Bike builders take themselves far too seriously, so it's nice to see a shop with a sense of humor. In this case, it's Australia's Ellaspede, which did its best to recreate the Captain America bike from Easy Rider with a Chinese-made thumper. That taste in the back of your throat is irony.
Zach, the bike's owner, rolled into the Ellespeed shop with his 2010 CF Moto V5 and proposed they take his 14-horsepower, 250cc Chinese scooter-trying-too-hard-to-be-a-cruiser (with a CVT, no less) into one of the most iconic bikes in existence. After some careful deliberation and far too many jokes, it was settled. The mantra for the build was "why not?"
To the crew's surprise, the frame actually worked if you squint through tears of laughter, and because of the bike's popularity, there was a trove of aftermarket bits – from seats to tanks to ape-hangers – to choose from. But the larger issue was the engine placement.
The V5's miserly mill is mounted on the swingarm under the seat, along with the automatic gearbox, while the battery, electrics, radiator, and plumbing – normally covered up by plastic body panels – are under the tank. After cleaning up the frame (and not even bothering to mess with the forks or considering a hardtail conversion), they fabbed up a box to hide all the important bits, and then cut a few holes to mount speakers for the marine-grade Blaupunkt stereo.
Yes, it's ridiculous. But Zach's happy, Ellespede had a laugh, and "Born to be Wild" was playing on the stereo when the V5 rolled out of the shop, all for well under the real bike's $1.35M auction price.