What looks like a Sur-Ron electric motorbike, but packs in 50% more get-up-and-go? The Talaria Sting R MX4. And the popular California-based electric bike dealer Luna Cycle has just launched the powerful yet low-cost electric trail bike as the newest member of its rapidly expanding inventory.
For years the name “Sur-Ron” has been synonymous with fun-packed small format off-road electric motorbikes. The Sur-Ron X has offered the thrill of a dirt bike in a vehicle the same size and nearly the same weight as an electric bicycle (and nearly as easy to ride).
But Talaria, a relative newcomer to the field compared to Sur-Ron, has sought to bite off a piece of that hooligan e-bike pie. Now with the new Talaria Sting R MX4, which boasts 50% more power than a Sur-Ron X, it just may be on the road to dethroning the current leader.
At the very least, it’s going to offer some serious competition.
The small size of these bikes – barely larger than a mountain bike – makes them ideal for nimble off-road riding as well as performing stunts. The Talaria Sting R MX4 has been tested on Luna Cycle’s dyno and produced 7.39 peak horsepower, which dwarfs the 4.8 hp of the previous Talaria model and the Sur-Ron X.
When Luna Cycle began carrying the Sur-Ron several years ago, they realized that several parts including brakes and other systems would need to be upgraded to handle higher speed riding. But according to Luna Cycle, the Talaria factory seems to understand how important those components are right from the get-go. The new Talaria model comes standard with 230mm brake rotors plus four levels of regenerative braking, an upgraded IPM motor with magnetic encoder, and an upgraded 2.7 kWh battery.
Unlike the belt-reduction transmission in a Sur-Ron, the Talaria Sting R MX4 uses a gearbox. It requires an oil change every 3,000 miles (5,000 km), but it removes the hassle of replacing worn or broken belts in a belt-reduction transmission.
The Talaria Sting R MX4 ships with a speed-limited function, though a pair of wire snippers will unlock the top speed of 52 mph (84 km/h), which adds a fair amount over the Sur-Ron X’s top speed of 46 mph (75 km/h).
Compared to the US $4,350 Sur-Ron X, the Talaria costs only a tad more at US $4,500. But with nearly 20% more battery and 50% more power, it’s easy to see how the team behind Talaria set their sights on eating Sur-Ron’s lunch.
There are few other competitors in this space, though SONDORS recently unveiled renderings of its 50 mph (80 km/h) MetaBeast which looks set to challenge both Sur-Ron and Talaria. The SONDORS MetaBeast may even be street legal, though it has yet to begin production and many of its specs seem to remain up in the air.
Of course riders should keep in mind that these are almost certainly illegal for on-road operation in all 50 states, making them off-road only bikes when operated in unlocked mode.
There are also legitimate concerns in mountain biking communities about trail access cases where riders of light electric motorbikes like these have damaged mountain bike trails that are off-limits to motorcycles. So there’s a certain amount of responsibility that comes with a bike like this.
But when ridden in its element, bikes like those from Talaria and Sur-Ron help bring the fun of dirt bikes at a price closer to an electric bicycle. And now they’re doing it with even more power.