In the listing of “odd issues no one ever tells you about…..”
I discovered just a few quirks whereas engaged on this mission.
Rear Brake Spring Bracket
When I used to be getting the cycle all again collectively and testing to ensure every thing was working proper, I needed to hook the rear brake again up. On a bike, the rear brake is activated by a right-foot pedal. A spring pulls that pedal again up once you launch it. But this is the bizarre half…. I could not work out the place that spring related to on the body of the motorbike. I consulted the restore handbook, and discovered that the spring hooks on THE MUFFLER!
By changing my motorbike to electrical, I now not had a spot to attach my return spring! So, I constructed just a little tiny, customized bracket, only for the spring to go to. On your mission, you may come throughout another odd quirk like this. It’s not an enormous deal, it simply provides you the chance to be inventive and provide you with your personal resolution!
The Gas Tank
Some of the commonest questions I get about an electrical motorbike are in regards to the fuel tank. Typical is “If it does not have any gasoline, why do you may have the fuel tank?” and “Why do not you simply STUFF that fuel tank filled with batteries!?”
The quick solutions are that motocycles simply do not seem like bikes with out the fuel tank, and you actually cannot match batteries in there in any case.
When I received the motorbike, the tank was already rusted and dented. It was utterly bone dry, however I nonetheless left it open for just a few days earlier than chopping off the underside with an angle grinder, so I may beat out the dents from the within. Then I stripped the present paint, and gave it a brand new paint-job. The prime a part of the motorbike body is a tube that goes straight via the fuel tank. The tank is sort of like a saddle-bag that hangs over that bar. The tank can be curved and batteries are practically at all times huge rectangular issues. So, between the body and form of the tank, you simply AREN’T going to cram batteries in there (That would additionally increase the middle of gravity on the cycle as properly.) The tank does make a wonderful cowl for over the batteries. It would even be place to mount the motor controller or a battery charger, so long as you ensure they’ve sufficient air flow.
Some electrical automobile fans will even make a FAKE fuel tank from foam, fiberglass, or plastic. It provides the cycle that cool look, however because it’s customized, might be designed to accomodate batteries or different elements. Remember, on some cycles in the present day, the “fuel tank” actually is not. On Goldwings, the “tank” is only a filler port, however the precise gas tank is elsewhere on the automobile. The “tank” makes a pleasant field for gloves, goggles, and maps.
LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES
One fable of an electrical motorbike is that it is silent. It is not – it makes some noise, however it’s SIGNIFICANTLY quieter than a fuel motorbike, particularly one with modified tailpipes. Should the necessity come up for my cycle to be loud, I’ve a horn and am not afraid to make use of it.
Even although most automobile drivers in the present day have their home windows rolled up, with the air-conditioning cranked, and the radio blaring, (to allow them to’t hear a factor in any case) some folks nonetheless suppose motorbike being obnoxiously loud is a security characteristic. After the millionth time that I heard that “loud pipes save lives” (principally from NON-motorcyclists), I questioned if there was a method I may play with that in a method that an electrical motorbike could possibly be BETTER than a fuel one when it got here to creating noise.
I related an MP3 participant to my laptop and downloaded some numerous motorbike sound results. I then hooked up self-powered laptop audio system contained in the hollowed fuel tank and bungie-corded the MP3 participant to the handlebars. I may now sound like a Harley, a Kawasaki, a 50cc scooter, or the George Jetson flying automobile!
See particulars on that right here on Instructables.
If you have not already, take a riders safety class. Motorcycle using is a ability. It ought to be realized and practiced. Make positive to at all times “get the cling of it” once more within the spring after pulling the cycle again out of winter storage. Come to consider it winterizing ought to be lined right here as properly.
When I regarded via the cycle handbook on winter storage, I used to be shocked at how a lot work it was to retailer a fuel cycle for the winter! You have to alter the oil, run the tank dry, and doing a surprisingly-long listing of different issues! When again out of storage in the spring, you’re supposed to alter the oil (once more!) and have one other laundry listing.
On my electrical motorbike, this is how I put it away for the winter.
- Charge the batteries
- Pull out the battery disconnect
- Ignore the cycle for the remainder of the winter (I simply preserve mine within the again nook of the storage.)
In the spring, it is
- Charge the batteries (they’ll self-discharge a bit over the winter)
- Check the air within the tires.
- Put within the battery disconnect, flip the important thing, and experience the cycle!
A automobile turns into extra environment friendly the lighter and extra aerodynamic it’s. You also can assist make it extra environment friendly by decreasing electrical hundreds. For instance LED lights devour much less energy than incandescent ones. On my cycle, I changed the inventory taillight with an LED gentle from the autoparts retailer. They are mass-manufactured, DOT-approved, and reasonably priced.
I would prefer to have a low power-draw headlight, however presently there are only some DOT-approved LED headlights out there in the marketplace, and they’re somewhat costly. I would prefer to get one when the worth comes down, or possibly build my own.
The flip alerts on the cycle are nonetheless incandescent, as they use practically no energy in any respect (how usually are flip alerts on!?) It did not make sense for me to spend the cash to improve them to LED. If I have been constructing a brand new, customized motorbike, I’d set up LED lights all the way in which round proper from the beginning.
300 Miles per Gallon!
Another actually cool factor about electrical bikes is how loopy environment friendly they are often! After my first experience on a completely charged battery, I recharged the battery, monitoring how a lot power was used (with a Kill-a-Watt energy monitor) and divided it by what number of miles I traveled (utilizing the journey odometer.) I used electric-to-gasoline-conversion numbers from MIT to calculate what the equal “miles per gallon” can be. It got here out to over 300 mpg!
Is it honest to make use of MPG when speaking about electrical autos? No, probably not. Gasoline cannot be produced from wind generators or photovoltaic panels, and there aren’t practically as many fuel stations as there are electrical shops. When speaking about electrical autos, we’d use “MPGe” or miles per gallon equal. It’s not an ideal analog between fuel and electrical, however it provides individuals who have lived in a world of miles per gallon a greater sense of the effectivity of an electrical automobile. Keep in thoughts that warmth, noise, and vibration are all indicators of POOR effectivity. An electrical motorbike does not have a sizzling engine, with noisy exhaust that wants mufflers, and it does not shake from engine vibration.
Many folks at the moment are aware of the idea of regenerative braking, because of the mainstream recognition of hybrid automobiles. So, in fact they ask if my cycle has it as a characteristic. No it does not. Although a DC everlasting magnet motor could make a positive generator, including regenerative braking provides to value and complexity of the mission. Also, most braking is finished on the FRONT of a automobile. On the cycle, the motor is related to the again wheel, the place it will be much less efficient for regen. Also, overbraking on the rear of a cycle can result in a uncontrolled skid. Many “hypermilers” get higher gas financial system by avoiding braking within the first place, utilizing easy eco-driving strategies, resembling “timing lights”.
We would not wish to end speaking about this mission with out mentioning what it value to construct. First, let me begin off by saying that any mission like this will have WIDE VARIATION in the price of the elements and the ultimate finances. On my mission, a number of the components, just like the ammeter, energy indicator gentle, and battery charger have been gadgets that I already had or have been salvaged supplies.
Here’s a primary run-down of the mission finances.
- Donor bike – $62 (purchased it for $100, offered scrap components for $38)
- Motor – $500
- Motor controller – $300
- Twist Throttle – $50
- Batteries – $700
- Drive Sprocket – $20
- Chain – $10
- Custom Rear Sprocket – $100
- Fuse, holder, battery cut-off, and cabling – about $100
- Repair Manual – $20
- Main contactor – $50ish
Add all of it up, and the mission got here out to proper round $2000. If an individual already had another components, tried used batteries, or put in a cheap forklift motor, the worth may come down. (See Russ’ cycle photograph within the final step! He constructed his for practically nothing!)
On the opposite hand, if it was all brand-new components, with a high-end motor and controller, and lithium batteries, the mission may simply be $10,000. (Check out Tony’s cycle within the final step!)
On the electrical automobile mission, I used to be a bit smarter about cash, creatively used salvaged components, and built an entire electric car for about $1300 complete.
Cost of charging
Electric bikes are environment friendly and have smaller battery packs than electrical automobiles. My cycle normally prices a few penny a mile to cost. That will range just a little bit relying on what electrical charges in your space are. Electric charges are a lot much less unstable than gasoline costs.
If you may have photo voltaic, you possibly can cost your cycle for “free”!
In some areas, a “Time of Day” plan is on the market. You pay double the worth of electrical energy throughout “peak load” instances and also you pay HALF the worth throughout “off-peak” instances, normally at night time. Check together with your native energy firm. By recharging your automobile solely at night time, you possibly can reduce your electrical “gas” prices in half!
Lastly, I would like to say that regardless that I went into a whole lot of element on this mission, Electric Motorcycles are SIMPLE. They actually are nearly cleanest, most straight-forward transportation doable. Knowing what I do know now, I may construct an electrical motorbike in a three-day weekend.
I do know one man who I mailed a photograph of my motorbike to. When I noticed him the following week, he had already constructed an electrical motorbike virtually precisely like mine!