Sur-Ron attempts an affordable electric road motorcycle with the White Ghost
Chinese company Sur-Ron's Light Bee has the off-road ebike industry abuzz. It's a high-powered electric off-roader that sits somewhere between an ebike and a trail bike, and for just under US$3,000, it's one of the first battery bikes to really nail the price point at which people will get off their butts and go electric.
If Sur-Ron's first attempt at an electric road motorcycle can hit a similar note on the wallet, it's got every chance of ringing the sales bell just as powerfully.
The White Ghost is far from a performance machine; the likes of Zero Motorcycles and Energica won't be bothered by the key numbers: 10 kilowatts of power (13.4 horsepower), a top speed around 100 km/h (62 mph) with "turbo" boost speeds up to 20 percent higher if needed, and a range around 100 km (62 miles) of regular city riding – much less on the highway, significantly more if you baby it around slowly. The battery's a 4.2 kilowatt hour, 60-volt job that'll charge up in around 3 hours off a wall socket.
Hardly a party bike, then. But depending on how pricing looks as Sur-Ron gets this through regulatory approval in different markets, this humble could be a solid value commuter machine to take a bite out of the scooter segment.
It's got other things going for it like linked ABS brakes, LED headlights that incline themselves as you lean over to help you see around corners, a two-speed, dual-clutch auto gearbox and a basic traction control system in case one of your 13.4 horses gets carried away.
It's got a heck of a look to it, as well, with its liquid-and-air-cooled motor exposed in front of the rear wheel and a comically long subframe that seems to float in the air over the back wheel. Total weight is 140 kg (309 lbs) and the look from afar is that of a compact, tidy naked bike. Yes, highway range could be extended with a full fairing, but those add expense, and this is clearly conceived as a low speed city bike.
We're expecting to hear more around the middle of the year about which markets it'll go to and what it'll cost, but we're hoping Sur-Ron can pull another rabbit out of its hat and put the White Ghost in commuter motorcycle territory. Time will tell.
Here's a promo video, which shows the White Ghost in a number of fantastical far-flung locations it would never be able to ride to on a single battery: