Music plays a significant role in the world of motorcycles. Many of us have our go-to playlists every time we embark on a ride. However, some individuals take this connection even further, crafting custom motorcycles that draw direct inspiration from music. One prime example is the custom electric motorcycle designed by Jürgen Becker, named Electric Ladyland.
For those who are rock and roll enthusiasts, Electric Ladyland may ring a bell as Jimi Hendrix's final studio album, which was released in 1968. Jürgen Becker's project draws direct inspiration from this iconic album. He views Hendrix's studio release as emblematic of the electrified, energized, and exciting essence of the rock and roll era. Becker envisions this same spirit as the future of motorcycles, despite encountering resistance from purists who initially reject the idea of electric motorcycles.
Jürgen Becker skillfully blends traditional elements with contemporary technology. Originally, the bike's roots trace back almost 70 years to a 1955 Minsk M1A, a Russian replica of the German DKW RT 125 motorcycle, which was manufactured from the 1930s to the 1950s. Notably, this specific motorcycle was abandoned by the Red Army following the end of the German Democratic Republic.
The bike's original two-stroke single-cylinder engine was replaced with an electric motor. This electric motor, produced by Revolt, is positioned on the right side of the rear wheel and linked to the wheel through a short chain drive. Weighing a mere four kilograms, it boasts a maximum output of 10 kilowatts (equivalent to 14 horsepower) and a nominal output of five kilowatts (about seven horsepower). This adaptation yields a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour (approximately 62 miles per hour).
The compact motor occupies a small area at the rear of the bike. The space formerly occupied by the engine now holds a distinctive battery compartment crafted by Jürgen Becker. This compartment contains lithium-ion cells with a combined capacity of 45 Ampere-hours. The metal battery housing is intentionally designed to resemble vintage electronics enclosed in a substantial casing.
Additionally, modern elements like a blue backlit Daytona speedometer and a battery indicator have been seamlessly incorporated into the fuel tank. All of the bike's electronics are housed within the fuel tank, a nod to the classic appearance of the bike despite its transition away from internal combustion.
When it comes to appearance, Electric Ladyland maintains almost all of the original patina present on the 1955 Minsk. The rigid frame, telescopic fork, and sprung saddle remain in their authentic state. Even the 19-inch wire-spoke wheels still have their patina, albeit being reconditioned on the inside for road safety. Adding an interesting musical-themed detail, the bike features a connector plug from a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, used to link the electronics with the battery pack. This inclusion serves as a charming homage to the bike's musical inspirations.