Electric Suzuki Chopper from Night Shift Bikes
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Electric Suzuki Chopper from Night Shift Bikes

Night Shift Bikes is pushing the envelope of custom motorcycle builds with this all electric Suzuki “Leafy” Savage that’s somehow both futuristic and retro at the same time.

Why “Leafy”? This one-time Suzuki Savage (Boulevard S40) frame is packed with the incredibly sturdy cells that Nissan uses in their LEAF electric cars. “This new pack is more durable, dumps more current for quicker acceleration,” writes Matt Candler, who runs Night Shift Bikes. “(The Nissan battery) floats in the frame in a more interesting way than the [other batteries we tried].” The LEAF packs wired here in series for a total of 116 volts.  There are four flat-pack Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) batteries in each of the 14 cells on the bike.

As for the what the bike is now, Matt replaced the Suzuki-built, 650cc “thumper” single-cylinder engine, 5-speed transmission, and other related internal-combustion parts for what he’d spent on the entire bike. At that point, he was $0 into the build (note: all choppers, hot rods, and classic Italian cars have an automatic labor rate of $0/hr.). Matt then sent the rear swing arm off to the team at Enertrac, where they laced an 18-inch rim into one of their brushless DC motors. So equipped, the Leafy Savage makes 13 continuous HP 40 peak HP. More than enough, in other words, to blast the relative small frame through modern-day traffic.

Both the Enertrac motor and Nissan LEAF batteries are connected to a Kelly controller under the seat that’s rated for 250 amps. City range is estimated to be about 100 miles, but the energy discharge can be adjusted for more range or more power, depending on what the day holds. An Eltek charger sits in the traditional “tank” position, and provides up to 3000 watts at 220 volts for easy connections to any household dryer outlet. The battery can fully charge in less than three hours.

In the end, the look is just as much Blade Runner as it is Indian Larry— and that’s by design. “(The) body work embraces the right angles of the components and the square-tubing I uncovered on the original bike,” writes Matt. “I did lots of tab cleansing and made a hoop for the custom seat from Karl Vosloh. Karl used some scraps of foam left over from JT Nesbitt’s Bienville Legacy; JT and a bunch of other New Orleans builders have helped me throughout the build.”

Other component upgrades include motogadget’s m-unit, m-lock wireless key and m-button “to keep things clean,” LED lighting, rear disc brake upgrade, custom charging and data ports, and “toggle switches from Radio Shack.”

The Leafy Suzuki’s rear set pegs, rear coilover shocks, front fork drop hardware, and triple tree hardware are all from RYCA.

Check out some of the Leafy Savage’s detail images, below, then scroll on down to the comments section at the bottom of the page and let us know what you think of this Night Shift Bikes build. Is this what you’d ask them to build you, or do you have something else in mind for your electric wheel?


Electric Suzuki S40 Savage


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