In Focus: E-ndian Electric Motorcycle by Achilles
This vintage-era 1916 Indian Powerplus Flathead runs on electricity!
No, this isn't a priceless classic ruthlessly hacked away but a built-from-the-ground-up creation inspired by an Indian Powerplus Flathead, an American two-wheeled icon built between 1916 and 1924. Built by Achilles from Italy, this creation is composed from parts taken off various unexpected sources. The LED headlamp, for example, is housed inside an antique oil lamp. The naked frame is made by bending steel pipes while the bullet fuel tank is made of plastic plumbing pipes and fibreglass. While it does not hold fuel, it cleverly hides three batteries.
But wait, it has a V-twin motor...
No, it doesn’t. In place of a vintage motor, it has a 3D printed dummy cover that is intricately detailed to the engine oil drip stains on the sides. Inside this dummy engine sits an electric motor lifted off a BMW DTM electric scooter. Power is transmitted via a belt and pulley system. All the wiring from the tank to the motor are hidden inside copper piping. The motor has two power modes that can be switched through a brass button on the fuel tank. Power is rated at 1.5KW so the most speeds you will be doing will be in the 40-45km range. That does not take away the fact that it will be unnerving to ride.
The entire setup is nothing but a bicycle with an electric motor and a handheld throttle control lever. Adding to the excitement is braking via a single, cleverly hidden disc brake at the front. No brakes at the rear. The 26-inch whitewall tyres also seem more show than go. If you do manage to ride it, your back is bound to complain about the rear suspension or the absence of it. The front has a semblance of suspension in the form of a leaf spring setup. The leaf is a single one lifted off a hot rod and cut into half.
This creation is perhaps one of the best examples of ‘built, not bought.’