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Old 12-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
captainslug's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 383

BORK! - '89 Volvo 240 DL Wagon
90 day: 21.27 mpg (US)
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Actually, I might end up naming this project NEM-0

Virginia DMV definitions

Electric Bike:
means a vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. For the purposes of Chapter 8 of this title, an electric power-assisted bicycle shall be a vehicle when operated on a highway.
Of if you remove the pedals it becomes a Moped, and the "1,000 watts" figure disappears.
a seat that is no less than 24 inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground and (ii) a gasoline, electric, or hybrid motor that displaces less than 50 cubic centimeters. For purposes of Chapter 8 ( 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, a moped shall be a vehicle while operated on a highway.
50cc Electric? WUT?
But based on the definition of "Motorcycle" anything that cannot travel above 35mph is technically a Moped. I confirmed this with the Police Department, which basically just doesn't want me on the sidewalk unless I cannot match the posted speed limit.
travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour.
So if I aim to have a top speed of 35mph, but be unable to go beyond it then I can ride it around town like I would a normal Bicycle. I would only need pedals if I wanted to be able to pedal along on the sidewalk.

The rough plan is to take this

Cut the frame in half, weld in extensions and a simple battery rack, replace the existing motor/controller combo, and add a number of functional accessories (lights, key switch, and so on). Unlike other mountain bikes this one already has the basic shape I need.
I can either drive the rear wheel directly with the gear ratio I want, or remove the pedals and use the pedal axle to make a more precise two-stage gear ratio reduction.

The benefit of not using a hub motor is that if I later decide to register it as a motorcycle I could either install a different gear ratio, or think about making a custom derailer and sprocket cluster. Located either on the rear wheel, or the original pedal axle.

Most of the parts I intend to use are very cheap replacement parts available through sites like TNCscooters.

First step is to order the donor frame and just start measuring.

Last edited by captainslug; 12-20-2008 at 09:12 PM..
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