Add Sound Effects to Your Electric Motorcycle





Introduction: Add Sound Effects to Your Electric Motorcycle

About: Ordinary guy with no special skills, just trying to change the world one backyard invention at a time. See more at: On Twitter - @300MPGBen and at

Add any sound you want to your electric motorcycle with some portable speakers and an MP3 player!

Step 1: Download MP3s

Download some fun sound effects from the internet, use a sound effects CD, or go out and record your own.

Just get some sound into your computer and then into your MP3 player.

Suggested sounds would be those of a motorcycle, but why not a Jetsons car sound, The Electric Slide, or the Back to the Future theme song?

Step 2: Dig Up Some Speakers

Get some speakers to play your sounds through.

I am using self-powered, battery operated speakers of the kind that were used with portable CD players.

They have a small amp built-in, and run off four AA-size batteries.

Step 3: Install the Speakers

Mount the speakers somewhere on the cycle.

Hidden is best for the gag of an electric cycle making gasoline cycle sounds.

Under the seat or inside the hollowed-out gas tank can both work well.

Attach the speakers with zip-ties, screws, glue, or whatever works for you. I like zip-ties, because they hold tight, but are cheap and can be easily removed.

Remount the gas tank or side panels to cover the speakers when you are done.

Make sure the wire between the two speakers reaches.

If the speakers have a power button, make sure it is still accessable after mounting, or modify the power switch to relocate on the handlebars or another convenient location.

Step 4: Mount the MP3 Player

Mount the MP3 player on the handlebars or other convenient location.

Use hook and loop fastener, double-sided tape, bongo-ties, or something similar. That way, you can remove the MP3 player for security.

Alternatively, it could be mounted inside the gas tank or another secure location, if you have a wire remote for it.

I used fancy rubber bands to pin down this iPod.

Plug in the cable from the speakers to the headphone jack, making sure there is enough slack to be able to steer the motorcycle properly without pulling the cord loose.

Step 5: Hit the Road!

Go for a ride and watch all the looks you get when you change your cycle sound from a Harley, to a 50cc scooter, to your favorite movie sound track!

Go to and brag to all your friends about your pimped out eco-ride!

PS: What make a quiet cycle make noise? Why do digital cameras still go "click"?

Cycles are harder to see, so making some sound makes sense in a parking lot with poor visibility, or while backing up.

It's also great to have as a come-back to the smart-@$$es who say loud pipes save lives.

Lastly, it's just plain fun! Instantly have your cycle sound like anything you want! Or if you don't want to, just turn it off.

You can't do that with a gas hog.



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    34 Discussions

    Now I'm thinking about a synth/sampler chip that has a throttle input, and "plays" a sampled instrument of whatever. F-14, Semi Diesel, Batmobile, Wall-E, Jetson/outrageous UFO sounds etc. Sounds like a product waiting to be made, but I have a Job already. Dang. Arduino mp3 player? Hmm...

    2 replies

    I was also thinking about rigging this system up in such a way so that it automatically comes on with the "engine run switch". (With a manual OFF override of course)

    That way, it really would serve the purpose of being feedback to let both the rider and others know that it's on - just like how digital camera's still go "click", it lets everyone know you took the picture.

    Arduino MP3 player project would have to wait until I am done with my electric car conversion though.

    Might find this interesting.. It's how Audi is producing sound effects for for it's E-tron electric car..

    can you think of a good way to mount a zune to a bike

    HAHAHAHA......really funny....when i saw the title i said "another crap" but then i realised you talking about electric motorcycle. I saw the video.....very funny...

    They aren't car batteries, but rather sealed deep-cycle batteries which can be charged and discharged many more times that a starting battery.<br/><br/>There are four of them, for a 48 Volt system.<br/><br/>For more information on this project, please visit:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a><br/>or<br/><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a><br/>

    No transmission. Gas vehicles need one to slip the clutch to pull away and to match the speed of the gas engine to your ground speed. You could go faster with transmission gearing, but it makes you pull more power from the batteries, which shortens the range. It is better to add more batteries, which raises system voltage and spins the motor faster. The Tesla Roadster is a $100,000 electric sports car. It has a One-speed transmission.

    Is there any way to make one be able to go about 40/50 mph or is that to complicated with more batteries?

    It already goes cruises at 45 mph. If you want further range. You need higher ah batteries. I could double the range on this cycle by using deep cycle boat batteries, but it would be hard to water them and they wouldn't have as good acceleration as my Optima Yellow tops. Cycles are limited by their shape and size as to how many batteries you can put on them. If you made a "chopper" you could extend the frame to put as many batteries in there as you want.

    Thank you, What is the difference between 48 volt and 72 volt?, it just looks like more batteries.

    Yep. 48 volts is 4 12V batteries and 72V is 6 12V batteries. Higher voltage spins your motor faster, which makes you drive faster. Higher system voltage also allows you to pull fewer amps from the batteries at the same speed, helping extend your range and battery life.

    OK so the more amps and voltage the longer the battery life. Thats pretty cool. Do some 12 volt batteries have more amps than others? So if I want a electric motorcycle with long range and battery life I need 12volts with more amps, and probably a 72 volt system? I need to go 30+ miles a day with little time to recharge. I might also have to get a good charger to charge the batteries faster. This little project I'm coming up with is getting pricey, and that will lessen my chance for getting an OK from my dad. Well I am eligible for a moto permit in 3 months so I have a while to convince him. And here I am puking my life on you, Sorry about that.