Motorcycles

Colt Wrangler's custom Zero XU flat tracker proves electrics can be customized

Colt Wrangler's custom Zero XU...
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: working off the boxy lines of the Zero body shape is a tough assignment
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: working off the boxy lines of the Zero body shape is a tough assignment
View 12 Images
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: rear wheel has been rebuiit as a 19"
1/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: rear wheel has been rebuiit as a 19"
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: dash unit is integrated into the tank
2/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: dash unit is integrated into the tank
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: flat track pad seat
3/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: flat track pad seat
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight is a truck unit built into a race plate
4/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight is a truck unit built into a race plate
Before and after: Zero XU vs the Colt Wrangler custom
5/12
Before and after: Zero XU vs the Colt Wrangler custom
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: aluminum sheet bodywork
6/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: aluminum sheet bodywork
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight/race plate
7/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight/race plate
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: side view
8/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: side view
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: the Zero's huge rear sprocket is hard to miss
9/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: the Zero's huge rear sprocket is hard to miss
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: front guard and hugger are removed
10/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: front guard and hugger are removed
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: working off the boxy lines of the Zero body shape is a tough assignment
11/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: working off the boxy lines of the Zero body shape is a tough assignment
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: dog not included
12/12
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: dog not included
View gallery - 12 images

One of the joys of owning motorcycles – particularly once they're a few years old – is ripping them to bits and building customs out of them. I know this from my experience butchering a couple of mid-'90s sportsbikes and turning them into street fighters instead of repairing crash damage to the fairings.

But what happens when you go electric? So much of custom motorcycle design revolves around presenting the engine and building bodywork to echo and complement its lines.

With electrics, there's frankly not much to work with. The motor is generally an anonymous cylinder mounted near the swingarm, and the bulk of the space in the frame is taken up with a big ol' battery. In the case of the Zero bikes, these batteries are big flat black boxes that offer outstanding power density and weatherproofing, but about as much in the way of aesthetics as a filing cabinet.

Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: aluminum sheet bodywork
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: aluminum sheet bodywork

Which makes this custom an interesting case study. Starting out with a 2013 Zero XU, custom house Colt Wrangler has gone for a street tracker look with bodywork fashioned from brushed aluminum sheet.

The hugger and the front guard go in the bin. The dash gets inlaid in the tank. The dirt bike style seat is switched out for a thin, flat pad. The rear lights are tucked away under the seat unit and an LED headlight is integrated into something that looks a bit like a race plate.

Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight/race plate
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: headlight/race plate

The 16-inch rear wheel has been pulled to bits, the hub going into a new 19-inch spoked rim, and the front battery space (this bike only runs one out of a possible two battery modules) is repurposed as storage for the charging cords and adapters.

Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: rear wheel has been rebuiit as a 19"
Colt Wrangler custom Zero XU flat tracker: rear wheel has been rebuiit as a 19"

Does it work? Yeah, it's not bad once you adjust your thinking away from the expectation of an engine. Some angles are a touch awkward, but the proportions are good and the designer, Colt Lyons, has done a good job working off the Zero's boxy gate frame. Looks like it'd be a hoot to ride, as well.

Source: Colt Wrangler via BikeEXIF

View gallery - 12 images
2 comments
rude.dawg
Great! Electric bikes can now be customised. Now if only electric bikes can be made more affordable so that they can finally become relevant to most people.
Joshua Tulberg
Damn that thing is dead-simple sexy.