Steampunk motorcycle

East Bay hardware hacker Tom Sepe refitted a 1967 Tote-Gote offroad motorcycle to run all-electric, then modded the chassis in steampunk finery, including gorgeous inlaid panels and a whistling steam-boiler hanging off the back-end. Be sure to catch the video!

When I was building it, I took a fire extinguisher tank. It all came down to aesthetics. I was looking at my drawings, figuring out where it would go. The steam boiler came from an aesthetic need, form before function. And the fire extinguisher fit what I wanted. So I cut a hole in the bottom of the tank, slipped a pipe in it, welded it on both sides. So that then I had a chamber with a through tube, which became the flame tube. It's not very efficient; there should be more coils in there. But on the other hand, if I crank it up really high, then you get flames shooting out the back of the bike. Which is cool.
Link (Thanks, Jake!)

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  1. Gorgeous, but I wish there was at least one good photo of the entire bike in full steampunk regalia without the rider on it. The closeups are a tease!

  2. Well at least you can cast away your fears of a car chasing dog coming after you with that shrill startup.

  3. Most impressive? No tattoos! At least no visible ones.

    Good on ya’ Tom, for actually being different, instead of pretending to be different, and keep up the good work.

    One suggestion-if you’re only going to have a brake on one wheel, make it the front. Much more stopping power, and much less chance of you high-siding off the bike.

  4. @5 – Tom’s “non-conformist” spikey hair, chops & goatee, & hacked off bdu’s beg to differ.

    But I totally agree about the tattoos.

  5. I have to bitch about yet another bit of stuck-together steampunk decoration.

    So what would I rather see?

    How about a story about the old guy who modded his 1960’s Morris Minor car with water injection, thereby improving his fuel consumption by 25% (he says).

    Or how about a real “clacker” computer display, with wooden pixels?

    Now THAT would be interesting!

  6. No tattoos!

    You mean I’m not the only person who thinks that tattoos are tedious and predictable?

  7. nice work !
    looks pretty quick too, is it road legal the vehicle regulations here in the uk are boring im sure they would not allow such a fine machine on our roads.

  8. “Gorgeous, but I wish there was at least one good photo of the entire bike in full steampunk regalia without the rider on it. The closeups are a tease!”

    You can see more photos of the bike here:
    http://tomsepe.com/fabrication.html

    “Well at least you can cast away your fears of a car chasing dog coming after you with that shrill startup.”

    Yeah I do have plans to put a multi-toned steam whistle on the steam-boiler and tested one out at MakerFair – it sounded great! Stay Tuned!

    “One suggestion-if you’re only going to have a brake on one wheel, make it the front.”

    I actually have a replacement front wheel with a drum brake – but I never got around to putting it on because the rear brake stops the bike just fine at the speeds it travels.

    “I have to bitch about yet another bit of stuck-together steampunk decoration.”

    You can bitch all you want, OR you can spend your money and your time building something and then spend your evening responding to inane comments instead of making them.

    “..is it road legal the vehicle..?”

    Technically, no but only because I haven’t bothered yet. The original 1967 Tote Goat minibike that I built it from was once registered and has a CA license plate… someday..

    “I wonder why he hasn’t done anything with the seat.”

    Hmmm… I hadn’t thought about doing anything to the seat.. guess I like it the way it is and I’ve been too busy tweaking ares of the bike that I’m not satisfied with. What would you suggest?

    “Call me when it runs on steam.”

    …because… you only take phone calls from hot steamy biker boys? FYI: Steampunk doesn’t mean “runs on steam” it means that it has an aesthetic that evokes a steam-sensibility with a punk attitude (in brief). Call me when your steam runs out.

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