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bennelson 09-21-2009 11:51 AM

Chris' Electric Motorcycle Build Thread

Hi Everyone.

One of the other guys in the Milwaukee Electric Car Club, Chris, is working on an all electric motorcycle.

It's one of those projects where we got a pretty nice drive-shaft motorcycle frame, and had a few other EV parts kicking around. I was very tempted to take the project myself, but really don't need ANOTHER electric motorcycle, and have too many other projects going on anyways.

However, I thought I would post the progress of the project here as we go.

Already, the frame was sand-blasted and primed.
We had a smaller DC motor around, which Rich has made a coupler for to attach it to a universal joint and connect it to the driveshaft.

Yesterday, work was done on making a new tube for the side where the engine originally finished off the frame. Also, there was plenty of work cutting and fitting a mounting plate for the motor.

Here's some video of the work.

Here's a photo of the motor sticking through the mounting plate (which will be welded to the frame) and going to the coupler that connects to the driveshaft.

More photos from yesterday can be seen at:
EV Build Day Sept. 20 2009 Cycle work - a set on Flickr

I don't recall exactly what the motorcycle originally was. I believe it was a Yamaha with a 1liter+ sized engine.

shiba 09-23-2009 10:30 AM

HEY!! i was getting something ready to post!...oh well guess you beat me to it anyways!!

well nothing much to say as far as updates to what ben said and his video. the mounting plates are about 95% done i just need to make some spacers on the rear end and then weld the motor mounts to the frame and reinforce them then i can begin making battery mounts

If anyone has an extra controller they are not using, please message me and let me know!


shiba 10-08-2009 12:18 PM

So a few things on my to-do list as of right now. These are things that are fairly far out because i need to finish the bike totally first!

First, i need someone who is really artistic, and has some awesome ideas for a body design. I dont need anything super fancy, i will be fiberglassing for the first time ever, so i dont need some crazy things...

Second, i would love to incorporate LED's into the body. I also stumbbled across this (; an optical kit, it had a 12volt transformer so i should be able to wire it to 12 volt with some toying


bennelson 10-08-2009 01:15 PM

Hmmm. That last link there didn't work for me.

I believe you mean something along THESE LINES though.

I think something with LEDs built into fiberglass-over-foam could look SO cool - sort of a TRON-type effect.

shiba 10-08-2009 01:19 PM

yep, thats actually where i got the link from....

and the forum parsed the link weard...

Star Ceiling Kits by Wiedamark.

thats it, its smaller, cheaper, and not as many!

captainslug 10-08-2009 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by shiba (Post 132577)
First, i need someone who is really artistic, and has some awesome ideas for a body design.

I'd be happy to help since this project is interesting.

If you want to buy LEDs in bulk this is my usual source.
eBay Store - Chi Wing LED product shop: LED, LED keychain flashlight, Category 6
Just search for the color and quantity you want. 100 12000mcd LEDs are typically $10 shipped

shiba 10-13-2009 10:39 AM

Alright, i got my friend to sketch a side view of the bike (minus handle bars, for some reason)

remeber, try not to do something TOO crazy, as i will be learning how to fiberglass when i do this :)

go easy on me!! The more designs the better! I plan on eventually making a poll where people can vote on which design they like the most (i have a tough time making up my mind some times)

thanks again!!

bennelson 10-13-2009 11:00 AM

So, we should all copy that image, Photoshop the heck out of it, and then post the results, hey?

OK - get going people!

Here's my entry!

OK, so it's not my artwork, but I always liked those Robotech motorcycles.

srortega 10-13-2009 12:17 PM

Great source for the LEDs, thanks.

bennelson 10-13-2009 10:41 PM

Hey Shiba!

Do you have a favorite style or look of a motorcycle?

Do you want saddlebags and a big windshield? Minimalist Bobber? Futuristic cyber cycle? TRON LightCycle? Pirate theme?

Any suggestions might help with some body sketches.


PS: I found a relevant YouTube video.
This shows some LED effects as a kit being demo'd on the floor (not actually installed on a cycle) but it is multicolor, and features several different chase modes.

What if we used 3-color LEDs, (each LED can make Red, Green, or Blue, or different colors based on a mix of the three) and embedded an array of them under the skin of the bike. We could have Tom or Royce do some work to control the LEDs, and design them to animate based on, say, an audio file, or maybe throttle input from the Motor Controller? Twist the throttle hard and a pulse of LEDs lights up from front to back?

Also, as far as electric race bike designs go, I think the prototype Brammo is looking pretty slick.

Here's a different aggressive/futuristic look.

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