Converted a long wheelbase recumbent, a Rans Stratus XP with a slightly used Bafang


New Member
A month or so ago, I picked up a pair of Rans LWB recumbents, one was an LE with the smaller front wheel and the other was an XP with two 26" wheels. My plan was to keep one and sell the other. After riding them both a bit, I decided on keeping the XP. I upgraded the road tires to Big Apple 2.0 which softened up the ride a bit to my liking. My next step was to convert it over to Electric.


This was not my first recumbent. I had a Sun EZ trike about 10 years ago, sold it but then recently got a Greenspeed Magnum last year and converted that bike with a Tongsheng motor over the Winter.

I had kept the idea in the back of my mind to get one of these 2 wheeled recumbents to see what they were like. As it turns out they are not the easiest things to get used to riding, but you do figure it out after some miles. I have a fairly weak left hip, so getting one of these bikes moving from a stop involves some Fred Flinstone action to get the bike moving fast enough that I can get both feet on the pedals and stay upright and going forward. Not so easy if you stop and there is uphill in front of you or you have to cross a busy road. I figured an electric drive with a throttle would be the ticket.

Fast forward to last week and I saw an ad in the local CL for an obviously homemade ebike with a bafang motor and battery for 300 bucks. Turns out it was an older guy, about 80 who had converted a thrift shop bike and was afraid he would kill himself on it. I took it off his hands but did not say that all I wanted out of it was the motor and battery and related parts. I test rode his bike and while it left a lot to be desired, the motor was very smooth and it got up to 20 something mph. I paid him his 300 and loaded it up.


I had the tools from the last conversion so getting the crank off wasn't too bad. I was a bit stumped by the crank arms, but a google search fixed that. Motor mounted easy enough, but I had to order a bafang wrench to tighten it and a new speed sensor and extension cable. I was still able to mount the battery on the back rack and run the wiring and took it for a spin around the neighborhood. Starting off on the throttle was much easier, but even in Pas 1, there was a bit too much torque on the drivetrain as it caused some judder with the very long chain.


A few days later the parts came in and I got the motor properly tightened down. I also ordered a double bob mount and put the battery on the front tube as I wasnt crazy about having it so high on the back rack. I'm not sure the front tube is an ideal mount either, but my legs seem to clear it fine and I can get on and off without hitting it either. The grin mounts are very nicely made and it seems to hold the battery down securely. The front end does seem a bit heavier now with that weight mostly in the forward third, but it doesnt really affect the handling much. These LWB bikes do not turn on a dime, but they do track straight and they are very comfortable on your butt and legs.


What is left at this point is to do some programming of the settings and from what I can tell from some other posts is that I would like to smooth out the motor response, especially the throttle in level 1 so its much more gradual and easy on the drivetrain. Currently I tend to ride up to pas 2 and after that I'm ghost pedaling. I'd like to spread out the assist so I can possibly play in levels 1 to 3 or 4. After that, its all just speed and throttle. So far I got the thing up to about 29 on a straight road. There are more than a few posts about changing the settings to smooth out the performance but it's a lot to wade through. I did get a cable off Amazon so I'm going to give it a shot as soon as I'm a bit more confident on what settings to change.
I like your recumbent conversion. I did the same thing to a recumbent 24”, eight foot Trailmate RS Stretch trike—front hub 48V 1500W motor. Works well.
Reactivating. I have an original Strata I'd like to convert. Are you still liking what you did with this bike?