Blog / General
Time really flies, it's already been over 2 years since my last post here. I think it's about time I give you all an update. And what better way to do that than by sharing a video of a nice sunny ride in autumn. As you can see the quad bike and me are still doing well. :)
Since I solved the temperature problem 2 years ago I didn't run into any real problems anymore. I've just been enjoying all the rides I could do with it without any needed maintenance whatsoever.
But part of this no maintenance has to do with a pretty sad problem, the range. You'd think that in 2 years time I'd have quite some mileage on it, but that's far from the truth. The problem here is that, with my current battery pack, I was expecting a range of about 60 miles / 100 km. In reality I'm not even getting half of that, maybe if I'm very conservative.
So the result is that I can't really take it out for long and also can't even get to work with it. I guess you could say it's a miscalculation for the capacity of the battery pack that I needed. But it actually is pretty close in terms of capacity to some electric motorcycles that get much further on a charge. What I didn't really account for was the enormous drag / wind resistance you get on a quad bike while driving at high speed on the road. And ofcourse the rear tyres being connected by a solid axle instead of a differential doesn't help for the range either.
This will one day be fixed by upgrading the battery pack to a larger one. But this will be quite a costly upgrade and right now I have some other priorities that will also cost me money. So for now it'll have to stay like this while still enjoying the short rides around town. Lets just say it's not a problem that can't be fixed, it's just that it is the most expensive problem you can have with an electric conversion. ;)
Other than that it's all been good but some parts did get swapped out. One of them being the Trailtech Striker tachometer which unfortunately broke down not too long ago and it was just outside of the warranty period. But I have a new one now and it's been working great again. I also replaced the Tracopower DC/DC converter with a Sevcon. I needed a little bit more power since the Tracopower couldn't really handle the load without getting very hot. Again, no more issues after replacing. I've also made some small changes to the 12V electric system, mainly to make the charging process a bit easier and to remove some components that weren't really being used anymore. But that's about it. The only thing I'm still thinking about is converting the chain to a belt since the chain grease is hard to get off the beautiful white frame. ;)
So that concludes my update. I'm not sure but I think it might be a while again before you see another update here. Probably next year around this time there'll be an update about the other priorities I was talking about but I can't really say too much about that yet right now. So it's a goodbye again for now. :)
It's been quiet for a while again but finally there is some news today. After 4,5 weeks of waiting I finally received the new registration document today. :) Fuel type (Brandstof in Dutch) is now E for Electric. I can now finally go out on the roads with the quad bike legally.
I'll make use of this right away tomorrow. :) But the first few times will only be short test runs so I can try to fix the motor temperature issues. Only once that is fixed I can try some longer distances. But that will hopefully happen very soon already.
After the weekend I'll probably have some pictures and a video again for you all. ;)
Posted on 21 June 2015 at 09:17 pm (CET)
This weekend I worked on the quad bike again. I had some issues with the brake system again. Every time after bleeding the brakes the brake pressure was good but a few days later the brake pressure was suddenly much less. I already wasn't satisfied with the brake pressure of this new brake cylinder. Probably because the piston is much smaller than with the original brake cylinder. But I thought that one was broken, so I just wanted to try a different one.
To be sure I tried again with the old brake cylinder and as it turns out it's still working great. I also discovered why I wasn't getting any brake pressure with this brake cylinder last time. I totally missed this one washer that apparently comes with a new banjo bolt with built in brake pressure switch. It has exactly the same color as the banjo bolt.
I placed an extra copper washer between this which made the banjo bolt not thread into the brake cylinder deep enough. Because of this the distance between the piston and the banjo bolt was too big to be able to build up any brake pressure. I removed this washer now so the banjo bolt is threaded deeper into the brake cylinder. While bleeding the brakes I already got brake pressure very quickly now. After the bleeding the brake pressure is also much better than with the smaller Brembo brake cylinder. So for now I'll just keep using the original brake cylinder again.
Since it always took pretty long before I had the quad bike attached on the trailer I bought some new clamping straps. With these I can get it attached on the trailer within 5 minutes. Also placed 2 wheel blocks on the trailer so I can't drive forward too much and damage the bumper while doing so. This nearly happened once. ;) The quad bike is also always exactly in the middle like this.
Now I just still have to wait for the approval test. Meanwhile I do finally have an appointment. The approval test will be in 9 days already, on June 30th. Will have to be there at 8 o'clock in the morning again. It's going to be very exciting again, but I have faith that everything will go just fine this time around. :) I also really hope so cause I finally want to go out on the road and ride it. ;)
Today I made one last modification. At the RDW they said the visors on the headlights are too sharp. They're right about this but it's standard so it probably also got approved like this.
To keep them happy I placed some rubber profiles on it. The sharp edges are gone now and it still looks pretty good.
There's also some good news. I don't have an appointment yet, already trying for 2 weeks but can't seem to get a hold of the one who schedules the appointments. I did still come in contact with the inspector though.
It was still a bit unclear if a seperate EMC test for the whole quad bike would be needed, which normally costs around 1500 euros, or if the certification and test report of the controller would be enough. Thankfully the inspector told me that it won't be needed and that the certification of the controller is enough right now. So the EMC part of the approval is finally done and over with. This was also the hardest part but I won't have to worry about it any longer.
But there's also some bad news, thankfully not for my own quad bike though. At the RDW they're planning to sharpen the regulations for EMC even more. This will already happen very quickly since for my quad bike they discussed if it would still fall under the current regulations. So in the future it'll become even harder to get an electric conversion approved at the RDW. I think an EMC test for the whole vehicle will be mandatory then, or all of the components should be approved. But for my quad bike this is not a problem thankfully.
Now I just have to wait for an appointment, the quad bike is all ready for it again. Hopefully I'll hear something from them this coming week.
This weekend I've made a few modifications so the quad bike will hopefully pass the approval test without any problems soon.
The brake system is completely original again. The footbrake brakes on all of the wheels now. Both brake lines are connected to the brake cylinder now.
The mechanical handbrake is back on it as well.
I've also made a system that gives a warning signal when you get off the quad bike while the drivetrain is still active. I've done this with a switch in the left foot peg.
The drive mode buttons will all 3 flash when you get off.
Since the flash relay I'm using doesn't work well with only LED's I wanted to hide a normal light bulb somewhere which also flashes together with the LED's. But it turned out I couldn't hide this, the light just shines right through the plastic fender. I actually like the effect it gives and it makes it even more clear that the drivetrain is still active.
Since I modified the brake system I wanted to test again. Because it was necessary ofcourse, not because I just wanted to or something like that. :) But in any case the brakes seem to be working just fine.
Made a quick video. Even our dog really likes the quad bike. ;)
Everything that had to be modified for the approval has been done now. There are still a few things where I'm waiting on a reply from the RDW. But hopefully I'll hear something about that this coming week. I'm also looking to make a new appointment already for the approval test.