Electric Motorcycle Group Project


MakeIt Labs’ first organized group project Goal: Convert a Kawasaki Ninja 250 into an Electric Motorcycle

Photo Gallery HERE

This is a project originally started by member Johnathan Vail some years ago.  Last year he brought the bike into MakeIt, and as is the fate with many projects, it has fallen into idleness since.  Rather than see it die off and go away, we have instead decided to turn it into the first organized group project!  We have most of the main components we’ll need to finish it, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Organized project, what’s that?

A project with dedicated leadership, participation, goals, scheduled work nights, and a timeline to completion. Currently we are still in the project planning phase.  Since this is the first organized project, it will be a bit of an experiment and part of it will be determining how to run the project itself. The project starts January 8th.  Signup here: http://makeit_ebgp.eventbrite.com/

Project Details:

A detailed spreadsheet of the components can be found HERE


As you can see, we currently have about $2,650 worth of parts for this bike.  Johnathan has offered to sell us everything for $1,000, which is an exceptional deal.  We’ll also be treating the bike as a bench rental since it will take up valuable floor space at MakeIt.  This adds a cost of $30 per month. In order to cover the costs of the existing parts, as well as any additional parts we’ll need to complete the bike, this project will be run as a workshop.  This means that there will be a limited number of seats, and each seat will have a cost.  Pricing will be done similar to other workshops with Pro and Hobbyist members receiving discounts and non-members paying full price.  There will also be a discounted rate for high school and college students who would like to participate.  Based on what we decide to do with the finished bike (see the next section), this may be thought of as more of an investment than a cost.  Having a price tag on activity in the project also creates a sense of commitment in the participants, and gives them another incentive to work on it.

What happens when we’re done?

This is something we’ll need to decide as a group, either at the pre-project meeting, or upon completion of the bike. Things get complicated because this will be, for all intents and purposes, a street legal motorcycle.  If it is to be used legally, it will need to be registered and inspected, insured, and anyone driving it will need a motorcycle license.  We’ll all get a chance to ride it around the access roads when it’s done, but it would be complicated to have a true group ownership, and most likely cost prohibitive to have it registered to MakeIt.  This leaves a few options (other suggestions are highly encouraged):
  • Auction the bike off within the group.  Bidding would start at the final cost of the bike.
  • Auction the bike off to the general membership of MakeIt.  Bidding starts slightly above cost and project members would get a % discount on the final auction price if they win.
  • Auction/Sell the bike to anyone
  • ??????
If sold, where does the money go?  Again, this will be decided by the group, and suggestions are highly encouraged.  Here are a few ideas:
  • Profits are split evenly within the group.
  • Profits go to MakeIt’s general fund (can be considered tax deductible donations from all members of the group).
  • Profits go to specific equipment/resources of the group’s choosing.
  • ?????

What’s Next?

Stay tuned to this page for the latest information. Project Officially starts Tuesday, January 8th, at 7pm. Signup here: http://makeit_ebgp.eventbrite.com/ Feel free to email me with any suggestions or to let me know you’re interested in the project.
 Posted by at 5:19 pm