Night Shift Bikes » Leafy Savage
The company has done two builds so far, the first being a modified 1987 Honda Rebel 250 powered by a golf cart drivetrain. This is their second build, the Leafy Savage. In the rear hub, you’ll see a black motor, built by Enertrac. 13 horsepower continuous, 40 peak. It doesn’t need a transmission. You can see the wires that connect to the controller under the right side of the swing arm. When you let off the throttle, the motor switches polarity and recharges the battery through regenerative braking.
Where the motor used to be is a battery pack of cells from a Nissan Leaf electric car, wired here in series for a total of 116 volts. There are four flat-pack Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) batteries in each of the 14 cells on the bike.
Under the seat is a silver Kelly controller rated for 250 amps which manages the electricity flowing between the motor and the battery. When you twist the throttle, the controller adjusts the duration and spacing of pulses being sent to the motor (think ABS pulsing). The harder the twist, the longer the pulses, and the smaller the gaps between them. This keeps the bike from ripping out from under you and creates silky smooth power delivery. You can connect a laptop to the controller through the blue data port above the license plate and adjust the power curve for better acceleration or more range. Its currently setup for quick but balanced city riding and a range of ~100 miles.
Sitting where the fuel tank used to be is an Eltek charger that can provide up to 3000 watts at 220 volts. Right now its wired for 110 and can connect to any household outlet with an extension cord through a charge port below and behind the seat. It will charge in under three hours.
Below the seat on the right side, you’ll see a motogadget m-unit, a ton of wires and two silver dc-dc converters. These two boxes step down the 100-plus volts of battery pack power down to 24 volts to drive the controller, then down to 12 volts to power the motogadget and the rest of the bike. The radio-shack toggle switches control the dashboard, the controller, the charger, and kill switches.
This electric-drive conversion of a 2003 Suzuki Savage is the second ground-up Night Shift Bikes custom build. After Matt Candler bought the bike, he broke it down and sold the 650 thumper motor, transmission and combustion parts for what he spent on the bike. The rear swing arm was sent off to the team at Enertrac, who laced an 18″ rim to one of their custom brushless DC motors. It delivers 13hp continuously and peaks to 40hp.
Body work embraces the right angles of the components and the square-tubing Matt uncovered on the original bike. He did lots of tab cleansing and made a hoop for the custom seat from Karl Vosloh. Karl used some scraps of foam left over from JT Nesbitt’s Bienville Legacy.
Component upgrades include motogadget’s m-unit, m-lock wireless key and m-button to keep things clean; LED lighting; rear disc; custom charge and data ports; and toggle switches from Radio Shack. Rearsets, shocks, front fork drop hardware and triple tree hardware are from RYCA. This is the second battery pack for this bike; the first one was fried, and then replaced with the sturdy cells that Nissan uses in their Leaf electric cars.
2003 Suzuki Savage Rolling Chassis
96 Volt battery pack (32s2p Headway 15 amp cells)
Custom battery box
Custom Enertrac 602 Hub motor in 18″ rear wheel
Orion Battery Management System
Eltek Valere 3,000 Watt on-board charger
RYCA motors CS-1 mod components
Fork inserts to drop front end
Rear disc brake
Images by Harlin Miller