Electric street tracker from a Texas young gun…
Young gun Colt Wrangler (yes, that’s his real name) has quickly become one of our custom builders, bringing a triple-aught dose of skills, heart, and style to his builds. Now Colt, who was raised in a professional rodeo family, is back with a different kind of horse: a 2013 Zero XU electric motorcycle customized for Essex Modern City, a sustainable urban design project in San Antonio.
The Zero XU, available from 2011-2013, was marketed as an “urban crosser.” It utilized the company’s dirt bike frame with lower suspension and road tires for street riding. The 2013 model offered a 28-hp / 42 lb-ft motor capable of pushing the 267-lb bike to 77 mph. Colt decided to retain the aggressive riding position and applied the metal-shaping skills he’d learn from Junior Burrell (@retromoto), fabricating the beautiful aluminum bodywork that hides much of the bike’s electronics.
Below, we get the full story on this stunning electric street tracker.
Zero Electric Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Colt Wrangler Lyons and I am 26 years old. I grew up in a professional rodeo family in a small Texas town, so motorcycles were never prominent in my life, but my dad ended up buying a Harley Softail in his 40s. He taught me how to ride when I was in my teens. About the time that I started feeling comfortable enough to ride it to school, he had to sell it. After that, I knew that I had to have a motorcycle. Fast forward to 2015, I decided to make my hobby of customizing motorcycles into a business, and Colt Wrangler Motorcycles was born.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Zero XU 2013
• Why was this bike built?
Essex Modern City in San Antonio Texas reached out to me, and wanted to build an electric motorcycle to show that just because something is eco friendly doesn’t mean it has to look that way.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design changed over time. At first I was leaning towards a vintage styled cafe racer but the longer I had the bike in my shop before the project started, the more my ideas changed as my skills and tools grew. Also I really loved the riding stance of the Zero and I didn’t want that to change so I decided that street tracker styling would look great and would also keep that aggressive riding position it already had. Once I took some metal shaping lessons from my friend Junior Burrell (@retromoto), I figured that this would be the best project to build my first aluminum body. Especially since it didn’t need to hold any fluids. Once I had that skill set to work with, I basically started over with a fresh design.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Much of the bike is still factory. I laced a 19” rear wheel to the stock hub, wrapped the wheels in DOT flat track tires, fabricated all of the aluminum body work, added a chain conversion from Zero, and used all new LED lights. Other than that, the other components are factory. Of course, much of the electronics were repositioned but I did not rewire the bike.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
One feature that I liked the most, is the push button pins that connect the tank and seat to the bike. One push and you can remove the seat from the bike and lift up the tank to access some of the electronics.