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Thread: Derbi GP-1 Electric Conversion

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    Derbi GP-1 Electric Conversion

    I have been away from the forum for a while as I dropped my Derbi GPR tuning (waiting for parts) and decided to dig in on my electric scooter project.

    I currently use a gas powered scooter for going to work on, most mornings riding in stop and go traffic make you realize how stupid and wasteful gas engines are in that environment. Electric would be amazing and save fuel and reduce pollution.

    For over 5 year I have wanted to build an electric scooter, something better built than the cheaply built Chinese ones often sold. The high quality ones are usually much larger, high powered and very expensive, but the styling is usually boring.

    When I decided to look into the idea I wanted to choose a base that was very sporty and would convert easily. I had several bikes in mind as well as the idea to build my own complete tub chassis in carbon. In the end I chose the Derbi GP-1 as it was a naturally perfect chassis for the conversion. I started working out what I would need for the conversion and did some mockups based on images and estimation. In the end I shelved the project as I would need to obtain a Derbi GP-1 which was never sold in my location so would require expensive shipping. Also from a technical standpoint there were some challenges regarding the technology and suitability.

    I kept the idea on the back of my mind and 2 years ago seeing some new progression decided to go for it and restart the project.
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    So for those who don't know the Derbi GP-1, it was a very special project at the time. The idea was to mass centralize the scooter by moving the chassis into the center of the bike and then run a chain drive to the rear wheel. This would also reduce unsprung weight and as a bonus they used a chassis similar to the one used in the Derbi GPR. When it came out it was striking and even today I think it is the best design for a 50cc scooter out there.

    This is a image of the prototype model which has some slight differences to the production version.

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    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    So this was what I planned in 2008 for the conversion. The layout was to use a Perm or Brigg and Stratton DC air cooled motor with Thundersky lithium cells. I had to guess the possible layout and used my Derbi GPR as a reference. I didn't realize at the time that the GP-1 chassis was shaped differently and so would be narrower between the frame rails. I ended up shelving the idea as there were questions to whether the number of batteries needed would fit. Also at the time the bike was still a relatively new model and secondhand prices were still fairly high.

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    Last edited by scottydog; 04-09-2016 at 12:56 AM.
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    What got me restarted on the project was seeing a model of electric scooter made by a company called Emoto which design wise superficially was almost identical to the Derbi, which vindicated my choice of scooter. The main advantage which did not exist before was the 13" hub motor. With this ensuring there would be enough space for batteries would be a non issue. So I started to work out what battery options I could go with and started to search Ebay in the UK for a secondhand GP-1.

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    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert ToraTora's Avatar
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    Since I know what's coming I'll wait for comments, but I will say this is some very cool work Scot!

    And this model GP1 is by far my favorite--of course I really like the two stroke version of it. :P

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert mattology's Avatar
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    I've always wanted one of those

    Get your confidence back with Aprilia.

    caution: the use of motorcycles may be habit forming. side effects include purchasing multiple examples of the same bike, in different states of tune, different years, or different models altogether. some motorcycles may be not running when purchased. some parts are no longer available. there are rare instances where aprilias are bought over the internet and upon arrival, they are not as were originally disclosed. there is a small group of people who cannot handle two stroke engines and motorcycle maintenance. if this is the case, you may not be a candidate for Aprilia RS250's.

    Aprilia. Ask your doctor if the RS250 is right for you.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert mattology's Avatar
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    that being said, i dont' think this is the correct forum for this one.

    Get your confidence back with Aprilia.

    caution: the use of motorcycles may be habit forming. side effects include purchasing multiple examples of the same bike, in different states of tune, different years, or different models altogether. some motorcycles may be not running when purchased. some parts are no longer available. there are rare instances where aprilias are bought over the internet and upon arrival, they are not as were originally disclosed. there is a small group of people who cannot handle two stroke engines and motorcycle maintenance. if this is the case, you may not be a candidate for Aprilia RS250's.

    Aprilia. Ask your doctor if the RS250 is right for you.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    Hey Matt I did ponder where best to post such a project. Technically not being an Aprilia it doesn't fit anywhere. It is a scooter, but has the chassis like that of the 2008 RS50 and is chain drive. In the end I figured I'm not a scooter guy and so don't relate so well in those forums. Anyway I'll just continue on in the project section.

    It is a very cool scooter, I have 2 of them with the second still in gas mode. I have rode it a little bit and removed the restrictor washer, but still feels sluggish to me. I had to quieten it down, but took a while to figure out a hose needed to be fitted to the airbox from the exhaust. Will be interesting to weigh the two bikes to see how close the electric bike is.
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert mattology's Avatar
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    i tend to draw the line at clutches and transmissions vs variators, seating position, etc. lol.

    Get your confidence back with Aprilia.

    caution: the use of motorcycles may be habit forming. side effects include purchasing multiple examples of the same bike, in different states of tune, different years, or different models altogether. some motorcycles may be not running when purchased. some parts are no longer available. there are rare instances where aprilias are bought over the internet and upon arrival, they are not as were originally disclosed. there is a small group of people who cannot handle two stroke engines and motorcycle maintenance. if this is the case, you may not be a candidate for Aprilia RS250's.

    Aprilia. Ask your doctor if the RS250 is right for you.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    The search for bikes in the UK was sort of tricky. It costs a lot to deliver any sort of distance, this meant while I could find good bikes in part of the country, the shipping cost would be killer! In the end I found a place which repairs and breaks bikes fairly close to the shipping port I would been to use. It was also close to a firm that could box the bikes and deliver for me.

    Originally the plan was to buy one bike, but then the guys later mentioned they has two so I figured why not! In the end it was a good decision even if I was paying more for shipping and crating the bikes. They could not guarantee the running of the second bike, but that did not matter to me. Having two bikes would be useful as there would be a surplus of parts and also on the second one I discovered some key differences on the newer one relating to additional frame support brackets. (I suspect the first ones suffered failures in the cast aluminum frame sections, something I might have to consider on the second bike)

    So this is the pair, complete with oversized UK plates!


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    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    One noticeable difference also was the second one which became available had non standard bits from the sister bikes. Derbi also made 3 other models with normal scooter mounted engines. They were less sporty than the racing version. You can see it with the seat being one full pad, rather than split. Also the front wheel is different with a smaller disc which was to cause some headaches as the caliper would only bite half the disc and it was difficult sourcing a bigger one with the correct bolt pattern! I did find one in the end, but then struggled centering the wheel till I found spare spacers in the seat bucket!
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattology View Post
    i tend to draw the line at clutches and transmissions vs variators, seating position, etc. lol.
    I hear you! At the track the racing scooters while impressive, sound irritating to me! I do ride a scooter to work everyday so am used to them. For threading traffic way easier than a geared bike, along with parking and not worrying about getting scratched etc!
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    The bikes got shipped from UK and it took I guess 6 weeks to get here, both in their own huge box! I unpacked the pair and they spent some time under covers as I worked on getting one running! That took ages as I wasn't getting a spark. I was going through the electrics getting pissed off! At some point I sat down on the grass and was looking at it and noticed the wire harness coming off the sidestand............ F$%^ing hell! Could not believe that!

    Forgot some modern bikes have a sidestand switch, though on these bikes it is stupid as the stand kicks up automatically! So sure enough kicked the stand up and it fired straight away! At this point I worked on making it run nicely and quietly before packing it away. The second bike would be the conversion bike so started pulling off the plastics and figuring out what needed to be done.

    In the photo you can see the difference between the production and prototype bikes with the rad cover. The production has slats which I never liked. I remember when I saw the production I could not figure out what changed but though it looked weird. Then I noticed the difference! I'll be making a new one without the slats in carbon when I get the chance!


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert ToraTora's Avatar
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    It's true that technically it probably doesn't fit, but Scotty does, and he probably wouldn't fit in the other section since this is where he hangs out. Plus it seems that we are all interested in this particular machine. That and well there's already a thread too. :P

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert scottydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToraTora View Post
    It's true that technically it probably doesn't fit, but Scotty does, and he probably wouldn't fit in the other section since this is where he hangs out. Plus it seems that we are all interested in this particular machine. That and well there's already a thread too. :P
    Ya don't know the scooter crew, anyways will carry on bit by bit. Created a imgur account or whatever. Flickr charged with Yahoo a while back so no idea how to access my old account and files!
    Currently

    Honda MBX, Dream 50, Solo 50, NSR, CBR 150
    Moriwaki 80, Derbi GPR50

    In works

    Honda NSR (SP)
    Honda RVF150R / NR150 custom

    Previously

    Kawasaki AR80
    Honda RS125

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