All this jibberjabber about hub motors has me pining for a concept that caught my eye a long time ago- well, a long time in e-bike years. The Hammarhead Volta. Dig it bitches. A lightweight traditional tube double loop frame with spoked wheels, awesome range because you can fit crap-tons of batteries in it ’cause the motor’s in the wheel- and fast- ’cause it’s light. Everything I love.
Except, I want this motor- but in it’s not-quite-ready yet form… This is the hub motor from ZEV, which has a couple of things about it that awesomely awesome. It measures just over 11″ in diameter. It has some serious cooling built into the housing, along with the integrated wheel acting as a bigass heat sink. (That’s technical talk, don’t worry, I have proper authorization to use such terminology…) They use oil as “a wetting agent to help transfer heat into every nook and cranny. It also is a an anti arc and burnout issue.” AND, (omgomgomg) They “are working on a big hub motor in the 25-30 Kw range with a motorcycle type mount and wheel”
UPDATE: Dateline 2/6/2011
Less than a year after I posted this, I just saw this news- Developing a dual-stator, 20KW/60KW peak hub motor for the Catamount TTXGP team, Mark Gelbien at EnerTrac has delivered what they promised. Read the details here.
The word from ZEV? “The new motor will be delayed as we work on what seems to be the most un attended customer group.”
Yeah. OK. Lame. …and congrats to Mark and the EnerTrac/Catamount team!
That should give me plenty of time to collect parts- in particular, a frame.
Now, here’s the funny thing… I love me a good double-downtube frame, and you need to go back to the ’70′s to find something like that. I’ve been looking at the Norton, Triumph and Rickman frames- but the first two are for bigger bikes, the Rickman is for an off-road 125 size, normally… They did to a 250, but still off-road. If I could find a Rickman roadracing frame, I’m sure I’d get strung up for converting it.
So, I says to myself, “What’s a nice little road-racer around the 250cc range that was around in the ’70s?” I says… Holy crap. Of course. The venerable Yamaha RD350. Now, this sudden realization and tortured path to such realization wouldn’t be so all-fired embarrassing if not for the fact that the very first bike I ever blueprinted and built was, yes, an RD350.
As my wife is fond of saying, I don’t know if I just have one stick, or if I have two, but I haven’t figured out how to rub them together yet…
(Shown, is the “Killer Bee” from Ryan Carden’s awesome site.)
Oh. Just found this. Sweetness. A frame made for electric.
OOOH. Just found this site… the RD frame was the same design as the TZ350 race bike- but the TZ was considerably lighter. It looks like eleventy million guys built frames for the TZ for years after it was new- all improvements.
Here’s one, it’s a beauty!
(Update: Hoo boy… guess what I found?)