Greets from ON, Canada
Greetings to all here on the forum! The name is Barry, and I live in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (For those who don't know where Mississauga is, it's a suburb of Toronto)
While I have been hovering around a few motored bicycle sites (forums) for a couple of months now, I finally decided to take the plunge and drop down some of my cash on an '80' cc china girl. Yes, I am aware this it is only 66cc. Mine was labeled as a 68.5 actually... but whatever.
Not really knowing where to buy from , I did a small amount of shopping around, looking at different kits and prices... I ended up getting my engine from Zoombicycles. My main reasons why I selected ZB were 1, they were located in BC, (So no getting raped at the border for duty and/or brokerage) and 2, at the time I ordered the engine, they were offering free shipping. So it was a no brainer for me. I had a black 80cc slant head kit shipped to my door in exactly 7 days for $150 CDN. Other similar kits from the US would have been closer to $200 after the quoted shipping cost. And that would also not include any duty and/or brokerage fees...So like I said, $150 in my hands, sounded like a pretty good deal. (Best I could find anyways)
I have done enough reading about these little motors to know that they're not going to last forever, and that the quality control of these things can vary wildly. Even knowing that, I figured that if I can drive at least 1000KMs, (which really, is not asking THAT much of this little engine), then it owes me nothing. Especially considering that it might take me months, maybe even years to accumulate 1000Kms. So yeah, $150 for a years worth (or more) of zipping around is more than worth it to me. Obviously, I am hoping to get more than that, but if not...I'll not be upset.
Anyways, that was about two weeks ago... I have since installed the engine kit on my 26" mountain bike, and have been riding it when I can. (We’ve been having high amounts of rain this summer). But so far it's been very good. The kit went on with no problems (although the instructions were not the greatest). I didn't try and race through the install, so it took me two days to get everything on the bike and ready to go. So on day three I was ready to fire her up and take it to the streets. (Assuming that it would even start)
So I wheeled her outside, turned on the fuel switch, put the choke on, placed my left hand on the clutch, and off I went. I pedaled up to about 10kph and let out the clutch......nothing. Not even a sputter. Tried again,...this time I got the engine to turn (so I knew that it wasn't stuck, like some other people have had happen to them). After the third attempt, I opened the choke to a half-way position...tried again. This time, it actually fired, but only for a second. It seemed like it needed some throttle to stay going. So about the fifth or sixth time, I gave it just a 'touch' of throttle. VROOM!
With a little throttle it came to life. But as soon as I let go of the throttle, it died instantly. Then I remembered that I was playing with the throttle cable when I was installing it into the carb, (I had the cable adjuster threaded all the way down as far as it would go) So I stopped the bike, spun the nut on the cable till it was about 1/8th inch from the bottom. This should be the same thing as turning the throttle just slightly. I then rode up to speed, pulled out the clutch, and VROOM! It fired up no problem, and when I took my hand off the throttle, it stayed idling....NICE. NOW WERE READY TO RIDE!
I took her out for a quick ride around the block. And that's when it hit me...THIS THING IS AWESOME! I couldn't stop saying it to myself. AWESOME! And the looks I got from people was(is) priceless. It always seems to be the same kind of look...I'm sure you have all experienced it, it's that half-smiling confused/interested look. And then there's me, my face fully locked in perma-smile, almost 'giddy'. And right there in that moment, I was convinced that $150 for this experience was completely justified. It could have died on me the next day, and I would not have been pissed at all.
So being new, I tried as best I could to NOT beat on it. And it's hard when it's such a new 'toy', you just want to wring it right out...But I opted to just put around using the throttle here and there. Never took it up past 35Kph (about 20MPH) for the first tank of gas. (Which I mixed @ around 25:1). I'm still on my 2nd tank now, and things seem to be coming along good. Even with the 80 or so Kms I have put on the engine, I can already feel that it's starting to smooth out, especially in the lower RPMS. Seems to pull a little stronger down low, as well as it feels like the engine gets into the 'sweet-spot' at lower and lower speeds. The first few days, it seemed like I needed to be close to 30KPH for the engine to feel like it was 'in the band'. The more I ride, the lower that speed becomes, so now (once the engine is warm) the power starts to come in at around 20~25 Kph. Each day it feels a 'touch' easier to cruise at speed. I still haven't gone for any flat-out speed runs. While I have taken her up to about 45Kph a couple of times, it was for only a few seconds each time. But it seemed 'relatively' easy to get up to 45... I'll just have to wait and see. I'll be happy with 50Kph on a 44t sprocket after she's broken in, which I don't think is unreasonable with the current setup.
I will be getting a new sprocket, but I want to change a few other things on the bike right now. My bike is about 18 years old, and the rear wheel has two broken spokes, so she doesn't exactly spin 'true' right now. Straight enough that I can ride it, but I'm going to get the wheels re-spoked and made true again. At least the rear one, the front is still in very good condition. I also want to get a dual-pull brake lever to leave my left hand completely free to use the clutch. Right now, I have the clutch under the brake, and while it works, it's not exactly efficient. If I had to panic stop, I could be in trouble because before I can hit the brake, I need to pull in the clutch. That's as much as 1 second that's added to my reaction time. That could mean trouble in an emergency...
Just like a lot of others, I'm always interested in making modifications to increase performance and/or reliability. The first thing I opted to change was the plug. So I picked up a set of B6HS plugs and tried one out a few nights ago (gapped @ 0.020, based on a suggestion I had read on the forums) The big difference that I noticed is that the engine started IMMEDIATELY (even after sitting in the garage all day, not warmed up at all) The idle 'may' have been better, but I didn't really notice. It seemed to pull the same as the stock plug, actually with a touch less 'response'. But it seems to have more trouble getting past 40 (vs. the stock plug)... This didn't seem right... Everything I have read about these plugs says that they should provide a more useable spark and that should translate to smoother running, and possibly, more power. But I was SURE that the stock plug had no problems getting up to 45KPH. So the next day, I took out the NGK and looked at it. (Both plugs seemed a little 'dark', and because of that, I moved to needle clip up one notch to lean it out a bit) But here's what else I noticed... The stock plug goes deeper into the engine than the NGK. By about 1/8th of an inch. Would this make a difference in the higher RPMs if the plug is not as deep into the chamber? (therefore, not as close to center over the piston)
I put the stock plug back in and went out for another buzz... Yup it hit 45, no problem... What gives?
What about temperature ratings?.. The B6HS is rated for 80~110 F. (26~43 C). Does this mean it MUST operate within these limits, or is it just as happy with lower temperatures? While it does get up to 26C (or more) on hot days, when I ride at night, it could be as low as 15C (60 F). Does the plug perform as well below the specified heat range?
I'm thinking maybe the slant head motors use plugs that are a little deeper than the center mounted plugs... Can anyone confirm this?
Anyway, enough of my babbling. Hope to see you around the forums...