Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I got a call late yesterday informing me that the distributors will be shipping my transmission out early next week. They are extremely busy with filling orders for the Holidays. Seems to be taking a long time but it's OK while I save up for the batteries.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Well I have been extremely busy with looking for work and getting ready for the holidays. I guess the dealer has been too. I have not received any word about my transmission and I am waiting on that so I can mock up the location of the motor. I can't do the battery mock up until I know how much room I have to work with. I will be contacting them tomorrow to find out. I hope they did not loose it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I talked to the wholesaler today and they are going to send me the transmission after all. He said they are swamped with Christmas coming around the corner and all their dealers ordering vehicles but they will try to get it shipped by Friday. I can't wait.

Above are pictures of the engine and transmission (I will only be receiving the transmission)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Well today was a good day. I worked for the inventor/industrial designer Ken Tarlow and will have more work tomorrow. Working for him is great two fold. First off I get paid to do awesome work (this will support the trike project) and second I have him as a huge resource at my finger tips. I have yet to stump him on a question he can not answer.
    I was thinking about the bike today at lunch and thought about what Todd from Electric Motorsport was suggesting on how I can fabricate the motor mount and rear suspension. Then I remembered that I have a book specifically on motorcycle design.

I know what I'm reading as my bed time book.

I was also supposed to get a call from the supplier letting me know if they are going to send the transmission so I don't have to guess the angle of the suspension.
   I have also finished uploading the rest of the pictures from loading the bike yesterday. If you are interested here is the link:

Monday, December 6, 2010


Today was a busy day. I drove all over the place. I went from home to my father-in-law's work (30 minutes) to grab the keys to his truck which was at his house an additional 30 minutes away. After grabbing the truck I went to go pick up the bike which was at my old house and then drove it to Electric Motorsport in Oakland. Over all travel time was two and a half hours. Once I was at Electric Motorsport Todd and I talked for two hours about the project.
      We came up with a lot of ideas and formulated a plan. The biggest hurdle will be fabricating the rear end suspension. The original bike came with the engine and transmission integrated into the rear swing arm much like a scooter. We have to realign the rear swing arm to the original position so we don't change the suspension geometry. It could seriously affect the steering.
     As far as the rest of the project, the only hurdle will be money. I could go with some state of the art AC Permanent Magnet motor, controller, lithium ion batteries and BMS (battery management system). Or I could go with a brushed DC motor and lead acid batteries which would bring the materials down from $7,000 to $2,500. A huge difference in price but also performance. I would be looking at a 80+ MPH top speed with the expensive unit down to 50 MPH plus or minus. My range would go from 100 Miles to about 40 and I believe the bike would be a lot heavier.
          The system I was recommended was an 84 Volt with 28 - 100 amp hour lithium ion batteries. That would be a sweet system but would hurt the pocket. I think I am going to go with the $7k system. I am trying to build something that is going to get attention (hopefully from investors as well as passerby). The sales rep for the bike said that he has had many (how many?) request for this bike in electric. Once I have completed the build and it works well I will be more than happy to discuss a business plan with them. After all, I am the one taking the risk and spending the money. It would be nice if they wanted to pay for some of the project (doubt that would happen). Since I am going to go with the more expensive build it's going to take a little longer than I hoped for. I have to save quite a bit more money but in the meantime I will start to fabricate the suspension/motor mount up and wait for the old transmission to come in (they forgot to send it). I have attached a few pictures of me loading the bike onto the truck.

I used two 2x6's and two 2x4's to ramp it into the back

I had to use concrete block so the bike wouldn't bottom out as I rolled it up the ramp (parking brake was a savior!)

The trike was light enough for me to pick up the front and roll it it's last bit into the truck

Here it is in the truck. It's track width is wider the the bed of the truck so it stayed on the tailgate for transportation. I had to do the same thing once I brought it back today, they did not have enough room at Electric Motorsport to store it there for me. It was quite a long day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I am borrowing my father in-laws' truck to move the motorcycle on Monday to Electric Motorsport. I do not have my truck anymore so I have to beg, borrow and borrow. This also keeps my budget in check. I still have to figure out how I'm going to get the bike on the truck. It's only going to be me on Monday (everybody else is working). I'll get it done, I always do. I'll take a few pictures (if I can) and post them on Monday. I will also write about how the meeting goes with Electric Motorsport.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Delivery Day - The trike was delivered today at about 1:30pm. I was so excited to be getting it and really nervous for the project I am about to undertake. It came on  crate without the front wheels on and the motor removed, the windscreen needs to be attached, the mirrors, the brakes, wheels and wheel covers all need to be installed. I had and have some work to do.

   I was able to install the hubs, brakes and wheels on by the end of the day. I decided to leave off the windscreen and the wheel covers so I wouldn't have to take them off again when I start to fabricate the rest of the bike. I will be taking the bike down to electric Motorsport in the next day or so (as my schedule permits). I have some paying prototype work tomorrow so I need to take that first (I need to fund this project) we will see if it leads into Friday. If so, then Electric Motorsport early next week.

Here is the link for the full gallery of pictures from today:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


My motorcycle was picked up from the distributor today at 3pm. I can't wait! It will be here sometime tomorrow, the driver will call me an hour and a half before he gets to me. I will try to remember to take tons of pictures. I have quite a bit to do to get the garage ready for the trike, and to get it off the truck. Apparently they did not get a truck with a lift gate so I am going to have to figure something out to get it down safely. More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Here are the pictures that the manufacturer sent me of the reverse trike in their factory.
I can't wait for this to be at my door! Ships this Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Well I broke down and ordered the bike (reverse trike) today. I ordered it directly from the manufacturer at a discounted price (which I can't disclose). They are very interested in seeing the finished project. I stopped by Electric Motorsport and talked over the project with Todd. We came up with a few ideas but will know better once the bike is physically in our hand. I am very excited for the bike to get here, shipping is scheduled for Tuesday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


So I found a company that will remove the motor for me and ship it to California. The only thing being that it is more than I want to pay for it which wouldn't be a problem but they have given me a deadline of this next Wednesday. I don't know if I can raise enough money to purchase the vehicle by next Wednesday. Today is Saturday so I will call and see if they are open tomorrow and if they provide financing. I am doing this project on a shoe string budget so every penny saved counts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Now that I have found the trike the trick is to get it here. I have contacted multiple dealers/distributors for the bike here in the United States and none of them will ship to California. Apparently the trike is not CARB legal and they can not ship it here (even though they are stored in warehouses here). I explained to each of the dealers that I did not need the engine therefore the CARB issue should not be a issue, but I was told that it has to do something with the fact that the VIN number is not a legal number to register in California.
    I discussed this with Electric Motorsport in Oakland and learned that they can ship it to me as "parts" since I will not be needing it as a complete vehicle.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doner Trike

So I have found the trike but it seems that its going to be a little more than I wanted to spend. I called the dealers directly and they said that they could get me a used one for $4,000.00. Here are the links to the dealers/distributors:

All of these are half the price of the Can AM spyder.

I will continue to shop.


I have been doing some shopping for EV parts on various sites;

All the above are good links for motors and other ev parts. All their prices are pretty much the same.

The above are good links for lithium ion batteries.

I think I am going to go with electric motorsports because they are pretty much the same price as every other company (plus or minus $100) and they are right here in my backyard. So if I have any problems I can go straight to them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Donor

If I can afford it, this will be the donor trike,

The Start

This is my idea for a all electric vehicle. I have decided to attempt to build a three wheel motorcycle, also known as a "reverse trike". My idea came from a need to have an all electric vehicle that would get a range better than 100 miles. I have researched and decided that the easiest and most feasible ways to accomplish this would be to build a motorcycle, and more specifically a reverse trike.

Advantages of a reverse trike
  • lighter than a car
  • more room than a motorcycle
  • more stable than a motorcycle
  • easier to comply with safety regulations
  • easier to import an existing model from out of the country
  • parts are cheaper than a car
  • I already have a motorcycle license
  • potentially more fun to drive than a car