Flying low: an electric cafe racer from British Columbia

At a time where everyone seems to be looking for their own little slice of internet fame, it’s refreshing to find someone actively seeking anonymity. Allow us to introduce Sally (not her real name). His web presence is little more than a limited website and an Instagram account with a handful of posts, but his work speaks volumes.

This svelte cafe racer is the latest machine to come out of Sally’s workshop in British Columbia, Canada, called simply Sally’s Speed-Shop. And if you can’t quite place the donor bike, it’s because there isn’t just one. Break it down and you’ll find an electric motor, homemade batteries, composite bodywork and a handful of scalped Honda and Suzuki parts.

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
Sally’s Speed-Shop is not just a motorcycle workshop. Sally also creates art, furniture and surfboards, so her skills are wide and her tastes are eclectic. This project started like most others, with a basic concept that seemed cool, but needed fleshing out.

“The idea was just to create a vintage-inspired electric racing bike,” says Sally. “It started with a life-size drawing on the wall, then I made molds for the bodywork. I basically built it from the outside in.

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
Inspiration for the design of this electric cafe racer came from everywhere. Sally references everything from the iconic Honda CB200 to ’60s fighter jets; it’s a mash-up that doesn’t seem to work, but it does.

Working from the molds he had built, Sally shaped each piece using a mixture of carbon and glass fibers with epoxy. The bike sports a full-size fairing with generous air intakes, a monocoque-style “tank” and rear unit, and side covers that hide the inner workings of the bike. The only visible piece of metal is the bespoke ring that holds the headlight in place.

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
The aerodynamic influence is evident in the way the fairing tapers forward, while a vintage Honda vibe shines through in the upholstery. The leatherwork was expertly crafted by Randi Obenauer.

But the real genius here is how deceptive the design is – one blink, and you’ll mistake it for a gas-powered bike. There’s even a small bulge on the right side of the fairing, which looks like it was put there to make room for a “normal” engine.

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
There are also a few Suzuki logos to confuse you, but they have a certain meaning. Sally used the stamped steel frame and swingarm of a 1968 Suzuki B100 as the basis for the rolling chassis of her creation. The front forks are from a vintage Honda Cub, but they have been shortened.

A set of adjustable billet-aluminum, nitrogen-filled shocks support the rear. The wheels are custom-built units, with Honda CD125 hubs, 18-inch rims and twisted spokes. Sally also added the brakes from the CD125, but upgraded them with carbon-kevlar pads.

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
As for propulsion, it is provided by an 18,000 W air-cooled electric motor, controlled via a Bluetooth controller and linked to a traditional chain drive. Sally purchased the motor and controller separately, then built her own lithium-ion batteries. Everything is hidden inside the body, not a single wire reveals the secret of this cafe racer.

Even the controls maintain the illusion of a gas-powered bike. The rear brake is operated via a foot lever, as is standard, but the front brake lever is on the left side of the handlebars. So it just makes this bike look like it has a clutch (but no front brake).

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop
Sally’s electric cafe racer is not only visually nifty, but also remarkably well proportioned. Finished in a tasteful monochrome livery with minimal graphics, it cuts the perfect vintage silhouette.

Sally rated his performance as well, and he’s incredibly fast for a bike with thin tires and drum brakes. “The motor ended up having a maximum torque of 200Nm,” he tells us, “and it hit 110mph in testing. The range wouldn’t be great, because it’s made for speed, not range .

The best part? No one will hear you coming.

Sally’s Quick Shop | Instagram | Images of Fraser Evans

Electric cafe racer by Sally's Speed ​​Shop

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