Snowbike build...?

Jon

Well-known member
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50
Location
ColoRADo
#1
So I can't get the idea of an Alta (EX) Snowbike out of my head. Seems like a great application... no clutch to worry about and plenty of torque to spin the track. Range would be super low, but you could throw a 1000-2000W generator on the back of the tunnel (or a giant DIY stack of 18650s... I hear there may be some extras floating around lol) and just recharge while you take a break. Plus the swing arm is pretty much a KTM, so fit-up should be easy. Not sure how the cold would affect the batteries... might need to turn down the coolant circulation.

Anyone else seen this? Am I crazy? Regardless, I'll keep everyone in the loop if I dive in.
 

Jon

Well-known member
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50
Location
ColoRADo
#3
Nice! Great to see that it physically works. Temperature control seems to be the name of the game. I'm sure a secondary controller for the coolant motor and some heating coils run off the charging source would solve the charge controller issues :)
 

Philip

Administrator
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3,173
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Lake Havasu City, AZ
#4
It's the batteries that you may need to keep warm, not the controller. The batteries do not have any cooling going to them. You'd need an electric heat blanket instead. Or do not stop with a low battery for too long.
 

snydes

Moderator
Staff member
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2,338
Location
Pennsylvania
#5
The potential for loading up the sled with additional batteries would really make an Alta snowbike much more practical if it could be done.
 
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532
Location
Altoona, PA
#6
It's the batteries that you may need to keep warm, not the controller. The batteries do not have any cooling going to them. You'd need an electric heat blanket instead. Or do not stop with a low battery for too long.
I thought the coolant was specifically for the batteries, that's not the case?
 

Jon

Well-known member
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50
Location
ColoRADo
#10
Just snooped around in the user manual... looks like it is just the controller and motor. Gotta say, that is a little disappointing. I'm sure it is to save weight, but liquid cooled battery packs have significantly more performance potential than air cooled ones. See Tesla (or any other performance EV) vs Nissan Leaf.

No matter, restive heaters on the batteries/housing it is!
 

bluefxstc

Well-known member
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696
Location
Boise, ID, United States
#11
Doubt you have to worry about battery heaters. Batteries will discharge down to -25C so about -12F, and they generate heat when discharging. The problem with cold is charging, but you would probably generate enough heat during a full discharge cycle to be ok on charging and the software will keep you from charging if the batteries are below 0C. The real problem is regen in sub 0C temps, but with a sled I doubt there is much of that. If you want it, I would go without batteries heaters initially and if you find you need them, you can figure that out. Don't try and fix a problem that may not exist.
 
Likes
6
Location
ogden, ut
#12
I am skeptical if it would work very well as a snow bike. I have a timbersled that I put on a 2017 350 xc-f. A 450 would be better but the 350 isn't bad. In comparing the power of the 350 to the MXR on the dirt the 350 will pull harder when you are in the rpm sweet spot revving the snot out of it, but the MXR pulls better averaged across the rpm range of the 350. When riding the timbersled you are always full throttle revving the snot out of it shifting to keep it in the sweet spot. My guess would be 10-15 minutes of run time. Then waiting an hour and a half for recharge. From my track riding I have figured that a battery charge is about equivalent to half gallon of gas. I really wish the battery had more run time, but even more so I wish the charge time was only 45 minutes.
 

Jon

Well-known member
Likes
50
Location
ColoRADo
#14
From purely an energy perspective, the 5.8 kWh battery holds the equivalent of 22oz of gas (assuming 33.4 kWh per gallon). But that just speaks to the efficiency of the motor, not the real world comparison of fuel consumption. I get about 40 miles out of the 2 gal tank on my yz125, so 1 gallon doesn't seem too far off... or a 1/2 gallon for a more efficient modern 4 stroke.

Either way, riding an E-snowbike like a normal sled or snowbike seems like a bad idea. The track functions more like a pump than a tire, spinning the track 2 or 3 times per track-length traveled. That being said, the massive torque and low end delivery of the electric motor may allow more of a 1-1 track spin... at least on trails. Power may still be a lost cause until you just stuff the tunnel full of batteries. Might see if I can ask the team at Taiga what they have seen.
 

Sumik

Well-known member
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100
Location
Czech Republic
#15
I converted my Alta MX into a snow bike for the winter season. You can watch a short video on https://youtu.be/Ai0nMJSZy8E There are no problems with charging if you do it immediately after riding as the battery is warm enough. When starting the ride, it takes about 3 minutes to get warm. Before that the bike control doesn't allow you full power (yellow light on the panel). You can find the conversion kit on Snow bike conversion | Track System Canada I used the kit on my KTM 350 SX-F before. It had some more power but the major difference is the silence when riding in the nature in protected area. The nett run-time is about 25 to 30 minutes.

DSC_1747.JPG
 

Deano

Active member
Likes
26
Location
New Zealand
#16
So I can't get the idea of an Alta (EX) Snowbike out of my head. Seems like a great application... no clutch to worry about and plenty of torque to spin the track. Range would be super low, but you could throw a 1000-2000W generator on the back of the tunnel (or a giant DIY stack of 18650s... I hear there may be some extras floating around lol) and just recharge while you take a break. Plus the swing arm is pretty much a KTM, so fit-up should be easy. Not sure how the cold would affect the batteries... might need to turn down the coolant circulation.

Anyone else seen this? Am I crazy? Regardless, I'll keep everyone in the loop if I dive in.
Like your thinking
 

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