How SUPER73 built an electric bike to ride the Wall of Death



SUPER73 has never shied away from unique or far-out custom electric bike builds. It’s kind of their thing. And while this isn’t the flashiest-looking of the e-bike brand’s custom projects, the name “Wall of Death” seems to make up for the lack of shiny colors and added bling.

If you’ve never seen a Wall of Death ride before, you’re missing out.

They featured a circular wall reminiscent of a large barrel that allows daredevil motorcycle riders to ride continuously around the inside of the wall at a 90-degree angle to the ground. They were popular as carnival sideshow attractions in the first half of the 20th century, though few working Walls of Death remain today.

Those that do still delight onlookers as the riders seemingly defy gravity while whipping around the inside of the Wall of Death.

Of course, physics is a cruel mistress that allows no cheaters, and so it’s ultimately a delicate balance of friction and centrifugal force that permits riders to suspend themselves in the air. Get either wrong and you’ll quickly find out where the wall gets its name.

Daredevil rider Marvin Prinssen regularly performs on a Wall of Death, and he recently teamed up with SUPER73 to create a custom e-bike designed for the feat.

That meant swapping out key components for higher strength that could resist the forces on the wall as well as a few electrical and comfort upgrades.

As the company explained to the LEVA:

We decided to create an electric bike that is custom-made for the wall of death in every way. One that Marvin and his crew could incorporate into their shows. The spokes were reinforced and strengthened while a rigid front fork keeps the bike sturdy when battling against the intense g-force. An extended seat upholstered with anti-slip material helps keep the riders stuck to the bike. The bike was changed to single speed and a throttle added to allow the riders to get up to top speed as quickly as possible. The goal here was to create something that would not only catch your eye but be able to take whatever the wall could throw at it. A stark copper paint job gives the frame that SUPER73 pop while the relocation of the battery keeps it safe from any spills amongst the thrills.

Marvellous Marv, as the Dutch daredevil is known, performs in Europe where throttles are not allowed on conventional e-bikes. But since the Wall of Death bike is about as far from a road-use bike as possible, the inclusion of a throttle helps make the stunt safer.

And with nothing to protect his head other than a glorious blond mullet, Marv could use all the help he can get.

The electric drive surely makes for a nicer experience for onlookers as well. The viewing gallery is directly above the wall, where curious spectators hang their heads right over the wall’s edge. Gas-powered motorcycles that typically perform Wall of Death rides create a rising cloud of exhaust that is inhaled by the audience, but the SUPER73’s electric drive keeps fumes out of the performance.

To see Marv in action riding the SUPER73 e-bike on the Wall of Death, check out the video below.

Oh, and even though it probably goes without saying, please do NOT attempt this at home.

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