The internet's favorite DIY Tesla mechanic (and sometimes troll) is back, and he's finally finished with his homegrown Cyberquad build. It's been a long time coming, and finally, after almost a year of waiting and several crashed Zero motorcycles purchased, Rich is out terrorizing the backroads and fire trails of New England.
In case you're having difficulty remembering, Tesla unveiled an electric quad at the same time as the Cybertruck, and while it didn't get a ton of traction (see what I did there?) at the time, it was still pretty cool. While it shared the Cybertruck's angular steel bodywork, the heart of the Cyberquad appears to have been based on a Yamaha Raptor 700 frame and suspension with what seems to have been a Zero electric motor (based on the cooling fin color and design).
Rich took this same formula, applied his typical to it by buying his donor quad off of Facebook Marketplace at night. The electric bits came from no fewer than three crashed -- the second and third becoming necessary after he fried the first one's battery, and the second one was damaged during its unloading process.
The Tesla version seems to have moved the motor into the chassis of the quad, closer to where the gasoline engine lived, but in the interest of keeping the Zero's big battery, Rich opted to mount the motor on the rear axle, with a short drive chain going to the axle sprocket. Doing this increases unsprung weight, as he points out -- but the difference in power and the Raptor's adjustable suspension should cancel out the negatives.
So, after over $10,000 and nearly a year spent on this project, what is the result? Was it worth it?
Based on the footage that Rich shows in his recap video, you bet your ass it was. The Rich Rebuilds Cyberquad topped out at 102 miles per hour (it would likely go faster, but nobody was brave enough to go beyond that), and with a sprocket change, it managed a sub-4-second 0-to-60 time. All of this with more than enough power in the battery to thrash it all day long.
I asked Rich if there was anything he'd do differently now that the project was done, to which he replied, "You know what's funny? I don't think I'd really change anything. Everything was built with purpose. It has range, endless power and I think it looks great. To be picky, maybe would have added a trailer hitch, never realized how much pulling power it would have."
Now, you may be wondering where you can get your own electric quad. I know I am, so I also asked whether Rich's Electrified Garage (an independent Tesla shop that's now offering software performance unlocks, etc.) would be offering this conversion to customers, and the answer was -- somewhat unsurprisingly -- "no."
"No plans to offer conversions of quads at the moment. In this litigious society we wouldn't get very far before someone hurts themselves and blames it on us! We had to put three warnings in the video alone, never mind actually selling one to someone."
So until Zero gets in the ATV business, it's going to have to be DIY for the rest of us -- not that that's exactly a good idea.