Deeley ReVolt battery electric motorcycle powertrain
Article posted from Race Engine Suppliers
Matthew Deeley is hoping to debut at the 2024 Bonneville Speed Week an electric land-speed record motorcycle, developed in conjunction with California-based ReVolt Systems. The company specialises in producing high-output electric-drive systems for classic cars and hot rods.
The bike was originally built in 2009, by Kent Riches and Randy Nelson, and it set the first certified electric motorcycle record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The duo went on to set nine speed records with the bike, the fastest being 206 mph, before it was retired around 2012 due to battery limitations. However, it was recently offered to Deeley so that he could fit it with newer, more powerful batteries.
The aim is to reclaim the Southern California Timing Association electric motorcycle record, currently 215.9 mph. Deeley reports that the bike needed extensive work to get it ready, including almost a complete rewiring due to salt corrosion affecting the vast majority of wires and connectors. The motorcycle was ready to run at the 2022 Bonneville Speed Week, but the event was cancelled due to poor weather.
Alas, the conditions at the 2023 Bonneville Speed Week were too wet to run in safely. Deeley also reports that in the same year, he took the bike to El Mirage dry lake so that he could get the licence status required to run the record speed. Alas, again, poor weather and track conditions, along with a (now resolved) electrical gremlin prevented the bike running at anywhere near full power.
Deeley says: “We’ve taken the bike up to 172 mph on a shakedown run and there’s no doubt in my mind that we have the power to go 230-plus mph when this year’s racing season comes around.”
The Deeley ReVolt bike has a UQM Powerphase 150 motor, modified for an output of 200 kW. Deeley explains that the normal application for this motor is a light- to medium-duty commercial vehicle or bus. As such, it has a peak torque of 480 lb-ft before modification. The battery uses 456 prismatic cells (4P, 114S) and the maximum output is 350 kW – more than 450 bhp.