Honda Goldwing SP1?

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tkemmere
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Hi Everyone,

My name is Thomas. I’m from Holland. I wrote “Honda Goldwing SP1”, with SP as in “Solar Power”. I have plans to do a conversion on this 27 year old bike, though I’m still well before the go-no-go decision point.
- Have I got the guts to dive into such a major project?
- What is it going to cost?
- What will it deliver?
With the last of these three questions fixed at 100km/h (62 mph) max speed and 100 km (62 mi) range, the 1st two are the main questions

That is the reason of this posting. I would really appreciate it when you, the people with the experience, could evaluate my considerations and maybe give me some pointers on the web.

Why a Goldwing? Well, I own it, which is the main reason. It is spacious and sturdy. I also got it because the bikes I had before the wing, kept breaking down. After 173.000 km (107.500 mi) this Goldwing is nowhere near breaking down. Here is what it looked like in 1992:
honda_copy.jpg

Why converting? I would like to move around without any CO2 emissions, I would enjoy the achievement of such a project and I would like it to be an example for others, to show that zero emission driving is possible.

Ok. Let’s go: I did some research on the Twike and the Vectrix. I figured that these should provide quite some data to get a gut feeling estimate of the specs necessary for my SP1.

The Twike
Weight: 272 kg (600 lbs)
Max speed: 85 km/h (53 mph)
Motor performance nominal: 3 kW
Motor performance peak: 5 kW

The Vectrix
Weight: 212 kg (467 lbs)
Max speed: 105 km/h limited (65 mph)
Motor performance nominal: 15 kW?
Motor performance peak: 20 kW

My SP1
Weight: 320 kg (705 lbs)
Max speed: 100 Km/h (62 mph)
Motor performance nominal: 18 kw
Motor performance peak: 23 kw

I think I can get to 100 km/h (62 mph) with a 15-20 kW motor, but acceleration would take ages. What about a 18-23 kW motor, does it even exist, or would the next one be 20-25? And what would really be the disadvantage of a heavier motor? Would it be less energy efficient?

Oh, the original 1100cc fuel engine delivers 60,5 kW. The max speed is over 200 km/h (124 mph). But as the graph for required performance per speed, is a logarithmic one, theoretically I could suffice with roughly 11 kW.

About the weight: The fuel engine weighs 108 kg (238 lbs). It comes out with fuel tank and a number of fluids, reducing the weight of the bike by 115 (254). I made calculations based on 6 Twike Li-Ion batteries. Which would be 105 kg (231 lbs) bringing the SP1 up to 320 kg (705 lbs).

The Twike
Weight: 272 kg (600 lbs)
Range: 110 - 200 km (68 – 124 mi)
Capacity: 7 kWh

The Vectrix
Weight: 210 kg (467 lbs)
Range: 40-80 km (25 – 50 mi)
Capacity: 3,7 kwh

My SP1
Weight: 320 kg (705 lbs)
Range: 80 - 120 km (50 – 75 mi)
Capacity: 8,4 kWh

I have to bear in mind that I’m the worst of the three when it comes to cw value.

In terms of mounting an engine and reduction, I’m confident. I haven’t done manual work in quite a while, but it seems like fun and rewarding. I will be using the cardan axle which has a 3,4:1 reduction in the last 2 perpendicular sprocket wheels.

Further reduction I can calculate from the wheel outer diameter and 100 km/h (62 mph) speed and the motors statistics. I didn’t do this yet, but I estimate 100 km/h (62 mph) is 700rpm on the wheel. That is 2380 rpm at the cardan axle. 2:1 or 3:1 will do, depending on the motor.

A hub motor is no option as I see no way to mount it, plus put a planetary reduction of probably 8:1 into the wheel and then rebuild the whole rear fork. Also space for the disc break would be lost, and I would get trouble with getting it licensed.

Actually, all mounting work I’m not “afraid” of. Fixing batteries, wiring, soldering, I foresee no problem. Making it all water proof, will be a challenge, but still doable. Also a clutch operated circuitbreaker is not too complicated.

But now comes what worries me more: The electrical parts. And the dimensioning of them. I feel I’m more in the dark there. I’m talking about:
- Controller
- Batteries
- Throttle
- Contactor / contact key
- Charger / charging
- Regen breaking

With all these I run into questions. I’ve seen that the visforvoltage.org site has quite a number of links that I haven’t all read yet. So please don’t feel I’m lazily asking your help. I will explore deeper into the matter myself. But if you have some assisting advice, that would be great. There is a good chance that those of you who have experience, could point out specific resources that can be of help. As mentioned, I’d be much obliged.

Controller
I know it manages the electricity going to the engine, but not much more than that. Which one should I get? And how and where do I get one?

What voltage and Amps will be going into it and what voltage and Amps will be coming out of it?

What would be the ideal voltage of my motor? 48? 72? 220? 380 maybe? CD? AC? Three-phase? (The Twike runs on 353 Volts, three-phase).

Batteries
I know Li-Ion is the best energy/weight option, but they are the most expensive as well.
In a later stage, can I just add cells in parallel?

Throttle
Is there a Vectrix like throttle out on the market, and water proof as well?

Contactor / contact key
I think this is what we call a “relais” in Europe.

Relais are operated by usually a low power electricity. Like the 12 V circuit. I know my SP1 will be having a separate 12 V system, to operate lights (LED I plan), indicators, horn and meters on the dash, but if a DC-DC converter running off the high voltage system is running the 12 V circuit, how can it be running to power the contactor?

Charger / charging
I see complicated schemes of charging cycles. Is there a simple solution?

Regenerative breaking
I would like that. I’m thinking of a huge project and quite some expenses, so I might as well go “all the way”.

Is that just an elaborated controller, of does it require additional components?

And the main question, How do I connect it all? Are there any sources that provide guidelines for this?

As you can see I’m a mechanic rather than a electrician. But I think that once I have my dimensions right, I could also get advice from the stores where I will be buying the gear. And maybe some of you might like to comment. I would definitely appreciate it a lot!

What I can do in return, if I decide to go-ahead, is to post my progress on this forum, just like Andrew did in his “My KZ750 electric motorcycle project”, http://visforvoltage.org/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project

All the best, Thanks and Cheers, Thomas.

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi Thomas,

With the electrical components you'll first need to choose between AC and DC. AC is more efficient - but more expensive and you'll have less choice of components in the size range you require. So, I'd choose DC if I were you. If you want regen you won't have a lot of choices for controllers - check out Kelly Controls for one possibility. However, note that you won't be able to use a series wound DC motor for regen with their controllers.

I'm using an ADC series wound motor and a Kelly controller (no regen) on my CB-750 conversion (blog here on this site). I think the ADC motors would be a good choice for your power requirements. I also think regen isn't really worth much more than bragging rights. I wouldn't let it dictate my choice (but, if my motor controller combination supported it then I'd be crazy not to wire it up).

I don't know much about the Twike - what batteries does it use and are they available for purchase?

Good luck and have FUN!

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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

Mik
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi Thomas,

Quote:

Is there a Vectrix like throttle out on the market, and water proof as well?

I would recommend to include regen braking because the Goldwing is heavy, and also a reverse "gear" for the same reason. But I would not recommend to use a Vectrix-like throttle setup; too complex to build and use.

(On a 2007 Vectrix Maxi pushing the throttle forward causes controlled, gradual application of regen braking during driving, and it engages the reverse when pushed forward from a standing position).

The right hand = front brake is your main emergency break; using regen braking via the throttle interferes somewhat with the immediate and finely controlled application of braking power.
I have often found that full regen braking was not enough in a situation and that switching quickly to emergency breaking is tricky if regen braking is already fully applied.

Imagine an unexpected obstacle suddenly appears in your path while you are already using the regen brake:

You basically have two choices:

A) letting go of the regen throttle and applying back brake and front brake; sounds easy enough, but there is a nasty psychological hurdle when you notice that you need to brake harder and soon: You need to let go of the regen brake throttle for a split second in order to engage the front brake fully without regen brake action on the rear wheel.

or

B) apply the front and rear brakes in addition to regen braking; but if you apply rear brake power in addition to regen you are likely to lock the rear wheel. And then you cannot release the regen brake without letting go of the only remaining effective break in this situation - the front break! Even regen braking alone may lock your rear wheel (at least intermittently) if you use the front brakes very well.

All this under enormous pressure because you are still headed for that obstacle at some speed....

And not only that:
Hick's law, or the Hick-Hyman law .... describes the time it takes for a user to make a decision as a function of the possible choices he or she has. Given n equally probable choices, the average reaction time T required to choose among them is approximately

T = blog2(n + 1) (From Wikipedia)

What it means is that your reaction time (and therefore distance traveled before stopping) will increase if you have more options to choose from.

Traveling at 100km/h, just 1/3 of a second hesitation before starting to break will cause you to stop 9.25 meters further down the line.
And once you are actually braking, with regen still applied, your chances of locking your rear wheel are increased, which further increases your breaking distance and crash risk.

So my suggestion is to keep regen braking away from your other brakes - so they can be independently used to maximum efficiency when really needed. No choices to be made - just pull your brakes and let go of the regen brake at the same time.

Maybe the useless clutch lever could control regen braking?

Mr. Mik

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi Mik,

Mik wrote:

I would recommend to include regen braking because the Goldwing is heavy

Is your recommendation for regen braking based on needing more stopping power (because the bike is heavy) or the advantage of regen putting energy back into the system (and being used more often and to more effect because the bike is heavy)?

On your Vectrix do you get any sense for how much range the regen adds? Is it possible to do a test ride one using regen and one without? My feeling is that regen won't actually add that much usable range in real world conditions (less than 5% - which is a wild guess).

As far as braking goes - properly installed I'd guess that it could create an "engine braking" like feel - however, it would be difficult to wire it up to mimic engine braking on an ICE bike (because engine braking is feathered by downshifting and the release of the clutch - which is independent of the brakes).

I don't have any experience with regen - all my skepticism is simply based on theory - I'd love to hear some real world reports on regen.

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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

Frxdy
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Even if the regen doesn't give back much, it gives a little and does help slow you up when you let off the throttle. I'd do it just because it's free. I've read that you might get 20 increase in range, but personally think it's much less than that. Even if it only adds 1/2 mile to your range.... that's a long push with dead batteries!

Mik
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

jdh2550_1 wrote:

Hi Mik,

Is your recommendation for regen braking based on needing more stopping power (because the bike is heavy) or the advantage of regen putting energy back into the system (and being used more often and to more effect because the bike is heavy)?

As explained earlier, regen braking potentially reduces your stopping power. I believe I see double front and single rear disks in the picture of your Goldwing - that will do it without need for regen.
Regen braking is more effective for heavier vehicles, because they contain more kinetic energy to be extracted again. A lighter vehicle of the same shape would dissipate a larger percentage of it's kinetic energy into drag from wind resistance, leaving little to be used for regen.

What regen does for you is save the break-pads, because you will need them only very rarely. (I use the disks mainly for practicing emergency breaking and in tight downhill bends, because the regen is not quite as smooth and controllable as the disks).
And it adds the few kilometers that you would otherwise be pushing at the end. But unless you are built like the Hulk you would not push a Goldwing for long.

Quote:

On your Vectrix do you get any sense for how much range the regen adds? Is it possible to do a test ride one using regen and one without? My feeling is that regen won't actually add that much usable range in real world conditions (less than 5% - which is a wild guess).

I was planning just such a test ride before my first Vectrix died. It has taken a while to condition the batteries on the new one, but now it's running and I'll try to put a few numbers to the regen braking effect.
I do believe it adds some range, and because of the distances and terrain here I need every bit of it!

One more thought about the throttle:

Motorbike throttles are designed incorrectly altogether. The throttle should be pushed forward to accelerate instead of the current nonsensical conventional throttle.

Have you seen the video of the child falling off the runaway scooter somewhere here on "V" (can't find it right now)? That would not happen with a throttle that needs to be pushed forward. Particularly with electric engines and their high torque from zero RPM the "runaway bike" is a serious problem.
The default situation with the standard throttle is that if the g forces are unexpectedly strong during acceleration the rider will pull harder on the throttle to avoid falling off, thus making it worse. A "push to accelerate throttle" would automatically reduce the problem in the same situation.

Of course it will be difficult to convince the public of this, but the emergence of EV's might be the opportunity to fix this old design fault.

Mr. Mik

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Mik
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

jdh2550_1 wrote:

Hi Mik,

Is your recommendation for regen braking based on needing more stopping power (because the bike is heavy) or the advantage of regen putting energy back into the system (and being used more often and to more effect because the bike is heavy)?

As explained earlier, regen braking potentially reduces your stopping power. I believe I see double front and single rear disks in the picture of your Goldwing - that will do it without need for regen.
Regen braking is more effective for heavier vehicles, because they contain more kinetic energy to be extracted again. A lighter vehicle of the same shape would dissipate a larger percentage of it's kinetic energy into drag from wind resistance, leaving little to be used for regen.

What regen does for you is save the break-pads, because you will need them only very rarely. (I use the disks mainly for practicing emergency breaking and in tight downhill bends, because the regen is not quite as smooth and controllable as the disks).
And it adds the few kilometers that you would otherwise be pushing at the end. But unless you are built like the Hulk you would not push a Goldwing for long.

Quote:

On your Vectrix do you get any sense for how much range the regen adds? Is it possible to do a test ride one using regen and one without? My feeling is that regen won't actually add that much usable range in real world conditions (less than 5% - which is a wild guess).

I was planning just such a test ride before my first Vectrix died. It has taken a while to condition the batteries on the new one, but now it's running and I'll try to put a few numbers to the regen braking effect.
I do believe it adds some range, and because of the distances and terrain here I need every bit of it!

One more thought about the throttle:

Motorbike throttles are designed incorrectly altogether. The throttle should be pushed forward to accelerate instead of the current nonsensical conventional throttle.

Have you seen the video of the child falling off the runaway scooter somewhere here on "V" (can't find it right now)? That would not happen with a throttle that needs to be pushed forward. Particularly with electric engines and their high torque from zero RPM the "runaway bike" is a serious problem.
The default situation with the standard throttle is that if the g forces are unexpectedly strong during acceleration the rider will pull harder on the throttle to avoid falling off, thus making it worse. A "push to accelerate throttle" would automatically reduce the problem in the same situation.

Of course it will be difficult to convince the public of this, but the emergence of EV's might be the opportunity to fix this old design fault.

Mr. Mik

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Actually, that introduces another problem: braking. I have a push forward half-twist on my bike, and I have to make sure to let go of it when grabbing for the brake, otherwise I twist it all the way to full. I can still stop, but not as quickly, and it's not good for the brakes or motor.

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chas_stevenson
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

LinkOfHyrule,

An easy fix for your problem is to put a switch on the brake lever to disable the controller stopping it from feeding power to the motor when the brakes are in use. This is common on most electric scooters. I have them on my e-bike as well. I use this to keep the motor from running when I get on or off the bike as well. Sometimes when you get on or off the throttle gets twisted unintentionally. With the brake lever down the motor does nothing. I consider this a safety feature.

Chas S.

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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Quote:

I have a push forward half-twist on my bike, and I have to make sure to let go of it when grabbing for the brake

Let me get this straight? To increase throttle your wrist moves forward? That's backwards from normal. And as you say it's a safety risk because the normal action to grab the brake causes you to increase throttle. If the throttle is set up as normal, where increasing throttle causes the wrist to move backward, then grabbing the brake automatically decreases throttle.

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HOPOIL-AMPS
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

THOMAS
I'd like to hear you speak more about your design plans with this Goldwing, particularly how you will hook-up to the shaft drive on this bike.

see, I have a baby-Goldwing (Honda CX500) in the shed that I'd also like to consider for a conversion, but I have been stumped by the shaft drive.
thanks,
Jeff

s8nsmum
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Has anyone thought about using thumb throttles like on most quads? That way you have far greater control in panic situations (emergency braking or accidental accelleration). I still can't figure out why nobody uses them on bikes?

Mik
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

s8nsmum wrote:

Has anyone thought about using thumb throttles like on most quads? That way you have far greater control in panic situations (emergency braking or accidental accelleration). I still can't figure out why nobody uses them on bikes?

How do they work? Any photo?

Mr. Mik

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Ray_T
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Quote:

Has anyone thought about using thumb throttles like on most quads? That way you have far greater control in panic situations (emergency braking or accidental accelleration). I still can't figure out why nobody uses them on bikes?

The reason is comfort. Holding a thumb throttle in hurts after a while. The vibrations in combination with the pushing/twisting/position holding can cause injury similar to repetitive motion/corporal tunnel syndrome. With a twist throttle you can adjust the position of your hand on the grip to reduce stress on your wrist. Take a thumb throttle quad out for an hour and you'll see.

tkemmere
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi everyone,

Nice to see all these answers! Thank you.

Regarding jdh2550_1 on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 00:12.

Thanks John, for explaining.

I understand I have to pay attention to how the motor is wound as well.

Quote:

I also think regen isn't really worth much more than bragging rights.

It is true that on a Vectrix all you get out of Regen, is only 8 to 12 %. That is not that much. I’ll have to weigh it to the added-price of the equipment needed for regen. The reverse feature is a really nice one to have though, on a 320 kg / 700 lbs machine. :-)

Quote:

I don't know much about the Twike - what batteries does it use and are they available for purchase?

The Twike uses a scalable system. 3, 4 or 5 batteries: http://www.twike.co.uk --> Twike facts --> electrical system. Whether they are available separately for purchase, I haven’t tried yet. I expect so, cause they are part of a scalable system. But they might require the Twike board-computer to be managed. In any case I used them as an example of what capacity one can get out of an amount of weight.

Regarding Mik on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 11:54.

Thanks Mr Mik, for your answer.

I made a test drive on the Vectrix, the only one currently present in Holland, and first I must say I was delighted! What a nice, light and swift machine! Especially the unlimited torque at higher speeds was very impressive. The regen on the Vectrix is very intuitive.

But I too was wondering about emergency stops. I can imagine that in daily life, one uses only regen, and mechanical breaking is reserved for tricky situations. Swapping from the first to the latter, might indeed be risky. As you confirm.

The A-B options show that it is even more difficult than I thought. I would go for B, in order never to loose any breaking moment during the sequence.
But if indeed the rear wheel blocks, It would then theoretically require you to let go of your right thumb in order to let the regen slip, which would require you to pull your left hand as well to stay straight since you are pulling your right four fingers and to push with your feet as well, cause the force needs to come from somewhere. In practice this is not doable. An alternative would be to push the fixed part of the steer with ones thumb, lift right palm and let regen slip. …what a hassle. And all that in an emergency. Nah.

Ok, So where to move the regen control? “Useless clutch”, well, I don’t find that very intuitive. On would have to unlearn movements, which I wonder how that will go in an emergency. Plus I plan to connect the circuit breaker on the clutch. (unless there is a way to connect that to the run-stop, some how. Any body any suggestions?
I think regen should then be the first part of the right foot travelling down towards the mechanical break. If that could pick up immediately, before the mechanical break starts, that would work.

Regarding jdh2550_1 on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 17:53.

Quote:

My feeling is that regen won't actually add that much usable range in real world conditions (less than 5% - which is a wild guess).

Even if it’s 5%, it is 5% and it is a “nice-to-have”.

Reagrding Frxdy on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 18:44.

Quote:

Even if it only adds 1/2 mile to your range.... that's a long push with dead batteries!

Yep! and as Mik said:

Quote:

But unless you are built like the Hulk you would not push a Goldwing for long.

I always say: Below 5 km/h (3mph) this bike is pretty impossible.

Regarding Mik on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 21:44.

Quote:

I believe I see double front and single rear disks in the picture of your Goldwing - that will do it without need for regen.

Yes my bike has 3 discs. 2 in front, and 1 on the back.

Quote:

Motorbike throttles are designed incorrectly altogether. The throttle should be pushed forward to accelerate instead of the current nonsensical conventional throttle.

I’m inclined to stick with what I have been doing over the last 20 years: Top-side of throttle towards me, to accelerate. Intuition.

Regarding LinkOfHyrule on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 00:05.

Quote:

Actually, that introduces another problem: braking. I have a push forward half-twist on my bike, and I have to make sure to let go of it when grabbing for the brake, otherwise I twist it all the way to full. I can still stop, but not as quickly, and it's not good for the brakes or motor.

Please refer to Mik on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 11:54, Option A) and B) etc.

Regarding chas_stevenson on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 15:32.

Quote:

An easy fix for your problem is to put a switch on the brake lever to disable the controller stopping it from feeding power to the motor when the brakes are in use.

Hey! That is a good one. The only disadvantage that I can think of, is that when you would apply the breaks only slightly while already regen-breaking, the regen would disengage causing a sudden reduction in breaking power. But when I would have regen breaking available, I regard the discs as purely for emergency. So when they are applied, they will mostly be used properly. Plus one can get used to that regen-switch-off moment. Good suggestion.

Regarding reikiman on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 17:12.

Quote:

grabbing the brake automatically decreases throttle.

Another reason to stick to the current system. Though I think the video that Mik was referring to, probably –I didn’t see it- shows a child “hanging and holding onto” the throttle and thus increasing it.

regarding HOPOIL-AMPS on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 16:30.

Quote:

I'd like to hear you speak more about your design plans with this Goldwing, particularly how you will hook-up to the shaft drive on this bike.

Well, I’m not at an elaborated design plan stage as yet. But errrr, I have a rough plan that I can try to put in words. See pic. Basically I will be mounting the motor+reduction on a metal support in such a way that all axles of cardan, reduction and motor are placed in the driving direction. Except of course the wheel axle. The cardan is leading inclined upwards by about 10 degrees, up to the reversing clutch, which is placed exactly at the pivot point of the rear wheel fork, to allow for suspension. The pivot point is clearly visible in the picture, on the outside of the frame, in the form of a black plastic circular cap at the size of about 4 cm (1 inch). The black rubber cover behind it, covers the axle that leads from the reversing clutch, into the current gearbox. I will have to replace that and connect an axle that leads perfectly horizontal and perfectly aligned with the driving direction towards the reduction and motor. If the motor would be to big to be mounted a that place in line with the driving direction, then I could consider a motor with a reduction that covers another 90 degrees corner. So the motor axle would then be perpendicular to the driving direction (Could either be horizontal or vertical as the petrol tank (visible, black) which is placed there under the seat, has gotta go).

It will depend on availability of motors, reductions and sizes.

DSC02078.jpg

Regards and thanks to all! Thomas.

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tkemmere
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

...One more point.

I went to some electromotor shop today. It wasn't very encouraging. The shop was not a large dealer of brand new motors in all shapes and sizes (that I had hoped for). It turned out to be a workshop for rewinding of used motors and dynamos.

Summary of the advice I got:
- 20Kw? that is hardly possible. You only get such motors in fork lifters. And they weigh 200 kg (450 lbs). The man was pointing in the air as if he was holding 4 basket balls at the same time!
- You want to get that licensed? You're going to have much trouble. The service is very reluctant towards new and self built vehicles.
- Basically you should forget about it, but if you really want to persue it, you need to also contact Honda, because they own the right to the design of the bike and you will be modifying it.

Well. :-(

While I was cycling home, I thought to myself, this person has obviously no idea of what has already been achieved, dispite being in the business. I'm not going to be affected by this advice. :-)

And asking permission to Honda... I don't think so.

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Yeah - you got that right - this guy is to be ignored! ;-)

- you only need 20kW peak power, he's probably thinking 20kW continuous rating. For 20kW peak you could use something with about 7kW continuous rating.
- licensing in Holland? No idea - but check out EV Album (www.evalbum.com) and look for other conversions in Holland - I think there are a few.
- Contacting Honda? Only if you want to build their exact frames from scratch - not needed if you're doing a conversion.

Your best bet for advice is to contact others on EV Album in Holland, message boards and email lists and some EV parts vendors online are good sources of advice...

But, avoid that guy - he sounds like a real killjoy!

:-)

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andrew
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi Thomas,
First thing is look here: http://electricmotorcycles.net/modules/listserv/ Closer toward the bottom where it says "Archive". There is so much information there, and one of the archive locations can be searched. I recommend you subscribe and ask away there, as there are lots of people that have done conversions. I also list some resources within this reply that are almost a necessity.

I don't know where to start in response to your questions. I'll try and touch on a few. Your quotes will be in bold to reduce the size of this reply.

- Have I got the guts to dive into such a major project?

If you are a mechanic than I definitely think so. Be prepared for a lot of hands-on sometimes tedious work, and then having to redo it.

- What is it going to cost?
- What will it deliver?
With the last of these three questions fixed at 100km/h (62 mph) max speed and 100 km (62 mi) range, the 1st two are the main questions

Your range goal will be very tough to achieve. Here's just a breakdown of what this would cost me for my bike (assuming I could fit the batteries):

Rough avg. power consumption: 135 whr/mile with some high speed riding. Note that I don't have a fairing installed.

Energy requirement for 62 miles would be 8370 whrs. Only seemingly reasonable source possibly small enough (but even tough at that) to fit onboard would be thundersky Lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) available from electricmotorsport here.

8370 whrs real energy would probably require 10% more nominal energy in LFP (just a guess), so 9207 whrs, and the thundersky are $.78/whr so thats over $7k. and thats 237.6 lbs in weight. I don't really think they will fit either.

Additionally, Thundersky LFP may turn out to be unreliable.

My suggestion: lead-acid AGMs and plan for a 15 mile range tops depending on capacity. If this isn't enough range than consider what you can do to opportunity charge (charge at work/wherever).

Why converting? I would like to move around without any CO2 emissions

Than I suggest you consider a much smaller vehicle. A MC conversion is a big project, and really takes a lot of energy to move even after it is converted. But wait! I don't really think this is your goal. I'll bet you want a neat project and like the novelty. I suggest you take more time to define your goal. If the above statement is truly your real goal than I suggest a small e-scooter or ebike if possible and solar charging. Maybe something like the twike custom made would be an option too with a low aerodynamic losses. This is so much easier and less costly to do, and takes so much less energy it makes a MC conversion look ridiculous.

I think I can get to 100 km/h (62 mph) with a 15-20 kW motor, but acceleration would take ages.

Acceleration would be quite brisk with this much power. If I watch my amp meter on acceleration on my bike and keep the current less than 200 amps the acceleration is pretty good up to 60 mph. Considering efficiency losses of the system (motor + controller) at roughly 85% than thats about 12.2 kw peak. To maintain 60 mph I use about 110-120 amps which is about 7.3 kw output (after inefficiencies). I went up a considerable hill holding 200 amps and it flew up at about 58. If I had my battery amp limit set at 200 amps than I would see no reduction in top speed on all but the most hellish hill. It is important to note that I'm running a 72v system with two eteks which increase efficiency a lot at the lower speeds compared to running a lower system voltage and/or one etek.

The reason an EV gets good performance with less power is due to the way the ICE is rated. It's rated at sea level (full atmospheric pressure) in laboratory conditions with perfect air temperature and everything else at absolute peak power at very high rpms. The power curve is very steep, and rises rapidly with speed. This is opposed to an electric motor which is rated at its continuous power, and which produces full torque at 0 speed so it has a much flatter power curve that is more shaped like an oval with peak power at mid speed range. Additionally, external conditions have a minimal effect on power such as temperature, and air pressure has no effect. There are fewer mechanical complexities to reduce most optimal performance (like clogged air filter, or slightly mis adjusted carburetor, or incorrect ignition/valve timing, or dirty/not-properly-gapped spark plugs ect). And an engine has to go through a clutch and transmission which reduce acceleration time in shifting, clutching.

What about a 18-23 kW motor, does it even exist, or would the next one be 20-25? And what would really be the disadvantage of a heavier motor? Would it be less energy efficient?

Firs thing, 18-23 kw is a considerable amount of power out of an electric motor in an electric motorcycle. I recommend you do a lot of research and ask on the EM listserv to decide how much power you'll really need.

The motor shop you visited with the whale of a motor to produce 20 kw would be running the motor at 48v or lower. And yes you'd need a big motor weighing a lot for this. But if you just need that 20 kw for a short period, and you increase the voltage and design the motor to handle more voltage than you can drastically reduce motor size. Additionally, fork lifts are monsters. Weight is desirable as an effective counterweight for the load you are carrying. And the more material and weight you design into anything (weather it be a paper clip or an industrial motor) the more robust it is going to be with more engineered tolerances and the longer it will last. In a vehicle application you can cut down weight in design because the duty cycle is not 24/7 expecting a 10 year life. Where fork lift motors may have designs carried over from industrial series wound motors designed for stationary applications (like lifting elevators), they didn't need weight shaved off in design in the transition.

ADC (Advanced DC) motors on the other hand have been redesigned for EV applications. You won't find these at a motor shop. They can be found from specialized electric vehicle conversion suppliers such as the following:
http://www.evparts.com
http://www.kta-ev.com/
ect (there are quite a few EV suppliers in the USA)

What would be the ideal voltage of my motor? 48? 72? 220? 380 maybe? CD? AC? Three-phase? (The Twike runs on 353 Volts, three-phase).

The higher the voltage the more power, but the increase in expense. I suggest a 72v DC system unless you want extreme power, than you'd go as high as you possibly can with an AC system until your budget is gone. Pancake type motors (etek, Perm, lemco, ect) can be run at higher-than rated voltages with increased brush wear. BTW, there are some AC controllers available from curtis now that maybe a lot of people don't know about: http://curtisinst.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cProducts.dspProductCategory&catID=8 so an AC system is definitely worth investigating with an off-the-shelf controller now available for them.

http://www.thunderstruck-ev.com and http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store both sell AC motorcycles (they kind of work in a partnership) so they are definitely worth contacting for advice.

Throttle Is there a Vectrix like throttle out on the market, and water proof as well?

There is a bike throttle on the market, but it's not very robust. I suggest you run your throttle cable to a pot box like -here-.

I know my SP1 will be having a separate 12 V system, to operate lights (LED I plan), indicators, horn and meters on the dash, but if a DC-DC converter running off the high voltage system is running the 12 V circuit, how can it be running to power the contactor?

Check my bike. I kind of use the circuit breaker to energize the DC-DC converter, than in turn switch the DC-DC converter output to power the 12v system contactor by the bike keyswitch (small contactor) which energizes the full 12v system (lights, horn, ect) allows me to switch on the main contactor via a handlebar switch. Ya I know, I put way too much thought into this. What it means is technically my circuit breaker functions as the energizing switch to energize the DC-DC converter, but I can't power the small contactor to energize the 12v system unless I switch the keyswitch. And if I can't energize the 12v system than I can't energize the high-power large contactor. Confused? Yes?

Charger / charging I see complicated schemes of charging cycles. Is there a simple solution?

Yes, one 12v charger for each battery. This is really the only 100% sure method at the moment. Sure battery equalizers might be a good option in combination with the right charger, but we are seeing that they still allow batteries to get out of balance.

Regenerative breaking I would like that. I’m thinking of a huge project and quite some expenses, so I might as well go “all the way”.

Well, if by "all the way" you mean design and build your controller I think you are in over your head. I don't see a decent drop-in controller option on the market, except some of the Kelley controllers for lower system voltages.

How do I connect it all? Are there any sources that provide guidelines for this?

The curtis manual that comes with curtis controllers offers very good energizing guidelines. I believe Mike Brown in his book Convert It It may have adopted some of these, or created his own guidelines, but they are really good as well. Also Mike Bidwell has some useful guidelines in his book El Ninja.

Convert It by Mike Brown available at amazon
El Ninja book available here: http://www.21wheels.com/elninja.html

Those last two resources are invaluable. I recommend both.

Well anyway my fingers are aching and I've burned so much energy and produced so much CO2 in writing this reply that I need to go eat something. Just remember, if you are doing your conversion just for necessity than don't do it. Simple as that. Instead do something smaller, lighter, cheaper. In fact, even if you plan to do a conversion, you may want to keep that Goldwing as a gasser and get another bike. If you are doing it for a variety of other reasons namely as a novelty and a fun project, and also as a fun challenge to create something unique than go for it. I worked so hard on my project and believe me, every last hour was worth it, but if I had to do it again I wouldn't. But now that I have it, nothing is like it, and there's nothing like just cruising around on my ebike. It just a really fun experience.

EDIT, lest I forget, study these bikes intimately: http://www.evalbum.com/type/MTCY

andrew
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Mik, thats very interesting about the Vectrix regen. This seems very poorly worked out. Seems like they really need ABS rear brakes, or a way to have a switch stop the regen when either of the mechanical brakes are applied. Seems like they would've thought about this though. On 2nd thought, they probably need to simplify the control and integrate both braking systems into the foot brake, but than this would require DOT recertification.

Mik
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

andrew wrote:

Mik, thats very interesting about the Vectrix regen. This seems very poorly worked out. Seems like they really need ABS rear brakes, or a way to have a switch stop the regen when either of the mechanical brakes are applied. Seems like they would've thought about this though. On 2nd thought, they probably need to simplify the control and integrate both braking systems into the foot brake, but than this would require DOT recertification.

Well,
I would not call it poorly worked out myself, but it's not perfect yet.

There is no foot break; front brake via R hand lever, rear brake via L hand lever, regen via pushing the throttle forward.

I'm not sure if the rear wheel will lock up and when. It might be that the regen braking force is all - or more - than the rear wheel can transmit to the road when the front break is fully applied; in that case the rear wheel would lock up even with no rear brake applied. I'll try that out one day.

I would prefer a foot pedal to engage regen breaking. That would free up all options for the disk brakes, including letting go of regen braking whilst fully braking with the disk breaks.

The worst situation is usually when the use of regen braking appears appropriate at first, and then turns out to be insufficient when full regen is already applied.

For example, the break lights of a car in front of you come on, you start to use regen braking, then you realise the car is engaged in a full emergency break and then it hits an obstacle that was hidden from your view.....

Do you then let go of the pushed forward throttle for a split second to enable optimal use of both disks? Or do you apply the disks in addition to regen braking? How long will you hesitate to make the decision?

My guess is that under stress most riders will be unable to let go of an already applied brake and will add in other brakes, resulting in an increased risk of the rear wheel locking up.

Practice, lots and lots of practice is the key.

I'll try to enroll into a safe riding course and find out what the instructor thinks of all this!

Mr. Mik

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andrew
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Mik,
I personally wouldn't practice doing that (letting go of regen before applying brakes). Even if you have it down solid, it will still take more time. There are three things to do at once---begin applying the left lever while you release the regen and apply the right lever.

This is why I *think* at motorcycle training courses they emphasize always using both brakes whenever you need to slow down. That way, this will cut down on stopping time because you only have one decision---how much braking to apply. So if you need to stop really fast, you don't have to think to apply both brakes, and you already have your fingers or foot in position.

Even if you didn't have to release the regen, there is a complicating factor that could add to stop time. You have to decide what you need to do if you need more stopping power:
A: Increase regen which has virtually no lead time because you already have the throttle twisted forwared
B: Pull brakes which has a small lead time because you don't already have your fingers over the levers and you aren't already pulling them some

They really need to integrate the two systems, but for now I think it will be somewhat ok to have a switch that automatically cuts out the regen when the mechanical brake is applied. And, whenever you are applying regen you should have your left hand over the left lever to be ready to apply the mechanical brake.

TBH, I think this is not a smart setup. They should use the right foot for the rear brake, and they should have a total system disconnect to the left lever (like I have on my conversion), while still using the right lever for the front brake. Additionally, forget the throttle regen, have the first small amount of travel of the right foot engage the regen, and the travel after a certain point engage both regen + rear mechanical brake. This would require that the disconnect not disable the regen stopping power (may somehow disconnect any potential for motor driving the wheel). This is based on the fact that on an ICE you don't have to completely let go of the throttle in case of needing to stop NOW, you will instinctively pull the clutch lever which will disengage power, and you can pull the brakes instantly without needing to worry about letting off full throttle. Believe me, I was in an accident and I found after I had stoppped that I had the clutch pulled in and the bike was running in gear while stopped.

Sorry, if thats confusing. And sorry I have to do Vectrix's engineering for them. Maybe you could send that suggestion to them?

tkemmere
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hey Andrew,

I'm really impressed by your thorrough reply! /respect/
Thank you.

You've given plenty of very useful advice. It is down to studying now.

Your main question, what is really my objective, is spot on. Tough one. I think it is a combination of both: The thought behind converting is really environment related. I know it could be done in a more efficient way, by picking a lighter slender vehicle, but that is where the scoop-factor comes in: A Goldwing on electicity is like not from this planet. It would be great to own, to achieve and to show and convince people that this is possible, and that fossil fuel is not the only way to move.

And look what I found: http://www.evalbum.com/1282 I may not have the scoop after all!!! :-D

Cheers, Thomas.

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andrew
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

JDH linked some Kelly controllers in another thread, and I found that there are some up to 72v with regen. So this totally throws what I said off, if these turn out to be reliable. Given the cost difference for their controllers with and without regen, it definitely makes sense to setup regen.

BTW, I initially thought a Goldwing would be kind of heavy for a conversion. But if the weight you posted is right, than its not much heavier than my Kawasaki rolling chassis weight of 225 lbs.

mf70
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

I second Andrew's comments.

Really think of what your goals are. What range would you actually use every day? Research the "state of the art" at:

http://www.austinev.org/evalbum

Triple-think using a Gold Wing as the source. The shaft drive and the tire size will suck up 30% of your power before it gets to the ground. To get an idea of the kind of power that the Gold Wing wastes, try pushing it in neutral for a mile or two.

A well done conversion of a 250 to 400CC bike will be far more efficient. As far as bragging rights, you'll receive more respect for a well done small bike than for an abortive elephant.

You'll also get more fun out of riding it.

tkemmere
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

Hi everyone,

Sorry it has taken me so long to come back. Making decisions is not my strongest quality, I want to make well investigated choices and things came in between (like my marriage not to mention the least!).

But I'm back, and I have decided, mainly thanks to all your responses.

Unfortunately I'm not gonna do it.

The Idea of a GoldWing running on electricty is a very very tempting one to build and to have. And I do believe it is possible, and not even that complicated. But the requirements I have on range (100km) and speed (100kmh) can't be achieved with the quality-level that batteries are currently available at.

What definately plays a role, is what all of you have been mentioning, that the bike is so heavy. For me after driving it for 16 years, it seems all normal and not particularly heavy. So I started thinking, with that as a starting point.

But actually, the reality is, that my bike consumes 20 to 50% more petrol than a 500cc new bike riding the same stretch right next to me. And that should ring a bell: Reduced range! or, as Andrew said: If you want to do it for CO2 reduction, get a smaller vehicle. Or mf70's triple-think your "abortive elephant". :-)

And the 100-100 requirement is more important to me than wheather it is a GoldWing or not. 100-100 sound like a serious traffic participant. It will make people frown in a positive mannor. If you have a 50-60 or a 60-50 bike, people think of the limitations. (is what I expect, though I don't even own anything yet...).

So. What's next?
- A Vectrix with a range extender? (A one wheeled mini-trailor that doubles battery capicity)?
- A next generation Lithium Vectrix? Is it on its way? (I'm not up to date since all I have where I currently am, is GPRS-internet/2G/36kbps, so I can't really browse arround the web right now).
- or a new conversion.
We'll see when I'm back in Holland.

Anyway. Thanks everyone! :-) very much.

Cheers, Thomas.

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Bill
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Re: Honda Goldwing SP1?

This site should answer all your questions, Great stuff

http://www.electricmotion.org/

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