Ok so today on the way home I noticed the bike starting to make a strange “rough” sound. I backed off the throttle and got about 3 to 4 times the “regen” that I normally do. Once stopped the familiar smell of electrical burning and a small cloud of smoke wafted by.
So while saying a few choice words I pulled over and turned off the bike. Getting off I could see no new smoke and the motor was warm to the touch but not hot.
I pushed the bike about 10 meters all the way noticing that the motor was resisting the movement as if I had shorted the phase leads.
Now I know it could be motor or controller at this point, so I call the cavalry (my wife) and she came and got me with the trailer. I had to remove the chain so I could push the bike up the ramp.
I have just finished disconnecting the phase leads and pulling the motor out. The motor still resists turning so I am pretty sure the phases are shorted. Tomorrow I will pull off the casing of the motor, measure some resistances and try and find the short.
Looks like a might have to rewind the motor or replace it.
I entered my motorcycle into the Bombala Bikeshow‘s ”Most Unique” category to see how it would go and, well, I won.
I arrived with the bike at around 11 am and rode the bike onto the show paddock. My wife said it was the most amusing thing to watch the heads snap around to see what was going by. I spent the following 5 hours talking to everyone and anyone about the bike and to be honest 99% of the people thought it was great and could understand why I had done the conversion.
By the end of the day I had several people calling me “Mr Electric”, well worth the 5 hours of driving and sunburn.
Here is me accepting the award from Bombala’s Mayor.
The bike in the winners circle.
So with the bike together and registered and a range of over 35km (even with some bad cells in the pack) I decided to try some trips to work. First trip was on the weekend with a support, vehicle just in case, and that went well.
This week is fine and clear so Tuesday I bit the bullet and rode in with all the other traffic. I made it home with capacity to spare and only used about 2.4 kwh of electricity for the 36 km I traveled. Today (Wednesday) I rode again via a slightly different route and at a slightly higher average speed. 2.29 kwh for the 34km. That means I use about 42 cents of electricity on average for my daily commute, compared to $3.70 of petrol in my 650cc motorcycle. Not to shabby.
So with the bike registered I decided to create another informational video and a short ride video to show how the bike works in real life.
The bike is now fully usable on Canberra roads and with a few more tweaks I should be able to up the power and have some fun.
Since I have had it registered I have been doing some runs on the bike to try and find the limits of the bike.
- The bike handles great. I am taking a little while to get use to how small it is however.
- I love the quiet while riding it, it is so cool to be doing 90km/h and only hearing the wind.
- The bike is only using just under 70 wh per Km over my commute (speeds from 60 to 80 km/h)
- The motor is staying around 70 to 80 degrees C for the trip WITHOUT the water cooling fitted.
- Keeping up with traffic is not problem and pulling ahead from the lights is ok even with the 80% motor current settings
- Speedo is accurate to within 1%
- I am only getting 33km range from the pack.
- It is only accepting about 2.2kw hours from the charger rather than about 3.9kw if the pack was being fully discharged then charged
- So I have about 3/5th of my available pack
- Looks like I will have to track down some more damaged cells.
- My charger is not very efficient showing about 87% while charging the bike.
I can get to and from work with a range of approx 34km from the pack as is which should give me a 56 to 60km range with the pack fully working (remember that is at commute speeds of approx 80km/h)
I did a huge amount of work this weekend to identify, isolate, remove and replace faulty cells in my battery pack. Since registering the bike I was only getting around 20km range from the bike before the battery low alert went off. Charging at that point only put around 18ah into the pack.
I knew something was up.
So after a quick run I put the cell monitors on the pack and saw that cell group 7 was very low voltage compared to the rest of the pack and mush have been the reason for the alarm.
Trying to disassemble the pack I found several cells where the anode just spun freely on the battery and were difficult to remove. So I hacked a tool out of a old pair of crimpers and removed all the offending batteries. 6 or 8 in all (not sure now as once out I tested all batteries from the pack and my spares) some were as low as 1.2 volts and others the voltage was ok but the resistance was over 100 milliohms instead of 7 – 16 milliohms. Two even had some corrosion from escaped electrolyte.