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podolefsky
03 March 2011, 0846
I just met these folks yesterday. They're right here in my hometown of Boulder, and they seem serious about actually building and selling elmotos. As in, they have a running prototype, not just a CAD model.

Their Spark M4 looks similar to a Zero, but with some interesting differences (like a Headway pack).

http://www.boulderelectroride.com/

frodus
03 March 2011, 0903
Coincidentally they just PM'd me yesterday on Endless-Sphere about battery stuff.

The proto looks great, Can't wait to see more from these guys.

Nuts & Volts
03 March 2011, 0914
That's awesome! Only advice I can give is that they lose the kelly and either go with the 500A model or an alltrax. The more I see the current numbers you, noah, are getting from you GBS cells I believe my kelly is not pulling its weight. You have seen a max 300A battery side and I have only see 180A and that is at WOT at all speeds. I use a kelly 400A and it aint pushin my agni 95R very much, i think ill do a side by side comparision with an alltrax 450A this summer to prove this.

Still awesome to see some start-ups pushing the limits!

podolefsky
03 March 2011, 1011
Coincidentally they just PM'd me yesterday on Endless-Sphere about battery stuff.

The proto looks great, Can't wait to see more from these guys.

I told them they should contact you about the Headways...hope you don't mind.

podolefsky
03 March 2011, 1017
That's awesome! Only advice I can give is that they lose the kelly and either go with the 500A model or an alltrax. The more I see the current numbers you, noah, are getting from you GBS cells I believe my kelly is not pulling its weight. You have seen a max 300A battery side and I have only see 180A and that is at WOT at all speeds. I use a kelly 400A and it aint pushin my agni 95R very much, i think ill do a side by side comparision with an alltrax 450A this summer to prove this.

Still awesome to see some start-ups pushing the limits!

That's good to know - I'll relay that info to them.

Curious, what is your gear ratio again? As I posted on the Elmoto 2.0 thread, I've been finding that max current draw is related to gearing (and hence load seen by motor).

billmi
03 March 2011, 1023
Phil Thayer has mentioned pulling momentary peaks over 200 amps with his KD72401.

Nuts & Volts
03 March 2011, 1030
summary: agni 95R, 5:1 (12:60) gearing, kelly PMDC 400A with regen, and 24 60ah GBS cells, 425lbs w/ 180lb rider, full-fairing katana

Max current at 35mph and around 50 mph was 160-180 battery side. Kelly is pretty much maxed out on programming. Also 35mph was at ~65F and 50mph was at ~40F. I dont have to many data points (future plan is to attach gps, stop watch, and camera, and just ride around to collect data).

Seems your data shows the battery isnt the issue. Motor has never been too hot to touch. So the controller is most likely the issue.

if this is too off topic maybe we shoule PM. Kelly and agni are relevant thou.

edit: thats good to know thanks billmi. who is phil thayer by the way?

podolefsky
03 March 2011, 1105
summary: agni 95R, 5:1 (12:60) gearing, kelly PMDC 400A with regen, and 24 60ah GBS cells, 425lbs w/ 180lb rider, full-fairing katana

Max current at 35mph and around 50 mph was 160-180 battery side. Kelly is pretty much maxed out on programming. Also 35mph was at ~65F and 50mph was at ~40F. I dont have to many data points (future plan is to attach gps, stop watch, and camera, and just ride around to collect data).

Seems your data shows the battery isnt the issue. Motor has never been too hot to touch. So the controller is most likely the issue.

if this is too off topic maybe we shoule PM. Kelly and agni are relevant thou.

I think it's on topic since their bike will potentially have a Kelly / Agni setup. I've heard other reports that Kelly's are overrated, Alltrax are pretty accurate...but don't want to knock them without good data.

When I was running 13:65 (1:5), I was pulling around 250-280A max. So it could be your system is capable of more with a higher load.

Maybe you could find a steep hill and see how much current you can pull accelerating from a stop. If it's still only around 200A, then it sounds like controller. Batteries and motor should both be capable of 400A.

frodus
03 March 2011, 1137
I told them they should contact you about the Headways...hope you don't mind.

its my job :) I work for Manzanita Micro part time. I also help Dave Kois, who he purchased the batteries from. I appreciate the referral.

Nuts & Volts
03 March 2011, 1143
I think it's on topic since their bike will potentially have a Kelly / Agni setup. I've heard other reports that Kelly's are overrated, Alltrax are pretty accurate...but don't want to knock them without good data.

When I was running 13:65 (1:5), I was pulling around 250-280A max. So it could be your system is capable of more with a higher load.

Maybe you could find a steep hill and see how much current you can pull accelerating from a stop. If it's still only around 200A, then it sounds like controller. Batteries and motor should both be capable of 400A.

Sounds like a plan! Too bad im 2000 miles away from my bike until June. :(

jpanichella
03 March 2011, 1305
Looks like it has the potential to really be a nice little commuter bike. Are they planning on skinning the chassis or leaving it "naked"?

podolefsky
03 March 2011, 1431
Looks like it has the potential to really be a nice little commuter bike. Are they planning on skinning the chassis or leaving it "naked"?

Not sure - I get the feeling they are going to leave it somewhat naked, maybe a couple body panels here or there. They seem to be doing a supermoto sort of thing (like the Zero), so what would be nice is if their bike was a better fit for small riders. The Zero is really tall, probably to big for me to ride (I'm 5'6").

ProfTom
03 March 2011, 1739
Thanks for all the kind words about our Spark M4 project. I think it is time to say a bit out what we are trying to do with the company. Boulder ElectroRide is a small, self-funded startup seeking to enter the commuter bike market. We have no illusions that we'll be as big as Zero or Brammo any time soon, but we are working our tails off to make a solid product.

After seeing some of the discussion on this thread I realized that the specs I put up on the web site are quite out of date. Here are the correct specs for our bike:

Motor - Lemco D135. 14 kW continuous, 29 kW peak (19/39 HP).

Batteries - 96 x 16 amp-hr LiFePO4 Headway cylindrical cells in a 24S4P configuration. 4.9 kWh. MiniBMS battery management system.

Controller - Kelly KDC72601 600A pulse-width modulation

Charger - On-board. Delta-Q QuiQ.

I noticed that Nuts & Volts took issue with our choice of a Kelly controller. Was that because I had mistakenly put up a 300A controller or do you guys think that Kellys have problems? We used an Alltrax on our M2 prototype and had big problems with getting decent throttle response out of it so that's why we shifted to Kelly. But now I see that tons of folks are using Alltrax. Maybe we just got a defective unit.

Tom McKinnon
www.BoulderElectroRide.com

PS Thank you to Noah for prompting us to become active on El Moto. He's built one helluva bike.

ProfTom
03 March 2011, 1744
I forgot to respond to one other question. Yes, the Spark M4 will be a naked bike. As a practical matter, getting injection molded plastic parts is quite expensive in small quantities. But more importantly, Blair Keller, our frame designer, is a firm believer in the naked look.

Our in-depth market research (i.e. "hey Joe, whaduya think of this bike") seems to validate Blair's hunches.

Tom

jpanichella
03 March 2011, 1805
Hi Tom, welcome to ElMoto.

I think that the frame you guys devised is beautiful and needs no fairings. I can't wait to see a more detailed render of the final product. I think that most people took issue with the 300A Kelly controller because they are notoriously underrated (from an amperage standpoint), but a 600A unit seems to be more than enough.

Nuts & Volts
03 March 2011, 1816
Yea sorry I take only little offense to kelly and plan to test head to head with an alltrax in the future. I have a 400A model and believe that it offers great throttle response and has good programming, but it is way overrated. So when i saw 300A I was very much concerned. Good to know you have a 600A model thou. I have not seen that (in the cheaper KD models) on kellys site, must be using one of the higher end models.

So did you test with an agni and then move up to the Lemco?

Good stuff and welcome! Let us know how we can help out

ProfTom
03 March 2011, 1831
Yes, on our M4 bike we are using the Kelly KDC and not the lower cost KD model. We have a KD72301 on our M3 prototype.

I hope we made the right choice of Lemco vs Agni. As a practical matter, Agni was taking weeks to respond to simple email queries (and sometimes they didn't respond at all) whereas Trevor Lees of Lemco responded promptly and professionally. It was really just a visceral choice on which supplier we felt best about working with.

Tom

Nuts & Volts
03 March 2011, 1841
From what I have heard the Lemco may be better than the agni. I think i watched some videos or something awhile back. I dont think you would be wrong with choosing either.

Skeezmour
03 March 2011, 2112
Welcome to the fun :) look forward to seeing and driving one of your bikes soon.

Gene

harlan
03 March 2011, 2343
Great to see another company throwing their hat into the ring!

I've never been impressed by the throttle response of the Alltrax, especially in combination with the Magura throttle. Just my two cents.