Neil Tjin’s Incredible Custom E-Bike Builds Make These Bikes So Much Better
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Neil Tjin’s Incredible Custom E-Bike Builds Make These Bikes So Much Better

Neil Tjins' Super73 electric bike in front of BMW 2002 custom builds
  • Neil Tjin has customized over 170 cars and is now adding custom e-bikes to them.
  • Nothing is stock when it comes to looks or performance.
  • His e-bikes match the original cars in colors and materials.
  • His work is shown at Electrify Showoff, the SEMA Show, and more.

I see e-bikes everywhere. Most of them are stock, but I’ve seen some custom e-bike builds that are truly magnificent. And I’ve seen some proper turds, as in “What on earth was that person thinking?”


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I go to the SEMA Show every fall. SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Market Association, all about customizing cars from looks to performance to downright hilarity. Many booths feature one or more vehicles customized using that company’s products. The trend in the past several years is custom builds that also feature e-bikes. 

Sometimes, the custom e-bikes match the builds in some way, perhaps at least a color match on the frame to that of the car or truck or trailer it’s mounted on. This happens a lot on the Overlanding builds. 

But other times, the bike is an obvious afterthought. Why would anyone spend $200K-300K (or more) on a customized vehicle, then just slap an e-bike on it somewhere? Did they run out of money? Do they just have no taste? 


Here’s a perfect example of a bike that appears to be an afterthought. It looks nothing like the truck build, in style or in finish. I mean, c’mon, could you not wrap that frame to match the finish of the truck, at least? Image care of Tony Donaldson.

The ones I seemed to like the most, the ones that looked like they belonged with the vehicle, were the ones Neil Tjin did. His custom e-bikes exactly match his vehicle builds.


Neil Tjin’s Backstory

A little background on Neil. He started building project cars a couple of decades ago. In 2002, he and his crew built a Nissan 240SX that won Best In Show at the 2003 Hot Import Nights event in Philadelphia. That car would spawn a collaboration with Turtle Wax that toured around the country and ended with the car being given away at the SEMA Show in 2005.

Tjin then moved from Florida to California, winding up as executive editor of Hot Compact and Imports magazine. His talents in the space earned him the 2004 Industry Person of the Year and 2005 SEMA Person of the Year. He went on to be spokesperson for companies such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, Scion, Honda, and others. 

He’s a tastemaker and is sought after for his stunning automotive builds, from performance and utility down to the perfect color combinations that speak to the brand. Some of his designs have a delightful subtlety, most others offer something more brash and bold.

It’s for this reason that BJ Birtwell, founder of Electrify Expo, tapped Neil Tjin to run Electrify Showoff, a showcase within a showcase to highlight what’s possible to do with modifying EVs so owners can make the vehicle truly their own.


A bit of a subtle choice here, a minibike-style Monday Motors e-bike mounted on Neil’s Tjin Edition Ford Mustang Mach E Safari concept, shown at the L.A. Auto Show in 2023 at the Ford booth. Image care of Tony Donaldson.

He’s built 170 custom cars, and about four years ago he discovered e-bikes and started customizing them and incorporating them into his builds. He’s done some great custom work with Super73, Jackrabbit, and other brands.

I’m working on a series of articles covering his e-bike builds, starting with this one. I’m digging into the ethos behind each custom build and often the car build that inspired it. 

Neil doesn’t ever have anything he leaves stock. Everything is customized for performance and looks. For e-bikes, it’s tires, wheels, paint, lighting, etc. He sources from top brands, including performance upgrades from Handlworks Speed Shop


Pairing a BMW 2002 and a Super73 

Image care of Neil Tjin.

He customized his son’s 1974 BMW 2002 by painting it a Porsche blue and matched the original leather seats with the Spirit of Le Mans plaid surrounds on new Recaro seats. Chrome wheels, fog lights and lots of little touches, plus he added a 1Up bike rack to carry the bike.


The interior of the 2002. Notice the details that directed the bike build; The beige leather, plaid inserts and bright orange seatbelts. Image care of Neil Tjin.

For the e-bike, he chose a Super73 ZX, which is their most popular and least expensive e-bike. He disassembled the bike, stripped then color-matched the paint, then rebuilt it with a Handlworks BAC855 controller, custom forged orange Chris Custom wheels with Vee whitewall tires, a custom beige leather seat with plaid surround, Rigid custom headlight, orange grips and pedals, and a gold chain.


Image care of Neil Tjin.

The whole build is simply stunning, especially with both vehicles together!


Tjin Edition Super73 ZX

  • Custom Porsche Blue paint job (to match Tjin Edition BMW 2002)
  • Custom forged orange and polished Chris Custom wheels 
  • Super73 white wall tires
  • Custom beige leather and Spirit of Le Mans plaid material 
  • Custom Rigid lights
  • Orange grips and pedal 
  • Dream Team caps (custom Jordans) 
  • HandlWorks BAC855 controller 

Stay tuned for more on this series.


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FEATURE IMAGES: NEIL NJIN

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AUTHOR: 

TONY DONALDSON

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