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FAQ

Aren’t electric motorcycles heavy?

With modern lithium batteries electric motorcycles don’t have to be any heavier then their gasoline counterpart while still getting a 50 to 100mile range or more.

When can I buy a kit?

The planed release date is Summer 2015,

What is in the basic conversion kit?

EZ-Go Motor on Honda CX500 Frame using Black Box Bike Electric Motorcycle Conversion Kit

The basic conversion kit is pretty simple, it’s a high quality CNC (computer numerical control) machined aluminum adapter plate that bolts on to a motor from a golf cart, GEM Car neighborhood electric vehicle or many of the after-market high performance motors.
Pressed in to that adapter is a sealed bearing with a CNC machined steel coupling inside of it that fits the internal splines of the motor. The other side of that coupling connects to the motorcycle’s drive shaft in the swing arm in the exact same way the gas engine connected, two more CNC aluminum brackets  allow the whole assembly to bolt on to the rear engine mounting points on the motorcycle frame without any modifications to the motorcycle frame, like cutting or welding, bolting it all together takes a matter of minutes and connects the electric motor to the frame and rear wheel of the motorcycle in the same way the gas engine had been connected.

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Don’t I need to be an electrical engineer to build an electric vehicle?

Nope, all of the electronics that you need are off the shelf components.
You’ll have to cut wires to length, crimp terminals on them and connect them together, but that is about it, all of the component manufacturers have online wiring diagrams so it’s easy to figure out how to connect everything together no matter what components you end up using.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the kit hasn’t been finalized yet.
The goal is to keep the total cost around $500 for the brackets and couplings that allow you to bolt on off the shelf parts and you should be able to build a full electric motorcycle for $1,500 for very basic electric Detroit Red Wings jersey mens conversion using lead acid batteries and around $3,500 for a clean, basic bike using lithium batteries, of course there are a lot of off the shelf parts that  are compatible so performance can match your budget and taste.

Why doesn’t the Black Box Bikes Kit include the batteries or electric motor?0501131557a (1024x768)

We want to build kits to let you use off the shelf parts, instead of convincing you that our off the shelf parts are worth buying so it comes down to getting the best price without compromising quality.
Lithium batteries are constantly getting better and dropping in price so if you shop around a little you will most likely be able to find a better price then we could give you by being the middle man.
Same with electric motors, we’d rather you support your local golf cart shop and buy a motor from them, use something you might already have or find a deal on online.

What motorcycles will the Black Box Bikes conversion kit fit?

It will fit any  late 1970’s to early 1980’s Honda CX500 or GL650 motorcycle without any modifications to the frame.
You just unbolt the engine and bolt the conversion kit to the mounting points that the gasoline engine used, reconnect the drive shaft, bolt the motor to the conversion kit, wire everything together and you are done!

In the future we’d like to offer kits for a wider range of motorcycles, but to do it right and maintain quality this will take time.

What if I want to go faster?  (Who doesn’t want to go faster?!)

The conversion kit works with  dozens of different electric motors from many popular golf carts, a common 3.5hp EZ-Go golf cart motor with a 48v battery gives performance a little slower then the stock gasoline CX500, but you can either bump the voltage up for more speed (double the voltage, double the speed!) or use a motor from a larger/heavier NEV like a GEM Car if you want more torque on a budget.
Then if you still want more power there are motors like  HPEVS.com’s  AC-50, a motor designed for 3,500 pound cars traveling at freeway speeds.
So when you want more power it’s just a matter of removing 2-4 wires and 4 bolts, then that larger motor will bolt right in, giving you dozens of options only limited by your budget, it’s no longer a guessing game of wondering if a larger motor will bolt on the motorcycle you want to use.

 

Is it legal?

Yes, converting a gasoline motorcycle to electric puts it in the same category hot rods, street rods and other modified vehicles. Most states have options for special license plates but those are not always required. However,  you should always check with your state’s Department Of Motor Vehicles before making any modifications to a vehicle.

 What about insurance?

Most insurance companies want to know if the frame has been modified (cut and welded) or if it has a larger displacement engine then stock. Neither of these are the case with the Black Box Bikes conversion kit. But, again, it’s advised to check before making any modifications.

Coming Soon!

Imagine the thrill of riding a motorcycle on a country road with just the sound of your surroundings, on a motorcycle you built!

Electric CX500 Motorcycle with Black Box Bikes Kit at the Maker Faire

 

The hard part of converting a gas motorcycle to electric can be connecting the motor to the cycle frame then connecting the motor to the drive wheel, many times this can feel like fitting a square peg in a round hole, what we have boils down to a square peg to round hole adapter, a set of high quality American made CNC machined brackets and couplings that in a matter of minutes bolts to an unmodified motorcycle frame using the same mounting points as the gasoline engine used as well as connecting directly to the drive shaft in the same way the gas engine connected.
The other side of the adapter kit bolts to a common, low cost golf cart motor.

Don’t settle for just a single motor of our choosing, instead you have a wide range of brands and sizes of electric golf cart motors to pick from, it doesn’t matter if you buy a new or used motor, choose one that fits your budget and gives the performance you want.

Keep control over what batteries, speed controller and all the other electronics, we’ll give you specifications of what will work so you can shop around for the best deal.
You can start out building a budget bike for commuting and if in a few years you want more performance it’s easy to upgrade because many components are standardized in how they connect giving you the option to build a much faster electric motorcycle.

For now the Black Box Bikes kit is designed to work only with the shaft drive of the Honda CX500 and  GL500  motorcycles.
It works with a drive shaft instead of a chain so it ends up being a very quiet, almost silent motorcycle and, when the entire drive-line is enclosed it ends up being very clean and safe, like an electric vehicle should be.

In the future we plan to expand what motorcycles our kits fit, we have the Honda Silverwing, Honda Goldwing and Honda VT Shadow in our sights.

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