The Electric Motorcycle
Everything you wanted to know about building an EV Motorcycle

Step 5: The fun part!

Bike teardown.

Take off all parts that will not be needed. Tearing the bike all the way down is not necessary, but in our case was needed as we wanted to repaint the frame (at home).

At this point do not cut off any welded tabs. You may be surprised what you can use later. Unbolting tabs and brackets is OK, but keep them all for now.

Keep all nuts and bolts for later use. The motor and gas related items can be sold.   To lighten up the bike, we also stripped off all the wiring as it is easier to rewire it to what you need than to try to figure out where all this mass of wires from the factory goes.

Our Bike has plastic fenders and side covers and needed to be painted. We wanted something bright so hopefully the in a hurry, cell phone talking, late for work people will see us. We chose a metallic orange and we are calling the bike “Electric Orange”.

We also knew that batteries are not the coolest thing to look at so we wanted to put something on the bike to cover them up. We are not trying to hide the fact that we have an electric bike, just make it look better than a giant “D” cell. 

A trip to the local Motorcycle salvage (23 miles away) got us both a chain sprocket section and two upper side cover from a Kawasaki Ninja. The worst part of the side covers were the baked on decals. The wife tackled it with a hair dryer, goop remover and a half a day.  

Battery and motor location:

Getting batteries as low as possible low on the bike is best. For the motor, I have seen them bolted onto the swing arm, mounted under the seat and mounted where we have it, where the output of the transmission would be. We wanted to get the chain as short as possible, but it turned out to be the standard length. Battery size and location is next. The best way I saw another builder do this was to make several boxes up of the same size as the batteries you want to use and start placing them on the bike. A medium Post Office Priorty shipping box was almost the exact size we needed (see photo).

That way you know for sure it will all fit. Make SURE you leave enough room to be able to remove these batteries later. We made a removable top battery support by welding tabs and bolting it in. This way if we needed to remove the bottom batteries or the motor, it will be much easier.  

Mounting the electronics:

We kept the fuel tank, washed it out and cut out the underside to hold some of the electronics. The Alltrax motor controller is mounted in the original small battery bay under the seat to keep it dry and close to the motor. 

Step 6

The required disclaimer: This information is about what we learned on our project and is not intended to do anything but show you how we did ours. LEARN all you can before starting any project with this much voltage.  A 9 volt battery, applied correctly, can kill you. Think about what 6 - 12 volt car batteries can do if not wired correctly.

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effort and hopefully money, please let me know.

If you have any questions or
suggestions, please contact me!