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Thread: Reference guide for donor bikes?

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    Reference guide for donor bikes?

    I was wondering if we could have some sort of reference guide for donor bikes?

    Stuff like:

    Bikes that definitely have frames that seem made to be converted
    Bikes that you may think are ideal, but once you crack them open, there's no room for anything or at least anything worth while.
    Bikes that maybe good if it wasn't for the lack of parts etc


    I was looking at a Honda Spada and my mate shook his head and said no, because lack of parts etc. That bike was made for Japan and Australia/NZ, and I'm guessing there wasn't any really aftermarket range and gen spares.


    Thoughts?

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    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Re: Reference guide for donor bikes?

    Great idea. Too many to list them all, but certain bikes / designs seem more suited to convert than others.

    Maybe a list of bikes with links to builds? Would be nice to have all in one place.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  3. #3
    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    Thanks Noah.

    Yeah I guess so. Would be good to have ones to avoid. It's not that easy to buy a bike cheap that can be registered here. Very strict rules. ie: You can not re-register a bike that's been written off - ever - period. There is one category, "repairable write off" but there are far too many hoops to jump through and a desperate seller won't have all the paper work handy/ ie: Previous reports etc and proof that it was repaired properly by a licenced repairer.

    So, what I'm saying. I don't want to buy a bike and then find out that it's not worth converting.

    Is it worth converting a bike that has the engine as a stressed member, or is it going to be too expensive to have a strong enough battery pack to become the stressed member.

  4. #4
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Making it street legal is definitely a big concern. In the US is varies by state. As long as a bike has some kind of existing title you can usually get it registered. If it doesn't, that's harder, but sometimes if you have a bill of sale and jump through the right hoops you can get it done. In Colorado, where I live, the laws are pretty relaxed. I just walked in with my title and told them I had converted it to electric. They asked how many Watts, so I told them 40,000. They laughed and registered it as the original GSX-R. I think I was the first person in town to register an electric bike that wasn't a scooter.

    Stressed member engine is tough, but it can be done. Anyone who's converted a Ninja 250 deals with it, and there are at least a few of those. Welding bracing to the frame is one solution. Trying to use the battery box as a stressed member could be done, but you'd really have to know what you're doing. Not so much cost of materials, but of the design to make sure it will hold up and not damage the cells inside.

    With a true stressed member frame, you need to replace the engine with an equivalent structure. On some bikes, the engine isn't critical to the frame, but it does contribute to stiffness so the bike might feel and handle differently without it.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    Thanks again Noah. You're a wealth of information.

    Here we need to have an engineer go right over the bike, and you have to show ever single step you took for each process. Before and after shots of everything, except the food you ate during the build. Then he/she has to be satisfied that you took the right steps and once you get the clear, you hand over a very handsome some of money to get a little sticker (Engineer Certificate )to put on the bike, so then you can then run the gauntlet at the registry office, and then they go over it with a fine tooth comb. So, it really annoys me when I see people build stuff from what ever they had laying around with none of the expense that we have to go through. Was always fun to watch "Pimp My Ride" because *none* of those shenanigans would be legal here. You're not even allowed to "cut" any of the metal in a door to put speakers in. I heard of one guy who had a BMW and cut speaker holes in the rear parcel shelf and was braggin that his stereo was so loud that he blew his back window out. Turns out that the rear parcel shelf was a structural member keeping the car from collapsing in on it's self.


    Anyway, back to my point.

    Maybe we can start with "Frame Types". I found this little page on types, and I'm sure there's more.
    http://www.diseno-art.com/encycloped...le_frames.html

    Looks like I'd be best doing a "Perimeter frame". I do like the trellis too, but it hols a stressed motor, right?

  6. #6
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Frame types is a good place to start. There isn't any one type that's best for conversions. A lot depends on what you're putting into it, and what you can find.

    Trellis can use a stressed member, but not necessarily. The Mission R uses a trellis, and I'm pretty sure it takes all the stress. But yes, most trellis frames, like Ducatis and the SV650, use the engine as a stressed member.

    There are some pretty radical designs. Not that you'll be finding anything like that on craigslist, just interesting. The Ducati Panigale doesn't really have a frame. It's just airbox-engine-swingarm. Motoczysz E1PC is sort of a backbone design with the battery box integrated into the frame.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    In my entirely biased view, if you are going to spend big money on an electric bike and you want it to be pretty awesome, go for a custom-built frame. All conversions involve a fair bit of compromise, and this thread is essentially asking which donor frame has the least compromise. I found that having my fully custom, ground-up frame built by professional race bike fabricators, and airfreighted across the world was a far superior outcome than converting the K5 GSXR I had originally planned on. It ended up costing $10,000, but I would have spent that on a donor bike and had to put up with the compromise of an impractically small battery and no room for my preferred motor. As a rolling chassis I'm looking at a $15,000 expense, to which I'm adding $11,000 worth of motor, $9,000 worth of controller and $8,000 worth of battery.

    So in my view, if you have the money and want a no-compromise electric motorbike, go for a ground-up build.

  8. #8
    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    Having a custom bike made and shipped to me is simply not an option. If I was racing it, then yeah.

    Trying to make a commuter bike that doesn't look silly or out of place.

    If I was to spend more than $1K on a donor, I might as well get a brand new CBR250RR. Honda are currently running out their 2011 stock for $4999 ride-away. Much better than paying $2500 for a 15-20 year old version.

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    If you can get the stuff to fit, you might as well go with the rolling registered bike, and a new Honda is a pretty good start. I spent almost $5000 on my first bike just getting the chassis up to par - brakes, brake lines, new shock, fairings, new forks, chain and sprockets... it adds up fast.

  10. #10
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    If you have the $$ for a no compromise custom, go for it. No argument.

    I had to work on a tighter budget. I paid $750 for my '93 GSX-R roller with everything minus engine and tires, and it's turned out to be a great platform. My entire build was under $10k (US) - that's with an AC-20 and about a grand purely for cosmetics. It's as fast as my 650, which is fast enough for me (I don't race). Endless fun riding, building, and rebuilding.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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