Ok so it was brought to my attention that I have not updated this blog in a while. Looking back it is almost 2 years since the last post. I thought I would put up a quick overview of what has happened and what hasn’t.
The R1 Story
Firstly the R1 build as previously described has been scrapped. I went through a couple of ideas but in the end decided that a building the next big bike project from an existing frame was not going to cut it. So Damian and I have decided that it will be a full custom frame power cruiser. Original idea was to go stupid and put a Nissan Leaf car motor in it with a custom controller, however I will on sell the Leaf motor I have and pick up something special for this. This build is going to take time, and we want it to be show quality, so it will take time.
On second stage is a small lightweight power build build around a Megelli frame.
This frame is super light and very attractive but will still need som significant work to make it electric. Since this photo the front and rear brakes are on and sorted and the bike is a complete rolling chassis with all the goodies.
I have acquired a unused Brammo motorcycle motor that when paired with the right controller should be able to deliver around 80kw peak with an expected weight of this bike being less than 150kg. This will be a complicated build requiring liquid cooling for both the motor and controller.
OK so with all this building going on, I really felt that I needed a bike to ride, you know like now. So when a 2014 Zero came up for sale, one I personally know because of its racing history I jumped at the chance.
The previous owner with help from Danny Ripperton have performed some really nice mods for this bike to be both street and road ready. Changes in settings gives it more power and more consistent behavior at full and low battery charge levels, higher levels of regen and increased cooling for the motor. I was able to not only pick up the bike but many extras including a trailer, extra set of rims with wet weather race tires, several sets of track tires, multiple chargers, fairings, and much much more.
I am really enjoying riding this bike nearly every day. I have tidied up a few small things and it is going for ACT roadworthy and rego next week.
The initial build will have the standard from and a very simple battery pack of A123’s. The pack is 32S1P built using Joey Trays. These will give us enough grunt to test the bikes acceleration and top speed. Anyone that has built up a pack for an electric vehicle knows the challenge of wiring up the battery management system and the trepidation on connecting those wires up.
There is enough energy in these batteries to literally make the connectors and wires vapourise in your hands.
I should have the pack completed by the weekend ready for a test fit.
Ok so the time has come for me to step up to the next level with the electric motorcycle builds. The RG has been a great bike even though I keep pulling it apart to do other things. However the size of the frame limits what I can do with this build. Little room for batteries and even less for a larger motor.
I have decided that rather than re-arrange the bike again trying to squeeze 64ah of batteries at 72 volts, I would upscale the bike instead. This means I can now go from a 5kWh pack to a 9kWh pack and 96 volts nominal.
So here is the plan. I have a 2002 Yamaha YZF R1 rolling chassis much like this one but without the motor and stuff.
Next get the help of an awesome fabricator, Damian Butcher from Driftech, and work out what we can do. I was able to purchase a Motenergy ME0913 and Kelly 120v 400amp controller from Al at Electric Car Conversion Blog, so Damian and I started to look for design inspiration. Looking around on the internet and having some discussions we decided that the build should be GULF Petroleum colours. Not only do they look good but the irony of a defunct oil companies colours on a new electric bike is something we could not deny.
This will be at least a two stage build. The first stage will use the existing frame and a tester battery pack to confirm the performance and weight distribution. This stage will utilise the current frame with little or no modifications.
Stage two will see a custom build trellis frame with some custom body work. The subframe will be aggressively short and the bike will be as naked as sfarchi’s above.
So here we are with a rolling chassis short sub frame and motor mount.