BeginningMiddleClose to the FinishPlywood Motormount
Owner's Other EV1967 Montgomery Wards Garden Mark
LocationVermont United States map
Vehicle1975 Kawasaki KZ400
MotorMars ME0709 Permanent Magnet DC
Light weight, high efficiency design.
Designed for 24-72 VDC battery operated
equipment. Capable of 300 amps peak (1
minute) and 125 amps continuous. Totally
open, fan cooled motor. Motor weight of 36
Drivetrain16T sprocket in front, 73T sprocket in the
back. Got it on ebay from a speedway
racer. #520 chain. I may switch to #40
chain in the future. I would love to
experiment with a freewheel mechanism to
enable coasting. This motorcycle does not
roll easy and this seems to defeat the
purpose. I will switch to a 17T sprocket
to gain a bit more top speed. The sprocket
is from SurplusCenter (tons of options)
and ground down to fit a 520 chain.
ControllerAlltrax Alltrax 7245
Followed the instructions and hooking it up
was doable without too much trouble.
Batteries24 CALB/Skyenergy 40Ah, 3.20 Volt, Lithium-Ion
System Voltage72 Volts
Told them what I need to charge - they sent
DC/DC Converter Something from China
searched for DCDC converter for 72V to 12V
on ebay - found it, bought it, it works.
InstrumentationCycle Analyst. Like it.
Top Speed50 MPH (80 KPH)
I wanted it to go 50mph to not become an
obstacle on the country roads but also
make it up the hills without trouble. I
might gear it to go a bit faster since the
hills are no problem at all.
AccelerationFlying up the hills! With full charge,
something to get used to but I usually ride
a bicycle or drive a small car.
Range15 Miles (24 Kilometers)
I estimated/calculated 20 miles, but the
first runs seem to indicate less range
probably due to the high speeds I have to
drive to get into town.
Watt Hours/MileNot sure yet. I will understand the Cycle
Analyst better soon to know this.
EV Miles
Current:25 Miles (40 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity1 adult
Curb Weight300 Pounds (136 Kilograms)
Seat pan, "tank", fenders, and chain guard
are fiberglass. If it was steel and it
could be replaced with a plastic or
aluminum part, I replaced it.
The weight of the original bike (as per
owner's manual) is 380 lbs fully fueled.
TiresCheap, probably Chinese; I don't go fast, I
don't go far, I travel on dry roads only.
Good enough.
Conversion Time2 years from having the idea that I want
someting like this to having it on the road
(registered, insured, inspected).
Conversion Cost~$5,000 in parts (including all parts for
conversion, the donor bike, and the parts
I needed
for it to be legal and functional). Way
too many
hours in labor. Don't do something like
this if you
want to save money or if you want it
Additional FeaturesCoolness Factor is high.
I learned a lot.
This bike is on the road since Memorial
Day 2013. I have not yet installed the BMS
(or better, it is not installed
correctly and completely) and I cannot
charge the way I would like to. It is a
fun little bike when charged fully. The
Magura Throttle is a bit twitchy but that
might be in large parts the BMS
interfering when I don't expected it to do
that. I will figure this out and update.
(UPDATE: Ditched the whole BMS system.
Charging frequently and not getting close
to draining the batteries has kept them
all nicely balanced. Charger cuts off at
the right voltage every time)
I would like to thank Chris Henwood who
has a converted Ninja in a town nearby
(found him on this site) and who helped me
A LOT to complete this project. I could
not have done it without him.
The customer service of CleanPowerAuto
(where I purchased the MiniBMS) is
Shop around for insurance. My lizard-like
car insurance company quoted me
over $400, whereas another more
"progressive" one was just under $100.
The motorcycle is named after Thomas
Davenport, blacksmith/inventor of Vermont
who constructed the first DC motor in the
US and also was one of the first to
construct a electric vehicle (locomotive).
UPDATE 2020: This motorcycle is no longer
in service. Turns out I don't enjoy riding
motorcycles as much as I thought and I
also moved too far away from work to use
it. Parts of it became a lawn mower, and
other parts of it are now used in a lawn
tractor restoration project.

code by jerry