I've found this thread to be a very interesting read. Many good points have been made on many important topics in the motorized bicycle assembling/building world.
The first major question that needs to be answered by any person or company who tries to make a profit from MB's is who is your target customer? This gets us to the demographics of motorized bicycle riders.
Here's a short, and not complete, list of some of the groups as I see it:
- Underage kids with very little money
- Adults with very little money
- Adults who use them as transportation as a way to get around loosing their DL.
- Adults who want modern bikes with standard kits
- Adults who want classic bikes with standard kits.
- Adults who want custom modern or classic bikes with custom motors and drive systems.
As you may have noticed, my list is also organized by how much each group is typically willing to spend on a bike. There will always be a group or two who is looking for the absolute cheapest form of a motorized bicycle and they will keep the people and companies this thread complains about in business. They buy the bike, something breaks or goes wrong and they come here to complain, lol! They get a well deserved “I told you so!” from the veterans on this forum and then they learn what a better motorized bicycle looks like from all of the people on this forum who hold themselves and their builds to a higher standard.
I agree with Joaquin that one way to move the motorized bicycle industry out of the shadows of sketchy builders is to create different designations for the level of work put into a MB. Making these designations "stick" will take a majority of the people and companies on this forum coming together and agreeing to use this vernacular.
Here's just an idea how the designations could work:
- Assembler is a good title for a person who buys a low cost bike and attaches a similarly low cost engine kit to it. Whether they put their own stickers on it is less important.
- Builder could be a title for someone who does more than an Assembler, such as adding custom parts. How many custom parts are required to step up from an Assembler to a Builder? I don’t know, that’s something that needs to be talked about.
- Fabricator should be reserved for a person who is cutting, welding, machining and otherwise fabricating a good portion of the bike or its drive systems.