Suzuki GS550 Electric Conversion

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Lapchik, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I sat around the house for too long this winter, and thought that it would be a good idea to get an old bike and convert it to electric. I found this 1980 Suzuki GS550E dirt cheap, and with a clear title. We threw it in the back of my friend's truck and drug it home. Everything seems to be there, except for the side covers, exhaust, clutch cable, and drive chain. Not that I really need very much of it, since I will be converting it to run on an electric motor. There are a couple of golf carts I am looking at, so I can get a motor and a control system all in one go. It is a much cheaper option than piecing out all those parts online individually. As soon as it is not below zero anymore, I'll be tearing this bike apart and putting all the combustion related parts on eBay. A 250cc dual sport with a sidecar didn't make me strange enough, so I thought I'd try DIY electric too!

    #1
  2. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,267
    Location:
    NSW Australia
    Good luck, interested to see how this goes :-)
    #2
  3. Grestil

    Grestil 2+2=unicorn

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    Those handlebars are soooo awesomely awesome!:photog
    #3
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  4. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    They're going on my torch cart lol. So many angles!!!
    #4
  5. Grestil

    Grestil 2+2=unicorn

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    And all of them wrong. I bet if you make your cuts with care you could make a loop from the pieces. Or maybe a pretzel even! You may miss them. Lots of room to mount things like switches and...put a crossbar on it and mount a Q charger on it. Top facing forward fins horizontal. Raked back a bit to look racy. Yeah that would look cool.
    #5
  6. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Upside down like a 1980s 10 speed
    #6
    Baroquenride likes this.
  7. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,427
    Location:
    southcentral PA.
    And you can make it into a bobber while you're at it. Then you can put the gas motor in the golf cart .
    #7
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  8. Grestil

    Grestil 2+2=unicorn

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    I triple dog dare you! A man who rode such a thing would be regarded as fearless by all!
    #8
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  9. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Made some progress

    #9
  10. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I tried it, but the bars are narrower than the frame.
    #10
  11. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,285
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Hmm,...never thought of doing an old cycle/golf cart electric bike. Small to medium size bikes abound on the net and craigslist. Maybe find a small light enduro style bike with a clean title, put street tires on it. I bet the electrics from a golf cart aren't hard to find either. Make a decent short ride commuter for cheap!

    Might even be a market/business, converting older bikes to electric and selling them as low cost commuters.
    #11
  12. Grestil

    Grestil 2+2=unicorn

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    I've read about a few old bikes being done up this way with off the shelf motor controllers but never golf cart parts. I know little of golf carts but I have a lot of experience with battery powered construction equipment. Not sure golf cart bits would be suitable. I wonder if the motor would be powerful enough with the gear ratios achievable with a chain drive.
    #12
  13. fast1075

    fast1075 Not a Lemming Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Flaw'da
    A friend of mine built and owns one of the best golf cart shops anywhere. They have an on line presence. They are called Performance Plus carts. They have the stuff. They rewind and upgrade the motors for higher performance. If the Suzuki project is using a lithium battery which is many times lighter than lead/acid batteries in a cart, which is designed to carry 2 large people and all their gear, I think it will do OK.

    It would be tough fitting lead/acid batteries, but another possibility I keep seeing is using battery modules from a Nissan Leaf, which are plentiful on Ebay. Shouldn't be hard to built a battery set from those. A 13 cell set up stacked would be approximately 12" X 9" X 20" tall and provide about 49 volts. You would just have to figure out the charging system.
    #13
    shovelstrokeed and Richarde1605 like this.
  14. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,613
    Location:
    BC
    There used to be someone whom sold a ebook on converting gs to Electric . Seem like they were a great bike to do it to. Good luck and 250 with sidecar not strange at all.
    #14
  15. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Got the engine out last night. That was a heavy bugger! Very little clearance to get it out, also. All the parts are off the frame [and on eBay] that I wont be using, except the headlight ears. Gotta pull the forks off for that. Next steps are getting a donor golf cart, and doing frame cleanup. I'll probably service the forks, steering bearings, and swingarm bushings too.
    49745717_10161279674365207_7750378166211837952_n.jpg
    #15
  16. ChairmanMaose

    ChairmanMaose OneLessCar

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    #16
    Dino de Laurentiis likes this.
  17. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #17
  18. ChairmanMaose

    ChairmanMaose OneLessCar

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    #18
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  19. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,311
    Location:
    Garland, Texas
    [​IMG]
    spotted on dallas craigslist, gs500
    #19