Chongqing is a region of south- west China where about 12 million motorcycles a year are produced
China is the world’s biggest market for electric bikes by a massive margin, but the vast majority are city-bound scooters with old-fashioned technology, low performance and a short range.
Now there’s a new patent that might change that. Notably, it’s been filed in the European patent office rather than in China, and the design appears to have all the details needed to meet construction and use regulations in Europe. The company behind it, ChongQing Quilong Technology Co Ltd, doesn’t appear have any other registered patents. It’s believed to be planning to sell the bike under the name Sur-Ron – a mysterious new brand that was set up in 2014. At the moment the Sur-Ron website shows the company is trying to employ staff across a wide range of jobs, and says it has a 40-strong R&D team. While it’s yet to officially reveal its prototype, a blurred image in the background of the website shows a set of instruments and bars that perfectly match the ones on these patent drawings.
It’s clear from the designs that this bike is far more than the usual Chinese electric scooter. There’s a fairly large battery pack mounted low down in what looks like an aluminium chassis, with a large electric motor mounted at the front of the swingarm. It appears to drive the rear wheel via a set of reduction gears and a chain or belt, making it a single-speed set-up with no clutch or gearbox.
Presumably the volume under the dummy fuel tank is storage space, since it seems the electronics are all mounted low in the frame.
Notably, the picture shows the bike has ABS sensor rings front and rear, and the lighting, mudguards and mirrors all seem to come up to the standards needed to be sold in Europe. That suggests this project is intended to be offered worldwide, which is unusual because most Chinese-made bikes, particularly electric ones, remain there.
It’s impossible to know the bike’s exact performance levels, but the design suggests it will be a mid-level machine. The swingarm-mounted motor would probably not be suited to a really high-performance machine, but the reasonably wide tyres and the use of an upside-down fork and a radial calliper for the single front disc says it’s more than just a city bike.
By Ben Purvis