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Road Legal StreetQuad conversion

83456 Views 216 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Firehuntah

Been lurking this awesome forum for nearly 2 years now, gathering information about all the components for a conversion and I think it's time to slowly get started on my first project.

First let me introduce myself. My name is Rob, I'm almost 24 years old and I live in the Netherlands. Currently I'm working as a maintenance mechanic for a cable company. I'm really into cars and anything else on 4 wheels, always have been. It's only since 2 or 3 years ago that I really started to like electric vehicles though. I think mainly because of the performance of the Tesla Roadster, never thought an electric could go so fast while not emitting anything. Little did I know back then. :)
The more I started researching electric cars after that, the more I started to like them. And now I'm at a point where I really don't want anything else than electric anymore. Sadly for my job I'll still have to stick to gas since it's a company car. But for driving in my free time I'm planning to get a quad bike converted to electric. And maybe in the future a car when I have some more experience.

So, moving on to the project with the quad bike I'm planning.

My skill level: Not that great, but I know the basics since I studied for car mechanic for a few years, I just ended up doing something else. As for fabrication, I don't know how to weld and stuff like that so I'll probably have to get motor mounts and battery boxes made. Or I could start learning how to weld. :rolleyes: Fabricating small things like copper plates for battery connections shouldn't be a problem though, have the tools for that.
Range: I'd like to get a range of at least 80km (50 miles) at 80% DoD, which I think should be possible since the quad bike I'm looking for weighs only 170kg (375lbs). Not sure how aerodynamic it is, it is pretty low to the ground though. Make and model of the quad bike is a JLA Loncin Streetquad in case you want to look it up since I don't have any pictures myself yet.
Performance: The top speed has to be between 85-100kmh (53-62mph). Also want decent acceleration, compareable to the original 250cc motor. Not sure how fast that would be though since I haven't driven on one yet. Max 8-10 seconds to top speed I guess.
Budget: I want to spend around 6.000-6.500 euros ($7.800-$8.400) max for the conversion. Any more than that and I'm not really sure if it'll be worth it for a quad bike.
Parts I've already considered:
GBS 12v 100Ah pack x4 (for 48v system) + BMS and display
LMC LEM-200 127 Motor (contacted LMC, they suggested I use a LEM-200 D95B instead but I'm not sure which would be better)
Alltrax AXE4844 Controller (LMC suggested the Sigma PMT445 if I'd go with the D95B Motor)
Curtis PB-6 Throttle
DC DC Converter (not sure how much watt I would need)
Charger (not sure yet, needs to fit in the small frame where the gas tank currently is, do want to get a full charge within 6 hours or so though)

With these parts I expect to be around my budget price, I'm just not sure if these parts will be good enough to get the performance I want, especially with a 48V system. Was looking for 72V as well but I'm not sure which batteries I could best use for that since I can't really fit 72V with prismatic lithium cells. The A123 pouch cells would have been nice but I guess it's not really possible anymore to get them from a reliable source.

Also, being in the Netherlands it's pretty hard to find good parts for the conversion since there has to be a CE mark on all of the electric components I'll be using to avoid an EMC (or EMI) test for road approval, which would cost 1.300 euros ($1.700).

That's about all I know right now, hoping to get some feedback on the parts I've chosen. Or suggestions for other parts that are better suited and not too expensive. :) And if it's possible to do this conversion with a 48V system or I should go higher to 72V with different batteries.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Been looking at some different parts for the quad conversion. :)

- 2nd hand Agni 95-R Motor
- Alltrax 7245 Controller
- 16x Sinopoly 100Ah for 48V system
- MiniBMS
- Elcon HF/PFC 1500 Charger

This would also be within my budget but a bit better performance I think. Just need to be sure that they all have a CE marking. I know the Alltrax controller and the Elcon charger have it but don't know for the rest. Can't really find any info on it.

I'm still not sure if I should go with the Sinopoly batteries and MiniBMS or the GBS batteries with their BMS. I think the GBS might be a bit too high to properly fit in the quad frame. The Sinopoly's are lower but wider and they're black which goes better with the colors of the quad. :) Performance and cycles are less than GBS though, but still enough for my chosen motor and controller I believe. Price is about the same.

Hoping to get some help, and hopefully get an answer on these two questions. Will this quad perform well at 48V with the chosen parts (85-100kmh (53-62mph) top speed and acceleration of 8-10 seconds to top speed)? And is a range of 80km (50 miles) at 80% DoD possible?
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Yeah that's true but I think the coefficient of drag will already be less with the quad I'm going for than with a usual quad where you sit higher, even though most of the wind resistance probably comes from the driver. Can't do much about the rolling resistance though, would need one with an independant rear axle and differential. But those are all pretty expensive sadly.

As long as I can get a top speed of 80-85km/h I'll be happy, don't really need to go faster than that since I don't plan on using the quad on the highways here. Range of 50km would be a bit lower than I expected though. It's still not too bad but for cruising around in the weekends it won't really get me all that far.

I'd like to go direct drive yeah, don't know about gearing yet but I think for the Agni (which is 71 rpm / V, so at 48V 3408rpm) I'm looking at a 4:1 ratio or just a bit smaller. For 72V with the Agni I'd need a 6:1 ratio which will be hard to fit I think. If I'd go with the LMC motors though, they have lower RPM and some more torque. So I would still be able to go with a 4:1 ratio at 72V. I'm just not sure about the performance of those motors, especially the LEM-200 D95B since at LMC they suggested I use that one for the conversion.

I checked the Calb CA cells but they're quite expensive compared to the Sinopoly's or GBS'. Fitting 22 cells in the small frame won't be possible either I think, fitting 16 100Ah's will already be a challenge. 22x 60Ah will also get me an even less kWh pack and I definately don't want the range to be below 50km. Also been looking for A123 pouch cells, probably easier to make a 72V pack out of those with 80 or 100Ah. Problem is just that getting these isn't so easy anymore it seems.
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Yup, the eKRAD quad is my main inspiration for doing a street quad conversion. It's too bad there's only 2 pictures and 3 video's of it, would really like to see more. Think they stopped that project though and are now focusing on cross motorcycles.

The quad I'll be using for the conversion is very similar to theirs, it's just that they have the 'race' version so the rear bridge is a bit taller and bigger frame since it comes with a 350cc motor. The one I'll be getting is the normal 250cc version. And the electric motor will indeed be mounted in the rear swing arm. With the eKRAD quad they built a whole custom rear swing arm to fit the motor but I'm not sure if I'll do that since it's a lot more expensive than just letting it drop in slightly and build mounts to keep it in place. But I don't know if that will fit well untill I actually have the quad and the electric motor here. :p

I'd really like to go with 72V but wouldn't I be sacrificing range for performance if I'd go 72V with 60Ah instead of 48V with 100Ah? Or will it actually be around the same since 72V will be easier on the motor? I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit 23-24 60Ah cells though since the space in the frame isn't all that big. Fitting 72v 60Ah with A123 pouch cells wouldn't be hard I think but with prismatic cells I have no idea. The Sinopoly 60Ah are pretty small though so that might be possible (Edit: I forgot these Sinopoly's are only 5C burst/impulse, which would be 300A for the 60Ah, wouldn't be enough to feed the Alltrax 7245 controller which can take 450A). The Calb CA 60Ah's however are very high (even higher than the GBS 100Ah) so that would be a problem. And the Thundersky and GBS are probably too wide. It's hard to tell though since I don't have the quad here yet, only know the dimensions.

If I were to go with 72V though, would I be able to use a LEM-200 D127 (with 3600 RPM)? Cause if I'd go with the Agni which will go up to 6000 RPM I'll have a hard time with the gearing. Would most likely need a 6:1 or even 7:1 ratio for that. With the LEM-200 D127 I'd only need around 4:1 ratio which will be easier. I'm just not sure about the performance with lower motor RPM?
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Today I've been looking at the Calb cells a bit more and saw that the SE 60Ah cells have very nice dimensions. I would probably be able to fit 23 or 24 cells of those cells in the quad frame. But then I was wondering what other capacities they have for the CA series and took a look at the CA 70Ah. To my surprise they're the exact same dimensions as the SE 60Ah. Thought they would be larger since the CA 60Ah are so large (the height that is).

So that means I will probably go with the CA 70Ah cells for a 72V system, which also gives me a bit more capacity than a 48V 100Ah system. I also really like the performance of these batteries, as I've seen from Jack Rickard's video of testing them. Just need to find a supplier for them, preferably in Europe.

One question again though, should I go with 23 or 24 of these cells? With 23 I'd have 73.6V nominal, while with 24 it'd be 76.8V. I'll be using the Alltrax 7245 which can take up to 90V so for that it won't matter I guess, even when they're fully charged it'll still be below 90V. Problem is just fitting 24 of those batteries in the quad frame. With 23 cells it would already be much easier to fit. But I guess a bit less performance because of voltage sag under load even though these CA's won't sag all that much when only drawing max 450 amps (6-6.5C).

Also with a 1.5kW Charger, how long do you think it'll take to charge this rather small pack from empty to full (with 80% DoD). And would I need a 72V or 84V charger, or even 96V? I'm guessing 84V or 96V since the nominal voltage of the pack is already a bit above 72V? Haven't really done much research on chargers yet so I want to make sure I go with the right charger. :)
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

I've contacted CALB (Europe office in Germany) and they're saying the CA 70Ah cells are not in production yet? If this would be true and it's still going to take long for them to hit production I may have to go with the SE 70Ah's. These will probably fit as well but it would be easier with the CA's since they're smaller. It's weird that I do see the CA 70Ah's in some USA webshops and with a price listed. Does anyone know if these cells really aren't available yet?

Anyway, I've decided on the motor as well now. Part list so far:

- LMC LEM-200 D127
- Alltrax AXE 7245P (will probably also get a torque control module for this)
- 24x CALB CA 70Ah or SE 70Ah
- MiniBMS
- Elcon Charger 1.5kW
- Curtis PB-6 throttle box
- DC DC Converter (can easily get them here in the Netherlands)
- Main contactor, reverse contactor, fuses, cables/connections

Think this list is pretty much final now. Just have to wait and see if the CALB CA's are available anywhere, otherwise I'll go with the SE's.

I'm sure I'll get good performance with these parts, I'm just a bit worried about the range. I would really like to get at least 80km on a charge so I hope it'll be close to that. I've seen a conversion in Belgium with the same LMC motor and lead acid batteries (72V 68Ah) claiming to get 50km range at 45 km/h though so I'm guessing with lithium I could double that at least?
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

I've been given an offer of a Kelly KDH72801E controller (360A continuous, 800A for 1 min) for less money than the Alltrax 7245 (200A continuous, 450A for 2 mins).

What I like about the Kelly is the option for regenerative braking and high continuous current rating so it won't need much cooling I guess. The max amps I'll need (400A) will be just above the continuous. And it comes with torque control mode while the Alltrax 7245 doesn't.

However I've read many things about these Kelly controllers blowing up pretty fast. And the Alltrax controllers seem very reliable. For the Alltrax I could also get a torque control module from a company in Germany so that wouldn't a problem, just costs more than the Kelly.

So I'm looking for some advice, what would be the best choice?
Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Thanks Tom.

The quad I'll be using will be lighter (quad itself, not with batteries included) and more aerodynamic than the quad conversion with lead acid I was talking about. So I'm still hoping for a bit more range. I have no idea what the actual coefficient of drag of the quad is though, don't think anyone knows since it's a chinese quad. So I'll just have to go for it and hope for the best. :)

I've also decided to stick with the Alltrax 7245. Just seems more reliable than the Kelly.

The quad has been bought yesterday, just have to wait for delivery now. So the project has officially started. :D
Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

LMC in the UK claims it comes with certificate of conformity. But I asked them again, to double check if it really complies with the EMC standards. Just have to wait for a reply, and hopefully get some picture of the certificate.
But that's probably why the price is so high compared to the ones in the USA that don't come with it. No idea why else I'd have to pay 200 euros more for the same controller.

I'm also still looking for a BMS with certificate but these are hard to find. Elithion is one but is way too expensive for what I need.

I'm just not sure if the smaller parts also need to be certified, like contactors and circuit breakers. Probably not since I've not heard or read anything about this yet but need to be sure.
Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Turns out the Alltrax isn't certified. No idea why the price is so high then here in Europe, would be a lot cheaper importing it from the USA.

So I'm pretty much left with 2 options now:
- Go with the Alltrax controller and pay a minimum of 1300 euros for an EMC test to hopefully get it approved. This test is mandatory if any of the main components aren't certified (motor, controller, charger, DC/DC).
- Go with the 1400-1500 euros more expensive Soliton Jr with EMC kit from Rebbl and get it approved without an EMC test.

Either way, it'll be a lot more expensive than I originally planned. I'd be looking at a total of around 10.000 euros (quad bike included) which is a lot really. I do really want to do this but I'm not sure if it's worth it for a quad bike.

Does anyone know of any other controllers that are certified (and EMC tested/approved) for automotive use in Europe? Or are the Soliton 1 and Soliton Jr the only ones?
Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

That 200 euros difference you quoted was for the Alltrax controller which isn't certified. Costs around 390 euros (500 dollar) in the USA and 750 euros (970 dollar) in Europe. I don't get where that huge price difference is coming from, importing it myself would save me those 200 euros. That's why I thought it would be certified since the USA ones aren't (just like Rebbl are asking an extra 600 euros for the EMC kit).

What Rebbl has done to certify the Soliton 1 and Soliton Jr is a great thing, so don't get me wrong. I'd happily pay them the 1300-1500 euros extra for a controller that certainly gets my quad bike approved instead of having to pay that same money (or even more) to the RDW for an EMC test with a non-certified controller. I also really like the Soliton controllers so that's not the problem. Problem is that it's kinda overkill for my quad bike, and I'm not sure yet if it'll fit in the small frame. The quad bike will be here this weekend so I can finally start measuring and see if all the components I want will fit.


controllers from elektrosistem and motors from Kostov both have CE marks and both are in Europe.

Kind regards
Only their AC controller seems to have a CE mark, and that might be like the Kelly controllers only for industrial use, can't really find more info on it. Their DC PM controllers don't put out enough amps for the LMC motor so even if they do have a CE mark, I can't get the performance I want with them.

It's great that the Kostov motors have a CE mark though, but it'll be hard fitting them on the rear swing arm of the quad bike. That's my main reason for going with the pancake style motor from LMC.
Also if I were to go with the Soliton Jr controller, the motor itself doesn't have to be certified. The certification from Rebbl's EMC kit is for the controller in combination with any brushed DC motor.
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Yes there is a big difference. Can't use a controller that's certified for industrial use in a road going vehicle, the certification won't be valid. I would still have to get the quad bike EMC tested then. In order to avoid the EMC test it really needs to be certified for automotive use (Automotive Directives 2004/104/EC and 2009/19/EC). So far I've only seen the Soliton 1 and Soliton Jr with this certification so I think the Soliton Jr is my only option, which isn't really a bad thing but it is a lot more expensive.
Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

The project has officially started! :D

The quad bike arrived here 2 weeks ago. I've already de-ICE'd it and started to make some paper models of the motor, controller, charger and batteries.

Here's what it looked like before I started.

I bought it new with the intention to sell all the parts I don't need anymore as new. Price will then be around the same as a good 2nd hand of the same model so it was the best thing to do.

And here's what it looked like after taking everything out of the frame.

All of the paper models I made. :)

It was a really big puzzle but I did manage to solve it as you can see here.

I'm not 100% sure yet if it'll be like this but it was the best I could do for now. Especially if I'm going with the Soliton Jr since it's pretty big with Rebbl's EMC kit on it (it's the big box hanging on the rear). It seems to be the only choice though as there are no other controllers with the needed certification.

But I'm now sure that I'll be able to fit everything I want (after cutting some of the motor mounts, other small mounting points and the 12V battery box), it's just going to be a very long project but I'm looking forward to it all! :)
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Re: Planning a road legal Quad bike / ATV Conversion

Finished the electric wiring diagram today. Also made the whole 12V diagram since I'll be renewing that as well. The Chinese 12V system isn't that great. :)

I still have to include the BMS but I'm not sure yet if I'm going with MiniBMS and how to wire it all up if I do.

I'm pretty sure about everything, except the reversing contactors. To get it road approved here there have to be 2 things that you should operate before you can reverse. First will be a forward/reverse switch ofcourse. For the second I chose to use the clutch lever, it already has a switch built in.

Now the thing I'm wondering about with my wiring diagram. If the switch would be set to reverse and the clutch lever isn't pulled, would this be a problem since the motor (either + or -) won't be connected at that point? Or would I even be shorting the controller through the reversing contactors? The reversing contactors I'll be using is the Albright SW202B, not really sure yet how to wire it up since I can't find any diagrams of it.

Also please do let me know if you have any better suggestions for this. I just thought this would be the easiest way, if it'll work that is.
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I finally received my first few parts for the conversion last weekend.

The Soliton Jr. Also thanks Evnetics for the free shirt! :)

I also must say that I really like the quality. Already knew it was good but it's still better than I expected. I also know it's way overkill for this conversion but it's the only one with the needed certification. Would cost me more to get the quad bike EMC tested with any other controller.

Here with Rebbl's EMC casing on it. Too bad this is necessary here, can't see anything of the good looking Soliton Jr anymore. :(

Sorry it's so dirty, it came like this and tried to clean it but it doesn't come off. :rolleyes:

Also got the charger kit (Elcon 1500) and pretty much all of the cables I need from them. You probably all know how that looks like anyway so won't have to post pictures of that. ;)

Now I'm still waiting for the motor to arrive (LMC LEM-200 D127) before I can actually start. Want to have some motor and controller mounts made first but for that I need the motor here as well.

Also decided to go with the CALB CA60 cells after all, the SE70 wouldn't have been possible to fit with battery boxes around them. Still haven't ordered them though, kinda want to test the motor and controller first with some 12V batteries.
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That's actually a great suggestion. Would indeed be a lot easier to pass it then. Though I'm not really worried since I'm using mostly the same parts Rebbl uses and they seem to pass all of their conversions too.
The BMS doesn't have to be certified from what I've heard, I'll probably use MiniBMS. Don't really want to go without a BMS since this is my first conversion. Rather be safe than sorry for now. :)
Made some progress. Received almost all the parts now, except for the batteries.

The EMC enclosure for the Soliton Jr is pretty much ready to be installed now. Ended up using cable glands since the pass through rubbers didn't really fit. So this is what all Soliton's should look like now in Europe:

Too bad it completely covers up that good looking controller but well, it's the only way to pass that road test. ;)

Also received the LEM-200 D127 motor, really like how compact this thing is while still being able to deliver so much power. Trying to see how it fits on the rear swing arm. From the side it fits great, some space left even.

From the rear however you can see that it'll be a real close fit.

But it's either like this or having a custom rear swing arm made so I can place the motor even lower. This will probably be too expensive though.

Now I just need to get some mounting plates made for the motor and controller and I can start with all the cables, contactors and stuff. :)

I also tested the controller and motor today with 2 12V batteries in series, just couldn't resist seeing the motor spin for the first time. :D I limited it at 13V 10A since I used very small chinese wire. But I did see 16V going to the motor and 18A on startup, 6-7A when turning at the max speed for that voltage. It's still pretty hard to imagine how it will go at 72V and 400A since I already had some trouble keeping the motor in place with one hand. ;) Here's a very small clip I took. It was a bit longer but something went wrong with filming it seems so I had to cut it.

Already got a taste of the EV grin without even riding. :D I've seen all these videos on youtube and all these projects here but to actually see it working with your own eyes is so awesome!
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I won't be anodizing it, seems like too much work and I don't have all those things you need for it. I will probably just spray it black and hope it stays on nicely. Otherwise I will probably go with Tesseract's suggestion and remove it completely after it's road legal. ;) I really want people to see that controller and not some silly box that's built all around it. :rolleyes: I'm sure it'll work great without it, haven't heard of any problems because of it from all you converters in the USA. Not that I'd care anyway if I drive by and someone's radio goes dead. :D

Also I don't believe complaining to the officials about the EMC rules is going to help, it is such a small market here. Especially here in the Netherlands, they won't care if like 0,1% of all people will complain about it. The RDW is very strict also, last few years they have made everything for the DIY's so much harder, not just the EMC rules. Just have to accept it or try to work around it somehow. ;)
For the initial test to get it road approved I don't think it'll help since they don't really look at the CE mark but at the documents that came with the parts. Like with the Soliton controllers, they don't have a CE mark but they do comply with the automotive standards according to the document from Rebbl. There's no indication on the controller itself. For the charger and some other parts I'm not sure though, they're all CE marked already and didn't come with any documents.
And after the road test it doesn't really matter since quad bikes don't have the safety check every year here (called APK here) since they're in the category 3-wheeled vehicles. Weird I know, it obviously has 4 wheels. :rolleyes: So then only the police officers could check for it. But they most likely don't know anything about electric vehicles here yet, what to look at etc. :rolleyes:
But I'm not really worried, I should be able to pass the test with all the parts I have now since I'm using almost all the same parts that Rebbl uses in their conversions.

Thanks for your offer though, I will keep in mind if I do need them. Also nice to know you're following this project. A quad bike is a great vehicle to convert, would be nice to see another quad bike conversion. :)
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Thanks for the suggestion but like you said already ground clearance will be a problem like that. The quad bike is already pretty low to the ground and we have a lot of high speed bumps here in the Netherlands. So letting the motor stick out below the frame probably won't be such a good idea. Could end up losing the motor like that. :p
Another problem is that it won't pass the inspection test like that since the electric components are not allowed to be the lowest point of the vehicle (not counting the wheels ofcourse).

Also the shock has more than enough clearance. It's hard to see in the picture since it's not connected to the swing arm there but I did test this and there's no way it could hit the motor so it's safe there. :) I will take some more pictures soon so it's easier to see. The main reason I went with this type of quad is because of that rear swing arm and position of the shock, it's just a perfect mounting place for the LMC or Agni motors.

As for the fun factor of electric quads, can't tell you yet but I sure hope I can soon. ;) It's already taken long enough to receive all these parts so I hope to at least get the wheels moving within a few weeks. I'm sure it will be great though, especially since I've already seen what 300W can do while I tested the motor and controller. Just imagine 80 times that (~25kW) on a 200kg quad bike. :D
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