Building An Electric Motorbike...Out Of Plywood? Plans Available

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Building An Electric Motorbike...Out Of Plywood? Plans Available 5

Check out my latest custom motorcycle build - 20 hp, 120 kph, 100 km driving range:

DISCLAIMER: This is a prototype vehicle. By purchasing the plans, building and using the prototype as your own for personal or commercial use, you are assuming all responsibility related to that use (resale of the plans is forbidden). Please obey the rules of the road, and wear safety gear.

This was by far one of my favorite builds. Everything went well, and the bike works great! As you can see in the video, the roads around here are so bad we'd almost be better off going back to dirt and grading it once a month instead (I had to drive on the shoulder of my street - that's how bad it is). They're rough, full of pot holes and raised culverts, and are a good test for the structural integrity of this bike. After 200+ km's, so far I've had 0 problems and don't anticipate any popping up in the future. This bike is solid. Its frame is basically a fiberglass reinforced glue-laminated beam, after all.

When it comes to weight, the frame is ~60 lb, and the bike in total weighs 120 lb. This is comparable to the LMX free ride motorbike which weighs 100 lb. A motorbike with an equally sized engine in terms of hp (100-125cc = ~6-8 hp at 1hp per ~15cc avg) will weigh around 200-250 lbs, so this bike has a big advantage in that regard.

The motor is rated for 3000 watts continuous output, 5000 watts peak. It has loads of torque (max 85 Nm) for accelerating and climbing steep hills, a lot more than what I need. Top speed is rated at around 90 kph, but I've only had it up to 80 kph on these roads - they're just too rough to go beyond that for a novice like me, I'm still getting used to driving that fast on two wheels lol. Regardless, it has no trouble keeping up to traffic or overtaking slow drivers, if need be.

The battery consists of ten lithium 40V/5Ah Greenworks yard tool battery packs, which are wired in a series-parallel configuration to create a 72V/25Ah bank (nominal voltage for the packs is actually 36V) - I kept the leads from the batteries to the terminal blocks exactly the same length so that the internal resistance is the same in each, that way the packs are all charged and discharged equally and maintain a perfect balance between them at all times. They have a BMS built into them, so that really minimized the job of making the bank. I've been using Greenworks yard tools for a few years, so I figured the versatility of using their battery packs with this bike would pay off. They were close to the same cost as purchasing individual 18650's, so the choice seemed like a no-brainer to me.

In the video I take the bike for a ~35 km round trip from home to town and back, which took around 40-45 minutes and only used around 60% of a full charge (the time lapse of the trip is sped up quite a bit to save time, so use the speed settings in the Youtube player to slow it down if you have trouble seeing the speed and power input on the display screen). If I pushed it to the limit, I could probably get between 45-50 km's per charge on avg terrain. Ideally, to make the battery life last as long as possible, they shouldn't be drained more than 75% before recharging. This could mean the difference between replacing them in 2 years vs 10 years.

In total this project cost me around $2000 (Canadian): $600 for the motor and controller, $900 for the batteries, and another ~$500 for the suspension, plywood, fenders, lights, etc. Some parts are recycled from my old downhill mtb too. For comparison, to buy a 3000W electric motorbike - like the LMX 161-H for example - would have cost me $7800 Euros, or nearly $12,000 Canadian! That's not gonna happen lol.

Power: 3000W continuous, 5000W peak (~4 - 7 horsepower)
Weight: 120 lbs (54 kg)
Top speed: 56 mph (90 kph)
Range: 30 miles (~50 km), average terrain

Wheelbase: 53”
Head tube angle: 66°
Suspension travel: ~180mm
Wheels: 26”x3” front, 26”x3” rear
Seat height: ~35”

Controller: 72V/60A
Motor: brushless hub motor
Battery: 72V/25Ah

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💬 Comments on the video

Your skill level and creativity is insane! Your channel should be 100x the size. Thanks for sharing with us!

Author — Gabe Lumby


This man is a brilliant genius. I am sharing this work with all my friends on social media. Thank you. I am humbled for the value of the plans at such an affordable price.

Author — Laur Bucur


DIY mastery level: 100% platinum with 5 stars
This is the coolest shit if it comes it bikes and e stuf I have seen so far

Author — Iggy Pi


Kinda makes you feel like an inferior man watching this level of skill

Author — Bertie Blue


I prefer hydraulic disc brakes. James you are a genius. Your bike is better than some factory made on the market.

Author — Uncle Charley Who Knows Everything A Real Mota Foka


Everything came sooo perfect..this is the kind of content youtube was made for 👍👏

Author — RaVee Vrichikakanth


this recommended by youtube is the best so far! your build is insane 🔥🔥🔥 and 1 thing can you be my dad?? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Author — JDgaming


Youtube: Building a motor bycicle out of wood

Author — Rishant J


You are a one in a million, intelligent, talented, hard working
I'm envious.
I couldn't build a skateboard...

Author — Joseph Melia


your a fu*cking genius craftsman!...thats one of the most impressive builds I have ever seen!...BRAVO!

Author — Cam Thomas


Wow you must've felt so good and impatient when screwing those last screws! You can be proud of yourself, you did great! This build is simply neat!

Author — Le Cobra


Man these sound gave me flashbacks to the dentist cutting my tooth in half

Author — Pixeled Nuggets


Wow! I thought I made a nice e-bike. You just made me very humble. In a good way. Put another motor on the front and you'll be amazed with the torque and responsiveness. Having two motors changes everything. Each motor is helping the other. Here's a link on Amazon for Cable Actuated Hydraulic Calipers, so you still have the motor cut off of the cable levers and the functionality of hydraulic brakes. (TRP HY/RD Road Hydraulic Disc Brake Caliper Black with Rotor. by TRP). I hope it's helpful because you're going to go through brake pads like crazy. I built an all wheel drive fat bike and added the hydraulic calipers. It made a huge difference. The bike weighs 135lbs. I just bought two Sine Wave Controllers so I'll have regenerative braking. That way the motor will assist in braking. Saving me wear on the pads so I won't have to buy brake pads as often. Thank you so much. I didn't expect to see the results you've produced. Genius! Truly Genius.

Author — Jim Dumas


Why is the seat four inches wide? Answer: it doesn't matter, the range is so short you won't have to worry much about a sore butt.

Author — gym shoe


Easily the best looking home build E-bike I've seen. Also love the understated presentation of your vid. Thank you sir.

Author — Ian Bunyan


Unbelievably well made! My extended family from my mom’s side lives in New Brunswick too, just so you know. Is there any fire risks with placing electric batteries (lipos or whatever you’re using) directly on top of the plywood, ie. if you’re charging and it overcharges?

Author — Top Secret


I was blown away by how well made this bike turned out and the scenery on the test ride was amazing. I'm an avid e-biker and have yet to see anything on the market with as many features. Kudos for an awesome build and a great video!

Author — Dawn Martin


This is the best movie I've seen this year!

Author — Greg Miller


The editing itself is a masterpiece :D

Author — Q36BN


You are the greatest! Thank you for doing this! Great inspiration!

Author — Sergei Charlie iCafe RDesign