Blog / Rides
I realise it's been a very long time since the last post on this blog. I did mention in my last post that it could be a while, I just didn't think it'd take me another year and a half. :) But well, here I finally am with an update just in time for the summer of 2020. What a year it has been so far, so many negative things. Hopefully the rest of the year will be all positive!
So lets talk about the quad bike, that's why you're probably here. ;) It's still doing great. I go out and ride it every once in a while. Not as often as I'd like to because of the range still being a bit low. It's difficult to find a balance between being efficient and just having fun. So usually my rides aren't any longer than 20-25 km (12-15 miles) unless I can stay somewhere for a few hours and charge it back up meanwhile. Would really love to upgrade that battery pack to a much higher capacity one so my range would go to at least 100 km (62 miles). But something else happened, which I'll mention at the end of this post, that is pretty much taking up my time and money right now. :) So the battery pack will have to wait for a bit, I'm sure it'll happen at some point though.
Other than range it's all been very positive. I've had no issues with the quad bike whatsoever, it's been very reliable. Pretty much what you would expect with an electric vehicle. Also when the quad bike is not in use I really don't have to look after it. The battery drain of the BMS is very low, I could probably leave the quad bike unattended for at least half a year without having to worry about the battery draining. Few hours before I want to take it for a ride again I just charge it back to full and it's ready to go again. This is only possible because of the mid pack contactor I'm using which pretty much shuts off all power. I can also disable the 12V system completely. That makes sure there's no drain besides the BMS. Really happy with my decision to make the system that way. I see others having to charge their EV's every few weeks or so to not damage the battery. But me, I just charge it after my ride, power down the system and just don't worry about it for the next few months, it's great!
As for rides, I actually had a pretty nice ride few days ago and found a nice area to shoot some new pictures. Hadn't really done this yet, there weren't really that many great pictures in my album yet, besides the few I shot to get my quad bike covered in a Bright magazine (Dutch tech journalist company) a few years ago. Here are the new pictures of my quad bike in 2020. :)
As you can see there haven't really been any changes to the quad bike anymore. Why change something that is working so great, right? :) There's actually a different reason why there haven't been any changes and it's taken so long for me to post another update here. And that is this right here.
My very own Tesla Model 3 SR+! :) Ofcourse with me being an EV enthusiast I couldn't keep driving my gas powered car and wanted to make the switch to an electric car as well. Had to decide if I would again convert or just buy one that's ready to go. With the Tesla Model 3 coming out right around that time the decision was ultimately very easy te make. I really had to postpone everything else I wanted to make enough money to buy it and in the end was able to do so. I'm so happy right now with my Tesla, I really consider it my best purchase of anything I've ever bought so far. Ofcourse my quad bike is still the best thing I own since I built that myself but this Tesla comes really close. ;) As you can see I've already done some modifications to it and will continue to do so to make it a more unique car since there are so many on the roads right now.
So that explains why my quad bike hasn't gotten as much attention anymore lately. But don't worry, I still have a lot of plans for it! Keep following this blog by either subscribing to the mailing list, following my page on Facebook or following me on Instagram.
Instagram link is actually new to this blog, I'll be posting pictures of both my quad bike and my Tesla on there so if you're interested in that, definitely give me a follow! :)
I've removed the link to my Twitter page and don't really plan on updating that anymore. I've hardly gained any followers there since I started this blog so I decided to drop that one.
I'd say Instagram is definately the best way to follow me and both my EV's right now. ;)
Posted on 15 November 2018 at 11:23 pm (CET)
Last week I had another ride which was actually the longest so far. I went to visit the company that helped making the aluminum parts (Geraets Metaalbewerking). I promised them a while ago already that I'd come there to show the quad bike but just never got around to it. But now was the time to finally do it.
Pretty much the whole ride was on Eco mode to make sure I could actually get there. I was a bit worried since the range of this quad bike is still pretty low at only 30-35 km (18-21 miles). The distance to there is about 23 km (14 miles) so I went a bit easy on the power. In the end though it doesn't seem to make that much difference if I use Eco or Sport mode. Power is limited in Eco mode but since it takes me longer to get to a certain speed I still end up using around the same power as when I get there quickly using Sport mode.
Thankfully I could get there without a problem with still around 30% battery left. On the way back I was a bit less conservative and used Sport mode a few times. Again I had about 30% left. The way back was a bit shorter though since I could take a small shortcut. Ofcourse I did have to recharge while on visit, took about 2,5 hours from 30% back to 100%.
This was a really fun day for me, spent a lot more time than usual on the quad bike and it was really nice to show that company the quad bike. They only saw the aluminum parts that they made for me back then. Now they could see them mounted on the quad bike and the actual result of the project itself. :)
There were also 3 firsts during this ride, first time riding through a 'bigger' city, the first time on an highway (100 km/h / 62 mph) and also the first time actually making it to 100 km/h (62 mph). It was behind a truck and going downhill but it counts! Both riding in the city and on the highway were pretty weird but fun at the same time. Ofcourse I also had to make a video of it again, think it's also the longest video so far. :D
Posted on 6 November 2018 at 11:11 pm (CET)
So another year just went by again. I did say in my last post it might take a while but here I am again. :) I unfortunately haven't been able to ride much this year due to some health issues but thankfully it's slowly getting better. So when the weather was nice again last weekend I just couldn't resist to go out for another ride. Ofcourse I have some footage again, this time I went for the onboards, both front and rear. Still think this is more fun to see than helmet cam, at least for myself to see everything moving and check up on things. Like how I now know that I have to adjust my chain tension a bit. :D
I went for another ride today to visit some friends, still have to edit the footage since it's way too much to put in one video. So more on that soon. :)
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. :)
After making a few modifications the motor gets cooled a little better now. The motor doesn't get warm as quickly now and when standing still the temperature drops rather quick. But still the motor does get a little too warm after riding for a while, even on continuous power.
First modification is 3 fans right below the motor, these blow air from below through the motor. For testing I just attached them with some velcro.
I just have the idea that it doesn't really work that great while driving since the airflow is probably pushing all of the air out of the way. So I'll have to close this off a bit with some kind of air intake on the bottom, should work a bit better then. I also ordered the wrong fans, these don't have enough airflow. I've now ordered some that have double the airflow and are a little bigger.
The second modification is a hole in the protective cover of the motor. I just placed a hose on there with the in-line blower. This one sucks the hot air out of the brush area.
This seems to be working pretty well, just makes a lot of noise. But even like this the motor still gets a bit too warm (73 degrees celsius on continuous power). I could still try to turn around the in-line blower to push air into the motor. Just still have to add an air filter then.
But at least for testing I can now ride a bit longer distance. I've done this a few times already. Here's a video again of last weekend. Went out for a ride in the evening, came across 3 very nice classic cars just within 15 minutes of riding time. Also did one more lap in the dark, thought that was pretty amazing. :)