For build five I said to heck with off-road abilities; forget being all-around good. I wanted something to fill the void my off-road setup was lacking: top speed, efficiency, range and ninja like noise levels.
I should point out this thing has some definite pros and cons to a diamond frame however. Let’s start with the cons.
-Bumps jumps and curbs: I quickly found out how much I utilize the “bunny hop” to pop over curbs and other little obstacles. It’s a bit awkward sitting there in your trike having just a mere curb smite you down from your seated riding experience. Until the spring loaded trike launcher finally hits the market (fingers crossed) you are stuck dragging the thing around by hand every time you want to ride through that ditch, or that big bump, or that trail with the big rock in the middle.
-Getting run over: You are riding along staring up at undercarriages of big trucks and car grills and tires right there at eye level. Traversing a crosswalk is mighty daunting when you have a tire staring you down. The trike is also wide, so no squeezing through traffic or down the edge of the road. Flags can help, but I sure wouldn’t rely on them.
-It may sound funny, but all your change and stuff falls right out of your pockets, I have to hurl all my pocket goodies into my the cargo hold. I lost a cell phone due to a flagrant violation of this rule.
-Trikes feel fast; I’m amazed at how hard you can crank around corners in them. Very sports car, race-kart feeling.
-Loads more comfortable than diamond frame: it’s a lawn chair on wheels! Years of bunn toughening upright bike rides going to waste here.
-efficient, I can get to work and back (32 miles) on less than 15ah.
Look out, it happened again; I went with a sensorless controller, this time intentionally even (fried the hall sensors off the last motor) and I put a Vuelta 60t chainring on the front because the stock chainring was just pathetic and being able to assist in peddling at higher speeds. I built the battery bay huge: (e-bike wise) big enough to hold a whopping 1760 watt hours of hobby lipo.
I built the battery bay from thrift store bedframe because when you have $200 of lithium hanging two inches away from ground it's best to protect them with $2 worth of bedframe
. I welded some braided steel to the bedframe so that I could lock the batteries to the bike and I also delved into some amateurish upholstery and made a little squishy foam enclosure for my lipos. Padded cells seemed oddly appropriate for rc hobby lipo.
Total price minus batteries: about $1200
KMX Typhoon: $700 “in new condition” (actually not) off e-bay
EM3EV MXUS: $200
Lyen 12 fet Sensorless: $150
Thumb throttle: $20
Three way toggle: $20
Vuelta 60t chainring: $45
Epoch 11-32 freewheel: $30
fabric and foam: $15
Battery: 44volts 20ah swappable to 10ah 18s depending on what mood strikes me
Top speed: mid 20s mph on 12s, low 30s mph on 18s
Efficiency: 10watt hours per mile if I do pretty much all the work and go slow as heck, 20watt hours per mile is about par for the course, 40+ watt hours per mile when I'm lazy and want the bike to do all the work.
I was pretending the trike was a luge and bombed down the side of a mountain. I was flying along pretty fast and caught one wheel in a pothole and it violently yanked me sideways. Fortunately I didn't flip but slid sideways for a while ripping the tire clean off and giving the stock 16" rim got one heck of a bend. I switched to 20 inch rims which aren't as squirrely at high speeds as 16s and allow you to drop off curbs without scraping. You don't feel the bumps of the road as much buy they make the trike a tinch more flippy so no more encounters with potholes, or hard cornering.
I'm starting to do distance runs. I did a 72 mile trip the other day using just a mere 650 watt hours of power. I was amazed at how easy it was to maintain my top speed with just a paltry amount of power helping me along. I'm starting to have as much fun playing with low power for the distance as I am with high power.
Little fleks of dirt seem to make it past the mud flap and peg me in the back of the neck. I tried taping a piece of cardboard to the flap with limited success, then I found a bike rack at a garage sale. Rear rack seems to be the best solution to the lousy mud flap problem.
I took the Black Bullet on a 185 mile road trip to the Grand Canyon. Read about it here: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles
I built a solar attachment
for my e-trike
the Black Bullet goes on a 251 mile solar ride
I left Arizona and did a 207 mile ride in Utah
KMX gets some new upgrades
-panniers added: after I attempted to get around for a while solely off leg power I thought not having an electric motor kinda sucked, I thought road bikes were uncomfortable compared to bents and sold my touring bike but decided to keep the panniers. I like them because it kinda hides the motor and its nice to have the extra storage space (which never gets used, but hey it's there if I need it
-rear bag added: after swapping the rear rack with a pannier rack I started having fleks of dirt pelting me in the back of the neck and I added a rear bag to block the dirt. Also works nicely as a Subway sandwich holder.
-switched to Trisled 70t chainring: minor issues with throwing a chain on my Vuelta 60 tooth chainring; Trisled chainring has a little plastic lip on the edge that helps keep the chain from flying off. Issues with leg cadence- I can only comfortably spin my legs and help propel the trike to about 24mph or so with 60t/11t. I can hit 28mph or so at a comfortable leg cadence with the 70t ring.
-switched over to Multistar 10c batteries due to better wh/weight ratio (compared to Turnigy 25c batteries)