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Old 04-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sure sign of spring (EV Motorcycle back on the road)

Well, MOST of the snow is gone.

Coming up this weekend is the grand opening of the Milwaukee Makerspace.

As part of it, we are showing off cool projects we have built. Tom, one of my fellow Makers and electric car builder, asked me to bring my electric motorcycle.

Of course the cycle is in storage for the winter, AND the throttle is broken. So, this past Friday, I placed an order for a new Magura 0-5K Ohm twist grip.

It showed up in the mail today, and since this was the first time in weeks that I was able to get out of work with any daylight left, I headed straight to the storage locker to pull out the electric motorcycle.

I removed the old, broken throttle, and slid the new one in place. I tightened the two screws down to snug it in place, and connected the two spade connectors to the controller.

I flipped the main powered disconnect on, turned the thumbswitch to RUN, and twisted the throttle.

ZIIIIIIIINNNNNNNGNGGGGGGG! Weeeeeee!

How many other motorcycles can you not drain the tank, not mess with the carburator, NOT WINTERIZE in any way, AND STILL JUST PLAIN WORK first thing in the spring.

I almost forgot how much fun this thing is.

Last summer, I was mostly driving the Electro-Metro. Also, I have been working way too much lately and have a wife and 5-month-old-baby. (Love them both, but it's nice to be away every once in a while.)

Riding a motorcycle means freedom. This one has the typical "Freedom of the Open Road", plus freedom from gasoline, freedom from noisy engines, heck, even freedom from annual registration renewals, as the cycle qualifies as "Hobbyist" - where you only pay for registration once, instead of every year.

Of course my freedom was short-lived. I zipped around the parking lot for five minutes, knowing I would have to head right back home to numerous other responsibilites.

But a funny thing happened then.

I saw a guy building a helicopter in his garage.

Ok, it was a fairly large garage. But seriously, there he was cleaning up an aluminum bubble, sitting next to a pair of landing gear.

And I thought I worked on weird projects in my garage. I talked with the guy for a while. He was nice, and we had more in common than I would have thought. Obviously, his project cost a little more than any of mine, but it still AMAZES me what cool things people build in their garages that you would never notice unless you just happen to be at the right place at the right time.

Well, I had to put the cycle away and get back home. I'm just glad it's unofficially back on the road for the year (Remind me to call my insurance agent, and get that setup for the year!)

My real secret plan is that I am starting work on a BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE instructional DVD.

The plan is to get the motorcycle all cleaned up - then take it all apart - then put it all together, on camera, and teach other people how to do the same.

Spread the EV grins all the way around.

-Ben

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ridding Ben's electric motorcycle is what made me realize that I have to build my own, I've ridden a handful of motorcycles, 7 of them were mine and Ben's electric motorcycle does give you a big grin, it's just smooth and quite.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm w waiting for Brammo to get me an e-cycle.

Ok, I'll probably build one before Iever thought of buying one new...

I wonder if work would get upset if I charged a small battery in their vans while I'm shuttling workers?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been waiting for 40 degrees because that's supposedly the minimum temp the Songi electric bicycle should be used in. Well we got a glimpse of it finally and it's just like ben says, I made sure the batteries and tires were topped off... and that's it! Get on it and go, "plug 'n' play". Gotta love that.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh man, now i really want to ride my motorcycle. Of course it's an icemobile, but still. I need to finish my license, then i can start on the electric bike. I think i'll buy this dvd of yours!

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