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Elderly Engineer Electrifies Yamaha Diversion 600: A DIY Electric Marvel

Introduction: In a testament to passion, ingenuity, and the spirit of DIY, 77-year-old Cumbrian Peter Hope has electrified a Yamaha Diversion 600, creating a silent and eco-friendly ride. With a background in electrical engineering and a love for motorcycles, Peter’s journey from a rolling chassis to a road-worthy electric bike is a tale of determination and creativity.

Crafting the Vision:

Retired chartered electrical engineer Peter embarked on this ambitious project 18 months ago when he acquired the Yamaha Diversion rolling chassis. His deep-rooted interest in electronics, combined with a lifelong love for motorcycles, set the stage for the conversion from traditional combustion to electric power.

Internet-Powered Inspiration:

Armed with a vision and a desire to embrace eco-friendly transport, Peter scoured the internet for resources. A Lithuanian website, Miromax, specializing in eco transport, became a pivotal source. Here, Peter found the essential components, including a motor, twist grip, and controller from Miromax, along with secondhand batteries from an EV breaker.

Powering Up Creativity:

Two 22-volt batteries were connected in series to provide 44v, forming the heartbeat of Peter’s electric Yamaha Diversion. The motor and controller, sourced from Miromax and Kelly Controls, respectively, became the driving force behind the bike’s silent revolution. Peter’s creative packaging involved mock-ups in wood, welding by a skilled friend, and custom aluminum side panels crafted with the help of a sheet metalworker.

Navigating Regulatory Challenges:

Turning a DIY project into a road-legal electric bike posed its own set of challenges. After a DVLA inspection, the bike was deemed significantly modified, earning it a Q plate—a symbol of its unique status. Peter then navigated the DVSA inspection center in Oldham, securing the necessary approvals to hit the road legally.

Riding the Electric Wave:

The result of Peter’s labor is a simple-to-ride, near-silent electric Yamaha Diversion. With a 10kW motor, equivalent to a 150cc engine, the bike boasts a top speed of around 60mph and a range of 50-55 miles. The torque delivery is notably different, providing a nimble and responsive experience.

Reactions and Rewards:

While generating interest within the local bike club, Peter acknowledges that some traditionalists prefer the noise and feel of conventional bikes. Despite occasional disparaging comments, he takes pride in his creation, viewing it as a technical challenge met with success. The bike not only stands as a symbol of individual achievement but also sparks conversations about the future of transportation.

In the quiet hum of Peter Hope’s electric Yamaha Diversion 600, there echoes a tale of innovation, resilience, and the joy of embracing change. As the motorcycle community witnesses this DIY marvel, it becomes clear that age is no barrier to pioneering new frontiers in the world of two-wheeled wonders.

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