I spent the weekend sewing! It was hard (impossible) to find an acceptable bag that would fit the mini rack on the front. It is not as long as a standard rear rack and is a bit wider. I used the temporary box to help me figure out a size that would hold the controller and lipos. After thinking it over a bit I figured that a camera bag would work, IF I could find the proper size. So, I took a trip to Best Buy and lo and behold, there it was!
I took home a Lowepro 140 camera bag and tested the fit of the components. It would've been fine for batteries only, but I wanted to keep things clean, so I took it back and traded up to a Lowepro 170 bag. It's the same footprint, but taller. At the house, everything fit well and I used the included divider to divvy up space and help hold things in position. Looked good with ample room for the 12S 10 ah HK lipos, a couple of GGoodrums LVC's, the 25A controller and all the wiring.
The next thing to is add the needed straps under the bag to hold it to the rack. I was able to repurpose the shoulder strap by cutting it up, making slits in the bag seams, sliding in the straps in the proper configuration and sewing them in. I had to do a lot of hand sewing, but used the machine where I could. It took about 3-4 hours to do and was a total PITA, but 100% worth it. I strapped it on the rack, loaded her up and headed out for a ride. I came back and used a very small bungie cord to connect the bike's stem to the bag and added a small bracket to the front on the bottom of the rack. These helped keep it from sliding forward. I didn't remember that the rack curved at the front and my straps rode on the curve and tended to shift the bag forward as the straps were tightened. It was not a major issue and was resolved easily.
I also was worried to see if the front load affected the ride. Thankfully, it doesn't change a thing, except add a bit off weight you notice when lifting the front, but with the light lipos, it's no serious issue. Another cool thing is that the top tubes of the frame are a good handle and the back end is quite light. It's not hard to pick up the entire scooter to move it or turn it around, which you can understand if you have ever had a heavy longbike, can sometimes be an issue.
So, after another test ride, a new issue came to light, the camera bag is well insulated and things got a bit warm in the bag. The lipos were cool to the touch (only a 2C draw on them), but the controller was a bit warm. I could hold it in my hand, but it was a tad hot after the 5 minute test run. So the next bag mod was to remove one of the side pockets, cut a large hole in the bag and get back to sewing! I sewed bias tape binding around the hole and then added a piece of fabric made from the mesh of a laundry bag in covering the hole. Again, a few hours of hand work, fair bit of cussing, and two beers later, I was looking at a very sweet custom bag that looks "stock"! The hole allows for enough air circulation to keep temps very comfortable for the ESC. I also relocated the CA and throttle wiring to the other side pocket, so the ESC compartment was minimally taken up. The vent hole works well enough that I am considering putting in the 35A controller, which will also fit just fine.
I am super happy with this build and everyone that has ridden it to date, loves it. My neighbor is about 60 and has seen my e-bikes, but never tried one. I asked him if he wanted to try the scooter out. He said, "Oh boy, do I ever!" I let him take off on it, thinking he would go down the block and back. 10 minuted later he reappeared, grinning ear to ear! I have a 10 YO girl and she wanted me to take her for a ride. "No problem!" she hopped on the rear, held on to me, and we took off around the neighborhood. When we got back I asked her if she wanted to try it out. "No, it's TOO fast!" So, I set the CA to a 10 MPH limit and told her to have fun and off she went grinning maniacally. I took off again for a solo trip and had a car change direction and ride behind me, pacing me, and looking at the scoot- big thumbs up!
The best reaction seen to date was on the same trip. A 4-5 YO boy was in his front yard with his Dad working on his own bike as I passed. The kid's jaw drops. He's speechless as I pass, then once I ride by, I hear him yell, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH DADDY!!!!!!! Did you SEE that!!!!!!"
It truly made me laugh out loud!
Later, one of my friends took it out for a spin so I could get some action video. He made his first pass down the street and came back yelling, "This thing is frocking AWESOME!"
It made me happy to have made so many people's day take a turn to the bright side! The project is a 100% WIN!
I hope to be posting a bit of video and finished pics tonight!