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  #1  
Old 01-20-2012, 05:35 AM
Ikran_is_not_horse's Avatar
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Default My avatar e-bike build

I wasn't quite sure where to put this thread. Because it fits several subforums:

It IS high technology (uses A123 Systems nanotechnology lithium iron phosphate batteries, computer controlled, and electric hub motor utilizing rare-earth magnets)
It IS environmentalism in practice (does not need a drop of oil, can be powered purely by sunlight, electric motor used is 80+% efficient compared to a combustion motor that is 20% efficient, the batteries are a nontoxic chemistry, is several times more efficient than a Prius or a Tesla)
It IS art (if I do say so myself).
It IS Avatar!

My goal was to replace my car for daily commuting and round town errands, while:
-not breaking a sweat but still getting exercise
-not using any oil
-working on a budget that beats most new electric bikes
-getting home faster than I would in my car (after work traffic is painful!)
-with plenty of power to make it fun
-doing all the above in style My inspiration was the direhorse in Avatar!







This is what she looked like when I picked her up. All black and scratched up:

Now at night she looks like this:


Continued...
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:36 AM
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The project had a mechanical, electronic, and artistic aspect to it. I won't get into the mechanical and electronic tidbits here, but I think you'll appreciate the art:
Primered the pieces first

Purple went on top, like the scaly leather on top of the dire horse

Airbrushed the blue stripes:


Glow in the dark freckles



She can take me on a 20 mile round commute without pedaling, which is enough to work and pack. But I like to pedal, otherwise you go soft! I chose a strong motor and powersource setup so it goes up steep hills like you live in low gravity Pandora And it only uses 2 cents of electricity for my entire commute.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:35 PM
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Wow, that's fantastic!

Two questions: how long did it take you from concept to completion and what was your budget?
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:08 PM
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Adorable Take good care of it, I guess there are a lotta people out there who might be interested in making/calling this precious their own.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:23 PM
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Impressive build. Very nice work!


... I'll bet that motor would be even more efficient if it used Unobtanium.


Irony: Ain't that a bitch?

- Mikko
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2012, 07:40 PM
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Thanks all. It took me a little over a month. I bought the bike off craigslist for $100. The batteries were the most expensive part, they cost $500 + shipping. I wanted to get them though because A123 Systems has the best battery technology available right now. The kilowatt motor cost $280. Then there were just some miscellaneous odds and ends.

She is so fast I love it! I'm still trying to figure out a front cargobag for the bike though. It will sit on that little platform ahead of the handlebars. I want something tribal that looks like a Na'vi would have. Any ideas or recommendations?
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:14 AM
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Amazing paintwork
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:43 AM
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Wow, that's really incredible work. Looks perfect! As for a front compartment, possibly something with the look of the na'vi hammock, or a belongings rack:

(Sorry for small picture)
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:55 PM
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That is just Fawesome!
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2012, 05:43 AM
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Wow, awesome build, doubly so due to the environmental factor.

Also, what's the range like, and is that a brushless motor?

Last edited by Sight Unseen; 01-25-2012 at 05:45 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:34 AM
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That it completely awesome.

I'd like to know about the mechanical and electrical bits though. Hey, I'm an engineer. I can't help it.

I looked into making an electric motorcycle a couple of years ago. It was just too expensive to justify the cost and I was looking at lead acid batteries that are way less expensive than the A123's that you used. I needed a top speed of at least 60mph and a range of 25 miles so I was figuring on a lot more watt hours of battery than you used.
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2012, 08:20 PM
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Ikran_is_not_horse Gives me the goosebumps
 
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In answer to your questions, on a level surface WITHOUT pedaling the bike should have a 20+ mile range. Much more if I pedal along with the motor (which is what I do). I chose this battery pack so that it would give me enough range for a round trip to work and back. The range also depends on how fast I go. I've taken her up to 31 mph so far but haven't yet seriously attempted a top speed run. I haven't been able to check the maximum range yet because I just love going up random steep hills at full blast, and that will use up energy. It's so fun to go up a hill on a bicycle at 25mph without breaking a sweat!

The A123 battery pack stores 486 watt-hours of energy. It is rated at 52+ V on a full charge. The A123s are great because there is almost no voltage sag at high outputs (batteries are capable of 30C discharge), and the voltage does not drop until at the very end of the charge. It has a BMS installed to prolong battery life. Should last thousands of recharge cycles.

The motor is indeed brushless. It is also gearless. I wanted a completely silent set up, so I picked components that would provide this. I also injected grease into the freewheel so it wouldn't click (that tick-tick-tick sound you hear on most bicycles). The tires are nearly slick so they ride silent too. All you hear is the wind.

People are always staring at it and it opens up a lot of conversations. I think it would convert a lot of people to go green - simply due to the fun factor alone!

I would like to install some solar panels at home to charge the batterypack. Imagine your daily commute being entirely powered by the sun! It's not the most practical thing since electricity is so inexpensive and it doesn't even use a kwh of energy for daily commuting. I just want to be able to do it, to be energy independent and show people what is possible.
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Last edited by Ikran_is_not_horse; 01-25-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2012, 04:23 AM
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outstanding...
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2012, 04:26 PM
Tsamsiyu
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That is outstanding indeed. Curious though, where do your ride it? Is it legal to take on bike paths where you live? (Just wondering cause some of the bike paths around where I live have a 15mph limit, (which isn't really enforced). But, all have a "No motorized vehicles beyond this point").
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2012, 05:15 PM
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If I were to ask you to build me a bike identical to that (except the painting which I would do myself to cut down on the work for you), how much would you want for it?


(serious question)

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