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Old 06-11-2008, 11:29 PM
unwired unwired is offline
Motorized Bicycle Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 6
Default General questions. Your thoughts about my chopper options???

I thought I'd try to compile both a list of potential bike conversation candidates and a lot of my general questions within a single thread here so that perhaps others might be able to one day follow along and borrow from what I've scavenged for out there so far.

I suppose that I caught the bug for doing this from looking at local bicycle auctions on ebay and coming across someones conversion for sale. I did not buy the auctioned cycle for two reasons (a) it was on a youth bike and (b) the price he was asking seemed a bit high; and for that kind of money I'd build it myself.

I mentioned in one of my other posts that I'm from New York and haven't quite found any good options for buying my bicycle just yet and it looks like shipping from the west coast will get expensive. I've yet to travel down to the local bike shops but if they are anything like what I expect it won't be any cheaper to buy locally than pay a shipping charge.

First things first.
I'd like to keep the budget down if possible so I'll start with saying that anything above the price of something ready made and neat should be disqualified from my build options (and if by chance I find something finished that fits the budget than why even waste my time building when I could be tweaking).

This bike doesn't have a pedal option but is an example of something that's over budget.

2005 West Coast Chopper! HappyScooter

My goal it to shoot for about $300 for this go around. I figure the bike could be $160 or so and similar for the engine if I don't go top of the line.

Here was the first bike I considered:
Micargi GTS

And here's another:
XYZ Chopper

I actually like the XYZ website because they give some useful info in regards to high of the rider and difficulty in pedaling.

I'd be interested in hearing opinions about using either as a platform to play with. I've looked at some of the other chopper style bikes like the streches or Micargi Prados but want to be a bit price conscious here considering what shipping is going to run me. I'm still very much in learning mode here so please bear with me (and feel free to point me to prior posts if this ground has been covered before).

Questions on the engine front...
For now I'm simply thinking about a 2 stroke engine (depending on cost it could be 49cc or 80cc).

#1 - Do multi speed bikes play a factor at all (my assumption is that the sprocket is likely additional to the existing pedal and chain so my guess is 'no' although I wonder what gear shifting might do and if not using the highest gear might slow things down)?

#2 - I also believe that I'll likely need to change the brake lines. Is that correct?

As I'm pretty handy I think I'll skip any worries on the mounting for now.

#3 - How about the exhaust, how does one mount that so as not to potentially burn yourself (I've seen one nice custom unit on ebay but that would add some to the cost) ?

#4 - How does pedaling actually work (i.e. do I need to pedal continuously even when the engine is on)?

#5 Do the engines self start together with pedaling (I'd like to avoid pull cords)?

Any other suggested reading or cool looking bike options (that don't cost $1,200) would be greatly appreciated.

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