Electric chopper trike build journal

Show off your E-Scooter or Motorcycle creation here.
cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 12 2018 10:43am

John in CR wrote:
Mar 12 2018 7:57am
It's coming along nicely. With those big motors and the heavy load you want to beef up the dropouts, and if you plan to use regen braking a clamping type arrangement is necessary to prevent the motor axle from rocking back and forth and wallowing out the dropouts as well as deform the axle flats.
Excellent point John. Fortunately, QS Motors (the maker of these hub motors) includes torque plates designed specifically for these wheels and axles. The QS axles have a squared off section on each end and the QS torque plates are machined to fit very precisely around that squared off section to prevent the kind of movement and rotation you are talking about. The torque plates are bolted directly to drop out plate. I discussed the necessity of these torque plates in my Feb 27 post regarding "Swing Arm Fabrication" but I did fail to include a good photo showing the installed torque plates. So here are a couple shots with the red arrow indicating the installed plates on the inside and outside of each axle.

Image

Image

SlowCo   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 912
Joined: Jan 05 2015 5:43pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by SlowCo » Mar 12 2018 11:20am

Wow, you're working fast!
I'd almost think building this trike is a day job for you. Great pace and great result 8)

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 12 2018 11:47am

SlowCo wrote:
Mar 12 2018 11:20am
I'd almost think building this trike is a day job for you. Great pace and great result 8)
You might be right. It IS almost a day job for me...I'm retired. So I get to spend a good part of my day out in the shop.

John in CR   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 13510
Joined: May 20 2008 12:58am
Location: Paradise

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by John in CR » Mar 12 2018 11:18pm

There's always play in the factory torque plates. It would require a press on fit to avoid it and make an axle tight even during regen. While factory supplied torque plates will prevent an axle spin failure with big hubbies, if you use regen braking you will hear a distinctive click that will progressively get worse as the axle and plate start to deform. The supplied torque plates are made of something harder than mild steel, so they're definitely better than nothing. If there's one for each side of the motor, that's good and you can make the bolt holes that secure them oriented so each is tight against the axle in opposite directions. I never bother thoough, since it's simple and straight forward to make a nice tight dropout with a half inch or more of steel (for me the min thickness is the thickness of the axle at the flats, probably 15mm in your case) and then make them clamp tightly to the axle with a strong bolt. Then no click from the beginning after you get on the juice after regen braking, and if a click develops down the road, you know to tighten the bolt a bit more.

I don't know if QS still does it, but axle flats on different planes have been the norm for big hubbies, which can complicate things when it comes to making the wheel removable to change a tire or fix a flat. Relatively short dropouts like you have make it easier, though to me short dropouts make a clamping bolt even more important to me as security that some horrible unavoidable pothole combined with braking force can't pop the axle out of the dropout.

Once you get a taste of electric with the trike, you'll quickly dream up a 2 wheeler with similar motors and lithium batteries to decrease weight and increase range. On that one you're sure to go the clamping dropout route, because not only does regen add range, but it changes an EV to a zero maintenance vehicle as brake pads last a decade or more. Keep air in the tires and remember to charge the batteries and an overbuilt hubmotored vehicle that isn't under-powered can be maintenance free for a decade or more with good batteries run conservatively...and I'm not talking about the lead anchors that will suck performance and limit range with your starter trike.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 12 2018 11:47pm

John in CR wrote:
Mar 12 2018 11:18pm
If there's one for each side of the motor, that's good and you can make the bolt holes that secure them oriented so each is tight against the axle in opposite directions.
Yes, QS supplies four torque plates so one for each side of each motor. And I'll incorporate your recommendation to keep the plates tightened in opposite directions (to hopefully reduce/eliminate movement). Also good advice to be on the lookout for any clicking nose as the wheels axles start getting broken in. BTW, I WILL be using the regen capabilities of the Kelly controllers...so even more need to be aware of possible axle movement over time. For the time being I'm sticking with the QS supplied plates. If issues develop I'll pursue the 1/2" thick plates you have described.
John in CR wrote:
Mar 12 2018 11:18pm

Once you get a taste of electric with the trike, you'll quickly dream up a 2 wheeler with similar motors and lithium batteries to decrease weight and increase range.
Unfortunately the benefits of a 2 wheeler are not an option for me. I have some ear/balance issues which make riding any 2 wheeler over 20 mph risky business. But better batteries in a three wheeler might be in the cards someday if it turns out I get as much use out of this vehicle as I think I will.

John in CR   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 13510
Joined: May 20 2008 12:58am
Location: Paradise

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by John in CR » Mar 13 2018 9:40pm

cboy wrote:
Mar 12 2018 11:47pm
...if it turns out I get as much use out of this vehicle as I think I will.
If you're anything like me, you'll be looking for excuses to go run errands with it.

With the quite short swingarms you are likely to get some very different rear suspension action, anti-squat (jacking at the pivot) during acceleration and anti-dive during regen braking. I've only seen one person complain about it, but it is something to be aware of, though with those heavy lead batteries it may not happen at all.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 13 2018 10:27pm

Mounting the Heat Sinks and Controllers


It may seems a bit early in the trike’s progress to by mounting electrical components, but the controllers not only pose a size factor, they must also be positioned so that all the wire harnesses will reach, they can be properly protected from the elements and they will not interfere with any of the other main components of the trike yet to be fabricated. The controllers will be positioned just above the battery box and will be covered by the deck lid which will be constructed later.

Two support bars are cut from 1x2x.090 rectangular tubing and they are bolted in the battery box so that they are removable (see arrows in Photo below) The bars serve a dual purpose. First, they lock in the batteries so they can not come loose in the event of an accident. And second, they provide mounting support for the controllers/heat sinks as well as other electrical components which will be located under the rear deck lid.

Image

Brackets to mount the heat sinks to the bars are cut from 1 1/4″ angle iron.

Image

The brackets are bolted to the pre drilled holes in the heat sink.

Image

The heat sink with brackets bolted on is then positioned and clamped in place so that the mounting brackets can be tack welded to the outer perimeter of the battery box and to the inner support bar. (See arrows in Photo below showing the heat sink brackets welded in place)

Image

The heat sinks are temporarily bolted in place.

Image

And the controllers are bolted to the heat sinks.

Image

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 14 2018 12:43am

John in CR wrote:
Mar 13 2018 9:40pm

If you're anything like me, you'll be looking for excuses to go run errands with it.
Yup. I built a 1000 Watt trike a couple years ago and that one goes out 6 days a week. I take my two dogs running with it...about 5-7 miles a day. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning, they both head for the back door to line up for the fun. BTW, that trike build journal can be seen here Just scroll toward the bottom of the page and click on the 1000 W trike link. My web site also has build journals for some of the adaptive trikes I've fabricated for special needs kids in our school district.

User avatar
Chalo   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7139
Joined: Apr 29 2009 11:29pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by Chalo » Mar 14 2018 1:36am

cboy wrote:
Mar 14 2018 12:43am
BTW, that trike build journal can be seen [no way]
Your link gave me a malicious popup and I had to close the browser window to get rid of it. I'd like to look at your build, but not that much.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 25097
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by amberwolf » Mar 14 2018 3:12am


User avatar
Chalo   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7139
Joined: Apr 29 2009 11:29pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by Chalo » Mar 14 2018 3:33am

amberwolf wrote:
Mar 14 2018 3:12am
They're also on instructables:
Swell. It was actually Instructables that spammed me with a scareware page that it wouldn't let me back out of. I had to close the browser window again.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 25097
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by amberwolf » Mar 14 2018 4:01am

Sorry...I use Firefox with noscript and adblockplus so I don't get any of that crap. ;)

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 14 2018 10:10am

Chalo wrote:
Mar 14 2018 1:36am
cboy wrote:
Mar 14 2018 12:43am
BTW, that trike build journal can be seen [no way]
Your link gave me a malicious popup and I had to close the browser window to get rid of it. I'd like to look at your build, but not that much.
Chalo, Did that pop up occur on my original link (hotrodjalopy.com) or only when you clicked on the link to Instructables? If it was my site I need to figure out what caused it...because there should be nothing there with any sort of pop ups. Bottom line, sorry for the nasty experience.

User avatar
Chalo   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7139
Joined: Apr 29 2009 11:29pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by Chalo » Mar 14 2018 1:37pm

cboy wrote:
Mar 14 2018 10:10am
Chalo, Did that pop up occur on my original link (hotrodjalopy.com) or only when you clicked on the link to Instructables?
It was only Instructables. I linked to it from the bottom of your page, and from Amberwolf's post, and from my browser history, with the same results each time.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 14 2018 2:15pm

Chalo wrote:
Mar 14 2018 1:37pm
cboy wrote:
Mar 14 2018 10:10am
Chalo, Did that pop up occur on my original link (hotrodjalopy.com) or only when you clicked on the link to Instructables?
It was only Instructables. I linked to it from the bottom of your page, and from Amberwolf's post, and from my browser history, with the same results each time.
Still nasty for you to run into that, but I'm a little relieved to hear it wasn't caused by my site. Thanks for the details.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 16 2018 8:47pm

Rear Deck Lid

Now that the position and height of the controllers and heat sinks have been established, a rear deck lid/battery box cover can be constructed using 1x1x.065 square tubing. Note that there is an indentation in the front portion of the deck lid. This space is needed so that the seat back will be able to recline into the deck lid.

Image

The deck lid is then test fit on the battery box. Note that the controllers are still bolted in place to insure there is proper clearance with the deck lid. Also note the indentation in the front of the lid where the seat back will recline.

Image

And a view of the deck lid from the rear being checked for proper fit.

Image

The lid is hinged using common steel door hinges. However, the hinges must be cut down and then re-drilled so that the mounting bolt holes will line up properly with the 1×1 tubing of the battery box and deck lid. An original hinge is shown on the right and the cut down version on the left.

Image


To mount the hinges flat on the surface of the battery box and have them operate properly, spacers are cut from ½ x 1/16″ flat stock and welded to the back side of the steel hinge.

Image

Bolt holes are drilled through the hinges and tubing and the hinges are secured to the battery box and deck lid. (See arrows in Photo below).

Image

With the hinges in place the rear deck lid can be swung to the open position.

Image

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Mar 23 2018 10:30pm

Mounting the Cargo Case

The cargo case from the donor Kawasaki will be mounted on the deck lid and will also serve as a portion of the seat’s back rest. The Kawasaki was equipped with an adjustable sliding base which will be used on the new trike to provide some flexibility in the positioning of the cargo case and allow for a bit of fudge factor when the rest of the seat is constructed later. The slider base is a little too long to fit in the deck lid so the front legs will be cut off approximately at the red arrows.

Image

Rear mounting brackets for attaching the case to the base are made by welding flat stock to angle iron.

Image

The front of the base frame will bolt directly to a cross member in the deck lid and will not need mounting brackets. Photo below shows the underside of the installed slider frame. The rear mounting brackets are indicated by the red arrows and front mounting bolts are indicated by the white arrows. In this photo you can also see the slider release mechanism which allows the case to be moved forward or backward.

Image

The installed slider frame from the top.

Image


The cargo case can now be bolted to the slider frame.

Image

The deck lid now swings open with the cargo case attached.

Image

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Apr 22 2018 6:12pm

Creating the Seat Back/Back Support

I am using the passenger seat from the Kawasaki donor as a seat back/back rest on the new trike. The underside of the seat back is formed plastic with four threaded bolt receivers fused into the plastic. These will be used for attaching to an adjustable bracket which will then be mounted to the frame of the trike.

Image

Four mounting tabs are cut from angle iron and drilled for bolts and two mounting rails are also cut from angle iron and drilled for bolts.

Image

An adjuster arm is cut from 1/4″ flat stock and drilled with a series of adjustment holes. This will allow the angle of the seat back to be altered for the most comfortable riding position.

Image

The tabs, rails and adjustment arms are bolted to the bottom of the seat back. The bottom of the seat back rail (on the right in Photo below) will remain in a fixed location but can be pivoted around its attachment bolt. By selecting different mounting holes the top of the rail (on the left in Photo) can be adjusted either forward or backward to provide optimal back support and a comfortable riding angle.

Image

Image

The mounting assembly is taken apart and the two side rails (see red arrows in Photo below) are positioned and welded to the frame of the rear deck lid.

Image

The mounting hardware can then be reassembled and the seat back bolted in place and adjusted to the desired angle.

Image

The cargo case now opens normally from the rear while the deck lid, cargo case, and seat back can be swung up and open for access to the battery pack and electronics.

Image

Image

SlowCo   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 912
Joined: Jan 05 2015 5:43pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by SlowCo » Apr 23 2018 12:53pm

This will become a very comfortable ride! 8)
Love watching your progress and updates. Thanks for posting them.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Apr 24 2018 9:55pm

Mounting the Seat

The seat is taken directly from the Kawasaki donor bike. Like the seat back, the seat itself also has a formed plastic base. But unlike the seat back it does not have terrific mounting points. The front of the seat originally mounted via a pair of “C” shaped plastic tabs shown with the white arrows in the Photo below. The rear of the seat was held in place with a pair of plastic mounting tabs shown with the red arrows. Unfortunately the rear mounting tabs are not very strong and are meant only to keep the seat from moving around and not meant to be load bearing. Instead, all of the weight on the seat was originally transferred to the formed plastic which rested directly on the frame of the Kawasaki. As a result, the two plastic attachment tabs at the rear of the seat can not bear much weight.

Image

Fortunately, there is a strong, flat area molded into the back edge of the seat (see red arrow in Photo below). This area is strong enough to support the back end of the seat while the front of the seat will rest on the frame of the trike itself. The front “C” clips will still be used to keep the front of the seat held in place but will not be load bearing.

Image

A support bracket at the rear of the seat is made using a length of angle iron which is bolted to the two plastic mounting tabs. Quarter inch flat stock is then used to make a mounting pad which rests on the solid flat portion of the formed plastic. The flat stock is positioned and welded to the angle iron cross piece.

Image

This is what the rear mount and seat support looks like when it is welded together and removed from the seat.

Image

With the rear bracket back on the seat, two support posts are cut from 3/4 x 3/4 rectangular tubing and bolted to the support bracket.

Image

The seat is then flipped over and the support posts are bolted to small tabs welded to the frame of the trike. Additional holes can be drilled in the support post to raise or lower the rear of the seat to get a more comfortable angle if necessary.

Image

The front of the seat is held in place using a ½” steel rod which passes through the trike frame (enclosed in a steel tube) and the two “C” clips on either side of the seat. The inside of the plastic “C” clip fits snugly against the trike frame preventing the seat from moving left of right and the clip and steel rod prevent the seat from moving upwards. The rod and “C” clip act as a hinge so that the angle of the seat can be adjusted by moving the rear seat bracket up or down.

Image

While the seat can not move forward because of the steel rod and “C” clip, it could possible collapse toward the rear of the trike if the bolts on the support posts were to loosen slightly. To prevent any rearward movement of the seat, brackets are welded to the rear seat support and the center of the trike frame and an adjustable turnbuckle is bolted to the brackets.

Image

The completed seat with adjustable back rest.

Image

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Apr 26 2018 10:44pm

Brake Pedal Assembly

The rear brake pedal assembly from the Kawasaki Voyager donor will be used on the new trike.

Image

Image

Quarter inch flat stock is used to create a mounting plate for the brake pedal assembly.

Image

The mounting plate bolted to the brake pedal assembly.

Image

Since the lower frame rail of the trike runs at an angle, the brake pedal bracket must be offset so that the brake pedal arm will clear the frame. A wedge shaped spacer is cut from 1/4″ flat stock to set the brake pedal assembly at the correct angle.

Image

The wedge shaped spacer is welded to the mounting plate. (See red arrow in Photo below)

Image

The entire brake pedal assembly and mounting plate are positioned on the frame to place the pedal where you want it and the assembly is clamped in place for welding.

Image

The final mounting position of the mounting plate is too close to the frame to remove the attachment bolts. So the bolts are permanently welded to the mounting plate. The Photo below shows the completed mounting plate welded to the frame with the pedal assembly removed.

Image

The completed brake pedal assembly bolted to the frame.

Image

SlowCo   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 912
Joined: Jan 05 2015 5:43pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by SlowCo » Apr 27 2018 4:11am

Are you going to use the brake pedal assembly activating all brake calipers on all three wheels? Or just for the front wheel and use regenerative braking on the hub motor wheels at the rear?

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Apr 27 2018 10:28am

SlowCo wrote:
Apr 27 2018 4:11am
Are you going to use the brake pedal assembly activating all brake calipers on all three wheels? Or just for the front wheel and use regenerative braking on the hub motor wheels at the rear?
The foot brake pedal which I just installed will only activate the rear disk brakes. The stock Kawasaki hand brake lever (on right side handlebar) will activate the dual disk brakes on the front wheel (I left this entire system intact from the donor bike). I will also be using a modified hand brake lever on the left side handlebar to activate variable regen braking on the two hub motors. I'll be showing how I did the variable regen control in my next post. I'm expecting that regen will do a good deal of my braking but I felt it was good practice to keep the front and rear disk brakes with separate controls as well.

SlowCo   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 912
Joined: Jan 05 2015 5:43pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by SlowCo » Apr 27 2018 11:58am

That is indeed the best way of doing the brake system I think. Good luck and enjoy finishing the build.

cboy   100 W

100 W
Posts: 179
Joined: Sep 18 2017 7:06pm
Location: CA Central Valley
Contact:

Re: Electric chopper trike build journal

Post by cboy » Apr 28 2018 10:16pm

Parking Brakes - Part 1

The electric trike will require an emergency brake/parking brake primarily to keep the vehicle from rolling when it is parked and shut off. Unlike a car or motorcycle with a mechanical transmission which can keep the vehicle from rolling when it is parked, the electric trike will roll fairly easily if it is on even a minor grade.

The hydraulic brake system I purchased from QS Motors comes with calipers which have a built in emergency and parking brake mechanism and the system also includes the cables and attachment hardware for operating the system. The kit does not, however, include the parking brake handle or a ratcheting mechanism. In addition a bracket must be fabricated for securing the brake cables to the trike’s frame.

The cable mounting bracket is cut from 1 ½” x 1 ½” angle stock. A hole is drilled to fit the threaded fitting at the end of the brake cable.

Image

The holes in the bracket are opened up to the outer edge so that the brake cables can easily be installed or removed from the bracket.

Image

A cross piece is cut from 3/16″ flat stock so that it can fit the width of the frame. The cable mounting bracket is welded to the cross piece.

Image

The cross piece is bolted to the frame and the cables (arrow) are secured in the mounting bracket.

Image

Photo below shows the underside of the cables bolted into the mounting bracket.

Image

The brake handle and ratcheting mechanism are an aftermarket unit made to fit a Volkswagon Beetle. These brake handles are primarily used in baja bug type builds and can be purchased for $25-$30.

Image

A mounting bracket for the brake handle is cut from 3/16″ flat stock and drilled for the mounting bolt. The holes on each end of the bracket are for bolting it to the trike’s frame.

Image

Photo below shows the brake handle bolted to the mounting bar.

Image

The only drawback to using the Baja bug brake handle is that the ratcheting mechanism is not held stationary by the handle itself. Instead, the slot shown at the red arrow in the Photo below normally hooks to a tab on the Volkswagon driveshaft tunnel and this tab holds the ratcheting mechanism in a fixed position. So a stop must be fabricated to keep the ratchet fixed.

Image

The stop is cut from angle iron so that it fits the slot but will not interfere with brake lever as it is engaged or released. [Note: this section continued in following post.]

Image

Post Reply