Published on February 27th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart
February 27th, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
SURU Went From Racing the Amarok Electric Motorcycle To Producing A Cool, Tough Electric Bicycle
The electric vehicle (EV) world was a small community a decade ago, with only a handful of survivors lasting to today. This is the story of how the amazing Amarok electric motorcycle racer led to the SURU electric bicycle (e-bike).
SURU, A Decade’s Worth Of EV Experience — Affordable & Efficient
Meet SURU’s President & Co-founder, Michael Uhlarik, an international award-winning designer with a rich electric vehicle (EV) past. Michael is the brainchild of the electric Amarok motorcycle (e-motorcycle) that revolutionized its time. According to Michael, it takes 3 lb of fuel to move 1 lb of structure for a two-wheel vehicle. The Amarok chose a structural aluminum fuselage (SAF) design, reducing weight and cost with off-the-shelf components. The result was a light and inexpensive e-motorcycle for races. The Amarok P1 weighed 44 kg (97 lb) without battery, controller, and motor with mild steel.
But if Amarok is no longer there, SURU picks up where it left off with an affordable, well-engineered e-bike. I always have a hard time calling an e-bike an e-bike. It carries over much from its bicycle origin, but it isn’t a bicycle. It’s really an electric vehicle that takes its roots in the bicycle world. Until we find a better word for it, though, we’ll just have to call it an e-bike.
SURU is the culmination of the best aerospace concepts and EV racing. The Amarok experience showed Michael what is most affordable for the best quality and performance.
The company is also environmentally conscious. Almost everything is locally and sustainably sourced from Canada, down to how materials were extracted from the ground.
Getting into the technological gold, Michael told me that SURU uses Sony cells packaged in Malaysia. The wheels, tires, and brakes come from Vietnam and Thailand since both countries have a free trade agreement with Canada.
Inside The Electric SURU
- Maximum Range: 70 km / 40 miles (Level ground, 90 kg / 200 lb rider, electric power only)
- Maximum Speed: 32 km/h / 20 mph (Level ground, 90 kg / 200 lb rider, electric power only)
- Motor: 48V 500 watt geared brushless DC hub drive
- Battery: 816 watt-hour Sony lithium-ion
- 250W motor for Europe
- 500W for Canada
- 750W in the US
- Frame: multicellular, stressed-skin monocoque, CNC milled bearing interfaces
- Material: 5000 and 6000 series aluminum alloys
- Finish: powder coated, inside and out
- Rear swingarm: monocoque 6000 series aluminum with CNC milled dropouts
- Bodywork: gel coat/epoxy finished fiberglass composite
You could actually say the SURU is a moped with motorcycle wheels. The reason is that they are 3× stronger. They are good for 100 km/h (60 MPH). Brakes and spokes are approved by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The only bicycle components are the pedals and pedal crank.
SURU uses an aluminum monocoque frame with full suspension. All critical electronics are inside the frame away from weather or vandalism. The battery is lockable and can be removed easily. It has a high-powered 1600 lumen headlight that is DOT certified and built in, not bolted on. Michael said these are virtually shatter-proof.
Is It An Electric Bicycle, An Electric Scooter, An Electric Moped? No, It’s A SURU!
Michael says his motivation for SURU was: “Anyone with a job should enjoy the dignity of personal transport mobility.” That’s reflected in its price range, from $2,200 to $2,700 for the new Scrambler. His new SURU S19 is available for shipping as of May 2019.
SURU is competing with mass transit and although I haven’t test ridden a SURU yet, I’m considering putting money down for one. I asked Michael for some final words and thoughts:
“SURU combines the casual ease of use of a bicycle with the sweat-free thrill of a motorbike. So many people are attracted to motorcycles, who love the look of cafe racers and custom culture, but getting into motorcycling can be intimidating and expensive. SURU is the ideal gateway without the pain.”
Yes, but Michael, what does SURU stand for?
It is the initials of his children’s names.
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