I've been lurking here for a while, but I've finally decided to jump in. So I've made an account and am planning on doing my first build some time this summer.
To that end, I'd like advice.
For the motor I'm going to go with a two-stroke, chain drive China kit. Pretty much anything that's 49cc and available cheaply. I've been wrenching on all sorts of stuff for most of my life, so even though the out-of-the-box quality on this stuff might be crap I'm not concerned. Nothing a good inspection, some better fasteners, and a Dremel can't fix. Besides, I love messing with small engines!
So I've got the engine under control... but the rest of the stuff is where I need y'all's advice.
Here's what I'm planning so far:
Frame: Columbia 1937 Cruiser seems like a good, cheap choice for a novice. I know that the common wisdom is to get something with a steel frame and good looking welds. Tank mounting might be an issue, but if I *really* like the bike I can probably get someone to fabricate one to go where the fake tank goes.
Brakes: No idea. Discs in the front seems like a good goal, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to add them. Advice here would be appreciated.
Hardware: Walmart bikes come with crap fasteners, etc. Or at least that's what I've been led to believe here. No worries; that's nothing that a trip to the hardware store and a bulk purchase of good stainless hardware won't fix. I don't want or need fenders.
Suspension: Hmm... Uh... is this required? It seems a little nuts to drive something at speed that doesn't have at least front shocks, but then again I'm a novice when it comes to this. If I do decide to add front suspension is that something that can be added onto the Columbia frame? Or do I need to pick a frame that comes with a front shock setup? Or are shocks not actually required?
Wheels: I know that I need to replace these, as the stock ones are supposed to be crap on most cheap frames. There are plenty of good recommendations on this forum, and I can certainly pick one... but if someone has a specific recommendation for this frame I'd like to hear it!
Budget: Under $700.
Other stuff: While I can grok most mechanical things, I can't weld, and there's not a good welder near me. I *might* be able to take something to one that I know is good, but I'd rather not because it's pretty far away...
Thanks in advance!