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Suzuki RF400E, now with Enertrac MHM602

Posted: Jan 19, 2012 4:12 pm
by marcexec
The time has come for my own project.
I am converting my old '93 RF400, my former commuter which I had to retire due to general wear and tear after a total of 76000km.
Estimated value: max. 300€, ICE specshttp://www.motorbikes.be/en/Suzuki_RF_400_R_1995.aspx
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It has become possible as we moved within 15km of my work 8)
At the time of writing, the project has barely begun, with the bike disassembled and the gearbox/crankcase (finally*) stripped.

ImageImage

Minimum target specs:

top speed: 60km/h (~37mph)
minimum range: 15km (10 miles)
I know it's modest but it will be a commuter. For now.

I will keep the original gearbox and plan to attach a Turnigy 80-100 brushless outrunner with a belt drive and will even keep the clutch.
LYEN 12 FET controller.
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POC with gel type LA from a UPS that became too small. Probably Hobbyking, Headway or GBS later on.

Already have a Gigavac GX11CA contactor and new handlebar mounted switches (no need for choke and mechanical throttle).
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Biggest challenge is obviously the mechanics around the gearbox. Helpful comments welcome, but there will be no direct drive.

==========
Update 03/2017
various challenges (mostly around the contollers for the 80100s) made me reconfigure for a hub motor

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* the rotor of the alternator had to be drilled out and yes, I have the pulley tools

The beast is out!

Posted: Jan 30, 2012 4:22 pm
by marcexec
Finally commenced sawing off the rest of the crankshaft from the cog:

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was a good piece of work, OD is 30mm
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Put it on a scale as well, 880g, the Turnigy is not much heavier!
I'll consider it a flywheel from now on...

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 8:38 am
by carl2.0
Never seen a RC motor run on a full sized motorcycle, this should be interesting :D

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 9:08 am
by gwhy!
carl2.0 wrote:Never seen a RC motor run on a full sized motorcycle, this should be interesting :D
:D Havent you, I have done it once, but not through the gearbox and seen it done once through the gear box :mrgreen:

If the mechanics work out and the gear ratios are ok, it should work well. I will be watching.

are you planning to just fit the motor in place of the crank ?

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 11:26 am
by Spacey
Will a little RC motor be enough though to power the heavy steel framed bike? What would the performance be like?

Just asking as I am still toying with ideas for my Cagiva Mito 125 build

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 2:59 pm
by marcexec
Has this thread been hidden until now? :)

I plan to use a belt drive and a mounting plate for the motor:
+ additional flexibility with the gearing
+ possibility for other/additional motors
+ no space / heat / magnetic flux constraints, though I haven't measured (yet)
+ shaft on the cog I cut out will be 10mm, thus I can use the original bearing mounts with ball bearings with 30mm OD (like http://shop.marksman-ind.com/6200c3-10x ... 1742-p.asp) Edit: turned out to be 12mm, same as the Turnigy.
- additional space and weight

I think the performance should be enough to meet the target.
10kW should be achievable on the Turnigy, how permanent we'll see with heat monitoring.

I have been thinking a lot about aluminum battery cage, mounts etc. mostly concerned about the proper sizes.
I think I settled for 3mm L and box type profiles and 5mm for the mounting plate. Input welcome there.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 3:37 pm
by E-racer
If you want to sustain the 10kw I suggest you keep the 80-100 submerged in the crankase oil. Then you could retain the spur gear drive :-D

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 08, 2012 3:53 pm
by gwhy!
10kw is achievable with the motor but only in very short bursts, its a good plan to be able to tweek the initial ratio using a belt. the gearbox looks like a real heavy mofo. I dont think you will need the 5 speeds so you maybe able to remove 2 or 3 of the gears to reduce the weight. The motorcycle ( only 60kg in running weight ) that I was playing with was running it on a 3.5kw current limit ( single speed and geared for 20mph ) this would accelerate reasonable well, if you aim for the first gear to be around 0-15/20mph and you have higher current limit then your motor should have no problem powering this bike but I think the real problem would be optimising the gear ratio's.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 09, 2012 4:15 am
by marcexec
Well, let's see if I can get the gears to turn first :)
Any suggestions on the belt drive size / type?
I was thinking about the timing belt type (with teeth) but I'm unsure about the width.
Initial reduction maybe 1:2 from the motor?

BTW, it's a 6-speed, the 600 and 900 have 5.

Edit: and yes, it's heavy - crankshaft alone (after I cut out the cog) about 6.5 kg - pistons removed already.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 09, 2012 4:59 am
by Burtie
I have used the HTD 5M-15 series belts with my 80-100 motor projects, they seem well suited to this motors capabilities.

34 tooth pulley is the smallest you can get with a taperlock bush fitting (and the smallest size I have used)
Smaller diameter ones are available, but only with a pilot hole.

A good uk supplier here:
http://www.bearingboys.co.uk/5M_Taperlo ... ley-1806-c


I am particularly interested in your project, since I have an old, KX80 engine lined up waiting for a similar conversion.
I like the concept of retaining the motorcycle clutch and gears, just getting rid of the smoke and noise :)

Burtie

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Feb 25, 2012 5:51 pm
by marcexec
Time for an update:
I have been spending some time cleaning the gears in the gearbox.
This was definitely necessary as I found quite a bit of debris which looks like what you produce when drilling plastic.
Image Image Image Image

I will follow Burtie's advice and will go with 5/15mm belts.
Next step is to do some metalworking to attach the motor and then measure possible diameter and length.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Mar 03, 2012 3:47 pm
by Jay64
Damn, you guys have RF400s over there??? That is awesome. We were only able to get the 600 & 900 over here. The only 400 that ever came state side was the FZR, I've seen pics of all the other bikes in 400s and always wanted one. Do you still have all the plastics and stuff for it?

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Mar 03, 2012 5:22 pm
by marcexec
I guess there are a lot of Japanese grey imports coming here in general.
Combination fits for cars: RHD plus metric speedo (unlike UK)
I do have the fairings - they will need a bit of work, though.
I have a second RF400 still with ICE... :)

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Apr 12, 2012 2:54 pm
by marcexec
EVers Metalworks proudly presents - something else:

How to eliminate the oil sump (don't need the capacity, weight, space):
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designing for a possible two-motor belt drive, distance min. 30mm between motor/motor/metal:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

yielding 110mm and 55mm pulley OD, 220mm max. center distance
ImageImage(mock up)
ImageImage(cutting and bending plate, 5mm aluminum)
ImageImageImageImage(fitting)

I am currently trying to source the belt drive components locally and will make the little plates to block off the oil next.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Apr 13, 2012 2:36 pm
by TerraRoot
are you planing to leave alot of the crank case there?
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theres a lot there to cut out, doable i reckon with some devcon aluminium scraps and a lapping plate, also, you going dry clutch?

moar gearbox builds needed about the place :mrgreen:

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Apr 14, 2012 6:10 am
by marcexec
Yes.
I intend to keep it simple at first. There is no point wasting half an hour to remove 100g of aluminium when I am putting in lead acid batteries elsewhere (for the moment).
The clutch will stay wet as it was that way before and leaves me with the old filler cap for oil inspection.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Apr 14, 2012 1:32 pm
by TerraRoot
i see what you mean about only a few grams saved, however i reckon there's more then that to be saved, wet clutches create drag and having it out in the open will cut that out and allow you to directly attach the motor via the belt to the clutch, which will save you that 880g worth of quartered crank, and with that gone there's no shell bearings left then and you can dump the oil pump. the gears will be fine in a oil bath. need a few bearings with seals tho.
it'd probably be ok, but i'd worry with only a few horses i'd want to cut out any drag/losses.
just noticed your from dublin, in my best tommy tiernan corkman accent "I'm from cork boi!"

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: May 19, 2012 6:07 pm
by marcexec
Well I'm halfway through the blanking/closing plates fitting.
It proves to be a tedious process as I have to cut a groove in the block, then saw and file a piece of sheet metal to fit tightly.
I rather do this properly as I can't have an electric bike leaking oil...
BTW, oil pump will stay out as well

In the meantime some goodies arrived, hope you like them :D
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Anyone knows what that is?
Image :roll:

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Jun 08, 2012 6:15 pm
by marcexec
Finally something to look at regarding the gearbox:
Before
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and after
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Still one cover and 4 blanking plates to do...

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: Jan 11, 2013 3:58 pm
by marcexec
The project is still alive - ordered the 3 12mm shafts to be made at an engineering shop.
Will be a little bit expensive as they are using the good, hardened stuff and have to add a finishing touch to the cog.

I made a little drawing for the order I'd like to share.

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Edit: URL updated as link was broken

This had to wait until I was finished making all those blanking plates to keep the oil in the transmission - time consuming and tedious, especially as I want it done "right". I estimate an effort of 80-100 hours going in the transmission after it was pulled apart:
- cutting it open
- fabricating the motor mounting plate
- blanking and cover plates, and all those grooves

In retrospect, I would advise using a transmission that's sealed more easily like shaft drive or 2-stroke.
I will have more updates soon.

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: May 15, 2013 5:20 pm
by Mugge302
Hello, sort for using your threath.

But i see you have taken a rf400 gearbox apart. Do you know Where to get a new/used gearbox, as mine is jumping out og 2. Gear. Or know how to replace it. What is needed When assembling it again? (Gaskets, seals, or so ón)

Thanks a lot and sorry again.

Best regards, Bjarne from Denmark.

(Suzuki rf400 1993)

Re: Suzuki RF400 project, original gearbox, commuter, brushl

Posted: May 28, 2013 10:44 am
by marcexec
Mugge302 wrote:Hello, sort for using your threath.

But i see you have taken a rf400 gearbox apart. Do you know Where to get a new/used gearbox, as mine is jumping out og 2. Gear. Or know how to replace it. What is needed When assembling it again? (Gaskets, seals, or so ón)

Thanks a lot and sorry again.

Best regards, Bjarne from Denmark.

(Suzuki rf400 1993)
Hi Bjarne,
the engine is the same as in the GSF400 Bandit of the same time - parts should available.
There is a sealant, not an actual gasket between the parts.
I was quoted 300€ for a bottom end from a breaker. Jumping out of 2nd gear is very common - giyf.
Feel free to send me a PM.

Re: Suzuki RF400E project, original gearbox, commuter, brush

Posted: May 31, 2013 4:24 pm
by marcexec
Just some test runs after trial fitting. Opinions welcome.


Re: Suzuki RF400E, original gearbox, brushless [with videos]

Posted: Jun 18, 2013 5:02 pm
by marcexec
Well, after the runs I'm about to seal the box up. I put together some pics - might as well serve as a "how to assemble a motorbike gearbox" :)

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http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/marcexec/story/14149

Re: Suzuki RF400E, original gearbox, brushless [with videos]

Posted: Jun 18, 2013 5:23 pm
by Mugge302
What a crazy project :)

May I save your pictures of the gearbox so I can use it as a "guide" when im going to replace my 2nd gear this winter? :)