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desertedev 09-22-2012 07:23 AM

6,000km off-road charity ride on an electric dirt bike...
Hi all,

I've been working on the electric conversion of a dirt bike (Honda CRF450) for the last couple of years and have just returned from a really encouraging test trip in the Sahara where the bike performed well with good range and more than enough power (around 60kW) to tackle the big dunes. :eek:

After some further modifications (check out the blog for details), I'm planning to take the bike on a new challenge to trace the 6,000km Dakar rally route in Argentina and Chile with the help of my brothers. We'll be recharging from a portable solar array packed on the bike so that the ride itself is essentially emission-free and more importantly not constrained to the next fuel stop!

Having proved out the bike itself, the next step is the tough part. The project has been self-funded so far (which I don't regret for a minute. Its been a blast!) but the project's getting more serious now so we've kicked off a crowd-funding campaign (check out the vids for a laugh :rolleyes:) as we need help so that we can make it to the starting line. This will fund the purchase of the 1.5kW solar array and a much-needed battery upgrade and then hopefully we'll be all set to start our expedition early next year (we're planning to set off in Feb/March).

My hope, if we're successful, is to give the EV's reputation a bit of a boost, and the expedition will also be a great opportunity to raise money for environmental charities (we've chosen Friends of the Earth and WWF). Any money that can be recouped from the bike and the kit purchased for the trip will also be donated.

It would be great to hear people's feedback and comments on the whole thing - there's certainly a lot of inspiring EV stories on this forum... :thumbup:

Also wanted to say a massive thanks to Darin (MetroMPG), one of the admins whos kindly granted his permission for me to post on here.

desertedev 10-10-2012 07:49 AM

The Deserted EV project needs you!
Thanks for the support Ryland!

Here's the update since our last post here: (you can read more on the project's website)

Weve now sourced the solar panels and at least two separate suppliers for suitable batteries for the upgrade so the bike has gone under the knife once more!

Think well need a bit of further negotiating to try and whittle the costs down to something less eye-watering but its a relief to know that what we need is there when we need it even if it means parting with a few kgs of hard-earned. On a related note, the sponsorship pursuit is ongoing while we speak to Land Rover (support), Kokam and EiG (battery manufacturers) and Global Solar (panels).

The next stage of fundraising, bike work and sourcing will be make or break for our project to ride the south american Dakar route on solar power. Im optimistic though and more than confident that we can get a bike ready which will be capable and ready to do the route.

We've got 26 days left on our Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign - a huge thanks to those whove helped out so far.

We could always use a friendly shove in the right direction though so please take a second and drop a note to friends who might be interested in what were doing.

Thanks all,

AndrzejM 10-10-2012 08:20 AM

Great project, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

desertedev 10-14-2012 10:08 AM

Thanks, @AndrzejM! Reckon we'll need it! I'll keep you posted. :thumbup:

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