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Discussion Starter #1
I have been trying to figure out how to make an electric Velomobile into a legal Moped or Motorcycle.

For a moped in the state of Washington you can't have more than “2 brake horsepower” at the axle. Can anyone tell me how to do that? If it is just the HP of the motor before the gear losses, I could just limit the wattage input with the controller. But that would make it climb hills much slower. It takes 2500 watts to climb our steep hills at a reasonable speed.

Maybe it has to be a lighter vehicle, like 400lbs total combined weight.
What are the Magura BIG hydraulic disc brakes rated for? Assuming dry weather and proper adjustments.

I like the idea of making it a moped, limited to 30mph, because it would not have to be built so heavy? Mileage is the prime reason for the whole project.



I know someone that built one that could handle at least two adults and maybe 80lbs of cargo as well, but they did nothing about making it legal. Rather a difficult project at 600lbs.


I have a motor picked out: a 1.6hp series wound DC motor. I do not like Hub motors.
The motor looks like it could produce more than 2 horse power (I can limit that with the controller), and way too much speed. So I calculated that if I use the right size rim pulley on the drive wheel it will not only have enough torque to climb our steep hills but keep the speed down to a legal limit.
 

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I don't think brake horsepower has a thing to do with brakes but more like the max horsepower that can be produced. But I could be all wet too.
 

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well yes that's what wikipedia says. but i was also thinking about How the momentum could effect it.

But at any rate the the brakes must be able to over power the motor... or the motor must not able to over power the brakes.

I am thinking that 600lbs should be built as a motor cycle.
 

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Once upon a time, power was measured by applying a known amount of drag with a large brake system; the power needed to overcome this drag was called brake horsepower. The method has changed, but, typically, the terminology in the laws hasn't.
If you want to know the equivalent brake horsepower of an electric motor, all you need is how many Watts it can safely draw at maximum output, and divide by 746. So 2hp = 1492 Watts. An old engineer's joke is that Columbus sailed with 2hp. Most electric motors are measured in input power, not shaft horsepower, and efficiency varies from as low as 60% to as much as over 80%. Also, they will attempt to draw as much input power as is available to drive the load, to the point the windings melt, so your controller has to be able to monitor the power, and limit it to safe levels.
 

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Ghost in the machine
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I'm sorry, I'm confused. You have an electric recumbent enclosed moped, and you want to make it into what it already is? Or are you trying to find out if it is possible to add an adjustment controller to skirt the law that governs allowed power?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok I see that you are confused. I am building this machine and want to find a way to make it legal. Simple as that.

It looks like I can subtract about 15% (gear losses) of the power and some for other losses, what ever that may be. Then adjust eh controller to out put no more than that. But now I am just guessing how much to limit it to.
 

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Welcome to our forum from another sunny Seattleite :)

Have you gone to the State Patrol and talked to them about it? I had a pickup truck inspected several years ago and they were really helpful in letting me know what was a necessary to get it on the road. They know what they are talking about. I would go talk to them and see what they have to say. It may be simpler than you think.
 

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Hawk's suggestion is good - it could be based on what the motor is capable of, not what power to which your regulator limits it. The SP should know this detail; after all, it could pass, then you remove the limits in the controller, making it technically illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For any vehicle with three or four wheels: No, in order for a vehicle to be street legal, the vehicle must meet the federal requirements for road use and be certified by the manufacturer to meet those standards. Therefore, the vehicle must be originally manufactured for road use in order to be licensed in Washington State.

as you can see the police know nothing.
 

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Ghost in the machine
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I don't believe you can legally build your own bicycle into a licensable motor vehicle without being a manufacturer.

I thought you were using an existing Velomobile (who already make exactly what you are describing), not building it yourself.
Also, bicycles (even recumbant w/electric assist) are already legal on roadways, so why are you trying to license one as a motor vehicle?

I'm still somewhat confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First off all the cops are not engineers, so they cannot recommend any thing. secondly they refer you to the national standards rules.

And then there are manufacturers that do not know how to build a vehicle worth a darn ether.

and lastly there are plenty of people that have built and licensed their own motor cycle/ velomobiles.
 

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Velomobiles are legally classified as bicycles and are legal for road use (other than highway) Because of the "bicycle" classification they cannot be issued a motor vehicle title or registration. So unless you are planning on riding it on a highway (a bad idea that is and should remain illegal) why would you need to license it?

Seems like you're looking for validation not information so I'm out. Good luck though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
are you with law enforcement departments?

So are you saying that it would be classified as a car? if it has a body?

please read this article about a motor cycle with velomobile body, I do not know what state it is in:
Raht Racer velomobile may let riders pedal "as fast as a car"
gizmag.com/raht-racer-velomobile


Velomobiles are legally classified as bicycles and are legal for road use (other than highway) Because of the "bicycle" classification they cannot be issued a motor vehicle title or registration. So unless you are planning on riding it on a highway (a bad idea that is and should remain illegal) why would you need to license it?

Seems like you're looking for validation not information so I'm out. Good luck though.
 

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Electric motor rated power

Electric motors are not rated by HP, they are rated in watts. 2hp = 1492watts. 2.1hp= 1521watts. Since the upper limit is 2hp, you should be OK with a motor rated around 1500watts. The 2500watt motor you mentioned is certainly too powerful for this limit if that is the rating (not maximum) power output. You can provide too much current to a 1500watt motor and probably get ~5000watts for a very short time before the motor failed altogether due to overheating.

If you can set your controller to provide 1400watts under normal conditions and maybe a "burst" of extra power for short hill climbs, that would be ideal in my opinion. It would allow you to stay withing the regulation limits, and still get you up the hill quickly without burning out the motor (as long as you use the extra power only occasionally).

Just my thoughts.

oblio
 

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Bye bye Jamnn:thumbsdown:

Folks here are trying to help you with an inane situation and you deride them for their questions and help.:(

This is a motorcycle forum:thumbsup:

Sam:smiley_mornincoffee
 
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