Motorcycle Motors as Powerplants for Experimenters

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A frustration borne by homebuilt aircraft designers for years has been that of finding an appropriate, reasonably-priced powerplant for aircraft in the single and small two-seat range.    Early experimenters often converted motorcycle engines to their ultralight needs.  Continentals, Lycomings, and Franklins filled those needs in the 1930s and ‘40s, and other than Rotax and a few smaller manufacturer’s offerings, there really haven’t been any replacements since then.  Electric powerplants, however, can be found in the motorcycles being produced by many American and foreign companies now, with more to come from Europe and Japan. Designers looking for available electric motors and “plug-and-play”* complete systems may want to look at the 2015 Zero Motorcycle lineup.  Since one Zero motor has flown at …