Kawasaki Ninja GPZ900R conversion

Well I'm about to start my own conversion and I'll do my best to keep this blog up to date. Since my computer is also in the garage it might not be too difficult. :)

Right now I've just taken delivery of my donor. It's a 1984 Kawaskai Ninja 900R. In good shape for an EV conversion, but pretty crappy otherwise! But for $350 it can't be all bad.

Here's some pictures that the guy who sold it to me sent:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Right now my intention is a D&D Sepex motor with an 84V LiFePO4 battery pack, probably using Headway cells. It's going to be a long build as funds allow, so don't expect daily updates! The first job is to check how well the engine runs so that I can sell it. And then it will be time to strip it all down!

before comments

Comments

jdh2550_1's picture

Congrats - and keep us posted.

Why Headway cells? Just curious.

p.s. isn't this the bike Tom Cruise rode in Top Gun? I have that song ("you take my breath away") stuck in my head now... ;-)

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

p.s. isn't this the bike Tom Cruise rode in Top Gun? I have that song ("you take my breath away") stuck in my head now... ;-)

Absolutely not!!!!! Well, OK, yes, but please don't tell anybody. That's the one big drawback of this bike.

I want to go Headway for flexibility, although I might still end up with Thundersky, (or even SLA). That decision is further down the road.

jdh2550_1's picture

Don't worry your secret Tom Cruise fanboy identity is safe with me.

Ahh, headway are the 10Ah cylindrical cells, right? That's tempting from a flexibility point of view but assuming a 40Ah pack that's four times as many cells which means:

- four times as many interconnects, with 4 times the chance of failure (or more likely a loose connection not totally failing but greatly increasing pack resistance and stressing that cell)
- four times as many cells to balance - because, AFAIK (and someone can correct me if I'm wrong), you'll still want to balance each cell individually
- if you take advantage of the smaller cell size to distribute batteries around in different places you also raise the chances of imbalance because of different heat and resistance characteristics.

My advice (which is worth precisely what you paid for it) is to stick with large format prismatic cells - or be prepared for a much more complex and costly system.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

It will be the same number of cells to balance as they're done in parallel. So 4 Headways = 1 TS 40AH.

I'm thinking it will be 4 times the challenge and 4 times the fun!! :D

Part of the flexibility would be to start with just 20 or 30AH, (just to be able to get me to work and back), and then add more as funds permit. I also think they're lighter, but I can't remember exactly how much.

Nothing is set in stone yet.

jdh2550_1's picture

It will be the same number of cells to balance as they're done in parallel. So 4 Headways = 1 TS 40AH.

Are you sure about that? Even if each cell is getting the same amperage and voltage doesn't mean the cells are going to absorb energy at the same rate - hence the need to balance.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

It will be the same number of cells to balance as they're done in parallel. So 4 Headways = 1 TS 40AH.

Are you sure about that? Even if each cell is getting the same amperage and voltage doesn't mean the cells are going to absorb energy at the same rate - hence the need to balance.

Pretty sure that's how people are doing it, but I'll check and confirm.

So tonight I weighed the bike as a starting point. Totally non-scientific using a couple of cheapo bathroom scales, but it will do for what I need. It was 240lbs on the front and 265lbs on the rear. This will give me an idea of how much weight gets removed/added.

I also ran the bike for a couple of minutes, but it rattled quite a bit. I don't think I'll bother putting any effort into the motor, I'll just sell it as is. So next step is to remove all the junk I don't need and weigh it again.

Front tire went soft over night, so I'll have to add two new tires to the project cost. I bought my first piece today - a replacement front brake lever. Woo hoo!


Who's online

There are currently 0 users online.

Who's new

  • Conmac065
  • MalachiKldho
  • leastk
  • aymgoa
  • wodnik7

Support V is for Voltage