1961 electric VBB
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Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:07 am quote
This scooter came to America as a Viet-Bodge in an ill-advised eBay purchase in 2004. Since it needed almost constant repair, it sat in my garage until my spouse's ultimatum to "fix it or get rid of it." With her reluctant blessing I decided to convert it to an electric scooter.

I finished it in November and have been working out the kinks and collecting data on range and speed. It has about 250 electric miles on it thus far.

The spec's are: 3Kw electric hub motor, 52V 28.5 Ah battery. Range is about 28 - 30 miles depending on how hard you push it. Top speed is 54 Km/h (about 32 mph). It is very quiet, and has a ton of torque on acceleration.

Here are some photos:

IMG_0740.JPG

IMG_0738.JPG
Battery and electronics for the lights, horn, etc. are housed in the center fuel tank area

IMG_0739.JPG
electronics for the drive system are under the left cowl.

IMG_0741.JPG
The swing arm and hub motor configuration. These were build by a local fabricator named John Caruso from Angry Customs. He also did some work to shore up the frame.

IMG_0735.JPG
I added front and rear turn signals, rear disc brake, and a big horn. The black box to the right is an ammeter for the battery(think of it as a fuel gauge).

IMG_0733.JPG
view from the front. I've always loved the lines of the V series scooters. I know many consider this an abomination, but this scooter is fun to drive.

Molto Verboso
S 190. Custom VNB 150
Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1295
Location: CT
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:46 pm quote
Nice job. What is the voltage you used for the motor?
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:03 am quote
Resistor - AWESOME! nice job.

Would love to see more pics of the build if you have any.
Have a similar project in progress - just starting out
Vintage vespa with sidecar (Page 2)

Would love your input based on what you learned. Am sure it would be super helpful.

Curious - did you use an electric scoot as a donor bike for parts?
Why 52v? and are your batteries in the soft brief case ?
Details man- details.


Thanks for posting - project looks great.
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:51 am quote
I must admit that I didn't know too much about what I was doing when I started the project. So I started looking at the performance specs of a scooter brand called UNU, who makes a Vespa-like scooter that they only sell in Europe. From there, I copied the battery size (Voltage, amp hours) and the motor size (Kw) and started shopping.

I ordered the motor controller, motor, and some components from Kelly Controls, a Chinese company. Then I ordered the battery from an electric bicycle company in California called Luna Cycle.

The motor is a 48V, 3Kw 10 inch hub motor. It is actually made by another Chinese company called QSMotor.

The battery is a lithium Ion 52v, and there are several articles about why a 48V and a 52V battery are roughly equivalent with the larger voltage version yielding slightly better performance. The nice part about buying from a electric bicycle company is that the batteries are sold in a triangle configuration to fit in the frame of a bike. I knew I wanted to fit it in the "triangle" of the gas tank compartment, so it was a match. I also wanted to be able to charge the battery off the bike, so it had to be removable.

The battery weighs about 12 lbs. and this project would have been almost impossible if you had to find a place for 4each 12V lead acid batteries, and the weight would have been way to high.

I'll upload some pictures of the build later this weekend. In the meantime, here is a photo of the battery:

IMG_0742.JPG
the battery is about 13 inches long and about 9 inches high

IMG_0743.JPG
I keep it in this soft bag for easy removal and protection.

Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:04 am quote
Awesome - thanks! Similar path for me - steep learning curve.
Internet...

QS are generally held as the best Chinese hub motors - so intentionally or not - you got what is considered the gold standard.
Like the angle on the battery angle... makes sense - good thought - can definitely harvest some of that thinking for mine.
Had not read the 52/48V stuff - most of those bikes you refer to go with 72V - but the QS are rated to run with 52V no trouble.
Likewise - Kelly also have a good name.
Curious about a few ride-ability questions:
- Does your motor freewheel or do you have it set up to regenerative break?
- Does your throttle allow smooth linear acceleration - or does it feel like it is either kinda on or off?

Pics would great - very cool seat of your pants project with nice outcome - my favorite kind... thanks for posting.
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:24 am quote
I currently don't have my motor set for regenerative braking. That feature really helps with range, but in the early days of my testing I wasn't too sure how the battery"s BMS (battery management system) would respond to the voltage spike from regenerative braking when the battery was fully charged. Since then, I've become more comfortable and may reprogram my controller to allow for it. It will help squeeze a few more miles of range.

As to the acceleration, most controllers have a throttle response adjustment so you can get the "feel" you like. It's called TPS (throttle positioning system). You have this as a programmable parameter for most of the controllers, including the Kelly versions.

I use a Magura electric throttle (about $70ish) and my acceleration is pretty smooth. The torque of these motors is something to behold, and you'd better hang on.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:59 pm quote
Resistor - you've broken some new ground here. The build is impressive - the swing arm is great integration.

Mechanicals seem straight forward enough to understand. Custom arm Battery. Controller. Throttle. Motor. (sounds simpler than it is, I'm sure).

Wondering how you dealt with rest of electronics - like brakes and lighting - where do they get their power from? Did you have to rewire the whole bike to achieve? (noted you added signals too).

Simple wiring diagram? Hell - do it in excel...

Seriously - if you could lay out the major components and wiring - it would be an awesome road map for others.

electronics.jpg
Is this some form of converter for the std vespa electrical harness? Also - how did you run the blinkers at the back?

img_0739_45037.jpg
What is this orange thing? (looks like an ignition coil).

Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:37 am quote
Answering your questions in no particular order, the power for lights, turn signals, and horn come from my 52V battery. The thing with the ridges/fins on the right is a step down converter (48V to 12V). The alternative is to carry a second battery to power your non-drive electrics, but that adds weight and a second recharge you would need to perform. These converters are cheap, but don't take up much room and do the job. Except for the headlights, there is not much power draw and I have gone all LED. I am currently working on an LED headlight that will reduce my power needs further.

Other components in that photo include a fuse block, and the round thing is a common ground block. Not too visible is a relay you need to make your turn signals blink, but it is tiny.

I rewired the scooter for all of this, mostly because I had the scooter apart anyway, and it was a bodge. I didn't want to mess with fixing the bodge wiring so I started over. BTW, when you drop the engine and gas tank, there is a ton of room for you to play with.

Lastly, in the 2nd photo, the orange thing is a contactor. It is a solenoid that serves 2 purposes. The first is that when you turn the key, a rush of power flows from the battery to the controller. This gigantic power surge can damage the controller, so I added this component (it is recommended by the manufacturer). It's second, and equally important function, is safety. In the event of a battery failure, it will shut down the power to the motor and controller.

As to the wiring diagram, give me a little time to figure out how to display it. It isn't a very difficult wiring pattern, but I'd be happy to document it for you.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:45 am quote
Reistor - that's awesome.
Simple sketch of wiring diagram would be a killer - and not a bad set of crumbs for others to follow in future.
There are a bunch of online free diagram tools - no idea how complex or if any good at all - but might be simple drag and drop.

Had my tank out yesterday - there is significant space there to work with - agreed. Better understand your choice on the angled battery pack now.

Thanks for all - and yes please on any form of diagram including your planned upgrade - even if on a napkin...

Best,
CM
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:11 am quote
charlieman22,
I assumed you were inquiring about the wiring for the non-drive electrics. Here is my best effort on the wiring, and I will apologize in advance for my limited skills.

Since I was making a resto-mod, I decided to use a motorcycle switch instead of the vintage VBB switch. I did that for fitment reasons, and because I wanted to add turn signals where the original didn't have them. I used a switch made by K&S (Part # 12-0055; about $45). This wiring diagram is based on that switch, but it can be easily adapted, as this is a common configuration.

I'm sure you'll have questions, and I hope I have depicted it in a way that will be usable to you. If not, let me answer your questions.

Lastly, if you need to see the drive electronics, they are available on the Kelly Controls website. My controller is the KLSH7245, and the wiring diagram is online. It's a bit daunting to look at, but you won't use all of the wiring for your project.

Here's my diagram:

vespawire.pdf
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  vespawire.pdf
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Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:20 am quote
Electric vespa conversion wiring diagram
R - so helpful. Thank you for the heavy lifting/bushwhacking. Like the switch solution - nice touch for blinkers and choice of blinkers also understated - good solution.

Yes - this is exactly what I was looking for.

I will study in detail and fire back if clarification needed. First look = awesome road map!
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:29 am quote
Would love to hear an update.
Curious about experience and upgrades now that you have had a bit more time on the road.
- what kind of life are you getting outa the battery on your use?
- any further upgrades - i.e. led lights or other?
- what are you loving/ what would you do differently?

many thanks!
- CM
Addicted
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 616
Location: Toronto
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:40 am quote
I missed this back in March Nice project!

Don't those extra cables interfere / bind when you turn the handlebars? I guess it was too tight to get them into the downtube?
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:11 pm quote
Here's a quick update on my learnings/experience so far.

First, Voltage = speed and Amps = torque. My bike is powered by a 52V lithium battery and I top out at around 32mph using a full charge. When I built the bike, I thought this would be the performance so there's no disappointment there. I use the bike for short errands (gym, coffee shop, misc errands), so it performs as I intended. But I would like to make it faster to be more versatile and travel some faster roads from time to time. I think that means an upgrade to 72V to get about 45mph, so I may do that some time in the future. There is no shortage of torque and I can climb and accelerate without effort. I would just like to go a little faster.

Second, spend money on wire. I originally bought some 10 AWG CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)--big mistake! Pay attention to the quality of wire and you'll get better performance with less energy lost on heat. I've since replaced with 8AWG copper with big lug connectors for a little more peace of mind.

Third, this machine is clean. No more fuel mixing, no oil on the garage floor, turn the key and go. That's a really nice feature.

Berto, the wiring looks this way because I needed some space for the SS hydraulic hose for the back brake, and the electric throttle has a larger diameter cable. Since this bike started life in the US as a Viet-bodge, it had a handlebar configuration to make it look like a late 50's bike. I replaced that headset with a VNB model that had to be modified to accept the wiring, throttle, and brake, but left the down tube holes to take all to the rear of the bike. There is no binding, and it is easy to steer. I would have preferred to hide it all, but there was too much to conceal.

Lastly, I did build a LED headlight to reduce the power draw. Since I have been a bit windy in this post, I'll post again with pics of that project.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:26 pm quote
Resistor - Thank you.

Our uses are similar - groceries getter. Have had my eye on 45-50mph - so was recently doing some research.
Found a few on Ali express 3k watt/ 72v/ triangular/ varying AH options.

Links are ridiculously long - but here they are if you want to just browse.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/72V-25AH-lithium-battery-72V-3000W-triangle-battery-24-5AH-with-free-bag-use-3-7V/32956535898.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.2.87e24814dkV0do&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10065_10130_10068_10890_10547_319_10546_317_10548_10545_10696_453_10084_454_10083_10618_10307_537_536_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103,searchweb201603_6,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=33754ebc-6625-4017-a8de-bc196bdb1bbd-0&algo_pvid=33754ebc-6625-4017-a8de-bc196bdb1bbd

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3000W-72V-Electric-Bicycle-Battery-72V-25Ah-Triangle-Li-Ion-20S7P-18650GA-Lithium-Battery-Pack-For/32836555862.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.84.87e24814dkV0do&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10065_10130_10068_10890_10547_319_10546_317_10548_10545_10696_453_10084_454_10083_10618_10307_537_536_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103,searchweb201603_6,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=33754ebc-6625-4017-a8de-bc196bdb1bbd-12&algo_pvid=33754ebc-6625-4017-a8de-bc196bdb1bbd

DHgate has a 20ah for a very good price as well. https://www.dhgate.com/product/ebike-battery-72v-20ah-triangle-lithium-battery/448615575.html?f=bm%7cGMC%7cpla%7c1471809117%7c59782623991%7c448615575%7cpla-294573402136%7c103006001%7cUS%7cliuzedong7777%7cc%7c2%7c&utm_source=pla&utm_medium=GMC&utm_campaign=liuzedong7777&utm_term=448615575&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2uaj3cHx4QIVE8pkCh0Z5gZyEAQYASABEgLdfPD_BwE

Your guys at luna also have one - competitively priced - but little lower AH (17.5 I think).

As you probably know - normally - the cell manufacturer is the key to cost - with Samsung and Panasonic having very good reputations - but tending to be more costly.

My research is what sent me back to your post. Do you know what your battery AH was rated at? Would be interesting real life read on your range with that (and could extrapolate distance of other AH batteries from your experience).

* Noted on cabling.
Yes please on the LED conversion!

:-)

Thanks for all.

-CM
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:33 pm quote
My battery is 52V, 28.5 Ah, with 50 amps continuous and bursts to 70 amps. I get between 28 and 30 miles in range, depending on how hard I ride the throttle. The battery math for capacity is:52V x 28.5 Ah = 1482 watts of power. An e-bike rule of thumb for watt hours per mile is 20ish, but with more weight and starts/stops I cannot get near that number.

A second piece of battery math is how many watts are are available to be used to drive the motor. My battery is 52V and my continuous/peak amps are 50/70. So 52V x 50amps = 2600 watts. Since my motor is 3000 watts, I normally under drive my motor, unless I burst which would send up to 3640 watts for a short period. You can over-volt these motors for a while, but can damage them if you do it too long.

If you want to go fast, you'll want a big motor and a high powered battery. If you want to go far, you'll need more Ah (Amp hours). As with the internal combustion world, there are trade-offs with speed and range.

I've been following your post on the Vespa sidecar project. You've been doing some impressive work! I hope this post isn't too elementary for you.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:57 am quote
Quote:
I hope this post isn't too elementary for you.
Just the opposite - insightful.
I have seen various calculation methods online - but all theoretical.
Actually had not seen the watts per mile calc (VxAH).
So that's great.

So if I use your math:
1482WH = 29(avg) miles, then you are using closer to 50 watts per mile (ish).
With my sidecar weight - this will likely be closer to 60 empty.
65/70 loaded up with dog, or beer, or dog and beer.

If I have that right - a 40AH, 72V, ~3000W battery would give me:
40x72=2880 watts of power.
@ 60 watts per mile - i'd get about 48 miles - which would be great.
The 20AH version would be about half that - which would be ok - but a little less than desired.

This assumes I stick with a 3000W motor - rather then 4000W version. Not clear how the 4000W would effect this calc in real terms.

Lemme know if I screwed that up.
Wouldn't be the first time finance had to come in and correct my projections.

Thanks again for insights!
Cumulative effect very helpful.
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:25 am quote
Just make sure to keep Ah (amp hours) and continuous amps straight. From you battery links, it looks like those batteries are between 20Ah and 25Ah. So that means you can go 72V x 25Ah = 1800 amps/60 amps per mile, or about 30 miles. Also, we haven't talked about it in a while, but regen braking adds some range(and helps you stop quicker).

For speed, you use the continuous amps, which appear to be around 40 in these configurations. That would be 72V x 40 = 2880 amps too drive your 3000w motor. The speedy bikes have a continuous amp availability of around 70 to 100 amps and typically use a 4K or 5K motor.

Someday, I'll dive in an build my own battery. Many videos on the topic, but the distillation of my research is that scale matters here. Build one battery and it will cost as much as buying from a reputable builder; build more batteries and it is considerably cheaper. Then you can tailor your range and speed potential only limited by physics.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 278
Location: california
Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:35 am quote
Good stuff.
Will incorperate the continuous amp comments into my battery research.
Quote:
Someday, I'll dive in an build my own battery. Many videos on the topic, but the distillation of my research is that scale matters here. Build one battery and it will cost as much as buying from a reputable builder; build more batteries and it is considerably cheaper. Then you can tailor your range and speed potential only limited by physics.
Cool - had not gotten that deep.
If you get that far - make sure to include me on your second build - to help you with scale of course.

:-)

Great - second cup of coffee and some battery research on my Sunday am.
Tks!
Member
2013 S150; 1961 VBB
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Dallas
Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:44 pm quote
My word that when I take the plunge on battery construction you can join me in scale benefits.
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