TONY HELMHOLDT: Grand Rapids, MI
Converts motorcycles into electric and is creating a solar charging system for them
"My revenge began about 6 years ago, when I was in college studying
automotive technology. I turned the page in my textbook and found the
graph that shows how incredibly inefficient the internal combustion
engine truly is, and I was astonished! After a few days of pondering I
wanted to know why the internal combustion engine is so inefficient,
and why these hybrids got such better MPG. After some internet searches
I found compressed hydrogen gas to be a very renewable option. I then
spent the next few weeks converting my families gasoline powered
lawnmower to run on pure hydrogen gas, I got it to operate and it worked
well! Although after some more in-depth research I found out that
hydrogen, because of many problems is not the solution.
I then came across the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and after watching it I was hooked. I was convinced that electric power could be a very realistic, more efficient, and feasible replacement of the internal combustion engine. Being a car guy, I really wanted to convert a car, but being in college meant I did not have that kind of cash. I compromised on converting a motorcycle instead.
As an ASE Master automotive technician I deal with repairing incredibly complex internal combustion engines and multi-speed transmissions everyday. One of the most elegant things about electric power is the greatly reduced number of moving parts. All internal combustion engines have several hundred moving parts, high pressure fluids, and constant wearing parts, which must be maintained with fluid changes, new belts, spark plugs, filters...etc. Unlike electric motors which have only a couple moving parts, and almost zero maintenance, which helps explain their much higher efficiency.
After many months of research and development I had my 1975 Yamaha RD250 converted to 100% electric power. It was a simple no frills conversion, but it worked better then I had imagined! I have raced it in the TTXGP zero carbon racing series, and taken it to the local drag strip. I have also converted a 1994 Suzuki GSXR, a.k.a. the “E*speed” which is powered by twin DC electric motors and Lithium batteries and can exceed 100 MPH.
Current gasoline and diesel engines have only one energy source, fossil fuels, which greatly controls their price to operate. Fortunately for my electric vehicles I can recharge using solar, wind, hydroelectric, or, nuclear power. This power can be produced either independently or commercially right here in the United States.
I am in the process of making a solar charging system for my motorcycles to ensure a clean and inexpensive energy source. Using my own domestic power will help make me more energy independent, so I can take revenge and control the price of my energy!" Tony's Blog