Test Ride

I enjoyed the entire design and build process, but this is the stage where things really got fun.  I should have wired up the 12 volt system before riding, but I had access to a test location with no traffic, and when I finally saw the wheel spinning, I just couldn’t resist.

Before testing, I charged the battery pack and checked each cell to ensure they were balanced.  I snugged up the electrical connections.  I checked the wires to ensure no interfere with the chain.  I filed down a potential chafing location where a drive wire touched the edge of the metal frame plate.  I double-checked the chain tension.

In hindsight, I forgot a couple basic things.  I didn’t check the tires, which had not been topped off for months.  I also forgot to roll my left pant leg (like we used to think was cool in the 80’s) to keep it away from the front sprocket and chain, since there was no chain guard.  Fortunately, neither issue caused a problem.

Before going for a ride, I made a short walkaround video:

Then I bolted my camera to the top of the right pannier to capture the first ride:

I can’t describe how much of a morale boost this ride was.  Seeing, hearing, and feeling the bike working, just the way it was supposed to, was so motivating that I was mentally ready to tackle the next issue, the 12V wiring.

This was only my second experience with an electric vehicle on the road.  Just like my test drive of a Nissan Leaf, which convinced me I would buy one as soon as my commuter car dies, this test ride convinced me of the superiority of the acceleration performance and feel of the electric drivetrain.

Next:  Wire the 12V