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    YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    Obviously not a buggy, but I know how you guys on the forum enjoy a good project! I recently decided to build an electric dirt bike for no reason other than I wanted an electric dirt bike and didn't want to spend $15k to purchase one of the models currently in production (Alta, KTM, Zero maybe? I don't count Zero it isn't a true dirt bike). Anyway... I watched the facebook for sale feed and scooped up a seized engine 1999 Yamaha YZ400F on December 1st.

    Magnificent isn't she??? Who doesn't love an 18yo thumper! So I got to work tearing her apart, sold nearly $800 worth of engine parts on eBay (remember I paid $400 for the whole bike initially) so I was able to start the project off $400 ahead!
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    I have a habit of completing my projects before I actually submit anything online about it... so luckily for interested parties there is no anticipation on waiting to see how it turned out. I quickly stripped it down to the bare frame which I modeled on the computer for purposes of creating a motor mounting plate. I already had a good idea on what motor I wanted to use based on the required gearing and top speed blah blah details... I picked up a Motenergy ME1008 DC brushed motor, a 550A rated motor controller, and a pair of 24V Chevrolet Volt lithium battery modules to act as my replacement for fuel and internally combusting components. This will give me around 2.4kwh of battery capacity and 48V (so a peak power output around 25kw, or about 33hp, or about 250F power for those of you who are familiar with mx bikes. I also decorated the frame with some festive Christmas lighting so as to hide the frame in plain sight from the wife while I did my design work (she wasn't fooled, but appreciated my effort).
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    Surprisingly a lot of the metal hunk that makes up the motor mount and battery mount actually just bolts to the frame of the dirt bike... so it would be easy for me to make a few more if I decide to make a "conversion kit". It only needs a little bit of streamlining before I'd call it a finished product. One other bit that can't be seen is a 3d printed bushing that allows it to use the swingarm bolt as a means of mounting it to the chassis. 3d printed material typically isn't overly strong, but when the settings are switched to "solid" and the grain is running the right way it is extremely robust. Since the bolt doesn't actually move with the swingarm, it just creates a static spacer that I would be surprised if ever fails.
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    In this pic I only have 1 battery mounted - I was hoping I could get away with that for an indoor "enduro cross" race that I wanted to run this bike in. To make a long story short it 24V didn't give me enough power so I went with the pair right away.

    No fancy BMS required, I simply balance charge the individual packs with a pair of hobby grade chargers. Now that the race is over though I will likely add a BMS and a 50.4V constant voltage charger so that I can set it and forget it like a showtime BBQ. Long story short, the bike works great - it runs like a 250F that you never have to shift - and best I can tell I have about 40-50min of juice for normal riding. Total out of pocket expense was about $1200. Oh, and I got 3rd in the race! Throttle needed tuned or I could have run harder.
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
    #5
    Senior Member
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    That's awesome! How does it compare weight wise to a 250f ?
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    Good question, I haven't gotten a chance to put it on the scales yet!! Ill do that this weekend and get back to you. Definitely lighter than the yz400f ever was.
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
    #7
    Keeper of the Asylum K-fab's Avatar
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    Scottsdale, AZ. 10.9 miles from the trailheads
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    Very, very cool!
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
    #8
    Millenium Member Deranged's Avatar
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    Allendale MI
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    THAT is SO COOL!!

    Justin
    Nowhere near the desert.
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
    #9
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    Does letting off the throttle have the same effect as engine brake?
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    Re: YZ400A : Electric Dirt Bike Build
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    The way I have it programmed right now for the endurocross there is zero engine braking effect, which is my regenerative braking. I did some experimenting with it the night before the race and the issue is it doesn't come on right away like an actual engine brake would... so it makes the bike a little more challenging to ride. I went with a cheaper controller so im expecting that if I bought a fancier one I could have it optimized to kick on right away. I also had it set to the maximum setting for regen which would nearly brake the rear tire loose... felt like stomping the bike down a gear when it would hit after a half second or so. Going to get a weight today on it!
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