RFN vs Sur-Ron & Talaria
Birth of a new genreThe lightweight, electric off-road category was born in 2018 with the arrival of Sur-Ron's LBX. Three years after this much acclaimed launch, Talaria arrived on the scene with the Sting in January 2022. The Sting helped to grow the market for lightweight, off-road electric motorcycles, despite initially selling at the same price of the LBX at £4,495.
In August 2023 the LBX price jumped £200, thinly justified by a slight increase in battery capacity (which was a trade-off with battery longevity), whilst the Sting remained at £4,495. In January 2023 the Sting price was reduced to £3,995, making it £700 less expensive than the LBX, but in no way an inferior bike.
Sting R and X3 launchesShortly afterwards in March 2023 Talaria launched the Sting R at £4,595, which represented the best value in this sector with 33% more power than the LBX, a battery with 12.5% more capacity, 15% more torque, a 12.5% higher top speed at 53 mph, a wider 80 section rear tyre and 10% larger discs at 220mm. Although a few kg heavier, the Sting R has noticeably more power than the LBX, as well as more grip at the rear to put down that extra power. The Sting R and the super lightweight Talaria X3, priced at just £3,500, have further established Talaria as a key player in this high-growth sector.
RFN’s 90 section rear tyre offers by far the best grip in this class
Sur-Ron roadmapAs a brand, Sur-Ron seems to have rested on its laurels with the LBX, as there have been minimal changes during its five year lifecycle. That said, in that period they have introduced the much larger Storm Bee, which failed to find its niche in the market, and the much more successful Ultra Bee, which currently has no competition in the 85kg, sub £7000 category. Don't expect this to last for long though, as the Talaria Dragon is due to land soon and will widen choice in this middleweight category.
RFN - the new kid on the blockIn Spring 2023 a new brand, RFN, hit the market with its off-road, Rally Pro and road legal Rally RS models. Priced aggressively at £4,495, the off-road Rally Pro has a category-killer spec with 74 Volt battery technology, which allows the motor to deliver 50% more peak power than the Sting R at 12.5kW, 29% more torque, a 13% higher top speed of 60 mph and a 90 section rear tyre with grip to match the Ultra Bee's standard CST tyre.
Competitive AdvantagesOther stand-out features of the RFN are three riding modes plus reverse, 70mm greater ground clearance, a higher maximum rider weight of 120kg, a switchable 10 amp/5 amp charger, and a much larger LCD display. The RFN has slightly greater stature than either the LBX or the Sting R, but it more than compensates with its greater power and torque. In fact, it has the highest power to weight ratio in its class, which is 50% higher than the LBX' or Sting R's.
MaintenanceFrom a maintenance perspective, the RFN models lead the way, as the chain is directly driven from the motor spindle, thus avoiding either the belt drive of the LBX or the gear-drive of the Sting models. Reducing the final drive to a single chain also improves reliability by eliminating the need for a primary drive.
FinanceFinance has been a critical factor for driving high sales volumes in the electric off-road sector, and until September 2023, Santander Consumer Finance was the only lender in this market. High levels of failed finance agreements led to Santander withdrawing all Sur-Ron and Talaria models from their portfolio, which means that today, RFN is the only off-road electric motorcycle that can be purchased on Finance (subject to status).
SummaryElectric off-road motorcycles are in a very high-growth sector, which is attracting interesting competition in all weight categories. Consumer choice is expanding continuously with new brands and new models arriving every year. As can be seen, there are many reasons to consider RFN and if purchasing by finance is important, it's the only choice today.
The table below provides an easy side-by-side comparison between the LBX, Sting R and Rally Pro. The shaded boxes reflect the best spec. in class.
|Model||Rally Pro||Sting R||LBX|
|Charge Time||3 hours||3 hours||3.5 hours|
|Top Speed||60 mph||53 mph||47 mph|
|Max Rider Weight||120kg||100kg||100kg|