What i’m looking for in a bike

17 11 2009

So, i mentioned in an earlier post that i originally thought i’d be able to build a bike for a couple grand.  Well, after thinking about my desires for an electric motorcycle, that cost jumped a bit….ok more than a bit.

What i’m hoping to get in the end is a motorcycle that will:

  • go 65-70mph (highway speed)
  • get at least 55 miles per charge, but hopefully more than that
  • have enough acceleration to beat out your average car from a stop when driving in traffic.  This isn’t particularly hard since most people don’t gun it from the line at a stop light. But my scooter is underpowered so accelerates pretty slowly.

That being said, i decided to throw as much in the way of batteries as i thought i’d be able to get away with. A guy in Florida with the screen name “remotecontact” on elmoto.net started on a project similar to me a few weeks before i got started.  He started with a 2009 Ninja 250 and is planning on using the same EnerTrac hub motor, with 32 Thundersky 60Ah batteries.  that works out to 6.1KWh.

I’m not really looking to go super fast, but i’d like the bike to be able to go 65-70 to facilitate going on the highway.  What i am looking for however, is more range than is normal for an electric motorcycle.  55 miles per charge is pretty ambitious.  So, I figured if remotecontact could do 32, i should hopefully be able to get away with 36 (thundersky 60Ah batteries) since the frame is a little bigger, this works out to 6.9KWh and will hopefully get more range.

I’m not sure if this i’ll be able to fit that many, but the ace up my sleeve (hopefully) is that i’m willing to put a couple of batteries “saddlebags” on the back of the bike if needed.

One downside of this is that the extra weight of the slightly larger bike + the extra batteries may unfortunately make the performance not as good as i’m hoping.

I could have gone with 90Ah batteries instead of 60, but they’re heavier and i probably wouldn’t be able to get the high voltage for higher top-end speed.

Mark from EnerTrac recommends using a Kelly KBL brushless DC controller with his motor, and given my specs, he recommended a 400 Amp version.  So, since i have 115.2V, i went with a 120V controller. In particular the KBL12401I.  I was on the fence about using a 270 Amp controller, but i was warned by multiple people that it wouldn’t be able to draw enough current for accelerating.  Oh well, it’s only money, right? 🙂

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