Enduro Goes Electric at Red Bull TKO
Enduro Goes Electric at Red Bull TKO (Gallery)
The emoto world took a huge leap forward on August 13th at the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Enduro (TKO). There, organizers hosted the first eMoto competition at a sanctioned enduro event, ushering in a new era in off-road riding and bringing electric dirt bikes into the mix for the first time.
Sponsored by Electric Cycle Rider, the eMoto class was announced in June. Admittedly, it was a soft launch with a short notice for interested riders; however, expectations were exceeded when 35 riders ultimately signed up before the event kicked off Friday morning.
All amateur riders got a brief, timed run on Friday, giving them an abbreviated look at the gnarly course laid out by TKO organizers. Members of the ebike community from far and wide came to the race, with participants and fans from Florida, Ohio, Texas, Colorado and even Washington. The pits were buzzing as Sur Ron owners compared builds and analyzed the competition's machinery.
After a relatively casual Friday, things started with a bang on Saturday morning with the eMoto race kicking off the day's competition at 8:30 am. 24 participants started the race, including 15 Surron Light Bee riders. Unlike Friday's short prologue lap, the eMoto race would present riders with a plethora of obstacles the likes of which have rarely been tackled by an electric vehicle.
While not all riders finished the race (either from attrition or exhaustion - the heat was relentless!), most entrants made it through to the finish line. Bikes were battered, riders were muddy, but simply finishing was cause for celebration. Winning the eMoto race was Jojo O’Toole on a converted Yamaha YZ.
The highest-finishing Surron rider was Brett Baldwin (pictured above), who took his Charged Cycle Works-backed Light Bee to 4th in eMoto and 24th overall amongst all amateurs (gas and electric). Eddy Wallace (below) finished 8th on a Dirtybike Industries-built Light Bee.
Cycle News editor Jesse Ziegler (below) rode a pre-production version of the soon-to-be-released Storm Bee, Surron's full-size off-road bike. Despite Jesse having never ridden the bike (and a battery that wasn't charged properly before the race!), he rode it fully stock to 12th in eMoto and even tackled the 2nd round of the TKO with the gas bikes before throwing in the towel due to fatigue. Jesse's feedback will go into improving the Storm Bee in the coming months and years.
In addition to those that entered the competition, dozens of Light Bee X owners came out to watch the action over the weekend and meet with fellow “Surroners.” It was exciting to see owners discuss their bikes, modifications, places they ride, and what they plan to do to customize their Light Bees.
Overall, it was an historic weekend where electric bikes got to play on the big stage. Congrats to all participants. We can’t wait for next year.
“This race was a fight from beginning to end, but such an incredible ride. I ended up 24th out of 300 dirt bikes… first Surron to cross the finish line. Stoked on that!” - Brett Baldwin, 4th in eMoto
“This was the race and trip of a lifetime!” - Eddy Wallace, 8th in eMoto
“Still completely buzzin’ from this weekend. eSports took a huge leap forward. You could feel it. That course was completely gnarly and y’all proved ebikes are capable of big things.” - Surron_texas, Instagram personality
“This was the hardest race we’ve ever done, but already excited to come again next year.” - Charge Cycle Works, Surron dealer