Interview with Custom Electric Motorcycle builder Gabriel from Apocalypse Custom Electric Motorcycles
Evnerds: Anybody making electric motorcycles is not a regular person in our opinion. Whats your story? Why you decided to build your own, what is your day job?
Gabriel: It all began when I bought one of those regular 350w Chinese mopeds a couple of years back, and by being 6’0 flat, my knees would hit the handlebars whenever I try to steer. Everything in the Philippine market back then was “Asian sized” – aka small. And slow. And had crap range. A long list of negatives. So I said to myself: “Why not build one fit my expectations?” And so my foray into custom builds began.
My day job?
I used to be a graphic designer in an advertising agency, then decided to go full time into the whole e-motorcycle-building business which is now Apocalypse Custom Electric Motorcycles.
Evnerds: Proof that size matters:) Very happy for you man!
Evnerds: You live in the Philippines, tell us more about the electric motorcycle and electric vehicles in general in the Philippines. What are the regulations there?
Gabriel: Yep! The Philippines: Warm people, even warmer climate and cheap anything that you can find on the street. The ebike boom began a few years ago, the most popular models being the basic 350w mopeds and scooters, as well as tri-wheel designs commonly used for groceries and ferrying children to school. They’re also popular due to the convenience of it being easy to drive and cheap to maintain.
Sadly, with ease of access come irresponsible users hitting the roads without following traffic rules or let alone wearing safe
ty gear. (Most especially helmets.)
So far, the regulations state that ebikes are not allowed on major roads and highways and that drivers should be licensed, as well as wearing a helmet at all times. I cannot stress enough the importance of RESPONSIBILITY when it comes to using any vehicle.
EvNerds: Does your country make it easy for people to buy electric motorcycles off the market? Is it easy to go through the registration process to get a license for a DIY electric motorcycle?
Gabriel: The buying part is easy. Most shops even have very easy installment plans, making it very accessible to all consumers. As for the registration process, well we’re still in a grey area as of now. Our local ebike group has had dialogues with our government with regards to having an updated classification of ebikes as well as a proper system of registering each category. Again, for now, as long as we keep off of the main roads and highways, as well as wear a helmet and posses a driver’s license, you’re good
EvNerds: You know that in registration process the guys should actually test the components and they don’t have any tools? Did you get any stupid suggestions from the regulators before you got the license plate? Something like: If you paint it green, then you can pass the registration? 🙂
Gabriel: Hmm, the closest would be the government popping the suggestions of limiting volts and battery CAPACITY during one of our dialogues with them. Comes to show the inadequacy of knowledge with regards to EV’s presently. We hope to enlighten and educate on the technology and environmental perks of zero-emission vehicles.
EvNerds: You are probably a fan of the Predator movie. Front motorcycle “face mask” with those crazy light job looks monstrous? Tell us more about the electric motorcycle design and making off?
Gabriel: Damn, right I’m a fan. But it was Arnold that I liked, not the Yautja themselves. Honestly not a fan of predator helmets, they look silly and misplaced on a motorcycle. I am a fan of asymmetric design though, and robo-tech looking stuff. Most especially ancient/forgotten tech one could uncover in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Most of the stuff made in the garage end up as utilitarian designs, given that we use them as daily commuters. (Hence the saddlebags and whatnot on Roswell.)
EvNerds: What motor did you use for conversion and why? Batteries type, specs? Controller?
Gabriel: On my present bike (Roswell), a GM10kw Watercooled version, kls72701 700a controller, 72v 90ah lifep04.
Base bike was a zongshen gs 250 (motorstar z200 in my country) due to it being cheap, whilst having respectable components on it. (Dual disk brakes, inverted forks, monoshock) I got mine cheap for around $300 with papers.
EvNerds: This is your second bike, We did a little background check on you? Are we right or wrong?
Gabriel: Actually, this is my sixth bike! The only one noteworthy being my previous one and present though.
But if you wanna know, I’ll attach them here either way. ☺
350w orange moped, 500w moped, 800w “black mantis”, 3kw pedal bike, 19kw adventure motorcycle, and presently a 36kw sports touring motorcycle.
EvNerds: Nothing wrong with 350 watts Orange bike man. Orange is a nice color. 350 watts is good as our background check hahaaha….
About the electric motorcycle scene in Philippines: Can you show some of your DIY bike gang pips with their bikes and just a small tech info about each one?
Gabriel: Sure! Here are #ApocalypseEmotos ‘ bikes so far:
Roswell, which I’ve already talked about.
Tried doing a little burnout a few days ago, qs 171 100h 8000w mid drive, kelly 8080i 700a controller, 72v batts. :oHigher res version, 60fps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrEkPfwYUgc
Objavljuje Gabriel Yeung u 1. prosinca 2017
Estelle, a scrambler and our ‘base’ model (plus the one that gets the most head turns). This bike was designed to look every bit the bike of an adventure-seeking wanderer. Classic with an electric heart. Estelle runs at 12kw with 72v 30ah worth o’ lifepo4 (batteries.)
Sandstorm, designed to look like a utilitarian badass and ride through just about any terrain – again, proof that electric doesn’t mean weak. Sandstorm was built with ease of driving in mind while being rugged. Sports 50% more battery and twice the power compared to Estelle @ 21kw and 72v 45ah of lifepo4 batteries
EvNerds: For the end of the article, tell us who are the people you couldn’t live without ?
Gabriel: I’ve included shots of me and my team, I could have never done my electric bikes without them to push me forward and build better. I’d like to give a shoutout to Harry, our awesometastic mechanic, Mon our rugged, creative wanderer, and Rom, our ballerina sized Comms manager.
We’re a silly bunch of passionate geeks who want to push for a brighter, greener future for everyone.
EvNerds: Thanks for an awesome Interview. Wish you all the luck!
Check more Apocalypse Custom Electric Motorcycles on Youtube