WooFDriver's early Beginnings with Electric Bikes - DogMotoSports is Born


Electric bike story Over the years, I have developed, customized, and perfected two wheel mushing vehicles for use with almost all types of dogs. I've always loved biking with my Huskies. It's the perfect way for them to stretch their legs and experience the joy of the open road in safety. I eventually realized that I had the need for additional power over what a traditional bike could offer, however.  The dogs would want to run faster than I could peddle and would try to access places that I couldn't maneuver around unassisted.

It started back in 1997, when I discovered electric bikes were readily available. My first experience was with a traditional ten-speed style Curry bike with a rear-mounted battery and a rear hub motor. This bike proved sufficient to mush my small Husky Team at the time (Czar and Hudson, my beloved canines). However, I felt I could do more with the technology and wanted to get more versatility out of the vehicle. The earlier biking technology was rife with battery problems. Older styles usually relied on AGM batteries…they were ungainly, heavy, and had fewer power cycles and less mileage. Their low range and horrible longevity did not make them an ideal choice for my dream of a perfect electric bike. Each charge took away from the battery's life and shortened its range all the more. Worse, the excessive weight of this battery created a degree of instability for my two wheel bike, as it was rear mounted and there was nothing to counter-balance the weight up front. The unbalanced nature of this setup meant that steering was a struggle, leading to inefficient and frustratingly challenging rides. Adding to the disadvantages of this design, the large Curry bike was a feat to transport on road trips because of its weight and size.

These issues must have simple solutions, so I set out looking for a smaller, lighter bike… something easier to transport to the trail and sporting a sleeker design. That's how I came upon my next bike investment, designed by Lee Iacocca of the Chrysler corp. He was the main designer of my second electric bike, which again sported an AGM battery. In this model, however, the battery was placed in a center console for better balance and steadier steering. The best part of this bike was the smaller frame, which was a vast improvement over the Curry bike- and it even folded for convenient transportation!  Once again, the biggest problem turned out to be the AGM battery, which still degraded quickly with heavy use when I was regularly mushing the dogs. Thus I was still in the search of a perfect vehicle. I appreciated the folding capabilities immensely, but as the electric bike craze evolved I was able to find a model that better suited my needs.

The Xootr Swift, my third bike, was designed without an elector motor.  Fortunately my bike shop was able to custom fit it with an electric BionX motor. As with the Curry bike, this design was rear hub motor powered. One great addition this the BionX offered was a trip computer which told battery conditions, speed and other stats.  I found this information very useful in tracking battery efficiency. The configuration I settled on was available in either 24-volt or 36-volt AGM batteries, and I chose 24-volt option. At the time I thought this was way more power than I needed... Oh, how I would shortly be proven wrong in that assumption!   As my ventures turned more and more to mushing, and the availability of high-capacity batteries grew, I was able to retrofit the BionX motor with a lithium battery pack. Though limited to 24-volts, the lithium battery offered extended mileage. I was able slowly able to introduce more dogs to the WooFPAK, and now needed to find room to mush four dogs on the bike. I re-purposed a child's gator bar (normally used to attach a buggy to the rear of a traditional bike) to the front, and attached more springer units to tether more dogs to the bike.  Visually bizarre, yes, but what a functional display of WooFDriver power!  It was inspiring to see that an outlandish idea, existing solely in my mind, was able become a reality.   The only challenge with the BionX was the ability to keep it upright when loading, unloading, and watering the dogs.  I fashioned a tripod-like kickstand, customized specifically to provide a stable base fit for this bike. This called for adjustable legs, which can be manipulated to park on any uneven trail surface with ease. A lot of work and creativity went into bringing this bike into existence. While later vehicle progressions found me focusing on the trikes and quads which I primarily use today, I'll still venture out on the WooFWheeler 18 Wheeler with a pack of four dogs for added fun and a change of pace- Sixteen paws plus two wheels... the only way to travel!

My next acquisition was born out of necessity for a mushing style bike with more stability. I found a company called HANEBRINK that makes an electric bike with low-circumference, super wide tires, almost a golf-cart style wheel. These machines are hand-made to order with an extremely durable frame, built specifically for rigorous mountain biking. The battery options are impressive, but I went with a lower end model as I wouldn't need to achieve the high speeds typical of the higher end batteries. With the amount of wear I regularly put on my bikes, I have had a few motor issues... but they have not proved insurmountable. Fortunately this bike was built to run on a 48-volt lithium battery, as I use with my other quads and trikes, so the battery is conveniently interchangeable between my bikes. This bike, with its fat tires and small frame design, has a generally odd appearance... It looks like a moon lander! But it's plenty of fun to drive and mush the pack on.

Finally, for free ranging instead of mushing the dogs, I have added a super fast electric powered 96-volt mountain bike to my collection. This speed-demon is a factory designed bike customized through an Internet dealer. It can reach speeds of almost 50 miles per hour and, for added excitement, there aren't any built-in safety features on this racer.  That fact, coupled with batteries that are both expensive and fragile, pose a number of potential safety hazards. This bike is aggressive and fun, if used carefully, and it has even found a practical application for the WooFPAK crew.  Our camera man can use it to ride ahead on the trail, as he films us approaching on a slower bike.  Through properly respecting the various risks of the racer, it has become an excellent addition to our two-wheeled armada.

My ADVS (All-DOG Vehicles)

What’s you’re about to view is my collection of vehicles that have either been customized or built entirely from scratch for my Dogs and me. Under my watchful eye, my team and I have pushed the envelope of technology, and considered the physics and traits of the sled Dog kind to do something that’s never even been attempted before! Starting out almost 30 years ago and using what was available at the time and evolving with technology and knowledge that has inspired as you can see by the design of these vehicles. This is a lot to digest so please enjoy, learn and absorb all the good stuff that’s here. These vehicle emblems are hot links that will take you to the page to learn more about those particular vehicles, or you can use the menu above as well. You’ve NEVER seen anything like this because no one could even imagine anything like this:)

MY LATEST AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT DESIGN EVER!