Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

The beautifully retro Juicer ebikes with striking EV-Twin battery mount

By

January 9, 2012

Starboard view of Juicer 48 showing pride in her home-state

Starboard view of Juicer 48 showing pride in her home-state

Image Gallery (35 images)

If you think that you've spotted a strangely old-looking motorized bicycle cruising around the streets of Los Angeles, don't worry, you're not hallucinating. What you're likely seeing is one of two hand-built Juicer e-bike models - both of which harken back to the very early days of motorcycle development, when engines and motors were fixed to bicycle frames. The Juicer 36 is fashioned like a stretch cruiser and the 48 is an homage to the board-track era. Retro styling aside, the stand-out feature for us has got to be the gorgeous battery/motor configuration, that's been arranged like cylinders of a V-twin engine.

If you're in the market for a hand-built electric bicycle but the luxury Terminus models from M55 cost just a tiny bit more than your budget allows, and Gabriel Wartofsky's folding e-bike looks a bit too modern in the Gocycle design sense, then perhaps Dave Twomey's Juicer e-bikes will fit the bill. Designed with a definite nod to the motorized bicycles of yesteryear, and using as many off-the-shelf parts as possible, these custom creations feature classic exposed machinery and something named the EV-Twin.

The first Juicer EV-Twin powerplant; 36v/1000w

The first e-bike created by Twomey was the Juicer 36v electric cruiser with a Schwinn-style springer fork, a top speed of 37 mph (59.5 km/h) with no assistance from the rider, and a range of around 10 miles (16 km) at a speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). The Currie-style 1000-watt brushed DC motor was chosen so that the e-bike can remain classified as a bicycle in California. That eye-catching EV-Twin arrangement above the motor is home to a series of 12 Headway 10 amp-hour cells.

"LiFePO4 is a safer lithium chemistry in that they do not combust when they fail," explains Twomey. "The Juicer 36 has a Signalab battery-management system in the oil-tank area behind the seat-post tube, and a controller, voltmeter, charge-plug and kill-switch in the gas tank."

There's a petcock-style 3-way switch between the EV-twin cylinders, caliper front brakes and coaster braking at the rear - which is described as an overrunning clutch and a drum-brake all in one.

The 70 pound (31.75 kg) Juicer 36 is available for custom order at a cost of US$3,000.

Beautiful Leah poses on the Juicer 36 on the banks of the LA River

The latest design and the new flagship model is the Juicer 48v electric racer. Twomey told us that this model "started as a Worksman Newsboy frame, sectioned and grafted to a loop in order to cradle a Etek-style motor."

It features a Manta brushed DC electric motor capable of an unassisted top speed of 46 mph (74 km/h), the same striking LiFePO4 battery configuration as the cruiser but increased to 16 Headway 16 amp-hour LiFePO4 cells (increasing the range to around 13 miles/20 km at 20 mph), and EcityPower battery management. The fuel tank is home to a Kelly controller rated at 400 amps (but currently limited to 100), a surface-mounted antique voltmeter, charging plug and ignition-switch.

The custom-made Hydroencephalac forks are based on designs by chopper builder John Brain, with rear-facing bicycle-necks that function as adjustable risers. There's disk braking at the front, a Y-brake at the rear, and Felt Thick Brick tires on the rims.

Maiden voyage shot of Juicer 48 - a floating-sprocket chain tensioner is visible in the le...

"Both Juicers achieve their gearing using a jackshaft," says Twomey." The Juicer 48's jackshaft, however, is a free-coaster hub being used as an overrunning-clutch to reduce drag while coasting."

The Juicer 48 is not yet up for sale, so no price is available at the time of writing.

Twomey also produces a few t-shirts sporting the Juicer logo, just in case onlookers are in any doubt about who made your cool ride.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
5 Comments

If I see someone riding one of those I'll point and laugh.

Slowburn
9th January, 2012 @ 05:34 pm PST

Yay. Another overweight and SPRFLS ebike design that would just juice out the inneficiency of battery storage!

Someone who designs this probably haven't been riding bicycles seriously, given the heavy unreliable parts used and most of them are from the last century, and bad choice of parts.

I bet it can shave half of the weight and greatly extend the range just by using moderately aftermarket bicycle parts asince they've become much much lighter and better designed in these few years.

Oh, and those heavy fat tires? Good luck in not draining the batteries in under 5 minutes. Someone has never heard of rotational weight.

Want to use retro design? Use a steam engine.

SpaceBagels
9th January, 2012 @ 07:12 pm PST

I disagree spacebagels...

These are all new parts - and they are fairly light weight.

Many modern super light steel frames etc. are also junk - thin tube, teeny welds, poor stress flow paths.

This to me looks alright.

My first Harley was a 1932 45cui WL series flat head.... built that from the ground up - from a basket case and these bikes are very much the part along these lines.

While the range is not huge, for many people 20Km at 20Kmh - and 30Km with pedalling I'd assume, this might be just the thing.

I think something like 70 - 80% of all trips are with the 5 to 10Km range.

Mr Stiffy
9th January, 2012 @ 08:59 pm PST

Point and laugh at this;



flugelwagen
10th January, 2012 @ 08:35 am PST

I love it, but the mix of finishes makes me want to rip my eyes out. How about making all the finishes look like a restored motocycle from 1910, with a little fancier period type text on the tank. The tank, as it is, looks like dirty water-stained paper, not an un-refinished old tank. The dull red primer of the frame does not work at all. It might work with the motor finishes as they are, or it might look better a mix of black and silver or all black or all silver. I won't be buying one, no room left for me to put it. A URL rich in photos of restored motorcycles from the very early period popped up a couple of days ago, but I don't recall it out of hand, try google images.

I personaly think it best to keep the front disk. Cost allowing you might search for a way to use the rear wheel sproket as a rear disk brake, monoshock mount the rear , and use the more elaborate brooks sadle and my drool might short out my keyboard.

Dave B13
10th January, 2012 @ 11:17 am PST
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