In this paper, a sliding-mode speed controller based on a new switching surface is proposed for induction motor systems. With this variable structure control switching surface, the exponential stability is guaranteed for the speed servo control and insensitivity to uncertainties and disturbances are obtained as well. Moreover, an adaptive variable structure speed control is studied to relax the need for the bound of disturbance in variable structure control. The insensitivity or robustness of the proposed method for general speed servo systems is maintained, and the dynamic performances are improved as well. Finally, the validity of proposed scheme is demonstrated by computer simulations and experimentations.