What do you do when you skipper a yacht as a day job but want to be on a motorcycle whenever you reach land? You establish a company building your own bespoke electric motorcycles, that’s what.
Veitis is the company Steve Smith established after originally taking a 1953 BSA Bantam and stripping the engine out in favour of an electric motor to create his own test mule. This also meant he had something he could carry around the globe with him as his own personal transport, ensuring he was ready to roll whenever he steered into port. It was then that the business opportunity idea began to form.
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"I started with a petrol-powered BSA Bantam about three-and-a-half years ago," Smith told MCN. "But every time I took it on board the yacht I had to drain out all the petrol, and wrap it all in rags so that it couldn’t drip oil everywhere.
"I was thinking about electric vehicles at the time so bought an identical Bantam frame and a cheap electric motor and built my first prototype. It worked really well, and I kept getting enquiries from people through Instagram who’d seen the bike, asking where they could buy one. So I bought up a load of old frames and started making new parts for them. Then things escalated from there.
A1 licence compliant
Smith continued: "Me and Malcolm Shepherson (from Metal Malarkey, a custom engineering company based in Shropshire) designed a new frame, and decided how we wanted to do the 'engine'.
"The batteries are 18x650 Panasonic cells, coupled to a brushless interior permanent magnet Ashwoods motor that’s rated to 11kW so that it’s actually legal for an A1 licence holder to ride. I’m now working with Ashwoods on a new motor that will deliver 66ftlb torque, too.
"The frames are in Reynolds 631 tubing, wheel hubs are by Talon, the shocks are by K-Tech, all the billet work is done by Billet World in Derby and we’re talking to Maxton about making the forks; so everything is as British as we can make it, while we use Motogadget switchgear, clocks and indicators.
"We’re aiming to build and sell 50 bikes in the first year. We’ve already had a lot of interest from Tesla owners, who understand the benefits and want a two-wheeled option."
The eV-twin is available to order now for £40,000, with the first bikes due to be built in the New Year. Expect a top speed of around 70mph and a 100-mile range.