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Pistons & Pivots

Warren Goodman's Custom Audi e-tron & Electric Shifting Knolly Fugitive

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Apr 6, 2020
Reading time
Presented By
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Pistons and Pivots is presented by Maxxis. Every second Monday, we'll present a new round of Pistons and Pivots which features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.

If you've got a vehicle and bike that fit the series, we'd love to help you share them with a wider audience, and you can take a crack at winning some tires from Maxxis.

You can submit your photos in one of two ways:

Send photos and articles to submissions@nsmb.com. Make sure to include 'Pistons and Pivots' in the subject line.

Or simply post a few vehicle and bike photos and details to Instagram and use the hashtags #pistonsandpivots and #nsmb.

Once a month, we'll pick a winning submission and feature it on the site, and the person that submitted it will earn a fresh set of tires for their bike, courtesy of Maxxis. At the end of six months, we'll pick a grand prize winner, who will walk away with Maxxis rubber for the vehicle they submitted for Pistons and Pivots!


Take a Vancouver native who grew up in "OG Surrey” and spent his childhood watching dad race dirt bikes and you begin to see where this story is going. But for Warren Goodman, it didn’t go the direction of what would've been considered stereotypical Surrey* during his teen yearS – there aren’t any jacked pick-up trucks or tailgate bush parties here. Warren's affection for finely tuned German automobiles and Canadian made mountain bikes took him on a different path.

*Surrey B.C, a suburb of Vancouver, is not necessarily known for culture and refinement

Warren remembers travelling to his father’s enduro dirt bike races during his childhood. Returning home after three days in the desert watching the racing, he often found himself eager to jump back on his BMX and race around the yard. At the age of seven, Warren began racing BMX at the local track, moving up to expert and eventually having the opportunity to turn pro. Unfortunately, the travel involved to pursue professional BMX racing – much of which was in the U.S. – wasn’t an option.

Fast forward to 1990 and Warren had an opportunity to work at a Vancouver bike shop called Cap’s Bicycles. It was here that he learnt about mountain bikes and had his first opportunity to try one. He was hooked and spent his time getting familiar with the new sport at Vancouver's S.F.U. (Simon Fraser University) campus, Whistler and Seymour. But it wasn’t long before his passion for cars met his enthusiasm for bikes. In 1996 cars took a more serious part in his life when he purchased Vancouver-based German tuning shop, Ron's Parts Inc. Eventually the name was changed to RPI Equipped and he’s been running the business ever since. As you’ll see below, Warren is a fan of customization and quality builds, both with his bike and his car, but they don't lack utility, albeit carrying high ticket prices.


If you want to get even deeper with the OG Surrey thing, I actually grew up in Whalley which is the hood of all hoods. – Warren Goodman
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The appearance of Warren's Audi e-tron differs considerably from the stock vehicle he worked with Capilano Audi to source.

Warren’s Custom Black Optics Audi e-tron

Working in the car industry affords Warren access to parts that feed his desires for the ultimate look and drive qualities. It also sees him behind the wheel of some beautiful vehicles that are as much about the joy of driving a car tweaked specifically to your liking as showing off what can be done. RPI Equipped focuses one-hundred percent on German vehicles but after extending its services to Porsche, BMW and Mercedes over the years, it currently remains focused on Audi and Volkswagen. Interest from RPI customers who also owned Toyota Tacomas or 4Runners has led to the business branching out to accommodate, starting RPI Offroad.

But we’re going to focus on Warren's current car; a unique and gorgeous Audi e-tron. Or maybe it’s his wife’s? I guess it depends on who you ask… Warren says that while the e-tron shows some of what can be done to the car, it remains the family grocery getter and regularly takes the family up the road to Whistler. Being the first fully electric vehicle from Audi, Warren got busy tweaking it to his liking. His e-tron is unique in many ways; from the black optics finish that removed all of the chrome accents stock to the North American models, to the custom tuning to get the ride height dialled in. That said, nothing has been done to the motors, not yet anyway.

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The black grille was ordered from Germany to replace the stock North American chrome grille.

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I've always found the North American sales pitches for chrome accents and chrome packages funny. Thankfully the Europeans have a black option to give the front end a sophisticated but more aggressive look.

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The German ordered black grille still had chrome rings but Fasttrack Autobody helped get things back on track in black. Look closely and you can see the sensor for more electronic smarts. The car can sense how close others are and adjust speed accordingly.

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Popping the hood reveals… storage, mostly… There's an electric motor on the front and rear axle. The rear motor is slightly more powerful than the front for a total of 402bhp and 490lb ft of torque. In between the axles is a 700kg, 95kwh battery pack. Audi claims 0-62mph in 5.7secs.

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Peaking under the hood is far from your typical experience. It reminds me of working on old R.C. or Scalelectric cars as a kid, only it's heaps bigger…

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I reckon the lines on Audi's are pretty great, especially for a 'family' car. Any stormtrooper fans out there?

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Aerodynamics remain important.

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I was surprised by just how open the airway was though.

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When the car is switched off Warren can drop the suspension air pressure, lowering it to a few inches off the ground.

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The 22-inch Vossen HF2 wheels look sharp…

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Fasttrack Auto Body colour matched the centre caps with the brake caliper.

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Details… The brake colour is a factory option but matching the colour and lightly splashing it around sharpens the look.

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I was so excited to shoot the car that I forgot to get a detail of the charge port. It hides behind the panel with the e-tron badge at the top, just over the wheel arch.

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The charge door is clear from this angle but also note the rear view mirrors and the lack of chrome accents. They were painted gloss black by Fasttrack Autobody.

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The accents in the side panels were already black, thankfully.

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The racks were covered in gloss black vinyl thanks with help from Vinyl Labs.

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Like a glove.

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Electronic rhythm by two…

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Warren uses a Thule T2 Pro Rack that his friends at Rack Attack recommended to secure the bike to his e-tron. The baskets look suitable for a solid game of Canada's national sport* in a pinch.

*It's not just hockey

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It's a sturdy looking rack that doesn't use any frame mounts, it all attaches at the wheels.

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Loaded up… The only mess in the car.

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More custom painted gloss black Audi rings. Again, details…

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Smooth lines…

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It even has its own bat signal…

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Being an Audi and an E.V. (electric vehicle), I shouldn't have been surprised to see the screens in the car. But I was.

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The German approach to rear cabin air flow.

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The Rocky Mountain Titanium set aside for later.

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The Okapi Brown leather seats look sharp but I can't help wanting to see more black and white accents inside.

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Warren hasn't gotten wild on the interior, yet…


It sounds like a spaceship – Warren's response to being asked about the e-tron's odd characteristics
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Welcome aboard the E.V. space shuttle.

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It looks like our future involves more screens, and visible finger prints, ha!

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No key needed here. Nothing unusual for most with newer cars but how about that gear shifter?

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While I want to see black and white to carry the stormtrooper inside, the brown leather seats looked too good not to get a shot of.

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Get ready…

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Set…

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Electric car, electric shifting bike. Warren's not too keen on going full e-power when it comes to the bike.

Warren’s Electronic Shifting Knolly Fugitive

Warren enjoys having his vehicles dialled and isn’t completely afraid of the new age of electric power. He's not sold on electric powered bikes though and prefers to keep that to his own power output, but with the assistance of some super accurate electronic shifting. His interest in glamorous vehicles doesn’t seem to be anything new either. He surprised me when we met to shoot with a 1991 Rocky Mountain Titanium that he’s held onto.

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Where do old bikes go to die? Sometimes they remain with the original owner, especially if they're as cool as this full ti-framed Rocky Mountain XC bike from 1991. The ti must have stuck with him to a degree because the new bike features plenty of titanium accents.

The focus here is his Knolly Fugitive built with a mix of Canadian parts, electronics and a dash of titanium to finish it off. Seven years ago, Warren heard from RPI GM, Jonny that there was a new customer looking to have some work done to his Audi A3. Jonny spent some time with the new customer and during their conversation, being the owner of a bike company was mentioned. That customer was Noel Buckley of Knolly Bikes.

Noel and Warren have since become good friends with Warren spending much of his time on Knolly bikes since starting on a Chilcotin for trail riding and a Podium for park days. He's drawn to the niche product and says the bikes ride great, fitting his riding style perfectly. Fast forward six years and Warren is on the Knolly Fugitive.

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Warren's size medium Fugitive is a no-holds-barred build. The fork is the Fox Factory 36 GRIP2 but has something different than most.

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The air spring has been replaced with the Push AC3 Coil Conversion.

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He's also bumped the fork travel from the stock 150 to 160mm.

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Warren runs the classic Maxxis DHF for a front tire, with the EXO carcass both front and rear.

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A set of We Are One Union hoops are laced to I-9 Hydra hubs.

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The Hydra hubs roll on a set of ceramic bearings to squeeze all of the momentum and Gucci possible out of the build.

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An alloy frame with electronic shifting? The lack of cables at the handlebar is a thing of beauty.

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A Chris King headset and bottom bracket clearly state Warren's preference for quality components.

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Magura MT7 Pro brakes with the HC3 lever blade stop the bike. Warren says the levers to feel great and he's a fan of the consistency and stopping power.

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It probably doesn't hurt that Magura is German, right Warren?

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Ultra clean…

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An I-9 A35 stem with a 50mm extension handles steering. He uses the Race Face Next R bar and they're 780m wide.

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ODI Aaron Gwin grips offer grip and comfort. A Reverb AXS keeps things clean.

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I don't think I'll grow tired of the lack of cables on bikes with SRAM AXS.

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But is there anything we can do about these useless ports for riders going to wireless shifting?

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The AXS drivetrain is mated with Cane Creek's titanium eeWings cranks.

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But Warren's even tweaked the AXS derailleur…

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Cane Creek eeWings keep the ti trend on point.

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JRC Ceramic Jockey Wheels in the SRAM AXS derailleur.

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Moar ti! Warren runs the HT T1 Race Pedals with ti spindles.

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And moar Canadiana. A OneUp 28t chainring finishes off the drivetrain.

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The Fugitive has 135mm of rear-wheel travel and Warren has mated the Fox Factory Float X2 with his 36 for the front.

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Alright, I think this is it for the ti. Knolly finishes the pivots of their FOURby4 suspension system with titanium bolts.

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The geometry is adjustable and Warren prefers to keep it in the neutral position, though the longer fork already slackens the head angle.

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A Maxxis DHRII takes care of rear-wheel traction. As with the DHF front tire, Warren runs the EXO carcass.

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There's a trend of Canadian made bikes being Warren's choice.

Clearly Warren puts an emphasis on quality parts. Both his car and bike feature heaps of customization, making them truly his and one of a kind. They're each finished with attention to detail but he isn't afraid to push them either, whether on the road in the e-tron or on the trails with the Fugitive. That doesn't mean he doesn't take care of them and that attention to detail carries on to cleaning and maintenance.

I may be putting ideas in his head now, but I'd love to see the interior of the car rid of all chrome accents, just like the exterior, and perhaps a few hints of white and yellow too? I reckon that would complete the build phenomenally.

If you've got a combo to show us for Pistons and Pivots, we're keen to see whatever you've got. Send us an email with photos at submissions@nsmb.com

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Comments

T-mack
+3 Pete Roggeman RNAYEL Lu Kz
T-mack  - April 6, 2020, 8:49 a.m.

My man! I bet his wife is a fox too.

Reply

taprider
+1 Bikeridenow
taprider  - April 7, 2020, 8 a.m.

Sugar Mama?

Reply

FLATCH
+4 Pete Roggeman satn Sandy James Oates John Forsythe
flatch  - April 6, 2020, 9:52 a.m.

Needs more pictures

Reply

Losifer
+4 Pete Roggeman satn Sandy James Oates Bikeridenow
Carlos Matutes  - April 6, 2020, 12:56 p.m.

Of the Fugitive.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+3 ManInSteel Carlos Matutes satn
Pete Roggeman  - April 6, 2020, 2:21 p.m.

Of the Ti hardtail, too!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0 Pete Roggeman satn
AJ Barlas  - April 6, 2020, 2:18 p.m.

65 images not enough? :)

Reply

IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - April 6, 2020, 11:27 a.m.

Yes.

Reply

denomerdano
0 Pete Roggeman satn
Deniz Merdano  - April 6, 2020, 12:39 p.m.

This is crisp AJ!!! Nice work.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0 Deniz Merdano satn
AJ Barlas  - April 6, 2020, 2:16 p.m.

Thanks maaaate!

Reply

tashi
+2 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman
tashi  - April 6, 2020, 2:01 p.m.

I used to dream of having Ron's stuff a VR6 into my MkI Golf...probably a good thing it never happened, based on my driving behaviour at the time.

Reply

jason
+1 Pete Roggeman
jason  - April 6, 2020, 2:16 p.m.

I had the same Rocky Mountain Ti bolt.  Sold it in 2002 during a cash crunch.  So wish I did not sell that bike.

Reply

throwaway123
+1 AJ Barlas
throwaway123  - April 6, 2020, 10:29 p.m.

I can only recommend Thule: On a recent trip the rack held up doing 100mph on the Autobahn with 3 Downhill/Enduro bikes mounted. Mind you that this one has already been in service for about 10 years.

Reply

taprider
+2 Velocipedestrian Sandy James Oates
taprider  - April 7, 2020, 8:02 a.m.

Next P&P could be the other extreme. Some dirt bag racer with a car worth less than a carbon wheelset.

Reply

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