One of the raddest things about electric motorcycles is their ability to spark imagination. The possibilities are endless when you’re piecing together your own drivetrain and chassis from small, easy-to-package bits. Which is exactly how Giacomo Galbiati at GDesign Custom Motorcycle built this dashing battery-powered board tracker.
Based in Como, Italy, Giacomo has a love for classic machines and style. He decided to look to both the past and future on this build; to build a homage to the “glorious and fantastic board trackers of the early twentieth century,” but with an electric motor.
The ‘Elettracker’ runs with a 2.5 kW pedal-assist motor and two 72 V batteries, for a top speed of 86 km/h and a range of 40 km. It also has all the paint and upholstery trimmings of a high-end cafe racer, and weighs a paltry 49 kilos [108 pounds]. And it looks absolutely stunning.
Giacomo started off with a stock cruiser bicycle frame—then set about modifying it to suit his needs. The steering head had to change, and accommodations had to be made for the motor and crank unit, battery pack and other bits. Giacomo also built in extra bracing and crossbars to get the overall look, feel and geometry right.
Next he installed an off-the-shelf springer front end, and modified it with a custom-built adjustable dampening system that uses cork pads. He added a regular steering damper too, welding tabs onto the frame and forks to hook it up.
The wheels were pieced together from a shopping list of hubs, spokes and 26” rims, laced up by Giacomo himself, and the mechanical disc brakes were liberated from a road bicycle.
But it’s the Elettracker’s motor and battery setup that’s really neat. Giacomo fabricated a pair of faux V-twin cylinders to house the two batteries—starting with sketches, before making mockups and shaping the final parts from steel. They attach to a hand-made bracket at the top, and a set of steel plates further down.
Packaged in and around those plates is a Bikee Bike motor and crankset from Mantova in Italy, who collaborated on the project with Giacomo to get him exactly the right spec parts. Further back is a custom storage space for the controller and wiring.
We had assumed that the ‘fuel tank’ higher up hid most of the wiring, but it’s actually just there for show. Behind it is a leather saddle that Giacomo says was one of the most challenging parts of the job. “The leather is much harder than normal leather,” he tells us, “and I wanted the shape exactly like a hundred years ago.”
There’s a ton of detail packed into the cockpit too. Giacomo paired a mountain bike stem with a handmade handlebar, adorned with hand-wrapped leather grips. The reverse levers are from Kustom Tech, and there’s a traditional throttle too (the motor can run with the pedals or even just the throttle).
Keen eyes will spot a smartphone mount too…because the motor’s functions run off an app, connected via Bluetooth. And to keep things super tidy, Giacomo has run all the wiring and cabling inside the bars and frame.
With everything buttoned up, Arianna Crippa at Lake Design laid down the electric blue paint, and the exquisite gold leaf detailing.
Giacomo’s Elettracker build is a shock success—equal parts classy and clever, masterfully balancing the past and the future. Now he just needs to build a few more, so that we can find a velodrome and go racing.