Re: Thrifty vs. Cheap!
When there isn't much in your wallet you have to figure where best to put your money. Cost is certainly an issue when you live on social security as I do. I try not to compromise on the frame, rims and tires as that is the foundation. I want the basic bike to be solid. The engine is usually a crap shoot since what I can afford is a China Girl 2 stroke and for the most part they are pretty much the same. Vendors may be different in support, etc., but the motors are very similar. Going with such a motor is viewed by some as thrifty and others as cheap and a waste of money. I see it as thrifty since the first motor is still running strong after more than a thousand miles. For what some call junk, I would say it has served me pretty well. Some think a coaster brake is junk. I like them, especially on vintage bikes. Add a front brake, ride sensibly and you're good to go. When you have good financial resources you tend to think of the best stuff... sure I'd like a shift kit and an sbp exhaust, a pk-8o maxed out, etc. But I can't afford it. So I do a little porting, adapt a pocket bike exhaust, use the best oil and spark plug I can within my budget. From my point of view that is being thrifty. We all want to think we are thrifty and not just cheap. I make my own gas tanks, head lights, tail and brake lights, rebuild vintage seats, strip and repaint all on a tight budget. Is a rattle can paint job "cheap"? It is compared to what a professional shop can do with a powder job. Doing almost everything yourself is what I call being thrifty, what others call being cheap since I'm not a professional at any of this. So, I don't know how exactly to respond to this thread. Cheap vs. thrifty is partly a point of view from where you are on the economic ladder and an expression of values. It is also a kind of balancing act doing what we can within the limitations of our financial resources. It doesn't matter if a four stroke with a shift kit is better than a china girl if you can only afford the China Girl. The person with money thinks you are being cheap and unwise, the person with only enough for the China Girl is thankful they are cheap and affordable else there would be no motor at all.
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...