Cargo Bike |
Why Cargo Bike?|
To Achieve several of the 2015 Riding Season Goals the bike needed to be able to carry cargo more easily:
Also, since this bike is primarily used for commuting (going to and from work, running errands, picking up supplies, etc.), the ability to carry cargo is key to it being a practical vehicle.
Mounting Concepts for Chevy Volt Battery Packs - May 1, 2015|
If the D-11 is setup with a Cargo Bike rear end set-up, it will be easy to add 5kWh packs to the bike as needed to extend range and/or haul tons of cargo.
Here's a picture from http://www.thebicycleworks.org/ of the kinds of cargo that a bike with a nice rear end can haul.
Sometimes it will be all cargo, sometimes it will be an extra person or two, sometimes it will be all batteries for extra range. If setup correctly, it will be easy to change over to whatever is desired for the ride of the day.
Test Ride with 300 Pounds of Battery's - May 3, 2015|
This test ride did two things. It verified a 5kWh chunk of the Chevy Volt battery would operate the motorcycle and that the bike handling was good with 100# of batteries mounted high on the tail.
Work Day - June 4, 2015|
Did a test ride with 200# of batteries on the tail. Put in a heavier rear shock and that still is not enough. I need an AIR SHOCK! An air shock will help compensate ground clearance for my ever changing vehicle weight, and it would help me lift off and sit me on my centerstand when parking.
Air Shock - June 8-9, 2015|
Purchased a used air shock from a Ninja 900. This hopefully will allow me to raise and lower the bike off the centerstand allowing easier parking with various weight configurations and on uneven parking surfaces like in campgrounds. The shock looks very large, but the diameter is very close to the Yamaha Seca 2 shock next to it. It is 1" longer, but the D-11 already had adjustability for that built in.
Made new custom pillow blocks to fit shock on bike (needed extra clearance for the air filling and ride stiffness adjustment rod).
The air shock was interesting, but didn't work as well as hoped.
The adjustable ride system (air or mechanical) that is on the Honda Silver and Gold Wings is probably the best solution for this bike, but it is expensive.
In the mean time, I implemented a quick and dirty work around. I went back to the heaviest spring shock I had (from a 2010 Yamaha VStar 650 Classic - visually identical to 1992-1996 SECA 2 shocks but with stronger spring). This is mechanically adjustable to give different ride heights. Along with adding some bar clamps to give outrigger's for supporting the bike when on dirt or uneven surfaces.
Various Configurations - July 2015|
Configuration 1: Put's extra battery weight on tail up high and makes it so outriggers are not required unless on uneven or soft surfaces. This is the most efficient configuration for longer rides because aero drag is less. Range in this configuration is 55-60 miles at normal commuting speeds (45-55mph).
Configuration 2: Put's lots of weight on the trailer (battery, chargers, etc). So, the tail of the bike is light and outrigggers definately required, unless shock is adjusted.
Configuration 3: Put's a passenger seat on the bike. The trailer is not shown attached, but with a passenger, that's the easiest way to have more batteries or cargo.
NOTE: There are common mounting hole locations between the trailer and the tail of the bike so everything can be swapped from trailer to bike. Threaded inserts, eyebolts with wing nuts are used so that no tools are required and extra bungy cord connection points are achieved.
First Trip - Mid-Ohio Vintage Days- July 2015|
This was first loading technique and I had weight distribution too high (heavy stuff in the top bag and chargers were somewhat high.
A nice setup putting most of the weight on the trailer. The problem is the trailer aerodynamics are bad (needs aero fenders on the wheels), and bag covers brake light and turn signals on bike.
Had fun riding with Richard Goff and Ben Nelson in the Fuel Economy Competition (in the rain!). The waterproof boxes for the chargers were just the ticket!
First Camping Trip - Loop the Lake with Ben Nelson - September 2015|
Fast Charging with four chargers on RV50 outlet in Baldwin, Michigan.
Camping at State Park in Ludington
Recharging in the rain under bike cover
Riding into the sunset
Tony rides with us
Mini Tour - September 6-8, 2015|
On Saturday, September 5th, I packed the bike to be ready for a mini camping trip in conjunction with Ben Nelson's "Loop the Lake".
Here's my gear together for an overnighter trip. Includes 3 boxes of charging equipment...
On Sunday, September 6th, I rode from my house south of Grand Haven to Baldwin and then to Traverse City where I met Ben and camped at Ludington State Park. Total Miles for the day: 164
First pit stop in Ravanna.
Charging on RV50 in Baldwin behind Jones Ice Cream Store
Arrived safe and happy at the Ludington State park
Ben Nelson and his Loop the Lake Vectrix bike with Nissan Leaf Batterys.
On Monday, September 7th, we packed up ready for rain. I rode with Ben from Traverse City to Manistee, to Ludington, and then to my Parents house near Twin Lake to stay the second night. Total Miles for the day: 158
Here I am packing the bike. I eventually moved swapped the tent and the sleeping mat from side to side to balance the load this balanced the load and made the steering balanced.
We rode rain free all day
However, we did charge in the rain.
Trying to beat the Sun to bed Monday evening. The Sun won.
On Tuesday, September 8th, I rode with Ben from Twin Lake to my house where we worked on Ben's seat and then with Tony Helmholdt (riding his 2014 Zero DS) rode to Sagutuck for Lunch.
Charging all the bikes at once from the outlets in the Sagutuck park near the marina. All bikes were fully charged when we were done with lunch.
I rode home in a heavy rain. The biggest problem is that water mist is getting in where my feet are from the front wheel - I'll need to put the cold weather baffle in place whenever I think it will be raining during a ride.
Lessons of the Loop the Lake Tour - September 2015|
Second Camping Trip Very Practical and Fun - September 2015|
Getting ready to head out for a weekend camping trip with my son.
Sleeping Mat=1#, Ammo box with Charge Adapters and 1 Charger=15#, Ammo Box with Zivan Charger and Timer Box=11#, Large Bag with clothes & Sleeping bag=15#, Camp Chair 2.5#, Large Tool box with Charger 2&4 with cooling fan=17#, Day pack=6#, Tent = 9#.
Total weight of chargers and camping gear = 76.5#
Plus 100# battery and 10# tools = 186.5# on back of bike!
Lessons of Moped Ride with Nick - September 2015|
Inventing a better tomorrow today... Copyright 2015, Schultz Engineering, LLC, written by Kraig Schultz|