The 2WD Electric Bike Garden Wall

Last update: January 9th, 2017

Definition – Garden Wall (n):

The vertical fruiting that occurs from amalgamation of elementals which build upon one another to form more complex structures through cyclic development – each of which buds with new opportunities, some directly related to parallel branches, others dependently entwined, overall becoming resilient and mature.

Thus we can compare the organic process of learning to that of a tree or climbing bine, following each branch and twig to its' conclusion as we comprehend more about the interaction, dependencies, and symbiosis of data with other branches. These would include withering from obsolescence or lack of interest, rabbit holes of lost causes and distractions, as well blossoming through pollination from like ideas or chance of transmutation from foreign sources.

The resulting cornucopia of a Garden Wall provides an opportunity for us to conveniently cherry-pick concisely the very best of research on from broad and diverse subjects of an ever-growing body of knowledge.

It is with pleasure that I present my personal Garden Wall on Electric Bikes.


This blog was started about 5 or 6 years ago, and though it doesn't seem like a long time, in terms of Internet Time it has been an epic journey. Since late 2009, I began working with modern Chinese motors and controllers which are far removed from the crude controllers available when I built my first ebike back in 1985. Parts were still arriving for my conversion as late as February 2010, a year of giant learning, and I thank Endless-Sphere for being the go-to place as a great EV forum. From New Years' in 2011, it was every spare moment working at fever pitch to prepare for an epic ride from Washington to California and back on my custom 2WD electric bike: I broke the world record without knowing it. Much was learned.

Over the winter I blew out my knee and spent 2012 as a year of reflection: Where do I want to go with this hobby? How can I improve upon what is available? For the next 2-3 years I worked on developing circuits and motor designs. The watershed event that really changed my life was hooking up with pals, creating Kinaye MotorSports, and began racing high-powered ebike on the drag strip. Much was learned.

Today (Nov 21, 2016) when I look at this blog and all that was written prior, I see another Alan a world away from where we are right now in terms of experience and technology. So much has changed and the individual goals are no longer relevant because of the company built around electric bikes. What we learned is that there is a wide gap between hobbyist products and quality consumer products. What we want - we can make ourselves and sell it. We're past the point where we know how to design and build an ebike; we want is to design and build high-powered electric commuter bikes (e-motos) which are stronger than bicycles but not quite ready for freeway: the 50-mph commuter with a 75 mile radius. The original goals were to:

  • design and build the best possible 2-wheeled electric vehicle that is able to traverse most conditions - for all seasons in the Pacific Northwest, and
  • to test the prototypes over rigorous cross-country to find out what works and what can be improved.

We more or less did that at the drag strip and on field trials. We know 2WD is an awesome solution to putting more control and torque to the ground than any single-drive system out there. The cost and complexity of doing 2WD has been greatly mitigated and it's no longer considered a "weird" approach, especially when you have motor controllers commonly available for slaving now.

Basic issues still remain. However hardware is lacking because all current tech is built around the monolithic motor driving the rear wheel. In comparison, the work that we do at Kinaye is divergent; don't expect us to follow down the same tame road. We have a completely different approach on how we want to solve the electric system from instrumentation to charging to anti-slip traction control. Some of this I can talk about. Much though I will not. Therefore this blog will mature and cover the basics of what I ride now. Some content is dated and has been pulled. Some will remain for historical reference. Thanks for your interest.

  • Batteries: Unfortunately Battery Capacity has not been increasing at a rate on par with Moore's law (commonly used to measure growth of CPU processing power). Instead we have phenomenal development with increasing the power transmission through the battery poles by using new alloys and better chemistry which is good if you want to floor it, particularly on the drag strip, or need rapid charging when on the road. And safety has improved. But at present, unlike solar which is seeing rapid power density improvements, for batteries it is moving slowly, albeit methodically. In 2010, it was predicted that batteries must shrink 5X to be size & weight competitive, or that the cost of power/kg must be reduced by 5X to be commercially competitive. The good news is that we expect to see costs to continue to fall, especially when the Tesla Gigafactory comes online.
  • Charging: Dramatic improvements in infrastructure are proliferating as EV-awareness increases its' footing. The US Government recently enacted legislation to enable 25,000 more charging stations across the lower-48. We already know about Tesla's expansive plans.
  • Dual-Controller issues: Adaptto Controllers market pared units as part and parcel. There is no more mystery. 2WD is pretty easy to accomplish in 2016. I was one of the first to do this back in 2011, and now we have validation. Syncing and Contention are not issues with Chinese controllers if they are not set the exact same and if we make one of the pair a "follower".
  • Controller Efficiency: Relatively new developments in the past couple of years have allowed for Chinese Sino and FOC controllers to appear on the market. These controllers are both quiet and stronger by using high-speed sampling and Vector-control. There is still room to improve upon the switching electronics and MOSFETs/IGBTs, however we take the small gains as they come. It's still cheap product though with rough limits to features.
  • Aerodynamics: Without a doubt the biggest gain since the start of this blog has been in Aero. We have made a lot of changes to RaceBike in the last 2 years and we think we're seeing better performance from the front fairing translated as stability rather than speed. More work has been put to RaceBike in late Summer of 2016, but weather has us pushed out until next year for validation.
  • Motor Efficiency: Our experience is in direct-drive hub motors. At Kinaye, we use bigger axles for more strength and to allow larger phase wire gauge to pass through, roughly increasing current throughput by nearly 2X. This translates into less resistance, less wire heat, quicker response, and nearly double power-on-demand.
  • Custom Trailer Designs: We take touring seriously. All future ebikes created by Kinaye MotorSports will enable optional trailer packages.
  • Driving in the Right Margin or in the Lane: At Kinaye, we build high-powered ebike conversion kits to enable users to drive In-The-Lane. Not all adaptations are equal, but for the most part, our kits can have users in the lane at 35 mph and above. My own personal 2WD is capable of doing 57 mph for short bursts; this is the same ebike I built in 2011 using cheap Chinese controllers. Imagine what we can do today with newer Sino/FOC controllers.
  • Equipment Failures & Flats: Back in the day (5-6 years ago) we armored our bicycle tires with tire and rim liners, Slime, HD-DH tubes, and Hookworm Double-plys (if you could find them) + plus a lot of prayer. Today we mostly sell moped rims paired with hub motors, and enable users to purchase moped tires which are vastly better suited for tough terrain.
  • Tire Balancing: Bicycle tires are not designed for speeds above 35 mph and will introduce spin wobble. Slime in the tube will alleviate some of that, but not all. A better solution is to use quality moped rims and tires which are designed for speeds in excess of 60 mph, and at Kinaye we have the skills to balance these assemblies.
  • Battery Management System (BMS): We are still looking for equitable systems that don't cost as much as the batteries they are designed to protect.
  • Constant Battery Drain: Even when parked, the Controller is always turned on in passive mode and consumes minimally 3 watts/hour. The workaround is to have the ebike on a trickle charge, or top-off once a week.
  • Freewheel verses Freehub: This is an old discussion. But when you start making and selling ebikes the vision clarifies: When you are electrified, really all we need is 2 or 3 gears and one way to do that is to have a single-speed on the rear hub and a Schlumpf on the crank. Then all we need to do is match the over and under speeds to capture the best possible range for comfort and necessity. Keep it Simple.
  • What is legal? Right now anything goes as long as you have pedals on the ebike. See bike laws down below. We believe it is only a matter of time before the laws change. Therefore we are moving in the direction of legalized solutions: High-powered ebikes capable of holding their own in urban traffic with head and taillights, brake lights and indicators and mirrors. Be smart, stay safe, protect yourself.
  • Riding Gear: I shop at both REI and Cycle Gear because I can't find stuff I need that's right in the middle. Bike gear is too lightweight, like motorcycle gear is too heavy and restrictive. The helmet I use - is a full-face Moped design with half the weight of a motorcycle equivalent. This entire market segment is waiting to be exploited.
  • Rude Drivers & Thieves: The answer is "Body Camera" or better yet - front and rear cam recording to a black box. Install a cell phone or IoT GPS tracker on the ebike for instant location; theft be gone. Bond with your inner Yoda: Easy to make these systems are.

To date, three elementary bikes have been converted into ebikes of some sort, each one becoming part of an evolutionary process (see Media Gallery for pictorial review). The first was a one-off challenge in protest against the college professor who vexed me lemons – although I managed to create lemonade. The next two are recent, and affected my outlook on where and how I want to spent my time going forward sans petrol with personal transportation.

  • 1986: Electric 3-Wheeled Handicap Vehicle. College project provided early exposure to off-the-shelf engineering solutions. This fun experience culminated with my instant hire at Worlds Of Wonder as Senior Design Engineer and Project Manager for high-tech toys, primarily for the LazerTag Starlyte Pro Rifle. Many golden employment opportunities followed after the WoW experience, although it rightly began with the risk of building that first EV.
  • 2009: FWD Specialized Rockhopper with first-generation RockShox. I took my 1992 Mountain Bike and converted it to a front-wheel drive ebike by using a kit purchased from EBikes.CA (Grin Technologies, Vancouver, BC). Initially it was a 10S/55V system, but I hacked into it and upgraded the circuit board and firmware to handle 15S/63V which increased my top-speed significantly. For the next six months following New Year, I tested myself against the elements with this ebike on various distance attempts, learning and perfecting the components that could increase reliability and range. By late June I was ready for my first electric cross-country road trip (see Road Trips below).
P1: October 2012
October 2012
2WD Commuter Specs
Horsepower: Programmable current, selectable on-the-fly > 4 hp all day.

Top Speed: @ 63V ~ 50 mph (unofficial), weather-dependant.

Range: 50 Seattle miles w/ modest throttle, & w/ Trailer > 175 miles/day.

Weight: Commuter ~ 100lbs., w/ Trailer ~ 300 lbs. when full-loaded for bear.

Battery Pack: Lithium Polymer, made of HobbyKing Zippy FlightMax 5S1P 15/2C 5000 mAh R/C batteries. Commuter: Qty-18 as 15S6P. Cross-Country w/ Trailer: Qty-78 as 15S26P.

Recharge Rate: Custom Meanwell assembly outputs 1kWh.
Commuter < 2 hours, w/ Trailer < 9 hours.

Cost to Recharge: Calculated using the worst possible hourly rate = $0.12/kWh, Commuter < $0.25/day, Cross-Country ~ $1/day, however - this cost is rolled into room & board, so essentially - it's FREE!

Motors: Nine Continent 2806 clones (modified), Disc F & R, w/ custom designed dual Torque Arms for each wheel.

Controllers: LYEN Edition 12 x 4110 MOSFET Extreme Modder (modified).

Unified Dashboard Controls: Modified for single Throttle, strong electric braking, Cruise Control, 3-Way selectable Current, & remote Keylock.

Frame: 2009 Felt Compulsion-1 Full-Suspension/Downhill

Fork: Marzocchi 44 RLO w/ Cane Creek 110 Ceramic Headset

Saddle: Brooks B-17 Narrow Imperial - Black

Crank/BB: Campagnolo 170mm 30-42-53 Triple w/ Phil Wood SS 68/73mm

Brakes: Dual Regenerative EBraking + Avid BB7 MTB Mechanical 203mm Disc F & R, w/ SRAM Attack Trigger Shifters & Shimano XTR Levers

Derailleur: Front Campagnolo w/ Braze-on, Rear Shimano XTR M971. Custom designed Braze-on mounting adapter.

Freewheel: 9 Speed Freewheel 11-32T DNP (noisy!)

Rims: Front - 26" Mavic EX729 Disc, Rear - 24" Kris Holm Competition

Tires: Maxxis 2-Ply 2.5" wide Hookworms w/ DH tubes & triple-armored against flats; Euro Studs in winter.

Computer: Grin Tech Direct Plug-in Cycle Analyst

Aux Power: DC-DC Converter w/ 12V & 3V output, 60W

Running Lights: Dual Cree Headlights & dual Blinkie safety lighting, 3V, w/ DOT-rated 12V indicators, Brake, and taillight

More mods than you can shake a stick at: Custom Battery Bags, custom Fairings, custom wiring, dashboard unification, Class-A power cabling, & Trailer-ready - having several hard-points available for additional battery packs or charging.

It's quite nimble & lots of fun all year around!

  • 2011: 2WD Full-Suspension Downhill Mountain Bike custom built from scratch. Every component on this custom assembly has been modified with essentially no expense spared, using top-flight parts that were sometimes upgraded or modified, or created from scratch. The ebike was constructed in three distinct phases over time...
    • Basic Phase began over 2011 New Year's holiday as a partial reconstruction of the previous ebike which fatally suffered from front fork failure. A new frame was employed and simply brought the bike together as a FWD using late technology and components. I had never owned a modern full-suspension bike before and used this period to teach myself how to use it.
    • Cross-Country Phase was an aggressive effort that began in late spring to port the bike over as FWD integrated with a Pusher-Trailer. The mad dash to completion by mid-June succeeded on schedule however the final assembly was completely unstable. I spent many days redesigning and modifying a few critical components, including removing the powered wheel from the trailer and placing it on the ebike – converting it to a true 2WD. Finally in July, after a delay of three weeks I tried for a second time to get underway and succeeded in traversing 2515 miles in 28 days – setting a new unofficial world record for distance and fixing issues as I went.
    • Refurbished Phase followed the record road trip: After my return I commuted daily to Seattle in the pouring rain. By mid-November both hubs had rusted out solid. I spent the entire winter categorizing each failure or nice-to-have upgrade and worked through the spring and summer to apply them. The very first ride of the newly minted bike using many of the same parts - albeit greatly updated – increased the top-speed by 5 mph right off the bat. Promising, it was followed with more improvements and revised body fairing to reach the 50 mph Club.
  • 2011: Pusher-Trailer. Technically it counts as an ebike because it was made from a "Jumper" bike frame AND it was motorized, at least initially: Briefly, THE PLAN for going cross-country was with the Full-Suspension Downhill Mountain Bike configured as a FWD and the Trailer configured as a Pusher ala RWD. Sounds great on paper, but when I loaded up for a test ride, the whole calliope was twisting axially and I had nearly zero control over steering, literally like the "tail wagging the dog". Couldn't even go 100 feet without seeing my life pass before my eyes - it was that scary. I was ready to throw in the towel, but after a diligently good pinting and brain sauté a new plan emerged which moved the motor from the trailer and place it on the downhill bike, thus becoming a true 2WD ebike. On top of that, to reduce the twisting of the Jumper frame, I injected expanding foam like type they use to seal windows; that added about one pound to the weight, though completely stiffened the frame… and there were no more issues with twisting. This rework cost me about 3 weeks of delay in departing for the epic road trip, but it was completely worth it.
  • 2014: Reconfigured for Fast Commuting. At issue was the growing frustration of being relegated to the margins of the road when traffic is moving faster, or proceeding through a scary stretch motorway without a bike lane or margin. The only way to solve this was to allow the ebike to go faster. Therefore, the internal (default) battery pack was reconfigured from 15S6P (63V 30Ah) to 20S5P (84V 25Ah) to increase the average/top speeds from 33/45 to 42/57. If using Panniers for range extension, the mod changed from 4P down to 3P for a revised total from 10P (50Ah) down to 8P (40Ah).
    However, greater speed ability reduces range. For the default pack, the range reduced from 55 down to 35 miles. And if using Panniers, this also downgraded from 95 miles to about 65. That's perfectly fine for true motorized commuting where we need to run in the lane at 40-45 mph for short distances between Redmond and Bellevue. It's also hell-fun 😃
    Arguably, my eBike is now an eMoto, meaning it's really in the light motorcycle class and well above Moped (2 hp) with both power AND speed (40 mph). Incidentally, a true motorcycle that is able to go onto the freeway must have at least 10 hp and able to sustain 45 mph uphill (> 6% grade). I have no intention of doing that to this frame, however it is a certainly a worthy goal to build and license.
June 29th, 2011. Day-0, On The Road in Spanaway, WA.
June 29th, 2011. Day-0, On The Road in Spanaway, WA.
2011 2WD Cross-Country Specs
Total Distance: 2515.7 miles over 28 days. A new unoffical World Record.

Farthest single distance in one day: 186.6 miles between Pioneer and Fresno.

Farthest distance on a single charge: 165.3 miles between San Rafael and Fort Bragg

Top Speed: 44 mph heading downhill w/ trailer on Hwy 88 after Carson Pass.

Average Speed: About 26 mph.

Average operating voltage: Starting = 63.3; Ending = 56.1

Opportunity charges: Most per day tied at 2.

Highest Pass climbed: Tied at > 8600 feet; Hwy 89 over Mount Lassen National Park going to Greenville & Hwy 88 over Kit Carson Pass going to Pioneer.

Longest day: About 13.5 hours between Pioneer and Fresno due to the flat tire.

Departures: Earliest was 6 AM leaving Fort Bragg to Eureka, and the latest was 4:50 PM to head across the Golden Gate to San Rafael. Average departure time was 8:15 AM. Leaving early proved to be much safer and quicker.

Time in the Saddle: Depends how this is calculated. Average was about 5 hours.

Scariest moment: Probably coming into Portland on US-30 the last 10 miles.

Biggest arsehole: Too many to count when they use their vehicle as a weapon, but there was about one/day.

Prettiest segment: Far too many to count! The ugliest though was where I had the flat.

Nicest gal: "Marie" at the Union 76 Station in Truckee, who let me park and charge for 2 hours whilst I had lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Nicest guy: Attendant at the Chevron Station in Angels Camp, who let me park and charge for an hour whilst I had breakfast at a nearby restaurant.

Nicest strangers: The Hells Angels gathering for Sunday Brunch at Addison's Timber Mountain Store on the Tionesta Road heading towards Medicine Lake. I stopped for an hour and asked to charge (they let me), and then after learning that I wasn't an FBI informant, but a simple engineer on an ebike - they wanted to make me a "brother". Missed opportunity if there ever was.

Cheapest motel: Motel 6 in Centralia at $43.95, followed by the Cinderella Motel in Hollister at $48.60, and in a close third – The Ferryman's Inn again in Centralia for $49.44.

Most Expensive motel: The Lighthouse Inn at Florence for $103.40, followed by the Fort Bragg Travelodge at $93.47, and in a close third, again Travelodge in Eureka for $87.99.

Best and worst motel rooms: Cinderella Motel in Hollister had the best charm. Least impressive was a tie between the spendy Charm Motel in Burney, both Travelodge's in Fort Bragg and Eureka, and the Lighthouse Inn at Florence – all were not worth the money and run down.

Best road surface: US-101 when it was freeway, with a runner-up as the Avenue of the Giants for best 2-lane road (little to no traffic).

Worst Road Surface: Tied between Tionesta Road – the first 15 miles heading up to Medicine Lake, Panoche Road between I-5 and Hwy 25, and the dirt road leading into my folk's property.

Best Bombing Runs: Tied between Medicine Lake, from the summit to about 5 miles before Hwy 89 junction, Mount Lassen from the summit to the junction with Hwy 36, and Hwy 88 about 10 miles west of Carson Spur Summit heading towards Pioneer.

Best Weather: Between Johnsville and Pioneer, heading around the west shore of Lake Tahoe and over Carson Pass; the whole day was marvelous!

Worst Weather: Tied between leaving Redmond and coming back to Redmond. A runner-up would be the last 18 miles to Gold Beach facing 35 mph head winds + gusts, though up till then it was one of the finest days on the coast and I was making great time!

Best Brewery: I thought the Park Chalet in San Francisco had the most memorable beer cos I woz enjoying it with my ePals!

Worst moment: The Flat Tire, bar none. Second to that would be the pesky rear fender & tire rubbing issues.

Closest I came to running out of power: Tied at 54.3V left on the pack; coming into Fort Bragg and again two days later coming in to Gold beach after fighting the fierce buffeting with the sag dropping as low as 52.7. LVC was set to 50V so I had only a few minutes left – possibly ½ hour.

The best piece of equiment: People always ask about the ebike and want to know how it works. However there was one piece of equipment that consistently brought a smile to all, and was a great source of entertainment. Can you spot it? It's the "Diametric Coriolis Inductive Regenerator" of course!

Life should be fun!

  • Prior history: In electronics or with electric motors before 1985, not so much; I was more into ICE, Steam, and Nuclear propulsion. However I've always been into building and riding bicycles to keep healthy; don't think that story is terribly unique because we all did it as kids, modifying our bikes for function or for exposition. Simple stuff captured our attention: 3-speed hub, chopped forks, banana seat, big huge tall sissy bar, fenders… kid stuff. Nothing new.
  • 1985: I take a contract at LLNL in Livermore, CA designing gloveboxes for handling plutonium for the Department of Energy. Began taking night classes at the small Chabot College Extension in Livermore to wrap up the transfer program requirements so I could advance to UC Berkeley. JC College Drafting Instructor thinks I need 2-years college drafting first, even though I graduated from a Veterans-sanctioned Business College years earlier with top marks, and have been a paid professional design engineer working in the field for 3 years. This is when I built my first ebike to protest the lunacy of this perception.
  • 1986: Hired at Worlds Of Wonder because I built this crazy 3-wheel electric bike! My life is never the same with all the notoriety which would stay with me wherever I went in high-tech in California. At WOW, we employed RC technology in all our toys, and pushed the limits in sensory feedback and machine AI.
  • 1987: On the August leaves of WOW, Hords Of Fun is born and we get into all sorts of cool stuff.
  • 2009: In terms of EV Tech, there is a 22 year hiatus. My 1991 Truck, picture of a perfect model is too expensive to operate with rising gas prices + the Doc says I have high cholesterol, so I park it on blocks for the next several years and instead try cycling to work. The problem is classic: Redmond hills are very steep, like San Francisco steep. This peaks my interest to become electrified. I looked at all sorts of packages and ultimately purchased two hub motors (Front & Rear 9C 2806) from Ebikes.CA in Winter 2009. But curiosity gets the best of me and I take apart the rear motor to see how it works.
  • 2010: Busy year learning about ebikes and accessories. I converted my 19-year old Specialized Rockhopper into a FWD ebike. Spent thousands of dollars investigating products. Lots of bum stuff acquired. Several false starts. Many cross-country journeys. Lots of happiness and personal reflection. Health improves.
  • 2011: The Rockhopper dies when the front suspension fork fails and there are no replacements, so it's parted out. 2nd modern ebike rises as a 2WD built upon a DH full-suspension frame. The goal is to do a long cross-country trek in June, but delays in motors (which don't arrive until May instead of March) hose planning and we don't leave until mid-July for a 28-Day road trip. After completion I discover that it breaks the Guinness World Record. BTW - GWR people were not friendly about this, but if I paid them $8k USD they might consider - if I could prove it. Whatever; it is not important. Instead, I take jobs in Seattle just so I could ebike in. Purchased a winter set of studded tires so I could ride year-around.
  • 2012: Arrg, sitting cross-legged on the couch playing XBox, my knee passively fails. Good grief! Spent the rest of the year more or less recovering. Lots of introspection, redesign of my 2WD electrical, motor design and simulation, etc. This is the year that I created a Windows Desktop application to program my Controller from over 10 meters away using Bluetooth. Later I develop this into a Windows 8 Phone application. However to make it available to iPhone and Android, I'd have to pay for the license to use Mono/Eclipse, effectively killing the project.
  • 2013: After a winter rework of the 2WD hub motors to eliminate rust, I enabled a plug-out for custom circuit design to test various controller ideas, particularly variable regen ebrake. Ultimately these experiments came to naught and displayed the limitations of opportunistic Engineering. Many controllers were sacrificed. I take a job with Microsoft MTE and began working overseas in China and Mexico, so ebike investigations take a pause. Interestingly though I am in the heart of electric moped production in China and began to explore options.
  • 2014: Contract overseas comes to an end with the purchase of Nokia by Microsoft. Kindred EV pals unite to form a corporation, one branch called Kinaye MotorSports will take up importing kits from China to launch our kit conversion line.
  • 2015: Growth with Kinaye goes well and we expand. Our new Vector-frame RaceBike does 66 mph on the track; sluggy but not our fault: The motor manufacturer got mixed up and sent our motor to Colorado, and we got theirs. Truck comes out of storage so we can use it for business.
  • 2016: Lots of new product in the queue for testing; stuff I can't talk about. With RaceBike: We have the right motor, just not enough Aero and battery to break 80 mpg, coming in at a shy 79.88 mph. However, weather at the track shuts us down until next season. Lots of work on Aero in the meantime.

Pictorial galleries with brief descriptions. Full stories are linked above and go into greater detail.

Custom Builds
Road Trips

The best way to shake out an assembly is through rigorous testing. It's fortunate that I live on a steep and challenging hill; most people walk their bikes up to the top. Within my neighborhood, a 5-mile test loop can mimic 97% of the worst possible inclination conditions, tight cornering, and braking, which is also coincident to a 2-mile long level straightaway between signals for speed testing. However there's nothing better than a long day after day slog to reveal flaws and benefits of good design. Not to mention that it's very scenic and enjoyable. Here are a few stories from the Hobbyist days.

We build high-performance ebikes. Got to test them someplace. If we're just doing a shakedown and testing basic functionality, sure - local roads work well enough. However, sometimes the public road is not the best for a speed run: We've looked and can't find a reasonable stretch of quiet road anywhere near Seattle Metro. Plus - road conditions change with the weather, and it always rains here. The obvious solution is The Drag Strip.

On the track - Washington Silent Thunder Electric Nationals Sept 6, 2014
On The Track - Washington Silent Thunder Electric Nationals Sept 6, 2014
Drag Results
Configuration: 15S10P 63.4V 50Ah

R/T: 0.827

60': 3.366

330: 9.388

1/8: 14.830
MPH: 43.37

1000: 20.044

1/4: 24.841
MPH: 45.45

Notes: First drag ever. Pedaled through the entire 1/4 mile. Previously had pedaled 3 laps of the circuit track to a max speed of 48 mph.

Pacific Raceways in Auburn Washington does it for us. It's $40 for the day to race + $10 per person (excluding the driver). I think kids get in free. PR has high-current high-voltage outlets for EVs. We're ebikes, so we don't quite need the expensive EVJ46 plugs and their ilk; we get by with a NEMA 14-50 and are able to dual-charge up to 2 ebikes at the same time.

There are two tracks at PR: The Road loop, and the Drag Strip. We use the latter; it's two lanes and nicely sticky which for us being so light is great for when the cross-winds hit. It is a smooth track, nearly level in grade, and lots of down range for easy braking. About the only thing I don't like about the track is that it faces East to West, which means we're racing into the setting sun and that's a bit rough at times to avoid the glare. We can race as frequently as we want, but often times the track is laid up by debris or spotty rain. Management doesn't hesitate to close the track at the slightest risk to public safety. That's fine with us.

The Drag String is ¼ mile long, and racers get a nice printout of Reaction Time, 60', 330', 1/8 mile and mph, 1000', and the results in time and mph at the ¼ mile mark. If two are racing together, they also share those stats. It's a lot of fun!

The first year we went was 2014, and it was electric-only racing. They let us ebikers onto the track for $40 and we did 3 laps + a drag run. The next year we came back with a dedicated racebike + me in an all leather monkeysuit. It takes a team to pull this off, and Team Kinaye does a fine job. We've been out several times now, each having a marked improvement. Obviously the FIRST time they're laughing at us: Who are these people that pedal up to the starting line… but I got to tell you after we brought out RaceBike they are not laughing anymore. Our top speed in 2015 was 66 mph; the motor supplier sent us the wrong one, and we ended up using a stock hub motor. In 2016 we didn't quite have enough voltage to break 80 mph, got close though at 79.88 mph. Check with the Kinaye website to see when we plan to race again.

On the track - Washington Silent Thunder Electric Nationals Sept 6, 2014

On The Track - Washington Silent Thunder Electric Nationals Sept 20, 2015; top-speed that day: 66mph on a customized ebike frame! YES - That is me on the drag strip! (See the ponytail?) After a lifetime, I finally become the official jockey

Two of the World's Fastest Ebikes Duel on the Drag Strip:
Two of the world's fastest electric bicycles duke it out at Pacific Raceway's Emerald City Joules Drag event. July 20, 2016.


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