Auranthetic Charger Documentation

Last updated 2010.09.22


The Auranthetic Charger was a small electric motorcycle produced in California in the 1970's. Apparently, a three-wheeler was produced in addition to the more common two-wheeler. The machines appear to have come in any colour you wanted, as long as it was orange. It is hard to find information on this machine now, so this material is presented in the hopes that it may be helpful to those who happen across such a machine and wish to restore it to operating condition.

Original Manual | Uncrating and Assembly Instructions
Quick Reference & FAQs | Parts Locator | Pictures
May 1974 Mechanix Illustrated Article

Original Manual

I have not seen an actual original manual for the Auranthetic Charger, only photocopies of them. There were at least two versions (neither dated) for the 2-wheeler version of the Auranthetic Charger. I have reproduced the content of the longer version of the manual below, although some of the formatting has been lost. The shorter version had separate unpacking and assembly sheets; this information being included in the larger version of the manual. As the two sets of instructions are somewhat different, I have reproduced the separate instructions below as well.

CONTENTS

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Assembly Instructions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Assembly Instructions (Continued). . . . . . . . . . . 4

Battery Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Correct Adjustment of Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Correct Adjustment of Brakes (Continued) . . . . . . . 7

Mandatory Reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Motorcycle Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 & 10

Operating Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Operating Instructions (Continued) . . . . . . . . . . 12

Battery Maintenance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Battery Tests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Wiring Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Wiring Diagram (Continued) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Terminal Board Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Parts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Parts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Parts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Parts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


" C H A R G E R "

ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE

Introduction

This manual has been prepared to familiarize you with the operation of your electric motorcycle. It also covers maintenance and all parts. Please read all the instructions prior to initial operation.

Standard repair tools will be adequate to perform the entire range of authorized repairs. Specific techniques may vary, based upon the individuals mechanical background and ability, however, the mechanical repairs are relatively simple.

AURANTHETIC CORPORATION

1


AURANTHETIC CORPORATION ELECTRIC CHARGER

SPECIFICATIONS

Overall Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62"

Overall Width at Handle Bars . . . . . . 31"

Wheel Base . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45"

Overall Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37"

Weight: Without Batteries. . . . . . . . 100 Lbs.

Weight: With Batteries . . . . . . . . . 210 Lbs.

Seat Height. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25"

Ground Clearance . . . . . . . . . . . . 8"

Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shoe Brake

Tires: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Front 3:50/10 2 Ply Tube Type

Tires: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rear 3:50/10 2 Ply Tube Type

Tire Pressure: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Front 35 Lbs.

Tire Pressure: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rear 35 Lbs.

Turning Radius . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10'

Body Material. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steel

Controls: Power. . . . . . . . . . . . . Key Switch

Controls: Horn . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 volt

Battery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-90 Amp. Electric Vehicle Deep Cycle

Wheel Bearings: Front. . . . . . . . . . Sealed Ball Bearings

Wheel Bearings: Rear . . . . . . . . . . Sealed Ball Bearings

Suspension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Swinging Arm

Light. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Volt

Maximum Speed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 MPH

Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Miles

Motor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KDB Permanent Magnet 1 HP 24 Volt

Volt Meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Volt

Shocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Shocks

Battery Charger. . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Volt 15 Amp. Automatic

2


UNPACKING & ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

3


Assembly

4


BATTERY INSTALLATION

1. Install both batteries as shown in Figure #1.
2. Connect green taped end of wire to green marked terminal, Figure #1.
3. Connect blue taped end of wire to blue marked terminal, Figure #1.
4. Connect yellow taped wire to yellow marked terminal, Figure #2.
5. Last, connect red taped wire to red marked terminal, Figure #2.
6. To cut off power, disconnect red taped wire from red marked terminal.
7. Before servicing any electrical components, disconnect red taped wire from red marked terminal.

(Figures 1 and 2 go here - see below. They show two batteries, mounted one in front of the other, crossways on the frame. The front battery has the positive post (blue) to the left and negative post (red) to the right. The rear battery has the positive post (yellow) to the right and the negative post (green) to the left.)

[Image: Fig.1

BATTERY CHARGING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place power switch in OFF positing (full counter clockwise) and remove key.
2. Insert charger output into battery charging plug in the vehicle.
3. Plug charger cord into 110 volt 60 cycle outlet.

5


CORRECT ADJUSTMENT OF BRAKES ON THE "CHARGER"

If the brake adjustments are set incorrectly, the motor can burn out in less than 15 miles.

Proper Setting

Step One:

Sit on the bike on level ground with the key off. Push the bike forward with your feet only (no power). The bike should roll freely. Apply the Left or Rear Brake only. The bike should come to a complete stop. If the bike does not stop then tighten the Brake Adjustment knob on the Rear Wheel only to the point where the bike will stop completely by repeating the above procedure. Remember the power is off at all times. After you have reached the proper setting allow the bike to coast freely. If the unit will not coast, the brake is set too tight. Once the proper adjustment has been made then...

Step Two:

Go through the same procedure with the Right or Front Brake Adjustment Knob.

Step Three:

Turn on the key and twist the throttle to the low speed, release the throttle immediately, apply the Rear or Left Brake and the bike should come to a stop. Turn the throttle to the low speed again, release immediately, apply the Front or Right Brake and the bike should come to a stop. If the Front Brake does not stop the bike, then tighten the Adjustment Knob on the Front Wheel until it does, after going through the above procedure again.

Step Four:

Turn off the key, and with no power, again allow the bike to coast. It should coast freely.

Step Five:

Turn on the key. Take the bike on the road and proceed into high speed for fifty yards. Release the throttle and apply just the Rear or Left Brake -- the unit will slow down but will not come to a complete halt immediately but will slow down gradually and then come to a stop. Your Rear Brake or Left Handle is now set properly. Leave it alone for now.

6


Step Six:

Repeat all of Step #5. When the Right or Front Brake is applied, the bike should stop completely in a very short distance. If it doesn't then tighten the Front Brake. Go through Step #6 again until the proper result is obtained.

Step Seven:

Turn off the key and check that the bike coasts freely. If not, loosen the Front or Rear Brake that is too tight and go back through the steps again.

Step Eight:

The brakes in your unit should now be properly set. Now follow the next test carefully.

Turn on the key. Go through the two throttle speeds while riding on the road. Proceed a few blocks at top speed, and apply the Rear or Left Brake, your brake light goes on and the unit slows down. Now apply the Front or Right Brake while keeping the Left or Rear Brake on. The bike will come to a perfect stop. If you ride in hilly country, the Front Brake will have to be tightened a few turns more.

The Front Brake is your most important piece of equipment. The bike is properly stopped by using both brakes at all times. The time in stopping can be regulated by engaging and releasing, then re-engaging the Right or Front Brake. This is the exact opposite of a gas motorcycle. Please remember you are not driving a gas motorcycle. By carefully following the above directions, the life you save may be your own.

Your brakes should be checked anytime they do not feel right to you, the rider.

If the Rear Brake is over-tightened, the result is the same as attempting to pull a busload of people - - your motor burns out and this is not covered under the Warranty. This is defined as abuse and abuse.

If for some reason your brakes do not feel right after going through all the above stages, then contact your dealer immediately for assistance.

7


M A N D A T O R Y R E A D I N G

I M P O R T A N T

8


Pages 9 & 10 are an exploded parts diagram. There is some overlap between the two images presented below to enable you to piece them together.

[Image: Image of Parts Diagram (left side)]

9


[Image: Image of Parts Diagram (right side)]

10


OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

MANDATORY READING BEFORE DRIVING BIKE

1. Treat the bike with respect and you will have many hours of pleasure.

2. Check all local ordinance and license requirements.

3. As you sit on the seat facing the handlebars, go through the preliminary procedure.

A. Black handgrip on left side does not move, the moveable handle is for the rear brake.

B. Black handgrip on the right side rotates towards you. The first turn is for the initial thrust and low speed, past the first click is for full power. The handgrip has a spring return which brings the bike into neutral automatically when released. The right handle in the front controls the front brake. *Remember - in case of emergency, the power is turned off by letting the right hand grip return to neutral and turning the key to a twelve o'clock position.

C. The black pedals at the front of the battery case fold up and down and are footrests while driving.

D. The gas tank contains three items: (1) the key switch to start the motor, (2) the voltmeter which shows the amount of fuel remaining in the batteries, (3) and the male plug for the charger.

E. The kickstand is by your left foot. It is spring loaded.

F. The brake light goes on when either brake handle is squeezed. The headlight and taillight for night driving go on when the push button on top of the headlight is depressed and released. The lights are turned off in the same manner. The Hi - Lo beam switch is on the left handle. *Remember - you cannot go as far at night due to the additional power being used by the headlight.

G. The horn is on the left handgrip.

H. The key is on and the motor running, although silent, when turned counter clockwise to 10 o'clock. The key is off when straight up at 12 o'clock.

11


THINGS TO REMEMBER

1. Make sure all wires are tightened down firmly before operating vehicle. A loose connection can cause an intermittent short which whill (sic) heat the motor causing a tremendous loss in power.

2. Disconnect the charger from the wall before starting out on a trip.

3. Before charging the motorcycle, check battery acid to be sure plates are covered. Do not overfill acid will bubble and overflow. Do not charge in a closed room such as a closet.

*Remember - when dealing with batteries, you are dealing with sulfuric acid and it will burn if allowed on skin or clothing.

4. Do not operate with more than one person. If you put more than one person on the bike it is overloaded.

5. The "Charger" was not designed as a trail or dirt bike.

6. This is a street vehicle and any other use will immediately void your warranty.

7. Wash off any excess acid spilled on batteries with clear water. Water will not harm any of the wiring or electrical components, including the motor.

8. While charging the bike, be sure the key is in the OFF position.

9. Be sure the kickstand engages and locks when placed in the down position.

10. Turn off the key when parked. The motor makes no noise when on. People do not realize the power is on and are apt to turn the hand grip, causing an accident or serious injury.

*Remember - you are dealing with electricity. Do not cross any wires or leads. Follow instructions carefully.

Enjoy yourself, obey all rules and drive safely.

12


BATTERY MAINTENANCE

FLUID LEVEL

The fluid level in the batteries should be checked at regular intervals. Keep the batteries filled by adding distilled water until the liquid level rises to the bottom of the split rings in the vent tubes.

DO NOT OVERFILL -- overfilling will cause the loss of the electrolyte resulting in poor battery performance, short life and excessive corrosion around the batteries. Inspect the external condition of the batteries periodically for damage and dirt and corrosion. The top of the batteries should be kept clean. A collection of the acid film and dirt on the top of the batteries could result in a current flow between the terminals causing them to slowly discharge. Clean the top of the batterieis by washing with a soda solution and rinsing with clear water.

CONDITION

If the case of a battery or its cell covers are broken or cracked, the battery should be replaced.

To insure good electrical contact, the battery cables should be clean and tight on the battery posts. If the battery posts or terminals are corroded, the cables should be disconnected and the terminals and clamps cleaned separately with a soda solution and a stiff brush. Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly on the posts and cable clamps, after reconnecting the cables, to help retard corrosion.

Freezing temperatures can ruin a wet battery. A battery can be protected from freezing by keeping it in fully charged condition. This applies whether the battery is in storage or in service. Never add anti-freeze to prevent freezing as this will destroy the battery.

RECHARGING BATTERIES

The batteries should be recharged from 2 to 4 times per week depending upon usage of the motorcycle. During periods of extensive operation, the batteries should be recharged each day.

To recharge batteries:
1. Place power switch in OFF position to activate the charging circuit.
2. Insert the plug from the charger in the receptacle provided at the side of the instrument compartment.
3. Connect the charger to a 100-120 volt, 60 cycle outlet and turn on.

13


RECHARGING BATTERIES (continued)

4. A recharging time of ten to twelve hours should be allowed to bring the batteries up to a full charge. The actual time required to recharge the batteries will depend upon their condition prior to recharging. Do not overcharge the batteries. Charging the batteries in excess of what is required can result in damage to them. The chargeing provided with the motorcycle automatically shuts off the charging current when the batteries become fully charged, thereby preventing overcharging.

WARNING:

Batteries should only be recharged in a well ventilated room. The gases issuing from a recharging battery are explosive and can do considerable damage if ignited. Do not allow any flames, lighted cigarettes or accidental sparking near battery openings at any time.

BATTERY TESTS

Battery tests are performed to determine whether the batteries are good and usable, require charging or should be replaced. Regular periodic testing provides a means of anticipating battery failure. The simplest method of testing a battery is by a Hydrometer. They are readily available from any automotive supply store. The Hydrometer should be graduated to read from 1.160 to 1.320 in graduations of 0.005 specific gravity. The graduated markings should be not less than 1/16 inch apart. The graduated portion of the stem should be about 2 inches long. Clearance between float and barrel, at smallest diameter, should be a minimum of 1/8 inch around all sides. Each cell in the battery should read 1.280 when fully charged.

14


Wiring diagram (1 of 2)

[Image: Left-hand side of 2 page wiring diagram]

15


Wiring diagram (2 of 2)

[Image: Right-hand side of 2 page wiring diagram]

16


Terminal Board diagram (1 of 1)

[Image: Terminal Board wiring diagram]

17


Parts List (1 of 4)

[Image: Image of Parts List (1 of 4)]


Parts List (2 of 4)

[Image: Image of Parts List (2 of 4)]


Parts List (3 of 4)

[Image: Image of Parts List (3 of 4)]


Parts List (4 of 4)

[Image: Image of Parts List (4 of 4)]


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Uncrating and Assembly Instructions

AURANTHETIC CORPORATION

828 North Lake Street / Burbank, California 91502 / (213) 849-7447 / (213) 849-3888
654 North Sepulveda Boulevard / Los Angeles, California (213) 556-2200 TWX 910 498 2727
Please note, Auranthetic Corporation is no longer in business, the address information is provided here for historical purposes only.

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"UNCRATING AND ASSEMBLY PROCEDURE"

1. Remove tires from crate. Check tire air pressure (tires should be inflated to 35 lbs.)

2. Remove bike from crate. (Caution should be taken not to damage rear light fixture.)

3. Remove handle bar lugs and bolts from handle bar fixture. Position handle bars in fixture. (Handle bars should form parallel line with front forks.) Replace lugs over handle bars and tighten evenly. (Caution should be taken not to strip knurling on handle bars.)

4. Place bike on stand so wheels, when installed, will clear the ground.

5. Remove front axle.

6. Place front brake drum into front wheel hub. (If drum does not slip easily into hub loosen brake adjustment.)

7. Place slot in front brake drum over brake stop on front fork.

8. Insert axle and spacers. As in Fig. 1 and tighten firmly. Nuts on axle should be tightened evenly so that each has equal thread.

9. Adjust front brake. Do not overtighten.

10. Remove rear axle.

11. Place rear brake drum into rear wheel hub.

12. Fit chain over sprocket on motor and rear wheel.

13. Place slot in rear brake drum over brake stop on swing arm.

14. Insert axle and spacers as per Fig. 2.

15. Pull rear wheel back until chain is tight. (Chain should have 1/2" play.) Tighten chain adjustment nuts. Chain adjustment nuts should be tightened evenly so that rear wheel and sprockets line up straight.

16. Tighten rear axle.

17. Hook brake light spring into hole provided on brake lever.

18. Adjust rear brake. Do not overtighten.

19. Remove battery cover and service battery as per instructions on battery.

20. After 1280 acid is put into the batteries do not hook up battery connections until you have read and completely understand the manual and instruction sheets.

EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTORS

EVEREST & JENNINGS, INC. / MARK 30 INDUSTRIAL VEHICLES

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Quick Reference and Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of batteries does it use?
It uses two Series 27 deep-cycle batteries. These should be of the conventional, flooded type (can have water added). The on-board charger is not set up for sealed deep-cycle batteries. Conventional automotive batteries and marine starting batteries will have a very short life in the bike, they are not designed for deep discharges.

What kind of motor does it use?
The copy of the manual I have says the motor is a KDB permanent magnet 1-hp, 24-volt motor. The motor measures 4.5 inches in diameter and 11 inches long. The number "KDB0001627A" is stamped into the end-plate of mine, but I suspect this is an Auranthetic serial number rather than a part number. KDB was an electric motor manufacturer.

An e-mail correspondent has informed me that another motor was also used in (later?) Auranthetics, an American Bosch 24-volt motor - part number 06025-26M048HM. He also indicated that the Bosch is 4.75 inches in diameter, a bit bigger than the KDB motor. As a result, the hole in the frame for the Bosch motor units is slightly larger than that for the KDB motor units, and the Bosch motors will not fit in the frames built for the KDB motors (at least not without modification).

If anyone has a source for either the KDB or American Bosch motors, please let me know and I will post it on this page in the parts locator section.

How many teeth does the motor sprocket have?
9 (at least for the KBD motors).

How much is an Auranthetic worth today?
There is no significant market for Auranthetics, so there is no real sales information to base an opinion on. So this response is based on my personal opinion, which is "Not much". Despite the rarity of the machines, they never penetrated the mass psyche, so there is no mass appeal. However, each time the price of gasoline jumps up, there is inevitably a short surge of interest in electric vehicles of all kinds, until the public adjusts to the new price and goes back to sleep. Most people asking this question have happened across one that is not operating. In general, my attitude is that non-operational EVs of any kind have an almost zero value. It usually requires new batteries, research, debugging, time, knowledge, hard-won experience and some parts not available at the local auto-parts store to put a dead EV back into service, especially if it was last run by someone else, and it becomes more difficult the longer the vehicle has been out of service. Because it is not operational, you don't know if any of the components work. Add in the fact that the EV is an orphan like the Auranthetic, and it becomes more difficult to resuscitate. If you really need a datapoint, I paid CDN$1.00 for mine (non-operational, no batteries, no extras) in 1998, because that is the smallest amount I could pay to make the transaction legal for motor registration agency purposes. I have heard that an operational NOS (New, Old Stock) Auranthetic was purchased in 1998 for US$600, complete with batteries. In June of 2000, there is a fully loaded, and operational,
Auranthetic for sale in New York; asking price is US$900. (Jan. 2003 update: apparently it is still available for purchase. Reach your own conclusion regarding the price.)

People with operational Auranthetics don't often seem to ask what they are worth, because they have no desire to sell them.

If you have an Auranthetic you want to restore, I will try to help you. If you have an Auranthetic you would like to donate to someone else to restore or use, I will try to help you. If you are trying to sell an Auranthetic for more than a token sum, you need to talk to someone else - good luck.

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Parts Locator

Finding parts for an orphan machine is almost always a challenge. The objective of this section is to identify the parts on the Auranthetics to the point of being able to find replacements, including sources of supply (when available), or reasonable substitutes. The experiences of other Auranthetic owners are most welcome here. Anyone with a store of such parts, or parting out a machine, let me know, and I will post it here.

Mr. Brad Richelson has informed me (as of January, 2000) that he has a fairly large assortment of NOS (New Old Stock) Auranthetic parts that includes a number of almost complete bikes (less wheels/tires). All parts & bikes are new from 1974. Mr. Richelson can be contacted by e-mail at brichelson@rcn.com.

I have found that the horn and headlight have standard replacements in the small cycle motor and have acquired both as in-stock items from a local motorcycle shop.

There is an Internet discussion forum for Auranthetics at http://forums.prospero.com/Auranthetic/messages. There are occasional postings there about machines and parts that are available.

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Pictures

A typical Auranthetic 2-wheeler

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