Can I power a treadmill’s DC Motor off of a battery pack?

I am trying to do an electric small motorcycle conversion. Since this round is more of a proof of concept than anything I want to keep the DC Motor cheap. After struggling to find a DC Motor with moderate power for a cheap enough price, I found out that older treadmills have a DC Motor that powers them. Most treadmills only have 0.5 horse power, but some have up to 5 hp. I want to run this motor off of a battery pack, but everything I see online says I would need to use an inverter first to generate ac current from the batteries to feed the treadmill.

My question has four parts, but the first two parts are the ones I’m most curious about.

1. Why do I need an inverter? If it is truly a DC Motor wouldn’t the current be rectified within the treadmil circuitry anyway?

2. If I took only the motor from the treadmill and provided my own dc operated PWM system, would it work? And if not why?

3. Is an inverter efficient with power? I don’t know much about how they work, but I do know that when it comes to an ev project power waste should be avoided almost as adamantly as being electrocuted.

4. Is a treadmill motor even a good idea for this project? I really don’t need it to be super fast, and all the treadmill motors say they are continuous duty. Is this the cheap solution I’ve been looking for, or is there a better place to salvage a DC Motor?

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