Introducing myself and my dual suspension BMX build!
My name is Rob. I've been a long time lurker even before I got an account. I wanted to get some knowledge on motor assisted bicycles under my belt. Growing up I was the type of kid that would take all my toys apart to mod/fix them. My dad was an auto mechanic when I was a kid. So I was always in a shop with him every chance I had. When most kids were wanting R/C cars and sports equipment for Christmas my brother and I wanted tools and tool boxes. I learned how to rebuild race motors when I was 7.
When I was 3, I would ride my tricycle down the concrete front porch steps. It doesn't look like it can be done but it can. These were the old big built in style steps. After doing that for a while I broke my trike in half where the steering tube connects to the frame. Then I tried to ride the handlebars and front wheel like a unicycle. So my parent got me an awesome little boys 16 inch batman bike. I was jumping ramps with training wheels on.
I learned how to ride my bike without training wheels when I was 4. After learning that I would ride my cousins 20 inch bmx bike that was freewheel. I was so short I had to start on a hill or a couple of steps. Then I couldn't brake because I was too weak and my hands were too small to pull the hand brake levers. I would have to jump off when I stopped and learned the old shoe on top of the back tire brake trick. I always thought of the Flintstones when I would brake like that as if that's how they brake too! When I was crawling I crawled so fast everywhere that my parents nick-named me HotRod! That name stuck with me growing up and I sure lived up to the name.
I was always riding or wrenching on something. Of course just like any young bike enthusiast I wanted to put a motor on my bike. I did the baseball card in the spoke and the crushed soda can over the back wheel(which makes it harder to pedal). I figured out as a kid how to get the most out of a bike by using the handlebars as a lever against my peddling side. Basically which ever side my legs was pushing at the time, kinda tilt the bike to the opposite side and use your arms to pull up and your whole body to really push them cranks down. Its hard to explain but you see bmxers and other cyclist doing it on videos. Especially while taking off, coming out of a turn, or up hill. Be careful if you do this though. I've had cheaper chains snap from the force and it threw me right over the handle bars. I had a dark red t-shirt on that day and there was a bright orange spot on my chest where the road ate the color off.
I loved jumping things as a kid. So I wanted to get the most speed I could. I would also race. I usually had a single speed bmx type bike growing up. When I got a little older friend where getting 10 speed mountain bikes and 21 speed road bikes. By using that little trick I could beat them every time on a single speed bike with smaller tires. In my teen years I rode my bike all over town. Usually about 25+ miles a day rain or shine. That was my only transportation until I got a car at 18.
As a teen I got a decent little digital speedo for my bmx bike at the time. I just wanted to see my stats. On a full haul basically peddling my tail off. With the gearing that bike had I could get it up to 25 mph according to that speedo. I couldn't keep it up for very long though just short burst. Its basically like sprinting but you use your whole body. I remember thinking man, if I could have a motor that would at least make a bike do 25 that would be a miracle. When my friends and I got in our teens some of them got mopeds, old dirt bikes, scooters and what not. I always rode my bike with them but having a motorized bicycle would have made our rides much better.
Even when I got a car I always had a few bikes around and rode every chance I got. My very first car (a white 4 door granny-mobile) while showing it to a friend, I jumped some elevated railroad tracks at a little faster than normal speed. We jumped it and felt like the "Dukes of Hazard". Well, in a stroke of "genius" and the fact that the jump was so fun (I am HotRod gotta live up to it lol). I decided to try the jump a little faster. It was awesome! My friend and I was flying off our seats hitting our heads on the ceiling laughing our butts off. This was on a dead road with no cars around, away from any people and late at night. So I tried it at 35 mph then 45 then 55 which was nuts! On the last pass in a cloud of ecstasy and doing my thing I went for the big bang.
Approaching the hill I would usually get to speed then let off and hold that speed. This time I gunned it the whole way and my granny-mobile was flying. I looked at the speedo and the hand was on 65. I looked at my buddy and he was grinnin from ear to ear. We were going way to fast (if there is such a thing). I let off just as we approached the hill and my buddy says "PUNCH IT!" So I did and the Gmb's speed climbed to 75 as we top the crest (do not try this at home!). Holy cow, we have lift off! When the car came down this time all four shocks bottomed out. The back hit so hard that the shocks/springs didn't even come back up very much and on impact my oil pan shattered into a bajillion pieces. As smoke/steam pours from under my hood and the back of the car in low rider status, she dies right there. I had that car for a full summer and a fall(no pun intended). Totally worth the $400 I paid for that car. What they don't show us on dukes is they broke a lotta cars too.
Right before turning 19 I joined the Army as a combat medic. Kept riding bikes as much as possible. I ended up going to Iraq and injuring my back, left knee and ankle. I can still ride but no where near what I used to. When I came home I went to work as a car salesman at the local Nissan dealer. After working there almost a year the economy went down the tube in 08. No one was buying trucks or really even driving them because gas was so high at the time. To sell trucks other dealers where giving away free mopeds/scooters with the truck and giving huge discounts just to get rid of them. Even then they still wouldn't sell. On the other hand mopeds and scooters became in high demand.
I wanted to get a scooter to save money on gas. Everyone who had a moped or scooter at that time either wasn't selling it or charging an arm and a leg for one. After looking for over a month I found thru a friend of a friend a damaged 2003 Yamaha Zuma that I could afford. I got the Zuma and came home and started ordering parts. As I start to tear the bike down to be restored, I started finding other unknown issues. I ordered over $1300 in parts. I bought and installed an Athena big bore kit on the motor that was seized. Then found that it needed a lot more than I thought. It needed some kinda expensive parts and was at the point of not being worth fixing. Basically it needed way more parts than it would be worth fixed. It then sat in pieces in my shed. I had to move so I stored it all in a friends storage unit. He left the unit unlocked and my Zuma motor/rear end got stolen.
One thing I did see around that 08 time period was a guy who would fly past the dealership on a motorized bike (rack mount) everyday. Someone told me the guy would build them for others for like $375. After losing hope on the Zuma project I stayed away from bikes for a while. I moved in to a new apartment and saw a guy in the neighborhood on a schwinn occ chopper bike with a china girl on it. All I knew at that time was that was a cool bike with a good sounding two-stroke on it.
Continued on next post->
Last edited by HotRodRob; 06-06-2014 at 10:55 PM.