Sur Ron Storm Bee vs Alta Redshift - my test drive


Oded

Well-known member
Location
Israel
the Storm Bees started selling in Israel, so I had a chance to test ride it off road and compare it to my Redshift EX.

the bike I tested is the road legit enduro model (18 & 21 inch tires). it weighs about 127 kg (similar to the Alta) but feels a bit lighter. the ergonomics are surprisingly suited for a tall guy like me (I am 1.9m), but the Alta feels a bit more roomier. I did not have a chance to fiddle with the handlebar position and such.

2 power modes are available: "economy" which will let you ride trails smoothly. feels like map 1 on the Redshift with a bit more punch, and "sport' mode which is a bit too powerful for smooth trail riding. and this is the main disadvantage - the power curve / throttle response is not as smooth as in the Redshift. the first 1/5th throttle is a dead band, and than the power comes on. the Alta is smoother and more linear in that aspect.

front & rear brakes are hand controlled, and bite just fine. no need to add LHRB kit, as it comes stock.

did not fiddle with suspension adjustments. feels more firm than the EX (which is known to be soft) but that can be changed with some tweaking I suppose. the Redshift does feel smoother on rocky and bumpy terrain, but my suspension was revalved, and I am using fatter tires with low tire pressure.
large diameter tires like 140/80 can be problematic due to swingarm clearance on the Storm Bee.

protection must be added to the motor and phase wires. they are exposed and will be damaged by the first rock they meet.

can not say much about range because I only tested it for 15 minutes on trails and rocky terrain. I don't ride motorcross.

all in all, had a good time on it. feels like a full size dirt bike (I thought it would be more like the KTM Freeride, but it's not). power is good for my type of riding, and components seems like good quality, but only time will tell (plastics are not as flexible as on the Redshift). the Alte feels more robust & smooth to me.

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Oded

Well-known member
Location
Israel
Sport mode is somewhere in the neighborhood of map 2, or a little more. However power delivery is not as smooth and linear, compared to the Alta, in my opinion.
Did not know that there was a Turbo button when I rode the Surron...
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
Sport mode is somewhere in the neighborhood of map 2, or a little more. However power delivery is not as smooth and linear, compared to the Alta, in my opinion.
Did not know that there was a Turbo button when I rode the Surron...
I've been looking into these after test riding a ktm freeride. I guess the turbo button give a 30 second boost on power. I'm debating on buying one but it's a hard choice to buy a bike without riding one. Thanks for the insight on how they feel.
 

Oded

Well-known member
Location
Israel
What kind of riding are you going to do with it?

There are more 2nd hand Altas on the market now. Perhaps a better possibility.
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
Motocross/mountains/ riding with my kids... I had an alta mxr but got rid of it when the company went under. I won't buy a bike that doesn't have factory parts/ support... I may hold out and get a stark varg but am considering the storm bee until the varg comes out...
 

Oded

Well-known member
Location
Israel
Can't really comment on using the Surron for motocross, as I ride Enduro only.
The Surron's suspension is not in Alta's WP league.
It was OK, but for serious Enduro, it may be lacking. For just riding around, it was fine.
It is a fun bike, that is for sure, I just wonder how well it will age
 

F451

Well-known member
Location
Seattle
Motocross/mountains/ riding with my kids... I had an alta mxr but got rid of it when the company went under. I won't buy a bike that doesn't have factory parts/ support... I may hold out and get a stark varg but am considering the storm bee until the varg comes out...
I would do your homework when it comes to factory support and spares with the Sur Ron. Luna (US distributor for the Light Bee) has a spotty record around that. If other shops are selling the Storm Bee in the US, they may do better with that, we will have to see.
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
Thanks guys for all the info and thoughts. After doing some research and talking to some dealerships, I finally found a surron dealer in my state (Montana). I talked to the salesman and he said that the storm bee's are on hold at the moment (due to the FTC). Something about it having to clear some issues before the dealership can get them in. Side note, what started my interest with the storm bee was that I worked a XC race a week ago and seen one ride by. Never got the chance to talk to the rider or check the bike out but it looked pretty cool. I have my 21 KTM 450 for sale at the moment but may keep it for racing and motocross... But I want to check out a storm bee for general riding (track/trails/riding with the kids) to keep the hours off the 450. I already have a trailer full of bikes (6 bikes including my wife/kids bikes) but one more shouldn't hurt lol! 😂
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
I love it!!! Just set up the suspension for me, ordered a rear sprocket to gear it up (more top speed). The bike is a blast to ride. I can still hit the jumps on the track and then I throw my 3 year old on the bike and we can take a ride in the hills. I'm not worried about him getting burned from the motor/exhaust like I am on our pit bike or the 450 I had. I put a couple videos on my YouTube channel if you want to see more of how I ride it and how it does. It's no alta mxr as far as power but it's enough to have a good time on. Also, I bought a plate for it and the looks you get from everyone when riding around town are priceless lol.
 

E-woodrider

Member
Location
UK
Geared the bike up (46 tooth sprocket) and put actual mx tires on her. Finally got everything dialed in! Absolutely love the bike!

View attachment 8862
I've owned a few of them. Things to watch out for : Moisture Sensor warnings - if you get those regularly I would take it to your KTM dealer to have the controller coolant grommit seals checked. Drove us crazy for months / even years until KTM finally admitted that coolant can leak at that point and not only trigger the sensor but screw the controller. . . .which is a $2,500 part. Charger Plug Overheat : the skinny pins that KTM use in the charge plug can wear and over time cause arcing when charging. This causes heat in the plug and can lead to it literally blowing the charge plug out of the battery - usually with a lot of smoke and damaged circuitry in the charger and BMS of the battery. We had 9 chargers and 9 batteries blown to scrap because of this. Other E-Parks experienced the same. Of course, KTM said it wasn't an issue. We went and got our remaining chargers and battery connectors upgraded through an Aerospace level electronics company. Problem solved but KTM blew their gasket at us doing that and would rather see us buying new chargers and batteries (or go out of business) due to their crap design. Wheel hubs : the hubs are made of chocolate and bearings literally fall out over time. Change the hubs if you get the chance. 12v Battery : Disconnect when not in use. If that runs flat (and it does easily), the bike won't power up. These are just a few to watch out for . . . but in the main, they are a decent bike.
 

E-woodrider

Member
Location
UK
Wow - priceless info for a prospective buyer, thanks! I've been looking at one for my GF (the size & power are perfect for her), great to know what to expect if I do.
Yes, they are a great bike to learn on and throw around if more experienced. But if buying used, at least you know what issues may come up sooner than you may expect. Your GF may suit the standard suspension, but perhaps consider using a heavier weight fork oil if she starts jumping it.
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
I've owned a few of them. Things to watch out for : Moisture Sensor warnings - if you get those regularly I would take it to your KTM dealer to have the controller coolant grommit seals checked. Drove us crazy for months / even years until KTM finally admitted that coolant can leak at that point and not only trigger the sensor but screw the controller. . . .which is a $2,500 part. Charger Plug Overheat : the skinny pins that KTM use in the charge plug can wear and over time cause arcing when charging. This causes heat in the plug and can lead to it literally blowing the charge plug out of the battery - usually with a lot of smoke and damaged circuitry in the charger and BMS of the battery. We had 9 chargers and 9 batteries blown to scrap because of this. Other E-Parks experienced the same. Of course, KTM said it wasn't an issue. We went and got our remaining chargers and battery connectors upgraded through an Aerospace level electronics company. Problem solved but KTM blew their gasket at us doing that and would rather see us buying new chargers and batteries (or go out of business) due to their crap design. Wheel hubs : the hubs are made of chocolate and bearings literally fall out over time. Change the hubs if you get the chance. 12v Battery : Disconnect when not in use. If that runs flat (and it does easily), the bike won't power up. These are just a few to watch out for . . . but in the main, they are a decent bike.
I appreciate the info! I'm currently at 320 miles/20 hours and haven't had any issues yet. I'll keep an eye on everything that you mentioned. Did you guys ever use di-electric grease in the connections? (Charging cable, battery pack mount to the bike)
 

Rocketz152

Well-known member
Location
Billings, mt
I've owned a few of them. Things to watch out for : Moisture Sensor warnings - if you get those regularly I would take it to your KTM dealer to have the controller coolant grommit seals checked. Drove us crazy for months / even years until KTM finally admitted that coolant can leak at that point and not only trigger the sensor but screw the controller. . . .which is a $2,500 part. Charger Plug Overheat : the skinny pins that KTM use in the charge plug can wear and over time cause arcing when charging. This causes heat in the plug and can lead to it literally blowing the charge plug out of the battery - usually with a lot of smoke and damaged circuitry in the charger and BMS of the battery. We had 9 chargers and 9 batteries blown to scrap because of this. Other E-Parks experienced the same. Of course, KTM said it wasn't an issue. We went and got our remaining chargers and battery connectors upgraded through an Aerospace level electronics company. Problem solved but KTM blew their gasket at us doing that and would rather see us buying new chargers and batteries (or go out of business) due to their crap design. Wheel hubs : the hubs are made of chocolate and bearings literally fall out over time. Change the hubs if you get the chance. 12v Battery : Disconnect when not in use. If that runs flat (and it does easily), the bike won't power up. These are just a few to watch out for . . . but in the main, they are a decent bike.
I should also mention that the bike came with a 3 year warranty on the battery, 2 year warranty on the power train so hopefully if I have an issue it'll be covered...
 

E-woodrider

Member
Location
UK
I appreciate the info! I'm currently at 320 miles/20 hours and haven't had any issues yet. I'll keep an eye on everything that you mentioned. Did you guys ever use di-electric grease in the connections? (Charging cable, battery pack mount to the bike)
No, we were on a clay track / dusty environment at times and anything like that could get messy and may cause more issues than it solves. A blow out with an air hose (or vacuum) and occasional bit of contact cleaner. Your hours are still quite low and number of recharges probably less than 30. You will feel the charge plug getting hot if its sparking internally and you'd see some signs of wear / discolouration on the pins. Health and Safety would no doubt tell me NOT to advise touching the charge plug when on charge BUT, if you did happen to touch it and it felt uncomfortably warm (like 'yow'), then take it off charge. KTM updated the chargers about 12 months ago but they still use those thin pin plugs . . .another missed opportunity to resolve it. They even licensed that plug exclusive to them via a component manufacturer - so they clearly think its wonderful. So you can't easily replace or renew. The new style charger now has a detachable charge lead but from what I can tell, that lead is not listed as a separate KTM part that you can buy on its own if the original gets frazzled. Again . . .durrrr ! So, potentially a $1,000 for a new charger if your plug fries whereas a new cable could be less than $100. . . .actually its KTM, so $300 :)
 

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