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A surprising adventure in developing an electric motorbike

Blacksheep’s first product is a light and fast electric motorbike. This is a fun fusion of the timeless Honda Cub with cutting-edge technology.


The idea of taking the Iconic Honda Cub and reimagining it as a cutting-edge high performance electric motorbike was what Mark, our CEO, came up with as a personal project in 2017 in the UK. He found out that the Honda Cub used to have an emotional significance in the lives of the people, and it’s still ingrained in Vietnamese culture.

In 2018, this project became the catalyst for the foundation of Blacksheep in Vietnam. In the period of 2018-2020, we synergized our engineering skills and passion for motorbikes to create a powerful prototype that was road-tested in the north of Vietnam and also participated in The Great Britain festival in 2019 and Tech Fest 2020.

During Blacksheep’s infancy, developing an electric motorbike is how we show what is necessary to make a world leading product adaptable to the most advanced global markets.

Summary of the bike

This electric bike is an exciting fusion recycling the classic Honda Cub with new advanced human carrying drone technology. It has the original Honda Cub leading arm fork to add a touch of the classic motorbike and the 45 kW Blacksheep motor which uses the drone technology and a disc brake designed by Blacksheep. And adding to it, Blacksheep has also designed a customized panel and frame and a comfortable leather seat that keeps the classic vibes in a modern urban ride.

Some of the features of this exquisite bike includes:

Top Speed









3 hrs

blacksheep electric motorbike Honda Cub fork


Taken from the iconic Honda Cub. Not because it’s the best but because of the feeling it evokes.


Derived from human carrying drone technology so that we have super high power in relation to size and weight.


Precision engineered billet machined hub for disc brake.

blacksheep electric motorbike customised panel


An increasing range of choices, plus riders can select their own design for a small additional cost.

blacksheep electric motorbike frame


Designed to be open looking, light and innocent.

blacksheep electric motorbike high quality leather seat


Evoking the classic style of the past and shapes to fit the rider.

The journey of developing The Blacksheep’s E-bike

Below are some results from the tests on our electric motorbike:

Figure 1: Speed diagram of the prototype (KMH)
Figure 2: Distance and consumed charge of the prototype (w)

The first diagram illustrates the successful road tests of the prototype, reaching speeds of up to 100 km/h. It showcases the vehicle’s performance capabilities and its readiness for real-world conditions. The second diagram illustrates the stable power consumption of the bike over a specific timeframe, enabling engineers and experts to assess its efficiency and suitability for users. These tests provide valuable insights for further refinement, whether it be enhancing performance or increasing battery capacity.


The prototype kept evolving, not only with a bolder look but also with more powerful performance. In Vietnam we have attended 2 technology events: The Great Britain festival in 2019 and Tech Fest 2020. The Original bike project is not yet complete but it still gets attention from the audience from time to time.
However, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 prompted a temporary halt to the project’s progress.


Focusing on the pivotal challenges encountered during the development journey, our team at Blacksheep navigated a series of hurdles in bringing the Electric Motorbike project to fruition.

  • The handling of the bike left plenty to be desired and the Honda Cub components were not going to hold up to our requirements. To overcome these issues, we have extensively redesigned and engineered components, enhancing both handling and overall performance.
  • The motor had issues with heat build-up and consistent supply was imperfect. A unique motor, controller and battery packaging system were developed to improve serviceability and space management within the bike.
  • We initially faced difficulty in finding and effectively communicating with suppliers and achieving a balance in negotiations. To address these challenges, we implemented a comprehensive supplier management strategy that streamlined our supplier search and improved communication.
  • Being Blacksheep’s inaugural project, the team faced the learning curve of translating vision into a tangible reality.
  • The pandemic’s arrival in 2020 disrupted progress, necessitating adaptation and recalibration of project timelines. We have adapted and recalibrated our project timelines to ensure continued progress.


Our journey in developing the electric motorbike at Blacksheep has been a dynamic adventure marked by innovation and resilience. Despite challenges, we work on creating a ground-up electric motorbike emphasizing performance, style, and sustainability.

As the world recovered from COVID and resumed normal operations, we have restarted the motorbike project. Stay tuned for more updates!

Mark studied Engineering at Cranfield in the UK and worked in the Aerospace and F1 industries at the start of his career. Mark also lived in the USA developing mail handling equipment and later The Netherlands and developed the first DVD players for Philips. After moving jobs every two years, Mark wanted to find a home that could keep him interested for longer and ended up in Technology consulting in the Cambridge area in the UK. Here Mark stumbled into scientific and medical device development. This was in 1997, and after having been acquired by a Swiss multinational and then working in M&A, in 2001 he started what has become a group of companies called Blacktrace Holdings Ltd with HQ in the UK near to Cambridge.

Blacktrace has been the leader and first to market in a range of scientific fields connected to microfluidics, and as a result Mark has been on the editorial board of the highest impact academic journal in the field. Mark has always worked on world leading product developments.

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