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Electric vehicle conversions

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by S_Bartfast, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. What would you think of converting a Hyosung GV650?


    It's a belt drive bike and has the foot pegs an extremely long way forward. I have one of these beasts and I have to say when it's working properly it is an absolute pleasure to ride but unfortunately it's so poorly made I've had no end of trouble with it.

    I just love riding this bike and personally I think it has fantastic geometry. In fact I'd say it has the best geometry of any bike I've ridden however it's so cheaply made and so unreliable that I just had to replace it. It's now been sitting in the back of my shed for a few years and I've been trying to get rid of it for ages but have had no interest and I just don't know what to do with it. Anyway, I have been thinking about turning it into an eBike for a while and was looking things up when I came across this thread and am wondering if you think it would be feasible.

    I'd need at least a 100 km range (at 60 km/h) but would like the option to crank it hard through the hills on occasion (though this would obviously be at the expense of range). With it's current (650cc) engine it is just capable of pushing 200 km/h and it would be nice to maintain that performance, though not essential. What would be essential though is a 100 km range (at sensible speeds).

    What do you think? Would it be doable?
  2. If you throw enough money at it, anythings doable, Question is, is it worth it?

    Does the fuel tank leak? (a common fault, I understand) wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a new tank?
    Engine/gearbox problems? - same answer (albeit a fair whack dearer)

    Anything else - converting to electric isn't gonna fix it.
  3. It's feasible IF you have long pockets and endless time for the research it will take to select a suitable drive/battery system. It theoretically would be possible to adapt one from one of the companies doing R&D or testing the market with releases of electric drive motorcycles, but you will pay dearly for their gear and will be up for adapting it to your frame. (Zero Bikes has an electric bike you can buy ) A cruiser provides a few options in the way of space. Basically you will be able to toss everything but the frame, suspension and brakes. A repower such as this would also most likely mean a trot through the re-compliancing process.

    If someone were talented with electronics and electrics, and could do their own welding, frame refinishing, and "glass work", there is no doubt one could do their own build. However if the build quality issues you've had extend to things like brakes, bearings suspension, then I'd regard it as a poor platform.

    Admirable project - not for the no-talent dreamers or anyone short of cash or the ability to do their homework, and work through lots of stuff over a long time. Not for the faint hearted.

    No, it won't be worth it, but would make a ripper project and if it were to develop into a practical everyday ride, the world of motorcycle journalism would take an interest - It would make good copy.
  4. #4 S_Bartfast, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2016
    Thanks guys.

    I had actually originally posted this in the ausEmoto - Electric vehicle conversions thread and was asking 'Bluefang' in particular of his opinion. I'm not sure exactly why it was moved here but your comments are still most welcomed.

    The list of issues is ongoing, but yes the fuel tank did leak. It was replaced under warranty with another leaky tank which was then replaced with the current one, which finally seems to be good ;).

    The gearbox has been fine, though the clutch has caused no end of headaches! Not sure how many times I've had it looked at but finally went to another repairer and they seemed to have sorted it (for now at least). Another serious issue was that it lost all it's coolant one time which lead to a complete engine rebuild. There have been a whole host of peripheral issues too, like the little horn on the side-stand snapping off (making it hard to pull the side-stand out with your foot) and most recently the thread for the rear-vision mirror burring out making it impossible to tighten the mirror properly to name but a few.

    All these issues have been fixed and the bike is running fine for now but I can't help but think it's only a matter of time...

    I'm sure I will still have issues even with an electric motor but hopefully they won't be too major. The brakes by the way work a treat! The GV650 actually has surprisingly sporty braking for a mid-sized cruiser.

    Well, I have a lot of time but my pockets are, arr, some what shallow to say the least.

    I have also been watching the progress of the Zero closely and if this article in Gizmag is anything to go by the current model really looks compelling, but 27,000 AUD!!! Also I'd really prefer a cruiser but unfortunately electrically powered cruisers are a poorly explored market - go figure :(

    As for research, yup, that's what I'm doing right now ;)
    'Bluefang' said in his build thread that he should be able to make a bike with similar specs to the current Zero for about half the cost of a Zero and my original post I was meaning to ask him if the GV650 would make a suitable candidate. I'm not sure why the thread was moved but I might have to send him a PM I think.
  5. Thanks for messaging me about this thread.

    Going electric is not as hard as it used to be and yes getting the range is fairly easy on a largish bike like the one you want to use. I have a hayabusa motorbike that should be finally road legal early next week, very short range bike just due to it been a test for the motor atm but currently pushing about 80kw and hopefully will be doing well over that once we really start working of modifications to the controllers and cooling systems. To me a cruiser style bike would actually be a easier conversion then shorter compact sports bikes.

    Takes quite a while and the right approved engineer to make it happen but its a fairly simple process.

    If you want a bike with 50kw of power and a range of 100km on the highway the cost is certainly do-able even with the shitty exchange rate Australia has atm.

    Where abouts are you located, i am on the gold coast.
  6. Unfortunately I live in Adelaide.

    100km would be a minimum but acceptable. According to Google I live 42km from work and ride there and back every day so more range would be appreciated but as long as it can definitely do 100 km I should be able to make it home for dinner :). As for power, I guess 50kW would be fine, but I don't really know.

    Current stats for the bike are:
    Power: 60kW @ 9000rpm
    Torque: 67Nm @ 7250rpm

    By the way, I'm a pretty big lad, tipping the scales in at a good whack over 100kg (a buck thirty at a guess).
    I'm also in the throws of loosing my job at the moment so I expect I may well have plenty of time on my hands shortly but expect to be desperately short of cash, however, with time to burn a rode trip to Brisbane may not be out of the question :)
  7. 50kw will probably give you a feeling of more power the the 60kw motor just due the extra torque avaliable all the time, specially if you gear it for a reasonable 130km/h or so.

    With your project i would first be looking into finding a approved engineer and calling them up to chat about doing a electric motorbike conversion. It took me a few different engineers before i found one that was actually happy to work on a electric bike.

    I can supply the parts to you fairly easily if you have the time and a small amount of skill to make up some mounting brackets. The motors i use are a 94% efficient bldc hub motors, you will need to mount them in the frame to get the most out of them, they are wound to use 2 controllers.

    The motor cost is $1500 delivered to your door. The controllers for the pair is $1500 as well.

    First thing. Find a approved engineer who is happy to work with you
  8. So that's $3000 for the motor and controllers, then how much would batteries be?

    Also, what's the reason you use hub motors and then mount them in the frame? I know your first bike looked funny with the small wheel at the back but I actually like that look, especially when it had the original really big wheel on the front. Agreed it looked funny but I'm all in favor of funny looking e-bikes, especially funny looking e-cruiser-bikes, like a more extreme version of jmck's current avatar:
    or a backwards version of the Wario bike:

    But back to more sensible things...

    Clearance on the Aquilla is minimal as it is so putting a tiny rear wheel on her probably isn't practical, but what are the reasons you decided 'never again' yourself?

    Also can you see any problems in regard to using a belt rather than a chain for the final drive?
    I'm not sure what the specification of the gear ratio for the stock belt-pulley system is, and I can't seem to find it, but chain conversion kits are available that come with a 19 tooth front sprocket and a 46 tooth rear:
    GV650, GV700, ST7 Chain Conversion Kit - Replaces Belt and Pulleys

    If possible I would prefer to keep the belt system mainly due to the lack of maintenance but if a chain is necessary at least there are conversion kits out there. When you say the engine is 'geared' for a given top speed is it the sprockets that give this gearing or is there something else?
  9. It's a link directory, not a vehicle conversions thread.

  10. With the hub motor its a case of it been by far the best motor for the money i can get. Added to the fact its wound in a certain way that it uses 2 controllers with the phases spaced out it makes been able to power it alot easier. My controllers are also setup to use high voltage which = high motor rpm.

    If you really like the small wheel look you could use it as a hub motor but you would be limited to the power you could draw to about 30kw because of the rpm limits on the motor. To get the 50kw you would be spinning the hub fast enough to go >200km/h which is not going to happen and is going to suck for accelleration.

    Belt drive is ideal :) specially if you shrink you rear wheel slightly, put it all the way back on the swing arm so you can hopefully mount the hub to the swing arm itself so no change in belt length needed.