5,000W electric bike conversion motor: Yes, it’s real… and it’s spectacular. Electric dirt bike kit

,000W electric bike conversion motor: Yes, it’s real… and it’s spectacular

CYC, a small Hong Kong-based company, makes the X1-Pro, a small conversion motor that has an output of about 10 to 20 times that of a typical electric bicycle motor. 5,000W may sound intimidating, but riding with a rocket ship between your legs is actually pretty cool.

Surprisingly, the motor is easy enough to install, has a clean form factor, and encourages customization by design. This, combined with a fair price, is sure to make the X1-Pro a staple in the hot-rod e-bike world for years to come.

Most electric bikes I ride feature a motor in the range of 250W to 1,000W. This is because most electric bicycles are trying to mimic the feeling of a bicycle, which makes total sense. With a well-made electric motor from the likes of Bosch or Yamaha, even a 250W motor can deliver. On the other end of the scale, some 1,000W bikes have lackluster performance, simply because the batteries or controller were skimped on.

Not so with the X1-Pro. We have a bombing motor with max voltage and batteries that can handle a high discharge rate. The only limitation is me, the rider.

Installation

This little guy weighs in at 7.7 lbs, which is somehow less than the Bosch Performance line from 2019. The controller is integrated inside, as well as a torque sensor that is enclosed in the bottom bracket. And I’m also adding a throttle into this review.

The installation of the motor was not nearly as hard as I expected. The manufacturer has videos and tutorials online, and in print, but honestly, with a bit of bike know-how, the installation isn’t hard. I’ve got it equipped on a Specialized hardtail. The hydraulic disc brakes are a must for high speeds, and the hardtail is a very familiar platform. If you’re curious, we’re using 21,700 cells, which are more adept at handling a high-amp load. This motor is compatible with 36, 48, 52, or 72V, just drop it right in, and the motor knows what to do. But shoot, ain’t no one using a 36V battery with this! I capped it out at 72V, but I also used a 52V battery to get to my racing destination at an empty track nearby.

00W off-road

Off road, this is a billy goat. It can carry heavy loads and power better than any motor I’ve tried off-road. Realistically, the motor is so strong that it puts a fair amount of burden on the rider to balance and attempt to keep traction. As long as you can do those two things, this motor will continue to deliver power to the drivetrain. The motor can be mounted in a few orientations, so if you want even higher ground clearance than what you see here, you can do that, too.

The fastest e-bike (for me)

I’ve easily hit 40 mph using this motor, and it scared me to death. On one such occasion I hit 49 mph, which was too rich for my blood. Honestly, at these speeds, I think a motorcycle is much safer. Cars on the road expect motorcycles to be fast and loud, and they have bigger lights and safety features. The larger vehicle is less prone to small variations that affect balance. Add to this the fact that the entire operation is on 2-inch-wide tires, and available roads for this kind of testing aren’t freeway smooth.

High-speed e-bike kits

You’re an adult, you can figure this out for yourself. Riding this fast is indeed scary and thrilling, but oddly enough, I somehow feel safer using the X1-Pro motor, because I know it’s made for high speeds. Other fast motors and systems I’ve tried use DIY software to unlock supposedly hidden potential. The performance of an overclocked motor doesn’t feel that much better than this stock version of the X1-Pro.

Custom e-bike motor

Did I mention you can customize and tune the X1-Pro? Aside from replacement parts available for the gearbox, the windings, mounting, and more, CYC is going after hot rodders who eat fear for breakfast. You can switch out the stock controller, rated for 65 amps, and easily swap in an ASI BAC800, which has a higher rev range. This one does about 100 amps.

Electrek’s Take

All in all, the X1-Pro is an easy contender for the best hot rod conversion motor on the market today. Other motors might be more durable, cheaper, or smoother on assist, but for a new system, the CYC X1-Pro excels in power output, form factor, and customization.

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Dirt Legal

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Here’s How To Easily Make Any Dirt Bike Street Legal

Want to make your dirt bike street legal, but don’t know where to begin? Well, we have decided to make a guide just for you, to help you understand what’s involved in the process from A to Z.

We are going to cover the laws and the parts you’ll need, and we’ll add some tips along with way. The process may seem daunting if you haven’t started yet, but we think you’ll find it’s really not that complicated for riders with moderate mechanical skills and basic tools.

  • Universal parts to help you get street legal anywhere
  • Upgrading your charging system to handle those parts, and
  • Optional parts that are rarely required but are good to have

The best part is, you can do it all yourself!

Legal Issues: Rumors and Facts

There are many myths and rumors that swirl around regarding the legal issues of titling dirt bikes for street use. Some say it can only be done if there was a title issued when the bike was new. Others think you only need to strap on a headlight and a taillight and head out on the road.

The fact is you can title almost any dirt bike, but the process of making a dirt bike street-legal is more complicated than just attaching a couple of lights.

When you’re ready to go street legal, your simplest route is to let the pros at Dirt Legal handle the paperwork side of things for you. Visit our Dirt Bike Street Legal Service page to learn more.

All the Parts You Need

The only thing left for you to do is install the necessary parts to comply with your state’s DOT (Department of Transportation) requirements. Making a dirt bike physically compliant with the operating laws within any state will require some investment of time and money on your part.

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Much depends on the model of dirt bike being put into road service, but there are many ways to simplify your build. Check out the infographic above to see the minimum equipment requirements for each state.

Be sure to get familiar with your local laws and regulations before riding a dirt bike on the road. You may not be as street legal as you might think, and this list might not cover everything your area requires.

Headlight

Most states require that motorcycles have a DOT-compliant headlight, which is:

  • switchable from high beam to low beam
  • lit during the day and night
  • is clearly visible but not blinding to drivers

However, a headlight causes a constant draw on your electrical system. One way to keep the headlight’s draw on the battery to a minimum is to install an LED headlight, which requires a fraction of the amps of a halogen light. These lights also enable you to use a battery without a charging system if you wish. We discuss the limitations of this method in the Battery section below.

Be sure you know your local laws about the placement of the high/low switch. Some states have no requirement for this switch, but others are specific. The DOT requirement is that the switch be visible to the rider, and it’s best to place it where it is easily accessible, like the traditional left-hand side of the handle bar.

Tail Light

The tail light, with a working brake light function, enables drivers behind you to see that you are slowing down. It also attracts attention, which is just as important for safety in the daylight as it is in the dark.

Installing the proper taillight can kill four DOT requirements at once!

In some states the light must be connected to a battery, which must be able to remain lit for 20 minutes, and it must be on at all times. Like the headlight, an LED tail light will reduce the draw on the battery, meaning longer battery life and less need for a stator upgrade.

The switches for the taillight must be installed so that the rear brake pedal and front brake lever both light up the tail light when engaged. One common solution is a banjo-bolt switch, which uses the extra pressure in the brake line when engaged to trigger the brake light. Mechanical switch options are also available which are best suited for drum brakes.

There are good taillight bracket-fender combos on the market that solve installation issues with a finished look.

Mirrors

Some states require that a motorcycle have two mirrors in place, but most just require that motorcycles have at least one working mirror.

A functioning mirror allows you to see what is going on behind you. They keep you safe, so be careful using a cheap, shaky mirror if you do a lot of street riding.

Some riders prefer the look of their machines sans mirrors, and will begrudgingly install a single, low-profile mirror for looks. When taking this route, it is wise to invest in a wide-angle mirror, which will do away with the blind spot on at least one side of the bike.

Many bikes that have available dual-sport versions will readily accept classic, threaded, long-stem mirrors. If not, a simple solution is to clamp on bar-end mirrors. They have a considerably lower profile than the stem mirrors, and some provide much better views of what’s going on behind you.

Turn Signals

Many states do not require turn signals, but instead require hand signals to be used.

Even then, it is still wise to install turn signals. The flashing yellow lights get the attention of drivers much better than hands do, especially at night. And they also allow riders to stay in control of their handlebars when making a turn.

That said, if your only stumbling block is installing blinkers, the use of hand signals may allow you to skip this step in many states. Some states have specific requirements regarding the installation of turn signals, but not all. And again, LED blinkers will reduce the draw from the battery vs a bulb.

Tires

The tires on any street-going motorcycle must be DOT Certified.

Dirt bike rims normally accept DOT-rated tires, which contain extra layers of rubber and are highway-speed rated. If they are approved, tires will be marked DOT on the sidewall. It doesn’t matter if the tires are knobbies or not, only that they have the DOT certification.

You may get away with skirting this law, but off-road-only tires are ill suited for the rigors of highway speeds and may come apart at the seams. The smartest and safest approach is to install DOT-approved skins if you do a lot of pavement riding.

An increasingly popular option is to convert a dirt bike into a supermoto by installing 17 inch rims and mounting street tires found on most sport bikes.

Besides the obvious style points from this mod, sport tires offer increased longevity and maneuverability over knobbies when racking up miles on a road-going dirt bike.

Many sport bike riders have converted to the supermoto life due to the lighter weight of a dirt bike and the easiness of maneuvering it both on and off-road. The conversion will require special supermoto rims usually 17 in the front and rear to accept the sport tires, but kits are available that include wheels, cush-drive hubs, tires and brake rotors for an easy swap.

Horn

This is where we start to get into a bit of a gray area in regulations.

All states require motorcycles to have a working horn, but some allow non-electric horns to pass if an inspection is needed. Other states specify that the horn must be electric for a motorcycle to be street legal. The simplest way through this part of the maze is to just install an electric horn.

Most draw less than 10 amps, so they are no challenge to a properly set up charging system. They are also very cheap starting at around 8.

License Plate Bracket

Motorcycles used on public roads will need to display a license plate.

000w, electric, bike, conversion, motor, real

This rule is the same everywhere, though some states are more particular about the method of display than others. It is best to check with the local DMV to be sure the license plate is properly displayed on your street legal dirt bike.

There are aftermarket license plate brackets available that display plates in a way that is legal in most every state. You may also consider alternative means of affixing the plate, such as zip ties or mounting it beneath the fender for a cleaner look as pictured below. Just be careful that it doesn’t fly off.

In many states, you can also mount the plate vertically if it makes it easier for you. A light will be necessary, but a cheap LED strip mounted above the plate will suffice, and may prove to be a permanent solution. Some states require the plate to be past the rear tire for easy readability, but if it is visible from the rear of the bike then you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Upgrading the Charging System

This often-overlooked aspect of street legal dirt bike conversions can leave you parked on the side of the road.

A battery is not necessary to power lights on a dirt bike if you have sufficient power from the stator. However, to power the required lights for street riding, you will need to convert the AC power your stator is making fire the spark plug to DC power the lights can use.

Powering lights off of alternating current will soon fry them. Although there are lights which can be powered by AC voltage, they usually have a much shorter life. A dirt bike without any of these components should be modified to use them.

The classic motorcycle charging system consists of a stator, a regulator/rectifier and a battery. Some motorcycles utilize alternators like cars do, but this is less common on dirt bikes.

Stator

The stator (or sometimes alternator) generates electricity in a motorcycle, but they do not all produce the same amount of it. A dirt bike without lights or a starter has minimal electrical requirements, and the stator likely produces minimal wattage.

The total draw of all the electrical components to be placed on the street-legal build should leave enough leftover power to charge the battery — 13 to 15 volts. Most kickstart-only dirt bikes will require an upgraded stator to power the added components.

The stock stator can be rewound to generate more power or you can purchase a high output stator online for most dirt bikes. Ricky Stator Is one popular choice to purchase upgraded stators for off-road vehicles.

Regulator/Rectifier

The regulator/rectifier converts the alternating current coming from the stator to direct current that the electrical components can use. It also takes the high voltage coming from the stator and regulates it down to the 13 to 15 volts required to charge the battery.

Some aftermarket companies sell kits with upgraded stators and regulator rectifiers that are meant to work together. Again, do not operate lights directly off of alternating current unless the lights were made to handle it.

Battery

A battery is not necessary on most dirt bikes, but without it, you can only use your lights when the bike is running and the lights may dim while the bike is idling.

There are some small batteries on the market specifically designed for converting dirt bikes to street legal.

Some work as a lone power source for the lights on a bike, and some are designed to work with a charging system. Both styles are discreet, but supply all the DC power these motorcycles require.

However, using a battery as the lone power source will inevitably drain it quickly. It will require frequent charging and will have a short life, but it will do its job until you can perform a proper conversion.

There are bike-specific kits available that contain all three major electrical components, along with wiring harnesses. Wiring harnesses from a dual sport version of your dirt bike may also be available in the used market.

Optional Street Legal Components

Most local areas will not require these components, and while some will, it’s always a good idea to rock them on your street legal dirt bike conversion.

Odometer

An odometer is a luxury on a dirt bike, but is important to have for street riding. It tells you speed, mileage, RPM, and engine temperature.

Currently, it is only legally required on motorcycles in Indiana, so this is an optional part. With a trip meter, you can make sure you never run out of gas again! It’s a very common mistake to run out of gas on a dirt bike seeing as they only carry around 2 gallons of fuel. These are fairly easy to install for the most part. Companies like Trail Tech offer all in one odometers which include everything needed for a DIY installation.

Kickstand

Not many off-road-only dirt bikes have kickstands due to safety concerns of it falling down accidentally.

The safety hazard these contraptions pose on the street is practically nil, however, and trying to live without one in urban use is an exercise in futility. Again, kickstands are not required by law, but they are a simple convenience that many riders overlook in the rush to get a dirt bike on the road, only to later find there isn’t always a place to rest the bike.

Best to have one, don’t you think?

Street Gearing

The front and rear sprockets on a dirt bike are likely intended for slower top speeds than the typical street legal dual sport machine gets up to on the road. They are likely set up for explosive bursts of speed.

A gearing change can make a huge difference in acceleration and top-end speed. Getting a rear sprocket with more teeth will provide better pickup at the cost of top speed, and vice versa.

The opposite is true for the front sprocket, where dropping a tooth will net greater acceleration at a cost of top-end power. Keep in mind that, if your dirt bike has a speedometer, changing the front sprocket will likely make it read incorrectly.

Fan

Most dirt bikes don’t come with a fan, due to the fact that they are not built with streets in mind. They are made to be constantly moving, not sitting at red lights on the way to McDonald’s. If you live in an urban area with traffic, you may want to add a fan to your bike to keep the engine from overheating.

Cush Drive Hub

This is an extremely bike-specific issue.

To simplify, most road-going motorcycles have a dampening system in place to soften the blow of road imperfections on the transmission system. Either the clutch hub or the rear wheel hub may contain rubber pieces for dampening. These “cush drive” hubs allow for some play in the driveline. Dirt bikes rarely have them because the loose terrain allows sliding the rear wheel while shifting.

On the street, cush drives save transmissions from expensive damages and are a wise investment. Due diligence on the part of the bike owner may save tremendous headaches down the line.

There’s Nothing You Can’t Do Yourself!

Converting a dirt bike to be street legal can sometimes seem overwhelming, which is why we offer 24/7 customer service 365 days a year. If you’re having trouble with getting your off-road vehicle road worthy, feel free to contact us.

Take some time to research your own ride and the local laws in your area, determining piece by piece whether upgrades are needed and finding a permanent and high-quality solution to each issue. The time you spend now making sure you get it right will make a huge difference in the quality of your ride down the road.

When you’re ready to get your bike titled and registered, Dirt Legal has you covered. The headaches involved with converting a dirt bike to street use are mostly just good times turning wrenches. You take care of the fun stuff, and we’ll do the paperwork.

Need a license plate? Making dirt bike street legal is what we do.

Let us take on all of the headaches of dealing with the DMV for you. No more playing phone tag or waiting in line at the DMV for hours on end, and no need to spend your evenings researching the laws in your state.

When you’re ready to go street legal, your simplest route is to let the pros at Dirt Legal handle the paperwork side of things for you. The laws governing how to make a dirt bike street legal change from state to state, but we’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. We can register almost any dirt bike, whether it came with a title or MSO from the manufacturer or not.

Visit our Street Legal Dirt Bike Service page to learn more.

From our website, simply choose your vehicle service, then fill out the form with your vehicle information. After your purchase, you will receive a welcome packet in the mail. Complete the enclosed forms and send them back to Dirt Legal in the pre-paid envelope provided, then wait for your tag, registration and/or title to arrive in the mail as fast as possible!

We offer a 100% money-back guarantee if we fail to make your dirt bike street legal.

That’s why Dirt Legal is the most trusted source for this unique service. We have dealt with the most complex situations and can often get a street legal tag and title in your home state, which is something most people struggle to do on their own.

Electric dirt bike kit

They rate the set up at 60 Ah- 87 V max- 76 nominal. Integrated BMS.

Custom headlight- taillights- turns- stripped everything down and repainted. fabricated the motor mount- headlight bracket- indicator lights- shaved the subframe and recovered the seat. after market lower fairing- mirror.

Its actually given me a lot of time to work on the bike itself. Been a lot of fun tweaking the design- trying to get it just the way I want it. If ID had the money for the conversion right away- I would have just built it without all the custom work.

I view building this bike as functional art. My inspiration comes from a mix of modern street-fighters- cafe-racers- and old school bobbers (emphasized by the flat-black with red wheels and brushed aluminum). And a little pimpin gold around the edges.

CellLog monitors on all cells.

And now some first ride at 84 volts:

THANKS TO ALL WHO POSTED THEIR PROJECTS HERE TO HELP ME DESIGN AND BUILD MINE.

Dec 10: Parked for the winter- with the charger on a timer so it gets a little juice each night.

Nov 24: Running reliably. I can ride it to work whenever the morning temp is over 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the pavement dry. Side panels are in place so the bike looks pretty nice- finally.

Nov 12: Hard freeze last night and it wasnt kind to the batteries. I barely made it to work. I may have to bring the bike indoors at night.- my garage is unheated.

Nov 6: The bike is running just fine. A short across the throttle switch kept the controller from booting- and it took a few days to diagnose. Controller now boots instantly. Clocks have changed and Im coming home in the dark- but Ill commute as long as the streets are dry. Meanwhile- as long as I had the wiring apart- I cut a hole in the bottom of the tank to provide clearance for the controller and a place to hide some of the cables. Looks a lot cleaner now.

Sept 30: Rewired to get all the bits under cover. Its a tight fit. Acquired a gold-plated fuse holder for the 250-amp ANN fuse and found room for it on top of the battery stack.

Sept 23: Want an original dolphin fairing to hide the mechanicals- and I also need to weatherproof (that is- hide) the snake nest of wiring.

Sept 20: Commencing daily commute- amongst the migrating SUVs. Feel like a gazelle amongst elephants. Controller sometimes takes awhile to boot.- something is sporadic in there.

Motorcycle Dragster. Massive DD Torque

Electric Motorcycle Burnout

DRZ SM electrique (84 volts)

DRZ SM electrique (12 volt test)

TTXGP Electric Motorcycle

Step 1

I only work 3 miles from home but with gas getting out of control, I thought it would be great to have an electric motorcycle. I’ve always wanted an electric motorcycle and decided that doing an electric motorcycle conversion with an electric motorcycle motor would be a good EV project, keeping costs down, and be fun to ride.

This project took about 3 months of research and development (not counting waiting for parts to come in or help from a friend with the welding). All in all, it cost about 3000 to build an electric motorcycle with a high performance electric motorcycle motor. This may take a long time to pay off in gas savings, but if you add the fun of building and all of the environmental benefits, it was well worth the effort. With a top electric motorcycle motor speed of over 70 mph and 10 miles per charge, this electric motorcycle is perfect for me. The following instructable will not give you exact step by step instructions, but if you have some mechanical skills and welding ability you should be okay. A little knowledge of electric motorcycle motor maintenance wouldn’t hurt, too. However, I just read the user’s manual and learned as I went.

Step 2

Every motorbike is different but the basic components can be the same. Below is a list of the parts I used and where I got them, but you will have to do some research to figure out what fits your bike and requirements. Check out the electric motorcycle photos at the bottom to see what I bought and the EVAlbum for other electric motorcycle conversions.

Frame : I looked at many different bike styles and decided on a 1984 Honda Interceptor for my electric motorcycle conversion for a few reasons:

1) I like the style of bike, not a total crotch rocket but not a hog either, with room for electric motorcycle batteries inside the frame. 2) The seller on Ebay was close to my house. And the bike didn’t run, so it only cost 600 which is a perfect price for your first time electric motorcycle conversion. If you have an old bike or someone will donate one then that’s greatbut for the rest of us, try the local paper, junk yards, Craig’s List or ebay motors.

Electric Motorcycle Motor :

After reading other electric motorcycle conversion specs (and knowing that I wanted to go faster than a moped), I chose a 72V electric motorcycle motor (DD Motorsystems carries many options), because it’s weight and dimensions where good for my frame.

Electric Motorcycle Batteries : I went with 6 Yellow Top Optima batteries from remybattery.com because they are sealed and have received great reviews. After making cardboard mock ups of the D23 model I realized that there was no way six full sized batteries would fit and still look good. I ended up getting the D51 model. Half the size and weight but also half the storage.

Electric Motorcycle Controller : You have to match your electric motorcycle controller to your voltage but the amperage is up to your budget. amps = more power and more cost. It seems that there are only two real choices: Alltrax or Curtis. You’ll have to decide for yourself, but I went with the 72V 450Amp Alltrax.(DD Motor Systems carries these) Don’t waste your time trying to build a potimeter on an old throttlejust buy a pre-made one and be done with it. I got the Magura 0-5K Twist grip throttle.

Electric Motorcycle Charger : You have to match your charger with your voltage but the speed of charge in Amps is also up to your budget. I went with a Zivan NG1 but I have recently switched to six individual 3amp Soneil chargers to help balance the batteries.

Electric Motorcycle DC/DC Converter : It’s safest to run with a DC/DC converter and an extra 12V battery backup but motorcycles have limited space so I am only using the converter. I purchased a Sevcon 72V Input 13.5V output from evparts and it has working perfectly.

Electric Motorcycle Fuses : You’ll want to get a fuse that matches your setup. I bought model ANN 400 w/ holder.(DD Motor Systems carries these)

Electric Motorcycle Solenoid : This is a device that you hook up to your existing key ignition on 12Volts and it will close the loop so you get the full power to your controller. An excellent Solenoid is the Albright SW-180B-12.(DD Motor Systems carries these)

Electric Motorcycle Battery cable and connectors. I bought about 10 feet of 2 GA wire from WAL-MART and cut it to length. Using Lugs, I soldered and used heat shrink tubing on each end. I highly recommend battery terminal covers for safety.

Electric Motorcycle Instruments I chose an E-meter(Link 10) w/ Prescaler add on for 72V use instead of a bunch of different meters. As an added feature I wired up the ignition switch to the neutral indicator to show me when the bike was on.

Electric Motorcycle Other parts Wire. 12GA different colors and heat shrink tubing (large and small sizes) Electrical tape Wire connectors Wire wrap

Tools Basic shop tools are required such as a socket set, screw drivers,wire stripper, etc. Additionally a volt meter, metal grinder and crimper are used in this electric motorcycle conversion project.

Step 3

Start the electric motorcycle conversion by removing all of those nasty internal combustion engine parts. Remove the gas tank and using your grinder or other cutting tool to cut out the bottom. This makes room for extra batteries or components. ( Make sure all gas is out before cutting ) Reference your owners manual often during any electric motorcycle conversions so that you don’t cut any necessary wires, and try to sell some of the parts to help pay for this electric motorcycle conversion project.

Next, make cardboard mock ups of all of your batteries and electronic components to see how and where things are going to fit. Take a look at my electric motorcycle conversions pictures to see how I fit everything, believe me that taking the time to make accurate cardboard mock ups is well worth the effort.

Now for the hard part. You need a secure battery box and electric motorcycle motor mount for any electric motorcycle conversion. I had a friend weld it up for me and he did a fantastic job. From the photos you can see that he first strung up the electric motorcycle motor to allow for minor adjustment to be made before cutting the electric motorcycle motor mount plate. After that was cut he made a nice chain and sprocket enclosure with a door and welded them onto the frame.

Next he fabricated the battery rack and gave each battery a swing arm closure to give a tight fit yet still allow me to get them out easily. Half inch foam padding spacers are between each battery to help cushion the stackbut believe me, they aren’t going anywhere. The last thing he did was weld in metal plates for mounting my electric motorcycle motor.

After you get your electric motorcycle motor mount and battery compartment all welded up, take some time to clean up the frame of your bike. I removed any rust spots and chipped paint that I could find. Then I used some metallic gray and black spray paint. This makes a world of difference and costs very little.

I made a fake gas cap and ran the power cord from the charger up the frame and out the top.

Now that you have all of the welding done and your electric motorcycle frame looks great, let’s install the electrical components and start wiring it up your electric motorcycle conversion.

Step 4

Wiring. This depends on the electric motorcycle components you buy. See the manufacturers wiring diagrams.

Step 5

Double check all of your connections and tighten every bolt.

I wanted my electric motorcycle conversions bike to look as good as it rides, so I had all of the panels painted and custom graphics made up by worldsendimages.

Using a serial cable and laptop, tweak the electric motorcycle controller program for your riding preferences.

Lastly, I got the electric motorcycle conversion bike inspected and insured. (Be prepared for the dealership mechanics to swarm and hit you with a bunch of questions and jokes about failing the emissions test).

I know these weren’t step by step building instructions, but that’s because of the complexity of this electric motorcycle conversion project and variables in component use. My intention was to give you the motivation to build your own by seeing how I did it and make it easier by supplying the electric motorcycle parts list and a wiring diagram. MSD

Think about the names given to electric cars and electric motorcycles on the market today.

Most, if not all, are a play on the concept of all-electric, zero tailpipe emissions travel.

So when we heard about a team of engineers in Henderson, Nevada who were developing a new electric motorcycle called Brutus 2, we had to investigate.

Retro Styled, Classic Charm

Squint at the all-electric Brutus 2 and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a classic Harley Davidson bobber or perhaps an Orange County Chopper. ( build electric motorcycle )

Either that, or a working prop from a film set in a post-appocolyptic future, Mel Gibson optional.

Designed from the ground up to be the living embodiment of a sports cruiser, Brutus 2 is the first electric motorcycle we’ve seen that caters directly to fans of classic American motorcycles.

Brutus 2 is also the first real stealth electric motorcycle motor we’ve seen. Unless you look at it closely, it doesn’t immediately appear electric.

In fact, park it up beside similar gas motorcycles, and we think you’d have a tough time telling it apart from the rest.

It Isn’t Just Tough By Name

But as many classic motorcycle fans will tell you, good looks and a tough name will only get a motorcycle so far.

In order to be considered a real motorcycle, it has to perform like one.

That’s no problem for Brutus 2, claims Chris Bell, the original designer and owner of Brutus Electric Motorcycles.

Although it hasn’t had any official range, or performance tests, Bell claims the 535-pound motorcycle can spring from 0-60 mph in around 4.7 seconds, reach a top speed of over 100 mph, and travel over 100 miles per charge.

These impressive performance figures are apparently down to a five-speed clutchless transmission, a powerful DD Motor Systems DC motor, and a liquid-cooled Zilla controller more commonly found in electric drag race cars like BlackCurrent III

There aren’t any details published on battery pack capacity, although Bell claims Brutus 2 should recharge its 144-volt lithium-ion battery pack in 3 hours from an available 110-volt wall outlet. Using some basic math, we think that translates to a battery capacity of between 4 and 5 kilowatt-hours. ( build electric motorcycle )

Forbidden Fruit?

Here’s the catch: while Brutus 2 is certainly an real electric motorcycle motor built for real motorcyclists, it hasn’t entered production yet.

According to Bell, that should happen some time this year, provided current deals being discussed with various parts and manufacturing companies are signed.

But right now, the all-electric beast is nothing more than an impressive prototype motorcycle awaiting production.

And that’s a real shame, because we think this is exactly the kind of electric motorcycle that needs to be built in order to help convince mainstream motorcyclists that electric powered motorcycles can be mean and green at the same time. ( build electric motorcycle ) MSD

Making the case for an electric car. higher up-front costs, but then much less expensive and environmentally damaging to operate. to someone switching from a gasoline-powered car is pretty straightforward.

But convincing someone to trade in their Harley for an electric motorcycle? That could be more challenging. There has to be an element of cool. And speed.

Which is what two Purdue University students and AllCell Technologies set out to produce – and appear to have delivered, with an electric motorcycle that packs 72 kilowatts of power and, according to early tests, can hit 120 mph and cover 120 miles on a charge, according to AllCell.

The company said the trick to creating this high-performance bike was in the 10.6 kilowatt-hour lithium battery that uses AllCell’s thermal management material.

The phase change material graphite composite (PCM-graphite) controls the impact if one cell has an internal short circuit, and the PCM material absorbs and distributes heat away from the battery, protecting the cells and maximizing battery life.

While some motorcyclists might enjoy being daredevils, with this motorcycle riders can let ‘er rip and concentrate on driving without worrying about unnecessary things like an overheating battery. Apart from the battery, electric vehicle experts Tesla Motors and Delphi Corporation also provided support for the project, AllCell said.

This team is not alone in the quest for the superior electric motorcycle motor. There seems to be quite a trend in motorcycle conversion to electric in garages, notably from a fellow Purdue student who we reported used solar power to power his, yes that’s right, Solar Cycle.

However, for those of us who aren’t that confident in our mechanical skills, there are a growing number of companies producing electric motorcycles with both coolness (largely because of their green-factor) and impressive power and speed. ( electric motorcycle conversion )

The International Motorcycle Show starts in New York today, so the Jacob Javits Center will be awash in chrome-crusted cruisers weighing more than 600 pounds and packing car-size engines, and screaming superbikes with enough horsepower to fly a four-passenger airplane.

But some of the most intriguing machines at the show are small, light and nearly silent.

Electric motorcycles powered by lithium batteries are beginning to look like contenders in a bike market that is increasingly concerned about fuel efficiency, emissions and noise.

Electrics may attract customers who like the idea of two-wheel transport but are put off by the mechanical complexity of traditional motorcycles and the perceived difficulty in riding them. They may also have particular appeal to urban riders and commuters who can operate more easily within the bikes’ limited range.

I test-rode an electric sport motorcycle called the Zero S this and week and was surprised by how appealing it is even for someone who loves the chugging rhythm of a Ducati twin or the wail of an old Honda V4. The quiet whir of the electric motor and its impressive off-the-line acceleration made the Zero ideal for city riding, where hearing nearby traffic can be as important as seeing it.

While the motor puts out about 28 horsepower, it feels like much more, especially when accelerating from a standstill. I was able to leave menacing taxis far behind and the bike’s weight of less than 300 pounds gave it a light, athletic feel that made getting through midtown New York’s congestion enjoyable.

The Zero S has evolved since 2009, when I rode an early version. The new bike is faster, smoother and better-looking than its predecessor and has a tighter, well-finished feel. It’s ready for prime time.

As with electric cars, though, high could keep some customers away. The S and its on-road-off-road stable mate the DS start at 11,495. The higher-capacity battery that boosts range to 114 miles from about 76 miles with the standard battery also increases the price to 13,995. That amount would buy a Honda CBR1000RR, which is close to being a street-legal racing bike.

Of course riders interested in electric motorcycles are not cross-shopping superbikes. But the Zero’s price premium could hurt sales.

Still, the simple joy of riding the Zero could be as big a selling point as its potential fuel savings. In many ways its design and the way it rides are throwbacks to the minimalism and excitement of earlier motorcycles that drew so many people into riding decades ago.

While I tell people that my next new car will probably be electric, a battery-powered motorcycle, in some ways, would be a better fit.

Oakland California USA, Electric Motorsport Inc. has unveiled its two entries for the June/12th Isle of Man TTXGP. In the open class is a modified production electric motorcycle called the GPR-S. The Electric Motorsport GPR-S were the first Production Electricmotorcycles capable of attaining legal freeway speeds in the USA.

In the Pro Class, the entry is the Electric Motorsport R144. This conversion is based on an R1 race chassis. This motorcycle utilizes a high performance electric motor designed and manufactured by DD Motor Systems, Inc.

Electric Motorsport is a technology company that specializes in Light Electric Vehicles and electric propulsion systems. Electric Motorsport is proud to say they have supplied electric drive systems and components to many of the TTXGP teams that will be competing. Why does Electric Motorsport supply its competitors with hi-performance electric drive components? Electric motorsport Founder and CEO Todd Kollin says its mainly to promote the technology and to have some one to race with, and besides we are in the parts business. Racing is just the fun part and its not much fun without competition.

So Honda is getting into the electric motorcycle biz huh? Well, now we know what they plan to do with all the engineering talent suddenly available from their now defunct F1 AMA efforts.

Motorcycle News (via our friends at AutoBlogGreen) says Honda is serious about building a workable Ebike and selling it to the likes of you and me by 2010. Sure, that sounds plausible. Honda has the engineering grunt and it pretty much has the whole motorcycle thing down, so it seems like a lead pipe cinch.

Not exactly. Honda faces the same hurdles everyone else does: range and recharge times.

I spent some time with an outfit made electric scooters and motorcycles. It was a real geeky operation making scooters and souped-up jobs custom-built to customers’ needs, desires and checkbooks. Once or twice a year someone with sacks of money would come in and say something along the lines of Take my GSX-R and make it electric. We would, but we’d invariably face the same challenges everyone else building EVs faces: range and recharge times.

Yeah, we could build an electric GSX-R that would out haul Valentino Rossi. for about seven to 10 miles. Then you’d stop. And then you’d have to plug it in for six or eight or 10 hours. The bike was cool, but not very practical. You couldn’t take the thing up some canyon road on your way out of town to Palm Springs for a three day weekend. These will be the same limitations that Honda will face, but in a couple of not so noticeable ways, electric motorcycles play to Honda’s strengths.

For one, bikes are easy. They’re small, light and easy to work on. You can fab up and try things on two or three test mules in an afternoon, and that’s an order of magnitude or so harder with cars. For another, Honda is a bike company. Yeah, I know, tell that to Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and Ron Dennis, but it started out primarily as a bike company (OK, go back far enough and it started out as a piston ring company, but still. ) then morphed into a car company. What Honda learns from making an Ebike over the next two years can, hopefully, migrate to cars.

Honda confirms working with bikes is favorable on a number of levels.

History shows that motorcycles remain strong in a difficult market environment and have always supported Honda in difficult times, says CEO Takeo Fukui. People showed renewed interest in the value of motorcycles which consume less fuel for commuting purposes as well as for their easy-to-own/easy-to-use efficiency.

Good point, Takeo. That’s another thing bikes got going for them: They’re cheap.

Pound for pound and dollar for dollar motorcycles are the best bet for enthusiast fun. Not for me, of course, because I am comically and frighteningly uncoordinated and that’s never a good thing on a motorcycle. But you get my point.

Think of what Honda is doing as a real world proof of concept scheme. Make an electric motorcycle. Make it work. Make it work better. Then import the technology into a car. Repeat the process.

The 6 Best E-Bike Conversion Kits of 2023

Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.

E-bikes are easier on the environment than cars. They’re also easier to pedal than a standard person-powered two-wheeler. You get as much exercise riding an E-bike as you do a traditional bike. Thanks to improved technology and more people interested in alternative transit methods, E-bikes are also becoming more available—and more affordable.

But no electric bike is as cheap as the bike you already own. If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, live in a small space, or practicing minimalism, repurposing what you already have can be a win-win-win decision. So, if you love your current ride but want to add some juice for getting uphill or for powering your cargo bike when you’re carrying a heavy load, you can, thanks to electric bike converter kits. To electrify your bike, you need a battery, sensors, controls, and a motorized wheel or a drive unit.

Here are the best options for upgrading your bike with an e-bike conversion kit.

Best Overall

BAFANG BBS02B 48V 500W Ebike Conversion Kit

Since 2003, Bafang has been a leader in manufacturing e-mobility components and complete e-drive systems. Its products offer outstanding performance and reliability, and the BBS02B conversion kit is no exception, making it our top overall choice.

This mid-drive motor kit is versatile and compatible with road, commuter, and mountain bicycles. All you need is a bike with a 68-73 millimeter bottom bracket and the battery of your choice. Installation is relatively easy, and the battery is included. Once the kit is installed, you’ll be ready to tackle any hill.

Although several different conversion kits are available online from Bafang, those with more than 750 watts of power will be considered motorcycles in the United States.

Price at time of publish: 466

Best Budget

BAFANG E-bike Front Hub Motor 48V 500W Bafang Brushless Gear 20/26/27.5/700C inch Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits

This front-wheel E-bike conversion kit is easy to set up and easy on your wallet. Electrify your bike in one hour by following the installation video and manual. Don’t forget to choose the correct wheel size!

After setup is complete, ride around the town with pedal assist or switch to E-bike mode for longer trips. Commuters, long-distance trekkers, and mountain bikers can cruise up to 24 miles per hour. The battery is not included.

Price at time of publish: 579

Best for Commuting

Swytch Universal eBike Conversion Kit

Daily riders will love this easy-to-install, lightweight e-bike conversion kit. It is compatible with most mountain, road, hybrid, and step-through bikes, and disc brakes.

It’s as easy to install as swapping out your front tire. The controller and battery are combined into a 34.2-Volt power pack, which is included in the kit and mounts to the handlebars. That makes it easy to remove and keeps thieves at bay, but our tester did miss having the use of a handle bar basket. The battery pack is fitted with indicator lights that tell you how much juice remains and what assist mode you’re in. Once the system is set up correctly, you’ll be able to top out at 15-25 mph.

In general, I love it. It makes my ride easier without feeling like I’m riding a giant bulky e-bike. It’s got a phenomenal amount of power for such a little machine and seems like it has a good battery life too. ~ Treehugger Tester

Best Premium

Ebikeling Waterproof Ebike Conversion Kit 36V 500W 700C Geared Electric Bike Kit

Do you want to go farther or faster? You can do both with this setup from Ebikeling, with its 500-watt motor. Ebikeling makes it easy to buy different compatible batteries and other accessories in an a-la-cart way. There are seven different batteries that come in different shapes (bottle, triangle, rectangular), so that you can pick the one that suits your bike and needs best.

The double-walled rim and motor are ready to install right out of the box—just swap them out for your original bike tire. An LCD screen is included to help you stay within your town’s speed limit. You can choose between a front or rear mount, as well as a thumb or half-twist throttle.

Price at time of publish: 390

Most Powerful

AW 26×1.75 Rear Wheel 48V 1000W Electric Bicycle Motor Kit

Thanks to a 48-volt, 1000-watt battery, the AW wheel E-bike conversion kit satisfies anyone with the need for speed. A thumb throttle makes speed control simple. This kit is available as either a front wheel or back wheel conversion option. It fits any 26-inch bike frame with a 3.9 inch front dropout spacing (for a front wheel conversion) or 5.3 inch rear dropout spacing (for a back wheel conversion). The rear wheel kit weighs 24.7 pounds, the front wheel kit weighs 23.5 pounds.

The aluminum frame offers durability and stability, which is essential when you’re rolling at top speeds of 28 miles per hour. Hand brakes turn the motor off automatically to both improve safety and conserve battery power.

Price at time of publish: 300

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Easiest to Install

Rubbee X Conversion Kit

If you want the fastest conversion possible, and even the option to take a motor off your bike quickly, the Rubbee X makes it a snap. The Rubbee X gives you a boost by resting against the rear tire, and has a special release that lets you remove the motor without un-mounting the entire system. You control the power just by pedaling, as a wireless cadence sensor that gets mounted to the pedal crank sends information to the motor, which shifts automatically without any additional user interface.

This conversion kit has some other nice features. It has tail lights on the back of the motor, to give you some additional visibility when riding at night. The base model comes with one battery, which weight 6.1 pounds, gives you 250 watts of power and has a top speed of 16 mph. Upgraded models have two or three additional batteries, each offering more speed and power, but also adding more weight. It’s compatible with any frame type, and with tires that are between 0.5 and 2.5 inches in width and between 16 and 29 inches in diameter.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy. First, the product ships from the European Union, so there may be an additional import tax. Second, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room on your seat post to connect the motor.

Price at time of publish: 612

Whenever you’re buying a newer technology, sticking with a known brand makes sense. That makes Bafang’s E-bike conversion kits a sound choice—in terms of quality and price. If speed is what you’re after, the kits from Ebikeling.

What to Consider When Shopping for an E-Bike Conversion Kit

Battery

Is the battery included? You’ll need something to power and charge your e-bike conversion kit. Many kits include a battery. Cheaper kits may not, though, which means you’ll need to source a compatible battery separately.

Power

You’ll also want to think about your power needs. The higher the motor wattage, the more power you’ll get. A 250-watt motor is typically plenty of power to make the daily commute less sweaty. If you want to take your converted bike out on tougher mountain trails, you’ll want more power.

Keep in mind that according to U.S. federal regulations, e-bikes with more than 750 watts of power are considered motor vehicles and require a motorcycle license.

Local Laws

You’ll want to check your state and local laws as some cities and towns have banned e-bikes from bicycle paths, so if that’s where you want to ride, you’ll want to make sure your town allows your upgraded bike to cruise around on them.

E-bikes come in three classes:

  • Class 1 E-bikes that assist you while you pedal and top out about 20 mph.
  • Class 2 E-bikes have a throttle that assists you regardless of whether you pedal and have a top speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 3 E-bikes assist you while you pedal and top out about 28 mph.

Drive Type and Installation

There are several kinds of e-bike conversion kits, and the ease of set-up and installation varies.

  • Friction Drive Conversion is a simple strategy. A roller pushes against the tire on the wheel. When the roller turns, the wheel turns. It’s a reasonably easy system to set up but sometimes isn’t the most effective.
  • Mid-Drive Conversion is the technology that the best e-bikes tend to use. A weight sits at a low point on the bike frame, and the power is applied to the crank. These can be more expensive, but the technology is typically better. There’s no standardization, however, which can make figuring out exactly what you need to make your bike work a little more challenging. Adding the parts is also a bit more complex than friction drive conversion.
  • Electric Bike Wheel Conversion swaps out a non-electrified front or rear wheel with an electrified one. The process is simple depending on where and how the battery mounts—such as on a rear rack. Once installed, weight distribution can feel natural. However, powering the front wheel may impact your bike’s handling.

The difficulty of installation depends of the type of conversion kit, as well as your comfort with the tools required. But generally speaking, converting your bike is a DIY project. Many manufacturers offer how-to videos that show what’s involved, so you can see ahead of time what you’ll need to do.

You’ll need a bike tool, crank arm tool, adjustable wrenches, and a screwdriver along with your electric bike conversion kit. These demos can show you how to install your e-bike conversion kit.

A visit to your local bike shop mechanic is a helpful step in the decision-making process. They can help you determine if your bike is a good candidate for electric technology. Your old bike may not be able to be converted because adding a motor can increase torque. You’ll want to make sure your bike’s drivetrain can handle it. The extra weight from adding an electric motor also impacts your brakes, so you’ll want to make sure they are effective for stopping at a higher speed. E-bikes tend to have disk brakes for this reason. If your current bike is in disrepair, has old parts, or needs other improvements, it may be more cost-effective to sell your trusty old ten speed and buy an e-bike. Also, consider that a quality electric bike conversion kit can be nearly the cost of an electric bike. Do some comparison shopping between the price of a conversion kit and a fully-loaded e-bike before you decide which way you want to roll. Our picks for the best e-bikes may help guide your decision.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger has reported on dozens of e-bikes and e-bike conversion options over the past decade. To make this list, we deeply researched the market by reading other third-party reviews, user Комментарии и мнения владельцев, and enthusiasts blogs. We also considered the product’s value and the manufacturer’s reputation.

Author Heidi Wachter has been writing about travel and adventure for over a decade. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her riding one of her six bicycles—even in the winter.

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