Electric bikes are coming, whether you like them (yet) or not. At Purpose Built Moto we’ve been lucky enough to work on a few of the first movers in the E-bike game and try our hand at customizing them. They present a different set of challenges when trying to design and build, but in many ways, they’re a simpler machine for a custom builder to work on.
The Zero FX is a bit of an odd-looking duck, It's sort of a commuter and sort of a dirt bike. The plastics and fairings leave a lot to be desired when it comes to styling. A lot is lost with the broken top line of the bike in terms of making it look aggressive and ready to rip as you would usually equate with the styling of a supermotard.
Built under our joint venture with Australian Electric Motor co, Grid Cycles. This custom electric motorcycle is part of a growing community of riders customizing their E-bikes, and Grid Cycles is here to make sure that riders have somewhere to go when they want their gas-less customs brought to life.
We set about stripping down the zero to its bones and getting a few ideas in place so we could make that all-important first step in custom building, just get moving. The idea started with the front fender and headlight plate. We wanted to fill the forks with a well-detailed fender that sat broad between the forks but short over the wheel. Almost a beak, like what you find on the Ducati Hypermotard. Dylan set about hand shaping these parts from aluminium sheets and working on a few trick details in terms of design lines, to give that fender and almost factory supermoto look.
The headlight set-up needed to be street legal in Australia, so we went with a purpose-built Moto 5.75” flashpoint classic headlight and built out a dirt bike-style race plate that surrounds it, again hand-shaped from sheet metal.
With those parts sorted before we could move onto the tail section the seat mount needed to be lowered so we could achieve a flatter line from “tank” to tail, and further bring the styling into line with how a custom super motard should look. This was one of the only frame mods completed on the Custom Zero, the rest was built around the factory set-up.
Shaping the tail followed on from the design style set out with the front fender, simple, functional, and beautiful. There’s really a no-frills approach to this whole machine, but in the end, I think that approach is what sets it apart. The bike is exactly what you need in this style of custom and nothing more.
Mounted on the hand-shaped fender is a set of 3 one tail lights, the rest has been finished off with a swing arm mounted tail tidy and lighting that allows the rear fender to stay super clean. By this time the form of the motorcycle was starting to take shape and the rear side covers pretty much made themselves. With a simple paper template and some hammer time the job was done.
At this point, I needed to tie the front to the back by way of our custom radiator shrouds that are hung off the “tank” This was by far the hardest part to shape up and make. Not because it’s an overly complex shape, but I had a vision of how it needed to be and I just threw hours at it until it was so. Shaping sheet metal has been a great process to throw ourselves into over the last year and we continue to improve with every project through the shop. Always sharpening those skills.
When it came time for paint design, I wanted something modern and bold. Taking inspiration from the always bold Super Moto bros, and their outlandish colour choices, I landed on white, bone grey and ultra-bright blue. The blue would be used as a pop of colour on an otherwise monochrome colour pallet. Adding a touch of it to the 17” Zero rims running Pirelli Tyres, and some thin pinstriping over the hand-made fenders. Justin from Popbang Classics brought the design to life and nailed the brief when it came to the crisp and clean finish this bike deserved.
To ensure our rider could enjoy the ride as much as we enjoyed the build, we’ve changed up the ergonomics on the Zero to deliver a more aggressive ride and in control feeling. To achieve this we’ve lowered the bars considerably and raised the middle of the seat. While giving a better aesthetic line, the seat change also allows the rider to move the entire length of the seat when wringing the neck of this well-powered Electro moto. A luxury not afforded with the more saddle-style factory seat. Trimmed out as always by our mate Jammo at timeless auto trim, using a gripper leather for that authentic dirt bike feel.
The ride on any electric motorcycle has a real novelty about it, the simplicity of a 50cc scooter (just twist and go) matched with the power of a litre bike. What’s not to love? Having a blast hooning around some twisty hills in the suburbs on the weekend or simply livening up your dreary daily commute this custom zero super moto grabs your attention with its looks, and holds it with the ride.
On completion of our custom electric motorcycles we’re always asked if we think these will be the future, we can’t say for sure, but if you had the opportunity, you’d be silly to pass up having one of these in the garage.
WE BUILD BIKES WITH PURPOSE.
Purpose Built Moto is home for unique custom motorcycle builds. We offer a unique motorcycle customizing experience in the heart of the Gold Coast.