VFR700 Electric Motorcycle Conversion

I figure its about time that I start putting my project out there. I was recently featured on Autobloggreen, and I guess I didn’t think that many people were interested. Then I found this place, and ecomodder, as well as a few other sites… so there’s interest.

My website is: http://www.evfr.net and there are plenty of pictures, and a blog or two a week since I started last year.

About the project:
The bike is a 1986 Honda VFR700F that I found in Florida for $400 with no title, in like new condition. Brand new tires, been stored for 10 years with $4270 miles on it. I got it shipped to Oregon for $675, and parted out the engine, exhaust and electrical and just about broke even. The bike was essentially free. The title was lost, but it checked out, so I found another frame for $150 and swapped it after engine removal.

I’m currently working with a company in Portland on building a very robust 600A 156V fully programmable series motor controller. Its in test right now, and we’re finalizing the design. We’ve got a PDA communicating with it for my display. It will display MPH (tach input to controller), motor rpm, battery side voltage and current, motor side current and voltage. It will display each battery voltage in the future. We’re also working on battery balancing and charging designs.

A couple months ago I found an Advanced DC K99-4007 motor on a surplus website, and bought 2 of them. They are equivalent to the ADC K91-4003. They max out at around 50 or so ftlbs or torque and 18hp. Its 56lbs and has plenty of thermal mass. max RPM is around 5500. Just need to machine the shaft for a keyway and shorten the shaft.

I also scored 12 18Ah batteries (will do series parallel to get 72V) from another EV Motorcycle guy. They’re about 13lbs a piece, for about a 36Ah pack at 72V, and 54Ah at 48V. Still working on how I want to charge and balance them.

Just picked up a Vicor 200W 48V to 12V DC DC converter for my accessories/lights/contactor for $20… score.

So I’ve got batteries, DC-DC, motor, controller, contactor, rolling chassis. I need to fabricate the motor mount (the Portland guys are helping me), make a battery cage and some battery/motor cables. I’m trying to pick sprockets and think I’ll go with a 4:1 ratio. Some guys with eteks/perm132 go 5:1 up to 7:1. Other guys with smaller ADC motors go anywhere from 3.5:1 to 4.5:1. My motor is larger with more power, so 4:1 should be just right. I’m changing from 530 chain (#50) to #40 chain to make it more quiet. Sprocketspecialists have sprockets for me for under $100, and surpluscenter.com has sprockets and nickel chain. I need to start looking for a charger for short term, we’re working on distributed charging right now, and its being tested.

So thats about where I am. Comments, critiques appreciated.

p.s. don’t tell the VFR guys that I dismantled the VFR before I finish :slight_smile:

Travis Gintz
1986 eVFR

now thats awesome, any videos of you driving it or anything like that?

well, not yet, the bike isn’t done… read above…

We’re just getting ready to do some battery and motor mounts.

oops totally missed that, but still you need videos to show us what you have so far :smiley:

I’m going into the shop tonight to do some work and come up with a battery cage. I’ll try and get some more pics and take some video. It won’t show much other than all the parts and the bike frame.

[QUOTE=frodus;2062]I’m going into the shop tonight to do some work and come up with a battery cage. I’ll try and get some more pics and take some video. It won’t show much other than all the parts and the bike frame.[/QUOTE]

nothing wrong with that. its nice to see all the parts it takes to come up with a finished project.

Really cool project , please keep us posted as to the projects progress.


I got some more work done, we fabricated some battery trays, and should have them finished by next week. Then we can wire this b*tch up!

Click on the pic to read more:

Another little update:

what kind of accelaration, speed, and range are you estimating??

accel is unknown, as we have used bats and are planning on different ones anyway. We’ll gear it once we’ve got the new pack.

Speed: We hit 50mpg on a straightaway this week.

Range 10-15 right now due to small bats. New bats should give us closer to 30.

Posted 6 new videos too.

So last night, I dropped by Synkromotive to help Ives with some testing. We tried logging with the DataQ again, and it it kept failing, no matter what setting we used. Nothing seemed to help. We unhooked it, and I’m going to contact Customer Service. We need something to compare our measured values to.

We spent the rest of the evening getting the Old Tachometer (originally fed off the engine spark), to display the current on the motor side. Its pretty cool, as you give it gas, it displays current at a 50A per 1000rpm resolution. So 200A is 4krpm. I’ll likely print something to display actual A, but its great for testing. Its just a PWM signal to the original Tach line. I’m totally cool with keeping the stock look, infact, I’m HOPING to keep as much of a stock look as possible. Now I need to order a PB-6 to keep my original throttle, order a EV200 contactor and get the lights working.

[B]David Boyd got the bike up to 60mph[/B]… wow! It was fresh off the pack, and pulled 300A or so up to 30mph, and then it started to drop… at 55mph, it was roughly half of that. Better gearing should help this, as less torque is needed. We’ll keep gearing what it is for now because we’re testing something new every day. I thought it felt kind of like a 250cc, but David said it actually feels more like a 500cc. I think the batteries are waking up a little too, so switching to new ones in the future, with higher current draw is definately going to help. This controller rocks!

I got a jacket the other day, and am going to pick up a Helmet this weekend. Insurance won’t be that hard (My agent has been really cool about helping me). Registering it should be ok, but I’ll have to have someone make sure they see it doesn’t have an exhaust/was converted to electric so I can be excluded from DEQ. I’m also going to get a Motorcycle instruction permit… and keep my riding limited to daytime, with a friend. Just need to take the Knowledge test.

So, I decided to work my butt off this last weekend, and prepare the electric motorcycle for its first official public apearance. the OEVA was sponsoring an EV Awareness day downtown Portland on Saturday. I put everything together, cleaned it up, and went down there. Had a blast. It was one of the more popular vehicles there, because it was the only motorcycle, and the only electric sportbike that I know of in this area!

Read the blog article for details and some pictures!

Just thought everyone would like to see the finished bike. Still have to get it registered and get the lights working, but thats pretty easy stuff. Thanks everyone for the support, its been a long time coming, but the payoff has been great.

Videos Videos Videos! Bust out that duct tape for some on-board. :cool:

Had to charge her last night, didn’t get a chance to drive around. I’ll have some pictures of under the gas tank soon.

I’m going outta town tomorrow, so I’ve been busy getting ready. Video next week, ok?

Here’s a video that my friend Jim and I shot earlier this week. We have all the fairings on it, and pretty much have the motor mount and battery pack design nailed. We’ll be cleaning up the wiring, making some small changes to the mounts, and upgrading the rear sprocket to a 60tooth (ordered 7-18-08).

Right now, I’m working on the custom charging system that will be installed as well as the 12V aux system for lighting.

Real nice shot at the beginning and end of Jim hitting 50mph.