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Old 09-25-2008, 09:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm back and I have a plan (Electric Motorbike)

So, like most of you, this week I was hit by the aftermath of the hurricane that wreaked havoc on most of the eastern side of the US in one way or another. I was hit worst at the pump. Like many other people, today, I just suffered through a 45 minute wait at a gas pump to fill my poor little putsaround at $4/G (Actually, I found $3.97 ) and it dawned on me just how dependent I really am on my car, even though I only work about 1 mile away from where I live. I have found out how much I despise walking (did that all last week, found out half the route to work has no sidewalk and no grassy median area ) everywhere and how unsafe it is, at least where I live, to ride anything on the road that goes less than the posted limit.

So, I have a plan and though this post is mostly just to say hi and let you guys know I'm still around (just been lurking recently, new job is killin me here with just getting started). I wanted to start a thread that I will be using to cover my project that I am planning to get off the ground here in the next month or two.

I have been going around looking at a lot of motorcycles from craigslist, mostly ones with busted motors or something, looking for something to be used in an electric motorbike project. I'll be using it mostly just to haul myself to work and back and maybe to my parents' house on the weekends (about 15 miles one way) so I don't need it to have a super long range. The goals for this project are:

1. Find the parts and get it started (if I can't do that then I can ignore the rest)
2. Decide if I want to try to make it direct drive or try and rig the motor up to the transmission.
3. Once I've figured out how it's going to go together I need to figure out how to make it do the things it needs to do.
A. At least 60MPH, I have some areas around that are 55mph limits and I would like to keep with traffic.
B. At least 30 miles per charge, however, 50ish would be better.
C. Removable batteries - I live in an apartment and the only feasable solution i can see to charging it where I am (I'm on the second floor) is to carry the battery/ies up the stairs to charge them at night (which I'm willing to do, 2-3 batteries don't weigh THAT much).
D. Have the ability to either store the charger I use at home or have one built into it so that if I go to a friends house for the night or something, I can hook it up and charge it while I'm there (I'm thinking of my friend who lives 20 miles away).
If I can find a way to meet all those goals then come spring of next year I'm hoping to be commuting almost 95% gasoline free. I'm sick of sitting in lines for gas and I know it won't stay like this for long, but it's really made me just sit back and realize how pathetic this whole gasoline vehicle thing is and that, at least in my situation, how unnecessary it is almost 99% of the time.

So, anyone who has some EV/Ebike experience who could help me out with this one (IE finding parts and figuring out the wiring) I would really really appreciate it.

Again, this project may not be going for another month, but I'm going to start budgeting for it now so hopefully I can save up for the first parts and get something going here soon.

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Old 09-25-2008, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That project has been on my todo list for a while too

Ben is getting ~45mph top speed and ~30 mile range it seems:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...html#post46156

I'm sure you've studied it some also


I need another 10 miles of range myself.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been following his a good bit.

I think I found a good donor bike. I've been talking with a guy on craigslist throughout the day today. He's located in Macon GA (About an hour and half away from me) and he has an old 1986 Honda VF500R for sale for $500...I'm actually almost tempted to just buy it and fix it at that price. He is selling it so low because he doesn't know much about bikes and said it needed a carb cleaning and some valve work done...if I can do that then this project is done and I have a new gas powered bike that gets somewhere in the realm of 50mpg according to some forums I've found talking about the bike.

If it's not fixable, then it looks like it's got a nice big chassis under the engine to hold a good bit of stuff like a motor and batteries.

I'll keep you guys updated on how the progress on that goes.
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Forget the conventional bike layout, and go at least to recumbent, preferably an enclosed shell a la Battle Mountain HPV design. WAY less drag, and done right, maybe less overall weight, too. Therefore, much greater top speed & range, plus weather & impact protection.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Putsaround - '96 Toyota Camry LE
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i looked into the velomobile and recumbant options but, as cool and good and idea as they may seem at first there are a few things to note about them.

1. low top speed - they're still classified as bicycles and as such they are limited to 20mph top speed before you have to get it registered as a motorcycle anyway. Not to mention that even if you did go faster than 20mph, bicycles and recumbents are not designed to handle day to day strain of 40mph on city streets, motorcycles have much sturdier chassis and suspension because they are designed for such activities.

2. Less visible - Velomobiles and recumbents are lower to the ground than a motorcycle or bicycle because you are more reclined. It makes you less visible and if you're not holding up with traffic that's a recipe for disaster in a high traffic area like where I live.

There are also factors of parking the thing. Most people will see a motorcycle parked in a parking lot and just pass it by, it's a motorcycle after all. The thing to consider with Velomobiles and Recumbents is that because of their size, if you park them in a parking lot, and especially a congested one like the one at my office, it's very likely that it will not be visible with the other cars around it. All it would take is one person in a rush to swing into the spot quickly and the whole thing would be totaled. Then, there is the matter of price. Velomobiles are the only thing that fall into this problem, but they are pretty pricey. I was looking at some of the more aerodynamic models (in hopes of upgrading them to run at faster speeds more easily) and they run between 10-15 thousand dollars which is WAY more then I could get this $500 rolling chassis for and then put all the parts for the electric conversion on for.

Thanks for the suggestion though, I would certainly have gone right for the electric bicycle if I was in more of a position to have something that isn't quite as fast as a motorcycle.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Putsaround - '96 Toyota Camry LE
90 day: 32.74 mpg (US)

The Commuter - '07 Trek 1000SL
90 day: 617.28 mpg (US)

Zippy - '91 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 33.29 mpg (US)
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Ok, so just an update on parts findings.

D&D ES-15-6 10HP 48VDC Motor from Cloud EV - $900
Alltrax NPX4834 from Electric Vehicles USA - $275
MK 8A22NF AGM 12V 55Ah batteries from Electric Vehicles USA - $114/each
Select-A-Charge 12V 25A charger from Electric Vehicles USA - $267 (I'm going to keep researching this one, not sure if this is proper yet)
Magura 0-5K twist throttle (works with Alltrax controller) from Electric Vehicles USA - $41


All total up so far is $1825 plus the price of the bike which is $500 assuming I get the one I'm looking at right now (waiting to hear back from him, was talking to him all week and he stopped replying on Thursday so I'm giving him till Tuesday).

Any suggestions on better places to buy stuff (AKA cheaper) or parts selection would be greatly appreciated.

::EDIT::

Hehe, actually...I take that back...Electric Vehicles USA actually has a straight up, 8HP kit for converting a motorcycle to Electric power...sweet, and it's only $1250 rather then the $1825 I parted out...and I can always upgrade to the 10HP motor if I find I need it.

http://www.electricvehiclesusa.com/p...-etekdelux.htm

::EDIT OF THE...EDIT::
Ok, I'm having too much fun now...I just found the 9.5HP kit...
http://www.electricvehiclesusa.com/p...-pmg-132-d.htm
Just another $200 too...
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sub-scribed! Sounds like fun
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi NoCo,

From all I've read, range is a real problem for most e-bike conversions. Just not enough room for the needed batteries. I've thought that adding a small aero trailer to carry either additional or even all the batteries would be a good idea. Using an industrial Anderson connector to attach the battery pack to the bike would be an easy way to both transfer power and allow for a simple disconnect so the batteries could be rolled inside for charging. If only the trailer were used for the batteries, that would also leave room in the "engine bay" for an onboard charger to catch the occasional opportunity charge. Just a thought.
John J

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