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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is to describe the build/conversion of my fair weather friend, El Moto

She started life back in 1980 as a Kawasaki 440 LTD Custom Cruiser style motorcycle

Engine: 444 ccm. (27.09 cu. in.) 27 HP (19.7 kW) @ 7.000 rpm

top speed: 95.7 mph

Front tire: 3.25-19 Front brakes: single disc

Rear tire: 130/90-16 Rear brakes (expanding brake)

Weight (inc. gas & oil) 405.7 lbs


Started off by

...taking the bike to get it weighed

Beginning weight

...without carbs, gas or battery

...was 380 lbs.

so, it looks like we lost ~25 lbs. already

Next, was draining the oil from the engine

...while it was draining, I

...removed the left engine side cover to expose the main drive gear

...took measurements & pics from a few different angles

...to establish exactly where that main gear was located


* It's very important to mount the electric motor, so that it's main gear is in relatively the same location

If it's mounted too high or too low

...there will be problems with the chain "slacking" (becoming loose or too tight) as the rear wheel travels up & down
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Removed the seat, tank & the side covers & put them away so, they don't get damaged

Now, this engine has gotta go

...found the master link, sprayed (looked like it had been on there a while) & removed the chain

...took pics & measurements of where the exhaust pipes were mounted

I want remount the exhaust pipes to help maintain the look of the original bike (I need to know where they were without the engine there)

...this engine is mounted on the top-n-bottom & the front-n-back

...& weighs a ton (actually ~ 125 lbs.) (weighed on a bathroom scale)

Removed the engine on July 30, 2017

Next was to power wash the frame/motor compartment

So we have a clean slate to work with :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1IUs5TG9HU
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Next, was to figure where to put the motor

From my research, most people just put it
...in the lower rear of engine compartment
...to keep the main shaft/sprocket roughly where the previous one was

So, I placed the motor in the lower rear
...& did some measurin'

Then I tried it
...forward a little
...back a little
...on an angle
...even sideways

While trying different motor placement ideas,

I noticed a pocket between the side covers (where the battery & air filter used to be) that I might be able to fit the motor up into

I said, Hmmmmm

The motor would be mounted to the top of the trailing arm & a jack shaft would be mounted below (to help route the chain)
...both moving with the rear wheel kinda like a hub motor

Placing it there would leave alot more room for batteries & other stuff
...& the chain would be shorter (less weight)
...& it looks kinda kool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Escb_E891e8&t=33s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUfhil1jfqE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Before I could go much further,

I had to make a few decisions

Chain:

...the sprockets I have for the motor are for #40 chain (1/2" pin to pin)

...the sprocket on the rear wheel of the bike is #50 chain (5/8' pin to pin)


So, do I go with #40 chain & gears or #50 chain & gears?


Well,

...(A) I already had a 10 tooth (I can use on the motor) & a 15 tooth sprocket (I can use on the jack shaft), a 54 tooth rear sprocket, plus ~6' of # 40 chain

...or (B) if I went with the Heavy Duty #50 chain, all I have is a 45 tooth rear sprocket

...I would have to order (2) gears, (1) for the motor & (1) for the jack shaft & 10' box of #50 chain


So, for now, I went with plan A

Because I already had most everything

...& a bit smaller chain will reduce overall weight

...& a bit smaller chain should also reduce power required from the motor(to move it)

...& a bit smaller chain will be easier to route (between frame rails)


OK, so going with plan A

...next, I had remove the rear wheel & change the sprocket

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3riPW7U4QQk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boTUgLzOe00
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Another decision I needed to make was about the batteries & voltage

For now, I have it set up to run @ 36V

So, it uses (4) 12V-35AH batteries
...(3) batteries (in series)(60 lbs.) to run the propulsion system
...& (1) battery (20 lbs.) to run the 12V system on the bike (lights/horn etc.)


Then later, I can easily upgrade to 48V with minor changes
...by adding the fourth battery in series with the other three & switching to a 48 V solenoid


Then, later if/when I can afford it

...to reduce weight & extend the run time

I can upgrade to a 48V-47AH lithium Ion VOLT battery (45 lbs.)

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now, we know where the motor goes
...what type chain & sprockets were using
...the battery set up
...& that the motor is being mounted on to the trailing arm

Next, we needed to make a jack shaft type set up to help route the chain around the trailing arm

Our jack shaft consists of:

...a piece of 3/4" hardened steel axle shaft with key way & retainer ring grove (will cut to size)
...(2) pillow block bearings (for 3/4" shaft)
...a 13 tooth sprocket (I already have)
...~1" piece of key stock
...maybe a washer or (2)
...& a retaining ring
 

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You may have problems with chain wear and skipping with the minimal chain wrap around the motor sprocket- keep an eye on it. What you call a jack shaft probably would be usually referred to as an idler shaft. Sprocket makers have idler sprockets: https://www.mdsofmi.com/product/idl...MI7pGkyun_1QIVWsayCh01Hwn-EAQYAiABEgLIFvD_BwE that could make for a cheaper and easier idler set-up.

Some folks have encountered problems with motors mounted on the swing arm. The windings in the motor being damaged by the extra shock they receive. You might consider putting some extra coatings on the windings to hold them in place better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You may have problems with chain wear and skipping with the minimal chain wrap around the motor sprocket- keep an eye on it. What you call a jack shaft probably would be usually referred to as an idler shaft. Sprocket makers have idler sprockets: https://www.mdsofmi.com/product/idl...MI7pGkyun_1QIVWsayCh01Hwn-EAQYAiABEgLIFvD_BwE that could make for a cheaper and easier idler set-up.

Some folks have encountered problems with motors mounted on the swing arm. The windings in the motor being damaged by the extra shock they receive. You might consider putting some extra coatings on the windings to hold them in place better.
Thanks for the tips: I will keep an eye on things

The motor is mounted right over the fulcrum
...which affects weight transfer
...& minimizes motor movement

Learning as I go
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The motor mount hangs off the trailing arm by a couple of inches

It shouldn't be a problem

Thought about just cuttin' the extra off

NO, we want more support - NOT less
...& I don't want to modify/damage the motor mount too much (if this plan don't work out)

How about extending the trailing arm a bit by adding a box to the front edge?
...that would look good & give the motor additional support

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvE4Ir8pxPk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I rounded up a piece of steel with a nice bent edge that I can use to make the motor mount extension

After trying many variations I found that standard pillow block bearings won't work
...the foot print is too big
...& they stick out into rear tire area

So, I did some research,

I found that they make threaded base pillow block bearings, which don't have the bolt down flanges

Now, that we know where the jack shaft needs to be mounted & the bearings will fit

Next, was to get the jack shaft mounted to it's plate

Then, I disassembled it & used it as a guide to get everything lined up & mounted on to the bike
...using the jackshaft plate as a template, I drilled the holes into the trailing arm
...then, I used the jack shaft plate & trailing arm as a template to drill the holes into the motor mount plate
..then, I lined up the motor with the rear sprocket & jackshaft sprocket & drilled holes into the motor mount

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4zEj0xQ9g0&t=150s
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That was tedious
...gettin' all that stuff lined up & drilled

I had to unhook the shocks
...drop the rear wheel
...lay the bike on its side
...all while not breakin' or scrachin' nuttin'


Everything seems to line up OK
...the motor & jackshaft are mounted
...the trailing arm is solidly sandwiched between them
...the chain seems to run smoothly
...& it looks kool


...I would call it "mechanical art" :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3EOoFsOFu4&t=1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFKgGyDU0IY
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Next...component placement

The first task was making the breast plate

This is where

...the exhaust pipes will originate
...the main power cut off will be mounted
...& where our solenoid will mount

I used a piece of 1/8" x 3" steel
...with a couple of custom bends
...it mounts just inside the (2) front frame rails


After cuttin' the exhaust pipes off
...I used a dremel to smooth the edges
...then coated the edges with liquid rubber (didn't want metal to metal squeakin')


I bolted the stock exhaust flanges to the breast plate
...& coated the inside of both flanges with liquid rubber


When I mounted it on the bike
...I tucked the pipe ends into the flanges & secured them with screws up thru the bottom


Then is the speed controller mount
...that's what holds the speed controller (the brain) in place

I tucked the speed controller, sideways, up under the gas tank (it will be protected & have lots of air flow)
...it gets hot so, ample cooling is best
...but, it's kinda delicate & all the main electrical connections go there so, it's gotta be protected too


Plus, it'll look cool too with the shinny lines of the controller & the cooler (heat sink)

I used a piece of 3/16" steel to make a mounting bracket
...it bolts to the speed controller/heat sink on one end
...& on the other, it bolts to where the coil for the old gas engine bolted to the frame of the bike


The throttle bracket is where
...the thumb throttle will be mounted & the bracket that holds the stock throttle cable
...simple piece of 3/16" angle steel
...with a piece of 7/8" od. water pipe welded on
...it is mounted under the tank also
...where the upper gas engine mount used to be bolted to the frame


I even used the nut & bolts from removing the engine to mount most of the electrical components

I also added the (2) LED indicator lights for the speed controller in between the turn signal indicator lights on the dash
...& I replaced the tachometer with a charge meter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYukp1LCrMQ&t=8s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brv_eddtI0I
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Once, all the custom mounting brackets are fabricated & sealed up

Next. I had to get 'em on the bike

First, I mounted the speed controller on to it's bracket then on the bike
...mounting was simple
...but, when bolted down tight, a flange on the heat sink stuck out a bit & the tank would not clear (it seemed to clear OK in pre fitting)
...so, I had to trim the flange off

Next, was the breast plate

...after installing the power cut off switch & bolting the exhaust flanges on
...we need to get it mounted to the front frame rails, under the fuel tank
...I didn't want to drill into the frame so, I used (2) rubber coated hydraulic hose mounting straps
...they wrap around each of the frame bars & hold the breast plate in place nicely with a couple of nuts & bolts


Once mounted, I added the solenoid & bracket


Next, was the thumb throttle bracket
...pretty simple mounting also, used existing holes (was for the engine coil)
...tucked right up under the tank right behind the speed controller
...pretty close to where the carburetor's used to be
...so, I can use the stock throttle handle & cable for an authentic feel
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Next, is wiring our propulsion system



I started at the speed controller
...install cable J1 & J2 by screwing each connector into it's designated location on the speed controller


Then start running the different wires to where they go
...throttle input wire goes to the thumb throttle
...brake signal wire goes to brake switch area (have to mount a separate switch)
...indicator lights (red & green LED's) go to dash area
...solenoid signal circuit wires go to solenoid on the breast plate
...thermosister wires goes to the (back side) motor area
...& finally, wiring an on/off switch for the controller
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mounting motor on swing arm!
I have been riding this bike for ten years and only replaced the batteries once.

More pictures on my web site:

http://ivanbennett.com/e-cycle.html
Nice E-Bike!

Motor on swing arm too, I like it!

Yup, I was just barely able to tuck it up in there & it clears everything quite nicely.

I thought about the swing arm thing a while, before I did it.

I figured hub motors bounce along with the rear wheel so, it's not like its not been done before.

...plus it left so much more room for everything else

...creatively placed & with lots of air flow for cooling
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Now, for the battery pack

The original plan was to set up the (3) 12V 35AH batteries "pyramid style"
...& to use (1) smaller 12V 12AH battery to run the 12V system on the motorcycle

So, I placed a piece of thin (16g.) steel across the frame rails
...set (2) batteries side by on it
...then, I sat the third battery on top of them
...& the smaller battery was to sit in front of them (below the solenoid)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXbEMXZ0um0
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Working on the framework for the batteries

I reevaluated the "pyramid style" plan

It seemed to waste valuable room
...& it wasn't a good pretext to future upgrades

The propulsion system is currently set up at 36V
...just as a starting point
...I learned to start small & work your way up (voltage & weight)
...but, the motor is capable of handling 48V


48V is the ultimate goal

So, thinking ahead I figured
...lets set it up like it's 48V now
...& use (4) 12v 35AH batteries
...(3) for the 36V propulsion system & the other (1) for the 12V system on the bike

Simpler mounting
...flat bar hold downs, no fancy bent up brackets
...& no stacking of batteries


Now, it's easier to (later) up grade the power to 48V
...just change the solenoid & reconfigure some battery cables

& to (later) up grade capacity
...the area will also hold a 48V 47AH Volt battery :cool:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvyuobdxOwA
 
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