racermike39's blog

racermike39's picture


I was able to get to the registry of motor vehicles yesterday, and successfully registered my converted Honda CBR. The form has a box to check if the vehicle is electric, so I checked the box, and left the engine information blank. (# of cyliders, engine size). When she got to the # of cylinder part of the form, she asked, " 2 cylinders? 4 cylinders?" I answered," Actually I converted it to battery electric, so it has NO cylinders". She said, "that's great". And she started asking questions like, "how heavy is the battery? How long will it go?". Then she said, "who says you can't drive something without putting gas in the tank?". She kept trying to enter the number of cylinders as "zero", and said, "the computer won't let me enter zero!" So she entered one. She handed me my plates and sent me on my way.
I am currently running at 48 volts, 100ah. It's the only batteries I had that were any good.
45 MPH top speed flat ground. I rode it 16 miles and only used 30% of the pack. I'm thinking 35-40 mile range will be no problem.
So after $3000+ dollars, 4 months, 200 hours, I have an electric motorcycle that should do just about everything a new scooter will do, and eventually (at 72 Volts) everything the Vetrix will do. Plus I have the benefit of having a sport bike that the unkowing thinks is ICE!

racermike39's picture


Today was a great day. A big victory in my little EV world. I rode the CBR to my friends house. He just about flipped out. "Dude! Your NUTS! That thing is cool! You totally snuk up on me!" ( he was working in the yard when I silently drove up). :)
My 14 year old niece came over for the day to visit, and I gave her the very first ride as a passenger on the bike. Pretty neat. Then she drove every other EV we have, taking turns on each one all day long. It was a great EV day, and all 5 EV's were running great.
Just for the fun ot it, we added up the total voltage for all 5 EVs. It adds up to 228 Volts. I guess what separates the men from the boys though is Amps right? ;)
Also, Friday night we took the Elec-Trak electric tractor to the local fair, and pulled it in the garden tractor pull.
What a blast that was. The announcer had a lot of fun with it. He would tell everyone in the crowd, "now everyone be quiet and listen to this motor run". My wife said the whole place went silent! The tractor pulled 93 feet, and the longest pull by a well tuned ICE tractor was 107 feet. Out of 15 tractors in the class, the Elec-Trac finished about 10th, with only about 5 feet in distance separating the rest of the field. The people really enjoyed watching it pull, and I was approched by several that had never seen one, or remembered them years ago. I went home with another big giant EV grin.
Thanks again to all who posted such great and useful information, and taking the time to explain things in laymans terms, separating fact from fiction, and good product recommendations.
I hope to provide some video and speed/range data as soon as the CBR is registered for the road.

racermike39's picture


Well another 3 weeks have passed, I am still not riding YET. Other, more important things have taken up every spare minute. The garden is in,
my oldest graduated from high school
went to Cedar Point Park in Ohio,
and I was heavily involved for almost a week in the moving of our work place. Now I have a 6 mile commute to work. :) AND my youngest son broke his arm at Scout camp. He is expected to make a complete recovery. Mostly his pride hurts more than his arm ;).
So finding time to work on the bike has been difficult.
Here is the current status:
2 weeks ago, I went for a short test ride :). My batteries were very low, and everything was hooked up temporary, kind of hanging all over the place. The bike was slow, but I was able to test the low speed handling and balance. I was very happy. A big EV grin :). In the process of changing out some of the bad batteries, I shorted out the controller to the frame, and fried the controller :(. A major rookie error, but that is part of the reason I took on this project, to learn by doing. I have since learned that I MUST disconnect the B+ connection from the controller BEFORE servicing the battery pack. What this has done however, is give me time to complete the balance of the work on the bike, while not being tempted to just ride it, and worry about finishing the "little" things later.
A few days ago, I started the final installation of the body work.
Thursday, July 3rd, I finished the main charging station.
I used a 9 pin trailer style connector, and installed the female side on the main cowl of the bike.
July 4th it was raining here most of the day, so I was able to work on the bike all day. I finished the dash by installing a cycle computer and the Pak-Trakr.
I really like the Pak-Trakr. It is an amazing little tool. For the cycle computer, I chose a Panorama v-12. I used JB QUICK WELD to attach the magnet to the bike wheel. The sensor tie wraps to the fork, and the fender covers it all up so it is protected, and not visable. The display will be attached to the face of the dash with HD velcro.
I have finished the installation of the 2-Power Stream 36 Volt onboard chargers. They fit nicely under the tank. The batteries balanced out pretty well while charging. The Pak-Trakr was very helpful during the testing of the on board chargers. I am in the process of making the extention cord storage area in the tank, so the cord will come out of the gas cap.
So now, as soon as my controller comes back (hopefully by July 12th) I should be able to ride with everything functioning and complete.
That's it for now. I hope my next post is with speed and range information.
I just wanted to thank all who post on this forum. I have used a TON of info from this site. Many of you deserve much thanks. Thanks for the encouragement along the way, and thanks for taking the time to check out my project blog.

racermike39's picture


Well it's been about 3 weeks, and I haven't touched the bike for about 2 of the three. I finally had to stop neglecting all the other things I should be doing, so the bike has been back burnered for a while. I have completed the fabrication of the battery rack. Final welding still needs to be done.
I have located most of the components and completed the preliminary wiring. I still need to wire the battery charging circuit and the PakTracr needs to be wired.
If you look close, you can see the fuse holder, contactor and controller. I have left the option open to run the 7th battery under the tank. This will be a plug and play additional battery. Two connectors will plug in to the main battery string and charging circuit. For now, the 7th battery will not be tied into the Pak Trakr.
The DC-DC converter is in the factory battery location, under this aluminum plate
Here is the throttle and the other side otf the 7th battery.
All this stuff still fits inside the bodywork pretty well.
Next I need to double check the primary wiring, and do a power up and test. Then I will finish integrating the factory bike wiring to the controls and such. I will also be adding some HDPE sheet between all the batterys and mounting points as taught by "fire is BAD". Thanks for sharing that one!
I hope to power it up this weekend. I hope I can get the wiring correct, and the controller to respond properly. This is my greatest weakness. My confidence is low, as well as my skill level in this area.
Andrew, Frodus & JDH!!! Where are you all at now?????
Fill us in!!

racermike39's picture


Over the past couple of weeks, some forward progress has been made. I was able to finish the re-sealing of the front forks. I had to special order some bolts that were destroyed during dis-assembly from the Honda dealer to finish the job. The new front tire has been mounted and balanced, and the front end is now back together. The D&D ES-15A motor arrived last week, and I spent the better part of Saturday making mounts. The motor mounts are done! The motor is in position and ready to be wired.
The chain has been cut to length. I purchased a 520 motorcycle chain so it would fit the rear sprocket correctly, and modified the #50 pitch front sprocket to fit the chain. .100" had to be removed from the width of the #50 sprocket, and the slight angle on the tip of the teeth had to be redone.
To get the motor shaft exactly in line with the swing arm, I had to notch the frame 1/4". I did not want to do it, but now that it is done, it was worth it.
I welded in a piece of steel to put the strength back in, and painted the affected area.
The motor fits nice, and looks like it belongs there.
I had to modify the fairing just a little to clear the motor. The motor does not stick out any further than the ICE, it is just raised up a litte higher than the ICE transmission case was.
All the electronic arrived Saturday. I ordered everything from Kelly Controls, and it all was shipped from China. It only took about 2 weeks from order placement to arrival. I was very pleased. Now it is time to mount all of this stuff.
After reading through the instruction guide for the controller, I realized the throttle input on the high power Kelly controllers needs a 0-5 Volt throttle. OOPS. I waisted some time and money on the PB-6. I have found a 0-5 Volt potentiometer used in race car data aquisition systems. It is very rugged, and easy to adapt to a throttle cable. It's a little more $ than a PB-6. But it should last forever. That's it for now. I hope to get to mounting the electronics and get some basic wiring done this weekend. The next major plung will be batteries and chargers. Just wanted to thank all who have helped with info and encouragement, and interest! This is getting very exciting. A test ride could be just a week or so away!

racermike39's picture


Well this is my third EV project. I was so encouraged by the results of the Kawasaki 4-wheeler conversion, that I knew a daily driven street vehicle was within reach. I sold my ICE race car last fall, and decided to devote the $ to an electrtic vehicle. I calculated and researched cars, and decided that a car at this time was not within reach financially. With permission from my wife, I decided on an electric motorcycle. I researched this forum, the Austin EV website and many other links to nail down the voltage, frame and bike size. I was inspired by many, mostly by JDH2550's CB750 conversion. The information and links from his blog were most helpful.
I started looking at sport bike frames in the 600-750 range. My goal was to purchase a bike that had disk brakes, good aerodynamics, and stout enough to handle the weight and have room enough for a 84-96 volt pack. My first searches were for a cheap donor. What that led to was long drives to look at junk. I later upped my threshold of spending on a donor. In the end, I wanted a bike that looked good, was reliable, good part availability, supported well by the aftermarket such that when it was completed, it would represent a well designed and performing EV. I want to build a bike that could be sold for reasonable money, to possibly finance another EV, and sell it with confidence that it was with good quality, matched components.

Here are the goals.
96 Volt
26 mile commute with 8 miles highway, and 18 miles 30-45 MPH secondary roads. Charge at work.
50 mile range at approx 45 MPH.
70 MPH capable.
Rides to the beach with my wife. 30 mile round trip.

The donor search ended with the aquisition of a 1997 Honda CBR 600 F3. A very good running clean bike, only needing front fork seals, chain and rear tire. We found it on Craig's List. This is the night we brought it home.
We have removed the ICE, and work began to try and fit 8 UB12550 55AH batteries in this frame.
I was conviced I could model the bike in my CAD system (SolidWorks)and determine where all the batteries would/could go. What I quickly learned was they wouldn't fit. I did not want to eliminate or modify the factory body work such that it was obviously electric. I was also trying to maintain the aerodynamics. The SolidWorks model proved that it would not work. Also I was loosing patience measuring and modeling. Here is the SolidWorks model I used:
This is the configuration I will use. However, I did not arrive at this configuration as a result of the CAD model. I had to do the battery oragami as did JDH25550 did on his CB750.
As much as I tried to avoid this excersize, it was the only way to be sure it would work.
This confirmed what the CAD model was telling me. I realized I would have to modify the lower fairings to get all the batteries in. I found that the lower fairing needed to be widened 4-1/2" to allow the space to be filled with batteries.
From the side and even the front, the fairing did not look rediculous. This allowed the batteries to be positioned such that 8 (96V) would work. Up to this ponit, 72 Volts looked to be all this frame would handle.
Here is a shot with the tank in place. The tank has not been cut out yet, so I will have additional room for the controller, contactor and DC-DC converter.
The only modification so far was spreading the fairing, and trimming out a protrution that in the fairing that was costing about 2" of battery room.

Next I was able to use the factory manual to get rid of the engine management computer and wiring. I also mapped out the wiring for using the key switch to activate the DC-DC converter, and the run/stop switch to activate the contactor. I think I stole those ideas from andrew on this forum.
The next step is to get the motor here and get it mounted. I will keep you posted as things develop.
Thanks again for all your help!

racermike39's picture

My First Real Conversion

After experimenting with an EZ-GO 36V golf cart, an Elec-Trak E-14, and a couple of electric scooters, we decided to go for a real conversion.


We stared with a Kawasaki 110 4-wheeler that we bought well used, and rode for 2 years until the transmission let go. It is not the best looking thing, but mechanically it was pretty good (tires, brakes and suspension).


We test fit the Elec-Trak 12 HP 36V motor before we spent any money.


I ordered a Kelly controls 200Amp 36-48V controller, and "hid" it under the tank. I used John's idea from his 750 conversion blog.


This controller comes with a reversing curcuit that doesn't require an additional contactor.



Next we monuted the motor.

Who's new

  • modelt
  • Mac252381
  • lj8660634
  • engineerjim

Customize This