Here's an electric motorcycle battery tear-down for fun and entertainment!
Most of us who have been riding a while, have been inside the various systems in our (traditional, internal combustion) motorcycles. We’ve replaced spark plugs and fuel filters and cleaned out our share of carburetors. Lots of us have done valve clearance checks and adjustments. We know what’s going on inside our motorcycles.
When it comes to electric bikes, though, all that knowledge feels a little unnervingly obsolete. An internal combustion engine is not an electric motor, and a gas tank is not a battery, and the batteries on our old motorcycles are (mostly) nothing like the batteries that are powering these new electric motorcycles.
Shea Nyquist guides us through his disassembly of an Alta battery in this super informative video. When dealing with gasoline we must be careful not to create sparks lest the fumes ignite. When dealing with batteries we must be careful of sudden discharge; if you don’t know what you’re doing they can be very dangerous.
His habit of poking fasteners into foam is a trick a lot of us have used for a long time. That is translatable to any task and a great tool to keep in your arsenal.
Watching someone who is knowledgeable about a given technology is a great way to learn, and that is why I love YouTube. Everyone who began riding motorcycles (and therefore fixing motorcycles) when the Internet was text-based (or, perhaps, there was no Internet) is simultaneously absolutely thrilled that a video tutorial exists for pretty much everything you want to learn about, and at the same time resisting the temptation to shake our collective canes shouting “IN MY DAY.”
Electric motorcycles may require less maintenance than those with internal combustion engines, but they still have things like brakes, tires, final drives, and bearings. Fear not, fellow curmudgeons. We remain relevant, and with these tutorials we can learn about the new technology that’s absolutely tearing through our sport (and transportation in general). Today I learned about “thermal transfer goop.”
If you’re seriously into this stuff the end of the video has an absolute ton of math. He’s planning his own build and working out whether these cells will be OK for his application. Personally I got lost in that part but if this is your jam, you definitely want to follow his build.
I’m just left wondering how he’s going to get those tiny little "comm line" clips plugged back in.