Originally Posted by bairdco
the trick is to make the china doll not "junk."
in my experience, the engine is pretty good quality, and not just "for the price." it's the minor crappy parts that are the problem, like plug, wire, throttle, tank, cables, chain, levers, etc... (basically the whole kit.)
once you throw all that stuff away and replace it with higher quality stuff, you can have lots of trouble free miles.
it's not too expensive, either. the minor stuff like a new plug and wire is 5 bucks, and different throttles, levers, and everything else is available online, you just gotta search out the deals.
as far as the whole "it's a bicycle, it wasn't designed to go fast" argument, that's just BS.
i mean, if you buy a low end bike with low end parts, then yeah, you shouldn't be going fast, but i can build a bike out of available parts that would be safe, and comfortable doing 50-60mph, or more.
i have a buddy who built a custom motorcycle with a worksman front wheel, and he cruises it at 80 all day long.
my builds are getting to the point where all i need is the motor, basically. on my latest bike, the only kit parts are the motor, CDI and exhaust. and the exhaust is gonna get changed, and i don't have any problems with the CDI, but if i found a better one, i'd use it.
and as for reliability, going to the store, school, work, whatever, if you do it right, you can do all that. my main bike has gone to the store about a thousand times. i never take any tools with me, and haven't had any major breakdowns except for snapping those crappy chains. and i ride it full throttle all day long.
i figure if your motor lasts through the first week of it's life without exploding, it's gonna last a long time if you take care of it. other parts may fail, but as an example, look at Dave31's motor he just blew up. 4-5 years and 14000 miles (i think.)
and to answer your question of "how come...," i think it's because most people want to go the cheapest route possible and build a disposable toy out of a disposable bike. when people spend less money on a bike than i do on a pair of tires, there's not really a market for a nice fancy motor.