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Old 08-06-2008, 12:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I think i will build a bike

Since i have discovered this site i have decided to make an electric motorcycle (made lots of the other kind - never tried an electric) - i have a Yamaha 750 shaft drive four cylinder that i don't think would be a good platform - i have 2 Honda 350 twins (one is a parts bike for the other one <g>) might use the parts bike, but i have a Kawasaki GPZ 550 that i think would be a better choice - I don't get around as well as i used to but i will try and strip the cow down this week and start measuring to see how much room i will have - then i will start looking for motors and battery's - if anybody that has any suggestions in this regard i would appreciate some input - i was thinking about somewhere around 7kw at 48 or 60 volts - i am going to try to design and build my own motor controller (PWM)
Perhaps some of the guru's on here can tell me if i am in the ballpark with this figure - also if anyone has a source for motors (i looked on line but pickings are slim - nobody around here has a forklift they want to give away)
I will post some pictures as soon as i have something to look at

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What are your goals as far as range and top speed?
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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what is the gear ratio on the shaft drive rear end, I was thinking a shaft drive with a golf cart motor would work well.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I can't help you, but if you search the web long enough you'll find at least one EV MC that runs 8 seconds in the 1/4 mile....not to mention a wheelie popping EV car that runs 10s!
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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goal for range??? I live in a very small town, it is 22 miles to the nearest city (and it is not all that big of a city) so to be useful it would need a range of somewhere around 50 miles.
As for speed?? 40 to 45 miles per hour would be fine if i take the back roads (the shortest way is down the interstate which would require at least 55) - if i don't try and go out of town it becomes a mute point - it is about 4 miles from one city limit sign to the other (the long way) and i live about the middle.
The final drive ratio on the shaft drive Yamaha is 2.92 to one and the drive shaft is on the left side of the motorcycle so it turns counterclockwise going into the final drive unit. I agree that a shaft drive would be much cleaner but that would involve a lot of machine work while a chain and sprockets is so simple - perhaps once i get the electrics worked out and understand how that part works i might attempt a drive shaft model.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi silverfox - 50 miles might be a bit of an ambitious goal, the problem as always being that there isn't much room on a motorcycle for batteries ... correction: affordable batteries.

One place I'd encourage you to spend some time if you haven't already is in the EV Album's motorcycle section. It'll give you an idea of specs, performance, range, cost, from people who have already built their own: EVAlbum: Motorcycles

Also, we've got two resident electric motorcycle owners on the forum. Hopefully they'll pop in.
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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check out Welcome To Electric Motorsport they sell complete bikes but also parts for the diy conversion, motors, controlers, sprockets for a few different chains and motor shaft sizes.
you can probably get a good idea of performance and range from some of their bikes as well
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey SilverFox!

I say go for it!

Motorcycles are a lot of fun. Getting 50 miles out of an electric using lead batteries might need to have pretty big batteries, which can take away some of the style of a cycle. You also might need to drive a little slower to to get better range.

Check out my electric motorcycle build.

Learn from all my mistakes, and have fun!


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Old 08-08-2008, 01:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Silverfox,
Had to write for a couple reasons. It's been my thought that either a fully faired foot forward bike or one modded to be a near recumbent with full fairing should make it much easier for an electric bike to have a decent increase in range. Check Craig Vetter's site
Last Vetter Fairing - Fuel Economy -P13

Secondly, and somewhat off topic, I grew up in Centralia. Get back every year or two. Most of the family still lives there. GO ORPHANS.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Chains and sprockets are expensive, and wear out frequently, shaft drive would be prefered if you want to save money.


Allan Greenblazer

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