Arpi from Budapest based Mokka Cycles has been bucking trends since we first met him at our early shows, in both London and Paris. He somehow managed to make 80s mopeds look cool – see here. Mokka builds are always on the money when it comes to fit and finish. All parts are either new, or refurbished to a better standard than when they left the factory.
And this little Garelli KL50 Cross continues the fastidious theme. Which in this instance is all the more important as there’s no cool looking two stroke engine and exhaust as a focal point. A customer from Zurich who’d fallen for a previous fossil fuelled Garelli restored commissioned Arpi to convert this diddy scrambler to electric drive.
A 5kw BLDC (brushless direct current) motor with laser-cut cover sits in place of the original engine using an adaptor plate to mount to the frame’s original bolt holes. The gap left by the airbox has been packed with Sony Lithium batteries and there’s a further bank beneath the now redundant fuel tank. Which is now merely a shell to cover the motor’s control unit.
All the other electrical relays, switches and gubbins also live under the tank and utilising a Cycle Analyst all-in-one console means the cockpit is about as tidy as you’ll ever see. The unit monitors battery performance, range and speed. Go easy on the Domino throttle and the Garelli is capable of a 40km range. And once empty it’ll only take 2 hrs to recharge fully.
The single control wire from the throttle runs inside the Renthal handlebar, as do the feeds to the LED lights which are controlled by Mokka’s own switchgear. A project Arpi developed a couple of years ago. The headlight bracket, skid plate, chain guard and tensioner are all in-house productions. As is the giant 80 tooth rear sprocket, machined from 7015 aluminium.
The puny front end had to go, for performance and aesthetic reasons. A rebuilt Honda CL 250 fork, yokes and brake drum were adapted to fit and the diminutive Italian looks all the better for it.
A nappa leather and Alcantara saddle is the finishing touch to a simple yet top notch build. But looks can be deceptive. The project, along with others in the workshop vying for Arpi’s time, took 18 months to complete. He told us “overall this wasn’t the easiest project I’ve undertaken, rather one of the most difficult. There were lots of dead ends and stalls but in the end it turned out quite head-turning and the most important: instant pleasure from that electric drive.”
“One more thing which makes this bike more unique is that it’s the first bike I’ve took to a studio and photographed myself, a rare moment when the bike can be seen through the builder’s eyes.”
Through our eyes the Mokka Cycles Garelli looks business, it’s just a shame the customer is in Zurich and not London. We’d love to have a go.
Lectro-mod, you heard it here first.