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Electric Suzuki Savage Works The Night Shift

This could be the best thing you can do with your Nissan LEAF.

We don’t cover too many custom-built electric motorcycles here on CleanTechnica — but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Case in point: the nearly ground-up, all-electric Suzuki Leafy Savage build, by Night Shift Bikes.

Why “Leafy”? This one-time Suzuki Savage (S40) frame is packed with the incredibly sturdy cells that Nissan uses in their LEAF electric cars. “This new pack is more durable, dumps more current for quicker acceleration,” writes Matt Candler, who runs Night Shift Bikes. “(The Nissan battery) floats in the frame in a more interesting way than the [other batteries we tried].” The LEAF packs wired here in series for a total of 116 volts.  There are four flat-pack Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) batteries in each of the 14 cells on the bike.

As for the what the bike is now, Matt replaced the Suzuki-built, 650cc “thumper” single-cylinder engine, 5-speed transmission, and other related internal-combustion parts for what he’d spent on the entire bike. At that point, he was $0 into the build (note: all choppers, hot rods, and classic Italian cars have an automatic labor rate of $0/hr.). Matt then sent the rear swing arm off to the team at Enertrac, where they laced an 18-inch rim into one of their brushless DC motors. So equipped, the Leafy Savage makes 13 continuous HP 40 peak HP. More than enough, in other words, to blast the relative small frame through modern-day traffic.

Both the Enertrac motor and Nissan LEAF batteries are connected to a Kelly controller under the seat that’s rated for 250 amps. City range is estimated to be about 100 miles, but the energy discharge can be adjusted for more range or more power, depending on what the day holds. An Eltek charger sits in the traditional “tank” position, and provides up to 3000 watts at 220 volts for easy connections to any household dryer outlet. The battery can fully charge in less than three hours.

Other custom upgrades to0 the Night Shift-built Suzuki include a LED headlight, new shocks, charge and data ports, toggle switches, an m-lock wireless key, and front fork drop hardware for a properly stanced look that I, for one, love … but this isn’t about me. What do you guys think?

Take a look at the Night Shift-provided specs, below, then look at the gallery on your way to the comments section to tell us how you feel about what may be the best use for that old Nissan LEAF you’ve been eyeballing at the local dealer, yet. Enjoy!

Suzuki Leafy Savage Specs

  • 2003 Suzuki Savage (Suzuki S40) Rolling Chassis/Frame

  • 96 Volt battery pack (32s2p Headway 15 amp cells)

  • Custom battery box

  • Custom Enertrac 602 Hub motor in 18″ rear wheel

  • Kelly Controller

  • Orion Battery Management System

  • Eltek Valere 3,000 Watt on-board charger

  • Cycle Analyst

  • RYCA motors CS-1 mod components

  • fork inserts to drop front end

  • upgraded shocks

  • kickstand mod

  • rear sets

  • rear disc brake


Leafy Savage Gallery

Source | More Photos: Night Shift Bikes, via Gessato.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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