In an ideal world, nothing goes to waste, and the same is true for our beloved two-wheelers. Lately, we’ve seen resto mods take on a whole new level, with classic cars and bikes being fitted with electric motors. While this will certainly be to the disgust of purists, there’s no denying that this is another way of keeping classic and vintage vehicles on the road. Talk about redefining neo-retro, huh?
Having said that, a German startup by the name of Second Ride has the unique mission of bringing back classic Simson mopeds with an electric twist. Founded by the brilliant minds of Carlo Schmid and Sebastian Marten, the startup has seen a lot of support, with the crowdfunding goal of 80,000 Euros achieved in just a matter of hours. The two dudes were students at the Technical University of Berlin, and have since dedicated their full-time efforts towards Second Ride.
What’s interesting is that the electric conversion kit they’re building is specifically designed for the Simison S 50, S 51, and KR 51/2, mopeds that were produced until the early 1990s in Suhl, a small urban district in Thuringia, Germany. That said, these mopeds were extremely popular in their day, with hundreds of thousands reported to still be in commission. Carlo came up with the idea to electrify these practical little runabouts to give them many more years of service. Meanwhile, Sebastian, who has professional experience in the automotive industry, joined Carlo in co-founding Second Ride.
It goes without saying that the coolest thing about electric conversion kits is that they can be extremely compact. In the case of the Simson mopeds, the conversion kit, dubbed the SR23, slots in perfectly to where the two-stroke motor was once housed, and can be fitted in as quickly as 30 minutes. More realistically, though, in dealing with 30-year-old scooters, a lot of work must first be done before actually fitting the motor, so a full conversion can take anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day.
The electric motor is a brushless DC unit churning out four ponies of nominal power, and 5.4 horsepower of peak performance. As for the battery pack, it’s made up of LG battery cells with a combined capacity of 1.9 kWh, guaranteeing a real-world range of approximately 31.25 miles on a single charge. As for the construction, the kit bolts directly onto the existing engine mounts on the Simson mopeds, and best of all, retains its classic look, doing a good job of concealing the fact that it’s actually an electric motorbike. Furthermore, the battery is housed underneath the seat and is insulated with three centimeters of composite foam.
Second Ride hopes to manufacture and test more than 30 pre-series kits before the end of the year. As of this writing, there are already more than 100 pre-orders, so it looks like demand is pretty strong, especially given how niche the market the company is operating in is. The complete kit is expected to be priced at 2,990 Euros ($2,937 USD), with reservation fees set at 190 Euros ($187 USD). Second Ride offers a two-year warranty for its electric conversion kits.
Sources: Motorrad Online, Second Ride