Motorcycle News - Ion Heart: Colt Wrangler’s electrifying Zero XU tracker
If the donor bike is electric, you can multiply the difficulty level by ten. Without a traditional engine to anchor the visuals, it’s fiendishly hard to create an attractive machine. Which makes this Zero XU street tracker from Colt Wrangler even more remarkable: it’s one of the freshest-looking bikes we’ve seen so far this year.
“I’ve always been the type to make things my own and unique,” he says. “I enjoy working with my hands and being creative. When I realized that I could make money doing just that with motorcycles, I dived in headfirst.”
“A customer came to me with the idea for a custom electric motorcycle,” Colt reveals. “My original thought was to build a cafe racer, possibly with full fairings. But after riding the bike in its original form, I really enjoyed the stance it already had. So I decided to go for a street tracker look.”
Colt’s customer tracked down a 2013-year Zero XU at local dealership, but it spent nearly a year gathering dust in Colt’s workshop before the go button was pressed.
“My plans for it changed over time, because of the extra skills and tools I acquired over that year. At first, I planned on gutting a vintage gas tank to set over the top tube,” says Colt. “But once I had the proper shaping tools and a welder—and some instruction from friends—I decided to hand-form everything from aluminum sheet.”
Colt’s kept the original wiring harness, but did move a lot of electrical components around. “The digital gauge is under the false tank, which lifts up with the push of a button.”
The Zero ships with a 16” rear wheel. To get the tracker stance, Colt sent the hub and a 19” rim to Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim, and they assembled a new wheel.
“It was terrible at first—it took me hours of practice before I could even tack two pieces together. I’ve gotten a lot better since, but I still have so much to learn.” Thankfully Colt has good friends to advise him: Junior at Retro Moto, and Andrew at Free Ride Fab.
If we had to pick out a signature feature, it’d be the sculptural headlight surround. “Headlight and number plate combos have been done so much over the past few years, I was hesitant to build another one. But I think it turned out to be unique.” That assembly alone took Colt almost three days to finish, and is made up of four pieces. The headlight itself is a flush-mounted truck bumper light.
Trackers are all about light, flickable handling, and this Zero delivers. Unlike many custom bikes, there are no dynamic compromises. “It’s as light as a scooter but handles fantastic,” says Colt. “It’s a blast to ride and is the easiest machine I’ve ever operated.”
So is the customer happy too? “The customer is happy, but has also made styling suggestions that I just can’t bring myself to do,” Colt admits. “Building a bike for someone is definitely a compromise—but it’s also my duty to guide my customers. I think that this bike is very well balanced visually, and has a look that will stand the test of time, even as trends come and go.”
We agree. And we’re looking forward to seeing Colt’s next build, which he’s only just started: a Harley XG500 street tracker with Buell XB wheels and suspension. “It’s actually a giveaway, so to tune into my social media pages for more details.”
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
April 30, 2018 at 12:06PM