Light Touring Build using Bionx Drive without a Bionx Battery

This bike was made to move at a moderate speed (tops out at 23 - 25 mph) over greater distances.

I2C era Bionx motors are highly durable and inexpensive, though many believe they require the use of an expensive Bionx battery.

After a cable modification, they can be made to function perfectly without the Bionx battery at all.

This ride uses a Bionx 350 watt I2C era motor (before ~2009) and a custom battery of Panasonic NCR18650PF "Tesla" cells.

Rides of 50 to 100 miles are the norm.

The cirrus BodyFloat is my favorite mod.

Hack Shot small for posting.jpg
 
A few more thoughts to share.

Fall Shot small.jpg


The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires and tubes have low rolling resistance and good grip, but if I buy a new tire it will be a little wider with a bit of tread. The grip on a dry road gives enough confidence to lean into turns, however the tires are so low profile that the pedals can strike the road in an aggressive turn, which never happened on MTB tires which elevate the bike another inch or so. Combined with hydraulic disc brakes the stopping power has prevented at least two accidents.

This bike is on the road at night on a regular basis, so the reflective highlights on the panniers help to make it stand out. The best visibility addition is actually the Schwalbe tires, however, as the sidewalls have a reflective ring that is very bright when illuminated - see the photo above in which a small phone camera flash is setting them alight, compare it with how small the reflective ring is in the photo in the first post.

The Niterider Race 1400 LED light is rugged and weatherproof with 5 levels of brightness so I can punch a hole in the night out on foggy, lonely country roads or have a friendly light on city bikepaths that won't blind other riders or send them into an epileptic fit due to overly bright harsh flashing. An accessory larger capacity Niterider battery gives 3 hours at max brightness and durations that would last all night at lower settings.

A courtesy bell for pedestrians and a handlebar end mirror have earned their place on the bar.

Ravi K's recommendation of the Bodyfloat by CIrrus (now Kinekt?) was spot on. After a spin on his Stromer I was intrigued and it has proven itself over many miles of road, wish I had bought it five years earlier.

The Thule Pack 'n Pedal rack works well since the donor bike is a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp and Specialized always live up to their name in making their bikes perfect for a narrowly defined role but not exactly all-rounders - hence no braze ons for a more solid rear rack. This is a limitation that makes this a "light" touring bike.
 
Hi Ravi, I can only vouch for this technique's ability to eliminate the battery on I2C BionX equipment and the D-series uses the canbus protocol.

The cable mod works by breaking out the red pos and black neg from the comm cable and supplying 5V to the console and pack voltage to the motor. My first attempt suffered from noise and miscommunication between the console and motor. This was fixed by tying the two neg / black lines together and also bridging those to the grounding silver line inside the cable housing. This keeps the voltages from drifting apart.

Works very well on I2C, hope someone tries it one day on canbus. I would put a meter on the power supply lines in the comm cable to see if the motor is still fed pack voltage, it might have changed to 12V or 5V. The console probably still gets 5V, but that should be checked as well.

Someone with a canbus system could try it without much risk. Perhaps someone already has, I haven't done a deep dive on Google on this since last year.
 
Quick update to say that the same technique works well on CANbus BionX bikes.

I've been running canbus for three months and many miles with no issues.

So, yes, Ravi, it will work with D series motors as well - I believe Cephalotus has demonstrated this for some time.

Krishna, I used a DC-DC buck converter, try googling UBEC 5V and / or SBEC 5V there should be many options available.

There are more detailed posts from myself and others on Endless Sphere, though this technique will require technical skills.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Quick update to say that the same technique works well on CANbus BionX bikes.

I've been running canbus for three months and many miles with no issues.

So, yes, Ravi, it will work with D series motors as well - I believe Cephalotus has demonstrated this for some time.

Krishna, I used a DC-DC buck converter, try googling UBEC 5V and / or SBEC 5V there should be many options available.

There are more detailed posts from myself and others on Endless Sphere, though this technique will require technical skills.

This is awesome. I hope stores or owners of Bion-X D series motor owners can make use of this info.
D-series was a well-constructed motor and I have seen folks riding them for over 25,000 miles. With a large battery that is not tied to BionX, perhaps these owners can keep the bike running for a 3-4 years more.