Silent Supermoto: A custom Zero FX by Purpose Built Moto


Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
The Zero FX dual-sport is the lightest, most dirt-friendly model in the Californian company’s range of electric motorcycles. Its 289-pound weight isn’t just good on the dirt—that kind of thing bodes well in the city too. The FX is narrow with upright ergonomics, and, being electric, it’s virtually silent.

The only gripe we have with the Zero FX is its looks. Sure, it is a dirt bike—but between its twin projector lights and plastic bodywork, it feels cobbled together and utilitarian. But that’s no problem for Australia’s Purpose Built Moto.

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
We’re yet to visit PBM’s workshop on the Gold Coast, but it’s high on our list of places to go. Tom Gilroy and his crew pump out stunning custom motorcycles at a steady rate, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. This particular project was executed under the banner of Grid Cycles—PBM’s ongoing electric-only collaboration with the Australian Electric Motor Co.

“The idea started with the front fender and headlight plate,” says Tom. “We wanted to fill the forks with a well-detailed fender that sat nestled between the forks, but short over the wheel. Almost a beak, like a Ducati Hypermotard.”

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
With that concept in mind, Tom and co. opted to swap the Zero FX’s big, dirt-friendly wheels out for a set of lightweight 17” cast hoops from Zero’s stock. The wheels are finished in gloss black with contrasting stripes—similar to the Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE—and wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires.

The biggest job was the FX’s new alloy bodywork, which the PBM team spent hours designing and shaping by hand. The finished product does an incredible job of seamlessly tying the front of the bike to the back.

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
Tom was an electrical engineer in a previous life, so it’s fitting that Purpose Built Moto should produce a range of lighting and electrical components. The headlight on this build is their 5.75” ‘Flashpoint’ unit, mated to custom brackets and a handmade aluminum nacelle. A sharp custom fender sits just below it, craftily molded to tuck into the front forks.

Further back are a set of custom-made ‘tank’ shrouds that trace the lines of the fender so well, that you’d swear this was a factory design. “This was by far the hardest part to shape up and make,” says Tom. “Not because it’s an overly complex shape, but I had a vision of how it needed to be and I just threw hours at it until it was so.”

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
To make the bike feel a bit more aggressive, a custom seat pan was fabricated and upholstered by Jammo at Timeless Auto Trim. The new seat sits higher and flatter up top than the original—perfect for moving around while giving it the beans. The PBM crew had to lower the seat mounting point to get the new unit fitted; the only frame modification on the whole build.

The back end of the bike got the same simple, no-frills treatment as the front. PBM fabricated a slender rear fender and added angular side panels to tie the front to the back. The fender is flanked by a pair of PBM three-in-one LED taillights, with a swingarm-mounted bracket lower down to house the license plate.

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
Up front, PBM fitted lower handlebars and new grips and relocated the dashboard to sit between the rider and the bars. Between the reshaped seat and the revised cockpit layout, Tom says that the bike “delivers a more aggressive ride and in-control feeling.”

The only thing left to do was paint this tidy electric supermoto. That was taken care of by Justin at Pop Bang Classics, who delivered a modern and bold white, bone grey, and high-viz livery. The pin-striping over the fenders is particularly tasty.

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto
“On completion of our custom electric motorcycles we’re always asked if we think these will be the future,” Tom adds. “We can’t say for sure—but if you had the opportunity, you’d be silly to pass up on having one of these in the garage.”

“The ride on any electric motorcycle has a real novelty about it—the simplicity of a 50 cc scooter matched with the power of a liter bike. Having a blast hooning around some twisty hills in the suburbs on the weekend, or simply livening up your dreary daily commute. What’s not to love?”

Purpose Built Moto | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Brandan Trudinger

Custom Zero FX electric supermoto







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