For some strange reason I’ve been trying to remember how this all started.
Somehow I remember first getting interested in the ENV- a fuel-cell motorcycle that people said was going to be too quiet to be safe. There’s a great story on that here, on WebBikeWorld. The next motorcycle I remembering catching my eye was the KillaCycle, and this video.
Now then… I’ve been pouring through my old picture files, and the one I was looking for is here: A rolling chassis I picked up via CraigsList, and this is dated November 2006. You can see the swingarm and motor against the back wall. I had no title for this thing, so the idea of putting it on the road just wouldn’t happen. I also had no running gear- I bought a wheel, it had no brakes or cables… I picked up some clipon bars on eBay and poked around with it, and then got caught up with a bunch of other things.
I had, at that point, a little site hanging off my main site chronicling the project… as I worked on the research I’d mock up stuff with Photoshop- I recall dropping an Agni motor into it at one point, along with an Apple MacPro aluminum case for the battery compartment.
Hold on… stop the presses.
I just found the site, finally… take a look at the first blog. I apparently had been doing some reading on this before, since the sidebar says “…started it up again.”, and clearly I got sidetracked by the sander racing. heh.
It’s interesting to look back at a few of the things I thought were possible, or going to happen… as they say, the best laid plans and all. I was hoping to connect with A123 batteries, since they’d worked with the KillaCycle guys. No dice. My take on the deal was that they were too focused on getting big contracts, which they did, to talk to the likes of me. Except for the fact that they still race belt sanders, but that may be more DeWalt, or the efforts of a couple of rabid employees.
The Alltrax controller idea was almost on target- I ended up with a very similar product. The thumb-actuated throttle? I think not. As far as the batteries go, well, that was going to turn out to be the never-ending saga, the conclusion being to make the bike “battery agnostic”, so I could update and change batteries as I came into new technology, or lots of money.
The Suzuki, after adding clipons and wheels, buying a new swingarm, and recycling the old motor and swingarm, I ended up selling to an MIT madman for a conversion project or two… never quite found out what happened to that, but here’s the last shot I have of it.
…that shot is dated June ’09. Soon after I found the VF500F on Craigslist.
In the meantime, I found Sparky.
Sparky went through some changes, but it was a really valuable little project to play around with. I think I bought the not-working scooter for $100 off of the Craigslist, and proceeded to tear it down and build it into a few versions. Finally it ended up as a direct-power BMX conversion. I’ve got to confess… this started my little affair with hub motors, because of their simplicity. No motor mounting, nothing, just slap the hub into the swingarm and keep it from spinning.
I have no idea how it got there.