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Old 07-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle conversion ideas

Hello everyone. This is my first of hopefully many threads here. I need some advice. Working on mechanical things has always been a hobby for me. I've worked on cars/trucks, replaced engines and transmissions, and recently I got a newer truck. Since it's newer I don't want to tinker with it and break anything, so I decided to get another object for my hobby: a 1995 Hobda CBR motorcycle that I originally intended to do an electric conversion on. So in my work area sits a stripped down Honda CBR. I got the bike complete with engine and everything, so I'm trying (but failing) to sell those parts. This is where the problem is.

After doing some in depth research on my goals and weighing the costs, the electric conversion is getting expensive. I originally wanted a bike that could reach 75 MPH and have a range of about 35-45 miles. I'm seeing motors and controllers for those go for $2000+, and even as high as $4000. That's not including the cost of batteries. At that cost, I might as well have just bought a Brammo motorcycle.

So I was thinking and weighing out my decisions. I was considering 2 or 3 cheaper electric motors to run together to ease the load and cost. I've also been considering just rebuilding the original engine. Since nowhere around here will rebuild engines off the bike for a reasonable cost, I thought getting other engines to put in place.

I need some advice guys. I'd like to stick with electric, but the cost of everything doesn't seem like it's worth it. So If not electric, I'd like something simple to fix (I HATE dealing with oil, coolant, and any vehicle fluids. It always gets messy). Which is why I was considering another engine that's possibly air cooled. Should I stick with electric or go with another engine? If I go electric, where can I source some parts that are cheap, efficient, and will reach the 75MPH goal? (I don't need sustained 75MPH speeds for 40 miles. At most I go 10 miles at 75 MPH. Most of the cruising I do is around town.)

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Old 07-08-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you considered getting a 250 CC motorcycle and doing aero mods? A realistic goal would be to get over 100 MPG and have an engine that's loafing at 75 MPH.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMichler View Post
Have you considered getting a 250 CC motorcycle and doing aero mods? A realistic goal would be to get over 100 MPG and have an engine that's loafing at 75 MPH.
I've not considered that because I was dead set on an electric sportsbike. I wanted to learn new skills like welding and figured a motor bracket and battery holsers would be great to learn from.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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72 Volt Electric Motorcycle Kit has one of the expensive kits that I assume you are talking about, personally I think that the motor they are selling is over sized, it's sized more for a small car, not a motorcycle! the 9" motor is what my parents have in their electric car and that motor is plenty big for a car so it would make an awesome but expensive motorcycle, I'd opt for something more along the lines of a 6.7" motor, more or less a golf cart motor with an end plate and output shaft that is set up for the higher voltage, almost big enough for a car but just about right for a motorcycle!

Otherwise I'd buy a used motor from a heavy equipment salvage yard, something in the 6" to 8" range and either buy an Alltrax 7245 controller, a used speed controller or build an Open Revolt speed controller.
To get 75mph I suspect you are going to have to go with a 72v battery pack, but if you shop around I think you could build the whole thing for less then $2,000.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
has one of the expensive kits that I assume you are talking about, personally I think that the motor they are selling is over sized, it's sized more for a small car, not a motorcycle! the 9" motor is what my parents have in their electric car and that motor is plenty big for a car so it would make an awesome but expensive motorcycle, I'd opt for something more along the lines of a 6.7" motor, more or less a golf cart motor with an end plate and output shaft that is set up for the higher voltage, almost big enough for a car but just about right for a motorcycle!

Otherwise I'd buy a used motor from a heavy equipment salvage yard, something in the 6" to 8" range and either buy an Alltrax 7245 controller, a used speed controller or build an Open Revolt speed controller.
To get 75mph I suspect you are going to have to go with a 72v battery pack, but if you shop around I think you could build the whole thing for less then $2,000.
i think shopping around is my problem. As big as vegas is I cant seem to find a scrap yard with motors I need. And online I cant seem to find the right prices. Are there any online places you'd recommend?
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can look on Ebay for used parts.
[EV Tradin' post] - Motors has a bunch of used motors, I've bought stuff off there a few times.
Classifieds - DIY Electric Car Forums is the DIY electric car forum classifieds.

You should also see if there is a chapter of the Electric Auto Association in your area and talk to other club members to see if they have parts for sale.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How about a diesel from a 5 to 7.5 kw generator? Lister (English) made or makes
singles for sure, and I think V twin diesels that shrimp boats used for belt drive generators. Any swap will be more difficult because of the "unit" construction of
most post 1965 motorcycles. They share a common crankcase (engine and transmission)
and consequently lube oil.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what do yu guys think of the D&D ES-31B series DC 48-120v? i see one of those for sale on that classifides section fir a good price. Do you think it's small enough and strong enough for my needs?

Or what about the D&D 170-512-0005? Why is it $300 when it has all the specs i need when compared to $800 models?

Last edited by TurnNBurn; 07-08-2012 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd have to look closer at the specs of both of those motors, but the first thing that jumps out at me is how long they both are and how heavy they both are, the more expensive higher output one is almost twice as long and getting close to twice as heavy too, at least I think I'm looking at the right specs... but the smaller and cheaper of those two motors is shorter then then even a golf cart motor, so while you might be able to get away with running it at a higher voltage if you force cool it, it's really hard to say, D&D along with other motor companies tend to be pretty good at telling you how far you can push their motors.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I'd have to look closer at the specs of both of those motors, but the first thing that jumps out at me is how long they both are and how heavy they both are, the more expensive higher output one is almost twice as long and getting close to twice as heavy too, at least I think I'm looking at the right specs... but the smaller and cheaper of those two motors is shorter then then even a golf cart motor, so while you might be able to get away with running it at a higher voltage if you force cool it, it's really hard to say, D&D along with other motor companies tend to be pretty good at telling you how far you can push their motors.
I never considered weight. I see what you mean. I'm looking at some other smaller motors like the mars ME series and they're about 35 lbs (compared to 51-62 lbs for the D&D). The Mars are also smaller.

Here's another example of the prices versus specs I need help with:

ME0913 - $820

3-Phase Permanent Magnet Brushless Motor
24 - 96 Volts
Efficiency of 92%
12 KW (180 amps DC) continuous @ 96 Volts
23 KW for 1 minute (600 amps DC) Peak @ 96 Volts
Peak Stall Torque of 90 Nm (66 ft)
Designed for long life. No brush maintenance.
8" OD, 7.17" long (w/o shaft)
7/8"x 1-5/8", 3/16" key shaft
35 Lbs

ME0201014201 - $425

3-Phase Permanent Magnet Brushless Motor
24 - 72 Volts
Efficiency of 90%
90 amps continuous current at 48 VDC
Designed for long life. No brush maintenance.
8" OD, 7.17" long (w/o shaft)
7.9" OD, 5.8" long (w/o shaft)
22 Lbs

Can someone explain the differences in the two? There are some specs on the first motor that aren't listed on the second motor, such as "23 KW for 1 minute (600 amps DC) Peak @ 96 Volts"

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