Ideal rolling chassis for motorcycle conversion

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/17/2008
Points: 2

I have the secrets of El Ninja book, and before I default to a Kawasaki Ninja 750, thought I'd check if anyone had recommendations on sport bike frames that are light, capacious, look good, and have good brakes/suspension etc. I have a couple of bike wreckers nearby and have a bit to choose from.

I've done a lot of searching and couldn't find much discussion of good/bad/ideal models.

I want to go 72V; focus on speed rather than range (I'll get that as batteries improve).

I was going to do a Lambretta GP200 but think it will be too hard to fit more then 3 batteries.

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jdh2550_1's picture
Joined: 07/17/2007
Points: 2335
Re: Ideal rolling chassis for motorcycle conversion

I'm doing a CB750 - but I'm concentrating on range not speed.

Jeffkay (at least I think it was him) used an EX-500 (called the GPZ-500 when I rode one until some s.o.b. stole it - that was about 17years ago and I'm still bitter! ;-) ) He likes it because it's small and nimble (and he derides any bike that's not! ;-) )

Personally I think I'd go with the Ninja Bidwell suggests (I went with the CB because I got it free and I'm cheap)

I'm going with 84V, a Kelly controller, and 7 x UB12750 75Ah batteries.


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. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

Joined: 10/29/2007
Points: 7
Re: Ideal rolling chassis for motorcycle conversion

Check out There are quite a few ideals. The sport-bikes from 250 - 500/600 CC would be a bit better considering the desire to maintain a nimble ride. Faired bikes make for a nicer look. As bikes hit 750 CC and higher the weight goes up, not so bad if you have 75 hp to throw around. Mine is the VF500 Franken'ceptor, 72V, Perm 132, on-board chargers, Alltrax 300 A controller. I am selling mine and working on a 3 wheeler. Good luck. Jeff

Jeffkay's picture
Joined: 07/16/2007
Points: 90
Re: Ideal rolling chassis for motorcycle conversion

Nope, Mine is a '73 Yamaha TX-750. I wanted the "old school" restoration look. The newer aluminum based cycles are good candidates too. If you go light and nimble, you need to stay away from heavy lead-acid. Keep in mind the original gross weight of the bike and target around it or less so as not to stress it and your life.
Jeff K. "Deep Cycle"Deep_Cycle.jpg

andrew's picture
Joined: 11/28/2006
Points: 1361
Re: Ideal rolling chassis for motorcycle conversion

there are a lot of people on the listserv for that would love to give you some input: . There are many more people on there that have converted electric motorcycles, and are interested in that sort of thing than on this forum.

Personally, I think there are lots of important considerations. For instance, how are you going to put the batteries in the frame and where are you going to mount the motor? Where are you going to mount the rest of the components? Do you have the skills to modify the frame if that will be required?

And most importantly, what is the desired scope of the project? You could use a dirt bike frame and do a conversion with a small amount of batteries if range is not an issue. This will be very light and cheaper than a large conversion. A PM pancake motor would do well here as these are small and light. This would be a good starter project and lots of fun to take offroad.

On the other hand, if you want all out speed and power than you are going to want to run as high voltage as you can, and high amperage. This will require a larger frame to house the heavier components, and to control that power safely on the road you will need larger wheels and tires. My idea was to push two eteks to the limit with 72v and about 800-1,000 amps with my project (link in sig). But if my target was ultimate power I'd probably go with an ADC motor that can be modified to up the voltage very high, like at least 120 volts. This will definitely yield very high power, and the ADC motors can tolerate a lot of amps. Again the people on the EM listserv would know about the modifications necessary, but this is probably a bit beyond what you are looking to do.

Again, it all comes down to what do you really want? Its worth taking some time and studying what kind of components are available, how far you want to go with this, and what is already out there. This is a very good resource:

And ask as many questions as you like. The EM listserv archives are also a great resource. Its definitely worth the time to figure out what your ultimate goals are in this project before you jump in and buy stuff, but that's just my opinion.

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