Electric Motorcycle Conversion

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I've owned several motorcycles over the years, and a 1996 Honda ST1100 is my most recent. This thing is a monster, it weighs about 700 pounds and has a gas tank that will hold over 7 gallons of fuel. Shaft drive, water cooled. I've owned cars with smaller engines...

I'm between jobs and decided that since I have time on my hands, now would be a good time to convert the ST1100 to electric. I don't have a garage where I'm living, so I joined the Dallas Makerspace. DMS has a garage area, and one of the members was already in the midst of converting a Fiero to electric. Just after Christmas 2011 I got the ST1100 moved to the garage. What follows is the steps and missteps as I go thru the conversion.


This project is currently on hold due to personal lack of funds.

Completed Steps

  • Remove the fairings and plastic
  • Remove the gas tank
  • Remove the exhaust
  • Drain fluids and remove the radiator
  • Remove the air filter and carbs
  • Remove the engine (painful, it is a very tight fit)
  • Purchase Motor/Controller kit
  • Purchase 12VDC subsystems
  • Purchase water cooling parts
  • Purchase DIY Open Source battery charger

Next Steps (TODO)

  • Complete Open Source charger
  • Machine jack shaft for bearings and pulley
  • Spec and source pulley and belt drive system
  • Build mounting plates and cradle for engine and shaft
  • Build battery boxes and cabling
  • Build control systems (throttle, regen, instrumentation)
  • Build water cooling system

Active Members


  • Convert a gas-powered motorcyle to run on electricity.
  • Document the learning process.

Secondary Goals

  • Keep the bike looking as stock as possible
  • Take video


  • (TODO)




Details on the frame mods will go here.



CALB CA60FI 60Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

36 cells x 3.2v nominal x 60Ah = 6.91kWh 115v pack

This should yield at least a 45 mile range, possibly as much as 60 miles, with a 20% safety margin.

Electronics Package

Charging System



Other Electric Vehicle Projects


ST1100ev.blogspot.com - My blog with photos of the build

DIY Electric Car Forum - An excellent source

Electric Motor Werks - Home of the 10kW DIY Open Source charger

Electro Motive Force - My motor/controller vendor

ElMoto.net Forum - A good Electric Motorcycle forum

EVTV.ME - Jack Rickard's website with lots of very informative, and VERY long videos of EV builds he has done

North Texas Electric Auto Association

ST-Owners.com Forum - Honda ST1100/ST1300 motorcycle forum