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Ray's Electric Motorcycle · 3 April 07

Last fall Ray started researching and organizing the parts and plans to convert his old 750-1000 CC bike into an electric motorcycle. Now that the cold weather has let up he and his buddy are welding battery racks and getting things put together.

Click for larger snapshots.

Ray's EV back view Ray's EV front view of rack Ray's Electric Motorcycle w/friend
Ray's EV side view Ray's Electric Motorcycle welding

The components include:

  • Etek Motor MO-ET-2401 (12-48 Volts 300 amps peak 8 hp at 48 volts)
  • Powersonic PS12260 sealed batteries (PDF)
  • Alltrax AXE4844 Controller, Programmable
  • Soneil Charger, 48V 3 Amp Dual Input BC-4808SRF
  • MaguraThrottle Magura 0-5K Twist Grip TH-GTH-103
  • Meter Curtis LED 48 Volt State of Charge
  • Circuit Breaker Manual Reset 200 Amp
Comments 29
  1. — miles paschini    Apr 09, 2007 00:57 AM    #

    i am looking ot build an electric motorcycle, how can i learn more on your project?

  2. — Ray    Apr 12, 2007 22:31 PM    #

    Miles, i would be happy to share any info I have what are your questions ?

  3. — ravindra    Apr 14, 2007 07:18 AM    #

    hi ray i would like to know the procedure to how to convert a engine motorcycle(m/c) to a electric m/c..basically where to start from?

  4. — Ray    Apr 15, 2007 14:37 PM    #

    Well first you have to understand I am a Scrounge I use what I can find in this case I had the batteries given to me.
    So that was one of the design factors that was set for me.
    But for the basics:
    1.How far do you need to go? I comute just 2 miles to work
    2.Then how much weight “read how many batteries”
    3.Then I looked for a motorcycle that had a GVW close to that” the gs 1100e is wet at 576Lbs”
    4.As for the motor I like the e-tek/Lem type motor it tucks out of the way and is quit efficient
    5.Then putting it all together” I personally looked at all the bike I could find and found that the motor was placed to low for my liking(being in NH the weather is very screwy, it’s snowing right now) so I used a jack shaft to relocate the motor in the old battery box.
    I hope this helps

  5. darin    Apr 15, 2007 20:58 PM    #

    Miles: YouTube has some good basic intro videos on doing a motorcycle conversion:




  6. ElectricMotorcycles.net    Apr 22, 2007 12:27 PM    #

    Some info on my website as well.

  7. Mark Locklear    Jun 29, 2007 17:12 PM    #

    Nice work Ray, I’m trying to get an electric motorcycle group started at http://p068.ezboard.com/bevmotorcyclesociety please stop by if you get a chance…thanx…

  8. — rob    Jul 14, 2007 02:54 AM    #

    that rocks how much did it cost.
    in total
    thanks .

  9. — Alan    Jul 27, 2007 16:14 PM    #

    Hey Ray,

    I am planning a very similar conversion. What kind of range did you get out of the 4 battery 48 volt setup w/ the alltrax?


  10. Dave    Jul 29, 2007 11:58 AM    #

    I have been given a 1969 Yamaha that does not run. Instead of fixing what is surely a gas guzzler, I wouod rather take off the old engine and replace it with an electric one. What are your ideas and where can I get information to ward that end?

  11. — Ray    Jul 29, 2007 16:55 PM    #

    Well on july 4th I rode it for the first time still working on the legal part 8^).
    I will sent pic’s later

  12. — Istvan    Nov 02, 2007 23:48 PM    #

    Congratulations in your project, I’m also planning to build one myself, I’m wondering if there’s a site or publication which I can find update motors, batteries and controllers to start my design, I have to commute 25miles everyday pushing 270lbs.
    Thank you in advance

  13. — Ray    Nov 07, 2007 21:43 PM    #

    Istvan you can get full plans here http://www.21wheels.com/elchopper.html
    But I found it was much more fun to make my own.

  14. — RodneyAnderson    Feb 17, 2008 18:00 PM    #

    have a ’03 ninja 250,to convert,.. powerplant a 36v cart motor and controller..could i use the vari-pitch pulley torque convertor my heavy mini-bike used it has a 3:1 ratio belt drive connected to a jack shaft with a chain sprocket,..i know it’s old school but to lower the amp load on starts it sounds like a good idea.


  15. — mike    May 19, 2008 16:25 PM    #

    I hope it is not asking too much, but I would like all the info you have on converting my motorcycle to electric. I have never done anything like this before and don’t really know where to start.

  16. — James May    May 19, 2008 18:00 PM    #

    Hi Mike
    A good starting place is to look at EVAlbum to see what other people have done.
    You can filter by make. You’ll probably pick up the motorbikes that way.
    I have spent a long time looking at that site. There’s so many ideas you can get from there.

  17. — bob    May 25, 2008 15:52 PM    #

    were do i get a e-tek/motor
    and a speed controller with connection and wireing plans i live in the uk i am not very well up on electrics so wireing the speed controler might be a problem any ideas thanks bob.

  18. — Cameron    May 25, 2008 19:28 PM    #

    Hi Bob
    The etek has been discontinued but they have replaced it with the etek-r. Try thundersky.com, and there is a new one called the perm 132 or something like that for just under USD 1000.

  19. — Cameron    May 25, 2008 19:43 PM    #

    I have been planning a conversion and I was wondering why people frequently leave the old gas tank on when you could use that space for 2 more battaries and then box it it for safety?

  20. — Cory Gunter-Smith    May 29, 2008 17:23 PM    #

    Ray, How about some pictures of the motor mount assembly?? I’m doing a similar project and mounting the motor is my biggest concern.

  21. — Elmer    Jun 29, 2008 12:19 PM    #

    Cameron; The only problem I see with gas tank batteries is that the the higher center of gravity makes it harder to handle.
    Put your electronics in the tank. Lower weight is better.

  22. — Cameron    Jul 03, 2008 22:29 PM    #

    Thanks, Elmer. Always lots to consider

  23. — Dave    Jul 16, 2008 13:48 PM    #

    Hey Ray,
    this all sounds great, and I’d really like to do this. I did try to check out the site you listed: http://www.21wheels.com/elchopper.html
    but got the message site not found.
    any other ideas on where I can get that info?
    I’m thinking about doing a car also, a friend has a salvage yard…

  24. — Kat    Aug 04, 2008 13:31 PM    #

    I am looking for somebody near Tallahassee, FL that can help me convert my Suzuki Intruder 800cc shaftdrive into an ebike?

  25. Marc Hoffmann    Nov 10, 2008 00:46 AM    #

    You are quite a hero Ray, for what youve done. But now’s the time to show us with good free online videos how to do it(make a bike engine purely electric). I’m absolutely convinced that every bank in America should be paying you millions to do this to improve on investing ethically. What do your say?

    Best Regards

  26. — John    Dec 15, 2008 17:15 PM    #

    Im building a 1984 interceptor into electric, i found 3.2Volt 100Amp Hour(3.2V/100AH) lifepo batteries on ebay cost 200pluss a piece, weigh about 5 LBS and if your creative 28 will fit most motorcycles, u do the math how many Amp Hours of operation time you need at the Draw that your motor/controller combo use, im planing for at least 90MPH and about 50+miles per charge, look on web for the ‘lightning lithium bike’, its awesome!

  27. — Broc Luno    Dec 29, 2008 20:21 PM    #

    Just a couple of comments: 1.) glad you picked a heavy duty frame with weight calcs – good show. 2.) I think most of the ones I see on the ‘Net are using mono-shock swing arms – in my opinion it takes too much room out of the old motor bay that could be used for batteries and controllers. 3.) you’all know that disk brakes drag more than drums? Maybe drop back a few years and get a drum braked chassis – more power/mileage for you :)

  28. — jim j-man    Feb 08, 2009 16:06 PM    #

    two things about the engine placement.
    1) if the chain separates( granted it dosn’t happen often, but it does happen) the angle of the chain when it spins is right in line with your leg. when that chain comes whipping arround it will amputate your leg or at least mangle it pretty bad. that it why the original was set down there in the first place. it may snap your ancle but at least you can put on a turnicate to stop the blood leaning out. a ruptured femoral artery is an instant dump. you will bleed out before you can get any help.
    2) the angle of the motor would place tension on the top of the chain, which would compress the shock/spring producing a lot of slack on the bottom of the chain, which could cause the chain to pop off the sprocket. you want the sprocket to be in line with the lower trailing arm to reduce slop.

  29. — Nuno Baptista    Sep 04, 2009 19:50 PM    #

    Hi Ray & everybody
    i’ve ‘‘fallen in love’‘ w/ the EV bike concept – just the thought of giving the finger to oil companies… ;-) & have a Suzuki GS 450 E perfect to get started. if successful , would be + than happy to turn my Suzuki GSXR1000/03 into my ‘‘final’‘ EV. but… i didn’t pay ANY attention in school when they talked ‘‘electricity’‘ so… i haven’t got a clue ! being an artist/silversmith, i’m a good fabricator, have a nice workshop & what i lack, friends have so…would you be able to point me to where i might find lists of components that would work nicely together + wiring diagrams & such ? the variety of components is such, i feel totally lost . i may be unrealistic but i’d wish/need something around 80Mph, a minimum of 60 mile range & a recharge time of 2 or 3 hours …is this feasible ? i don’t mind spending a bit more ( LiFePo4 bats, sophisticated controller/charger etc…) as long as i can be sure of the end results. can you help ? anyone ?
    thanks & best wishes from Portugal