Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

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Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:44 am

As some of you know we have been working out of Calfee Design on a Power Systems Division.


We are about to put together a poll to determine what people want to see as an upgrade to their 2012 to 2017 Zero Motorcycle.
Anything from turn-key install, to a kit, to pieces and parts, to support.


We are also looking at providing power systems to those not on the Zero platform already.
Here are some of the options we have prototypes of:


1) Upgrade an existing Base Model Zero

You remove your motor and Sevcon Gen 4 size 4 controller and ship to us as a core charge.
We return a new programmed Sevcon Gen 4 size 6 controller
We return a professionally machined motor to handle the additional power
We provide mounting provisions, basic install guide, and limited support
As an option we can provide a "reverse switch" pigtail
As an option we can provide a "Variable Regen" pigtail

This modification can turn an S into an SR and an FX into a monster.
All original Zero functionality preserved including the MBB


2) Roll your own power system that is clean

We have a Sevcon harness that eliminates the Zero MBB for those running other applications
Harness is connectorized to expand to any form factor and IP67
We can provide Sevcon Gen 4 size 4 or size 6 controllers programmed for the Zero motor
If you have a Size 4 programmed for a different motor we can move this over to a size 6 for you
We have very early prototype batteries (that is some months out) - think carbon fiber and modular
We can program any aspect of the Sevcon and harness any functionality required or desired
We can support you in tuning and further modification.

We are currently funded through grass roots effort
We may consider Kick-Starting or otherwise attracting investment

We have working prototypes, pictures, videos.
We have a motor dyno running
We have commissioning for Sin/Cos encoders running
We have tooling for the OEM connectors and a pilot production line
We have an OEM arrangement with Sevcon and parts suppliers

We have several customer projects going including a strip-down version of the Zero
* CA on the handlebars
* New harness eliminating the proprietary equipment
* Pin compatible with existing zero gear (like the battery, motor, controller, and accessories)
* Different battery form factor in Carbon Fiber

I come from Aerospace (10 years) so I completely understand the rigor and requirements of harnessing and connectors. We can not only meet but easily exceed existing OEM quality.

-methods
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby Doctorbass » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:09 pm

That is an excellent New Methods!

EV builder need that kind of service!!

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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby MrDude_1 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:12 pm

How do you machine the motor to deal with additional power?
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:14 pm

We have spent a long time working on the project... especially building confidence in our ability to manage the Sevcon... and building tools to qualify modified motors. We had a lot of help along the way from members of the Electric Revolution. Could not have gotten anywhere without their help.

We still have limited data on how the drilled motors will hold up over decades. Of course... oil filled will see fewer corrosion issues... and the master himself prefers oil cooled for obvious reasons... but my belief, based on our findings here, is that technology will outrun the current motor designs before people can extract maximum value from them in the time domain.

I.E.

Have fun now, as these power systems are only going to get better, faster, cheaper. I would not hesitate to get into modification of the motor and controller as I am pretty sure the batteries will cycle out before the motor fails... and we are working on follow-on batteries as we speak.

Performance:
I have experience riding an FX with the big motor and a size 6. It rips hard, way harder than OEM. Reasonably light too... thanks to Doug up at UP Garage for giving me that opportunity. Doug came by Zero when I worked there and gave me a hell of a test ride on the frontage road. Pfffttt.... fun bike.

I also now have a Ghetto SR in my garage... and that thing will kick the tail out. To me it is big and heavy - but... I prefer a hybrid between a bike and a BIKE. That said... the (G)SR is also complements of Doug from UP Garage. Nobody has kicked ass as much as Doug where it comes to jumping in with both feet, laying ground work, and making the big mods.

As for modding... you know doc...
In my day we spent BIG BUCKS just to get 5% here and 10% there with the ICE engines.
With these electric power plants... a 50% power increase is achievable for a fraction of the cost.
I am sure you spent crazy amounts of money building systems back in your day. Remember filling everything with dynomat and expanding foam only to have the windows rattle :mrgreen:

You know me... I love power, acceleration, and performance that extends beyond my comfort level. A machine like that is ALWAYS fun to ride.

Lets see how it goes.
The Zero modification program is just one part.
Providing reliable high performing systems for other platforms is also a primary objective.

-methods
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:21 pm

MrDude_1 wrote:How do you machine the motor to deal with additional power?


There are a lot of different ways to do it... but effectively the same way we do with the hub motors.
Drilling or machining the end plates allows the motor to breath... like a centrifugal fan... air gets thrown out at the outer diameter and drawn in at the inner... allowing far greater cooling of the internal and external components than a sealed design.

The concept of using oil is the same in that it draws heat from the internal components and transfers them to the external... with the key being GET THE HEAT OUT. We cant easily improve the efficiency of the motors, but we can easily improve the *power handing* or thermal capabilities to manage the efficiency as power levels go up.

We are still getting the Dyno power up to a level where we can quantify exactly how much more power you can handle at the top end and how much longer run time (before overheat) you can see with poor ducting... but the data we currently have shows significantly cooler running with air cooling. Basically, we cant overheat the motor without overheating other parts of the system first... which starts the standard upgrade race you see in any aftermarket effort.

We are at this moment going from Anderson SB120's up to SB175's on the way to SB350's... as the square of current develops in vulnerable places like connectors. But - thats another story. Upgrades for another time.

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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby briantrice » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:26 pm

I'm interested! I'm in SF and can drop a bike off for local work if that's suitable.

Honestly, I'd prioritize the control features like reverse, regen, and CA install over performance, but let's talk.
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:40 pm

Thats the sort of feedback we are looking for.

When I went out riding on an FX this summer the lack of reverse was asinine (for lack of a better term). Compounding the issue was additional drag on the bike, perhaps due to modified wheel drag settings. It made it such that I had to wrestle the bike. Wrestling big heavy things is not my favorite.

Variable Regen - I suspect it did not make it onto the bike because they wanted to preserve the motorcycle feel... or the ethos. Dont know... but I SURE would like to be able to hammer on the regen when I want to. Does not need to be unexpected in a corner.. but decelerating in a straight line... in an EV... why would the brakes be priority? I understand rear wheel lockup issues, rain... playing it safe I suppose. It will no doubt take some getting used to doing primary rear wheel braking. In truth, on my bike, I use very little rear brake unless I am trying to stop super fast or on dirt, sand, or something slippery. (I am not a motorcycle rider FYI.. I am an Ebiker... so more may be revealed... and why we are probing you)

We want feedback from racers, cruisers, old guys, young guys, nerds, enthusiasts, hyper-milers, motor smokers...

When we discussed having folks pull the motor and controller, then handle the install themselves... I brought up having bikes dropped off. Now... of course... that involves a whole different level of safety, capabilities, liability... We know many motorcycle mechanics. Even Zero specific mechanics being that we are in town with Zero. I can wrench a motorcycle but likely would try and schedule a professional for the job, which means some added expense. We would then require procedures, safety check, etc... but its not that complicated of a procedure. I have pulled motors and controllers and installed motors and controllers.

As far as having a CA...

Even if it is not a CA, the Zero UX is sorry as hell for an EV. Its like they wanted to pretend it was a normal motorcycle. The User Interface is the spot to educate and excite people about the new metrics for performance. Watt Hours per Mile... Miles per Hour Charge rate... Amp Hours... Watt hours... this is language that needs to be as common as "Reality TV Show" in every home in the world. We will VERY SOON have micro power plants in our towns, on our roofs, in our back yards, and .... nearly all of our mechanisms will be electric... its time for people to understand the tools that are serving them.

MPH... or miles per charge... is almost a loaded term. I can ride an EV at 23wh/mile or at 230wh/mile
Same EV.... but an order of magnitude different range.

Acceleration
Cruising speed
Aerodynamics
Vehicle weight
Terrain

So much to understand in there. Its going to be a bright future when we get away from the lumbering 4,000lb contained explosion machines and start talking about serious changes to our lifestyle, economy, and sustainability moving forward.

So yea... a little more data on a Zero Motorcyle is called for. I dont really want to just see that I have "a tank" or "an 1/8th tank". It gives me range anxiety.

The cure to range anxiety is understanding the factors that dictate range.

And in closing... the coolest thing about an EV.... is that you can have V12 performance with 3 cylinder efficiency... all in the same package.
No compromise.

-methods
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:54 pm

Clarification on motor wear based on a PM concern:

Upgrading to a size 6 will not shorten the life of your motor in and of itself.
Its actually a transparent transition if you "keep your foot out of it" - no difference.
Things that make a motor fail prematurely are primarily Heat and natural causes.

Heat is managed though electronics and added cooling... heat can destroy a motor quickly (burnt wingdings), indirectly (demagnetizing magnets... ), and thermal cycling this is tough on them. The Sevcon is programmed to roll back power on a thermal ramp so other than *rate* of change of temperature... there should be no issues here.

Natural causes would be things like rust, corrosion, etc... and that would be from exposure to salt air, salt spray from roads, etc. But that is more of an issue that can arise from exposure to elements and not the increased power level. One can increase the power level and not drill or oil the motor... but that will lead to quicker overheating in performance situations.

We dont actually have evidence at this point that a drilled motor will have a shorter service life than an undrilled motor... ESPECIALLY IF YOU JUST SPRAY A LITTLE INHIBITOR IN THERE ONCE A WEEK OR ONCE A MONTH.

I know Zero really wants to sell the no maintenance thing... but... EV's require maintenance. Its just different maintenance and it is clean and easy. Who cant spritz the equivalent of some WD40 into the side of their motor once a month?

A little maintenance goes a long way toward avoiding corrosion issues.

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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby Jay64 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:22 am

When I was racing my S in '13 we added a size 6 and quickly ran into heating issues. We drilled the end plates in a way that sounds very similar to how you describe. It made a big difference. I tested out an oil cooling method and that made an even bigger difference. Would be interesting to see how those mods effect the new motors.
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Re: Zero Motorcycle Upgrade Package - Drilled motor + Size 6

Postby methods » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:03 pm

Some news on Sevcon:

http://www.aftermarketnews.com/borgwarn ... re-sevcon/


We have seen no cooling, air cooling, aggressive air cooling, passive oil cooling, and pumped-oil cooling.
The motors with seals are easier to experiment with for oil... the unsealed motors work but likely will not fly on the track without a catch pan of some sort.

The pumped oil application was running a Honda Insight of a single 75-7.

I think the clear win for going BIG (thinking Lightning power levels) will be a liquid cooling system.
I think that for simpler, lighter weight, retrofit, and existing 100V systems air will suffice.

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