Funbike edition summer 2012

Transforming a Volta into a electric recumbent scooter.

I started workinig on a electric motorbike for my son. He is only 12 at the moment i started with the idea, but ...i knew that development of a good design can take some time, so i hope to have something ultra cool when he is 16.  :)

At first i thought to make a complete new design. I bought hub engines in the Netherlands. But ...building from scratch will take for ever. And i wanted something like a quick project.

So ...i bought myself a brandnew electric scooter. It is a EagleWing Volta. Maximum speed was calibrated to 45 km/h, which makes it a vehicle my son could use as he gets 16 years old.

The original Volta donor bike.


The stripped Volta.


I am trying to see how the driver could sit. Here i try a rather backwards positioned seat. My feet are next to the front wheel.


Lets weld a frame to hold the seat and so. I just made small temporary welds, so i could still play a bit with positioning the tubes. Euh ...that was my first experiment with welding aluminium. It was not that good. Man, that is difficult! Luckily, there was my best friend Tim Biesemans, who is a professional welder, who could correct all my bad temporary welds.


Testing driver position each time. it should be possible for my son (now age 12) and me (euh ...older).


This tube leaves the front wheel totally free and it can become a basis for some footrests at the front.


We thought to make a roll cage. The tube at the front is here rather wide. That will change soon.


My proud son is already making broom broom noises. Euh ...he apparently forgot it is a electric engine that moment. :) Don't laugh. I made the same mistake later. :D


Sideview. Yes, I know. Yikes, bad shape with that roof. My son had pleeeenty of head room. I would fit with a helmet on.


We didn't like the shape of the roof. Here we try to find a new look for it.


I had to try it too. But here we already took the roof off. I liked the very basic shape.


Both proud workers display their rough work. Now it is ready for definite welding by Tim Biesemans, Belgians most famed recumbent bike constructor.


Tim Biesemans tried it on his parking and noted that the rear wheel could use some more weight, so we roughly installed the second battery at the rear. Problem was fixed. The comment Tim still has is: Man, it needs more speed. Knowing that Tim's nickname in his recumbent bike racing days was "Speedy" makes you understand his remark. But ...i keep it at 45 km/h to keep it possible for 16 years old youth.

The footrest has a tube over its sharp edge to prevent cutting somebody in a accident. This front construction only uses old connection points of the Volta.


I like it. OK, its shape is not that good looking, but ... i still like it.

Oh yes, by the way ...if you are having fears about not being heard in the traffic when using a electric vehicle, well, you can do it like they did on this next video. Brilliant.  :)