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I've just bought a slightly secondhand Epure Race. First ride yesterday and I absolutely loved it. It's the Mutt's nuts, the dog's danglies, the canine's gonads, and every other euphemism you can think of.

I'm now just starting on working through everything, cleaning, adjusting and learning, so I have a couple of questions to start off with:

  1. Does anyone have a clever way of refitting the chain tensioner? It came off with a mighty ping and looks like it will be a swine to get back on.
  2. Where is the oil drain plug and level window? So far I've only found the filler.

Thanks.

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1. Chain tensioner. I phoned Inch Perfect for advice on this. Apparently there's a special tool (not surprised) but it can just about be done without. With the aid of a couple of lumps of wood, a Workmates and a trolley jack I managed to get the tensioner on with the hook end not hooked around the tensioner arm. Then the final easy bit (well, easier) was to pull the hook onto the arm with a spring hook. I think I may get the special tool before next time!

2. I was just being a bit thick. The drain plug and sight glass are on the inside of the case facing the right hand side of the bike. Access isn't great and it would be messy to drain the oil with the bash plate in place so I took that off. Putting it back is a bit fiddly because all four fixing points rely on loose nuts, but on the positive side the sight glass is very readable, unlike my old Beta where I was reduced to just using it as a level plug.

Given the simplicity of an electric bike, I was surprised to find it's not as easy to work on as I expected. No doubt I'll find all the shortcuts in time though. I hope this helps any other new EM owners who might be caught out like I was.

Edited by trapezeartist

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I just jacked up the left side a the bike a bit so when I pulled the plug- all the oil just went down the skid plate and out.   Just a paper towel to clean up and not big deal.

Mine looked very clean at 40 hours, just a tiny bit of ‘fluff’ on the magnet. I did use the recommended oil, mostly since I like the way it works now and sometime a change can make it a bit different.  Plus it wasn’t that much more anyway

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On 5/30/2021 at 9:58 PM, lotus54 said:

Mine looked very clean at 40 hours, just a tiny bit of ‘fluff’ on the magnet. 

Hoping mine looks as good, when it comes time!

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My 2021 EM Race oil was pretty clean at first 40 hour oil change.  As lotus54 said, a bit of fluff on the magnet. I'm thinking of 3D printing a threaded tube for the next oil change so I won't need a paper towel to wipe up the skid plate. 

If I got the right parts, JST Type Automotive Connectors 02T-JWPF-VSLE-S and 02R-JWPF-VSLE-S 2 Pin Waterproof Connectors Male and Female Butt Plugs, from Amazon are the right size to plug into the connectors under the top panel. These are assemble yourself connectors so I can't recommend for people who haven't done a lot of electronics assembly. My plan is to find a pushbutton switch in my spare parts pile and wire up the regen braking. 

Someone mentioned their EM making a big noise on hard landings...I have a Beta Evo that does the same and figured I was hitting the limit on suspension travel...especially given the sensation in my ankles!

I've used a 2500 watt Craftsman generator to recharge in the field, the 15A charger, no issue, except my riding buddies complained about the generator noise. 

I am seeing about 0.8% of full charge/minute of charging time, which works out to just about 2 hours to go from 0% to 100% again the 15A charger.

The following link is a study from the University of Michigan on extending the lifetime of the battery.  Lifetime meaning how many charge/discharge cycles you can get. 

https://news.umich.edu/tips-for-extending-the-lifetime-of-lithium-ion-batteries/

The attachment is a paper from the U.S.A. Federal Aviation Admin on how to extinguish lithium ion battery fires. I've not heard of these bikes having an issue...I did purchase a 2.5 gallon water fire extinguisher because of the claims in the paper.

If anyone has a suggestion I am interested: Front brake goes soft in a severe tip right hand turn. I've topped off the reservoir and am going to bleed it today. When bike is upright, there is no meniscus visible in the brake reservoir window and brake lever has normal resistance to squeezing. When I practice slow right hand turns with my body way outside so I can really lean the bike and practice stopping and balancing mid-turn, I can see the meniscus appear and it looks like "air" is intersecting the brake line which would explain the softness of the lever. When I topped off the reservoir it spewed oil as the cap and rubber thingy were replaced so I'm not sure how to get any more oil in?

 

 

TC-13-53.pdf

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22 hours ago, Joule said:

If I got the right parts, JST Type Automotive Connectors 02T-JWPF-VSLE-S and 02R-JWPF-VSLE-S 2 Pin Waterproof Connectors Male and Female Butt Plugs, from Amazon are the right size to plug into the connectors under the top panel. These are assemble yourself connectors so I can't recommend for people who haven't done a lot of electronics assembly. My plan is to find a pushbutton switch in my spare parts pile and wire up the regen braking. 

Really cool that you came up with the connectors. Thanks! I have attached a pic I grabbed from one of John's (Ka Uila Motors) YouTube videos. Look below his thumb and you will see a mini-lever style trigger-switch that he is using for his region braking. He is selling the whole setup, plug-n-play ready as an alternative to a push button. To me, that is the solution that makes the most sense. Being skilled in electronics, I want to save the cost by assembling my own. However, so far, all of my search efforts to find a trigger-switch like that have turned up nothing. Danged if I can find one!

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 10.22.26 AM.png

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If you look close, there appears to be a cutout for a cable in the lever. Maybe it's a clutch or brake lever with  safety or brake light switch.

1611895619_ScreenShot2021-09-15at10_22_26AM.thumb.png.920d29e20d94521cf40f430b714dddf7.png.df8b34b2cbef55e56772a4e53719e051.png

                                                                                                                                    Here

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On 9/14/2021 at 9:40 AM, Joule said:

My 2021 EM Race oil was pretty clean at first 40 hour oil change.  As lotus54 said, a bit of fluff on the magnet. I'm thinking of 3D printing a threaded tube for the next oil change so I won't need a paper towel to wipe up the skid plate. 

If I got the right parts, JST Type Automotive Connectors 02T-JWPF-VSLE-S and 02R-JWPF-VSLE-S 2 Pin Waterproof Connectors Male and Female Butt Plugs, from Amazon are the right size to plug into the connectors under the top panel. These are assemble yourself connectors so I can't recommend for people who haven't done a lot of electronics assembly. My plan is to find a pushbutton switch in my spare parts pile and wire up the regen braking. 

Someone mentioned their EM making a big noise on hard landings...I have a Beta Evo that does the same and figured I was hitting the limit on suspension travel...especially given the sensation in my ankles!

I've used a 2500 watt Craftsman generator to recharge in the field, the 15A charger, no issue, except my riding buddies complained about the generator noise. 

I am seeing about 0.8% of full charge/minute of charging time, which works out to just about 2 hours to go from 0% to 100% again the 15A charger.

The following link is a study from the University of Michigan on extending the lifetime of the battery.  Lifetime meaning how many charge/discharge cycles you can get. 

https://news.umich.edu/tips-for-extending-the-lifetime-of-lithium-ion-batteries/

The attachment is a paper from the U.S.A. Federal Aviation Admin on how to extinguish lithium ion battery fires. I've not heard of these bikes having an issue...I did purchase a 2.5 gallon water fire extinguisher because of the claims in the paper.

If anyone has a suggestion I am interested: Front brake goes soft in a severe tip right hand turn. I've topped off the reservoir and am going to bleed it today. When bike is upright, there is no meniscus visible in the brake reservoir window and brake lever has normal resistance to squeezing. When I practice slow right hand turns with my body way outside so I can really lean the bike and practice stopping and balancing mid-turn, I can see the meniscus appear and it looks like "air" is intersecting the brake line which would explain the softness of the lever. When I topped off the reservoir it spewed oil as the cap and rubber thingy were replaced so I'm not sure how to get any more oil in?

 

 

TC-13-53.pdf 844.07 kB · 7 downloads

Regarding connectors...the attached data sheet from siliXcon has a "pinouts" section which lists the various connectors. There are several different types used, two pin, three pin, four pin.

datasheet_SC_rev_C_full.pdf

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On 9/15/2021 at 8:28 AM, dgshannon said:

Really cool that you came up with the connectors. Thanks! I have attached a pic I grabbed from one of John's (Ka Uila Motors) YouTube videos. Look below his thumb and you will see a mini-lever style trigger-switch that he is using for his region braking. He is selling the whole setup, plug-n-play ready as an alternative to a push button. To me, that is the solution that makes the most sense. Being skilled in electronics, I want to save the cost by assembling my own. However, so far, all of my search efforts to find a trigger-switch like that have turned up nothing. Danged if I can find one!

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 10.22.26 AM.png

I am interested in what you figured out with the regen. I've got parts on order to make my own switch assembly. First I am going to do some measurements and experiments. The controller on my 2021 Race has a PRB dongle which matches the video on the EM website that teaches how to install the FRB. If I looked correctly at the paused video the switch they attach has two wires which then connect to the Red and light Blue wires of the dongle. This leaves the black wire of the dongle unconnected. I want to believe the red wire is hot, the blue is for the wiper of a potentiometer, and black is ground. The measurement I will make when parts arrive is to see if red is hot, black is ground. If true, I am going to assume blue is wiper and not connect an instrument to it out of caution (avoid static discharge). The first experiment is to wire a 10K ohm pot to the PRB and see if there is adjustability to the regen braking. What I want to see is if the proportional feature is programmed in, can I find a resistance level which gives regen about the same as applying the rear brake lightly? My ultimate goal is to use a pressure switch on the rear brake, like for a brake light, to operate the regen. The idea being the regen will come on with light brake pressure before the pads really get a grip on the disc. I can then keep my white knuckles tightly wrapped around the grips.

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On 10/18/2021 at 5:37 PM, Joule said:

I am interested in what you figured out with the regen. I've got parts on order to make my own switch assembly. First I am going to do some measurements and experiments. The controller on my 2021 Race has a PRB dongle which matches the video on the EM website that teaches how to install the FRB. If I looked correctly at the paused video the switch they attach has two wires which then connect to the Red and light Blue wires of the dongle. This leaves the black wire of the dongle unconnected. I want to believe the red wire is hot, the blue is for the wiper of a potentiometer, and black is ground. The measurement I will make when parts arrive is to see if red is hot, black is ground. If true, I am going to assume blue is wiper and not connect an instrument to it out of caution (avoid static discharge). The first experiment is to wire a 10K ohm pot to the PRB and see if there is adjustability to the regen braking. What I want to see is if the proportional feature is programmed in, can I find a resistance level which gives regen about the same as applying the rear brake lightly? My ultimate goal is to use a pressure switch on the rear brake, like for a brake light, to operate the regen. The idea being the regen will come on with light brake pressure before the pads really get a grip on the disc. I can then keep my white knuckles tightly wrapped around the grips.

Attached photo of a temporary FRB button under the right side handlebar. Home brew. Attached photo of the dongle on the EM Race 2021. Measured voltage between red wire and black wire on dongle using a Klein tools MM300, DC voltage 20V range ,is 4.8V.  Blue wire to black wire measured 0V, black wire to exposed metal of frame of motorcycle measured 0V. According to the video on Central Powersports Distribution web site the FRB switch when closed shorts red wire to blue wire (red and blue reference the attached photo of dongle). Attached pdf is the datasheet for the connector needed if you want to build your own FRB switch.

 

My experience with FRB: The drag created when activated is noticeable.  If my experimentation using it at various speeds and slopes of hill is accurate, and I am prejudiced wanting to believe the following because it seems to be correct from physics, the regen drag is proportional to velocity, and cannot cause the rear wheel to lock. I would like to read other riders experience.

I would also like to hear thoughts on the this: What if regen came on whenever the throttle is shut off? I'm thinking that would mimic the compression drag of an internal combustion bike without risk of causing the rear wheel to slip. Since it comes on when throttle is shut off there is no extra button to use. If regen isn't wanted, squeeze the clutch. If my understanding of the throttle circuit is correct, the throttle signal goes to near zero volts (compared to chassis ground) so a simple inverter (comparator with hysteresis) circuit could send a signal to the PRB blue wire letting it know the throttle is shut off, engaging regen. A more complicated circuit could use a wheel speed sensor to let the rider tailor the magnitude of regen based on wheel spin rate. 

Does anyone know how to do the above without an auxiliary circuit board? Point being, if the throttle position voltage signal were split to let it be routed to the blue wire of the PRB dongle and to the siliXcon controller, it might be a software change to make regen come on when throttle is shut off. Since there is no wheel speed sensor this solution will not allow tailoring the amount of regen to bike speed. The hardware to make the split would be a Y cable with appropriate connectors at each end of the Y, assuming the throttle position sensor is using the same 4.8V supply rail. By TPS I mean the potentiometer in the throttle tube assembly on the handlebar.

EM_FRB_button.jpg

PRB_dongle.jpg

eJWPF.pdf

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1 hour ago, Joule said:

I would also like to hear thoughts on the this: What if regen came on whenever the throttle is shut off?

On the surface, sounds good, when you only think of heading down hills. In practice, throttle closure occurs in too many different situations other than downhill.

With a gas engine, rolling off the throttle is followed by continued flywheel engine inertia. So, the Electric Motion, as it stands, is already a bit of a shock to new riders as rolling off the throttle does not have that same inertia, and forward motion ceases much faster. If you add regenerative braking to the throttle action, that would even be more severe.

Think about heading uphill on a gas engine bike. You always roll off a bit and let flywheel inertia carry you over the crest. With a stock Electric Motion, you quickly learn that you better not do that. Even worse if you tied regen braking to throttle closure.

On a downhill run a gas engine provides engine braking, as the rear wheel tries to drive the engine at a faster RPM than it wants to go. In other situations, the gas engine at is still providing a bit of forward momentum while at idle. That characteristic is what the new "tickover" feature on the 2022 EM is trying to imitate. What you are suggesting is the opposite in that closing the throttle would not only stop producing power altogether, but even start resisting forward motion. I don't think that in the end it would be a desired characteristic.

If regen braking were to be linked to any trigger other than its own separate switch, it might work by linking to the front brake lever. It may be a total bust, but would be an interesting experiment. The same type of front brake switch that triggers a brake light could be used to trigger regen. Sounds plausible that if you want the front brake on you might want the rear wheel to experience regen drag as well.

Alternatively, it might well work if the switch was on the rear brake peddle. If it were setup such that the peddle in its full up position closed the switch and turned off regen, the the very moment you pressed the peddle down (even before starting to engage the rear brake) the regen would kick in. Further pressing down would add the physical brake to the regen.

Edited by dgshannon

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6 hours ago, Joule said:

I would also like to hear thoughts on the this: What if regen came on whenever the throttle is shut off? I'm thinking that would mimic the compression drag of an internal combustion bike without risk of causing the rear wheel to slip.

 

 

I've had a couple of practice sessions with the fixed regen now. I certainly wouldn't want it every time the throttle shut off. It provides quite a lot of braking and does lock the wheel on a slippery surface. It also provides more braking than needed when just check braking to control speed on a gentle descent. It's possible to  modulate braking to some degree by doing a sort of cadence braking.

I am using one of John Uyehara's levers. The position of the lever under the clutch lever is good but I am having to school myself not to ride with a finger over the lever. The spring on the lever is so light that it's easy to apply the brake by mistake, usually at the most inopportune moment. I might try a thumb button instead, but I would rather find a stronger spring for the lever.

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4 hours ago, dgshannon said:

On the surface, sounds good, when you only think of heading down hills. In practice, throttle closure occurs in too many different situations other than downhill.

With a gas engine, rolling off the throttle is followed by continued flywheel engine inertia. So, the Electric Motion, as it stands, is already a bit of a shock to new riders as rolling off the throttle does not have that same inertia, and forward motion ceases much faster. If you add regenerative braking to the throttle action, that would even be more severe.

Think about heading uphill on a gas engine bike. You always roll off a bit and let flywheel inertia carry you over the crest. With a stock Electric Motion, you quickly learn that you better not do that. Even worse if you tied regen braking to throttle closure.

On a downhill run a gas engine provides engine braking, as the rear wheel tries to drive the engine at a faster RPM than it wants to go. In other situations, the gas engine at is still providing a bit of forward momentum while at idle. That characteristic is what the new "tickover" feature on the 2022 EM is trying to imitate. What you are suggesting is the opposite in that closing the throttle would not only stop producing power altogether, but even start resisting forward motion. I don't think that in the end it would be a desired characteristic.

If regen braking were to be linked to any trigger other than its own separate switch, it might work by linking to the front brake lever. It may be a total bust, but would be an interesting experiment. The same type of front brake switch that triggers a brake light could be used to trigger regen. Sounds plausible that if you want the front brake on you might want the rear wheel to experience regen drag as well.

Alternatively, it might well work if the switch was on the rear brake peddle. If it were setup such that the peddle in its full up position closed the switch and turned off regen, the the very moment you pressed the peddle down (even before starting to engage the rear brake) the regen would kick in. Further pressing down would add the physical brake to the regen.

Thank you for the response. I've been considering putting it on the rear brake similar to what you describe. I had not considered the front brake and agree that is an interesting experiment. After reading your first few paragraphs I downloaded a physics app on my phone and made a bunch of deceleration runs using a Beta 250 Evo and the EM with and without regen. Set all tires to 5 psi and used a paved surface. Tried to approximate 3 different and equal speed levels for each bike, two trials at each speed level.  At really low speeds there isn't much difference between Beta and EM. At moderate speed the EM with regen has about 25% more deceleration. Higher speeds the EM is about doubling the deceleration of the Beta. No speedometers, used the apparent wind as speed indicator. Beta was in 1st gear the entire time. I am now aware how unaware I am about how a bike is behaving under me. I did not realize the EM had significant difference to a gas bike until the immediate head-to-head comparison.  

beta_vs_regen.JPG

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I really like the button under bar I’ve been using. If I want less regen, I can just slip the clutch a bit while holding in the button. With the location- that is pretty easy to use.

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On 4/26/2021 at 6:31 AM, trapezeartist said:

I've just bought a slightly secondhand Epure Race. First ride yesterday and I absolutely loved it. It's the Mutt's nuts, the dog's danglies, the canine's gonads, and every other euphemism you can think of.

I'm now just starting on working through everything, cleaning, adjusting and learning, so I have a couple of questions to start off with:

  1. Does anyone have a clever way of refitting the chain tensioner? It came off with a mighty ping and looks like it will be a swine to get back on.
  2. Where is the oil drain plug and level window? So far I've only found the filler.

Thanks.

I attached a copy of the user manual for you, in case you don't have one.

Epure User Manual 2021-2.0 .pdf

Edited by dgshannon

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