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EV Motorcycle Trike Conversion/Rebuild

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I was curious if someone could help me understand and pick out a good EV motor that will be comparable to lets say a 600cc motorcycle engine in a 600-700lb trike?

I looked into going EV years ago when i was thinking of building my reverse trike, but i had a Ninja 636 fall in my lap very cheap after a friend getting into a motorcycle accident.

Ran that motor for about 1500ish miles, engine started burning oil excessively, then blew up shortly after..

Fast forward to most recent engine, had a friend wanting to dump his sv650 because he was moving, bought it, ran it for about 1000ish miles and between the slipping clutch issues and started burning oil excessively the project has been parked. we took both engine apart with a motorcycle mechanic friend and it seems they both were somehow lacking oil.... did some research and it seems dune buggy guys have my exact same issues occur often from cornering causing the oil pickup to suck air unless you go with a dry sump system....

So i am asking the community about the idea of doing EV again and just dumping the petrol engine idea all together, possibly drop some weight from the entire setup.

Currently with the SV650 engine im sitting at 681lbs, so curious what EV motor could give me 600cc output so i can stay around the same fun levels, as i took the bike on trips that had lots of curves to enjoy mostly.

Ideas i came across that are maybe options, wanted to get opinions...

20kw/50kw watercooled Golden Motors HPM-20KW -- High Power BLDC Motor


Dual ME0913 kit 24kw/60kw air cooled

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· Administrator
6,607 Posts
Have a look at my Device - it's got four wheels but it's similar in intent

I would suggest that you use a forklift motor - I can get about 500 hp out of mine

Forklift motors come in frame sizes - I have an 11 inch diameter motor in my Device
I would suggest a 9 inch motor in your trike - or even smaller

The two motors that you referenced are simply not in the same park!

I paid $100 for my motor - the motors outlast the forklifts that get scrapped off for battery and controller issues - find the local forklift repair shop and take some cash or beer - timing is important they tend to hang onto spare motors "Just in case" and then take them all to the scrap metal man the week before you visit

Then you will need a controller and batteries

Best bet for your machine would be a battery pack from a crashed Chevy Volt - about $2000

I'm using a beta version of an open source controller - which gives me my 500 hp I think that it is now available - it's predecessor certainly is but it's only 100 hp ($600 for the kit)

Stick your location on your CP - it's helpful as some things are more difficult to get some places

· Registered
217 Posts
That is interesting to know about the oil pickup issue... makes perfect sense too since a motorcycle wouldn't ever see the axial direction centripetal forces about the oil pan like it would in a car.

I've ridden an SV650, and the engine in my opinion was barely enough power for the motorcycle... nothing like a 600cc inline 4 that Duncan has in mind! so you actually aren't too far off with your motor selections if you are going for similar power to the SV650. I use a Motenergy ME1507 in my electric trike (SSE CozE), it isn't a speed demon but gets out of its own way, top speed is around 65mph direct drive single reduction. 2 of those motors would definitely give you a more exciting ride. I'm also only using a 4kwh battery made up of Chevy Volt cells... gets me 20-25 miles of range!

· Registered
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

What volts are you using for that setup? Also do you have a build thread?

I am unsure how much KW's i need to get similar performance of a 600cc bike engine. I am only saying 600cc because its fun, but near the lower limits of my acceptable power range, the only flaw i have is even with the 600cc engines i get a lot of wheelspin due to lack of traction and because i was trying to reuse the stock parts to cut cost, i feel going electric i could maybe beef up the rear tire and maybe put something about twice as wide as my current rear like a mickey thompson street slick or something..


Idk if that is the correct route for me, i had a friend who built an ATV with a forklift battery years back and that thing was a damn pain to work with, soooooo heavy and slow... granted it had a lot of torque and could scale any elevation as long as it didn't require momentum, but it was overall slow and always ran warm when ran continuous

· Administrator
6,607 Posts
Do not use forklift batteries - they are heavy!

I have heard a number of comments about my device - but "slow" has not been one of them!
I was doing 85 mph at the end of the 1/8th mile last year - badly traction limited
Next year I intend have some sticky tires - I beat about half of supercharged V8's last year - I hope to beat the others this year

Your friend was probably using the motor on the same voltage as the forklift - mistake!
That limits your rpm
You need more volts - my forklift motor is 48 v - I am using 340 v
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