Covert operative: Droog Moto’s custom Volcon Brat e-bike

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
My gateway into motorcycling was a 50 cc moped that could barely manage 25 mph. But for the next generation, it’s more likely to be small electric bikes that blur the lines between bicycles and motorcycles. E-bikes like the Volcon Brat.

The Volcon Brat is a compact e-bike sporting a 750 W pedal-assist hub motor, 20” wheels, and full suspension. With four different rider modes, it’s capable of a top speed of 28 mph, with a range of up to 70 miles (if you take it easy). And with both pedals and a throttle, it’s hugely accessible—even to unlicensed riders.

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
The Brat is cute enough in stock form, but the US-based custom bike company, Droog Moto, has taken it in a different direction. Working in collaboration with Volcon, the husband and wife team of Max and Erica Droog has produced a kit to crank up the Brat’s looks and performance.

Droog usually customizes full-size motorcycles, but the opportunity to try something fresh was too good to pass up. “We didn’t go into this project with the intent of this replacing or competing against motorcycles,” says Max. “They are two totally separate things—but this is a fun and easy-to-ride form of transportation that gives you the look and feel of a motorcycle.”

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
“You don’t need a license, registration, or insurance to ride it. For us, this is a totally new experience and a way to enjoy being on two wheels without the need for all the extra stuff. This is the perfect bike for commuting or to just have some fun on—we’ve been commuting to our shop daily on it!”

Droog’s signature style is brutal and blacked-out; a bit more post-apocalyptic than the look of the stock Brat. So Max and Erica spent some time riding it, then brainstormed how to turn it into a plucky e-bike that wouldn’t look out of place in their existing portfolio. But before they focused on the bike’s cosmetics, they had some chassis upgrades in mind.

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
The Brat is designed as a dual-sport e-bike, but Droog wanted to ensure it’d be proper fun on any surface. They kept the OEM wheels but swapped the rubber out for an extra grippy set of Allscape tires from Happy Ebikes. Measuring 20×4”, they’re a dead ringer for the ultra-popular Pirelli and Heidenau tires that often adorn bike dual-sport bikes—and their thicker sidewalls make them less prone to punctures.

Magura supplied a new set of MT7E disc brakes, which include a built-in switch to activate the taillight and kill the motor under braking. “The braking power now is instant and the lever feel is top-notch,” says Max.

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
DNM Suspension came to the party with a bespoke set of forks, designed to accommodate the stock wheel and the new Magura caliper. The rear shock came from DNM too; the bike now has more suspension travel, and a full range of adjustability, at both ends.

Given the relatively simple layout and minimal styling of the Brat, Droog had a lot of room to move when it came to the bodywork. Blocky flat track-style headlight nacelles are a hallmark of their bikes, so they figured the Brat needed one too. This one’s been 3D-printed out of a carbon fiber nylon material, and features a pair of LED strips that include a dynamic startup ‘animation.’

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
Those two LEDs act purely as daytime running lights though. A tiny, but punchy, LED from Diode Dynamics sits just behind the front forks for extra lighting in poor conditions. It’s activated by a new thumb switch on the bars.

The Brat’s new faux fuel tank was built using a combination of hand-shaped aluminum and 3D-printed parts. Further back, Droog trimmed the end of the subframe and replaced it with another 3D-printed part. An LED light is embedded in the back, with a wider-than-stock suede seat mounted up top.

Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto
Keeping with the muscular feel of their bikes, Droog also added a set of lightweight 3D-printed wheel inserts. (They’re easy to remove too, if spokes are more your thing.) New tapered handlebars do duty up top, while a CNC-cut aluminum ‘molle’ plate under the seat offers a mounting point for accessories and luggage.

Droog is offering the custom Volcon Brat as a made-to-order custom, but they also plan to fabricate a kit for existing Brat owners. I can already see my kids terrorizing the suburbs on this.

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Custom Volcon Brat e-bike by Droog Moto