What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

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Mik
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What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

There do not appear to be any alternatives to the Vectrix on the market at this stage, at least nothing that works out of the box and has some grunt.

I guess I got bitten by the EV bug and want to use one, but I don't know if I want to continue being a paying guinea-pig - uuh sorry "trailblazer" - for Vectrix.

So, provided I decide to cut my losses and pull the plug on further Vectrix ownership, what conversion EV bike could I build myself for AU$16,000.- (or the equivalent Vectrix purchase price elsewhere)?

Mr. Mik

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

For that much money I could have 4 really nice e-bikes running on lithium batteries going 30 miles at 30 MPH.

Chas S.

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Here are some more details of what I have and what I would like:

I have tools and don't mind buying more if needed; am handy, learn fast and would prefer to have a vehicle that I can take apart and fix myself without worrying about a warranty violation.

I would like:

35km reliable range at 70-80km/h speed in hilly country with 120kg pay load.

Ability to maintain 110km/h for 4 minutes.

Ability to climb moderate hills at 60-80km/h.

Acceleration to 50km/h should be rapid - to be able to comfortably outrun an average modern ICE car at traffic lights.

On-board charger with ability to recharge outdoors in bad weather.

No need for regen braking.

Preferably an old enduro style motorbike frame to handle unsealed or damaged roads and easy navigation through very bad gridlock traffic.

Could this be done for the price of a Vectrix?

And how many hours/months/years of work would it roughly require to build including some SNAFU's?

Thank for your input,

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Hoo, boy! What I could do with $15,000 USD...

Well, here goes:

Twin Crystalyte motors: total like $1000.
Cheap steel frame: ~$300 (little high, but I'm being conservative in my guesses)
Modified brushless controller: $150
Wiring, relays, connectors, breakers, etc.: budget a generous $150
Watts-Up meter: $50

Now, this leaves me $13,500 for batteries. If we go with Ping's duct tape packs (~$0.70W/hr) I get over 19,000W/hrs of lithium. According to the 'zotter this is good for a little less than 200 miles @ 50 mph (twin C-lytes and all ;)). Drop to 23 mph, and you get ten times that: 2,000 miles range.

Ah, but we don't need to skimp on the lithiums, lets get the GOOD stuff: A123s. At $100 for a 10 cell DeWalt pack, that's about $1.32/Whr. So a little over 10,000Whrs. Still good for 100 miles @ 50 mph, and 1,000 miles at 23. Not sure how you're going to fit 135 DeWalt packs onto a bike, though, let alone balance them ;).

Point is, you can get crazy performance out of that much money. I mean, crap, how much did the Killacycle's pack cost? $12,000? You'd still have enough left over to make a good maxi-scooter.

Time to convert? Well, if you're going for ease, then you could find maxi-scooter and replace the batteries. This would take maybe an hour or two.

That won't get you to your desired top speed, but if can find another motor and have a reasonably good idea of what you're doing, then I don't see why it could be done in a day.

Personally, this is what I'd do: Get a rolling sportsbike chassis. Grab two Etek-RTs. Snag a Zilla. I could get all that for less than $5,000, leaving me $10,000 to buy batteries. Dual Eteks would get you pretty good performance. Of course, with the amount of energy in the pack, you could probably get decent range even with a rewound industrial series motor. Outrun pretty much anything short of a drag car with that sort of setup.

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Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Hoo, boy! What I could do with $15,000 USD...

Well, here goes:

Twin Crystalyte motors: total like $1000.
Cheap steel frame: ~$300 (little high, but I'm being conservative in my guesses)
Modified brushless controller: $150
Wiring, relays, connectors, breakers, etc.: budget a generous $150
Watts-Up meter: $50

Now, this leaves me an ungodly $13,500 for batteries. If we go with Ping's duct tape packs (~$0.70W/hr) I get over 19,000W/hrs of lithium. According to the 'zotter this is good for a little less than 200 miles @ 50 mph (twin C-lytes and all ;)). Drop to 23 mph, and you get ten times that: 2,000 miles range.

Ah, but we don't need to skimp on the lithiums, lets get the GOOD stuff: A123s. At $100 for a 10 cell DeWalt pack, that's about $1.32/Whr. So a little over 10,000Whrs. Still god for 100 miles @ 50 mph, and 1,000 miles at 23. Not sure how you're going to fit 135 DeWalt packs onto a bike, though, let alone balance them ;).

Point is, you can get crazy performance out of that much money. I mean, crap, how much did the Killacycle's pack cost? $12,000? You'd still have enough left over to make a good maxi-scooter.

Well, LinkOfHyrule, I think you are forgetting a few things...
A frame for $300.-??? No way that could handle 110km/h with all the weight on board.

I am expecting more like AU$3000-4000.- just for an old but serviceable motor-bike with ICE-engine damage beyond economical repair. Maybe a BMW enduro frame with boxer-engine layout to provide battery space, with double front disk brake etc, that sort of setup. It needs to be able to be registered, too.

No need to stick with a scooter form factor at all!

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Isn't 110km/h 68mph?

Good frames are expensive because they're more designed to be lightweight, not strong. No way a $5000+ 10lb carbon fiber racing bike would be able to take the power of two X5s, but a heavy steel frame could handle it (which is why they're preferred for that sort of thing). Hell, I intend to do 50 mph on a BMX bike. Only for testing, though. I want decent range. And to live ;).

$3000 for a busted motorcycle? Where are you getting yours? I could get a decent working used one for that much.

Yeah, I wouldn't modify a scooter if I had that kind of money. I'd convert a motorcyle.

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mr. Mik,

Few random thoughts:

I think the toughest thing is the 110 kmh top speed requirement. If you are willing to settle for 70 to 80 kph, there are a number of existing Chinese electric motor scooters, which could be obtained for about $3000, then modified for a bit more speed and torque, and upgraded to a LiFePO4 battery pack.

This is what I am in progress of doing with my e-max. It will meet all your requirements except the top speed. But it is a small-scooter format - little 3.50x10 tires. But it still can carry a lot of stuff with cargo space both under the seat and in a Givi-type trunk in the back.

It seems to me that you might be able to convert a larger scooter to electric - the easiest way being fashioning a rear swing-arm fork and a larger-wattage Chinese scooter hub motor.

It always seemed to me that the scooter format allows more room for batteries, at a lower CG location for better handling, than a conventional motorcycle.

Paul D.
Pittsburgh, US

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

I still seems stunning that the Vectrix, after all the hype and the $16,000 price tag, could be so poorly built. One thing for sure, any replacement e-cycle you could build will be far more reliable for no other reason than it will not have any overly complex computer-controlled crap in it.

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Hmmm.

I'm working on some bikes, fairly cheap frame (motorcycle, not bicycle), AC induction motor (max 50Kw), Lithium batts (TS LFP 90s), 125 km/h, 125 km range (not at max speed), USD 8000. Initial models will go to Google employees. Are you interested?

Patrick

Patrick

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik, there are some much better alternatives to the vectrix IMO (based on what you've said about it). But, unfortunately for you they are US based.

Thunder Struck Motors and Electric Motosport both work together (or have in the past) to produce the electric GPR. I'm not sure if they will go back into production of the GPR, but Electric Motosport claims they can do custom conversions.

http://www.thunderstruck-ev.com
http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/

I suggest you do a conversion, but it will be a lot of work. Just spending money is a lot different from doing the work required for a conversion. And you may need to fix things and do things over and refine a design. When you buy a motorcycle you are buying the engineering and design that has already been tested and refined. This is why you can't just compare how much it costs. And, actually I would try and limit how much you are spending on your conversion to much less. You will make up the difference in time spent. Those are all important thoughts to consider. And, what kind of skills and tools do you have available? What tools will you need to buy, and what skills will you need to learn? Do you have enough space to do the conversion in a garage? Are there any machine shops nearby that may be needed to do some fabrication? All very important considerations, and completely different from just plopping down $$$ and riding off.

I'd go with a motorcycle frame as this will make it easier to fit components. Sure, small e-scooters have been designed well with weight placement, and take less energy due to less weight and smaller wheels/tires. I'm guessing they also have a lower coefficient of drag too. But, if you are going to go through the trouble of doing a conversion, than I wouldn't even consider a scooter. A motorcycle is just so much better in terms of safety for high speeds with larger wheels, more robust frame, better tires, ect. Everything on a motorcycle is built larger and heavier and that means it will be more robust. I think the bulk of the weight placement is better for handling at high speeds where control is critical. I think of a scooter as more of a low speed machine which is fine if that's what you want.

Please note that I'm biased toward motorcycles, and haven't ever owned a scooter except a Honda trail 90 which is more of a low-powered motorcycle in design.

Spend some time looking at different frames. A BMW might be suitable, but consider how wide the engine cradle is. I ride a BMW airhead boxer and I don't think it would make a very good conversion. My kawasaki has a much wider frame profile to fit more batteries. Also the kawasaki had a chain drive which was critical for me. A shaft drive would not have allowed for the proper gear ratio, though it would be a lot quieter.

Look around for a decent doner bike. It is a waste of resources to spend money on a working bike. Instead, try and find a bike that would need major engine overhaul, or for some reason has serious damage to the engine/transmission. Don't buy a piece of junk. It is too much work to have to replace everything. And check the frame for straightness. It is a lot of work to buy a bike and convert it, to find out that the frame is bent afterwords. Do this with a string checking that the rear wheel is exactly in alignment with the front.

Another consideration is the components available. For your range and speed requirements, it may be necessary to use lithium-iron phosphate batteries. But there are so many unknowns that you may have to confront and pioneer a way to deal with. What is the ideal way to charge them? What about a BMS? Who sells either of these? Will both be reliable enough to work for a decent amount of time? Vectrix figured out all of this stuff for you when you gave them money for a finished product.

I will spare you more detail for now. In a nutshell I think you can definitely do what you need to for less resources spent than what a vectrix costs. But how much less is not represented in the component costs for what's needed to do a conversion. It may be more accurately represented in what kinds of skills you have and how you can use your skills to build something. It could turn out a lot better than a Vectrix, or a lot worse. Are you willing to do the hard work?

[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]
Pic from http://www.electri

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

and there's the cruncher! at what speed will it achieve 125klm

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

There do not appear to be any alternatives to the Vectrix on the market at this stage, at least nothing that works out of the box and has some grunt.

I guess I got bitten by the EV bug and want to use one, but I don't know if I want to continue being a paying guinea-pig - uuh sorry "trailblazer" - for Vectrix.

So, provided I decide to cut my losses and pull the plug on further Vectrix ownership, what conversion EV bike could I build myself for AU$16,000.- (or the equivalent Vectrix purchase price elsewhere)?

Build an EV without the knowledge or expertise over countless hours or trial and errors for $16000
Buy the vectrix with ten years developement and iron out the "on road, real world clitches" at their expense for $16000+ Hmmm.... is that a hard decision?
Peter

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Vectrix data collection

Hi all owners
My name is Peter Clark
I have an idea

Questions are directed at Vectrix riders
Answer what you want and add other questions if you want
I will compile a percentage based on responses
and email each contributer with results
Information on individuals will not be available to anyone
this is strictly a feedback data exercise for our benefits
Like for example how many bikes have failed chargers
Send results to: kralc at dodo.com.au

1 What country do you live in
2 What was the time, between ordering and receiving scooter
3 How long have you had the scooter
4 Did you pay outright for it or finance it
5 Did the Vectrix perform as it was advertised

6 What do you like the most about your Vectrix
7 What do you like the least
8 What would you change about the scooter if you could
9 have you been curious in opening up parts of the scooter
10 Have you seen any of the workings
11 can you see improvements in mechanics/electronic

12 What is the total distance you have travelled
13 What is the furtherest you have travelled on a charge,
14 With mostly city riding (average speed),(distance)
15 With mostly country riding (average speed),(distance)
16 With mostly freeway riding (average speed),(distance)
17 Do you ride on Flat or Hilly terrain
18 Do you ride until battery is flat
20 Do you feel your distance is improving over time

21 How many time do you charge per day
22 Have you had any cliches,
23 Accelerator issues
24 software calibration issue
25 have you had windshield abrasions,
26 if so did you get a replaced part or repaired.
27 have you blown the main fuse
28 Has the charger failed.
29 Accelerator issues
30 Has is been serviced on time
31 Have you improved/modified/added accessories to it
32 Would you buy aftermarket parts to reduce gear whine
33 Would you like a workshop manual
34 How long does it take your dealer to respond to problems

Mountain chen
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

For that much money I could have 4 really nice e-bikes running on lithium batteries going 30 miles at 30 MPH.

Chas S.

Not,the same costs could buy 6pcs of same size,same speed,better range,lighter body,easier steering and better climbing TS lithium power scooter from China ,see video on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_HJhNYs34g & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHgDA6bKXvQ ,
DSC00045.jpgDSC00042.jpg

slope.jpg

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

AND MY ANSWERS ARE IN ITALICS

Thanks Andrew, once again, for your comprehensive input!
....
I suggest you do a conversion, but it will be a lot of work.
....
And, what kind of skills and tools do you have available?

I have the skill to learn almost anything if I'm interested in it. Can come up with creative, original solutions. Can work hard for a while if I like the job. Standard stuff, really.

What tools will you need to buy, and what skills will you need to learn?

Had to start from scratch when I migrated to Oz a dozen or so years ago, but got the basic tools together again now. Only question is where exactly ...
Can't weld yet, but thats something I wanted to learn for a while anyway.

Do you have enough space to do the conversion in a garage?

Yes, a major cleanup will sort the tools and get rid of crap.

Are there any machine shops nearby that may be needed to do some fabrication?

Probably, need to research that. 500.000 people live here close together, someone's gotta do that sort of thing by now...

All very important considerations, and completely different from just plopping down $$$ and riding off.

Well, if that was the case I would not be asking the question. It's more like plopping down the dollars, then waiting, waiting with a bike that does not go, a bunch of tools etc. and a warranty that doesn't let you do anything but look.

I'd go with a motorcycle frame as this will make it easier to fit components. A motorcycle is just so much better in terms of safety for high speeds with larger wheels, more robust frame, better tires, ect. Everything on a motorcycle is built larger and heavier and that means it will be more robust. I think the bulk of the weight placement is better for handling at high speeds where control is critical.

Right out of my book - would not have bought a scooter if there was a bike with similar specs.

Please note that I'm biased toward motorcycles...

Thanks for that, you're my man...

Spend some time looking at different frames. A BMW might be suitable, but consider how wide the engine cradle is. I ride a BMW airhead boxer and I don't think it would make a very good conversion. My kawasaki has a much wider frame profile to fit more batteries. Also the kawasaki had a chain drive which was critical for me. A shaft drive would not have allowed for the proper gear ratio, though it would be a lot quieter.

Well, I can't recall from memory how wide the frame on a BMW boxer engine bike is, will have to look. I guess I got confused between frame and engine width; the cylinders really just stick out into the air, don't they? And my highly selective memory tells me that "the 750cc BMW with double front disk break" is what you look for when you want a used (ICE) bike to get you around Australia without trouble, spares available etc. Apparently safe on the road, but can handle some rugged or damaged road and some off-road if really needed. The guy giving the advice seemed knowledgeable in that respect to me, but EV's were not part of the discussion back then.
Any idea if a Tenere or Transalp would be a candidate for a conversion?

Look around for a decent doner bike. It is a waste of resources to spend money on a working bike. Instead, try and find a bike that would need major engine overhaul, or for some reason has serious damage to the engine/transmission. Don't buy a piece of junk.

I would prefer something with a shaft drive, for I don't like having to do maintenance, and I would like it quiet.

Another consideration is the components available. For your range and speed requirements, it may be necessary to use lithium-iron phosphate batteries.

Sure looks like it. And from what I find at the links you provided, I'll also need an AC Induction Motor and Controller Kit for US$3200.-
What could I use to invert the DC from LiFePO4 batteries to AC? How much inefficiency is introduced that way?

But there are so many unknowns that you may have to confront and pioneer a way to deal with. What is the ideal way to charge them? What about a BMS? Who sells either of these?

And, part of my minimum requirements, a weather-proof built-in charger....

Will both be reliable enough to work for a decent amount of time? Vectrix figured out all of this stuff for you when you gave them money for a finished product.

No they did not, it keeps breaking down! They did take the money, though!
I am trying to figure out if I should try to get the money back and do the job myself.
I think I can show their product did not perform as advertised, and that it is unacceptably unreliable. Two in a row are proof enough.
I would just so much prefer to say to the tow-truck driver: "Well, I guess I overdid the adjustment of the bla-bla a little, and that might have fried the such-and-such..."
It really beats: "No, I don't have a clue, I think it's the main fuse but they don't tell me anything...."

It could turn out a lot better than a Vectrix, or a lot worse. Are you willing to do the hard work?

I don't know about that yet. I prefer to get away without hard work if I can. But if it's interesting, then it's not work...For now I am just trying to clarify what the options are. If I get feedback that it's impossible to build what I want, well I'd accept that feedback because I am not yet an expert on this. But if it is quite possible with the components available these days, and if Vectrix continue to treat me like a guinea-pig, then I'll consider pulling the plug on the deal and ask for my money back.

As I said earlier, I think I've got the EV bug. If I can find no reason to believe that I can do a better job than Vectrix, then I'll maybe battle on with the Vectrix.

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Read the thread topic, please!

I am not talking about 48km/h mopeds here, I want a motor bike.

NOT A DEATH TRAP ON TWO TINY WHEELS!

And by repeating your uninformative ADS in an inappropriate section of the forums they do not get any better.

Add some substance instead of claims and keep ads where they belong.

This is clearly a thread about conversions, not a playground for vendors to compare Hype with Hype.

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mountain chen
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mr Mik,it is not a moped,it is Maxi scooetr...come to China and test by yourself

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

I still seems stunning that the Vectrix, after all the hype and the $16,000 price tag, could be so poorly built. One thing for sure, any replacement e-cycle you could build will be far more reliable for no other reason than it will not have any overly complex computer-controlled crap in it.

I can't say it's poorly built, far from it. It might be a minor problem, a batch of faulty fuses or such a thing, that's causing the break-downs.

But Vectrix' ability to convince me that they have investigated the cause of the various problems, and found a remedy for it, is poor indeed.

I had no confidence in the verbal sales statement I received that "it's a great scooter and will work better than the first one", but had also no way to get them to talk to me.

Now that my second Vectrix scooter has died in the exact same fashion as the first one, the situation has changed.
Well, I still cannot make them talk with me, but I believe I can ask for my money back if they cannot believably reassure me that the problem has been identified and fixed.

I am not intending to get back on a scooter that is likely to stop running without the slightest warning at any time. Forget that. The risks of riding ANY bike in modern traffic are bad enough without that.

I would like an explanation - from Vectrix R+D, not just the Australian dealer, he cannot really know this stuff - that stands up to peer review on the "V" forums.

I might well be able to evaluate the explanation myself, but my objective is not so much to get a working EV for myself, but to promote the use of better-than-ICE-transportation on this little blue planet. I have nowhere else to go...

Any company trying to market a high-tech product needs to understand that they cannot expect to sell faulty products without it being known by "the world"; for there would be very few, if any, who would buy an expensive high tech product without using some high tech search engine to find out about it, first.

And what comes up in the first three hits on Google when you search for "Vectrix problem", or "Vectrix report", or "Vectrix owner", or "Vectrix regenerative breaking", or "Vectrix throttle problem", or "Vectrix Real World Testing", or "Vectrix Owner Experience" ... and mostly in the first place.... the "V" forums of course!

Even if they were to turn me into the happiest customer in the world, this would not change the fact that hardly a single prospective buyer for another Vectrix would not come across the "V" forums before buying.

Vectrix needs to reply to these problems by acknowledging them, solving them, and by announcing the solutions in public, i.e. engage in discussion on the "V" forums.

I hope they have the insight to do so, evolution at work. Someone will, one day, and they will then be able to more rapidly improve their product and use customer feedback as almost free advertising instead of expensive, useless and transparent Hype.

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mr Mik,it is not a moped,it is Maxi scooetr...come to China and test by yourself

The china with or without snow on the mountains?

Mr Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik,

Here's what I'd convert:

Either a 250cc CF-Moto Legacy (a cruiser style bike with a CVT) or a 150cc Tank Motorsports maxi-scooter. I'd use an Etek-RT, a Kelly Controller and Thundersky LiFePO4 batteries. Price for parts for 72v40Ah would be $6683 for the cruiser and $5683 for the maxi-scooter. You could upgrade to 72V90Ah for more range for an extra $2400 which would more than double your range.

Projected top speed 65mph with a range of 30+ miles at 45mph (these are just guesses at present).

I'm thinking of doing one of these two conversions as my next project after I finish the CB-750. I would be building it with the purpose of selling it for about $7995 for the cruiser or $6995 for the maxi-scooter. This is based on about 24 hours of labor for the conversion (excluding "design time"). I also plan to create a detailed conversion manual and parts list along with producing a few extra of any custom made parts (like the motor mount). But, like many of my "plans" I'm less than confident that I'll have the time or the inclination to follow it through - this is just my current thinking of how best to satisfy my "wannabe EV entrepreneur fix"

More details can be found here:

Spreadsheet for Cruiser or Maxi conversion

Any feedback and criticism welcomed!

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: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

(disclaimer: I haven't converted an EV yet)

Based on my experience with motorcycles, any recent motorcycle will have front disc brakes. I can also add that for a more trouble-free experience, avoid tubes and spokes. Look for tubeless tires and some type of wheel without spokes.

I have seen one conversion with shaft drive, it looked nice and I'm sure there are others. A chain doesnt bother me, but after I finish dialing-in a conversion with a chain, I would switch to an "O-ring" chain.

Instead of spraying on lube that flings everywhere, each link is packed with synthetic grease, and sealed in with tiny rubber seals. Its less messy, and lasts much longer because most owners forget to lube their chain often enough.

(opinion section: convert a mid-sized motorcycle, use lead/acid, limit it to 45 MPH, and accept whatever range you get. Drive it around, and after you convert your second motorcycle with better specs, you can sell the first).

chas_stevenson
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Read the thread topic, please!
I am not talking about 48km/h mopeds here, I want a motor bike.
NOT A DEATH TRAP ON TWO TINY WHEELS!
And by repeating your uninformative ADS in an inappropriate section of the forums they do not get any better.
Add some substance instead of claims and keep ads where they belong.
This is clearly a thread about conversions, not a playground for vendors to compare Hype with Hype.

Mr. Mik

Mik,

I am sorry if you thought my response was inappropriate, however I was answering the question stated "What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?". Well the short answer is I have only converted bikes and since you did not ask "What MOTORCYCLE could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?" I answered with what I could convert.

I don't know why you thought I am a vendor because I sell no products. I have sold items I have but only because I no longer needed them. I am NOT a Dealer or a Vendor.

Sorry,
Chas S.

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik,

I am sorry if you thought my response was inappropriate, however I was answering the question stated "What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?". Well the short answer is I have only converted bikes and since you did not ask "What MOTORCYCLE could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?" I answered with what I could convert.

I don't know why you thought I am a vendor because I sell no products. I have sold items I have but only because I no longer needed them. I am NOT a Dealer or a Vendor.

Sorry,
Chas S.


Chas, my sincere apologies.

My comment was directed at Mountain chen.

Because he had quoted you, and because I was careless in the heat of the moment, you got dragged in.

Your comments were fine and you answered so fast that I could not get my explanatory first comment in before you had answered.

I was trying to keep the first entry short because it cannot be edited once it's in, then add in more explanation.

By the time mountain got in, however, it was very clear what the thread was about.

So, please accept my apology and keep your valuable replies coming!

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Hmmm.

I'm working on some bikes, fairly cheap frame (motorcycle, not bicycle), AC induction motor (max 50Kw), Lithium batts (TS LFP 90s), 125 km/h, 125 km range (not at max speed), USD 8000. Initial models will go to Google employees. Are you interested?

Patrick

Hi Patrick,

sounds interesting.

But I guess I'd have the same problem with warranty issues etc. if I bought one of your bikes.

I think you are better off selling bikes close to home initially to iron out the bugs when they appear.

But I'd be very interested what components you are going to use and how, if that's not a secret.

I might also be better off converting a rolling bike chassis that is compliant with Australian standards, ie. has been registered before in Australia, because going through the process of getting a compliance plate might be a nightmare.
Once I know the technology is ripe, I'll research the legal and insurance aspects.
I'll have to ask some people who have actually done conversions in Australia about the registration and insurance aspect of such a project.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Ben
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik,

Yes you are definitely starting with a rolling chassis off a previously registered and complied bike. The bikes Patrick mentions, while enticing will most certainly not pass Australian standards. DOT is generally not recognised here is OZ and would most likely require complete new compliance tests for just about everything. This kind of bike is really only viable if you intend to do mass volume and can amortise the compliance cost over many sales. It is by no means cheap.

For the conversion, you may need an engineers certification of the finished bike too. That may even be easier if you approach an engineer first before tackling. I know from my (in another life.. rev head days) it was like that when adapting new motors to cars, so I am assuming it would be the same here for IC to electric. I have seen an OZ conversion of an older kawasaki on the internet somewhere , but could say if it was registered.

Perhaps Patrick might be able to do a deal on the parts for an electric M/C that you could adapt for your conversion. I'm sure he would have worked out a lot of the finer details already and that will just save time and errors. Besides, the speed and range he claims is inline with your requirements.

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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik:
Well, I can't recall from memory how wide the frame on a BMW boxer engine bike is, will have to look. I guess I got confused between frame and engine width; the cylinders really just stick out into the air, don't they?

Yep, right out in the air. Great for cooling.

Mik:
And my highly selective memory tells me that "the 750cc BMW with double front disk break" is what you look for when you want a used (ICE) bike to get you around Australia without trouble, spares available etc. Apparently safe on the road, but can handle some rugged or damaged road and some off-road if really needed.

It might turn out to be well suited. I think BMWs are very high quality bikes, and wouldn't even consider a jap bike if I could get one for a good deal with a suitable frame profile. Ultimately, your decision may come down to what bike becomes available that just happens to have major engine problems and can be had for a good deal with the rest of the components in good condition. I was looking for a decent doner bike for quite a while, and mine happened to pop up for $500, and was a really great deal considering the overall condition.

Mik:
I would prefer something with a shaft drive, for I don't like having to do maintenance, and I would like it quiet.

I think a shaft drive would be a really good idea in combination with a planetary gear system. Planetary gear systems suitable for this are available as automotive replacement parts. Without a planetary gear system, the reduction ratio would most likely be way too low resulting in poor efficiency.

Mik:
Sure looks like it. And from what I find at the links you provided, I'll also need an AC Induction Motor and Controller Kit for US$3200.-
What could I use to invert the DC from LiFePO4 batteries to AC? How much inefficiency is introduced that way?

Sorry, I didn't mean to steer you in the direction of AC. There appear to be no great advantages with an AC system for a standard conversion. And the motor size would probably need to be larger than a comparable permanent magnet DC motor like the Etek-RT. I recommend a DC system for price, and the components JDH posted are probably a good plan. I noticed he linked a Kelley controller with regen for 72v DC which looks neat.

An AC system might be a better option for being able to run extremely high voltages which could equate to extreme power if that's what one is looking for. They also might have more efficient low speed operation due to the method of speed control (which doesn't reduce the voltage like a DC motor controller). Curtis makes some AC motor controllers that are designed for electric vehicles. I think the AC motorcycles I linked use Curtis AC motor controllers.
http://curtisinst.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cProducts.dspProductCategory&catID=8

Mik:
But if it is quite possible with the components available these days...

There's no doubt in my mind. Almost all of them are available too, off-the-shelf. The main issue is setting up a reliable complete LiFePo4 system. Thundersky batteries are iffy in terms of reliability, but lots of other LiFePo4 will probably become available in large enough sizes. With the right components, you could get much better performance specs than the vectrix can offer, and it may actually work. And, it'll be your own creation. You can have it made it exactly the way you like it, just like at your favorite fast food joint.

[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]
Pic from http://www.electri

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Sorry, I didn't mean to steer you in the direction of AC. There appear to be no great advantages with an AC system for a standard conversion. And the motor size would probably need to be larger than a comparable permanent magnet DC motor like the Etek-RT. I recommend a DC system for price, and the components JDH posted are probably a good plan. I noticed he linked a Kelley controller with regen for 72v DC which looks neat.

An AC system might be a better option for being able to run extremely high voltages which could equate to extreme power if that's what one is looking for. They also might have more efficient low speed operation due to the method of speed control (which doesn't reduce the voltage like a DC motor controller). Curtis makes some AC motor controllers that are designed for electric vehicles. I think the AC motorcycles I linked use Curtis AC motor controllers.

Thanks, Andrew!
I just found that the most powerful engine offered on those pages was an AC motor.
Here is what I plonked into a mind-map about the motor I liked best:

COPIED FROM VENDOR SITE - MIGHT BE ANYWHERE ON THE SCALE FROM ACCURATE TO HYPE!! NOT TESTED BY ME!

AC Induction Motor and Controller Kits
These custom wound AC induction motors can produce an amazing amount of power and torque. Some of the benefits of an AC induction motor are a longer power band, higher RPM, regenerative braking, and easy reversing. This is the motor used in the E1 project. This motor can hot rod any electric motorcycle, ATV, neighborhood vehicle, go cart, or trike.
AC Motorcycle kits, include Motor, Controller ,wire harness, Spy Glass, twist throttle, fuse and contactor.
AC Induction Motor and Controller Kits
AC motor
Frame: Nema C face
Diameter: 6.7"
Length: 11"
Shaft Diameter: 7/8"
Weight: 46lbs.
AC Motor Controllers
Curtis 1236
Curtis 1238
48-84V
550 amp
46hp
105ftlbs
$3200

Which system is overall more efficient at turning battery amps into kinetic energy?
AC or DC?
I guess it is the reverse of the question: Which system gets hotter during operation? AC or DC?

I thought if I just look for the best and most powerful component and price them, then I'll get an idea of what can be done for top dollars and how much that is.

Can always scale down from there, but want to find the limits first.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

jdh2550_1
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

My understanding is that AC is more efficient than DC - but more complex and thus more expensive.

Most of the "big boys" use AC systems.

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.

andrew
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Which system is overall more efficient at turning battery amps into kinetic energy?
AC or DC?

From the information on this page:
http://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/AC_drive_performance.htm

It looks like an AC motor is comparable in efficiency to the brush PM motors. But, it's my guess that the overall efficiency of an AC system may be slightly higher due to the method of speed control. Really, I wouldn't even consider an AC system for this voltage range. Also of note, is that the AC systems listed at the above link run very high rpm, and this will be tough to gear down to a usable range. My motorcycle motors run just over 5,000 rpm and this is right at the limit of what I can gear down with two sprockets.

The principle advantage of an AC system is being able to run very high system voltages. To warrant the cost, I would likely want to run at least 144v, and there's only one reason I would be doing this---for extreme power output. And, as mentioned this opens a whole set of problems to solve such as how to gear down the high speed to a more usable range. Think of the Tesla sports car, at 11,000 rpm they are having trouble finding a suitable transmission.

A brush-less DC motor can also be used to run high voltages, but there are not many on the market yet. Actually, there's only one large BLDC motors on the market for EVs, the mars etek: http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/ems_ev_parts_motors_pmac.php but the rpm/v constant is too high to run it at very high voltages practically. Maybe you could run it up to 96v without too much of a risk of it flying apart, but that's 6,720 rpm!

Here's my take on what's overall best for efficiency, and power now. Run either a Perm PMG132 or Etek-RT motor at 96v. Both have a low velocity constant around 50 rpm/v so they would be possible to gear down at 5,000 rpm max speed. And both could put out very high power when running at 96v. The only concern is brush and commutator wear so I'd try and find someone who's had experience with doing this. If not, I'd be the first :) I would definitely run one or two of these motors at 96v if I did another bike conversion. In fact, the only reason I'm running 72v is because these motor's weren't available when I started my conversion.

Here's a rough calculation of power output comparing two old eteks at 72v to two Perm PMG 132s & two etek-RTs at 96v:

Two eteks (my setup) at 72v assuming 0 ohm power source:
Continuous: 13,740 watts (18.4 hp)
Peak: 37,260 watts (49.9 hp)

Two Perm PMG132s at 96v assuming 0 ohm power source:
Continuous: 20,514 (27.5 hp)
Peak: 53,100 (71.2 hp)

Two Etek-RT at 96v (assuming a similar terminal resistance to old etek & 0 ohm power source):
Continuous: 18,540 (24.9 hp)
Peak: 51,660 (69.2 hp)

I might also consider running one of the 6.7 inch ADC motors at high voltage. One of them can be run 96v stock, and maybe there are modifications to run it higher.

[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]
Pic from http://www.electri

andrew
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Mik,
I still would contact TS Motors and see what their opinion is of the AC drive systems. Maybe also contact Todd at http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/ . Maybe I'm missing something.

[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]
Pic from http://www.electri

Mik
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Re: What could you convert yourself for the price of a Vectrix?

Thanks, Andrew.

Well, two of the DC motors you suggest are more powerful than the one AC motor....

Very tempting.

I don't really know, but I deduct from general experience etc. that doubling the number of motors will not double, but possibly quadruple the potential for trouble.

Having learned on the V-forums that gnomes make batteries, I guess it might be similar gnomes that make motors.

So sometimes they'll be hungover or half the crew is sick, and one motor in a duo-setup might therefore end up performing differently than the other.

Would this matter?

Does all the power in a two-motor-bike come from all the batteries equally, then gets split up to the two motors?

What if one motor draws more power than the other one (because it does not have exactly the same efficiency)? Does this introduce more risk for battery imbalance?

If one of the two motors is "weaker" (= needs more amps to produce the same torque) and they both turn the same shaft or cogwheel or other device together, and both get the same voltage and are connected with cables of the same electrical resistance; would this not mean that one of the motors would continuously be working harder than the other one?

For example, if the weaker motor only contributes 15hp whilst the stronger one contributes 19hp, the resultant power would be 34hp = 17hp x 2.

If the continuous power rating for the motors is 17hp, then the "stronger" motor would be running above specs at 19hp continuously for the duo to produce 34hp.

I guess the stronger motor would not last long under the circumstances.

But maybe the gnomes making motors are more reliable than the battery gnomes - anyone with insight into this?

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

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