WTF: Is This The UK’s Most Illegal Ebike?

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Update, 29th October: The creator has removed the video, apparently because he was receiving death threats via YouTube. He explains in this video. Sending death threats is a crime. Original story follows.


Usually, news about an electrified bicycle involves either politely ignoring or patiently correcting a host of commenters convinced that a speed restricted pedal assist is somehow identical to a motorbike drivetrain. Not so this time round though!

This intrepid Brummie has used some large batteries, a few 3D printed components, and a host of off the shelf bits from China to build this totally-not-road-legal, 9000 watt ebike complete with throttle. 9000 watts. That’s six Mark Cavendishes. As well as backyard tinkerers and hackers, we’re sure this is going to be of interest to a lot of cops too (if you’re on Twitter and follow many bike people, you’ll have noticed a murmur of police seizing bikes like this one over the past year then posting photos or video).

In fairness, even the creator has dubbed this project “Codename Stupidity”.

Watch him blithely race by the speed cameras. Marvel at the cable disc brakes, threaded stem, and plastic commuter pedals. He says he’s upgraded the wheel bearings to titanium (*wince* – because that’s the best metal for all engineering applications, right? It had really high numbers in metal Top Trumps). There’s a lot of talk about the bike and parts, but the action starts at 9:15:

(No video? Here’s a link).

Like all hacker projects, it is of course unfinished, and given the video was posted two months ago, we’d be very surprised if this man hasn’t had a visit from the police already. They do tend to monitor youtube for people doing popular/fun/chaotic/dangerous stuff that sits outside the law (i.e. certain vehicle modifications, flamethrowers, potato cannons, flying drones into stuff).

The icing on the cake is this youtube comment though:

“I’ve had to come back to find this and comment. It’s men like Vortecks that have made this country great in the past and the fact that they’re out there doing this is proof positive that this country will flourish again outside of the bloated E.U.”

It’s exactly like that time Isembard Kingdom Brunel bought a load of bridge bits on eBay.

At least it didn’t catch fire like this homebrew ebike. Anyway, happy Monday everyone, we’re off for some more of that much more legal form of turbo-charging, coffee, to shake our start of the week sarcasm.

UK's most illegal ebike
Don’t do this.

David Hayward

Singletrack Contributor

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly.

Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

Comments (9)

    That looks like something TJ would cobble together..

    I think you should check out this:

    It is the same guy………. but he has made a 12,000W version now!!!!

    Looks like fun to me, i’d love a shot.

    that needs chainstays made of spoons

    Don’t do it on a decent bike. Hell no. Best bet is to do it on some pile of crap supermarket bike that’d probably rattle to bits over a speed hump…

    At least his bum won’t get wet.

    I was talking to a guy in Cambridge on Sunday who had a derestricted ebike which could go up to 30mph. He’d bought it from a guy on Facebook and was unaware of the legal issues.

    He found out about the legal issues when the police told him it was illegal.

    That was only after he came out of an induced coma in Addenbrookes, where he’d spent 2 months after hitting a pothole at 30mph.

    I love his approach to ‘re-engineering’ the rear dropout spacing.

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