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Electric Motorcycle : The Aprilia

Published Sunday, August the 10th 2008
* Up to 80mph with a nice brisk acceleration,
* Manage a range of 40 miles,
* Cost only 0.0057 pound per mile !!

Nice and light, the Aprilia RS125 makes a good donor vehicle for an electric motorcycle. Well shrouded by the fairing, it protects the electrics from water, and helps cut down the power consumption at higher speeds.

The original engine on this bike had suffered all the usual abuse that a bike owned by teenagers suffers, and even at its best it was smelly, unreliable, and expensive to run! All the more reason to throw out the old engine, and fit an electric motor in its place.

Running a lightweight motor designed and recently improved upon by Cedric Lynch and produced at his factory Agnimotors, in conjunction with LifePo4 lithium batteries from LifeBatt, this motorcycle is able to run to speeds of 80mph with nice brisk acceleration and manage a range of 40 miles max or 25 miles min (when run very very hard). Perversely best economy is achieved riding gently in town/city conditions.

Together with a 500A controller from Kelly Controllers, the motor produces around 40HP peak, and around 20HP continuous (more than the original engine when derestricted). With 40HP available on a bike that weighs just 140KG, its guaranteed to put a grin on your face every time.

At the end of its first 1000 miles, power consumption added up to just 5.70 pounds (daytime rates) of electricity. This works out to 0.0057 pound per mile (that's right, just over half a penny per mile!)

Since the bike is so much fun to ride, I plot to add more LifeBatt cells to increase battery range to 63 miles max (42 miles min), and in the near future also a second AgniMotor which would double available power. With the first ever isle of Mann TT race going electric next year, there's lots to test!
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