My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

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frodus
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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.

So what controller are you using? I'm using a custom, so I can't compare... but we can set the lower battery cutoff level and pullback level, so it can sorta save the bats. These bats suck... esp when you suck the amps from them, hence moving to diff batteries. I've only spent like 500 on this so far, so I can afford to get some newer batteries.

As far as range, we ESTIMATE 10 or more miles, but as far as measuring it, we haven't.... its just been around the block a ton of times.

The chain is noisy, once I get roller chain it should be better. I'm switching out sprockets eventually too, as the motor gets pretty warm (~200 deg F) due to all the stop and go acceleration around the blocks and stopping at stop signs.

Do you have some more pics of your bike? Any update?

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

racermike39
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I am using a KDH09600 controller. It also has adjustable low voltage, amperage, acceleration rate etc. Unfortunatly, when I changed out the bad batteries, I shorted out the wrench against the frame, and fried the controller. Kelly is warranteeing the controller. I was supposed to disconnect the B+ terminal before servicing the batteries. The controller fails quickly when you short the B- to the frame. Another humbling set back.
Kelly has been great every step of the way.

I am using a 13/54 gear ratio. What are(were) you using? I bought a roller o ring chain. They say it will get quieter after a few miles.

I will try and provide an update with pics soon. While the contrller is out for repair, I am trying to get all the unfinished things done so I can install the new controller and ride.

One thing I need help with, is getting the brake switch interupt to work, the side stand interupt, and the thumb switch on the throttle hand to kill the contactor. I bought a contactor with a 72V coil, so I am thinking I need another relay or solenoid to run the switch at 12 volts instead of 72 volts. I may just buy another contactor, but I don't want to spend any more money right now. I installed the Pak-Traker last night. That is a really cool device!

One of the big things I need to do is re-do the gauge cluster. I am not using anything factory from it accept for the temp gauge, side stand light and nuetral light. Once that is done, all the body work can go on to stay.

That's it for now.

Racermike
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frodus
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

I am using a KDH09600 controller. It also has adjustable low voltage, amperage, acceleration rate etc. Unfortunatly, when I changed out the bad batteries, I shorted out the wrench against the frame, and fried the controller. Kelly is warranteeing the controller. I was supposed to disconnect the B+ terminal before servicing the batteries. The controller fails quickly when you short the B- to the frame. Another humbling set back.
Kelly has been great every step of the way.

I am using a 13/54 gear ratio. What are(were) you using? I bought a roller o ring chain. They say it will get quieter after a few miles.

I will try and provide an update with pics soon. While the contrller is out for repair, I am trying to get all the unfinished things done so I can install the new controller and ride.

One thing I need help with, is getting the brake switch interupt to work, the side stand interupt, and the thumb switch on the throttle hand to kill the contactor. I bought a contactor with a 72V coil, so I am thinking I need another relay or solenoid to run the switch at 12 volts instead of 72 volts. I may just buy another contactor, but I don't want to spend any more money right now. I installed the Pak-Traker last night. That is a really cool device!

One of the big things I need to do is re-do the gauge cluster. I am not using anything factory from it accept for the temp gauge, side stand light and nuetral light. Once that is done, all the body work can go on to stay.

That's it for now.

wow, that fried the controller? I guess thats one reason to avoid kelly, their controllers are non isolated... ouch.

Ratio right now is 11/44 so its 4:1 Ratio... but I'll likely go with more like a 5 or 6:1 just for acceleration without sucking the amps out of the bats. I don't need top speed, not just yet. I didn't know what length of chain i needed, so i got some cheap roller non-o-ring chain for 20 bucks for 10ft surplus.

Yeah, you'd need to find a relay with 72VDC contacts. I don't know why you bought a contactor with 72V coils.... what was the rational for that? I'd see if kelly or whoever can exchange it.

Why aren't you using the gauge cluster Speedo? Is it digital or something? I'm using mine for now, and we might build a circuit to have the RPM gauge be Amps and drive it off the controller :) Keep the stock look. We're going to use Temp for motor temp.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

racermike39
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

wow, that fried the controller? I guess thats one reason to avoid kelly, their controllers are non isolated... ouch.

I didn't know they were not isolated either. Now I do! The instructions give a very suttle warning about that, but it needs to be in big red letters. ;)

I don't know why you bought a contactor with 72V coils.... what was the rational for that?

I don't know what I was thinking. Part of the learning curve.

Why aren't you using the gauge cluster Speedo? Is it digital or something? I'm using mine for now, and we might build a circuit to have the RPM gauge be Amps and drive it off the controller :) Keep the stock look. We're going to use Temp for motor temp.

My speedo was driven by a sensor in the transmission. I am mounting the Pak-Traker where the tach was. I am using a cycle computer for MPH, time & distance. I am also using the temp gauge for motor temp. It will have the stock look with DRO's for the 2 instruments.
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

oops

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

wow, that fried the controller? I guess thats one reason to avoid kelly, their controllers are non isolated... ouch.

I didn't know they were not isolated either. Now I do! The instructions give a very suttle warning about that, but it needs to be in big red letters. ;)

I don't know why you bought a contactor with 72V coils.... what was the rational for that?

I don't know what I was thinking. Part of the learning curve.

Why aren't you using the gauge cluster Speedo? Is it digital or something? I'm using mine for now, and we might build a circuit to have the RPM gauge be Amps and drive it off the controller :) Keep the stock look. We're going to use Temp for motor temp.

My speedo was driven by a sensor in the transmission. I am mounting the Pak-Traker where the tach was. I am using a cycle computer for MPH, time & distance. I am also using the temp gauge for motor temp. It will have the stock look with DRO's for the 2 instruments.

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

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

HAHA, ooops, hit reply once too many ? :)

thats cool, haven't used other displays/monitors yet.... tonight we're going to try and feed the Current and Temperature to the temp and tach via some "extra" outputs on my controller.

Last night, Ives got some Data Logging in place within the controller, so whenever it faults, it saves, so you can actually go back and look WHY it shut off. We only had a couple shutoffs, nothing was hot, I think the bats were just low. We need to get some other data logging in place as well.

Went to a Local Dorkbot meeting (dorkbotpdx.org) and brought the bike. It was a very popular item, had a group of about 15 people around the bike all asking questions, commenting...

Jake (Who built Rezistor) came over early in the evening... and I gladly shared some of the spotlight... It was cool having 2 2-wheeled vehicles there. The Bar we went to for the meetup, actually let us "park" the bikes inside next to some tables. Its a huge bar, with garage doors, so its all open anyway.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

So last night, I dropped by Synkromotive to help Ives with some testing. We tried logging with the DataQ again, and it it kept failing, no matter what setting we used. Nothing seemed to help. We unhooked it, and I’m going to contact Customer Service. We need something to compare our measured values to.

We spent the rest of the evening getting the Old Tachometer (originally fed off the engine spark), to display the current on the motor side. Its pretty cool, as you give it gas, it displays current at a 50A per 1000rpm resolution. So 200A is 4krpm. I’ll likely print something to display actual A, but its great for testing. Its just a PWM signal to the original Tach line. I’m totally cool with keeping the stock look, infact, I’m HOPING to keep as much of a stock look as possible. Now I need to order a PB-6 to keep my original throttle, order a EV200 contactor and get the lights working.

David Boyd got the bike up to 60mph… wow! It was fresh off the pack, and pulled 300A or so up to 30mph, and then it started to drop… at 55mph, it was roughly half of that. Better gearing should help this, as less torque is needed. We’ll keep gearing what it is for now because we’re testing something new every day. I thought it felt kind of like a 250cc, but David said it actually feels more like a 500cc. I think the batteries are waking up a little too, so switching to new ones in the future, with higher current draw is definately going to help. This controller rocks!

I got a jacket the other day, and am going to pick up a Helmet this weekend. Insurance won’t be that hard (My agent has been really cool about helping me). Registering it should be ok, but I’ll have to have someone make sure they see it doesn’t have an exhaust/was converted to electric so I can be excluded from DEQ. I’m also going to get a Motorcycle instruction permit… and keep my riding limited to daytime, with a friend. Just need to take the Knowledge test.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

So, I decided to work my butt off this last weekend, and prepare the electric motorcycle for its first official public apearance. the OEVA was sponsoring an EV Awareness day downtown Portland on Saturday. I put everything together, cleaned it up, and went down there. Had a blast. It was one of the more popular vehicles there, because it was the only motorcycle, and the only electric sportbike that I know of in this area!

Read the blog article for details and some pictures!

Just thought everyone would like to see the finished bike. Still have to get it registered and get the lights working, but thats pretty easy stuff. Thanks everyone for the support, its been a long time coming, but the payoff has been great.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Congradulations! The bike looks showroom new....top notch workmanship. What kind of range did you end up with?

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

15-20 right now, but rather than new SLA's, I'm holding out for some Lifepo, looking at places to get it right now.

Not bad, acceleration is nice.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Nice job Frodus! The bike looks sweeeeet! It must have been great hanging out at the EV day. I look forward to riding to a car cruise or the ice cream shop, to see how many pick up on the fact the there is NO EXAUST PIPE!
Your bike looks completely stock. I just think that is so cool. One thing I reeeealy tried to do was maintain the stock look. I was really turned off by some of the bikes I studied in the EV album that had this huge box hanging under the bike.
I'm sure you will agree, after going through fitting all those batts in under the factory body work, why most people don't. That was painful, but I'm glad I was able to do it. It was worth it.
Thanks for the nice comments about my bike. I TOTALLY agree about the "brotherhood" of electric motorcycle builders working together. I hope to post a "lessons learned" blog soon. That should be helpful to others.
I look forward to more updates. Let's try and get some pictures of the places we have ridden to.

My batteries are even worse that yours. A couple of batts sagg big time when I go for a handful of throttle. My range is a little shorter. I am planning on picking up my new load of lead July 26th.
I am selling off some stuff to finance the batts.

Now we need to harrass JDH to stop playing with the "pasta jar of death", and get working on his CB 750!

Racermike
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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Nice job Frodus! The bike looks sweeeeet! It must have been great hanging out at the EV day.

Thanks dude, It wasn't just me, There's been a couple guys helping out with the welding. It was a blast at the EV day... tons of people were interested. Some thought it was a normal bike. Lots of people scoffed at the range, but for used bats, I'm ok with it :) LiFePo this Fall will be good. Since I'm working with Synkromotive, I may be able to get bats as an OEM, and not as a hobbyist.

I look forward to riding to a car cruise or the ice cream shop, to see how many pick up on the fact the there is NO EXAUST PIPE!

Dude, the first time we both ride it in public its going to be nuts. Did you get yours insured yet? Any luck?

Your bike looks completely stock. I just think that is so cool. One thing I reeeealy tried to do was maintain the stock look. I was really turned off by some of the bikes I studied in the EV album that had this huge box hanging under the bike.

Yeah, I didn't want to ruin the VFR, its a classic 80's bike, and I've already done enough damage removing the Vfour. Plus, I don't want people staring at it because it looks funny, but because they can't hear me.

I'm sure you will agree, after going through fitting all those batts in under the factory body work, why most people don't. That was painful, but I'm glad I was able to do it. It was worth it.

I completely agree. All the painful fitting, measuring and engineering put into the battery frame and motor mount was WELL worth it. We kept our fairings :) Looks better than tons of the cruisers and Ninja's that have battery cages sticking out just so they can fit their lead batteries in.

Thanks for the nice comments about my bike. I TOTALLY agree about the "brotherhood" of electric motorcycle builders working together. I hope to post a "lessons learned" blog soon. That should be helpful to others. I look forward to more updates. Let's try and get some pictures of the places we have ridden to.

Thanks for the comments on MY bike! We're all pioneers in electric sportbikes. Choppers have been done and look unprofessional. Some sportbikes have been done, but lose the lower fairings. We're going for the sport bike look AND sport bike performance. Go get a blog at Wordpress. I can host some pictures on my website if you need. Wordpress is a good blog software, and has lots of "skins" and customized features.

Taking pics of where we've been seems like a great Idea. I want to get a tank mount for my camera (or build one), so I can take some video. We took it out last night @50mph with fairings on. Bats were sagging a little.

My batteries are even worse that yours. A couple of batts sagg big time when I go for a handful of throttle. My range is a little shorter. I am planning on picking up my new load of lead July 26th.
I am selling off some stuff to finance the batts.

I'm considering selling some stuff to finance lifepo as well. I've got a go-kart that I want to get rid of, and a whole bike chassis that we can convert and sell. What lead are you going with? What Ah batteries?

Now we need to harrass JDH to stop playing with the "pasta jar of death", and get working on his CB 750!

JDH, stop messin around :) get to work!

[update on progress]
My friend Jim came and took some video of the bike riding around with full fairings. We both rode it and filmed. He'll cut the video this week, and I'll post to youtube ASAP.

We took the bike apart last night and are going to be modifying the motor mount due to clearance issues, add a motor support and clean things up.

We also lowered the battery cage a tiny bit due to frame clearance issues. The front batteries were hitting the frame a little bit. We're also installing battery hold downs, and painting the frame. We're not going to go all out on this frame or the motor mount, since we'll be "transplanting" the guts of this one to the other bike eventually. We got lots of ideas on motor mounting and will be remaking another mount, as well as a new battery cage for the lifepo. We don't know if it'l be 72V or 144V yet, all depends on what batteries I get. If I go 144V, I only need 20-30Ah or so. If I go 72V I'd like to do 60Ah.

Right now, while Loni is doing the battery cage, I'll be soldering the boards for my charging system. We got them in last week, and I'm going to be putting them together. There is once module for each battery to monitor and charge cells individually. The front end of the charging system is ~700W, so it'l charge the motorcycle just fine in ~4 hours (~2500Wh pack right now). The charging system for LifePo will be completely different.

We've got to work on how to fit the charging system inside the frame. There's still lots of room, so I'm not too concerned.

Also still need to get the Aux battery and DC-DC converter integrated, as well as the lighting (got some White LED's for turn signals and brake lights). It'l be another month or two of 1 or 2 days a week until she's finished, but she'll be LEGAL!

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Here's a video that my friend Jim and I shot earlier this week. We have all the fairings on it, and pretty much have the motor mount and battery pack design nailed. We'll be cleaning up the wiring, making some small changes to the mounts, and upgrading the rear sprocket to a 60tooth (ordered 7-18-08).

Right now, I'm working on the custom charging system that will be installed as well as the 12V aux system for lighting.

Real nice shot at the beginning and end of Jim hitting 50mph.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOtyY5kIw2g

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F

Nice job with the video! I enjoyed the walk around. Hey! was that a STOP sign Jim blew through? :>)
I will try to follow suit with the video. Right now I am stealing the 100 Ah batts from the electric tractor, and I will try it today with a VERY STRONG 100 Ah 48V battery pack. I figured this would be better than parking it until I can afford the new batteries. I just want to ride this thing! It should still go 45 MPH or so. Plenty fast enough for my commute to work on secondary roads. Plus the range should be excellent.
Man that bike looks (and sounds) GREAT!
BTW, I REALY LIKE the TACHAMPMETER! (I own the trade name (TACHAMPMETER) just incase you try to market that thing) ;>)

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F

Utterly awesome! I bet you can pull some Gs with the low-end torque. :-)

I can't wait to see this bike with a deck of LiPos!

Working on a Piaggio Boxer (mo-ped) EV conversion: http://gpsy.com/ev

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Cool! What kind of iterface for the tach? Is it just a milliamp meter? Or pulse? I would like to do this on my Ninja, only may be a problem with the regen going negitive.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Nice build...I love the "current/tach"!! Will the Synkromotive controller offer any regen? Don't touch your 144v rails--yikes! Hate to drop a wrench in that one!

Jeff K.

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F

haha, yeah, we were making sure that traffic was stopped or clear before we waved him through.

Good luck on the bats, I can't wait to see yours in action!

tachampmeter... thats great.

I'm calling it the Synkrometer.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

You can't do regen on series wound motors (at least not easily). It requires a different controller, that doesn't exist in the EV market yet. If you want regen in a bike, go with sepex, or a small AC system.

right now we're 72V, but 144 in a couple weeks. I think we'll install a disconnect between 72V packs to lessen the risk.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

The interface is through the controller, just for testing. It uses the Dash light output, and is a pulse. Its the original tach, just hooked up a pulse signal and drove it via the controller. Programmed the controller to output current. We're going to switch to Watts.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Is the battery box meant to be a quick disconnect? e.g. could you set up a business renting and exchanging battery packs?

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

we've tossed that idea around so we could pop a pack out. Only issue is connection losses and heating of those connections. I'd rather unbolt the + and - and drop the pack to decrease those losses.

We may play with some Anderson connections

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

So, its been a while since I've posted. Sorry about that. Loni took a little break from the bike. He's been vacationing, and I've been doing research and testing on the nights I go to Synkromotive, so not much has happened with the bike.

As I posted before, I found a guy locally that had a ton (almost literally) of 28Ah 12V batteries from panasonic. I bought 2 (to replace in a go-kart we had at the shop), and tested one of them. I ran 2 tests. One test was at 50A another was 100A. It performed well and passed load testing. After looking at the Logged data, we figured the values jumped around too much, so I hooked a Dataq data logger to the battery and logged voltage vs time at 50A. Here's the curve.

//pics.evfr.net/albums/userpics/10001/normal_50A_LC-X1228P.jpg)

After testing the one battery, Ives and I ran some power calcs, and at 100A with a 120V (115V under sag) it'd give me over 11,500W instantanious, lots more than what I was getting (60V sag and just under 150A, for about 9,000W. It matched the discharge curve from the battery datasheet (click the picture of the battery). We're going to install 7 of these batteries (84V) on Tuesday night for a quick test. These will fit in with little or no modification to the existing frame (we designed it to be compatible with this size of batteries for an upgrade when we fabricated it in March). Once we do a quick test or two, we can start to fabricate another battery tray.

//pics.evfr.net/albums/userpics/10001/normal_34L107S4.jpg)

I also played around with an optical sensor that I've got hooked into the Tach input on the controller. I tried to get it to calibrate, but its not logging correctly. I'll have to debug that later.

For a gauge display, I'm tossing ideas around and considering an Asus EEE 7inch with XP on it. Fairly low cost, and it'd do all my data logging, display, etc. Plus, it will run our software with no changes. Just hook up a USB cable, and voila. Just need to make a waterproof case for it, and some sort of one-button interface for toggling pages. Once my BMS is done (needs programming) we can display all the battery levels, log data for discharging and charging, and display all the controller stats.

Still need to get some time off work to go to the DMV to get it registered and to take the written test for my motorcycle endorsement so I can get a permit. The permit allows me to ride with someone within eyesight and only drive during daylight hours. Then I can get some seat time.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

Now we need to harrass JDH to stop playing with the "pasta jar of death", and get working on his CB 750!

JDH, stop messin around :) get to work!

Kudos to both you guys for getting it all working. I'm regretting my $1000 investment in lead :-( I'm thinking of taking the plunge and getting either 40Ah or 60Ah Thundersky's from Elite Power. They have good price for LiFePO4 cells - but they're still expensive when you buy enough of 'em!

Haven't played with the P-o-D recently. Popped a few bubbles of Hydroxy just for fun - figure I need to produce 20cc of gas per second to run an 80 cc generator at idle and 120cc to run it at load. It's gonna be a while before I get there! The best I've seen someone else achieve is about 1cc per second per "tube".

I've been busy trying to set up an electric motor scooter dealership with storefront here in Ann Arbor. I hope to have that open at the beginning of next year. If I can actually get the dealership to provide a living wage then I can work on the CB-750 at the shop... :-)

Sorry for wandering off-post, but hey you did harass me ;-)

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.

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

Hey Frodus and JDH!
I have not posted in awhile either, but alot has/is going on also.
Since early August, I have completely re configured the battery pack. I was not happy with 48 Volts, as I was running at close to full throttle all the time to get 45-48 MPH. While searching for new battteries, I decided to go with the 75AH batteries just like JDH purchased for his CB750. I was able to fit six in the bike, for 72 Volts. Now the bike does 57 MPH easily, and starting at the bottom of the steepest hill near me, that is 1/2 mile long, at 40 MPH, I can accelerate to 48 MPH UP the hill! Acceleration is great, an will out run anything from a stop light. As soon as I got this combination together, I have done nothing but RIDE! (and charge). I get 20 miles range to 70% FULL DOD with an average speed of almost 40 MPH. And I get 20 miles with my wife and I riding! I have put on over 350 miles in August.
I ride it to work nearly every day. My wife and I rode it to church (24 miles round trip), gone for ice cream, and I run errands with it whenever I can.
I took the motorcycle training safety course (mandatory here in RI) and got my motorcycle liscence in early August. The class was great!
My work place is rather impressed that I did this project, and have given me INSIDE parking next to a charging outlet! They are even considering using the bike as part of a marketing campaign to show the customer that the engineers can "think outside the box". How cool is that!
Keep on pluggin!
I'll try and post some pics and video soon. I will have to wait till next week, as TS Hanna has stopped by for a visit this weekend.
Mike.

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

frodus
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Joined: Monday, March 17, 2008 - 08:39
Points: 189
Re: My Honda '86 VFR700F motorcycle conversion

dude, thats awesome.

I'm installing my new pack over the next few weeks, so I'll let you all know. Its going to be a touch heavier than before, but still around stock weight.

____________

Travis Gintz
1986 Honda VFR Conversion
www.evfr.net

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