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How to build a 72Volt electric motorcycle

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Step 2: Components and tools

Shunt.JPG
Every motorbike is different but the basic components can be the same. Below is a list of the parts I used and where I got them, but you will have to do some research to figure out what fits your bike and requirements. Check out the photos at the bottom to see what I bought and the EVAlbum for other electric vehicle projects.

Frame: I looked at many different bike styles and decided on a 1984 Honda Interceptor for a few reasons:
1) I like the style of bike, not a total crotch rocket but not a hog either, with room for batteries inside the frame.
2) The seller on Ebay was close to my house. And the bike didn't run, so it only cost $600. If you have an old bike or someone will donate one then that's great--but for the rest of us, try the local paper, junk yards, Craig's List or ebay motors.

Motor: After reading other EV bike specs (and knowing that I wanted to go faster than a moped), I chose a 72V Advanced DC motor, because it's weight and dimensions where good for my frame. I ordered it online fromthunderstruck-ev.com.

Batteries: I went with 6 Yellow Top Optima batteries from remybattery.com because they are sealed and have received great reviews. After making cardboard mock ups of the D23 model I realized that there was no way six full sized batteries would fit and still look good. I ended up getting the D51 model. Half the size and weight but also half the storage.

Controller: You have to match your controller to your voltage but the amperage is up to your budget. More amps = more power and more cost. It seems that there are only two real choices: Alltrax or Curtis. You'll have to decide for yourself, but I went with the 72V 450Amp Alltrax from cloudelectric. Don't waste your time trying to build a potimeter on an old throttle--just buy a pre-made one and be done with it. I got the Magura 0-5K Twist grip throttle from cloudelectric.com

Charger: You have to match your charger with your voltage but the speed of charge in Amps is also up to your budget. I went with a Zivan NG1 from EVAMERICA I have recently switched to six individual 3amp Soneil chargers to help balance the batteries.

DC/DC Converter: It's safest to run with a DC/DC converter and an extra 12V battery backup but motorcycles have limited space so I am only using the converter. I purchased a Sevcon 72V Input 13.5V output from evparts and it has working perfectly.

Fuses: You'll want to get a fuse that matches your setup. I bought model ANN 400 w/ holder from EVAMERICA.

Contactor: This is a device that you hook up to your existing key ignition on 12Volts and it will close the loop so you get the full power to your controller. I bought an Albright SW-200 from EVAMERICA

Battery cable and connectors- I bought about 10 feet of 2 GA wire from WAL-MART and cut it to length. Using Lugs from cloudelectric I soldered and used heat shrink tubing on each end. I highly recommend battery terminal covers for safety.

Instruments I chose an E-meter(Link 10) w/ Prescaler add on for 72V use instead of a bunch of different meters. As an added feature I wired up the ignition switch to the neutral indicator to show me when the bike was on.

Other parts
Wire - 12GA different colors and heat shrink tubing (large and small sizes)
Electrical tape
Wire connectors
Wire wrap

Tools
Basic shop tools are required such as a socket set, screw drivers,wire stripper, etc. Additionally a volt meter, metal grinder and crimper are used in this project.

 
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smccollough13 months ago
Could you repost a link for the motor? I can't seem to find it.
Diozark6 months ago
How Did You Connect The DC Motor Shaft to The Drive Sprocket ?
Stryker (author)  Diozark5 months ago
The sprocket has a set screw and the motor shaft has a flat spot to screw onto.
nehmo9 months ago
Lead-acid? The main thing I learned from my e-bike experience, which is ongoing, is shun lead-acid. They are inferior to the lithium chemistries in specific energy, cycle life, and C-rate.
eraj12 years ago
hello sir,
Is there any possible of regenerating in E-bike.
stingrayz3 years ago
Why doesn't any one use the transmission from the original gas motor? Electric motors have higher torque. With gears it seams a person would get more distance from a charge. Using a touring type frame like from a Harley, the extra batteries could be in the saddle bags. This would put more weight on the power wheel for the wheelies. Lol
Great information...thanks.... questions? Should I care on how much amps the batteries have? Or the controller will take care of the amps completely? Should focus on how much volt the batteries can produces only?
mr.sparkle5 years ago
im trying to put together a drag bike over here in england instead of my gsxr1340 nos bike.range is not important any ideas on dc motors controllers ect hoping to run around eight sec i will build my own frame so motor /battery size not important thanks
logoris5 years ago
is the dc-dc step down actually needed, and what is it actually used for?
prabbit22m5 years ago
Great job on the build. Brushless motors are really developing these days. They are basically AC motors but the Remote Control industry is making speed controlers that use DC and pulse it around the coils in the motor can to produce an AC type atmospere. These motors are very efficient and much more powerful. Of course they're expensive but some day they'll be cheaper and your bike with everything the same except the motor and controller will be a lot faster and have double the range.
spmehta5 years ago
Sir Its good, But dont drift creative forum into un necessary discussion like noise of MB Siddharth
kurt1681465 years ago
Hello, I have been researching how to convert my bike, and have found that there are a few companies out there already selling kits, and out-the-box cycles but with 48 volts for power, but their range is almost double of what yours is. I saw your sample about volts vs.. ah and realize there is a trade off, but I am curious to know why you can't get both. Are there no Batteries available to produce a good 30 miles a charge and still get you up to 70 mph. for the highway? Thanks
Stryker (author)  kurt1681465 years ago
There are better batteries out there but I can't afford them right now. Do a search on LifePo and get out your check book. Also my bike is probably a lot heavier then some of those 48V scooters getting better range.
sirscotty745 years ago
Glad I came across this site. There really is hope. How much does the motor weigh?
Stryker (author)  sirscotty745 years ago
72V Advanced DC AC4-4002 10”x 6.7” 47 Lbs from thunderstruck-ev.com
tcase Stryker5 years ago
Just out of curiosity, have you ever thought about a good generator, like off of a car or something?
How much does the electric motor cost and could you post a direct link?
Stryker (author)  beaggressive6 years ago
There is a link to the motor in my instructable, but I'm not sure if they sell that one anymore.
How much does the electric motor cost and could you post a direct link?
ok i know absolutley nothing about motorcycles but this seems like a really cool project to do for a college student (heck if im gonna pay for gas) and i was wondering, could you just get a basic motorcycle frame and put panels from another type of motorcycle on the outside?
Thanks for all the good EV links; I didn't know all those options were out there.
jongscx6 years ago
you should re mount the muffler just to confuse people...
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