Starting the electrical

Much of the fun/easy stuff is done, and I’m moving on to the electrical systems.  There are basically two…the 12 volt system (all the lights, ignition, horn, etc.) , and the 72 volt system (the main battery, controller, motor…all the drive stuff).

The systems do connect via the ignition and main contactor, but that’s about it.

I’ll be making a 12 volt battery out of my “b grade” 18650 cells.  This will eliminate the need for a DC to DC convertor.

I made a little compartment out of flattened PVC to house the controller, fuse box, flasher relay, starter relay, and contactor under the seat.  All these components will eventually be hidden by some kind of side cover.

The PVC compartment painted black:


The left side showing the fuse box which has a red LED that lights when a fuse blows:


See the little spring through the hole?  It’s a simple little suspension system I created to ease the vibration of the controller.  Not completely necessary, but I have an aversion to violently shaking delicate circuitry, and because why not add in some unnecessary complexity?


In the picture below you can see the business end of the main contactor, it’s precharge resistor, and the smaller coil suppression diode.  And that thing towards the front of the compartment is the original brake switch that I rigged up in a slightly different position than original with a little bracket I made from a piece of duct strapping (the little silver band with holes in it).



I don’t have the relays in yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  I’ll be sure to post an electrical schematic when I get one done.  As of right now I’m working off of the controller schematic, and a generic flasher/hazard relay schematic, and a few other EV diagrams.

Oh yeah…got all the rear brake bits reassembled and the new chain installed.  Everything is precisely aligned like I knew it would be.



Baked a chocolate cake

Step 1: Make a pan

Step 2: Stick some foam on it


Step 3: sew together a bunch of pleather left over from your daughter’s Cleopatra costume


Got my new rear sprocket in the mail.  50 teeth.  I was stoked to finally get this.  Was going to finally reconnect all the rear brake stuff, and stick the new chain on, but then I saw all kinds of rust on the swingarm, and it’s been freezing, and I’m getting my annual cold.  Got all the bits wirewheeled, and clear coated, and have the swingarm totally ground to metal then repainted, but it’s too cold for my shivering self to muster the will to install it all.


Lots of updates

Chopped the fenders, sanded the shine out of the chrome, then clear coated with engine enamel.  Started prepping the tank to strip that god awful pinky red paint off.  The plan is to leave it bare metal clearcoated.  Front end is looking a little Steve McQueenish.


Also got the front end nearly done.  Brakes are now rebuilt and working great.  Also cleaned up the front wheel and disc.  New braided line to replace the five pounds of connectors originally used.


New tiny headlight to replace the giant heavy original.  Tossed the heavy-ass fork ears that used to mount the old headlight.  Installed motocross rubber fork boots to replace the totally rotten originals.



I’ve fixed up these little headlight brackets I made, and they are now painted black.


Tore off the massive original instrument panel, and replaced it with a tiny little speedo/odometer that has a few little led indicators in it.  It runs off the front wheel just like the original.  I’ll also have a little digital instrument panel called a “cycle analyst” that will help me keep track of my battery charge level as well as current draw, and other stuff.  I might hook it up to my drill or something to see if I can put the original miles on it.  Haven’t decided yet.

Started working on the seat pan.  Most cafe/brat/trackers completely ditch the rear fender, and weld on a rear hoop, but I like the way this chopped fender looks, and where it’s mounted.  The downside is it makes my seat design quite a bit more complicated.  So I’m making a fiberglass pan.

Here’s the seat area after I cut off a shit tonne of tabs, hinges, and a big lock assembly:

Here’s the start of the pan:


Hate to cover up my pretty fender with a big ugly plate.  I might relocate it later to the bottom of one of the shocks.  It’s against the law here to run it vertically, so I don’t know if I’ll want it sticking way out.  Another little plate rule allows me to run this 1974 plate because this bike is technically an antique.  The law says that I can run an original plate like this, but that I have to have the real plate with me.  I can keep it under the seat or something.


New smaller, louder horn:



The motor is mounted

I have the motor in the bike!  Woot!


And the 14 tooth sprocket is installed.

I welded up this work of art to assist the aluminum plate:

You can see it installed here:

And here:

It fits very tightly, and really hugs the motor to the frame.  Combined with the 1/4″ aluminum plate, it’s pretty damn solid.  But anyway…how about that welding?  I’m starting to get my welding legs under me.

I’m still running a battery testing mill in my living room, still tearing all kinds of crap off the bike, and almost have the front end back together.  I just got my new seals, stainless banjo bolts/washers, and stainless hose for the front brake caliper, and will get that rebuilt tomorrow.  I swear I saved 15lbs on all the crap I tore off the front end…I’ll try to remember to stick it all in a box and weigh it  All the bolts holding the disc on the wheel are rusted beyond belief, and I’ve ordered stainless replacements (Home Depot did not have anything I could use).  I want to post a pic, but will wait until it’s more complete.

I’ve also started hashing out a wiring diagram to work from.  It’s a bit of a mash-up of some other electric vehicle diagrams I found.  I’ll post that when I get it done.

I’d also like to set up a complete bench test of all of the major components, but to do that I need to bite the bullet and get a charger.  They are so fucking expensive I will probably wait until after the holidays.