Upgrading Stock E-Bike Motor / Battery

Badgerbike

New Member
Hi, I'm considering buying a stock e-bike, but the model I'm considering (iGo Metro-E) is not powerful enough to keep up with 35mpg city traffic. I prefer stock ebikes to kits because of their integrated, cleaner, less tamper prone appearance (I live in a city where kit parts may be picked off and stolen).

Does anyone have experience / ideas on the technical requirements / feasibility of upgrading the iGo Metro-E or other ebike to use a larger motor or battery? (compatibility of speed controllers, computer, charging, etc.)

I'm aware that it may be technically illegal to have a higher power e-bike, but I don't think this will be a problem given the police in my city.

Thanks!
 
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deckofficer

New Member
From my experience of upgrading a Rad to Go electric scooter is any single upgrade will tax the other components to their failure mode. My PWM controller failed on this scooter and since I planned to upgrade batteries and motor at a later date, I went with a 400 amp Curtis controller. Since the controller could now pull this amperage it wasn't too long before the battery terminals melted and failed. Replaced the cheap, stock sealed lead acid batteries with Odyssey AGM batteries and sure enough after awhile the motor failed. Replaced the stock motor with an Etek, and now with all major components upgraded, had a reliable scooter.

What I took too long to say is all the components are spec'ed for each other, so just putting a bigger motor on it won't work if the controller can't supply what the bigger motor needs.

This is what I ended up with after all component swaps.



The Etek will get me to 45 mph faster than my Corvette.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
To keep up with the flow of 35mph traffic you're not talking eBike (as in bicycle) anymore you're really in the realm of eMotorcycle or eScooter. I had a 2-stroke Yamaha 50cc noped (moped without pedals) back in the early 80's and it went up to 25mph. At no point did I think I was riding a bicycle.

So you're looking at speeds like 35 to 45 mph. Equivalent to about 70 to 80cc if it were a gas-powered motorbike.
 

deckofficer

New Member
I know, your correct, but this creation of mine was more than 10 years ago, long before lithium batteries were affordable for EV usage. Now days with me in my 60's and progressive companies like Hi-Power Cycles, my days of DIY are over. HPC can build about anything I could want that through user interface can be dialed back to legal power and speed for street use, then cranked up for off road.

As for the mini gassers back then, I used to compete with them. The last competition they invited me to they decided to handicap me by having it a road event of 50 miles on Historic Route 66 in Arizona. With my (4) PC680 Odyssey AGM batteries my range at 45 mph was 6 1/2 miles, so had to improvise a bit. The battery trailer with (6) 8 volt 165 ahr batteries weigh 490 lbs, plus the weight of my scooter at 110 lbs and me at 250 lbs totaled 850 lbs, but no problem for the Etek motor. That motor had a continuous rating of over 5000 watts and could deliver a peak of 20 kw, a real brute.



Golf cart charger could charge the scooter's bank in less than 1 hour, the trailer bank in about 10 hours.

 

Llcjay

Member
Hi, I'm considering buying a stock e-bike, but the model I'm considering (iGo Metro-E) is not powerful enough to keep up with 35mpg city traffic. I prefer stock ebikes to kits because of their integrated, cleaner, less tamper prone appearance (I live in a city where kit parts may be picked off and stolen).

Does anyone have experience / ideas on the technical requirements / feasibility of upgrading the iGo Metro-E or other ebike to use a larger motor or battery? (compatibility of speed controllers, computer, charging, etc.)

I'm aware that it may be technically illegal to have a higher power e-bike, but I don't think this will be a problem given the police in my city.

Thanks!
You really need a custom ebike for that speed or buy the Bomber or Optibike or some other $10k ebike. Gas scooter is really the better choice if you want to up with traffic or zero motorcycle
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
It really does sound like a motorcycle is what you want. Of course, it will really look bad if you go on bike paths!! :p
 

Badgerbike

New Member
Thanks for the comments everyone!

deckofficer: Thanks for the advice and nice trailer! I am now considering building a custom ebike which will allow me to properly match the components.

stevenast,Llcjay, PowerMe: I agree - calling it a "high speed ebike" or "lightweight emoped" is more accurate. I've considered a gas scooter, but getting to the island on which I work requires either: riding a ferry (which doesn't allow gas vehicles), or hurdling though an underwater tunnel at 60+ miles per hour (which scares the bejesus out of me). I also like the light weight, exercise friendly, bike path compatibility of ebikes.
 
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deckofficer

New Member
"....but getting to the island..." that perked up my ears. Which island? By building your own, you can get what you want. If weight isn't a big consideration, it is hard to find more punch for the dollar than the Etek motor. If you can still find them, they are around $375, add a 48 volt golf cart controller and maybe splurge (it is worth it) on lithium batteries. A heavy cruiser style bike can handle the power of the Etek.

Here is a couple of passes with an Etek powered bike using a 300 amp Alltrax controller.

 
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Badgerbike

New Member
Wow that bike is fast! I think the Etek is a little too heavy and powerful for my build, but it looks like it could make a great e scooter.

I work on the island of Alameda in CA. It's less exciting from an island perspective (only separated from land by an estuary). It does have a cool former naval air base though.
 

Marty

Member
Hi, I'm considering buying a stock e-bike, but the model I'm considering (iGo Metro-E) is not powerful enough to keep up with 35mpg city traffic. I prefer stock ebikes to kits because of their integrated, cleaner, less tamper prone appearance (I live in a city where kit parts may be picked off and stolen).

Does anyone have experience / ideas on the technical requirements / feasibility of upgrading the iGo Metro-E or other ebike to use a larger motor or battery? (compatibility of speed controllers, computer, charging, etc.)

I'm aware that it may be technically illegal to have a higher power e-bike, but I don't think this will be a problem given the police in my city.

Thanks!
I'd buy a good used Honda 500 V twin which is far better for speed than a bicycle, and goes even faster.