Customized Zero XU electric bike opens up new horizons
Colt Wrangler customizes a Zero XU, proves that electric motorcycles are just as great for hacking, sawing and welding as any other bikes out there
San Antonio, Texas-based Colt Lyons of Colt Wrangler fame shows off his latest creation, the customized Zero XU. Well, you read that well, it’s a Zero, an electric motorcycle that proves that magic works with Every bike.
Unlike ICE bikes, electric ones have a great disadvantage: their simplicity that works against them when it comes down to what can be chopped and hacked and welded, replaced and modified. Electric motors are dull lumps of metal, with even duller square boxes on top, holding the batteries. There are no exhausts, no secondary transmissions (in most cases), and pretty much nothing that can be treated the same way a custom builder would approach a traditional bike.
However, Colt Lyons managed to find his way around this handicap, and the result is a sleek, appealing flat track machine that oozes personality and uniqueness. Does it looks strange, in more than one way? Of course it does, but this is the catch, really: this Zero UX is the perfect proof that customization doesn’t stop where petrol engines end.
Colt stripped the entire upper structure of the Zero, scrapping everything and leaving the bike in its bare necessities state. Hand-hammered brushed aluminium panels took the place of plastic fairings, and man, we’re ever so glad they did.
The new shape of the Zero UX is now fluid and flowing, albeit still strange, but without losing its bold, assertive character. The “fuel tank” has a certain retro vibe that matches the race plate front. Dual LED headlights have been stacked vertically into the aluminium plate, and they’re offset to its right side, with the lack of symmetry being a most welcome addition to the build.
Colt Wrangler also made a very smart move when they dropped the second battery module and used the space as a storage compartment for the charging cables and adapter. The dash was also removed and replaced by a modern, digital LCD instrument that’s integrated with the “tank”.
The seat was removed and replaced with a new seat pan that’s also made from brushed aluminium and which forms a one-piece structure integrating the tail. The rear lighting module gave way to a dual LED setup that’s now hidden away under the tail, for a much cleaner rear section. Finally, the rear wheel was binned and a new, whopping 19” rim replaced it, shod with the same dual-sport tire like the front one.
All in all, this Zero looks peculiar and even strange. Not exactly sure, but I sort of love it, most likely because of the courage Colt Wrangler showed with this build.