Surron Storm Bee vs. Stark Varg: Which Is the Better E-Moto?
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MOTORCYCLE

Surron Storm Bee vs. Stark Varg: Which Is the Better E-Moto?

  • The Stark Varg and Surron Storm Bee are both aimed at motocross/dirt bike/enduro riders.
  • Silent operation means that you won’t annoy your neighbors with the sound from either bike.
  • Fairly long run times on both bikes means that you can have fun all day.
  • In the end, the Varg is more powerful with a longer-range battery but at a $4400+ premium.

Motocross riding may never be the same with electric motorcycles, like the Stark Varg and Surron Storm Bee coming in. There are a handful of options for electric dirt bikes out there, but these two are among the best. 


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Because they’re silent, they don’t make your neighbors mad. Actually, tracks can be built anywhere now, not just miles out of a city. In Europe, multiple tracks have been closed for noise pollution, but here’s hoping that the quiet motors on electric dirt bikes can convince people to re-open them. Better for the immediate and overall environment!

In addition to the relative silence, what these bikes have in common is tremendous torque and a reasonable range, depending on how fast you’re going. They also don’t have a clutch, which is one less thing to worry about with a motorcycle. On a normal ICE motorcycle, the clutch is at your left hand, the shifter at your left foot, and the rear brake on your right foot. The clutch and the shifter are unnecessary, and the rear brake lever has been moved up to the left side of the handlebar.

This configuration can be helpful in motocross, because if you want to lock up your rear wheel (or just modulate the brake) you don’t need your right foot on the peg as you initiate a turn.


Stark Varg

The Stark Varg, image care of Stark Future.

The Stark Varg comes from Barcelona, brainchild of Anton Wass, and the name means “Strong Wolf” in Swedish. Stark Future dove into motocross first because it’s one of the hardest to get right. This implies that there may be a Stark street bike and/or dual-sport motorcycle in the future.

The Varg is a true motocross bike, aimed at going head-to-head with the big 450cc 4-stroke ICE bikes, with stiff KYB suspension that’s fully adjustable. A 6 kWh battery offers a claimed ride time of up to six hours and a one- to two-hour fast charge time. So you could have a full day at the track with a leisurely lunch to recharge.

It’s heavy like a big 4-stroke bike but feels more nimble because with electric power, it has incredible torque from zero, an advantage at starts and when coming out of corners. And again, there’s no clutch to worry about, so you have a far easier learning curve. And like anything else electric, you mainly have to worry about maintaining the drivetrain. No motor overhauls, oil changes, clutch swaps, etc. Just charge it up and go!

Big names in the moto world, including Travis Pastrana and Ken Roczen, have ridden the Varg and compared it to 2- and 4-stroke bikes, and they enjoyed riding the Varg on the track and off. 

Specifications:

  • Motor: 60 hp (45 kW) or 80hp (60kW) electric motor
  • Battery: 6 kWh lithium-ion
  • Range: Up to 6 hours of motocross riding (depending on intensity)
  • Top Speed: Over 70 mph (113 km/h)
  • Weight: 242 lbs (110 kg)
  • Charging Time: Approximately 1-2 hours (fast charger, 220V)
  • Frame: Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Suspension: Fully adjustable KYB suspension
  • Brakes: High-performance Brembo disc brakes with Galfer rotors, 260mm front and 220mm rear
  • Tires: Motocross tires
  • Price: Around $12,900-$13,900 USD

Surron Storm Bee

The Surron Storm Bee F, image care of Electric Cycle Rider.

The Surron Storm Bee is the big brother to the Light Bee X, the ubiquitous hybrid of an electric bicycle and motorcycle. The appeal of the Light Bee is that it’s relatively affordable at around $5K, and it’s highly customizable.

Surron jumped into the full moto with the Storm Bee, a much more motocross-inspired bike that comes with good suspension, almost 12 inches of clearance, and way more power than the Light Bee. The suspension is more plush than the Varg and less geared toward true motocross riding.

The suspension and lighting make it more of a dual-sport than a full-on motocross machine. It has knobby tires and is made for both. Whether you can register it for road use will depend on your state’s laws.

It has traction controls, programmable regenerative braking, slide, and throttle response. There’s even a tilt sensor that can shut off the motor if you lean the bike too far, but for an off-roader, you may prefer to have that feature turned off. There’s even a reverse and turbo mode to give you a few seconds of boost when you need it.

It comes with a 110V charger that can charge the battery overnight. It’s not especially geared toward battery swaps. 

Specifications:

  • Motor: 22.5 kW (30.2 hp) brushless DC motor
  • Battery: 4.6 kWh lithium-ion
  • Range: Up to 75 miles (120 km) on a single charge
  • Top Speed: 68 mph (110 km/h)
  • Weight: 260 lbs (118 kg)
  • Charging Time: Approximately 3-4 hours (standard charger)
  • Frame: High-strength aluminum alloy
  • Suspension: Inverted front forks, rear monoshock
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes with regenerative braking
  • Tires: Off-road knobby tires (with optional street tires)
  • Price: Around $8,500 USD

KTM Freeride E-XC

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the KTM Freeride E-XC. It’s not quite the same as the Stark Varg or the Surron Storm Bee, but it’s similar enough. It’s also been around in some form since 2012, and the current one is virtually the same as the version that came out in 2018. It’s a bit less powerful and still about the same price range as the Stark Varg.


The KTM Freeride E-XC, image care of KTM.

It does have a proven suspension system for off-roading, it’s sporty and nimble with over 15 inches of ground clearance, and it can charge the battery using 220V or can be easily swapped for a fresh battery, with only four bolts holding it in place.

Specifications:

  • Motor: 9 kW (12 hp) brushless DC motor
  • Battery: Quick-change KTM PowerPack 3.9 kWh lithium-ion
  • Range: Up to 75 miles (120 km) on a single charge
  • Top Speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)
  • Weight: 245 lbs (111 kg)
  • Charging Time: Approximately 110 minutes for a full charge, battery is swappable
  • Frame: Chromoly steel mixed with bolted-on aluminum alloy sections
  • Suspension: Inverted front forks, rear monoshock
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes 
  • Tires: Off-road knobby tires 
  • Price: Around $11,299 USD

The Bottom Line

For the price and features, the Storm Bee is the clear winner. It offers better performance than the Freeride E-XC, and it’s significantly less expensive than either the Freeride E-XC or the Varg. However, if you want the best performance and run time, and the money doesn’t change anything — the Varg is the top of the e-moto world right now.

Of course, in an ideal world, you’d go out and test ride all three if you have a local shop that will let you try one.

No matter which one you choose, the “BRAAAAAP!” isn’t included, so you’ll have to make your own noises. I do when I ride; I love the funny looks I get!


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FEATURE IMAGE: STARK FUTURE and ELECTRIC CYCLE RIDER images combined by TONY DONALDSON

FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.

AUTHOR: 

TONY DONALDSON

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