Z000 Amateur (electric Z build) - Kawasaki Z125 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Z000 Amateur (electric Z build)

I bought my Z125 Pro with 80 miles on the clock in late 2017. It stayed completely stock until recently, which would not have made for a very exciting build thread. Recently, I decided it uses way too much gas and I had to do something about it (that was a joke). So I decided to go electric! Since I no longer have any CC's and I only kind of know what I'm doing, I'll call this bike the Z000 Amateur. Here is my 10 step build plan:

Step 0:
Totally stock Z (except the bar end mirrors). This was actually the day I put it on Craigslist, thinking I would sell this bike and use the money toward a different electric motorcycle. Whereís the fun in that?! After only getting contacted by scammers, I decided to take matters into my own hands and modify the Z.



Step 1: Spend a bunch of money on parts
Next step was motor and battery selection. I went with a 72V 70Ah lithium battery (20S20P of 18650 cells), an 8kW QS hub motor, and a Kelly KSL-7275H controller. We could debate the merits and drawbacks of hub motors but this is not a large motorcycle as you know, so I went with something that packages really well and leaves room for batteries.



Step 2: Take out the engine!
The engine and rear wheel are no longer required so I took those out and sold them. I love how easy this bike is to work on and I had the engine out all by myself in only a few hours.
I sold parts on eBay to help recovery some costs of the motor and battery.
If youíre gonna follow this build thread, get used to bad pictures in a dark garage lol. Itís a shared garage for the building and the landlord has the lights come on at night on a timer. That means it is always dark.



Step 3: Mock up battery box
At this point you should have tons of Amazon boxes of all different sizes from the junk youíve bought to support this project. Cut one up and use it to test fit your battery box.
Now you can see why I went with the hub motor Ė leaving the entire engine area wide open leaves room for a decent size battery.
I wanted to go with an aluminum battery box. Since Iím not a good welder I plan to trap the battery between two plates separated by spacers, with closeouts around the outsides. I modeled it up in CAD to create a file for cutting the plates.




Step 4: Motor testing!
Unfortunately I didnít take any great pictures of this setup. Maybe thatís for the best so you donít have to see how messy my bedroom is. I had the wheel/motor on my rear stand and then a ratís nest of wires between components. This was to make sure I can get the motor running smoothly and responding to throttle input before I bring it all downstairs to the garage.
Worked through a few issues, but all the hardware appears to be in good shape! There is some shoddy wiring here somewhat attributed to the Chinese battery manufacturer but some my own doing. That will get fixed up once everything gets installed on the bike. For now, itís good news that I can talked to the motor controller and make it do what I want.



Step 5a: Install fender delete kit
Believe me, this step is super important. It has nothing to do with the electric conversion but the stock fended just looks bad. I canít believe I left it there so long
Step 5b: (More) disassembly
I still had a bunch of gas guzzling parts on the Z that needed removal. If you thought it looked stripped down beforeÖ
I took off the grips (since Iím going to an electric throttle), fuel system, tank, clutch lever and associated hoses and wires. Now weíre at bare bones.
Extra fuel was donated to my Triumph which will happy drink it up this week.
Iím not too sure what to do with the tank. It obviously isnít required anymore, but I think the bike will look bad without it. Possibly will cut out the bottom and use for storage or keep a charger in there. Open to suggestions from yall.



[TODO] Step 6: Component mockup
Test fit everything to see how it mounts up. This also drives the wire length and routing

[TODO] Step 7: Paint battery box plates (black, ofc) and tidy up wiring off bike
Pretty self-explanatoryÖ

[TODO] Step 8: Component final install and wiring on bike
Now that everything is pretty and fits the way it should, time to install it on the bike.

[TODO] Step 9: Wire up speedometer
This gets a step to itself since Iím not exactly sure how this works yet. Also, the turn signals (and who knows what else) run through the speedometer so Iím not sure how to keep them working with the new electric speedo. Hit me up with ideas!

[TODO] Step 10: Ride!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:45 AM
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Nice! I want to get one of the Chinese electrics and swap in an 8kw motor and controller. My thought has always been to use tool batteries like the 40, 60, or 80 volt stuff you can buy. This would give me a quick change option if I take it to a track. the 8kw motor should put it on nearly equal terms with a Grom/Z125.

Charger goes in the tank, it will be lighter than more batteries. But if you need room for another battery, it can certainly go in there too.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:06 AM
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:41 AM
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Very cool project, can't wait to see your performance and range with this thing once it's complete!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:15 AM
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+1 There's been chatter about a project like this, cool to see someone diving in. The result should be all sorts of silly fun.

Welcome to the forum!

Dropped a gear... ...still here
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
Nice! I want to get one of the Chinese electrics and swap in an 8kw motor and controller. My thought has always been to use tool batteries like the 40, 60, or 80 volt stuff you can buy. This would give me a quick change option if I take it to a track. the 8kw motor should put it on nearly equal terms with a Grom/Z125.

Charger goes in the tank, it will be lighter than more batteries. But if you need room for another battery, it can certainly go in there too.
I think 8kW will be a good power level. Also that is a rated (continuous) power capability so I should be able to push closer to 12kW (16 horsepower) for a shorter time. I've read that these motors are seriously underrated, so I think my limiting factor for power will be the battery which has a max continuous draw of 150 amps.

The one reservation I have about keeping the charger in the tank is that it has a cooling fan which runs continuously while charging and I don't think I would have adequate ventilation if it stays in the tank. Unfortunately the tank on the Z does not rotate up from the front, it just pins in place and bolts down in the back. So that makes it harder to store stuff in it unless I add my own hinge.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 09:35 AM
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Cut some slots for air to pass? Or you would need to fabricate a new "tank" to cover things since you don't need to carry any fluids.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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I spent some quality time today cursing at inanimate objects, but the end result is positive! I managed to wrestle a tire over the motor/wheel. Unfortunately the valve stem I have doesn't fit so I can't set the bead and add air until the replacement comes in. The tire is slightly larger than stock for the Z but it should fit under the fender still.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:41 PM
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Can you get those motors in a 12 inch wheel? The 13 seems really odd!

I'm wondering if this would be a good way to make a custom race bike frame, wouldn't need to fit the frame to the motor which should make it easier to design. This is still one of my goals, I want to make a mini GP bike that really fits adults, so slightly longer frame, etc. I was going to design around something like a TTR125 motor or maybe one of the turnkey engines that you can buy. But an electric would be SO COOL! Especially if I could pop off a bunch of tool batteries after practice/qualifying for the race.

My only concern about hub motors would be the temperature, how much heat will it be pushing into the tire and will it over cook the tire when you are running a race?

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
My only concern about hub motors would be the temperature, how much heat will it be pushing into the tire and will it over cook the tire when you are running a race?

Built in tire warmers! Sounds like a win to me...


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