custom revolution



From Heidelberg, Germany


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When Rolf Reick was asked by BMW to transform their new electric C-Evolution scooter at his Krautmotors workshop in Heidelberg, he named the project after his grandmother, Elisabeth. For a customized scooter built up as a radical electric dragster, it’s a funny label, but reflects both the affection Reick developed for the machine, and the anti-machismo vibe of an e-bike in a drag racing competition. Drag racing is the purest form of wheeled-vehicle competition; how fast can you get from point A to point B? Dragsters are highly specialized, even in the “alternative drag” scene that’s emerged since the 2012 debut of the Wheels & Waves “Punks Peak Hillclimb” in the Basque mountains near San Sebastián, Spain. That was the first custom/vintage/anything goes competition of the Alt.Custom scene, which has since expanded dramatically in Europe with the “Sultans of Sprint” series and Glemseck 101 event, and in the USA with Revival Cycles’ “Twistoff” and the Wheels & Waves California “Crooked Sprint.”

While the emphasis of these “Alt.Drags” is on fun, it was inevitable the “run-whatya-brung” ethos would rapidly evolve into a specialized form; these are skilled motorcycle builders, after all! The vast majority of racers use gasoline engines, and noise is part of the entertainment, as with Kingston Custom’s “White Phantom” dragster, that made an almighty bellow from its turbocharger’s short-stack, unmuffled exhaust at Punks Peak in 2017. The “E-LisaBad,” by contrast, is nearly silent, but like all electric bikes, it’s also wickedly quick! The C-Evolution puts out 55hp – the same as a Harley-Davidson Sportster – but the power comes in 100% at zero revs, even though the bike is geared for a maximum 120km/h (72mph) which Reick couldn’t alter. At BMW’s Pure & Crafted Festival in Germany, the little scooter-based drag bike smoked its competition at the “StarrWars Sprint” on the old Solitude track. It out accelerated other racers until near the end of the track where it hit its speed limit, but he didn’t seem to mind. “A little humor can’t hurt; this is a feel-good bike.”

The “E-LisaBad” was featured on BMW Motorrad.

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