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Old 09-19-2016, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What to do with Honda Trail 90 parts?


So I picked up this collection of Trail 90 stuff. There is enough to make one full regular bike but then I will still have an extra frame and misc. I thought about doing an electric conversion. It would probably be under 200 pounds, I weigh about 220.

Hub motor or regular and how many watts?
Off road, or on road?
A stock trail 90 makes about 8hp would an electric need less or more for similar performance?

I think this is probably outside of my budget unless I used some kind of donor motor and battery. Any ideas?

I can get a simple 125cc Chinese motor and transmission with carb and stator for about $250, this would be my other choice. A quiet electric deer stalker seems kind of cool though.

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Old 09-20-2016, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Electric won't be cheap, particularly at high power ratings like you're thinking of. Most of your cost will be in batteries, though. So, unless you're $$ endowed, or expect to use it daily, I doubt it's worth the cost and effort.

You'll find your 90cc Honda motor will put out more power/speed (though not torque) than a cheap 125cc Chinese motor will, and last longer.

Really, it all comes down to what you want out of it as to what I would recommend you do with it.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I plan on using the one motor I have to build one regular 90, and it's a 1969 to boot which makes it a little more valuable. That still leaves me with another frame and lots of parts.
It looks like the Leaf modules are the best deal. About $80 for 500whr. So maybe 4 of them and a 1500-2000 watt motor. For an hour or two of putting along a forest service road 5-10 mph. Or is that way off? Maybe I should do a smaller setup on a mountain bike so at least I can always pedal when the juice is gone.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
I can get a simple 125cc Chinese motor and transmission with carb and stator for about $250
I know it's hard to beat a $250 Chinese engine, but would a 125cc EFI flex-fuel engine from Honda's Brazilian branch be totally out of consideration?
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My advice would be to stick with the original motor which is much more robust than a chinese copy, plus it has a dual range gearbox, handy if you intend using it off road.
You need to be aware that the chinese motor is not a direct fit, it would need some frame mods. and/or a fitting kit (Dr. ATV or similar).
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you are hunting large game such as moose or bear then I would consider using the spare frame and racks to make a four wheel vehicle. If you are stalking deer then the stealth of an e-bike and trailer may be the way to go. If you go for a road and trail machine consider streamlining with aluminum and ABS.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have towed my 2 wheel game cart with my trail 55 with some camping gear on it. No where near a 200+ pound deer or a 1000+ pound elk which is what the run around here. Even if I had to make multiple trips, and we use the gutless method which means you leave most of the bones, hide, guts, head, and only carry meat out, it would be better then hauling the same weight on our backs. We usually don't go in further then 1-5 miles because past that point anything gets to be too much to get out in a timely manner at least on foot. An electic motorcycle just might fly under the radar of what is allowed behind gates and what isn't. Electric mountain bikes are allowed, and under 50cc mopeds are a grey area. So a small electic motorcycle would probably fly under the radar. Most normal 4 wheelers and motorcycle get busted because you can hear them 1/2 mile away in an otherwise silent environment.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I beg to differ...

I've had fantastic results repowering step-throughs with Lifan engines. My '80 Honda Passport has around eight thousand stone-reliable miles on it--and I don't baby this puppy, either. I just completed a trip from Indy to the Smokies and back (in the company of a couple of Harleys!) and on flat ground I cruised at 50-53 MPH. The long steep hills had me down in third gear at 38 MPH which given the displacement and tall gearing I run I felt was pretty good.

I also have a CT-200 with the same motor and it too has been reliable as a claw hammer. No clue on how many miles is on it as it doesn't have an odometer.

Without expensive modifications (that will greatly reduce reliability) there's simply no way a stock Honda 90 motor will run anywhere close to as good as the Lifans run.

The other problem is between the terrible 6v. electrical system, it's breaker point ignition and the fact we're dealing with thirty to nearly fifty year old engines the old Honda motors simply aren't very reliable. Among the guys in my group who ride them the stock bikes are the ones that are constantly being worked on or loaded into a truck when they break down.

Do a bit of research before you poo-poo the Lifans. I recommend going to advrider.com's "Battle Scooter" page and doing a search there. Usually there's always a thread or two about repowered step-throughs on the first page.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My 2ct:
Your legal limit would be 750hp, or 1-2HP, to register it as a moped for street use.
Top speed also limited to 20MPH (30MPH in some states).
In FL, they don't care if it goes 40MPH. They won't stop you.

To reach that speed, you need at least a 500W motor.
A 750W, is half as powerful, and this just results in maintaining top speed even when going on a bridge with a passenger.
But a 500W motor, might be just a tad more efficient.
A battery pack can be gotten from BMS battery dot com.

Any faster in speed, and you'll have to get your scoot to pass DMV testing, in order to create a title for it, to register it to be able to drive it legally on the streets.

Personally, I'd go to the junkyard, or to some scoot store, and see if you can't get your hands on a scrapped 50-125cc scooter.
As long as you have a transmission, a grinder, welding equipment, you could mount even a 50cc scooter engine on the stock transmission for great MPG numbers exceeding 135MPG US.

Either way, aside from registering it as a moped, you'd probably have a hard time making it street legal, thus offroad would be the better option.

Specifications for a moped in most states are:
- <50cc
- 4 stroke <2BHP , or,
- <33cc 2 stroke at 1BHP or less, or
- 750W electric motor (1BHP), or below,
- AND must have a restricted speed of 20MPH or 30MPH depending on your state laws .

In such cases you don't need to register the vehicle.
You can however, build a gigantic battery pack for extended range, if you like, on it.

You could try to register it, if you have the legal title of the bike.
Normally you'd have to inform the DMV on any changes done to it, meaning, not only color, but also if the engine has changed (since engines usually also have VIN numbers stamped in them).
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"You'll find your 90cc Honda motor will put out more power/speed (though not torque) than a cheap 125cc Chinese motor will"

I have a CT90, got it with a good running original motor, good compression, nice clean carb. With my butt on it I could see 45mph under ideal level conditions, a lot less if wind or an incline was against me.

I bought a Pitster Pro 125 with electric start and a 12v electrical system, took my time making the conversion as clean as possible (redid the wiring looms, new right-hand switch gear so the kill works properly, etc) and it's massively more powerful, starts even easier, idles better, holds 50mph in all but the worst adversity and runs at lower RPM doing so (17/45 instead of the 14/45 that the Honda had)

I had to give up the low range gear box but the added torque from the 125 pretty handily makes up for that. And I still have an altitude compensation switch on my new carb

Added bonus, headlight's a lot brighter and doesn't go dim at idle, speedo light is brighter (all lights were, of course, replaced with 12v units)

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