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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, so I just joined this forum a couple minutes ago, but have been reading around for the past day or so. I have quite a few questions, but some major ones that have been bugging me lately.

Currently, what is on my mind for a build is a sports bike EV. And I think it will be a decent place to start as there is no radio, security system, windows, AC, power steering, etc.

Here is my background before I begin though:
Little auto experience (only 18 years old after all)
- I have done a few modifications to my car, and do regular maintenance

Very little fabrication work

Not much knowledge in EVs, but hope to learn a lot here.

So here are my questions:
What is the level of difficulty for changing a motorcycle into an EV?

What is the estimated cost (not counting the bike itself) if I want it to have:
a top speed of about 100 to 125
0-60mph in hopefully 5 seconds or less
Range of approximately 80 to 100 miles.

... or am I being way too ambitious? I don't exactly know the limitations of DIY EVs, so I'm just stating what I "want".

Why do EVs only use 1 or 2 gears? Could I use the gearbox in the motorcycle I have already? (6 gears). If so, would it be easier, and what are the pros and cons to using 6 gears vs 1 or 2?

Am I correct to assume that, at a dead stop on the motorcycle, there is no need to hold in the clutch? ( I plan on keeping the clutch if I can go with the 6 speed)

Even though I am severely simplifying it, is it really as simple as putting in a motor, batteries and connecting the dash and lights, to complete an EV conversion?
I feel that I'm missing things, such as how are the lights controlled (blinkers and such), how does the speedometer get set up, is it possible to know how much charge is left in the batteries like a gas meter?
Do I need an onboard computer to tell me all those things?

Also, is it even worth it for me to do this? I know it is a great learning experience, but looking at the finished product, is it something I can use everyday?

Sorry if a lot of these questions are repetitive, many must be newbie questions. If they are somewhere on this forum, feel free to point me in the direction!

Thank you!

290 Posts
The reason EVs typically only use 1 or 2 gears (Or go direct drive) is that an ICE's power band is around 3-5,000 RPM. An electric motor's "power band" is 0-6,500 RPM, 3 and a half times wider. And, as a point of comparison, I don't think there are any EV motorbikes out there that use a transmission, as it's too difficult to adjust it for Electric loading, and besides, it's really not required. For instance, a Honda XR 600R has a rear wheel diameter of 505mm (Circumference of 1,587mm). Running a motor at 5,000RPM through a 3:1 reduction ratio (Using a belt or chain drive) would give a speed of 99MPH (159KM/H). More than enough to break the speed limits on most roads :)
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