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Old 05-07-2009, 01:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What would you look for in an electric motorcycle kit?

I've been tossing around the idea of building my own electric motorcycle even sense I got to ride Ben's electric motorcycle last June at the Renewable Energy Fair I like the idea of the ForkenSwift, the idea of taking a common out of service electric vehicle and transplanting it's guts in to a new electric vehicle, only I don't need as much power as a forklift, I also like the to make more then one of my custom made part at a time if I can, so in my ideal world if I was to make a forkenswift I would make 3 or more motor adapter plates and sell the spares, but there are alot of brands of forklifts out there so it's not practical, but with the motorcycle I have in mind there is a common motor that I think I can make work with a common motorcycle that I think I can fit it to, I need to do more research but I think I can get 60mph out of it without any troubles, maybe faster.

So my question is, how much would those of you be willing to spend on an Electric motorcycle kit and how much of it would you want to be ready to bolt together compared to parts you need to source out your self, I'm thinking things like cables, battery boxes, the little things, my main idea would be to machine up the drive train parts that most people can't make them selves so that someone who can bolt parts together and figure out some wiring can make a nice electric motorcycle... in a weekend?

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the only problem with the plan is that there are so many "off-the-shelf" parts available as it is.

So, it's pretty easy to just buy the parts and bolt them in.

My motorcycle conversion ended up being more than I planned on, but a big part of that was buying NEW:controller, charger, motor(may as well have been new for what I paid for it!) and batteries.

Used/homemade, etc. would have saved plenty of money.

The whole motorcycle conversion cost me right around $2000.

The motorcycle itself was the cheapest part of it! ($100, minus the parts I sold off it!)

Hope that gives people an idea on what these can cost.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Might you just lay out the plan for us? I'd love to see the details. I'm really cheap and i'm not big into motorcycles, but I expect that being able to do a 50km round trip every day would be a costly project. I don't really care much for a short distance run-about because I always do my shopping on the way home from work anyway. If you could show me the plan for a $2k that can do 80km/h (50mph) for 50km (31mi) with rider and passenger, I'm all over it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My idea is taking any of the Honda shaft drive motorcycles, but mostly the CX500 and putting a 6hp 48V golf cart motor in there running inline with the shaft, I still need to dig up the gear ratio to make sure my plan would really work but if it does then I would figure $100 for the motorcycle, $150-200 for the used motor, $150-300 for a controller, $500-600 for the 4 new 12v deep cycle batteries, $50-100 for a used charger (all prices based on Ebay) but the hard part of the plan is golf cart motors have an open end without a support bearing on the shaft, as they use the bearing in the axle, they also have a shaft with splines on the inside of the shaft, the drive shaft on the motorcycle also has splines on the inside end of the shaft, so I would need to make a short stub shaft with those two spline sizes on it to mate the two together and it would have to have a bearing support around it that the motor can bolt to, not sure on the exact cost of making this but I'm hoping if I made up 5 or more to get the cost down to $300 each, my brother is currently in mechinest school and I know how to weld and run mills and laths so we are hoping to have a better idea how to make that splined shaft in the coming months.
The Honda CX500 is a larger motorcycle with alot of space around the engine and a frame that seems heavy enough for the batteries, they are also complex enough engines that people tend to give up on them as projects when the engine needs work.


Last edited by Ryland; 05-07-2009 at 05:05 PM..
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