After witnessing many people drive electric vehicles for the first time, I have become very familiar with the “EV grin”. This is always accompanied after a first drive or ride, most people have nothing but complements of how the vehicle performed and cant wipe the smile off their face. We give first time EV rides at our “EV shows” around the state, we do these to help spread the word of how real, and viable electric transportation is. The best way to convince a person is to give them a first hand experience, after that they will spread word of their amazing experience.
A fellow racer and gear-head friend of mine, Kyle Rieth, was so convinced after riding my Zion motorcycle a few times, he knew that he wanted the same experience for him self. Kyle is also an avid energy inventor, and is always needing a “test bed” to experiment with, the electric katana will make an excellent one. After a seemingly long search he finally found a good doner motorcycle, a 1996 Suzuki Katana.
The Katana had a hard life, it was used as a stunt-bike for a while and many small trim parts were broken or missing. The gas engine was losing compression and would not start or run. But the Motorcycle had new tires, good brakes, and the frame, fork and swing-arm were all there and straight, and this is all we really cared about.
The next day, Kyle had the entire motorcycle stripped down to a bare workable frame rolling frame. Kyle had been doing his home work, and talking a lot with me about what kind of performance and range he wants to achieve. This helps to prevent from purchasing and installing under performing parts that you will be disappointed with.
Kyle has purchased a D&D series wound motor and a 450-amp Kelly controller. To power this he has decided to use six, 12 volt, 50 Ah sealed lead acid batteries, making a 72 volt 3600Kw battery pack! The lower frame will have to be significantly modified to accept the batteries, but fabrication is his forte, so this should not be a problem.
Kyle has made substantial progress on the Katana, and should have it ready to ride well before the snow flies, I will keep updates on his conversion as major parts are installed.