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Old 03-26-2011, 06:55 PM
nightcruiser nightcruiser is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,180
Default New & need advice, questions answered etc...

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and just starting to learn about motorized bikes. I have a feeling as the weather warms I will be putting a motor on "something", after reading and watching videos on the web I seem to have the bug, big time!
I was actually shocked when I starting searching the web for motor kits, there are so many out there that seem so similar, but as I research I find there are a lot of differences. This leaves me with a LOT of questions, I hope you don't mind if I ask them here....
Engine selection:
I see 2-stroke engines are most popular, and I would probably decide to go with a 2-stroke myself.
Among 2-strokes I find two common sizes, the 48cc and the 66/80cc models. I understand the 66/80cc is the difference between the manufacturers method and the US method of calculation. These engines are 66cc by US standard calculation.
What I don't understand is why the 48cc engines and the 66/80cc engines are both rated at roughly the same horsepower? I wonder if the smaller engines could really produce the same power as the larger engines? The price is similar for both units, so on one hand it seems a simple choice to just take the bigger one, cause you can. On the other hand, some states have laws that limit the cc and may treat engines under 50cc differently than above 50cc. With this in mind, if the hp is the same or close, it seems a no brainer to choose the SMALLER engine! I am still left wondering about the actual power produced by the 48cc engines VS the 66/80cc engines, do they compare? Maybe you guys with experience can help me out with this....
This dilemma has me torn as to what size 2-stroke to choose... I guess it boils down to the state(s) you plan to ride in and how they word their laws. I will be riding the bike in IL, HI, and maybe FL, OR and CA. I see a lot of state reference HP in their laws, others reference engine cc, this makes the whole thing more confusing for me...
Then there is QUALITY.... I see a lot of CHINA engines, I read about JAPAN engines but never really see noted where the different engines are made. I know the Italian engines are the top notch, but I will have to get way further into this before I spring for one of them! Unfortunately I can not find any gas engines that are made in the USA. I would be interested in a made in USA engine if available, since its not I would prefer to get an engine made in Japan than China. I want something that can be repaired, rebuilt, if possible, so I would like to buy a unit that has replacement parts available ideally. If I could find a high quality 48cc engine that holds it's own against the 66/80cc cause of its quality that is what I think I am after. Unfortunately I can't tell the good from the bad (yet), maybe you guys could point me in the right direction and fill me in on what engines are made where, which are reputed for best quality and power etc. That would be a huge help to me.
Finally, there is the rest of the kit, I know the quality can vary on these other parts, is there any dealer that is reputed to provide better quality accessories than others?
I have a million more questions, but I think that is enough to get me started, for now... LOL
I have 2 vintage Specialized mountain bikes in cherry condition, but I am reluctant to mod them cause they are both special to me just the way they are. I am thinking I would prefer a much more laid back cruiser style bike for the motor anyway, so I will probably end up building something new or building something up from the ashes of somebody's garage sale junk! Since I have never built a cruiser style bike I will probably have a ton of questions about that too.....
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read my message and/or reply.....
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