Lightweight Buggy Conversion

posted in: Conversions | 0

The converts a Chinese off-road 250cc buggy to electric.

An extensive build log with pictures: dune bug-e part 4 ( no relation to the Bug-E three wheeler)

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These buggies are available for as little as $1700 brand new in California. If there is no VIN ( it’s illegal to grind off a VIN, even if you own the frame legitimately – the CHP regards that as ipso facto chop-shop behavior) this converted BEV would be street legal as a custom in California. See Roy’s investigation of this legality. They aren’t perfect for a street machine, as they lack bodywork, they are bit heavy, being made for off-road use ( possibly an advantage? ), the cheaper ones use an awkward motor/swingarm solid rear axle setup, and they have wide, inefficient off-road tires. However they are cheap, rugged, and have the basic frame and chassis and suspension parts, and they are an ideal size for a low-speed commuter. More sophisticated versions are available from the big Japanese motorcycle companies, but they are expensive, and too tall. ATVs are too small and have no enclosure.

One source for buggies

More expensive

Another source

Smaller and cheaper

Also interesting

Be sure to search for “go karts” and “off-road buggy” and buyer beware, these importers tend to come and go rapidly. Don’t expect any service, however they use interchangeable parts, and those look to be available.

Tilting Prototype TBX3

posted in: Chassis | 1

Tom Blackburn, heard from occasionally on the list, has a new video compilation of his prototype

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While this is gas-powered, it has the ideal aero profile and mass for an electric power train. Opinions may vary on the beauty of his bodywork, but he has an interesting method of making a composite-ready buck out of screen and spray foam. His fabrication work looks very good. I think Tom has commercial experience with Grinall kit cars.

Another interesting point is he uses free-to-caster front wheels, and power tilting for steering. This is very unusual. He can be reached on the tilting list if you want more detail.