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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Howdy

    Mostly lurking, but thought I'd pop my head in

    Been dreaming of an EV for many years. Got pretty serious about doing a conversion on our old '89 Saab 900 convertible back around '03-04 but then started having kids and had to go a little more practical. So put the dream on hold and diverted the funds to buy a salvage '05 Prius rebuilt by Steve at autobeyours, and a second used one for the wife a few years later. Contributed some engineering braincells to the Cal-cars open source plug-in conversion work back in the day, would still love to do a plugin conversion someday. Ended up designing and installing a 5.5kW PV system at home last year, which was awesome.

    But my mind has been drifting back to EVs lately. It would be hard to work a full scale BEV into out life right now, but a dedicated electric motorcycle for commuting sounds very intriguing! Seems like a very interesting way to have some EV fun on a little more reasonable budget I've got a ~20 mile round trip commute, and can most likely charge at work so the range shouldn't be too much of an issue. I have the option to drive all 35-45 mph surface streets or mixed surface and a bit of 55-65 mph freeway.

    I know nothing about motorcycles really, but based on the threads I've been reading it seems like I'd do well to be looking for an 80s-90s 500cc (maybe up to 750) donor. I'd like to keep the weight pretty low, probably shooting for a before/after right around 400 lbs. Lower would be great, but at 6' / 200 lbs I'm guessing I'd look a little silly on a 250cc bike Any thoughts on good candidates would be appreciated. Not looking for a rocket, but a little zoom would be nice Saw add locally for an '84 Honda Interceptor 500 with poor compression that I was tempted to go look at...

    Again not really knowing anything, it seems like the ME1003 with an AXE7245 and a 72V ~3kWh pack might be about the right performance / price balance.

    I don't know how likely it is anything will happen soon, but having a lot of fun already just thinking about it

    Rob Smith
    Phoenix, AZ

  2. #2
    teddillard
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    Welcome! Just stay away from CraigsList and you'll be safe. ...for the moment.

    Yeah, that sounds like a great setup. (...of COURSE it does, it's just like MINE! )

  3. #3
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Howdy Rob, and welcome.

    Look at the builds here, and also check out evalbum.com for ideas about bikes and conversions. There are a lot of possibilities.

    What's wrong with craigslist? Or did I miss something?
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  4. #4
    teddillard
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    Quote Originally Posted by podolefsky View Post
    Or did I miss something?
    Humor?

    The difference between happily thinking about it and becoming obsessively compulsive about everything possibly related to electric motorcycles, in my personal experience, is largely due to the seemingly benign habit of checking Craigslist every night for a roller. You know, nothing you'd seriously buy or anything. Oh, no, just looking, right?



    lemmee see.
    Exhibit A: http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/trouble-abrewin/
    Exhibit B: http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2009/07/1...n-but-trouble/
    Exhibit C: http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2013/01/2...rt-bike-build/
    Last edited by teddillard; 30 September 2013 at 1651.

  5. #5
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Ah! Yes, very true.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  6. #6
    Member PaulWay's Avatar
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    Hi Rob! Welcome!

    A motorcycle as a commuter vehicle is a good thing generally - you're moving less weight around, for one. Converting one is much cheaper than trying to convert a car, and IMO it's also easier - you can generally move the engine block without special equipment, for example.

    I'm converting a Yamaha FZS-600 "Fazer", so I'm biased here, but I think the 500-750 cc range is good for conversions. It's not too difficult to stick batteries in there, but it's not so massive that you really have to throw gobs of money at it to get anywhere.

    Anyway, good luck!

    Have fun,

    Paul

  7. #7
    Junior Member Toni's Avatar
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    Hi Rob!

    Your story sounds exactly like mine. I've been hoping for this locally developed Prius plugin conversion for a while now (similar to Plugin Supply kits). And before that there was a chance that a company over here would have converted me a 2002 VW Passat. But both companies seem to have died out before producing anything. It's harsh times... And I think it will be a while until I have time to build a car myself. Been dreaming of a Porsche 944 as you can get a good frame cheap over here and they're pretty good cars for regular use.

    I also started having kids... Second one was born this June. But that didn't stop me from converting a Honda CB750F in about two months, starting the actual conversion in late July (look for the eHonda thread I just started). I mostly slipped away from home to build the bike once I got the older sibling into sleep. Luckily I have a wonderful wife that made it possible. And luckily in Finland it never gets dark during the summer nights, as I had to work outside...

    Another guy in my country built a bike with the same components, but his bike had fairings and liquid cooled engine. Nasty stuff. Staying with older naked tubular frame bikes with air cooled engines will save you a lot of trouble. And looking for a frame that you don't need to fully restore will save a lot of time. Fixing and restoring can take more time than the conversion itself... And ordering the motor mount and battery boxes from professionals will also save you a lot of trouble. In my case they didn't even cost too much. Motor mount as water jet cut was like 80 euros and the 4mm welded aluminum battery boxes was some 300 euros. Would have taken forever to build those myself.

    PS. Today is the fifth day I came to work with my converted bike.

    Cheers,
    Toni
    Last edited by Toni; 30 September 2013 at 2157.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spaceweasel's Avatar
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    Welcome! Make sure you budget in a MSF (motorcycle safety foundation)beginners course. They provide the bike (usually a small 250cc motorcycle) and helmet (if you don't have one of your own). It will make you far more comfortable on a bike, and is much better than learning on your own in a back alley.
    Good Luck!

  9. #9
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    Thanks all, appreciate the warm welcome

    Ted, I'm afraid the craigslist disease has already set in

    Weasel, its funny you say that. Was just looking at classes thinking it might be, uh, prudent to actually ride a motorcycle at least once before buying one

    Toni, appreciate the advice! Definitely trying to keep a look out for something in decent condition with a recently failed motor, or perhaps even a good runner that I can sell the engine out of to help make up the difference. Trouble is I have a serious soft spot for basket cases and eccentric vehicles that are impossible to find parts for My first car was a 25 year old Saab Sonnet III that was older than I was if that gives you some idea of how bad it is

    Now, back to that CL ad with 3 VF1000R's in pieces....

    Rob

  10. #10
    teddillard
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscrms View Post
    Now, back to that CL ad with 3 VF1000R's in pieces....
    dammit. Too late!

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