Back in August, 2022, YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds first embarked on an electric Harley-Davidson Electra Glide odyssey. They removed the original engine, drivetrain, and fuel tank to make room for their chosen electric motor, controller, batteries, and a new drivetrain. Then, they changed their plans slightly to incorporate a belt drive instead of following their original intention, just because a commenter suggested it.
In mid-September, 2022, Rich and his team posted their most recent update on how the project is going. Previously, they’d mocked up a tubular framework to go around the motor and batteries, using cardboard paper towel and similar tubes to work as a template. (Cardboard-aided design, or CAD, works wonders in many a DIY workshop.)
Now, though, they have the finished metal version together—which you’ll see in this video. After it’s primed and then spray-painted black to go with the rest of the bike, it does look pretty good and lend a unique appearance to this bike. You can start to visualize how the finished project is going to look when they’ve gotten all the components in place and working correctly, which is important.
You’ll notice that we said “in place and working correctly” about those components, which is key. While Rich does successfully get the sprockets in place, and the belt and sprockets lined up so they’re straight and in-line to operate properly, it turns out that they have some additional work to do. The wheels on the Electric Glide are spinning by the end of the video, and it sounds pretty smooth and good.
Unfortunately, though, they’re not spinning in the correct direction. Generally speaking, a bike needs to go forward under power—not backward (well, we suppose except if you have a bike with a reverse gear, which is never configured to go backward at the same speed as a forward gear, regardless).
As with many a project—particularly in the custom category—taking one step forward means that it’s time for more problem-solving in order to make the vision come true. They need to dive into the controller and its connections and get things spinning in the right direction, which is the plan for the next video. They’re hoping to wrap up the project and get this bike out on the road soon, but since the channel is working on more than one build at once, we’ll have to see how long that actually takes to happen.