I am clueless about what got me started on building a full-sized electric three-wheeled motorcycle; however, it did become a labour of affection long before the Green trend of electric vehicles came about. Within the 70s, gas was inexpensive, and electricity was cheaper. I had read about somebody trying to do this project, and I figured I could perform one. I possessed a small motorcycle shop during the time and was always creating custom bikes for others which would be my project. A great friend Ray Hernandez was a welder by trade and a tinkerer at heart and joined me in creating this particular motorcycle from scratch. My store had hydraulic lifts; therefore, handling the frame and components was much easier compared to having to manhandle the idea from area to spot. We started with a pair of half-inch mild stainless steel square tubing to make the structure itself. I scavenged some neck from an old Kia 750 frame, and we designed the new frame from there. Kitchen tools was a true welding musician. Every weld was an issue of beauty and ended up being perfectly square and real. As the frame appeared, other people became curious and offered to lend their talents to the project.
A great much time was spent planning every step of the work. A lot of nights, no real job progress was made; nevertheless, every item of the trike needed to be detailed to avoid making more mistakes along with miscues than we had to. Our layout called for a pretty little rear-end assembly. A full-sized car can be much too wide. A Toyota pickup was just the reply. It was in proportion to the trike, and the best part was? That t had been free from the wrecking garden. We took the rear apart, mud blasted it and then did the re-assembly. Several applications of red paint after it was a thing of beauty. The rear and a set of leaf springs cannibalized from another truck made mounting the entire rear end fairly simple. Ray added some tea leaf spring hangers to the foundation frame, and four bolts later, we had a rear within the trike. We opted for an investment 750 Honda front shell with extended tubes and heavier springs to carry the bike. Using a share front end made handlebars and other accessories a snap to mount, plus it looked great. The trike was right now on all of its 3 wheels.
Motor power was next, so I spent a considerable time investigating how much hp different-sized electric engines or generators could generate. An electrical generator becomes a really efficient motor when provided with external power. A friend possessed an aircraft parts stockroom and had a bunch of generators through old WW2 aircraft. Examining the manufacturer, we discovered that if supplied with twelve v, the generator could generate up to ninety horsepower. It Gowns pure horsepower. The food we found compares a single horsepower of electric to three power of a gas engine. Meaning our thirty-horsepower power motor was the same as employing a ninety-horsepower gas motor unit. The biggest difference was each of our motors weighed about 12 pounds. With a simple flat menu welded to the top of the buttocks housing, a few bolts and a toothed drive belt, we all had our drive education complete. The bottom part under the seat was outlined to hold twelve deep sump six-volt marine power packs. An onboard charger was concealed under the rear patio area above the rear end.
By far, the most difficult part of this overall project was to configure the electrical circuits typically to both equally run and charge the batteries typically. The throttle must have been a standard motorcycle hand accelerator mounted on the handlebars. Typically, the cable end was instantly connected to a rheostat which controlled the voltage currently being fed to the generator at any time. The more you switched the throttle, the quicker you went. Pretty simple. Since the cycle developed, I noticed that adding some type of charging program would prolong the battery life and increase the possible journey distance on a single charge from the batteries. By mounting the twelve-volt car power generator at a ninety-degree position to the rear end and over a generator (motor) by increasing the rear ends tail base and adding another pulley and v-belt, it was feasible to generate electricity whenever the actual cycle was in motion, such as accelerating and decelerating. No power was generated in a stop, but no energy was used. The small amount of electricity used for lamps at night or turn indicators were so small this did not affect the accessible travel distance of the bicycle. We burned up a few relays by unintentional cross-wiring or simply wrong wiring, but nobody was injured except the wallet. Cables, relays in addition to switches cost me a great deal of money, but once we started clearly, there was no turning back.
The body of the trike was often designed to be fashioned around the bike itself along with the concept of a two-man bike was based commonly on standard motorcycle ranking. One rider behind the opposite. The body was built connected with Styrofoam covered with fibreglass sheets and epoxy. That was my first attempt at a project of this size. The item did take a while to get the dangle of applying the goblet and resins, but in 14 days or so, the body had considered its basic design. Tail lights and transform signals were added, and many base coat primers and bikes were ready for their first road test.
We constructed a simple but wonderful control panel that sat between your driver’s legs. It is a brushed stainless steel finish, amperage gauge, voltmeter, key swap and an “on” mild; the simplicity was quite elegant. The particular “on” light was essential as with the key in the in position and any movements of the throttle; the particular bike was moving. After having a few whoops by a person turning the throttle rather than realizing the key was in, the on light grew to be pretty important.
I must say the first ride was, without a doubt, a thrill. Aside from taking great pride in knowing I had produced this bike from scratch, the absolute silence when riding has been unreal. No motor sound and only the sound of the tires on the tarmac made the ride practically surreal. You were moving proper along and making simply no noise at all. I analyzed the machine to speeds of sixty-five miles each hour on the open road, and it performed flawlessly. Using it concerning town and back and forth the particular ten miles to work daily, I never ran away from electricity. The 110-watt onboard charger was blocked at work all day, overnight at home, and more than handling the charging tasks.
I used the bike for just two years, and as usual, a new job came along that drew our attention. The bike has been stored in a friend’s car port, never to be used again.
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