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dcb 05-25-2009 12:53 PM

halfbakery: motorcycle pusher for light EV
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EDIT from Darin: this thread sprung out of this one, where I showed my towing rig for the ForkenSwift, and posted this picture:

Question, what if you own a motorcycle, and figure out remote clutch and throttle, and use it to push your small EV on longer hiway trips? :)

MetroMPG 05-25-2009 01:39 PM

I love it. Small scale version of:


For the motorbike, all you'd really need is a throttle control and on/off switch. Couldn't you leave it in top gear, accelerate electrically up to speed, then close the bike's ignition to fire the ICE and continue accelerating/cruising?

I don't think the ForkenSwift could handle the weight of the bike (even if only the front portion) cantilevered off the back, like that SUV. Might need a light 2 wheel dolly to put the bike's front wheel in and tow instead.

Halfbakery is so much fun. :)

Frank Lee 05-25-2009 05:17 PM

That Max would easily get squirrely back there and wipe out.

dcb 05-25-2009 06:01 PM

LOL, well I was thinking more of a 250, in a high gear. And something to hold it by the front wheel a bit better (and hope the forks last). The idea is that is just for cruising the hiway, the electric car still does the driving around town and up to speed. Wouldn't draw any specifics from that pic :) You want a bike/gearing that is just big enough to keep things moving.

Frank Lee 05-25-2009 06:38 PM

I was also going to mention, forks aren't designed to transmit thrust- might want a different mount.

Probably the thing to do is, instead of pushing your EV around on longer trips, just hop on the bike.

Bicycle Bob 05-25-2009 06:51 PM

I think that braking force on forks equates to thrust, but I'd go easy on the cornering.

dcb 05-25-2009 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 106229)
Probably the thing to do is, instead of pushing your EV around on longer trips, just hop on the bike.

Yah, but sometimes folks would want their ev car in another part of the country (i.e. a show, or weather). If you have stuff, or passengers for a long ride it might make sense (assuming you already have a bike and a small electric car) :)

Ryland 05-25-2009 10:50 PM

Big flaws that I see are most motorcycles are a wet clutch where the clutch has 5-9 plats and run in oil and have alot of drag, they do this to make them more compact, the transmissions are non-syncro most of the time so any shifting that you did do would be very rough, but you can get electronic shifting kits and ignition cut offs so you can shift without the clutch at all, designed for racing.
The cam on a motorcycle engine is also designed for power not mpg, that is why my 100cc honda can put out 11.5hp, if that was a 1500cc (1.5 liter engine) that would be 172hp and because of that gets 70mpg with a combined cycle and rider weight of 450 pounds...
Maybe make something that looks like a motorcycle rear end, using a shaft drive motorcycle like a gold wing and a better suited engine like a metro xfi, but it's also not going to work with a normal trailer hitch, it is going to need a solid mounting system, I've seen bent motorcycle forks and they are not pretty, most likely bent from alot of hard braking with the front of the bike (900 pound touring bike) as non of the plastic was even scratched, fender was fine, the guy just said it handled "weird"... fork legs looked like bananas.

Frank Lee 05-25-2009 11:39 PM

I'm in the process (tedious and expensive I might add) of replacing fork tubes right now. That's why I thought of it.

dcb 05-26-2009 01:27 AM

There are some interesting benefits of using a whole motorcycle though.

1. It should be better sized for the sole task of maintaining hiway speeds than a typical car ICE.

2. It offers complete redundancy. If the car breaks down you have a bike, if the bike breaks down you have a (short range) car. If you are an adventurous experimenter you might appreciate that :)

3. It should bypass any extraneous licensing. You don't have to license a special trailer that you use once a year if you already own and use a small bike. You don't really have to worry about legalities as the bike is already DOT/EPA, and bike dollies won't draw much attention.

I think the hitching/control issues are completely solveable for someone familiar with the systems intended purpose and who drives accordingly. This isn't anything for production though, just an idea that might be useful in a fairly specific set of circumstances.

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