Ara Institute Engineering Student Tim Parkin, an ex-diesel mechanic, enjoyed many adventures up on ski fields guiding ski mobile tours in earlier years. It was during one of Tim’s tours, as he struggled to coordinate his group above the roar of his snowmobile, that he had his lightbulb moment.
“It always irked me that you couldn’t talk over the noise of the engine. And it’s the same thing here with dirt bikes in New Zealand. It’s nicer to be in the outdoors when it’s peaceful and quiet.”
Such was Tim’s desire to challenge the status quo, he set about innovating a new concept – an electric bike.
“The grant has been hugely helpful… It’s made it a lot easier to design with less stress.”
“The same challenge is always that things like dirtbikes need a good power to weight ratio – so high power, low weight. Torque is more important as it gives you acceleration rather than top-end speed.”
Tim’s education on how to make his technology tick came from observing a motorbike club at the track and logging data on the behaviour of their bikes. “The vast majority of the design is done, with some more work to be done on the battery and custom components. My goal is to have the prototype finished by November.
“The grant has been hugely helpful. I don’t think I would have been able to get into a project like this otherwise because you end up having to financially back yourself and cut more corners. It’s made it a lot easier to design with less stress.”
Ara Foundation provided Tim with $1,300 to help him buy a motor for his electric bike.