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Thread: weighing the costs and benefits

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    weighing the costs and benefits

    I'm 2 days into researching the requirements for an EV conversion on my motorcycle. I have a sv650 that has now become a donor bike because of a stupid PO and a shady dealership. Instead of selling it and taking a huge loss, I figured I might take on the project of an EV conversion. But the more I read into this, the more I think this might not be worthwhile..

    pros:
    almost no maintenance compared to ICE
    relatively simple to implement
    virtually no transportation cost
    great learning experience, especially considering I aspire to work in battery technology and engineering
    bragging rights and street cred

    cons:
    a butt load of time (with disassembly and sale of ICE components, sourcing parts, learning and using software to draft designs of battery/motor mounts, murphy's law)
    range anxiety (need 10+ kwh to get anywhere near 100 miles, and the lack of ability for touring takes away a lot of incentive for me)
    expensive ($3000+ that I could use to get a klr650 and spend the summer touring the country instead of working on this)

    So I'm kind of conflicted right now. If batteries were cheaper, more compact, and there's long range support of superchargers, I'd be like "hell yea, let's go." But it seem like society still needs time to catch up to the EV bandwagon.

    I'd like to know how you guys decided that you wanted to go ahead with the EV conversion. Perhaps I can learn from it, and make a better judgement call.

  2. #2
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    lol - If you're going to try and get folk to tell you how they justified the effort, you're going to be dissapointed dude.

    It's NOT a pragmatic thing to do.

    What it is, is just ... right.

    It's hard to sum up without starting an essay beyond that - everything about EV's in general, but motorcycles in particular, is just right.
    The torque, the efficiency, the simplicity.

    Ultimately it comes down to passion. You can make token justifications like fuel savings, getting around traffic, yadayadayada, but the bottom line is that you do it because you want to.

    I've done one as a testbed, it'll never see the road in any regular fashion but it's 70MPH capable, handles well, is comfortable and fun to ride - but it's only got a range of about 6-8miles as there's only room for a small amount of lipo in there alongside the two forktruck motors - it'll likely become a drag bike someday.

    The longer term project is a hypersports tourer conversion, blackbird most likely - but I'm not even going to start that until I've got about 15k put aside to do the job (so there's every chance it'll never happen )

  3. #3
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    that's what I figured.. I was talking to one of the locals who has a profile on here earlier today. We chatted for a bit, and both agreed that converting a bicycle makes a lot more sense from the standpoint of a more versatile platform, easier to source compatible parts, lighter weight/lower performance/longer range, and much much more affordable. I may just end up doing something like that.. custom make my own e-bike, with the target of long range.

    motorcycle just seems like too much of a time suck right now. I think building an e-bike is in itself a pretty good engineering challenge.
    Last edited by Spectastic; 28 April 2016 at 1724.

  4. #4
    Junior Member nealwallace's Avatar
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    TL;DR
    If I could start over, I would have done conversions in this order: lawn mower, bicycle, ATV/Dirtbike, motorcycle, then car. I skipped bicycle and ATV & dove straight into motorcycle. I don't regret any of it, it's just that

    The Long Reason
    Wow, this must be SV650 conversion week! I started my '01 SV conversion back in August & I could only find one other person in all the Web who had completed a build (Taxman on evalbum).

    I built my motorcycle as part of a larger series of electric drive conversion projects. After I converted a large Power Wheels toy into a 100lb R/C monster, it was the test bed for an electric R/C full-size ATV project. During the research phase for the ATV I started to see that folks were doing motorcycles as well. I got so excited & was like "for just about $600 more I can build a motorcycle instead of an off-road only ATV/bike!"

    I'm starting an electric drive conversion company in Richmond, VA. I will convert anything to electric (or improve existing electrics). This will include, longboards, kick scooters, power chairs, Power Wheels (battery-powered ride on toys), pocket bikes, lawn equipment, ATVS, dirt bikes, bicycles, mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and cars. If it can move I can make it move better with batteries.

    So, with that said, there are pros and cons w/both bicycle and motorcycle conversions. It's really not hard to do motorcycles. Did I mention that this is absolutely my *first* time touching a motorcycle? Let alone completely disassembling and converting.

    You'll do fine no matter what you choose. Electrics are the future!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    SV's rule the world

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealwallace View Post
    TL;DR
    I built my motorcycle as part of a larger series of electric drive conversion projects. After I converted a large Power Wheels toy into a 100lb R/C monster, it was the test bed for an electric R/C full-size ATV project. During the research phase for the ATV I started to see that folks were doing motorcycles as well. I got so excited & was like "for just about $600 more I can build a motorcycle instead of an off-road only ATV/bike!"

    I'm starting an electric drive conversion company in Richmond, VA. I will convert anything to electric (or improve existing electrics). This will include, longboards, kick scooters, power chairs, Power Wheels (battery-powered ride on toys), pocket bikes, lawn equipment, ATVS, dirt bikes, bicycles, mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and cars. If it can move I can make it move better with batteries.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow you've done just about everything, that's awesome! I'm new to electric conversions but have really been enjoying it so far. May have to try and tackle my lawn mower, seems like a fun project

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