Scooter Conversion

From go-karts and bicycles to electric eskies and kids scooters.
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Cajun1958
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Real Name: Paul Rowe
Location: Townsville QLD

Scooter Conversion

Post by Cajun1958 » Sat, 08 Aug 2009, 18:04

Hi, I come to this forum in hope that someone can give me some clear advice. I currently own a Beta Eikon 50cc scooter (http://www.mcnews.com.au/Testing/Beta/E ... efault.htm) and can't get parts here in Oz. The poor thing is at the end of its life and I was looking at replacing it with another noisy 50cc petrol guzzler (although it doesn't really), but became interested in an electric scooter. Having searched the net I can't seem to find any place in Oz that sells them (ones that can be registered and used on the road that is). I then thought about converting my Eikon to electric and without any idea where to start thought someone may be able to either direct me towards a company that sells electric road scooters or how do I go about converting my existing one. Sorry to ramble on.

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Simon
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Post by Simon » Sat, 08 Aug 2009, 18:32

Hi Cajun
To convert a scooter I think is not as easy as a motorcycle. One option is to run a electric motor through the CVT or instead you can replace the ICE/CVT swingarm assembly with a custom swingarm and then use a hub motor. Which is what the commercial EV scooters use.
Here are some road registered scooters:
EVT

Nope tragic name but they are located in Qld. Image

Swei

Emax

Vectrix

Cajun1958
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Scooter Conversion

Post by Cajun1958 » Sat, 08 Aug 2009, 19:09

Hi Simon, thanks for the prompt response. Wow, I am didn't realise their were so many dealers around. Mr Google let me down!! Guess it would be easier to buy a new scooter vice trying to convert my old faithful. Just hope these electric scooter companies don't leave me in the same state I find myself with the Beta... unable to get parts, but guess being Electric it is less likely to need parts Image

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Sun, 09 Aug 2009, 03:52

Welcome to the forum Cajun1958

OEM electric scooters have their own quirks.

I have yet to see an electric bike from *any* manufacturer with a BMS, that does balancing and monitoring at the cell level.

If you dont mind waiting a few months i have a contact whos importing Emax 110s scooters (60Ah 48v lead acid battery, 4000w motor).
Build quality is good (except for the lack of BMS and use of lead), though its pricey (around $6k i think he wants).

the orignal Emax (sport with 1500w motor) and the swei can be had cheaper, though im not a fan of their parralleling of lead acid batteries to put it mildly.
Also the motor mounting is poor (just a groove cut into the axle for counter torque).
The speedo on the emax has a service life of around 4'000km, i gave up on mine.
the speedo on the swei is far from accurate, unless they have changed things recently.
cost is around $2k for either scooter

The Vectrix battery pack can be run in stock form without BMS, but takes some mucking around. you need a motorbike licence for this scooter.
you can get a vectrix for around $8k these days, but the manufacturer is bankrupt, so this may not last.

I dont have much knowledge with the rest of the scooters.

id suggest having a look through this forum to get an idea of the relative quality of various scooters.

Matt

EDIT fixed link
Last edited by antiscab on Sat, 08 Aug 2009, 17:54, edited 1 time in total.
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

Cajun1958
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Post by Cajun1958 » Sun, 09 Aug 2009, 17:24

Matt, thanks for your very informative response. Unfortunately I suffer from ignorance when it comes to some of the technical aspects of electronics and associated acronyms. Having said that I read your post with interest particularly pointing me towards the other international forum that certainly goes into some depth. Interesting about Vectrix... scratch them from my list!!. I hear what you say about speedo's... funny that is what has happened to my Beta (and of course I can't get it fixed... no spares support in Oz). Anyway, will keep trolling through the V is for Voltage forums and wait out on your advice on the Emax 110, although the price tag compared to the Swei is a bit off putting. Only need it to get to and from work each day...

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Sun, 09 Aug 2009, 21:37

yeh i hear what you're saying about the old emax and the swei.

i owned 2 of the original emax scooters.
first one was run into a bench post by a mate, so that wasnt the scooters fault.
second one i did 18'000km (and it still goes).

to get the second one to be reliable enough to have a decent service life i had to:
change the batteries to lithium (costs around AUS$1400 these days for a 48v 40Ah pack + BMS, i spent $AUS 3k)
reinforce the motor mounting (costs around $200 if you get your favourite boiler maker to do it)
attach accurate fuel guage (cycle analyst does it for AUS$ 200)

the cycle analyst can also act as a speedo, though i never got around to using it as one.

both the vectrix and new emax speedos are completely digital and very reliable.
the new emax has a digital display that shows pack voltage and discharge current.
the fuel guage on all scooters mentioned (except vectrix) are just over-glorified volt meters.

even with required mods, both the old emax and swei work out cheaper.

the old emax that are still for sale are old stock from the failed distributor. they were all manufactured in 2006, so the batteries may not be in all that good a nick.

the swei scooters are still in manufacture IIRC.

the old emax has contactors on the battery side, as well as a precharge circuit, where as the swei does not. So i tend to recommend the old emax over the swei.
That and the old emax battery boxes are more accomadating of a lithium upgrade.

both old emax and swei chasis were originally designed for a petrol scooter. The battery boxes have just been welded on, so they are of odd shapes.
the new emax was intended from the start to be an EV, so the battery box is huge and central. (i could fit 28 x 40AH cells in there)

If you are planning on staying at 60kmh, and with slow acceleration, get an emax or swei (second hand might be better since you have to replace the stuff that wears out anyway)

If you are planning on upgrading at some point (more speed, more power etc) get the new emax. It has bigger better tires, more battery space, better build quality, etc.

do spend some time reading through all the posts re the scooter models that are available here, over at visforvoltage, before spending money :)

Matt
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

Dougwarby
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Scooter Conversion

Post by Dougwarby » Mon, 10 Aug 2009, 16:29

Hi Matt

Have just joined this forum as I have been looking around for an electric scooter for a while. Given that I live in Wangaratta, Victoria, I have had to get a motorbike learners permit but where I live is ideal as it is flat, I have 10km to commute to work and the same back again. I have looked at the emcaustralia website which sells the e-max scooters which sound very good, however they do not respond to any emails or phone calls so I am assuming they have stopped trading. You mentioned you know someone who may be importing these scooters, do you have any other details about this? The 110S looks a good one for my purposes however there is a Queensland dealer who sells the NOPE J50 but it is not as powerful. I know in WA these scooters are speed limited to max 50kph, but is that able to be changed in Victoria where I will have a full motorbike licence? DO you know if the Lithium models may be imported as well? (140L) regards Doug

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Mon, 10 Aug 2009, 20:55

Hi Doug,

the speed limit here in WA is actually 60kmh for the moped class (contrary to what the emc guys say).
Reason most (electric) scooters are restricted to 50kmh is because they were originally designed for the EU market, where the limit i 45kmh.
To get 60kmh, (for the emax ones at least) the scooters are shipped with a motor wound for a higher speed (less V/rpm).

By increasing the pack voltage to 60v, and de-restriction of the controller, 70kmh should be possible (costs around $1900)

80kmh should be possible with a new controller and a 72v pack. (costs around $3000)

im playing around with an emax 90s atm, with the new distributor. Sorta seeing what the limits are.

unfortunately the emax factory takes a dim view of modifications, and voids the warranty on *everything* when you do any modifications (even if just changing the pack chemistry, and not the voltage).
Though this is true of all electric scooter manufacturers.

The lithium E-max models at present don't exist (aside from on the internet)
last i checked they were still in development (testing various cells and BMS), and are now waiting on a new chasis type, one that fits lots more battery.
The biggest battery the present chasis will hold is 28 x 40Ah cells (89.6v, 3.5kwh)
The 190L will be developed before any of the cheaper lithium models.

Theo is the guy to talk to re getting a new emax: theomarshall@westnet dot com dot au .

re the NOPE J50, i haven't had any experience, nor have i heard anything from *any* NOPE customers.

looking at their specs, they quote a battery of 1.5kwh capacity. assuming its all usable (as in its a nominal 48v 40AH pack), range would be 30km, with 40km possible with significant wear on the battery.

mounting method on the motor seems to be the same as every other cheap (to the distributor) electric scooter ive seen. re-inforcing of the motor mounting would probably be necessary.

Im not a huge fan of 10" tyres. Not because of the size itself, rather the quality of tyre that can be bought.
The 13" size is the smallest used on full size motorbikes (cruisers), so there are far better quality tyres available in the 13" size than in the 10" size.

I had many flat tyres on my original emax, though that could be just be riding through an industrial area several times a day.

Matt

EDIT: corrected theos email address
Last edited by antiscab on Wed, 12 Aug 2009, 23:25, edited 1 time in total.
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

Cajun1958
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Joined: Sat, 08 Aug 2009, 17:56
Real Name: Paul Rowe
Location: Townsville QLD

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Post by Cajun1958 » Tue, 11 Aug 2009, 00:05

Hi All
Got a response back from Nope and it seems they may have stock and available to ship. They can be contacted on: info@ecomotionconcepts.com.au

Also got a response from EVT, but that was less promising... no stock until later on this year.

Still considering the conversion of my Beta, but will need to brush up on the technical aspects of EV before I even commence (and of course find the right parts).

Is their a book or site that is specific to conversions (with pictures!!! Image )

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Simon
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Post by Simon » Tue, 11 Aug 2009, 02:19

There are a couple of books
Convert It and Build your own Electric Vehicle
Both good books but they deal with car conversions.
A motorbike book is Secrets of El Ninja
As antiscab said the V is for Voltage forums are a good place to look at scooters.

Dougwarby
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Post by Dougwarby » Tue, 11 Aug 2009, 13:48

Thanks Matt for your informative reply.
You obviously understand the technical aspects of these scooters a zillion times more than I do. I just want something that is available, reliable, servicable, repairable and just 'works'
I have emailed Theo as you suggested but perhaps it is just a waiting game at present, it sounds like the available scooters , even the NOPE J50 would not quite cut it for me. The dealer of the SWEI scooter quoted me a freight cost of around $1000 anyway just to ship one to Victoria. I might just keep an eye on these forums and the other site you suggested. Perhaps EVT in Victoria will stock something that might suit me in the near future, but I won't hold my breath waiting. It amazes me that these days this type of technology is not already widely available as for many people all they need is a small electric vehicle capable of a range of about 40 -50 km a day and max speed of about 60 kph. That is all that I want, but I guess the Vectrix experience shows that if the product is just too expensive it will not take off.
I guess you would not be recommending getting a Vectrix just now because the support may not be there in future although perhaps prices on remaining stock may be discounted?

Looks like I'll have to keep adding my share of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere for a while yet (I figure if I am going electric then I am to some degree helping as I have paid for 100 % 'green power' for some years now.

kind regards Doug

Dougwarby
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Post by Dougwarby » Thu, 13 Aug 2009, 05:43

Hi Matt

I emailed   theomarshall@westnet.net.au about the e-max 110S as you suggested but it bounced back. Are you sure thi is correct email address?

regards Doug

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Thu, 13 Aug 2009, 09:24

ah, no, looks like i made a typo ( i shouldve just used copy paste)
sorry

the correct address is theomarshall@westnet.com.au

Matt
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Tue, 18 Aug 2009, 10:40

having another look at the NOPE J70 neo....it looks alot like an XM-3500
just with lower specifications.

another forum that has a rather large user base who ride/use scooters is the endless-sphere forums

Matt
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

Dougwarby
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Real Name: Doug Gaze
Location: Wangaratta, Vic

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Post by Dougwarby » Tue, 18 Aug 2009, 18:43

Hi Matt

I got onto Theo OK this time, thanks. I think I will wait till the e-max 110S is available. The NOPE J70 is not going to be imported, I contacted the dealer in Queensland about it

kind regards Doug Gaze

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Mon, 31 Aug 2009, 11:40

a few things ive recently become aware of:

The 60kmh limit for scooter in WA is only a licencing limit (all of\ther states with the "car rule" the limit is 50kmh).

Under the ADRs, a scooter can be either complianced as a LA category, or if it has sufficient brakes and suspension, an LC class.

The LA class has a speed limit of 50kmh. The LC class has no speed limit as its the "full" motorbike class.

This means, that a LA complianced scooter in WA can only be legally used up to 50kmh. if it is capable of accelerating to above 50kmh, it is deemed to be illegally modified (and your insurance is void and so on).

To be able to do the full 60kmh on a car licence, the bike needs to be limited to 60kmh, less than 50cc *and* be complianced as an LC class motorbike.

The ramification for electric scooters, is that once LC complianced, later modification for much higher top speed is legal) as long as it goes through the same modifcation process as car conversions, and you have a bike licence).

The same would be true of petrol scooters, just i havent seen any 50cc scooter frames capable of supporting a bigger engine.

This means that my emax sport which has done 70kmh for ages, is actually rather illegal (LA class) - oops

So if you live in WA, and buying a scooter, always ask if its been complianced as an LA or LC class bike. this information is on the VIN tag.

Matt
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

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Richo
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Post by Richo » Tue, 01 Sep 2009, 08:08

The Pagsta Roadsta I have is LA class as stamped on the tag on the frame.
The 50cc engine would fit in a hand.
But the transmission is massive.
So direct drive removes most of the weight and size.

So I can only get it upto 50km/hr when passing pits for eV mod?
I don't have my bike licence so I will have to be illegal Image
If the sun's not up turn your lights ON - duh! Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!!

antiscab
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Post by antiscab » Tue, 01 Sep 2009, 08:35

even if you did have a bike licence, itd still no longer be in the ADR LA category.

you might be able to get it past an inspection, but i would check first Image

Matt
Matt
2008 Mazda 2 - EV Shop convert
2011 Blade Electron mk6
2007 vectrix - 117'000km
1993 Electrolux - needs batt and charger
1998 Prius - needs batt
1999 Prius - needs batt

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Richo
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Post by Richo » Tue, 01 Sep 2009, 09:37

Well if I can limit it's speed to 50km/hr.
And well it would be under 50cc.
Then it should comply with the LA class.

Even so before conversion one of the application to modify form has to be completed.
The response from this should give an indication if it is still valid to the LA class.

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No batteries Image
If the sun's not up turn your lights ON - duh! Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!!

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