Bell Custom Cycles Goes Old School With Electric Cruiser


Sometimes being more like the old guard makes you stand out amongst the disrupters in a new market. Chris Bell and Bell Custom Cycles (BCC) are using time-honored skills honed building and customizing motorcycles in his suburban Las Vegas manufacturing and assembly facility to produce hand-built electric motorcycles. Using traditional skills combined with electric drivetrains, he is producing electric motorcycles that do their best to fit in and appeal to traditional riders. It's an approach that stands out against many of BCC's competitors who are trying to bring in riders who are more in touch with their iPhones and selvedge denim than wrenches and leathers.

Bell and his team are crafting a brand that embraces the traditions of motorcycle design. They did not set out to create a design that screamed "look at me I'm different." They set out to create something that said "look at me; I'm just a cool motorcycle." It's a subtle difference, but when lining up a row of electric motorcycles, the difference is obvious. 

The V9 is a cruiser that's not afraid to bask in chopper/bobber/bagger styling. Draped in black and chrome with wire wheels, two-up seating and more than 200-mile electric range, the bike appeals to both traditional and new riders. The Brutus and Brutus Cafe take saying cues from the custom and cafe racer scene. It's a look that will garner admiring stares at local bike nights or on the pages of enthusiast publications.

It is too early to say if the plan will work. The market is new and growing. But, at this point there are more buyers of internal-combustion engine motorcycles than electric motorcycles. So, offering an electric that looks and feels like a traditional ICE motorcycle might be the perfect disruption in a market segment designed to disrupt a traditional market.

See more pictures and specifications of the Brutus, Brutus Cafe and V9 in the Electric Car Buyer's 2015 Electric Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide. Featuring 33 electric motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and cabin cycles, the comprehensive magazine makes it easy to compare and cross-reference motorcycles.

The Electric Car Insider 2015 Electric Motorcycle Buyer's Guide is available on newsstands at Barnes & Noble and Hastings in the U.S. and Chapters Indigo in Canada.

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