Practical or just a neat toy?
I truly think in the next decade more and more people will have two vehicles, one gas and one hybrid or electric. One for traveling outside the limits of your local area and one for commuting to work, school, store, etc. This is NOT a glorified Scooter. This bike (with the LifePo4 batteries) goes 70 MPH and travels almost 40 miles especially if the rider learns to “coast”. (More on that later) It has great torque and accelerates better than our 250ci Gas bike ever did. Better batteries can get you 60 Miles or more per charge. A cheap set of leftover batteries may get you 10 miles. There are several factors we will discuss that will determine the speed and distance of your bike.
An electric vehicle is quiet. The only thing you hear on our bike is the chain. The bike itself has no real maintenance other than charging up the batteries. Even with the price of the batteries ($900) and charging, it will cost only 7 cents a mile.
Is it a Green vehicle? Yes, on some level depending on where you live. If your power comes from an area that burns coal or oil to make electricity, then it is less green. If you live in an area that has Hydroelectric power, then it is more Earth friendly. We have set this bike up to be charged with a house mounted Solar panel, but for now it is still "on the grid".
Why a Motorcycle?
A bike was chosen for several reasons. Cost: We expect the overall cost to be about $2600 when completed. The main cost is batteries and the motor kit. The insurance is cheaper than a car. The cost per year for this bike, with better than minimum coverage, is $168 a year. An electric bike, for some, is easier to learn to ride than a conventional bike with a clutch and shifting gears. All you do is turn it on and turn the throttle.
The project itself is much easier than a car conversion. If you know the wiring of a golf cart, you should have no problem making one of these.
We travel in a RV to local (within 2 hours) beaches and we needed something bigger than a scooter and quiet for the RV neighbors. We had a Suzuki GZ250 which is a small cruiser. It lacked any real HP to keep up in traffic. It also needed to be warmed up and have periodic maintenance. It really did not get used too much since most of our running around was within a 10 mile radius.
I also wanted something to go to work (9 miles one way) on nice days plus if I needed to run to the store for something small, the parking is much better with a Motorcycle. I am not opposed to parking in the back to save our cars paint, I just like parking up front to run in to get something quickly. (Like that one bolt needed for a project or a light switch that needs replacing)
Lets get started!