You may have heard it elsewhere: Rich Benoit, from the Rich Rebuilds YouTube channel, bought himself an electric motorcycle. From savage, to be a bargain, but the frame was in such a poor condition he decided to put what still worked in another vehicle. If you are wondering which motorcycle could have the engine, the battery pack and the controller, forget it. Benoit will put all that in a rad rod. Really!
About two months ago, when he spoke about budget EV conversions, he also bought a Ford Model A Rat Rod with a Chevy V8 305 engine. His plan was to convert it to a Tesla powertrain, but that would be way above budget.
If you have got two lemons in your hands, you’d better make a nice lemonade. And that is precisely what Benoit decided to do.
His reasoning is solid. The Chevy 305 was initially rated at 130 hp (97 kW) and 245 lb-ft, while the Zero S has a 110 hp (82 kW) and only 140 lb-ft, but torque is instantaneous and the motor and the battery pack altogether are probably lighter than the old V8 alone.
If that sounds absurd, it is worth remembering many engine swaps that used powerful motorcycle engines in small cars, such as Mini, Fiat 500 and kei cars. As far as we are aware, all of them produced rad new creations.
In this first video of what Benoit calls “the most bizarre electric conversion”, he goes through the process of fitting the engine to the original transmission of the rat rod and part of what is necessary to get there.
If we get into details, you would probably feel compelled to skip the video and move on, but Benoit is not popular just because of what he does. He has that much audience also because of how he does it, always in an entertaining way. For example, we bet he burns his fingers on purpose with hot metal parts.
Check the video and share with us what you think that will emerge from this conversion. A fun car to drive? A mechanical Frankenstein? A vehicle that will beg for a bigger motor (or engine)? It will be fun to watch, for sure.