Picture of Electric Mini-Motorcycle!
2012-11-03 22.41.01.jpg
2012-11-03 19.30.15.jpg
This instructable will show you how to design, build and test your own mini motorcycle. Small electric vehicles are a great way to learn engineering, physics and many hands-on skills. We'll start with an old pocket motorcycle frame and end up with an EV capable of cruising at 20-25 miles an hour (or more if you are crazy!). I normally use my own pocket motorcycle (i call it Chiquicycle!) for cruising around campus and getting to class in time.

This is my website: check here for some more wacky projects.

Thanks to Abraham Garza, Charles Guan, Victor Rodriguez for their contributions.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Get your rolling frame!

Picture of get your rolling frame!
2012-10-27 10.54.58.jpg
2012-10-27 19.02.53.jpg
First step in making your own pocket bike is to find the frame. Luckily craigslist and ebay is full of people trying to give away their old pocket bikes because they sons have grown out of them or because the electrical system got toasted by some kid doing burn outs. I have helped many of my friends find pocket bikes online and here are the models and brands that most often come up:

Razor Pocket Bikes form the majority of pocket bikes Chiquicycle is a Razor MX350 i got from some people that had taken it apart and were about to throw it away. If you look hard enough you should be able find a couple of used razors for a small cost (<50$).

Honda Minimoto is another popular model.

Also there is a lot of pocket bikes that used to be gas and you can easily convert to electric. These frames tend to be heavier but more sturdy and their brakes are much much better that child motorcycles.

After you get your frame, take a good look at it and try to find any missing parts. Sometimes you won't have the chain, or the driving sprocket. Luckily you should be able to find most of these materials in the internet here are some good resources for pocket bike specific parts!

Many times you can probably replace the original parts by bicycle parts (Chiquicycle has a bicycle handlebar + bicycle seat). In addition the brake levers/cables can definitely be bicycle parts.

We have a "pocket bike gallery" in cambridge MA, we have all sorts of bikes we can convert so don't limit yourself to a specific brand or style!

Make sure your rolling frame (wheels, handlebars, chassis and brakes) are in good condition before you start modifying it.

henryst12 days ago

Hi there,

I am a beginner in this kind of thing, so this might be a really simple question.

Does the voltage of the battery need to match the voltage of the motor?

For example, could I use 2 12 volt batteries connected in series with a 36 volt 750 watt motor?


Trikha90071 month ago

Can we use a bicycle frame instead of a mini motorcycle's frame?

njones333 months ago
I need help choosing a motor. I have no clue what motor to buy after a good amount of research. I need a motor in the 30-80$ range. Suggestions would be great.
rshukla45 months ago
I live in india..from where do i get all the part and frame for the bike
delokaver1 year ago
soo nice... one question, if you are not using any gear box combination and juts do a straight forward chain connection to the motor and rear gear, if this not make the motor hard to turn on the wheel at the first time ? I mean not enough torque ?
since from my point of view is the Brushless motor is only great for hi speed and not the torque without the gear box.
robermelendez (author)  delokaver1 year ago
good question,

I am using a single gear reduction (about 6:1), you can play with the size of your wheel, the kv of the motor and the sprocket ratio to give you more acceleration if you need. The high gear reduction allows for the motor to spin much faster than the wheel.

because of the nature of electric motors, different voltages give you different Torque-Speed curves ... many EVs use a single gear reduction and then speed up/slow down by increasing the voltage/current to the motor. A great example is the Tesla model S, motor are unlike engines in that when you slow them down they generally put out more torque, and engine will just turn off on you... for example we have an electric porsche, and we kept the different gears on it the motor has so much torque that it can start on 2nd or even third gear from a standstill
Sovos1 year ago
Lovely project!
Please state the cost and hours range needed to build it for an average maker!
robermelendez (author)  Sovos1 year ago
Hey! Good questions!

Controller $20-40 from ebay
Frame (i got it for free, but they can run anywhere btw $20-100 on craigslist)
Batteries (i got them for free) if you use lead acids they probably cost <50 bucks

It took me 2 days to make it (about 5-6 hours of work each day).
robermelendez (author)  robermelendez1 year ago
and motor was about 80 bucks with shipping from hobbyking, if you get a brushed motor you can get a $30 motor that is nice
Milz20001 year ago
I live in the uk and cannot find a frame anywhere could you please give me some help and a couple of pointers
sdobbie1 year ago
Use a Turnigy Rotomax 50cc motor.
Nice design how did you get the idea it's pretty cool I'm going to start making it
robermelendez (author)  xboxmatthew1 year ago
hey! it all started because one of my friends got another pocket bike donated by his cousin who had destroyed its motor and batteries so we rebuilt it!

my friends victor's build is here:
armstk1801 year ago
Nice project ! excellent !

I vote you
kenbob1 year ago
I like the shirt! and great instructable!
robermelendez (author)  kenbob1 year ago
thanks so much! what shirt are you talking about?
Sweeet project! Thank you so much for sharing it with Instructables!