Finnish Enthusiast Makes His Self-Built Electric Motorcycle Street Legal

One person in Finland took an outlandish idea and turned it into a reality by making a self-built electric motorcycle. On paper, it seemed implausible that it could ever work. Weighing in at 200 kilograms, this self-built motorcycle works just fine and has been raising a lot of eyebrows.

A Working Self-built Electric Motorcycle

Although electric vehicles are not necessarily something we will see go mainstream anytime soon, it never hurts to dream big. One engineer in Finland came up with an idea to build himself an electric motorcycle. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned originally. There were some big issues with the creation when it was drafted on paper. The “architect” had no experience building motorcycles, according to traditional rules, let alone an electric version.

The builder had some experience with building new objects, though. His first creation was a water scooter featuring a self-built drive unit and propeller. The motorcycle was a different matter altogether, and it took a lot longer to build since it was a bit more complex. Although the project started back in December of 2016, it took until June of this year before he could first try to ride it. There was also a two-month break to take into account. Being an inventor is taxing on both body and mind.

Most of the parts on the bike are used, rather than new. One does not necessarily need a lot of money to build something truly amazing. Some of the parts had to be custom-made. Outlining the concept on paper resulted in 360 pages full of notes, schematics and lists of components needed. He also collaborated with a friend to create a 3D render of the bike to see how well it would hold up.  Those initial tests were highly successful, although they offered no guarantee of how the bike would behave in the long run.

The biggest hurdle to overcome was the battery pack itself. This unit should have never worked whatsoever, considering it only uses batteries. Different kinds of batteries of different ages mixed together cannot work. It defies all logic to see them in action as far as this electric bike is concerned. In most cases, such a battery pack would explode or ignite.

Operating at 96 volts, the electric bike can cross a distance of around 150 kilometers without recharging. Further calibration can effectively double this distance, although the tweaking will take some time to complete.  All of the batteries will no longer discharge when an individual cell’s voltage drops below 3.1 volts. This allows the cobbled-together battery pack to charge in its entirety, which also seems to work without any noticeable issues. The torque provided by the engine controller is higher than expected, despite there being less than peak power. Fine-tuning is in order, but the fact that this bike even runs is a major milestone in its own right.

To make things even more interesting, this electric bike is street legal in Finland. A self-built motorcycle does not require ABS brakes, even though regulators would prefer it did. Without this requirement in place, though, the bike itself operates within the confines of Finnish law. All of this goes to show that one can build his or her own electric bike and get it to work, although there will always be certain risks involved when doing so. Just because this project works does not mean anyone else’s custom-built bike will.