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My first EV

2356 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  roubenm
Hi all,

My name is Lex, I've never built an electric motorcycle before let alone A motorcycle. After seeing the mission motorcycle on youtube I've been fascinated. Then, I saw the well-known 72v electric motorcycle on instructables and have been determined to build my own.

As a reference I'm using Carl Vogel's book "Build your own Electric Motorcycle" as well as this website amoung others.

My plan is to build a 72 volt motorcycle that goes to approximately 100 km/h (60mph) for approximately 40 km (25miles)

My original budget was $3000 but realistically for what I want the bike to do I'm now seeing around $4-5 grand spent (maybe more).

I still haven't selected a bike I've been foraging through kijiji twice a day and still haven't found something I wanted in my price range ($400 I don't want to spend too much on the bike itself as the batteries, motor and controller are most of what I've allocated my budget too)

I am definitely going to be using an AC motor as according to Carl Vogel they are virtually maintenance free, have regenerative braking capabilities, small and light in size in comparison to DC, far less expensive (yet to see this as I've noticed DC and AC's seem to be around the same price), and higher efficiency due to low copper and iron heat losses.

I'm going with an AC Controller because they are more reliable, wider speed range, higher efficiency, range of programmable features, and regenerative capabilities. In addition, an AC controller with an AC motor provides constant torque for a wide range of RPM.

A recommendation on an AC Controller and AC motor would be great or should I just get an AC motor / controller package?

In terms of batteries I'm stuck between Nickel-Cadmium and LiFePo4 (I've made cardboard mock ups of the Nickel-Cadmium). Definitely need help with determining which to go with.

Any recommendations?

Also, I was wondering which batteries from Thundersky are LiFePo4

Is it the lyp's, lsp's, or the lp's?

Furthermore, does anyone know the price for SAFT Nickel-Cadmium specifically the STM 5-100 MRE?

Any help is greatly appreciated and I'm glad to be part of the community.
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You will most likely save a significant amount of money if you find a good DC motor and controller package. You can still have regen braking and even brushless motors. That being said, make sure you're set on an AC setup, because from what I have found, there is only one good option out there and it's quite pricey. This of course, being the Curtis controller and high performance golfcart motor combination found at various EV parts dealers.

Check out, they seem to have the best selection of motorcycle motors and controllers out there right now. Todd can provide some great tech support as well.
Thanks for the link and advice ZX-E

Just updating my progress

Tomorrow I'm checking out a bike it's a 1990 HONDA CBR600F "Hurricane" for $1000

It's missing the side and front fairings but I've seen them on eBay for pretty cheap so the bike should end up running me around $1300 but I'm going to part out everything I don't need and hopefully end up only have paid 400-600.

Here's a link

What do you guys think? good deal?
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You can see my motorcycle project here:

For me AC motor isn't the best choice. Regenerative breaking is not so important for a motorcycle. Probably less than 10% more range. DC motor have a better price/performance ratio.

Many other conversion:

Good luck!
Mate I am extremely happy to see your dedication in building a electric vehicle for you. Keep up the good work and you will find success in building your very first EV.
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