Ready to be stripped downFrame to aid in elongatingpraying it would workBackbone going inMaiden VoyageMotor configurationSpaghetti!Not quite the street legal versionStreet Legal
OwnerDavid Snow
LocationCleveland, Ohio United States map
Web/Email email image
Vehicle1981 Kawasaki KZ440a
Now titled as an Ohio 2008 Self Assembled Vehicle
MotorPerm Motor Perm 132 Permanent Magnet DC
DrivetrainANSI 40 chain. 12 tooth sprocket on motor, 48 tooth rear
sprocket. Chose to go with idler sprocket instead of cutting into
swing arm.
ControllerAlltrax SPM72300
Originally Kelly 72401 72 volt, 400 amp regen controller. I don't
recommend Kelly controllers, tend to go poof soot for no reason.
Batteries22 Thunder Sky LFP40, 3.20 Volt, Lithium-Polymer
June 2009 chose to take lithium plunge, expensive but worth it. If
you can swing the extra expense go with lithium from the
beginning. Don't forget a battery management system. I
purchased mine from Alex at

Originally chose to go with less expensive FLA batteries, four 12
volt NAPABAT8301, 27dcm.
System Voltage72 Volts
Charger Thundersky 72-10
originally Soneil 1214CC for FLA batteries, nothing but trouble. I
replaced them several times, fortunately they are lifetime
DC/DC ConverterMeanwell SD-100D-12

origininally DC2415 from

InstrumentationStandard speedometer, added PakTrakr 600 to monitor battery
condition (note to self, PakTrakr does not like rain or overvoltage)
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
Had 54 tooth sprocket in rear to start, 36mph top speed, chose
to go to 48 tooth rear, better top speed, doesn't make much
difference on acceleration from dead stop.
AccelerationSeems like second gear from dead stop, but after a half second or
so she takes off, no problem keeping up with city traffic. Still
tweaking Kelly controller.
Range30 Miles (48 Kilometers)
5/1/08...25-30 miles is to 100% discharged. I'm trying to keep
trips in the 15-20 mile range to keep batteries around the 50%
discharged mark...update...7/10/08...well, the 25-30 was what I
had hoped for, realistically am getting 21 mile to 100
discharged...and the other part about just going to 50% DOD...ha!
I like to ride this thing way too much. I like to push it to see how
far I can get, often going to 80-90% discharged...batteries still
holding a charge though. 9/14/08... #1 battery starting to go
bad, getting to 50% discharged then voltage plummets. Range
now is 13-15 miles. 10/1/08...all 4 batteries replaced,
fortunately they were still under warranty, back to full power.
Now I have to figure out why they went south so quickly. June
2009, 72 volt lithium pack now gets 30 miles plus.
EV Miles
Start:22,392 Miles (36,028 Kilometers)
Current:26,554 Miles (42,725 Kilometers)
Total:4,162 Miles (6,696 Kilometers)
    As of 8/22/2013
Seating Capacity2 adults. I've tested acceleration and distance with single and
double. Having gf on back doesn't seem to make too much
difference with either acceleration or distance.
Curb Weight480 Pounds (218 Kilograms)
TiresOriginal OEM
Conversion TimeStarted beginning of January, worked 1 or 2 days a week for
several weeks converting frame, mounting motor, batteries and
controller to finally get it going on it's maiden voyage on February
20, 2008. Thought that was the hard part... noooooooo... hard
part was reassembling all the little things, blinkers, fenders,
finding the right handlebars, redoing front brake line, hunting
down a headlight, then deciding to do the right thing and have it
inspected by the State Highway Patrol to get it titled properly (ask
me about that one, long story)
Conversion CostOriginally $3000ish, now in the $6000ish range
Additional FeaturesChose to extend frame for battery tray, center of gravity is ideal.
Was watching the show Cool Fuels (August 2006) and saw the episode with ElChopper ET. Fell
in love with the idea of converting a motorcycle for $1200. Purchased plans for ElChopper ET
and went from there.

Thank you to my family to encourage me to pursue this project...all of them in their own ways.
Son Ryan was there to lend a hand often, Son Eric who was interested but school and distance
kept him from hands on (except when he came home for Easter and bent the handlebars ;-),
Daughter Shannon and son Brad for betting me I wouldn't do it, gf Sue for being a good
passenger, and Mom and Dad for all of their help.

A HUGE thank you to Dave G for his welding skills, excellent ideas, and overall great guy
status in my book. He spent many hours listening to me babble about this project, and came
up with some great ideas as we progressed. If it wasn't for him I'd still be dreaming about
converting a motorcycle to electric instead of riding it around now.

Thank you to Dave's father-in-law Jim, for welding the drive sprocket and asking his neighbor
to bore out rear sprockets.

Thanks to Duke at NAPA in Bay Village, Ohio.

Thanks to Jeff C. for making the nice fitting battery cover.

Thanks to Lynn at Anything Worth Repairing in Cleveland for the nice job on seat recovering.

Thank you to the motorcycle shops in the Cleveland area who laughed at my idea when I
asked them if they'd be interested in working on this conversion, made me even more
determined to complete it.

code by jerry