Back in Business

Just went to get the bike back from winter storage. Tire pressures, breaks, etc. checked and the bike switched on. Voltages were also where they should be. Glad that I switched the 12V battery to lithium too. No trouble “starting up” even after several months of hibernation.

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Sleep Tight

Well it’s been an awfully quiet season (post-wise). I’ve driven the bike once a while to work, but lately I’ve mostly taken the car, since I can’t pack two kids with me using the motorcycle, as I need to take them to daycare. The bike works great and I haven’t had any problems with it this season, either. Now I’ve stored it to a biker friend’s garage, accompanied by several nice Harley-Davidsons. Glad that they could accept my little “project” besides their bikes.

“Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Summertime

Haven’t been posting much lately, I know… Nothing much to report. Just recently started really using the bike for commuting again. Works like a charm. ;-)

Unfortunately I haven’t had any time to work on the upgrades which I’ve had in mind. Haven’t even checked the batteries on cell level. Just checked the brakes, tires etc. and the pack voltage is where it’s supposed to be and voltages stay within proper levels during my daily trips. Good times.

Wakey wakey!

The season has begun! So today I finally went to get my bike from the storage. It’s always reassuring to see the pack voltage where it’s supposed to be, when the pack is connected again and power turned on after more than 5 months of slumber. Just had to pump some air into the tires and everything else checked out fine. And when I drove it to my parent’s house (where I originally built the bike) it was really fun to be on two wheels again!

Next I’ll remove the batteries and I’ll make some improvements, especially to the battery cases. I need to make a proper lid for the top box and I’ll also add some spacers that should keep the batteries from jumping up and down in the case when hitting some bumps etc.

There’s also couple other things I’m going to do, but I’ll talk about those when I’m working on them…

Spring!

Ah, spring! Finally! Soon I’ll go and get my motorcycle from the storage. Just need to arrange it. I hope everything is ok with the bike. First I think I’ll make some basic check-up and maintenance. At least I need to tighten the chain a little bit. And I’ll check the cell voltages and even possibly bottom-balance the whole pack once more. The top battery pack should also have a proper lid (finally), not just some rubber-mat & jesus-tape hack. So that needs to be fabricated. And I’d love to install the fairings as well, to make the bike to look a bit less “blocky”.

On the technology side, I think I’ll get a PowerLog 6S that I’ll rig to monitor five groups of five cells each (about 15-17.5V per group). With this device I should be able to monitor the pack more accurately and have an audible alarm if any of the groups starts to deviate enough (say one of the cells starts to drop way below safe limits before the others).

Even with the bottom-balancing, adding an extra layer of monitoring isn’t that a bad idea. We’ll see how that will work.

Bike in Winter Storage

Finally decided to store the bike for winter and drove it for the last time this year. Hadn’t been able to drive that much anyways, as the weather has been too cold and wet for my taste. Yesterday when I took it to storage, temperature was about 0 degrees Celsius and the batteries seemed real sluggish. I bet the range wouldn’t be that great either. So now it’s in the warm storage, waiting for the next season. (And it’s a loooong wait.)

So this was my first full season with the bike. The only really problem I had with it was the faulty charger. Otherwise the bike itself has worked great and as expected. I had hoped to install fairings and other “bling-bling” this year, but since the bike has worked as intended, and I’ve had very little time to anything about it, I’ve postponed that. And I have no real plans for it during this winter either, since I will be occupied with other things. In the spring I’m planning to do some regular brake maintenance, but otherwise it should be good to go once the weather warms up again and the snow melts.

It’s Getting Cold…

Another “winter is coming” update, as it’s getting cold and dark in the mornings. During daytime it’s still nice and warm, about 15 degrees C. But for the mornings I really need to search for my thicker pants and maybe I should also add some thin gloves under my driving gloves, since my fingers froze when I drove to work this morning.

But unlike with my earlier lead-powered electric scooter, this kind of temperature (still above freezing) has little or no effect on battery operation. Nothing that I could notice anyways. Luckily the time when it’s too cold for batteries, it’s also too cold for myself too. We’ll see how this autumn turns out…

And yeah, the replacement charger that I got still seems to be doing it’s job.