Goodwood Commentators: "Bike people, HALP!"
Almost 10 years ago, Siemens and Orange County Choppers first introduced the Siemens Smart Chopper to the world. Commissioned by the German multinational to promote green and sustainable technologies, the fully-electric, custom one-off bike showed up in an episode of TLC’s American Chopper back in the day.
After making its television debut, the 700 pound electric behemoth then toured the US. It was also slated to go up for charity auction some time after April 2010. Visitors to the Siemens official website were encouraged to vote for their favorite charity to receive the proceeds. After that it just kind of dropped off the radar. Then, it inexplicably showed up at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Even the announcers seemed kind of stunned by the sight on track, and I’m sure they’ve seen some things.
That’s because 10 years later, it’s still some kind of sight to behold. There might be an even greater strangeness about seeing an ATGATT rider confidently glide this very, very quiet beast around. In a promo video for the project, Paul Teutul, Sr. said that handling is “surprisingly responsive.” Still, what else would you expect him to say about a bike that he built?
According to official Siemens information, the original build featured both new and recycled materials. It also featured LED lighting from Siemens subsidiary OSRAM Sylvania, as well as a charger that could plug into any available 110-volt outlet. Using regular power, a full charge could be achieved in just five hours, which would give the rider a range of about 60 miles. If you used a Siemens charging station, a full charge was allegedly possible in just one to two hours.
The Smart Chopper, as it left Siemens, also featured a one-speed clutchless transmission, as well as an electric motor that made 27hp and an estimated 72 to 96 volts. Batteries were six 12-volt DieHard AGM units. Wheelbase was 120 inches, and wheels were wrapped in Metzeler rubber.
It’s uncertain whether any of these specs have changed in the 10 years since the Smart Chopper entered the world. One would imagine the tires would required a change, at the very least. Also, batteries gradually stop holding an efficient charge over time, so it would be interesting to know what (if any) changes have been made in that department.
RA reached out to Siemens for comment but did not immediately hear back. We will keep you updated if we learn anything further.