Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CholoCycle: Engine take down and battery mock-up

CholoCycle Engine take down and battery mock-up

Victor and I have been wanting to make an electric motorcycle for the longest time. This summer we actually started planning and budgeting everything out. over the last couple of months we had been craiglisting and going over different places in MA to spec out bike but couldn't find an appropiate one.About 2-3 weeks ago we were fortunate to receive techX project funding. We got $500 funding that we decided to put towards the frame acquisition. We intensified our craiglist search and last week we found some guy in dedham that had a bunch of bikes with blown engines he was willing to sell to us. We visited his sketchy ass shop (seriously, it looked like an abandoned warehouse from outside) and we found a kawasaki ZX-6R that we liked.
proud parents!
We brought the frame back to MIT and the next day starting gutting the bike.

We brought the frame back to MIT...
...and the next day starting gutting the bike.
taking out the carbs

taking off the radiators

Time to take out the engine!

This turned out to be a much tougher job than we expected even considering we had 5 people (plus a camera-man) working on this.

Let's try to lift the whole bike upwards.
Hmmm, that didn't work...How the hell did they even get this engine inside there in the first place?!
Let's try to lift only the back....
After several different attempts we finally managed to separate the engine from the chassis.
Finally the engine is out! 

Couldn't let that snapchat disappear
Look at all that space!

Taking off the engine was a cool and rather challenging task, we put a jack and a piece of wood under the bike and then unbolted the engine and then lifted the bike off the engine. This last part was especially tricky given the weird shape engines have. Nevertheless, after about 3 hours we were done! Thanks to Esther M., George H, Heidi B.Charlesg and Rachel D.C. for their help in the gutting!We took all the stock fairings off cause they were in pretty crappy condition and we are gonna buy a body kit for the bike. Here are some options we found: I put up a poll to ask our friends on fb what color the bike should be. We got pretty hilarious responses, check them out below:Roberto and I went to N52 today and laser-cutted a cardboard mock-up of one of the batteries we are considering. We tried several configurations. Our two main concerns are that we need to leave space for the motor (modeled as the red circle in the first picture) and we want the batteries as low as possible for a lower center of mass. 
Probably the best configuration

Maybe vertical?

This might actually work too. Clearance worries me a little though

We considered this for a second

Until we realized where all the weight of the bike would go if we drop choloCycle.

With the frame gutted, I started the mechanical design for the battery and motor holder. I was looking for some CAD for the ninja and stumbled upon this gem. A guy named Daniel Nguyen made a CAD of a ninja for his Intro to Cad class in UCLA. He intended to CAD the 2009 Ninja but he used the specs from a service manual for the 2002 model, which is the model we bought! I emailed daniel and he was gracious enough to let us have the CAD! Woohooo!We imported the CAD to solidworks and got rid of fairings and engines and exhaust etc and gave it some colors.

So pretty!

We mainly need the frame CAD so we can fit batteries and motors and whatever mounts we have.We are in the process of buying more stuff for the motorcycle (like motor and trying to get some batteries). We'll keep posting stuff during the build! Any questions let us know in the comments below.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Impractical Bikes!

As part of MIT IAP (Independent Activities Period) I took part in an Impractical Bicycle Dynamics Class. The class was led by Jack Whipple (D-lab Shop Manager) and Mars (Crazy Bike Expert), the point of this class was to create unconventional bicycles that were still somewhat rideable.

The class had 4 teams of 2 people each. The bikes constructed were:

1. (My team) "Bucky" A bicycle where arms provide propulsion and legs provide steering.

2. Snowmobike: A pedal powered contraption with a huge snowmobile tanktread.

3. Chopper: A chopper style bicycle.

4. Tall+Cargo: A tall bike that also has space for cargo.

You can find more details on each bike at the class website:

During the last day of class we had a small crazy bikes party outside of N51, here is a small video of the most incredible moment of that day, MARS RIDING BUCKY!

Many thanks to the instructors of the class for putting it together! I really hope AIBD becomes an IAP classic at MIT and as a result that the bicycle hacking community at MIT grows!