JMU Team Modifies Motorcycle, Sets Electric-Powered Cycle Record

From: Public Affairs

From left: Ernie Vaupel (former record holder), Paul Crisman (ISAT), Tripp Loflin (ISAT), Sam Sweet (ISAT), and Dr. Rob Prins (Engineering). Other team members include Drew Joyner (Engineering), Joey Lang (Engineering), Dan Ferrante (ISAT), Haris Shafiq (ISAT), and Jessie Taylor (ISAT).

What can you do with a 1968 Sears 124cc motorcycle? A group of James Madison University students have transformed one that sets speed records for electric-powered motorcycles.

Students from the integrated science and technology and engineering programs took the E-Cycle to Maxton, N.C., Oct. 24 to test the speed of their creation, improving the first established East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) record for electric motorcycles from 53.458 mph to 70.17 mph.

The team of students started their project in August and replaced the engine with a direct current motor, controller and other engine-related components. Energy storage comes from six Odyssey PC680 batteries donated by of Winchester. The students fabricated the mounting hardware to support the motor, controller and batteries at the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Laboratory.

Some students are working on the motorcycle for the project portion of a course and others are volunteering their time. By working on the E-Cycle, students are developing an appreciation for the energy required in transportation applications and developing an aptitude in the areas of electrical energy storage, control and machinery, said Dr. Robert Prins, assistant professor of engineering.

The students plan to continue working with the E-Cycle and will make several adjustments before going for more records next spring.


October 29, 2009