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Old 03-14-2015, 08:34 PM
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bluegoatwoods bluegoatwoods is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,576
Default First work week commuting on my new bike.

And it went pretty well, too.

This engine is already pretty smooth and powerful. I've only burnt about a half gallon of fuel so far. But this bike is strong.

So this was also a week of evaluating the bike. Figuring out if everything felt solid plus figuring out which changes I'd like to make. There are a couple.

The week didn't go by totally without mishap. Friday evening I left work and got out to the stop light in front of the place. When I pushed off to get rolling, the pedal chain snapped. This isn't quite the pain in the neck that it might sound like because my car just happens to be at work right along with me almost every night. (That sounds so unusual that maybe it needs explanation; my wife works at the same place I do. Our schedules are just different enough that commuting at different times is pretty necessary. Hence the car is ready and waiting, if I need it. I only need to go back and pick her up.)

The pedal chain I had on this bike was an old one that I'd saved off of some other bike. Right from the start, with this bike, I didn't like the feel of it. Something just felt wrong. I wondered if I hadn't put on a chain for a one-speed bike. But that can't be right. That chain would be far too short. Plus I could see that this was the narrower type anyway. But, whatever. I just figured I'd change it at the first opportunity. But it broke before I had the chance.

So I grabbed the car and went on down to the local Worm-Mart. They had exactly one multi-speed chain on the shelf. And the package had been opened. I knew just what had happened; some turkey had bought the darned thing, removed however many links he happened to need, and then returned it. But I had to have that chain. I suppose I could have just picked up another chain from home. But it was already dark. My chains are kept in an oil bath, so that's messy. My schedule is tough, so getting sleep is important, etc. So I bought the chain. I figured that even if it was shortened I could get along and get the bike home. I'd fix it properly this weekend.

So this morning I rode my pedal bike to work. Weather was great and, since I wasn't carrying my normal load, I felt light as a feather. It was a fine commute, actually.

While at work I took out the new chain. Not nearly long enough! Even if I'd just put it on the two smallest chain rings. I'd been had!

Wondering how to handle getting this bike home, etc., I considered my pedal bike. That chain has been doing fine for quite some time. So I went over to it and put on my rivet extractor. Started twisting in and found that things were a bit stiff. Okay, back it off and try pushing again..........

Snap! The rivet extractor broke "Now what am I gonna do??!!"

Okay.....calm down..... I happened to have also with me two master links. One-speed size. Maybe I can make that work.......

So I repaired the chain that broke Friday night with a master link. It didn't fit well and I destroyed one of them. I barely managed to get the second one together. I looked at this chain, with that one link obviously wider than the rest and thought, "That's going to be trouble. But maybe I can get home if I'm real careful."

I got home, but it was trouble. That link bound up in the derailleur on most revolutions. So I started rolling very gently and quit pedaling while cruising. About half-way home I noticed that I had no 'pedal' at all. I figured if I was careful I could get the rest of the way home without stopping. So I just kept going (made it! and didn't care one little bit if that chain was lying by the side of the road.

Actually it did stay with the bike. Turns out that it had merely slipped off of the front chain ring and is now straddling the bottom bracket. But tomorrow that chain is going in the trash. Something ain't right with that thing.

So with that rant over, it's time to move on to a few other small observations. I'm finding that an offset intake has one disadvantage; your right calf has the tendency to bump the choke lever while pedaling.

So I'm going to have to go with a different choke adjust design. I did this once before on another bike and it worked very well.


You'll notice that for shifting I went with stem mounted shifters. Mostly in order that I could shift with whichever hand was handiest at a given time. Also to cut down on handlebar clutter.

But a motorized bike doesn't use a front derailleur, of course. That leaves the left shifter with no function. A perfect use for that is a choke lever.

But I found having no top tube up above the engine gave me no anchor point for the choke cable. It was just too sloppy. So I removed that cable and mounted a ground and drilled dime on the stock choke lever.

But now I'm going to have to make the choke cable arrangement work. It won't be hard, really. I'll just make a bracket that holds onto the seat tube and reaches out over the carb. That'll give me a nice, stable platform for the choke cable and it's sheath.

There's a couple of other mods that I intend to make this weekend. The only one that amounts to anything is that I think I'm going to remount the gas tank over the rear wheel. I'm not really a fan of that look. But I'm also getting tired of it over the top tube. It just gets in the way of too much other stuff. Other than that, my plans are more in the line of 'adjustment' than 'modification'.

But I've got time for one more rant.

I wish it was winter again!

Not really. But the nice weather we've had the last week reminds me that the streets get stupid when the weather is nice enough to bring people out.

Today it was kids playing basketball in the street. I've passed through them several times in the last week, as a matter of fact. And one or two of them acted a bit squirrely. I had a feeling they'd do something stupid.

Today three or four of them saw me coming and moved to my left. One moved to my right. Then, as I was approaching, the kid on my right started moving to the center. It wasn't so close that I needed to panic stop. But I was watching him closely, planning our exit routes if needed.

Then the one kid who was toward my left, holding the ball, says, "Hey! Catch!" I only had time to say, "No!" before I was past them. This dumb kid made me take my eyes off of his moving target friend to deal with his idiotic "cleverness".

It wasn't all that close or all that dangerous. I ride slowly and very carefully for just this reason. Yet I would have stopped and explained to these kids exactly why this is a dumb thing to do (gently, I promise) except that I couldn't stop, in this case, because of my chain issue.

It probably doesn't matter. They'll likely give me another chance before long.

But I rode on remembering other times when idiocy of this sort has happened. This sort of stuff happens mostly with kids, of course. Then there's the so-called grownups. Usually they just talk stupid. Not all, of course. But a certain number of people become brainless morons when they're in speaking distance of a motored bike.

In the wintertime they don't have the guts to come outside. Then I can ride without dealing with them.
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