Like the performance of the Zero, but have some issues with the style of the bikes? Swiss builder Bruno Forcella feels the same way - though, Forcella's motivation may have been more about simply loving the choppers. So much so, that he started up SineCycles, and put together a pretty unique custom build with some serious attention to finish and detail. Here's what he says:
Some time ago, I had the idea to build an electric chopper. I had looked for existing components and a motorcycle I could customize.
I had found a chopper called "tha Heist" from Cleveland Cyclewerks and a powertrain from Zero Motorcycles.
I then designed the drivetrain and the chopper in CAD and finally built it. I really kept focus on the design, the range of about 55 km and top speed of 120 kmh are rather low, but perfect for my personal needs like commuting to work or just go for the coolest electric ride in town.
I' m an electrical engineer and always wanted to customize a bike different from anything else. The only thing most custom bike builders have not changed so far is the combustion engine, so that's exactly what I did.
To me it was important not to hide those electric components like the motor, the heatsink for the motor controller and the battery box. I wanted people to recognize the electric drivetrain right away.
...for sure, one of the cleaner garage builds we've seen. As to his plans:
This all started as a hobby project in my garage, I am thrilled about all the positive reactions from all over the world, not sure yet how to move on with this, but this story is definitely to be continued!
Grabbing bits and pieces from existing bikes and rebuilding them as a custom isn't new - it's the mainstay of custom bike-building since custom bike-building started - pulling motors and trannies from vintage and not-so-vintage Harleys and other bikes, right? You don't find any bobber builders putting together their own drivetrains from scratch, now, do you? The difference is, this is arguably the first time somebody like Bruno can pull electric motorcycle drivetrain parts from an OEM off the shelf and get a pretty much plug-and-play machine with good performance and some killer features.
The SineCycles chopper
SineCycles front view
Zero drivetrain in a proper custom
Not your daddy's Zero's seat
Specs and such? Do we ever let you down?
|Drivetrain||Zero Motorcycles (2013)|
|Motor||3-phase high efficient permanent magnet motor|
|Max. Torque||57 Nm|
|Max. Power||27 PS (20 kW) @ 4000 U/min|
|Max. Capacity||2.8 kWh|
|Max. Speed||120 km/h|
|Transmission||Clutchless direct drive|
|Heat sink for Motor Controller||Bruno|
|Connectivity||Smartphone app with detailed information about the motorcycle such as the time until charged, average watts per mile, total charge cycles and much more.Customizable riding mode’s performance profile.Synced using Bluetooth.|
|Frame||Tha Heist, Cleveland Cyclewerks|
|Modifications||Holders for electric motor, seat spring mounts, seat hinge/pivot, stripped down all unnecessary brackets and items.|
|Cockpit Housing with LEDs||Bruno|
|„Gas tank“||Cole Foster modified / J&P Cycles|
|Fender rear||Led Sled Customs 6‘‘ modified|
|Seat springs||Lowbrow Customs 2“ Barrel Style|
|License plate holder||Bruno|
|Rear light||Louis LED|
|Colours||Mercedes Silver, Black|
There are some detail videos on the SineCycles Youtube page, but here you can see Bruno at the 2015 Swiss-Custom Bike Show, riding it around a bit and generally looking awesome: