My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

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frodus
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My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I figure its about time that I start putting my project out there. I was recently featured on Autobloggreen, and I guess I didn't think that many people were interested. Then I found this place, and ecomodder, as well as a few other sites... so there's interest.

My website is: http://www.evfr.net and there are plenty of pictures, and a blog or two a week since I started last year.

//www.evfr.net/coppermine/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_1602.jpg)

About the project:
The bike is a 1986 Honda VFR700F that I found in Florida for $400 with no title, in like new condition. Brand new tires, been stored for 10 years with $4270 miles on it. I got it shipped to Oregon for $675, and parted out the engine, exhaust and electrical and just about broke even. The bike was essentially free. The title was lost, but it checked out, so I found another frame for $150 and swapped it after engine removal.

I'm currently working with a company in Portland on building a very robust 600A 156V fully programmable series motor controller. Its in test right now, and we're finalizing the design. We've got a PDA communicating with it for my display. It will display MPH (tach input to controller), motor rpm, battery side voltage and current, motor side current and voltage. It will display each battery voltage in the future. We're also working on battery balancing and charging designs.

A couple months ago I found an Advanced DC K99-4007 motor on a surplus website, and bought 2 of them. They are equivalent to the ADC K91-4003. They max out at around 50 or so ftlbs or torque and 18hp. Its 56lbs and has plenty of thermal mass. max RPM is around 5500. Just need to machine the shaft for a keyway and shorten the shaft.

I also scored 12 18Ah batteries (will do series parallel to get 72V) from another EV Motorcycle guy. They're about 13lbs a piece, for about a 36Ah pack at 72V, and 54Ah at 48V. Still working on how I want to charge and balance them.

For now, I'm using a 48V GE Controller I got from some guys that I used to work with at GE in their GE Power division (I used to work on the control systems for wind power). They happened to be using something similar for blade pitch testing. They needed something DC in case of power loss so they could feather the blades. This was one of the extras, and was donated. They also threw in an Allbright SW190 contactor.

Just picked up a Vicor 200W 48V to 12V DC DC converter for my accessories/lights/contactor for $20... score.

So I've got batteries, DC-DC, motor, controller, contactor, rolling chassis. I need to fabricate the motor mount (the Portland guys are helping me), make a battery cage and some battery/motor cables. I'm trying to pick sprockets and think I'll go with a 4:1 ratio. Some guys with eteks/perm132 go 5:1 up to 7:1. Other guys with smaller ADC motors go anywhere from 3.5:1 to 4.5:1. My motor is larger with more power, so 4:1 should be just right. I'm changing from 530 chain (#50) to #40 chain to make it more quiet. Sprocketspecialists have sprockets for me for under $100, and surpluscenter.com has sprockets and nickel chain. I need to start looking for a charger for short term, we're working on distributed charging right now, and its being tested.

So thats about where I am. Comments, critiques appreciated.

p.s. don't tell the VFR guys that I dismantled the VFR before I finish :)

Travis Gintz
1986 eVFR

jdh2550_1
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Sounds great. Please tell me more about your controller and the PDA link. I'm using a Kelly controller and was planning to add a PDA front end for programming the Kelly and displaying the PakTrakr & GPS data. AFAIK, I don't think the Kelly provides any data acquisition capability - but I might be wrong there.

I'm doing a CB-750 conversion with a similar ADC motor and 84 volts worth of 75Ah batteries (yes, it looks like a freakin' tank - but what the heck it should be a fun tank!). You can check my blog out for more details if you're interested: http://visforvoltage.org/blog/jdh2550-1

The project was on hiatus over the winter (my garage isn't heated and I'm a wuss) I actually began work on it again yesterday. I'm playing around with mounting seven individual 2A chargers in the old tank, and I'd like to find a reasonably compact 84V DC power supply that can be set to the float voltage for this pack so I can do "string + bank charging" (as per Aerowhatt's suggestion on this forum).

I'm hoping mine will be on the road in the next couple of months. But knowing me you should probably double or triple that estimate! ;-)

Good luck!

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.

frodus
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

The controller is by a company called Synkromotive. Its a new controller, in development right now. I'm getting the first prototype, most likely in the next few weeks actually.

I can configure it for what voltage I want, up to 156V. I might populate the board with 100V components to decrease my switching losses. Right now its running at 156V on the proto, and ~170V on the new board. There's minimal rining, and its looking good. Max current is around 800 or so, but its rated for 5-600A, nice little controller. I'll be using it in my MC for 72V and 4-500A MAX. Its got an ISOLATED com port. It is an isolated controller as well, unlike kelly. I'm not sure how they get away with not isolating. Its also got USB working, built in F/R contactor and main contactor controls, new version has a precharge resistor built in. No onboard logging now, but thats what the serial port is for via a handheld PDA.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Are you using both motors? That reminds me of when I was talking to a tech at electricvehiclesusa, there like put two eteks on, or just stick a 9 inch motor on if you really want it to move.

From what I gather, your probably planning for a very high system voltage, with the 48v now just to get things moving? I'm guessing you probably want to run both motors at 144v+ eventually?

I recommend buying a few different drive sprockets to adjust the ratio. It's hard to figure the perfect ratio on paper, and may take some adjusting. Also, consider safety. For example: in El Ninja, John Bidwell recommends a push button type large disconnect, but I'd much prefer a cable routed from the clutch lever to a high-amp DC circuit breaker that can break 10,000 amps, and that's how I did it on my bike.

Good luck with the controller/battery balancers/charger design.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I read some of your blog earlier and while Synkromotive has a web site it's just a picture of their business card. Your site and maybe elmoto.net are the only places I found with info on this company. Can you say if/when they'll come out of hiding? er.. that is, come out of R&D phase?

What I saw looked interesting.. in that I take it their battery management isn't just with standalone units (like the powercheq) but a system where there is a master controller telling the battery management pieces what to do. I think there is room for an improved battery management if so.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

These motors are HUGE compared to the eteks... but if you look at pictures, there's not just one bike... I've got 2 of the same chassis... so I'll make 2 mount plates, and battery cages. One will be developed with Lead, then the lead will be removed and transferred to the other bike while I upgrade the nice bike to LiFePo. I'm sticking to a 72V system for now (72V motor), but might go 84 or 96, depending on the cost of LiFePo.

48V is just to get things moving, but since the proto is done, I might just throw the Synkromotive controller in there. The 48V controller was Free, so I figure, use it for test, then upgrade.

As far as sprockets, I bought 11, 12 and 13 tooth fronts, using stock rear for now to get her going, and some standard machine chain. I'll get motorcycle chain later, the sprockets and chain were cheap at surpluscenter.

For safety, I'm going to have the engine kill switch wired in series with the contactor driver so I can drop it out. I might also do some sort of BRB (big red button), but as long as I can kill the contactor, we're good to go. Very little risk of the tabs welding. Its a 250A double pole contactor, so I can put 250 through each pole, for 500A continuous. Way over what I need.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I read some of your blog earlier and while Synkromotive has a web site it's just a picture of their business card. Your site and maybe elmoto.net are the only places I found with info on this company. Can you say if/when they'll come out of hiding? er.. that is, come out of R&D phase?

They're fairly new, within the last year. They don't have an available product yet, and I'm trying to convince them to put more info up, but its just 2 guys in a nice shop. One electrical, one mechanical working to get it out. They're in the final stages of test. I'll provide specs as I get them.

They're not in hiding per se, but unlike Kelly who puts out product before its fully tested, and with fairly low current ratings, they want a full fledged product that is fully tested to hit the ground running with minimal issues.

Expect to see something within a few months. I'm basically one of their test benches... and they're converying a Pickup as we speak.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Travis - I'll be very interested to hear how the Synkromotive controller works out for you, and to hear about the cost. The reason I went with Kelly is because as soon as you cross the 72V threshold choices of controllers plummets and prices sky rocket. Kelly seemed like a good price - of course if it fries itself then it will turn out to be a false economy - however, someone else on this forum (racermike39) seems to have had good experiences with them on his ATV conversion.

Any idea of the cost? Will they have different models for different types of motors (series, sepex, PM etc. brushed vs. brushless)? Does the controller allow you to monitor amps and volts in "real time"? At what frequency? Sorry to bug you with lots of questions - but at least this should arm you with ammo to get the guys to tell us more on the website ;-)

Or they could come over here and start posting. :-)

All the best, John H.

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.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Travis - I'll be very interested to hear how the Synkromotive controller works out for you, and to hear about the cost. The reason I went with Kelly is because as soon as you cross the 72V threshold choices of controllers plummets and prices sky rocket. Kelly seemed like a good price - of course if it fries itself then it will turn out to be a false economy - however, someone else on this forum (racermike39) seems to have had good experiences with them on his ATV conversion.

Any idea of the cost? Will they have different models for different types of motors (series, sepex, PM etc. brushed vs. brushless)? Does the controller allow you to monitor amps and volts in "real time"? At what frequency? Sorry to bug you with lots of questions - but at least this should arm you with ammo to get the guys to tell us more on the website ;-)

All the best, John H.

for the high voltage 156V 600A controller, its going to be priced just below the curtis 144V. Its fully isolated, and has higher current carrying capability than curtis and kelly. It will be competetive with other controllers while offering more flexibility.

They've got a working 150A AC Controller that works on converted Alternators, as well as the mars (although noisy because its trap wave). Its on the back burner until the power side is finished on the dc side (since they're similar). They've also got a 250-300A 156V AC version they're working on too. I expect they will be able to sell a lower cost lower voltage controller for their DC, but first thing first... fill a niche that needs to be filled.

The controller spits out voltage, amps on battery AND motor side, as well as temperatures and tach feedback from the motor (if equipped). Its got a 1s update, but thats just for starters. It can be adjusted to 10 times a sec or more for logging of faults... at 1s, you can't see voltage or current spikes before a fault. We're trying to figure out a sweet spot.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Sounds great. Certainly better than a Kelly - but quite a few more bucks (I can't remember the prices but I know that the curtis was significantly more than the Kelly). However, one of the things that put me off the curtis was the lack of programmability (so I was paying more money but had to pay even more if I wanted to program it). Will this controller allow me to program amp output limits? Low voltage cut off? And throttle curve on the input side (like the AXE)? I'm guessing yes to all of those (aside from maybe the last one?)

One nice thing to add if they want to make it a good option for professional converters is a way to either lockout programming or keep some form of NV record of programming events. In other words if I set max amp output conservatively to allow for things like a max current draw so that I can offer a warranty on the batteries I'd like to know if the user overrode those values (and hammered the batteries).

Feel free to stop answering these pesky questions - every time you tell me something I think of something else to ask :-)

Just one more question - can I have fries with that?

Seriously, everything you've said so far makes it sound like a good choice for my "next" project (and only because I've already bought the Kelly).

All the best.

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.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

its a fully programmable controller. if you need other programmability, I'm sure they'd work something out with you. If you have a wishlist, put it here, its not hard to add if we know what people are requesting.

amp limit is adjustable, low voltage cutoff is adjustable, no throttle curve YET, but thats a good idea I can pass on to them.

The thing I notice about curtis, logisystems, is that they're not programmable. Alltrax is, but they don't offer the high current, high voltage models. Curtis does, but its not programmable, and the kelly is offering something but they don't derate, so they say 600A, thats more like 150A continuous. Its programmable, but I haven't hear alot of people get one in a project yet.

no promises on the final adjustability, but its pretty slick at this point. The lockout for programming is a nice option.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

They've got a working 150A AC Controller that works on converted Alternators

Any information about how well alternators perform as motors? Any data on efficiency, power output, useful RPM range? I asked this question about a day ago here.

If using an alternator as motor is a good idea, I'll build myself a sinewave controller.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

well, they've got controllers working in gocarts, and one on a little minibike. With larger alternators you can get quite a bit out of them, but they require some reworking.

I'll see if I can get some info for you, he's got it somewhere.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

dabit
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

With larger alternators you can get quite a bit out of them, but they require some reworking.

I'm also interested in the reworking needed besides junking the existing regulator/diodes and bringing out the 3 phase leads and 2 rotor-leads. Also, I wonder what the optimum drive waveform is. I assume sinewave, but it might as wel be a trapezoid.

I'll see if I can get some info for you, he's got it somewhere.

Thanks in advance!

And good luck with the VFR conversion. I'm curious what it brings you.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

well, alot of the alternators out there actually have armature windings and slip rings.. and it has something to do with that. The waveform we use is a trap wave and it works just fine. On the mars, its loud (like the kelly) because they don't like Trap waves.

I'm getting some cable (2 and 3 Gauge wire) and terminals and hopefully set up the system on the bench this weekend. I'll keep people posted.

Talked to the Logisystems guy (Jim) and he was very interested in my bike and said If i needed anything to call him again...Great guy. They're doing some great stuff.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

For safety, I'm going to have the engine kill switch wired in series with the contactor driver so I can drop it out. I might also do some sort of BRB (big red button), but as long as I can kill the contactor, we're good to go. Very little risk of the tabs welding. Its a 250A double pole contactor, so I can put 250 through each pole, for 500A continuous. Way over what I need.

What's the breaking current capability? What's the voltage divided by the high-power system resistance? Mine is 72v/(.054 ohms), or 1333 amps. If the controller fails closed than my contactor can only break 1,200 amps, so at this point I'm holding my brakes and hoping the fuse blows. Does it blow fast enough? I hope so.

How much torque would your series motor produce in a controller failed closed? The torque equation appears to be T = K * I^1.5. Checking the torque curve for the K91-4003 and working backwards, at 300 amps the motor produces about 44 ft lbs of torque. This would equate to K=.008468 for ft lbs torque.

On the torque graph, the voltage is listed as 75v - .03I, and assuming .03 ohms is the motor terminal resistance (assuming they matched it for easy calculation with a .03 ohm power source), and add in some resistance for the batteries and wire, than your system resistance might be about .065 ohms. Meaning from stall and a controller failure, 1100 amps will flow. The contactor might break this, hopefully.

T = .008468 * 1100^1.5 = 309 ft lbs! At a 4:1 reduction, that's 1236 ft lbs at the wheel! Hopefully the breaks can hold, or at least enough for the current to stay high so the fuse blows. And hopefully you aren't already in oncoming traffic. In an old T/D golf cart my Dad ownes with a series motor, it didn't have any resistance in the system if the pedal was pushed down completely. The torque was amazing. You could spin out when starting, and it was just a 36v system with a 2hp rated motor.

And, this is while your trying to push the kill switch, so you can't hold the front break and your off.
Check this out: KillaCycle Shot to miniVan! & near killed Himself.

I wouldn't use anything but a 10,000 amp disconnect, and have it connected to the clutch lever cable so it can be pulled while holding both breaks, in a panic in about .2 seconds. I'll send you one for free if you want.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Andrew - you don't have to send me one for free - but can you let me know where you got your disconnect? I'm already planning on setting one up connected to the clutch lever as you did (stole the idea from reading your project page ;) )...

Thanks.

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.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

well, sure, if you've got an extra I'll give you some money for shipping....

Looking at my contactor, It can break 1000A @80V, but My dad works at GE, and used these in some Wind Power (pitch control is done with a series motor), and they've broken more than that.

I've still got the clutch, thats a good idea... or I can hook it to the choke cable. Engine kill switch as first, and the disconnect as second.

Thanks for the tips, I'm more worried about just getting 48V working and tested mechanically right now... and as you know, constant improvement after that.

I'm also considering getting a sepex motor, selling the K99 (k91) motor, and putting in the 72V sepex GE controller.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I bought a box of them on ebay a while back. I can send you both one. I've also got control of my disconnect (Albright SW200-505) set up as my kill switch on my handlebars, but I won't mess with it in an emergency. Its just a good way to energize/de-energize the bike on the fly without having to switch the disconnect (which would shut off the aux system). It's a good safety feature, because I can denergize the bike easily while I need to open a garage door or something. A simple twist of the throttle on accident and the bike would go flying!

I'm also considering getting a sepex motor, selling the K99 (k91) motor, and putting in the 72V sepex GE controller.

Regen would be really nice, if the GE controller can do that. It doesn't add weight, and can increase range, something you can't do with more lead.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

btw can the K99 be run separately excited?

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

nope, its 30A to the field on the GE Sepex controller, but the field on the series needs to match the armature.

But yeah, its a lightweight, 400A 72V sepex controller with contactor controls, regen, RS232, programmability... and a watertight case. It was also free. ~6-700 for a sepex motor from electricmotorsport... but then i'd have 2 motors...

anyone interested in the k99?

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

frodus, I was informed that a circuit breaker is not a reliable manual disconnect. Sorry for the misinformation. It appears that a circuit breaker may remain closed even if it is manually activated. I'm changing my setup to use the main contactor as the emergency disconnect. I'm going to try and use the lowest rated fuse that won't blow just in case the contactor fails to break the current in an emergency.

I contacted the EV source and their opinion is that the SW200 Albright contactors are very proven in the ev community for breaking very high current.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

well, I've got a SW190, still 250A continuous, 500A 30% duty cycle... plus, its double pole if I want to split up my pack... But thanks for the help... I'll likely get it running first, and test it in the shop...

I'm still working on getting the welding and motor mount stuff setup... i'm only working a couple days a week, for a few hours at a time, so we'll see.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

frodus
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

well, here's the motor mount:

www.evfr.net

We got the motor pretty much mounted, mounting the chain tonight so we can spin the rear wheel. Major milestone.

Also took some pictures of the Synkromotive shop, and some of the other EV's we've got there.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

So, I updated my Blog (www.evfr.net and shot a video... here you go!

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

frodus
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I got some more work done, we fabricated some battery trays, and should have them finished by next week. Then we can wire this bike up!

Click on the pic to read more:

//www.evfr.net/coppermine/albums/5-15-08/normal_IMG_1834.jpg)

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Another little update:

UPDATE!!!

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

So, she's actually running now. Click the pic below for the blog entry and some pictures. I posted a video, but its dark. I'll get more tonight and throw it up on youtube. I'll do a walkaround as well. Looks like frankenbike, but it'l be cleaned up. We just wanted to get it together so we can begin testing.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

dogman
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Joined: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 15:41
Points: 830
Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I'm so jealous. But right now I don't want to insure a 4th vehicle, so i'll stick to the ebike. Definitely in my future though.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

frodus
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Points: 189
Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Its been a fun week!

Posted 6 new videos:
http://www.youtube.com/frodus17

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

racermike39
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Joined: Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 09:21
Points: 127
Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Congrats!
Nice work! I actually rode mine the other day. It's so funny how similar the bikes look! Mine has that Frankenstien look as well! It even sounds exactly the same! When I rode mine, I had the same "old" battery issues.
I am in the process of cleaning up the wiring, and finishing the charging curcuit.
I had to take a couple of weeks off of working on it to get the garden planted and my oldest son graduated, and a quick vacation to Cedar Point, Ohio for some thrashing on the roller coasters.
I am getting caught up on the loose ends, so I should be able to take another ride in a week or so.

Nice Work! Yours went faster and farther than mine on the intitial test ride! I had at least 2 bad batteries sagging to like 4 volts. So the ride was less than spectacular, but showed some great potential.
Thanks for posting the videos. I'll try and do the same soon.

Racermike
5 years ago I met Jesus and he total ruined my life. I have never been happier.

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