As the electric motorcycle market continues to grow, so does the custom electric scene. But it’s forcing builders to change tack. Electric production models are ultra-modern and loaded with tech—so it makes more sense to focus on cosmetics, rather than to dive in too deep under the hood.
That’s exactly what the Dutch custom house Moto Adonis has just done with the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. It’s wrapped The Motor Co.’s flagship electric in hand-formed, alien-like bodywork—but left most of the original bike intact underneath. Which makes sense; we’ve ridden the LiveWire, and it’s more than enough of a goer in stock form.
This is the first electric custom from Moto Adonis, and it also marks a new chapter for the shop. Original founder Daan Borsje has moved onto a new career—and the two guys who have worked with him over the last few years, Arthur Renkema and Job Leussink, have taken over the company. They’ve kicked their tenure off with a bang.
The LiveWire was commissioned by a client, with a brief that’d tempt any builder. “We got the great opportunity to design and build whatever we think is cool,” Arthur tells us. “As long as it is futuristic and black.”
“Given the opportunity, we gave it our all! We wanted to make a real significant design change to the stock bike, because we weren’t limited by design rules. That’s why we cleared our minds and dropped all conventional methods.”
Daan wanted to leave on a high note, so he had a hand in the design. The crew started with hand-drawn concepts, and after a little back and forth with the client, moved to Photoshop renders. With approval on the design, they started shaping the final parts from aluminum.
Moto Adonis had a tight timeline of just four months on the build, so they pulled in the classic car restoration shop, Carrosseriebouw Jansen, to help shape the parts. The LiveWire’s armadillo-like bodywork was mocked up with cardboard and tape, then shaped the old fashioned way, with a hammer and an English wheel.
“And, of course, a lot of welding,” adds Arthur. “A lot of blood, sweat and beers goes into a project like this.”
All the original plastics are now gone. The new aluminum fairings mount to a steel subframe bolted onto the OEM mounting points. The headlight’s sunk in behind a clear cover, while the taillight’s a custom piece that uses acrylic fins and LED lights.
Moto Adonis didn’t want to compromise on functionality either. The front-most panel on top of the tank flips up to reveal the charge port. And the seat and tail were built on the original base and hinge (albeit modified), so that the charge cable can still be stored under the seat.
The original speedo was retained, but moved back and integrated with the bodywork. It proved to be a tricky mod, and the one time the guys had to fiddle with the wiring. Miller Kustom Upholstery handled the seat, and matching trim has been added around the ‘tank’ area.
There’s nothing fancy happening with the paint—just a coat of semi-gloss black that adds to this custom LiveWire’s menacing aesthetic.
There’s one futuristic touch that isn’t immediately apparent, though: LED ‘mood’ lighting under some of the panels. It can be controlled via a smartphone too, enabling you to change the color on the fly.
The team upgraded the front brake discs to Moto-Master units, swapped out the grips and added a single bar-end mirror, but the rest of the running gear is as it came from the factory.
“The kind of bike we were making is meant to be ridden like a hooligan—hard and fast,” says Arthur. “Custom bikes are a form of art, but we like to make it functional art!”
“Conventional motorcycles with petrol engines are our drug, but the taste of power and a different kind of sound and experience is something really special. If you rode this beast, you’d probably share that opinion too!”
We wish Daan well with his new venture… but if this LiveWire is anything to go by, he’s left Moto Adonis in good hands.