Another project! Weird Italian Electric bicycle

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by tweakmonkey, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Magykk

    Magykk Banned

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    Dam! thats one hawt bike dude.
    Me want! LOL.
  2. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    So I spent some time working on the ebike today. I shot some 90 minutes of video, but I will be editing it up later into a proper project for Youtube. For now, here's the cliff notes version.

    I disassembled the fairings and removed all the plastic covers to gain access to the electric goodies.
    [​IMG]

    I also removed the front fender, both lights (didn't work and were powered by friction anyway which didn't make sense on an ebike), reflector, seat etc.
    [​IMG]

    I charged the three batteries using a standard car charger at 2 amp (gel battery setting). Then I duct taped them into a stack.
    [​IMG]

    I will eventually build a bracket of some kind, but with the duct tape and considering their weight, and after strapping them in place, they are completely solid like this. I'll only ride this bike on the street, but I could go down a mountain with it and they'd be fine.

    To get 36V with 10A (OEM power output) I had to wire the batteries in series.
    Battery 1: Negative goes to electric motor negative, positive goes to Battery 2 negative.
    Battery 2: Negative goes to Battery 1 positive, positive goes to Battery 3 negative.
    Battery 3: Negative goes to Battery 2 positive, positive goes to electric motor positive.

    I chose to solder the connections in place.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the rear fairing removed you can see the speed controller compartment. I removed the spade connectors from the bottom of the bike, where the old battery terminals connected, and ran the wires back through the loom. These batteries could now be connected right to the electric motor.
    [​IMG]

    The battery stack installed:
    [​IMG]

    Until I go back and build a better strap and bracket system, it will rely on duct tape and zip-ties. I am sure this would do fine forever (I don't plan on riding in the rain or anything):
    [​IMG]

    After the first test ride, we noticed the electric motor wasn't "kicking in" quite like we thought it would. A quick inspection revealed that one of the magnets that indicate to the electric motor that you're pedaling were missing. Therefore we were only getting 2/3 of our thrust at the front electric motor hub.
    [​IMG]

    For the battery charger, we cut the harness on its proprietary connector (resembled a microphone connection) after verifying its positive/negative, then changed it to a male RCA. On the bike side, I drilled a hole in the speed controller cover, then used a female RCA connector for the bike side. I removed the positive and negative wires from the controller and spliced in, then soldered those to the RCA. It currently sits where the luggage rack was at, and I'll install it later with plenty of clearance.

    The charger:
    [​IMG]

    On the bike:
    [​IMG]

    I've verified everything works fine. :D

    And for the haters in this thread, I have a special treat. After removing the fairing on my bike...
    [​IMG]

    I found a brilliant silver finish that was 100% mint condition (just a bit dirty). So I opted to pull them all off and leave it that way.

    The dumpster outside work:
    [​IMG]

    The bike as it sits now:
    [​IMG]

    And the obligatory goofy iPhone video of me riding it:
    YouTube - Prima l'eco electric bicycle with custom batteries
    Watch around the 30-second mark, I accelerate by pedaling backwards as the e-motor kicks in without using regular bike power. :D

    And the POV video that somehow turned sideways
    YouTube - Prima l'eco electric bicycle with custom batteries POV ride

    I rode the bike home, and hit 20 MPH (used GPS to verify) easily. It hauls arse. And the funny thing is, it's stuck in 3rd gear of 10. :)
  3. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    The possible to-do list...
    -Install a volt meter (aka fuel gauge)
    -Fix the shifter (being stuck in 3rd sucks)
    -Switch the rear tire valve to a standard Schrader valve (front is, but rear's currently a Presta)
    -Put some lights on from my other bike for night rides
    -Solar charger for my garage (maybe...)
    -Permanent battery pack and mounting bracket
    -Install rear luggage rack and secure/fix up rear
  4. 86mcss

    86mcss Devouring your Soul

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    you rode that thing home from the shop? really? that far? lol
  5. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    Is that building with a red stripe next to your shop a costco?
  6. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Nope, it's a body shop.
  7. Do you have a harbor freight near by?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  8. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Sweet little project. Any idea how fast it will go when it is able to get past 3rd gear?
  9. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    That only goes to 16V though. I need a digital one probably because the batteries are wired to 36V.

    I'd guess at most 25 MPH at top gear full speed on flat. I'll have to benchmark it. :) I don't know necessarily if a higher gear would make it go faster, but it will make maintaining top speed easier.
  10. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Just ordered one of these for $12:
    [​IMG]
  11. Wouldn't you want an amp meter rather than a voltmeter?
  12. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Amp meter will show how many amps the electric motor is pulling from the battery when I'm using it, but the volt meter will always show the remaining capacity. I won't be able to ride to "0", but starting at over 36V and seeing it drop to 30, 25, etc. will be a really good indication of remaining range on electric assist.
  13. I thought an amp meter showed you how many amp hours were in the batteries?
  14. bigwill51534

    bigwill51534 Saint, Church of Ryanism

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    Nope. An amp meter (in essence) shows the flow rate of electrons through a wire. Sort of like an indication of how much water is flowing through a pipe. It will show the flow rate of electricity to a load or motor.

    Voltage is a measurement of the electric potential available in a certain portion of a circuit.

    ~Will Courtier~
  15. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Will knows his stuff! He's building a nuclear bike complete with a micro sized reactor soon. :D
  16. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Here-aweee gooo! /mario

    I took the bike out for a proper ride today. It was dark so I migrated my lights over from my mountain bike. These things are so bright. I think it's a 5 LED (resembles HID headlamps) front headlight, and I set it to blink rapidly. Then I set my LED tail light up. You could probably see me coming from a mile away. I also had to put air in the front tire. Looks like I need a tube. :(

    I cruised out to some neighborhoods I've never seen. I should've snapped a pic, but I saw a Ferrari F355 in someone's driveway of all places. It looked like it lives there. WTF people, make room in your damn garage for a Ferrari...

    Anyway, it was a gentle pace and I tried ECO and SPORT modes quite a bit. I can go about 20 MPH in either mode cruising, but noticed that ECO is actually more comfortable for riding because I don't run out of gear as easily. I did a lot of back pedaling and considering all the testing, my ride from the shop and so-on, I probably put the equivalent of about 10 miles on this charge so far. The electric motor felt great but since I don't have my volt meter yet, I opted to charge it when I got home. Last time I tried to charge the battery, the charger read FULL so I gave up.

    I didn't even think about turning on the GPS till a couple miles in, but here's something to work with:
    [​IMG]

    Plugged in for the first time doing a proper charge:
    [​IMG]

    Now the Run light's on, so I assume it's actually doing something.
    [​IMG]

    In this rare garage photo, you can see my electric bike, my roommate's electric bike, and our electric lawn mower. We're slowly converting everything it seems. He's actually had electric cars before. :D
    [​IMG]
  17. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    You should wear a skully helmet, black riding glasser and a bandana over your face when you ride. LOL

    [​IMG]
  18. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Awesome, I need to find one like that.

    [​IMG]
  19. Alex B

    Alex B Junior Member

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    Forget the bike. I need that 914.
  20. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    It's a very very nice one. 914-6, GT widebody flared fenders etc. Totally rust free. Beautiful car.
  21. Octane91

    Octane91 <smartass comment> Staff Member

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    pix of the 914?
  22. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    If we don't get a video of you riding this thing, or at least pics, I'm going to be extremely pissed.
  23. Octane91

    Octane91 <smartass comment> Staff Member

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  24. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    I must be missing something, I see no pics or video.
  25. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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