One-of-a-kind electric Batpod could be yours
By Ben Coxworth
October 22, 2013
If you've ever fantasized about cruising the city streets on a motorcycle not unlike Batman's Batpod, this may be your chance to turn that fantasy into a reality. Reno, Nevada-based welder/machinist "Jeff T" recently took the frame of a 2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod, and built his own electric interpretation of the Batpod around it. He's now got it up for auction on eBay ... although you'll have to get him to send some of the parts for its flamethrower and cannons separately.
"The concept for the electric bike being sold on eBay originated from me coming into possession of an unused Harley V-Rod frame and a discount purchase deal that I stumbled across on some new Optima batteries, which are rather pricey when purchased from a retailer," Jeff tells us. "I decided that an electric motorcycle project would be fun, so I studied the technology and slowly designed a bike from the ground up."
The 750-lb (340-kg) bike's original engine has been replaced with a 650-amp AC-20 electric motor that delivers 82 ft lb (111 Nm) of torque. That motor is powered by eight Optima Bluetop D34M batteries wired in-series, providing 96 volts of direct current – a regenerative braking system also provides some power. The batteries can be charged from a conventional outlet, and provide about 40 miles (64 km) of range as long as you're not riding the bike the way Batman would.
There are no specs available on acceleration, although its top speed is a calculated 126 mph (203 km/h).
The motorcycle lacks any kind of suspension, and while it doesn't have the genuine Batpod's trademark balloon tires, it does offer up the big-wheel look by utilizing rear wheels (with correspondingly bigger tires) on both the front and back. Because no gear-shifting is required, the rider lies on the bike in a prone position, with their feet tucked up above the rear wheel.
But yes, what you really want to know about are its weapons.
Well, the flamethrower uses Argon pressurized tanks to shoot a stream of ignited gasoline out in front of the bike. The two "cannons" are essentially shotguns, capable of firing any 12-gauge cartridge – Jeff recommends replacing the shot in a regular shell with shredded paper, for a visual-but-safe demo. Speaking of which, you can see the flamethrower in action on YouTube.
In order to comply with eBay policies, however, the bike is being sold with both weapons systems disabled. If the buyer wants to burn or shoot things, they'll have to ask Jeff to send the flamethrower pressure valves and cannon trigger breach blocks to them separately – which he'll do, for free.
At the time of this posting there are five days left in the auction, and bidding has reached US$14,800. And if Batman's not your thing, you can always just shell out $55,000 and get yourself an electric Tron Lightcycle replica.