If I had a dollar for ever person I’ve overheard saying that they would really like to have an electric motorcycle, but just couldn’t afford one, I could be riding one right now.
If you’re one of those people, then instead of saying it’s out of your price range, perhaps you just need some instructions on how to build your own.
Ben’s project is a converted ’81 Kawasaki KZ440, powered by four Optima Yellow Top batteries, which then drive a Briggs & Stratton Etek electric motor, reaching a top speed of 45 mph. He says it was designed for city riding, but that the top speed could be increased if needed by swapping out a sprocket to attain a different gearing (his is a single speed version, with no tranny). Nelson charges his bike right from a wall socket, and because he purchases his juice from a renewable energy program, it’s one clean ride. And as a plus, he can use the bike batteries as a backup power source in the event of a blackout!
If you build your own single speed electric motorcycle, you can take advantage of the high torque and efficiency of electric motors, minus all of the elements which eventually need servicing on a standard bike (clutch, transmission, oil changes, oil and air filters, muffler, carburetor, etc), plus you’ll be able to power it just by plugging it in overnight. Nelson was able to complete his project bike at right around $2000, but says that it is possible to lower that cost considerably, depending on the price of the parts you use.
For more info, check out his full article at Instructables, visit him at his own website, follow him at @300MPGBen, and take a look at all of the instructional electric motorcycle videos on his YouTube channel. Hmm. I think I just convinced myself to build one of these.