|Location||Seattle, Washington US map|
|Vehicle||2006 Kawasaki EX 500 |
Red with black/white checkerboard.
|Motor||Advanced DC A00-4009 72V Series Wound DC|
|Drivetrain||Direct chain drive.|
|Controller||Alltrax 7245 72V Controller|
|Batteries||21, 3.30 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate|
I *think* they are Thundersky. It's the second set of batteries the bike has had.
|System Voltage||73 Volts|
The Zivan bit the dust, so I had Pacific EV create a charger that wouldn't overheat in the top box. They weren't durable enough to survive bouncing around in the box. As of December 2012 I've been using the Kelly charger. (See updates below.)
|DC/DC Converter||Astrodyne 72 Volt|
|Instrumentation||The Cycle Analyst Version 2.0. This is the second gauge I've had on my El Ninja. (See "Comments" for more about that.) An ancient, cheapo speedometer/odometer which replaced the stock one. (That's what accounts for the low total miles. I drove it around 15,000 miles with the internal combustion engine.)|
|Top Speed||75 MPH (120 KPH)|
That was with all 23 batteries. I'm currently down to 21 (two died), so my top speed is more like 65 mph now.
|Acceleration||As quick as it was with internal combustion from 0-30mph.|
|Range||35 Miles (56 Kilometers)|
About 35 miles is the best it can do. Generally more like 20-25, depending on speed. At top speed it's only 15-20 miles.
|Seating Capacity||2 adult|
|Curb Weight||490 Pounds (222 Kilograms)|
The above weight is a guess. But it's not much heavier than stock - maybe 30lbs more.
|Conversion Time||Way too long of a wait for the batteries (from China, of course, *sigh*) and other parts. Started in September 2008, finished (sort of) in January 2009.|
|Conversion Cost||~$10,000; Work done by Carlo at ev-supply.com|
|Additional Features||Removed broken stock faring and replaced with new headlight, front turn signals and mirrors.|
Has a Givi 30N Top Box which holds the charger.
UPDATE 6/14/2012 - Zivan was overheating in the box while charging, so a vent fan was added. This did not help enough and eventually fried the components in the charger. Replaced with three slow charging units that will not overheat in the confined space of the top box. However, charge time went up by a factor of four! (Four hours maximum charge time for the Zivan; 16 hours for the custom charger.)
35 pictures of the conversion/finish at WebPage
|I live in an apartment building (2nd floor), so I had to buy 150 feet of 600 volt cable to string out to my bike, parked near the street ($280), so I can keep my $700 charger (bolted to the inside of the Givi box) in my apartment, rather than on the bike. I also bought 140 feet of 2" PVC tubing to cover the cable ($125). And, I keep 100 feet of 12 gauge extension cord in the top box for charging away from home ($80). Finally, to keep the spot where I charge my motorcycle open (as well as help prevent theft), I bought 40' of heavy duty chain ($100) to create a small triangle-shaped area where my 600 volt cable ends.|
I bought the 2006 Ninja 500 because of its great gas mileage (I got 72mpg with one tankful - all highway miles - but generally got around 55mpg), but it didn't do well in cold, wet weather. Unfortunately, Seattle has cold, wet weather several months of the year, so it really began to piss me off that it would sputter and stall 1/2 the time the temperature was 40 degrees F or less. Plus, I wanted to drive as "green" of a vehicle as possible - hence, El Ninja Del Norte!
UPDATE: 6/16/09 - Originally I had a PakTrakr Monitor System for batteries, but it was less than ideal for several reasons: 1) It had no backlight, so it was useless at night. 2) It drew its power (more than you'd expect, too!) from just 3 of the 23 batteries - which caused these batteries to fail while I was storing the bike for three months. 3) It didn't have a very reliable way to gauge how many amp-hours I had left, and therefore, how much range I had. Hopefully the new gauge will do better. I'll update this page in a few months with that information.
UPDATE: 7/12/09 - The Cycle Analyst has proven to be a terrific gauge; I highly recommend it for use on motorcycles/scooters/bicycles. It can be set to count how many amp hours you are using so it's a more accurage way to know how much juice is left in the batteries. Carlo suggested that I not use more than 30 amp hours per charge. That leads to the other update - I've finally found out my range, and it's not that great. On the highway, full "throttle" it can go about 15 miles. Mixed highway and city driving around 20-25. Theoretically, staying at 30 mph and under, I could go 30 miles before needing to recharge.
UPDATE: 6/14/12 - Lot's of trial and error being on the "bleeding edge" of technology. Most of the trouble stemmed from the Zivan being in a confined space and overheating. Once I replaced it, the only problems have been with wiring coming loose or blowing a fuse. The first two years, the bike was being worked on roughly half the time. The last year (since updating the charger), it's only been worked on for a few minor problems. Glad things are finally going well with it!
UPDATE: 3/11/13 - As mentioned in the charger section, the three ac/dc converters that I was using to charge the bike weren't meant to be in a moving vehicle, and subsequently all three died within a few months of each other (while I kept replacing them). Finally, after changing out all three of them, I decided to go with the Kelly charger at the end of last year. It doesn't fully charge the entire pack, but it's close enough, I guess. (Maxes out around 71 V whereas it should go to at least 72.5V).