough said.

One of the YouTube videos I watched shows the guy cutting the shipping straps, but I found that they make handy tie downs so instead of cutting you may want to just untie the ends and release the buckles.

I suggest that you immediately remove the battery and begin the charging process. My Sur Ron arrived with an 83% charge in the battery.

I believe this is v2 of the charger. In Homes Hobbies video he mentions that Sur Ron had revised the charger from the one he received which I don’t believe had the fins or fan. This charger remains dead cold as it charges, as does the battery.

The Pedal Kit includes the pegs too, so not to worry. A simple tool kit is included which takes care of mounting the front wheel.

Luna’s Mountain bike pedals are nice large flat and studded pedals. One of the issues I found is on the left side of the pedal kit the threads are not reverse threaded meaning counter clockwise tightening. Since the pedals rotate counterclockwise on that side it can loosen the 14mm nut. I found that putting Blue Locktite thread locker on the nut/bolt thread helps prevent this. Also the two hex head bolts on the right side of the pedal kit must be tightened to get any friction on the pedals. Mine shipped loosely fastened.

The user guide refers to a ‘fuse box’ located in front of the ‘air switch’ and an extra fuse. I could not locate a fuse box or an extra fuse. I believe the air switch is a breaker switch, much like you have in a modern house.

In this shot the breaker switch is the red switch just below the ignition/USB plug. I’m not sure what the white connector is with the black electrical tape’s function is for the Sur Ron.

NOTE: As of 2019 some bikes come with the green/black wire cut which limits the speed to 28 MPH. Later they left those same wires CONNECTED to limit the speed. So if your bike does not go past that you need to check those wires.

The suspension is damn impressive. Compression and rebound on both front and rear. I converted my RC51 to full Ohlins forks and shock just to get those features!

Compression for the front really works. Just adjust a click at a time.

Rebound on the same fork leg as the compression adjustments dial is located at the bottom of the right fork.

Rear shock compression damping is on the top of the remote reservoir. Rebound is located on the bottom. I’ve adjusted the spring preload. It comes fully extended, so adjust to your weight/riding preference.