Bill, a visitor to my site asked me in my Washing My bike section:
“Thanks for publishing this very imformative website, Mark. I’ve just put a deposit on a Sur Ron X model and intend to use the bike exclusively off-road during the summer months when I can’t ride my KTM 150 at Metcalf or Hollister.
Do you or other off-roaders know how much dust accumulates inside the air-cooled motor?
To clean dust from the motor, is it simply a matter of removing the cover and blowing it clean with compressed air or do you have other maintenance recommendations to clean out this build-up, since I’m sure it adversely affects motor cooling and durability.”
Our conversation progressed to whether or not the SR motor is waterproof. Since I have no direct knowledge I asked one of the Luna support pros if the motor is waterproof. We’ve all seen those videos of people riding through standing water with the bikes coming out the other side of the stream or river with the bike still running. This video by jeebus shows a more sane type of water river crossing.
But I’ve never seen or heard how the bikes fare, days, weeks or months after submerging the bike into water. Do they still run? Did they have issues later as a result of submerging the bike into water? Salt versus fresh water? What gives? I know that Eric Hicks does not recommend submerging the SR into water. There’s a big difference between waterproof and water resistant.
The SR does not come with an IP rating which make sense. As an example I use Canon 1DX cameras. They are water and dust sealed, but not rated for immersion. I have shot in heavy dust and rain without any covers using EF glass that is sealed and never had an issue with water or dust ingress. I would NEVER think about submerging my camera into water or liquid unless I had the camera in a specifically designed enclosure. The camera is not waterproof.
Luna’s response to my question about the engine being waterproof:
I have never opened mine completely but from what I saw it was completely sealed, there is an O ring but water can come in from the wires specially the 4th one that has the hall sensors and the temp sensor. I sealed mine off completely. I submerged my motor MANY times and it was clean like this it was out of the factory. So for sure it’s not an open motor. But it’s not waterproof. Its “gasketed’ the non-drive side cover removed this green disk is the hall sensor board and you can see the O-ring.
I asked Luna to contact Russell Odegaard a SR owner who lives in Hawaii to ask if I could use his photos where he tore his engine down to further seal it. Apparently he had moisture in his engine due to river crossings. I am not familiar with Russell so you may want to find him on FB to ask him directly. Thanks to Russell for allowing me to post your photos.
So because I have not conducted this procedure myself nor had issue with water or dust in my own SR engine I cannot speak firsthand about this process. I do ride through deep puddles and in the rain during the winter so it’s not as if I never encounter water.
I remove my battery when I wash my bike. Tucker Neary has a great video about how he washes his bike.
I hope this helps clarify whether the bike is water resistant or waterproof.