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My Lectra project
Submitted by reikiman on Mon, 10/01/2007 - 12:22
DaveB mentioned my Lectra project, and it struck me I haven't written much of anything about it. Unfortunately I don't have pictures handy and in any case the pictures I have are just showing a frame with a mess of wires hanging all over the place.
The Lectra Motorcycle is quasi-historical. They were made by Electric Motorbike (EMB) during the 1990's and that company was later bought by ZAP. I remember seeing them listed on the ZAP website for awhile, and I remember attending a ZAP shareholder meeting where they unveiled the VR36 motorcycle. The Lectra was a 24 volt design and somehow they reworked it to be a 36 volt system. But that vehicle never reached the market, and ZAP kinda mismanaged the product to death. There were about 100 Lectra's made.
I bought it a year ago as a bare frame .. no batteries, no controller, but with a motor and the original wiring. This is a link to the evalbum entry for the previous owner of this bike You'll see batteries in the picture etc, they were Delphi 8v batteries which were basically dead, and Lawrence removed all of them along with the controller before selling me the bike.
I've bought a battery pack of Powersonic 12v 26ah SLA batteries. I chose them because of the bike's geometry. To get to a 60 volt pack there's a section just in front of the motor, where EMB had installed the controller, but into which I'm putting batteries. Those 26ah batteries are skinny enough to fit there. The pack is 10 of those batteries, wired as buddy-pairs so that it's a 60 volt 50ah pack. The pack weight is a bit over 200 lbs.
It has a 72v 400A Alltrax controller which I'm mounting under the seat. The motor is not the original Lectra motor, but an Advanced DC A89. (EVPart's listing for the A89 replacement)
What's wired right now is the batteries, controller, solenoid, throttle, a key switch, a DC-DC converter, some switches to control the keyswitch input on the controller, and the horn. What's left to wire is the headlights and turn lights. Oh, and I need to replace the solenoid because it appears to be ON all the time.
I have original Lectra body panels from Lawrence. But he also sold me something else which is really intriguing.
I've mentioned Craig Vetter and his full fairing's before. He ran a contest for several years for the highest miles/gallon rating that could be achieved with a motorcycle. The winners used a full fairing around the motorcycle, as well as pulling a few tricks like using a "small" (250cc) motorcycle with a motor jimmied for high mileage.
Leaning against my garage wall is one of those fairings. The idea is to cut the plastic bubble to the desired fairing shape and bolt it into place on the motorcycle frame.
So this is rather exciting really. Some portion of that high miles/gallon rating came from the fairing. Motorcycles are, after all, horrible at being streamlined. Having the Lectra streamlined should make for great range improvements.