Decisions decisions….

So I’m having second thoughts about my choice in motorcycles, because this one is starting to show how old it is. The engine bolts aren’t budging, front forks need rebuild, rear shock linkage isn’t moving, and everything is corroded.

So I’m looking online and I see there’s a non running (carbs need new o-rings) 1986 Honda VFR700F for sale for $400. I mail him and about fell off my chair when he emails me pictures of a bike that is in almost perfect condition. He tells me its got 5k miles on it, a spot on the tank that’s corroded but is in otherwise perfect physical condition. New tires, the thing looks great. He doesn’t have a title, but knows the last owner well, and said he’d contact him about it to get a replacement so he can sign it over to me.

Then he tells me he’s in SOUTHERN FLORIDA (Port St. Lucie). This isn’t good, as I’m in OEGON (Portland). I don’t think I could be further away if I tried. So I’m starting to look for places that would ship it, and nothing is below 800 bucks. So 1200 for a bike thats almost perfect, shipped to my door, that needs some work. I’m tearing the engine and stuff out of it, but damn thats a ton of money.

Then again, its going to cost a bunch to rebuild what I’ve got. Fairings are 450for it (spent 220 so far). brake calipers and master cylinders were 150. New chain is 80, new sprockets are another 50, new handlebar is another 30, fork oil is 20, seals are another 30, and thats not including new hardware to replace the bolts that are rusted to shit, sandblasting and painting the subframes. So already, to get this one running, is over 800 bucks, and it doesn’t run. I could sell this one for 250 to a local guy, sell him the 150 i’ve spent, and have a bike thats near perfect with an engine I can ebay for around 300.

So keep the FREE bike, and spend 800+ to get it ROLLING, and have an engine thats questionable


Get the bike in S. FL for ~1200, sell the free bike for ~250, parts for 150 (brakes) and fairings (230) = ~630 and basically pay ~600 for a bike in great shape. Not a bad deal. I can part out the engine and such for even more profit. I’d be converting it, but the engine would be running before I got rid of it. Who knows, maybe the engine is shot, but at least, for 600, I’d have a good almost new rolling chassis that doesn’t need to be resurected from near death.


Hit a snag

So last night I picked up where I left off last week and begun to start to remove the engine.

So there’s a problem. 4 of the 8 bolts holding the engine in are not wanting to move at all. They’re seized pretty good. I think I might see if a friend has an impact wrench. I’m beginning to see why this guy gave it to me for free. I’m not regretting it, but it is a little bit of work to get the peices off.

On a lighter note, the front and rear brakes that I ordered off ebay came in yesterday. They were in great condition actually. I’m very happy. Just going to replace a couple screws that hold the cover on the oil resevoir of the master front brake cylinder and we’ll be good to go.

Still waiting on the side panels to get here, but no hurry on those.

There’s a pristine condition VFR700F RWB in Southern Florida that would be PERFECT for this project. He said it doesn’t run because of some issue with the carbs, so its fixable. The downside is that shipping it will be $675 at the least. Its only $400. He doesn’t want to part it out. I wish I could find someone down there to get it and part it out to me. Hell, even for 1000, its a good deal. With the parts off this one, and the parts off that one, I’m sure I could get it running. That’d be cool; eVFR(Electric) and a matching icVFR(internal combustion).

Then again, there’s always going to be good deals…. *sigh*

The project begins….

To give some background, I was at work about a month ago talking with fellow engineers about the Testla Roadster and about what it would take to convert/build an electric car. I had seen people’s posting on converting, but hadn’t really read a ton on it. I started thinking, what about a motorcycle? I brought the idea up to my co-workers and it sounded like an great idea…. Little did I know, that day was the start of my project.

I posted on Craigslist, an ad looking for a sport bike rolling chassis with a blown engine. 5 people emailed me. 2 had a bike. I aquired a 1986 Honda VFR700F from him for free, with title (working on the title still). I picked it up and towed it home. The other 3 people that emailed me, were interested in my project and wanted to be kept informed about my progress.

Since then, I’ve gone to one meeting (oregon electric vehicle association) as well as a drag race at PIR (last night). I’ve met a few people along the way, all are interested in a small NEV (Neighborhood electric vehicle) convertion from a bike. I even met a guy in portland (David with who is designing AC and DC drive systems for small vehicles (like mine). This could work out great. I offered to help with design, testing and real world applications. Offer my bike as a “test bench” of sorts, and hopefully we’ll both benefit.

It may look a little rough, but the frame is straight. I’ve just ordered from ebay new brake calipers and master cylinders for the front and the rear as well as some fairing parts. I’m going to rebuilt the front forks, and then she’s ready for stage 2 of the project; Calculating the needed speed/torque from the motor, so I can chose a matching motor for the application. Before I met David, I was planning on a DC drive system. Now, I might be considering AC with full regen capability and programmability.

My plan (BD, Before David):

  • 6 Sealed Lead acid batteries (SLA
  • Alltrax DC controller
  • PM132 or Etek motor
  • Custom built PIC controller with LCD to monitor the batteries and controller

My plan now:

  • 6 SLA batteries
  • Symkromotive AC controller (in development)
  • DC brushless motor
  • Synkromotive management system (in development)

So thats it for today. Going to start tearing it apart this week, Then I should be able to get the weight of the chassis, add the weight of 6 batteries and motor and controller to get the total weight including rider.