The Electric Garage: DechavesMotion’s DCH Prototype


You know, when I started this I thought I really had to pace myself.  I didn’t think there were a lot of really cool electric bike designs out there, and figured I’d be good to maybe make one post a week or so.  Well, it turns out I have no such self-control.  When I find a cool project I just have to post it, and, on top of that, the more I dig into this stuff, the more stuff I find in the nooks and crannies of the interwebs.

Such is the case for the DCH Prototype.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I still don’t have all the specs I want, so stay tuned, but there’re some great photos on the man’s website.  Let’s start with them.

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I know, right?  This thing is vintage, retro, and kick-my-ass-into-the-next-decade all at once.  His description: “The motorcycle style is very “mechanical” and minimalist. A bit futuristic, a little Cafe Racer and a little Mad Max.”

Here are the specs:

  • Motor:  Enertrac MHM 602 air cooled
  • Continuous power (KW): 10 (14CV)
  • Peak power (KW): 30 (41CV). Currently limited to 20CV
  • Controller: Kelly KBL09401B: 24-96V,400A.
  • Battery cells type: 72 Headway LiFePO4 cells 3,2V/15Ah.
  • Battery Pack: 76,8V/45Ah. 24S/3P
  • Capacity: 3,45 kWh nominal
  • Offboard charger: 1,5KW TC charger HF/PFC. CAN BUS communication
  • Battery Management System: Orion BMS. Digital
  • Max speed: 10 RPM/Volt. 100km/h
  • Seat height: Adjustable between 800 and 850mm
  • Lenght: 2090mm
  • Height: 1050mm (without mirrors)
  • Width:715mm
  • Ground clearance: 170mm
  • Chassis: Tubular Steel frame/machined aluminum
  • Wheelbase: 1450mm
  • Rake angle: 24º
  • Trail: 95mm
  • Swingarm length:550mm
  • Front suspension:
  • Travel: 130mm Hydraulic telescopic fork37mm tubes
  • Rear suspension:
  • Travel: 110mm monoshock
  • Front brake: hydraulic 1 disc brake 280mm diameter. Two pistons brake caliper
  • Rear brake: hydraulic 1 disc brake 220mm diameter. Two pistons brake caliper
  • Front rim: WM3, 36 holes  18 X 2.15
  • Rear rim: WM3, 36 holes  18 X 2.15
  • Front tire: 100 /90 18”
  • Rear tire: 100 /90 18”

This is coming from DechavesMotion, the home of Pablo de Chaves, He’s a mechanical engineer and industrial designer specializing in automotive design. with a Master’s degree in Transportation Design (Elisava, Barcelona) and a MSc in Motorsport Engineering ( Oxford Brookes University, Oxford).

So this bike, once again, was built pretty much from scratch.  Here’s what I loved about his post, though:

It was a project that I started as a hobby and as an excuse to learn, and I have to say that I have learned a lot but it has also been exhausting. I have learned to accelerate the design process and the prototyping stage. I have learned about electric bikes, batteries, controllers, BMS, etc. Now I can TIG weld steel and aluminum and I can also do the motorcycle wiring pretty fast (I have crimped so many terminals that I am an expert now …). I have even learned to make “professional” studio photos.

First, as a professional photographer, I’d concur.  Those are some damned good shots.  Second, looking back on the several years of doing this myself I think that I’ve come to the same conclusion.  What I really am most proud of is how much I’ve learned about all this stuff, even with the limited tools I have.   I think about how I first approached a project, and fabricating parts with what I had for materials and tools, and how I approach it now with the same materials and the same tools, and I’m in a completely different place.  …and that part was the most fun of all.

Here’s another thing I really like.  The guy had a concept and built the concept.  Check out his galleries and you’ll see his early renderings.  What I mean by this is, a few years ago we’d see all these fairly unrealistic, futuristic designs for electric motorcycles that would never see the light of day.  Why?  Because they weren’t created with any thought to actually building them.  I figure it’s a part of the process of learning design, but it got pretty old, seeing stuff coming out of people’s heads that had no basis in what works, what could be done, or even what should be done.

This bike is pure motorcycle, with all the inherent beauty of a pure motorcycle design, conceived and executed.

So.  When do I get to ride it?


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