SineCycles Builds Custom on Zero Drivetrain (w/video)


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:

brunoSome 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.

Bruno’s background?

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

The SineCycles chopper

Sinecycles front view

SineCycles front view

Zero drivetrain in a proper custom

Zero drivetrain in a proper custom

Not your Zero's seat

Not your daddy’s Zero’s seat

Specs and such?  Do we ever let you down?

DrivetrainZero Motorcycles (2013)
Motor3-phase high efficient permanent magnet motor
Max. Torque57 Nm
Max. Power27 PS (20 kW) @ 4000 U/min
Max. Capacity2.8 kWh
Voltage102 V
Range55 km
Max. Speed120 km/h
TransmissionClutchless direct drive
Battery housingBruno
Heat sink for Motor ControllerBruno
ConnectivitySmartphone 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.
FrameTha Heist, Cleveland Cyclewerks
ModificationsHolders for electric motor, seat spring mounts, seat hinge/pivot, stripped down all unnecessary brackets and items.
HandlebarDragbar LSL
GripLouis modified
Digital instrumentMotogadget
Cockpit Housing with LEDsBruno
Bremslever rearBruno
„Gas tank“Cole Foster modified / J&P Cycles
Fender rearLed Sled Customs 6‘‘ modified
Fender strutsBruno
SeatRich Phillips
Seat springsLowbrow Customs 2“ Barrel Style
License plate holderBruno
Rear lightLouis LED
ColoursMercedes Silver, Black
Wheel front21“
Wheel rear18“

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:

Categories: Bikes


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4 Comments on "SineCycles Builds Custom on Zero Drivetrain (w/video)"

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Just curious why the parts from Zero’s cheapest entry level bike were used? I’m guessing cost? 2.8 kwh is the smallest battery Zero offers and most of their bikes have 2,3,4, or 5 of these batteries on board. And 20kw motor is enough for a lightweight chopper like this but they have a 50kw motor and controller now in the SR and 40kw for the rest of the line. This is old school Zero tech, comparable to the regular aftermarket motor and controller anyone can buy online. I’d advertise this as an electric conversion chopper not a Zero drivetrain in a chopper. The 2013-2015 Zero ZF 75-7 motor and Sevcon Gen 4 controller is bad ass and what most people think of when you say “Zero Drivetrain”.

@Ken: there are tons of design and engineering challenges in projects like this; and using existing parts does not neccessary make it easier. Rather than designing whatever you want or need, you have to fit together parts that were never meant to work this way. Aside of that, the minute you want to make the project commercial, you need to make sure the original manufacturer(s) is (are) ok with that; and believe me – there aren’t many of them who likes their most recent, top line products to be recognized as “one guy in the garage can make it better”. Those are just two reasons, there are a lot more. There is a chance that mr. Bruno Forcella decided to use the cheapest motor/battery combo solely for the price; but I doubt it.

I guess i was just a little underwhelmed. I’ve converted a car and a motorcycle to electric. It wasn’t that big of a deal. His electric chopper does look really nice and is well done. I just feel like i was click-baited. I clicked on the story thinking i would see that someone took the drivetrain out of a newer high performance bike like my 2013 Zero S and put it in a completely different frame which is something i’ve thought about since first riding a Zero. I love the Zero but wondered how it would work in something like a bobber or even an existing sport bike chassis. The Zero is great but there’s not much difference between the S, DS, and SR. The FX is the only model that is radically different with the XU and MX no longer being made.

Whats the going price of the Zero 75-7 motor and controller (separately)?
This is ideal for small eCar conversions too (I.e MG).