Electric Motorcycle Project

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  #1  
Old 11-13-13, 09:36 PM
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Electric Motorcycle Project

Yes! It's Electric!

....Two years ago I decided that I wanted an electric vehicle to commute to/from work. I looked at the offerings on the market. It appeared to me that I could select between one of two options; 1) A crappy piece of plastic junk that was manufactured of the poorest quality or 2) An un-affordable, but better looking piece of crud.

I decided that someone HAD to build something better...So I did.

Here's what I built:

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It's not finished by any means but it's on the road and a lot of fun to ride...Also very quiet.

I Built this using what I believe to be the best battery and hub motor technology I could find. There were many trial and errors along the way...It's been a process for sure.

It's quite fast and cost nearly nothing to run...Pretty cheap to build as well...

If anyone has any questions about this I'd be happy to go on at length.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-14-13 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Title change at author's request.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-13, 03:58 AM
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Does it meet all DOT requirements for you state?
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-13, 05:12 AM
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That's the interesting thing with starting with a donor vehicle. It keeps the VIN number of the original vehicle so it goes mostly under the legal radar. It's just a factory vehicle that has been "modified"... It's the same way kit cars are street legal as most use at least some part of a pre-existing vehicle.
 
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Old 11-14-13, 06:39 AM
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But doesn't it get cold in Toronto? 48 here this morning and I'm setting between two heaters shivering just thinking about driving that. Got to say though I have been researching electric bikes if my twenty-seven year old van dies so I understand and then there is the thrill of just building something.
 
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Old 11-14-13, 07:25 AM
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That is incredibly impressive Joe!

Yup Ray, it gets very cold up here. In my younger years, I used to ride the gas powered equivalent of what Joe built. You could ride usually from April to late October. After that you were gambling due to snow and the roads getting cold enough your tires wouldn't grip properly.

On top of that you had to bundle up to the point you looked like the Pillsbury doughboy!

I think things have changed now but insurance companies would charge you whatever rate for one year, and 80% of that if you only wanted to insure the bike for 6 months!
 
  #6  
Old 11-14-13, 07:32 AM
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Hi. Yes. Well in my case its Province and not State being in Canada but the process and requirements are generally identical to yours. Like is required with any car it simply needed to pass a safety inspection for a plate to be issued. 100% legal and legit for the road.
 
  #7  
Old 11-14-13, 07:39 AM
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To your other points guys:

It does get pretty cold here and it almost ready to be tucked away for the season. Its now outfitted with grip Warmers designed for snowmobile. The main power is a 60v bank but I use a DC/DC converter to create a 12v circuit for this, the lights and accessory plugs.

I'll try to take some more pics soon of some of the detail.

Indeed, using a diner bike is helpful. While I wanted to fabricate a frame, the insurance companies conspire against creativity and won't touch it otherwise. On the government end they were actually quite easy about it.

The motor as you can see IS basically the rear wheel as a hub motor. This eliminates drifting and noise of a chain or belt.
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-13, 08:41 AM
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The motor as you can see IS basically the rear wheel as a hub motor.
Exactly what I have been looking at for converting a bicycle though far less powerful. If my fear of motorcycles or even scooters wasn't so great I might consider that. (P.S. want see the scar on my knee from where the the motorcycle slid on a gravel road or about the time I was doing 60 on the freeway and the front fender dropped into the spokes.) I know bicycles are dangerous too but I can kid my self. easier if it travels less than 15Mph.
 
  #9  
Old 11-14-13, 10:53 AM
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Electric Motorcycle

My experience many years ago was a pizza delivery guy flying out of his driveway causing me to slam into the side of his car and causing me to fly over his car ad down the street. I found that I'm quite aerodynamic.

I'm still tweaking and certainly they speed affects the range that I get but I've exceeded 110kph. The real kick is the torque that you can get with an electric motor. Initially when setting it up its a bit hard to take but once you tweak it you have a lot of smooth contr but take off like a rocket.

Because of the class of doner frame that I used this insurance on this runs me $227 per year. Unfortunately our local insurers conspired to eliminate seasonal coverage.

The only real concern on the road that I have (being that I ride a lot in Toronto which is congested with some bad drivers) is that many people have become used to driving with their ears and not their eyes. I have to be very careful around traffic and find myself honking a lot to get the attention of other drivers.

I'm also in the process of designing a proximity alarm built into the horn system. That's far from off the drawing board though.
 

Last edited by TorontoJoe; 11-14-13 at 12:04 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-14-13, 11:54 AM
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Heh. Its 7 degrees out right now (45 Fahrenheit) and and sunny. Since you mentioned 48 it occurred to me to notice. I've seen quite a lot of motorcycles on the road being ridden by "pillsbury dough boy" looking characters.
 
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Old 11-14-13, 12:10 PM
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Is there a way?

To change the title to these totles?

"this topic-disturbingly-empty" not a very good title for this discussion. Maybe it could be moved to a new thread?
 
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Old 11-14-13, 12:24 PM
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Since it's your thread what would you like the title changed to? It's probably OK located where it is or I can move it to the general chats or motorcycle section. Since alternative fuels has been dead I think it's nice to see some creativity and activity in the section.
 
  #13  
Old 11-14-13, 12:28 PM
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Thanks. Its fine where it is but instead of "this topic is disturbingly empty" I think "Electric Motorcycle Project" would a make more sense. I just wrote that other title because this area was dead but in hind site probably a bad idea as far as describing the discussion. Can it be chnged?
 
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Old 11-14-13, 12:36 PM
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Title has been changed as requested.

Have you tried the electric vests for motorcycle riders?
 
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Old 11-14-13, 12:46 PM
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Thank you!

I'm not. Sure what kind of electric vest you're referring to?
 
  #16  
Old 11-14-13, 01:25 PM
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There are heated vests etc. available from most MC accessory stores. Some bikers exceed their battery capacity, but you should have plenty of reserve power.
 
  #17  
Old 11-14-13, 01:29 PM
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For colder weather riding in the past I've used snowmobile gear but, I must admit to being a bit of a wimp when it comes to seriously cd weather. My bike will be tucked away in the garage over the winter where I'll be making improvements.
 
  #18  
Old 11-14-13, 08:20 PM
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Did I mention the price of electric fuel?

While I'm in the process of doubling the battery bank, currently I'm running a 60v, 30 amp hour array. This translates to 1800 kWh of electricity that will take me say 50km in the city for a total cost of....wait for it....$0.18 (+ or - depending on your local utility)

But seriously. show me a petroleum vehicle that will get you this far for this little? And yes, the electricity needs to be generated and also has an environmental impact....But we can decide how we make electricity and there are many ways to do it....

My goal with this is to have a machine running up to 200km per 6 hour charge by next year....all powered by the sun...off the grid....A completely independent vehicle. After all, who wants to be tied to the electric utility for 18 cents a day?!?!?
 
  #19  
Old 11-17-13, 07:36 PM
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Here are some pictures I took during the build

I often refer to this bike as just a giant cordless drill, but in fact it's actually much quieter than my 18v Ridgid
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There on top and now living in the tank area is the controller. This is the battery bank housing as it is now. It's lined with a 40 mil poly and insulating spray resin.

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This was my first attempt at mounting the battery bank. One major short taught me that these batteries could be used to weld aluminum. I pricey error.

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Brush-less hub motor provides less friction and tons of torque. All cables go in through the hollow axle on the right side. Also extremely quiet.
 
  #20  
Old 11-17-13, 08:34 PM
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How many watts is the hub?
 
  #21  
Old 11-18-13, 04:29 AM
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Target was to be 2kW but I've yet to exceed 1.6kW
 
  #22  
Old 11-18-13, 06:00 AM
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Target was to be 2kW but I've yet to exceed 1.6kW
Interesting. I expected it to be higher because they make 1kW hubs for bicycles. I know, apples to oranges, but still interesting.
 
  #23  
Old 11-18-13, 06:12 AM
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It may very well be the 2kW. I'm using pretty primitive testing means. Intended for the inner city this bike was always to be about torque.

I'm surprised though that you're using 1kw on a bike. I also built a mountain bike at 48v, 500W and its scarry-fast.

Enertrac had a 10kW hub motor. I've ridden bikes that have them installed. They're very fast but if course would deplete batteries pretty quickly. I actually know some guys who put one if these 10kw motors on a custom mountain bike. Pretty wild and NOT street legal by any means.
 
  #24  
Old 11-18-13, 07:42 AM
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I'm surprised though that you're using 1kw on a bike.
I'm not. Just window shopping for now. Was actually leaning toward 500 watts because of cost if I do decide to do it. Just was asking as a gauge for what I was thinking about.
 
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