If, one day, you decide to electrify a motorcycle, you might begin by seeking the advice of someone who has already tackled this kind of project. Ted Dillard is such a person. Sadly (depending on who you ask), there is only one of him, and he likely lacks the time to talk with absolutely everyone interested in doing a conversion. Luckily, he's written a book that generously dishes out what he's learned during his own walk down the DIY path.

...from Fossils to Flux (A Basic Guide to Building an Electric Motorcycle) is a relatively concise volume with a conversational flow that introduces you to just every aspect of building a battery-powered bike. It's not a step-by-step guide by any means. More of an introductory primer to the parts involved and how they all work together. Batteries, BMS, and controllers? Covered. Motors, chargers, and contactors? All there.

And, if you need motivation, you can always refer to Ted's second build (pictured above) – a 210 lb cafe racer built on an 1971 Yamaha R5 frame which, we're told, has awesome speed and acceleration. Powered by a Motenergy permanent magnet DC motor linked to an Alltrax controller and fed by a small bank of Turnigy LiPo batteries, it only goes about 10 miles (for now) and looks damn fine while doing it. Sweet, yes?

The recently updated 2nd edition of ...from Fossils to Flux is now available in either paperback and eBook form here. You can also keep up with Ted's current activities and insights on his EV-centric blog, The Electric Chronicles. Enjoy!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      10miles? I think I will stick with my bike.
        GeorgeS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Yes Paul, but I am sure your bike is boring!!
        Tweaker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        A small battery pack also recharges quickly and few if any will want to ride that bike more than 10 miles a day.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you can't build your own there is always Brammo and Zero.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 2 Years Ago
      Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle - Carl Vogel 2009 - very comprehensive also
      GeorgeS
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK I bot the book. I've wanted to build an electric acceleration sled but cars are too expensive and the electric bikes one can buy are kind of boring (except empulse) so maybe I'll spend 2 or 3 times as much building one myself.. Sounds logical yes??
      DarylMc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even with only 10 mile range I'm sure it would generate some huge smiles but all the retro appeal in the world can't compensate for drum brakes.
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