There is this misnomer in motorcycle design that because a machine is powered by electricity, it has to provoke some sort of design aesthetic from the far future – like there is some notion that this next-generation powertrain can only exist if it looks like it fell out of some sort of science-fiction novel.
I suppose, that trap is easy enough to fall into when you consider the great hope that is being placed into electric motorcycles for our industry’s future, but it surprises me that so few electric motorcycle designs are capable of transcending the tastes of several generations of motorcyclists at once.
A rare machine that did this well was the Mission R from the now defunct Mission Motors, and Tim Prentice from Motonium Design crafted the Mission R to look like a real motorcycle, not a science-fiction protagonist, but yet we only have to look at the Mission One prototype to see how even skilled designers can misjudge the conservative nature of motorcyclists.
Today, I offer you another design that can be mentioned alongside the Mission R as “electric done right” as Walt Siegl has once again added a chapter to his ongoing book, entitled “two-wheeled perfection.”
A collaboration with Mike Mayberry, the man behind the stunning Ronin 47 project that used leftover Buell 1125R motorcycles, this drool-worthy performance is simply called PACT.
Like Mayberry’s previous work, this project starts by finding homes for motorcycles from a wayward American motorcycle brand, this time Alta Motors.
Gobbling up inventory of RedShift dirt bikes from Alta dealers around the country, Siegl and Mayberry saw the potential to make a lightweight and potent electric street bike.
True to both of their previous works, the PACT walks the fine line of being something we lust to ride full-speed down an empty city street and a piece of functional art that should stay behind velvet ropes at museum.
It is simple at a glance, but full of intriguing details upon closer examination – as all of life’s great treasures should be.
PACT retains the hard-to-miss 5.2 kWh battery pack, the “brick” Alta dash, and the basic Redshift chassis that houses the motor and gear reduction.
From there, the team has added their own swingarm (styled after the Honda CRF450R), along with a steel trellis front frame.
The bodywork is made from forged carbon, which Siegl has previously employed on the Bol d’Or for David Yurman with great effect. We can also spot Öhlins suspension pieces, a Brembo brake setup with a single disc, and an LED headlight up front.
With 17″ custom-made wheels and street-focused geometry, the total machine is a 250 lbs sport bike that puts down 50hp and 42 lbs•ft of torque starting at a standstill.
Trust your emotions as you peruse the photos below. Only six more machines will be made at WSM.
Photos: © 2019 Gregory George Moore – All Rights Reserved