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Old 07-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Motorcycle sound effects

Electric motorcycles too quiet?

How about an MP3 player and some speakers?


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Old 07-21-2008, 06:35 PM   #112 (permalink)
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Hybridfest and New Range Numbers!

Hello All!

I displayed the cycle this past weekend at the Ecomodder.com booth at Hybridfest.


(It's the big cycle, not the small one!)


I also just went for a ride today to see how far I really could go on a charge (a common question from Hybridfest attendees.)

I went out for a ride - about ten miles at high speed on main roads in heavy traffic, and the rest on slower side streets, and very little traffic.

After making it to 30 miles, I checked the voltage and saw the batteries were at 40% charge.

After that, I did a "sprint" on the main road. The cycle still had lots of acceleration, but top speed was only 43 mph (instead of the usual 45) and voltage sagged quite a bit more under load than it usually would have.

Total trip was 33.5 miles.
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Last edited by bennelson; 07-21-2008 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:56 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Have you thought about making something to cover the body of the bike and therefore hidding the battery to make the bike look more sleek? That's another reason I'm looking for a sportsbike to convert but there are not many cheap one or ones that's broken just right (no engine,etc) to be cheap enough :/
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #114 (permalink)
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I asked Ben a similar question: do the batteries extend out further than your body when in riding position? He said no. So frontal area, at least, is not affected by their position.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:19 PM   #115 (permalink)
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MetroMPG is right.

The end of the batteries is pretty much even with my legs. I would like to design some sort of cover, maybe integrated with battery brackets.

Right now, the threaded rod holding down the top two batteries (the ones that stick out) sticks out a bit, and the corners are fairly pointly square.

I would rather not lay down the motorcycle on my leg/knee/shin with that.

Maybe I can find some "highway bars" or something at a motorcycle scrapyard or swap meet.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:56 PM   #116 (permalink)
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so I am in the process of looking at a Honda Nighthawk today to convert. Now is that too different than a Ninja (as described in the El Ninja Book) to try and convert? I have zero motorcycle mechanic experience.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:58 PM   #117 (permalink)
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I also had zero motorcycle mechanic experience when I started this project.

A Honda Nighthawk

seems to cover a couple different cycle engine sizes.

I think Nighthawks were what we had in my motorcycle safety class at the Technical College. They were all 250cc engines.

You will want a motorcycle which at least has dual down-pipes, that way, you have something you can built onto to hold the batteries. If there is just a single pipe, it's going to be hard to mount the batts.

SECRETS OF EL NINJA is a good book for a beginner. No, I didn't write it, and no I am not being paid to say that, although I have talked about the book to enough people that I almost should be collecting royalties...

You don't need a sport bike (crotch-rocket) to follow the EL-NINJA plans. I chose to use them because they don't call for chopping and welding the frame. Sport bikes are nice because they have a light, aluminum frame, and typically have a plastic fairing covering the engine, so you can put in batteries and then cover them up when they are all done.

Hope that helps get you started!
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:57 PM   #118 (permalink)
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well I just ordered the book! I figure once I've read through the book and know what is needed for the conversion, it will help me decide on a bike to get since the 1987 Ninja seems so scarce in on Craiglist in my area (Rochester, NY)

Will post back soon!
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:16 PM   #119 (permalink)
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I have a 1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (4 cyl cross mount) and it would be pretty nice for a conversion bike, it's big but not HUGE and seems to have plenty of space for mounting stuff. Also, a bike from the 80's with saddle bags would probably work well too, the nighthawk is halfway between a cruiser and a sport bike a full cruise might be good to have the storage on the back for batteries. just my $.02 once I get a new gas bike I am thinking I will convert the nighthawk as it's getting tired anyway 40k miles on it.

Edit: I have seen nighthawks on craigslist in the northeast (mass, NH, NY) for between $500 and $1500 for a 1983-1985 (the same style as mine which is why I was looking I need a parts bike) these were all with running or close to running engines so a broken one might be cheaper or you could sell the engine/powertrain.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:26 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

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90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
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In case you were wondering,

the new LED tail/brake light in no way interferes with using the pizza rack!



Mmmmm. Pepperoni...

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