View Full Version : Another new Finn!

09 June 2015, 1403
Hi there! Just found this forum on my quest to educate myself better on the wonders of electric motorbiking. I`m always on the lookout for cool and quirky projects and this seems to take the ticket for the next one :D

I`m no stranger to two wheeled things that go broom as I`ve been more or less on and around one since the age of ten, currently at a bit more mature age of 30, and an owner of a 2002 model Triumph Daytona 955i Streetfighter that has managed to collect some show success as well as being my riding bike. That will not be touched on this project.

What will be touched is yet to be determined, but I`m currently in the process of possibly trading a Renault Clio that I got laying around, to a 2008 model Gilera SC 125 that has a no-run issue. IMO it is a very beautiful bike albeit a little small for an e-conversion, however once stripped from the unneeded bits the rest will weigh next to nothing so I suppose what it lacks in battery space it makes up for in weight and aerodynamics. And there`s of course the little thing called the insurence companies that give a hoot about what the bike is running with so I cannot keep up with paying the payments of two SUV cars AND two full sized bikes. A hub engine would free up some space from the frame but what I`ve been told they cost your firstborn. Gotta do some more studying (and get the bike) before I can speculate more. If I can make the bike run on petrol I can get more from teh engine and other unneeded bits when I sell them to gather money for the buzzing bits, and I probly need to desing and fabricate a cradle for the battery pack cause it`s a self supporting frame.

We`ll see what comes out of this but I`m pretty stoked!

Oh! and the bike should be able to cope 30km on one charge since I probly have to charge it at work since 60km per charge sounds pretty ambitious.


In case you don`t know that is what a Gilera SC looks like, although the one I`m looking at is a single colored dark purple which makes it even cooler in my eyes. AFAIK it`s pretty much the same as an Aprilia RS 125 but prettier fairings.

04 October 2016, 1248
Alright let`s try this thing again...

Hey, new member joining in, again apparently!

So yea last year I was planning to buy the Gilera I mentioned in the first post but after doing some research I found out that the Rotax 122 engine in that thing is about the size of a basketball and doesn`t weigh that much more either so I let that one slip. Looked for a viable donor bike to start working on but found nothing at a reasonable price, really wasn`t feeling up to spending nearly a thousand for a rolling chassis that`s been stored under a rain gutter and completely rusted and seized everywhere so got a little bummed, buried the idea in silence and kind of forgot ever signing up here...

...and now I`m back.... with a vengeance!

So I decided hell since I cannot find a proper donor bike then I`ll be converting my Triumph instead!

So the bike I will be electrifying currently looks like this:



A 2002 Triumph Daytona that`s already been slightly modified ;) So now it will be getting a new heart as well. Not that the current one would have any issues, in fact it is sitting in the garage right now all packed and ready for Saturday morning for me to make one last proper trip with it before I rip it all apart -yet again.

The first things I`ll be doing are swap the headlight for a dual dominator with a Buell Xb9 style windshield, although it will be more angular and made of aluminum. Then gonna drop the crash cage and the engine with all the rads and whatnot and hopefully sell it for a good price, after that will be cutting up the bottom of the tank to hopefully embed an on-board charger in there, after that who knows. Gonna be studying different motor options as I go. Is an old forklift motor a viable option or would you guys rather recommend a new one? I will be using the chain drive and hopefully will be outputting at least 30kw but I will also need to have at least a 40km range, hopefully more. My advantage is they count the weight here from the total mass minus 75kg which is the final weight the end result can have, and the 955i triple engine is a fairly heavy one, and I will not be carrying a passenger for obvious reasons so that will gain me an additional 75kg for the registration inspection, so I can ram-pack the thing with batteries as long as I got the cash to buy them. The bike already has some pretty nice aftermarket gadgets fitted like a hands-free keyless ignition system which I will most likely leave in the end product as well.

So there that`s where I`m standing as is, and somewhat the direction I`m heading for. The rest is up to the winds so to speak.

05 October 2016, 0022
Howdy, and fair play on the Triumph, she's a beauty.

As regards the conversion, I'd hold on to that crash cage, it looks like an absolutely ideal surround for your battery real-estate.

DC Forktruck motors are simple and fun, they're also robust and well capable, so they're not a bad choice for a first fit out; however you aren't going to live with one in the longrun. They're relatively big and heavy, relatively high maintenance. At stock voltage levels they're also too slow to be geared effectively, and at higher voltage levels, the brushes don't last any time at all. (I've a CBR600F2 conversion with two of them and a chunk of Lipo in it as a concept testbed.)

If I had the pockets I'd be buying this (http://www.electricmotorsport.com/ev-parts/motor-drive-kits/brush-less-pmac-motor-kits/pmac-15kw-cont-38kw-pk-liquid-cooled-motor-drive-system-72-84v-550a.html) in 96V, with liquid cooling, the Domino throttle, and the sevcon display. It looks like a lot of money but that's about as high a power density as you're going to get on the consumer market, and that means more room for batteries, charger & BMS; and more room of course means more placement options which means better balance ultimately. 96V operation means you get your 30kW at about 320Amps, which is a relatively low, and easy enough to handle, current for these applications.

For 40km range you'll need to budget for about 5kWh of battery, and be sure to select cells that can match or exceed your peak current requirements (Leaf modules are a good option, but it's important to remember that they're only rated for about 300A or so) and then a QuiQ charger after that. BMS is optional if you're diligent about pack maintenance, although there are definite benefits to having pack current and cell level voltage logging as you ride. I'd look towards the Orion hardware if going that route personally. After that it's all smaller stuff.

Looking forward to watching this progress, best of luck with it.

05 October 2016, 1219
Ey mate thanks for the compliments ;) Yea I`m something like three or four years into the build as is don`t even remember anymore... all I know is I got waay too much money on it to sell, the paint alone cost a grand not to mention the million smaller things... The main build took two years after which I`ve spent one season fine tuning the small things, the next winter went in different shows, magazine photoshoot, things like that, and this summer I`ve ridden the living crap out of it as I started the season at the start of april which is still well in the morning frost season brr... TBH have gotten a bit bored already, despite the looks I don`t really hoon, I got two boys at home one toddler and one baby so haven`t been doing any long trips in a few years so figured whatthehell could as well do the conversion on that one. Been doing research these past few days asking silly questions from everyone, pesting MOT inspectors about possible pitfalls etc, even asked if I can charge things at work to what I got a green light so have no excuse not to, other than the obvious money issue... Probly gonna be skipping next season but that`s OK to me as I like equally to tinker and to ride, maybe even a bit more of the first one. For some reason environmental things have started to raise interest over the past year and to follow that path I`m also planning to go EV on the car front as well although that one I`m gonna buy ready, was thinking Opel Ampera as I gotta have one vehicle without range restrictions. Funny thing that I`m planning to go green considering what I do for a living. Yep, I`m a trucker :D

What comes to the crash cage that is self made, I have a hydraulic tube bender and a mig rig in the garage, and it has a bit of a design flaw so I can easily make a new improved one that will follow the battery bank much better as well as protects more in case of a spill, the current one lifts the front wheel up from the ground in case of a fall so it causes a risk of turning the bike sideways mid slide causing a massive highside, besides I`m planning to fabricate fairings out of aluminum around the motor compartment which the new possible cage will have to go round so it will be easier to make a new one from scratch.

Haha figured those forklift motors would not be the A-grade solution as they are pretty massive things for what they do, they aren`t exactly meant to rev high are they...

For the electrics can`t really say much about them at this point as I`m only scratching the surface in regards of what all do I even need let alone where to get them. I don`t even know what is a BMS but I`m assumin it`s a battery management system? Yea definitely one of those please, I want the thing to be plug n pray once the conversion is done. I don`t think I`ll be running out of weight or space, well at least not before cash that is :) One thing I was thinking about is can I make the system so that I`d be doing the conversion in a sense in stages meaning could I add battery cells later when money permits without upgrading all the brain boxes or whatever they`re called? All I know is the liquid cooled system in your link is waaaaay above my pay grade. I don`t even really know how much I should be expecting to spend but I know that is too much. I wouldn`t really want to sacrifice the power any more than what I have to since I`m already going down from the current 146hp quite a fair bit but since P=UxI I suppose it`s either range or power if I cannot add in more money (yea I know it`s not THAT black and white...)

Probly not a whole helluva lot happening in the immediate future as I like to do some groundwork before jumping head first into the deep end. I did find this book called "build your own electric motorcycle" by Carl Vogel that you can download as a PDF, was already going yaay free shit gonna print it and read it but went wait it`s 250 pages so that`d probly drain my ink cartridge as well as be a dog to read from a folder so probly gonna order the paperback version and leaf through that before even tearing into the Daytona.

Gonna keep you posted as I go along!

06 October 2016, 0053
I bought a brand new Nissan Leaf in May 2012 myself - it has 203000km on it as of this morning. Couldn't recommend the switch to EV highly enough - you couldn't pay me to go back.
That said, we do have a second car in the house (a Fiat Panda) for those times when you need that extra flexibility, or for whichever of us is doing the least mileage on any given day, but the Leaf is the primary vehicle by a long shot.

As to motor budget, there's a setup for every budget but if you want 30kW you're going to have to lay down some cash I'm afraid. That system I linked, is, bang-per-buck probably about the best available. It's a lot of money but it's the right system. Other options that would be a bit cheaper and nearly as good would be HPEV's AC-series offerings - Frodus on here can sort you out in that regard.

If you want to just get something a lot cheaper, and a lot less powerful, to play around with, then there's a ton of options from Mars motors and the like. Far more budget friendly but nowhere near the performance levels. Or if you can lay a hand to them easily, you can still have some fun with forktruck motors. Given you've got fabrication skills, I might suggest that before you go tearing down your beautiful triumph, maybe consider building a go-cart run by a forktruck motor - now that'll go like stink! With the solid rear axel it'll also drift and donut like a rally car on gravel *and* you'll get some valuable practice on the setup of an EV drivetrain. Well worth a thought if you want to keep the costs down.

As to batteries, I'd buy them last but I'd be considering what you're going to use from an early stage as you'd be amazed at the space they can take up by the time you've them all wired in to each other, your contactors, DC-DC converters, Charger, Battery Management System (you were correct :P )...

On the note of the BMS - they're a great thing in theory, but unless they're competently set up and their capabilities are well understood, they can actually do an awful lot of damage to your pack just as easily as they can keep it healthy - so be sure to be VERY sure about anything you're doing in that regard. Personally, I like the Orion systems.

Now as to the tinkering - that I understand all to well. I've a fully kitted out TLS in the garage as well as an NC24 that I'm halfway through restorating (read: it's all taken apart and distributed into many boxes around the garage. ...and has been for several years now :o ) as well as my EV-CBR. Unfortunately, I'm right in the middle of building a house right now so none of them are getting any attention whatsoever these days.

06 October 2016, 0136
I used to have a '91 F2 600 before the triumph ;) loved that thing!

Go kart is off limits as this has to be a roadworthy build. Basically the other option would be to sell the daytona and use the profits to buy some old junker and spend the rest to the buzzy bits but one can imagine the narrowness of the people even interested in a bike like that let alone give me any reasonable sum for it, Triumph isn't that popular as a brand here so even the engine might be a bitch to part with.

Yea I've done some studying and it seems my inital goal of reaching 30kw will not be met, I just cannot justify that kind of expenditure. I suppose something like 8-10kw contiunuous with a 20kw peak will be more in lines with what could be achieved. With a 96v setup the amps should be around 200. Anything over 60 has to have an electrician's approval for the regidtration inspection so it doesn't really make a difference if it's 60 or 120v DC in that regard. Funny thing I noticed is the engine management system or whatever it's called seems to cost more than the motor itself!

So let's resize the goals a little. Range will be more important to me than power. I have to be able to cruise at 80km/h for 20 something km and at 100km/h for another 10 for the commute. The ability to overtake a slow moving grandma is preferred so the top speed should exceed 150km/h if possible. I'll probly be using a 96v motor with around 10kw. I will be putting in as much batteries as I can afford/carry whichever comes first. Is this even somewhat in lines?

I really gotta get that book as currently my head's spinning like a dizzy owl. I do have an electronics degree but have never worked with anything this high voltage before so I must admit it kinda intimidates me a bit.

My wife drives a Skoda Octavia 4x4 Scout diesel, I can't drive that cause the driver seat kills my back. At the moment I drive a Volvo Xc70 AWD petrol myself, neither are exactly the environmentalist choice :D but hopefully that's about to start changing in the future. Not expecting to be able to "convert" my dear wifey but at least trying to do my part. Not to mention being able to charge up for free at work, sounds tempting :D

Cheers on the BMS:s, as said gonna have to do some studying before ordering anything. Gonna start a proper build thread later so let's move the banter there shall we.