Imagine if adding power or range was as simple as replacing a battery or small electric motor.
Electric motorcycles are here—sort of. You can buy them, but they're expensive. You can ride them, but not too far. These are limitations that time and technology will solve, not to mention a more robust charging infrastructure, which is inevitable given the rise of electric vehicles.
When that happens, what will the DIY culture be like? There won't be oil to change, valves to adjust, or exhaust to upgrade. As the GorillaBiker muses, though, this could actually be a revolution in motorcycle customizing, as well as the nature of the aftermarket.
There will always be people who just want to buy a bike and ride it like an appliance, with no customization whatsoever. That's perfectly fine, and easier than ever when it comes to an electric bike. For those who want to build their own custom bike, though, this opens a world of possibilities. What the GorillaBiker would like to see is the ability to buy simply a frame, a battery, and a motor, then choose your own parts to finish the bike off. The aftermarket could supply parts for new bikes, as well as used, for people who want to piece their custom bikes together like a Lego kit. All of the components can go through whatever government certification process is necessary, then mix and match to the builder's content. It's also worth noting that one major potential roadblock, emissions, simply does not apply when it comes to electric vehicles.
I think this is brilliant. I see a direct parallel in the radio-controlled car industry. You can buy kits, and they are the most popular option. (Most people will opt for pre-built motorcycles, which is also fine.) You can buy a wide variety of custom motors, batteries, gearing, suspension, and practically anything else you want for your miniature rock crawler or drift machine.
Scale this up, and that might be the future of the motorcycle industry. Beginners can start with a small motor, or perhaps an electronically limited one to stay out of trouble. When they're ready, they can remove the limiter or upgrade the motor. Long-distance tourers can add battery capacity to increase range. A variety of basic frame types could be available, from sportbike to standard to cruiser, with any components you want added to them.
Manufacturers are already doing this with their gas-powered models. It's hard to dispute that Harley-Davidson is the master of building a wide variety of unique motorcycles out of just a few unique platforms. The Roadster, 72, and Forty-Eight I rode back-to-back are all Sportsters, but they all felt like completely different motorcycles to me. This isn't the future. This is now.
The future could hold much more, as well. Since batteries and motors are self-contained units, bikes wouldn't be limited to the configuration of a traditional motorcycle, which hasn't changed in over 100 years. Back then, motorcycles were, essentially, bicycles with an engine tacked on, and that basic configuration hasn't changed since. Imagine electric motors integrated with the rear wheel. How about dual sports with electric two-wheel-drive using hub-mounted motors? Batteries can be any shape or size, meaning that the frame can be, too. The design possibilities are endless.
I hadn't considered it until I watched the GorillaBiker's video, but now that I think about it, the future, and electric bikes, in particular, could be a golden era of customization. It's much easier to swap out electrical components than to rebuild and customize the innards of internal combustion engines. This makes customization accessible to far more people, which in turn could make motorcycling appeal to a wider audience. I can't wait to see this concept take off, then read headlines like "Millennials Save Motorcycling."