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Electric Bike Completes Lands End Trial

An electric bike has entered the Lands End Trial for the first time – and finished. Engineer Fred Spaven, riding his home built Royal Enfield-based machine, made it to the finish without any problems. “I’ve been working on this project for two years,” said Fred, who has previously ridden an electric Enfield from Lands End to John o’ Groats and is currently studying for a PhD in electric motorcycle technology. “I chose the Lands End Trial because although it’s over 300 miles, the road sections are relatively low speed, so it suits an electric bike. I knew the electric Enfield would be controllable off-road, thanks to its low speed power delivery.” The Lands End Trial, one of the UK’s oldest competitive motorsport events, has a 330-mile route over 24 hours, with road mileage between special off-road sections.

Fred’s bike uses a Royal Enfield Bullet frame with an 8.5Kwh lithium-ion battery and modest 6Kw motor. With a range of around 80 miles he stopped to charge six times over the 24-hour event, “but I was being over-cautious – I could have ridden faster and still made it.”

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, was interested to see this pioneering use of an electric bike in a long-distance event. “Fred’s a part of the great British tradition of ‘shed’ motorcycle engineers, and good luck to him, if anyone ought to walk a PhD in electric motorcycle technology, it’s Fred Spaven. If he managed 6 charges in 24 hours, comfortably, that sounds like a fast charging battery.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Fred Spaven