Gomi Style - Electric Motorcycle Conversion





Introduction: Gomi Style - Electric Motorcycle Conversion

As seen in MAKE magazine! We started with a Honda Rebel junker and a dream - to make a practical, zero emissions vehicle for commuting in San Francisco. Armed with a basic metal shop, we methodically convert the Honda rebel 250 into a clean quiet bike in about a week.



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    I promise I'm not trolling - great build, and I want to build one myself;

    Alas the use of the term 'zero emission' bugs me. Power isnt free; it comes from power plants. You can argue you use solar (what third world country got crapped on to make the silicon pv cells?), or hydro (hydro has no emissions, but usually destroys thousands or millions of hectares of land in resivoirs)...but sadly a huge percentage, and I insist on HUGE percentage of all worldwide power is still dirty - carbon emission based generation. Couple the inefficiency of the batteries, with the wall charger, with the power transmission, with the generation inefficiency, and a gasoline engine is *practically* on par for energy efficiency/carbon emission.

    I recently helped a guy build a small water turbine that worked off a long length of pipe that provided the head from a small stream, taking only a small amount of water from the stream and returning it back. this would easily recharge the bike

    Does somebody have any plans for the bike project as there is no point in reinventing the wheel

    sir i m having an idea to charge the batteries by running a gas turbine using the combustion products energy .
    and i m thinking of furnishing of the bike which works on petrol and electricity.
    so please give me a mail on

    It's instructables - there are hundreds of bike projects.

    Hi- Thanks for the comments. I appreciate this debate. It comes up a lot. Zero Emissions is a term specific to vehicle tailpipe output, not the entire range of energy production. While you make some very good points, the term has it's defined meaning. Where I live, the AC power comes from a significant percentage of renewable sources. But even where it it dirty, the per-mile comparison of the amount of pollution from a "grid" source vs the amount of pollution from the burning of gasoline in a motorbike is not even a close comparison. The internal combustion is far less efficient and far more dirty. Power from the grid costs literally pennies per mile, and the grid sits mostly unused all night long - just waiting for the millions of electrics and plug-in hybrids that will soon be widely available.

    I like your bike, it is very cool and well done. But if you consider ground level ozone a pollutant, and the EPA and my lungs do, then electric vehicles will never be zero emission. And the cradle to grave impact of batteries is a huge elephant in the room that no greeny ever willingly addresses. A turbo-diesel ICE properly designed combined with hydraulic regeneration is in my view by far the most efficient design when the real big picture is examined. Not just the 'tailpipe'. That "tailpipe emissions" thing is a canard for certain. Folks like to talk about "big oil" but they need to look in the mirror and start following the money trail of "big electric" that those Al Gores and such have extremely heavily invested in battery technology, carbon credit exchanges, Solyndra, money-sucking-bird-harvesting wind farms etc. People are people. Some don't hide their true motivations, others wrap themselves up in Earth Day flags and pretend their crap doesn't stink. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I'm intrigued to know where you live then. I don't know how it works else where, but in the UK all power is fed into the grid and everyone draws from the same grid. No one gets to say "oh I only want electrons from solar or tidal, those nasty coal ones just wont do". Perhaps you're offgrid, in which case I've got it all wrong. Unfortunately I think you're right about the definition of Zero Emissions but surely this term must have been invented by someone with something to sell. Like these hydrogen cars, what a load of rubbish, the factories making the hydrogen are doing more damage than a car would in its life. Don't get me wrong I'm all up for petrol free transport, I'm just not sure we've found a better (greener) alternative yet. Decomissioning lead acid batteries isn't exactly green. Also if everyone does suddenly decide to use hybrids and electric that charge at night then night time electricity won't remain cheap, nor will there be capacity in the grid for it. We would need many new nuclear plants to cover this (in England at least).

    PGE is my local power utility. It's not perfect, but it is one of the best in the US.
    Also, we recycle over 90 % of Lead Acid batteries here as well. As for grid capacity, the US grid could handle a switch to plug-in tech for 180 million cars right now. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/12/180_million_plu.php We have a lot of issues to deal with here in the US, but supporting cleaner AC vehicles seems to be coming around a bit.

    Some places in the world now allow free choice of which 'company' you buy from. some companies offer part or all 'green' power, usually at a premium. Also some areas allow net-metering, where if you can generate some of your own, you can get paid to put power back in the grid.

    I can agree with that :) As per the grid going unused - thats a good thing :) less draw on the power plant means less fuel in, and less carbon out (generally). Thats like saying since the alternator in the car is spinning you might as well draw power from it. Newton explained that one best. I would still like to see stats of estimated powerplant-to-rubber on the road efficiency. Also, gasoline only costs pennies per mile before taxes - if household electricity were taxed like gas it would be astronomical. We know empirically that 15-25% of the energy in gasoline can be extracted to motion, but gasoline has potential for nasty output chemicals where most power plants clean those out.