- Rich Rebuild’s longtime Tesla Cyberquad project is finished—and it goes 102 miles per hour.
- While Tesla’s Cybertruck is rolling toward reality in 2021, the Cyberquad has barely been mentioned.
- Rich’s Cyberquad combines an ATV body with an electric motorcycle powertrain and welded steel paneling.
YouTube channel Rich Rebuild has finished building a homemade “Tesla Cyberquad“. The real Cyberquad, announced almost as an afterthought during Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal, is highly speculated on, but not well understood. That means plenty of room for someone to examine the evidence, spend more than $10,000, and build their own. Like so:
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“After a lot of research on the quad, I found out it’s based on a Yamaha Raptor 700,” Rich Benoit explains in this video. He and colleague Steven Salowsky bought an old Raptor 700, fixed a broken shifter, then “rode the daylights out of it” before taking it back to their shop to break the vehicle down.
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Benoit’s first big decision is to remove and sell the engine and find an electric motorcycle powertrain to replace it. “Because, well, it’s faster, and quiet, so my neighbors won’t call the police on me when I do the late night Wendy’s runs on a four-wheeler,” Benoit says.
Fitting the large volume of batteries and the electric powertrain into the Yamaha’s frame is a challenge, Benoit says, but it’s worth it, because the quad will be able to run “all day”—dwarfing the piddly batteries of electric quads to date.
Information about the real concept Cyberquad is pretty scarce, and Elon Musk only mentioned it in passing at the Cybertruck reveal last November, so Benoit and Salowsky decided to make their version look like the Cybertruck itself, using origami.
After a gently disastrous trial of the full assembly—“What did we learn from this? Well, I learned to tighten the sprocket retaining bolt, that’s what I learned”—the team gets back on track. The origami frame has gone from cardboard to scale to the final ABS steel sheeting.
From above, it looks like the Cyberquad is wearing big-shouldered Romulan armor. Benoit also realizes his 500-pound (!) ATV needs a winch because of the consequences of a possible stranding. No one is pushing out the quarter-ton Cyberquad by themselves.
During the trial runs, Benoit realizes the glued-on front end panels are separating and look, well, glued on, so he has them welded and finished before they take the Cyberquad for speed testing. There, just some dudes with bare legs and flip flops drive the Cyberquad back and forth up to a top speed of 102 miles per hour.
The Cyberquad also pretty easily tows a 5,000-pound Humvee using the winch Benoit added. “Imagine what an electric Humvee with four of these motors could do!” Benoit muses.
One of Benoit’s closing thoughts is on a common theme among gearheads making the change to electrics: What’s it like to drive an almost silent vehicle?
“How do I deal with the fact it makes no noise? Pretty easily,” he says. “Some people like to make noise. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, because trust me, you’ll know when I’m there.”
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