The ‘patina’ on this 1953 motorcycle is reminiscent of anything but an electric drivetrain.
The Belgian Danny had to sit at home after a tick bite. Now let his father-in-law have a motorcycle workshop and a lot of experience. Danny decided to spend his time here. He has been tinkering with a 2-stroke since his teens and he decided to pick it up again. A story about the better home industry!
It started with a Zundapp Bella, which he encountered in the search for a Vespa. Price-wise more interesting. Thus began the restart of his key, as he calls it fun. He shares with us his story up to the Ducati 65 T, which he equipped with an electric drive. For people with an aversion to electric: the Duc also runs on gasoline.
The first electric motorcycle project
A year later Danny bought an electric scooter at an auction. He decided to spoon this drive into a battered Vespa PK 50XL. The Vespa had a broken engine. While he received nothing but praise with his Zundapp Bella, it was different with the Vespa. His makeover was labeled rape. After this Danny decided to sell the Vespa in its original condition.
Yet a few years later he noticed that he was no longer welcome in the cities with his Zundapp two-stroke. “More cities in the Netherlands forbid two-stroke driving.” And so his idea to build an electric old-timer motorcycle keeps gnawing at him. Searching for a bike worth a maximum of 1,000 euros, he comes across a Ducati. The motorcycle has a broken engine, but since it will be an electric motorcycle, this does not matter.
The project electric Ducati 65T
When he came across the bike, he decided to do some research on the Ducati 65T. And as it turns out, this is the first Ducati motorcycle built by the brand itself. After the war, Ducati started building licensed engines. The ‘Siata’ engine is a 48cc four-stroke. In March 1950, a 65cc pushrod engine was installed in a bicycle section designed by Ducati, the 65T.
A piece of history in which Danny wants to use a qualitative electric powertrain. A Belgian company manages to deliver this. This not only increased the top speed from 70 to 80 km / h, the torque also increased enormously. To survive this, the 65T tork received arms that Danny custom-made from a cosmetic point of view.
Anonymous electric motorcycle
Like any electric motorcycle, the range is sometimes a stumbling point. Danny likes a leisurely tour and had a range of 50 km as his goal. But where do you hide the batteries? Danny wants to keep the oldtimer as it is and goes for old jerry cans. In the saddle, the management module disappears together with the cables.
Only the instrument panel, on which the speed and battery status can be read, betrays this piece of modern technology. He provides it with the same red paint as the Ducati 65T to keep the electric motorcycle ‘anonymous’. The original lighting is now also LED.
“Very little will prove that this moped is electrically powered”. Danny fitted the new rear wheel with electric motor with brake discs to slow the engine down. These work with the old foot brake pedal. The sprocket is also replaced by him for the original look. That leads Danny to the idea to simply hang the old block back underneath. This turned out to be possible with a freewheel gear.
Corona provided more refurbishment work
Due to corona, Danny had to wait longer for his batteries than hoped. So he decided at this time to repaint the 65T with two component paint. He roughened some parts and sealed them with varnish. This way the patina was preserved. The batteries are both 72 volts and 18 Ah and are precisely tailored for the jerry cans.
When he was finally allowed to collect these batteries, only the charging points had to be removed. As said before, Danny has also hung the old petrol block under the electric motorcycle. Because he can switch to petrol, he decided to test the range. With a reasonable drive, the batteries were empty at 73 kilometers. With the slow speed, he should be able to drive 90 kilometers.
During his second test drive, when he’s just overtaken a scooter, Danny’s phone rings. “You just drove for a while and have already been gone for over an hour!”, His partner said perhaps rightly. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” is his appropriate response. After an attempt to sell the bike on the internet, he gets a lot of curious questions.
However, Danny does not go into detail. Still, he tells us that the total cost is around 3,500 euros, without man hours of course. He has received more positive reactions than two years ago, but he is not yet able to sell it for 5,000 euros. And so his electric motorcycle remains in his collection. Perhaps against the will of his partner. In any case, we think it is a great project!