xphread's scooter conversion

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu, 04 Dec 2008, 03:34
Real Name: Tim McLennan
Location: Perth

xphread's scooter conversion

Post by xphread »

Well... its been a few years on the todo list, but I have finally got around to starting this project.

This is really just a tester project. (as I'm not the biggest fan of scooters, mainly because I dont like the feeling of not being able to hold on with my knees.)

My aim is to create an Electric motorcycle but I'm starting smaller and cheaper for now. When this works, I'll move up with everything Ive learnt along the way to make the bike better.

I picked up a bomb of a donor scooter for next to nothing to keep budget as low as possible (which is a consideration with electric as if you have enough money its easy!)
It meant more work on prettying it up, but hey... try getting a scooter with a blown motor thats in good nick for a reasonable amount of money!

This is what it looked like when new.

I have a bad picture somewhere of just before I picked it up, but even that doesnt show how bad it was.
Rust all over the rims and frame, The plastics had half the mounting tabs snapped off, so they were drilled and held together with cable ties. It also had a pressure-pack spray job over the top of everything. urghh... but cheap

So first job was to strip it completely and assess what needed repairing and what needed replacing. I knew the fuel tank, motor and CVT were redundant, but didnt want anything else useless adding to the weight.
I ended up with this:

I didnt know how much modding I would need to do to the frame, so for now its only half cleaned up.

Off comes the motor and CVT.... unfortunately... there goes the swing arm too!

The first few bits of electric... Sealed Lead-Acid Battery (1 of 4) (might need to revise the use of these as I have found current supply may be a limiting factor... cant load up the motor to test it yet!), a traction power switch with safety cutout and cables(thanks to Ian Hooper) and Curtis 1204 motor controller (ebay).

and the full circuit connected with the Etek and a temporary hack for the throttle control.

Empty space where the fuel tank was is a great place for 3 of the batteries. (coincidentally 3 fit with only a few millimetres to spare!)
So, bracket made up to hold them.


and with floor/plastics re-attached...

Only issue I have realised is the batteries are taller than I thought, and therefore the holding bracket will dig into the ground when the bike leans over, so I modified it to come diagonally up from the bottom of the batteries, rather than the square edge. (no updated pics yet though sorry)

1 more battery needed onboard, so goodbye helmet space!

The remaining space under the seat is also a pretty good place for the motor controller and main switch.... to secure it and give a bit of weather protection. Only side issue is the possibility of the controller heating up a little and needs some form of cooling.
Sealed under the seat wont allow for much cooling.... unless it gets some RAM-AIR flowing through! Image Image

The fairings needed some bigger holes to match (and will be covered with mesh)

I also believe this vehicle deserves some decent treatment in the looks department. Electric vehicles have a history or being beaten with the ugly stick and it doesnt need to be that way.
I also wasnt a big fan of the Honda Dio look anyway, so I have decided to do some asthetic changes as I go too.

Here you can see the lard arse tail end. Its mostly wasted space.

So by relocating the tail light a bit higher, we can do a bit of liposuction on the arse.
Trim back the fairings for the tail light to fit, and make a new bracket to hold it in place

Tada! ... fitted.

(The light used to be mounted on the grey rectangle bit of the frame. Now that space is free for the licence plate. (or I may chop it off completely and make a custom undertail.)

This allowed me to tidy up the lines on the side. - Post lipo. (and Airflow/cooling hole cut out too)

Appearance aside, now for the important bit.
The bit that will be the most tricky/costly I think....
Without the petrol engine and CVT the rear wheel feels a bit loose!
This is roughly where they should be. (there is a perfect moulding in the back of the seat to allow the motor to tuck under rather neatly!)

Now, I dont want to make this swingarm up, only to have it out somewhere and have to make a new one... so Im not leaving it to chance. (I was going to make it single sided, but taper bearings this small are apparently difficult/expensive or not even made! ) This requires further investgation... but for now I'll work on the easy way and make a standard wishbone swingarm.

Lots of measurements have been made. (and I'm sure I will be making more). After plugging them into Autodesk inventor... I should be able to get millimetre acuracy in the design and have someone machine it up for me and bolt it nicely into place without stuffing around.

To give people an idea of another reason the tail was chopped like it was... Thanks to Davey from PerthStreetBikes.com doing some mods on his GSR... I have recycled the bits he doesnt want. Havent done a lot of work on this bit yet... but just to give you an idea.


And that was all done in less than 2 weeks (before having to go back to work! Dammit, it keeps getting in the way of fun things!)
Unfortunately now I'm back at work progress wont be as quick, but I'll keep this thread updated when interesting things happen!

Also planning on (finally) rocking up to an EVA meeting.
Looking forward to meeting some more people at the next meeting.

Last edited by xphread on Mon, 19 Jan 2009, 12:54, edited 1 time in total.

Senior Member
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Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

xphread's scooter conversion

Post by antiscab »

Hi Tim,

a few things to know about building your own,
if it looks at any time like it will cost more than $4k, just buy a new ready made electric scooter.
of course, its a bit late when you already own parts :)

controller will *need* to be mounted to something with either significant cooling or significant thermal mass. preferably both.
the controller on my emax is mounted inside an aluminium case 10mm thick.

the motor you have chosen wont be running within coo-ee of its max rating.
from memory, its rated to 5kw continuous.
you will need 2.5kw to hold 70kmh.


PS. see you on wednesday.
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

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