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17 AH GA Panasonic triangle install on a small Sturgis Bullet frame

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    17 AH GA Panasonic triangle install on a small Sturgis Bullet frame

    I needed the 11.5 AH battery I had been using for the Bullet for another bike, and my smaller frame (15" I think, the smallest) Bullet was a perfect match for the 17 AH triangle.
    I decided to make it a non removable installation, non removable unless you have 10 minutes, some dykes, and a box cutter that is. This greatly simplified the job, and is a kind of built in theft preventer. The final product is also pretty stealthy.

    A brake formed bottom bracket using the stock water bottle rive nuts secures the bottom. A thin layer of aircraft plywood, drilled where the riv-nut machine screws are, provides a flat surface, with 1/4" high density foam glued to the plywood for padding. Using 1 other stock riv-nut at the rear vert frame post and a high quality hose clamp, secured the other brake formed aluminum bracket at the rear of the battery, Same deal there, ply to shim up above the screw heads, then foam, tapered foam cut on a band saw here though as the angles of the battery and the frame don't line up even, the tapered foam (saved as shipping debris) makes for a even support for the rear of the battery.

    Then some more very thin though very strong aircraft plywood was inserted into the flange of the lower and rear brackets, for rock protection from side tip overs. I had taken the width of the battery, the foam, and the ply into account when bending up the brackets of course, and ended up with a nice tight fit with no slop. Then I used more high density foam to shim up snug between the battery top and the lower horizontal part of the bike frame, "just in case I hit a bump or two, ha ha." THEN, and here it gets a little crude, crude but very effective, I took a roll of my favorite tape (I never fly without it, I have a large hole in my fabric plane's hor stab patched right now with this tape) PIPE WRAP TAPE, available at your local jobber plumbing supply house, not at ACE or LOWES etc., but the kind of wholesale places that real plumbers and more to the point, well pump setters go to. It's used to secure the electrical cable to you home well's drop pipe. I first came across it in just that usage, but instantly realized it was good for lots of other stuff. 2" wide, and while holding great, also is easy to remove with the residue even high grade duct tape leaves, waterproof also of course.

    So, I first ran several layers of the tape, securing the battery down firmly in it's two brackets, then stuffed in the high density foam shims between the top of the battery and the bike frame and taped them into place. I could have stopped then, that battery was going nowhere, but I had tape left I then wound a continuous layer around the bike's top and bottom frame tube, ugly as hell for sure. BUT, I then took my free LUNA supplied (free with battery purchase anyway) padded triangle bag, butchered it up with a razor knife so I could position it as I needed, and then "sewed" it back together with small zip ties. The end result looks plenty good enough for my non critical eyes, certainly better then leaving the tape exposed, but it also ended up making it look more "bike bag", so pretty stealthy all in all. That never hurts, no matter where and how you ride. Plus, the side pockets hold my 60 amp DC breaker/shut off switch, and amp hour gauge.

    This next part was not intended to be a test of the battery install, but here's what happened: I failed to see an electric fence wire that was crossing the farm road I was on, the range cowboy had just strung it that morning, it was flagged but not enough for me to notice and besides I just assumed the road was clear as I had rode it a day or two ago! Long story short, at close to 30 MPH (no throttle, coming down a hill) I saw it and without thinking through the repercussions, slammed on the hyd disc brakes. The bike stopped almost in time, but still got tangled in the wire, I on the other hand kept going, landing on rocks. My main fear of course, was my brand new battery, my second ride on it! I got really concerned when after I stopped the worst of the bleeding I went over to the poor bike and could not get it to power up. Later I found it was because it had become unplugged in the bag pocket, the amp meter end up outside the bag, apparently the bike endured some pretty impressive G forces. Once I limped home and quit whining about my injuries, the next day I got the bike (with help, one arm is out of service for a bit, or maybe a shoulder, whatever, nothing broke, just swelled up and sore, really sore) up in the work stand and a close inspection found that the battery install had held up great, nothing had moved or been damaged other then my rear rack and the handlebars. 24 hrs after I took it for a gingerly test ride, all is well, though the bumps hurt too much for it to have been any fun, while I heal up the next few days I feel lots better knowing I have a rideable 17 AH fattie waiting for me to get better, that battery plus one of my other 11.5 AH batteries, or maybe even BOTH of my 11.5 batteries, and maybe even my 6 AH Mini (46 AH total!) should provide for some very long range rides, probably more then I can stand.

    Ouch. Need a wire cutter on the front apparently. Looks good.
    Alan B