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Motorized Cruiser Bicycles The beach cruiser has always been great bicycles to motorize. They just look good with a motor. Use this section to share and discuss about motorizing this classic.

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  #1  
Old 09-24-2016, 07:56 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Hey everyone. I have been lurking for awhile just soaking in all the info and I decided to share my first experience with these motorized bikes and perhaps provide insights to some other new builder. Just to preface, I gained my sobriquet JankeyKevin as I am a bit meticulous. I purchased the kit back in May, but collected parts until August. Here are all the parts on the living room floor. Bonus- there was no yelling from the wife!

Lastly, as this is my first time, I welcome additional tips and suggestions for changes. You experienced builders have been invaluable. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:02 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

I got a free mountain bike from a friend, put brakes on the thing and got it rolling. The more I looked at it, the more I didn't like it (because it was SO raggedy). I sold it, thinking that the money would cover any additional parts I needed- lol! Anyway, here's pictures of what I had vs. what I decided to go with.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:08 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Of course, the cruiser needed some work, it was all out of adjustment and the whitewalls were brown. Anyway, I think, it looks good and met, much more, what I wanted to build, in my mind's eye.

So I started by rebuilding the coaster brake and repacking the wheel bearings with high-temp automotive grease. I took advice from this forum to used colored grease so I will know when it turns black, it is worn out. Anyway, I definitely understand you don't want bearing failure at 25-30mph. I watched some YouTube videos so rebuilding the coaster wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I probably spent 2hrs total, front & rear.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:25 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

I bought a Seeutek kit off eBay. Of course, at that point, I hadn't discovered motorbicycling.com so I plead ignorance. At this point, I still believed this was a budget project.

So time had passed and it was early August, I did learn about this forum and read of the nightmare of the install of the infamous rear sprocket. I purchased the style which clamps to the hub and replaced the metal plates, thinking this would help align the holes and make installation easy.

I don't actually know if it was any easier? It still stunk and was my least favourite part of the build. After tightening, untightening, and adjusting, I finally was able to get the sprocket centered on the wheel to my satisfaction.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:44 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Red face Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Did I mention, I am particular? I was thinking that cars have rubber motor mounts so I want them on my build. Therefore, I ordered the hockey puck style of solid rubber mounts. After untold hours of reading forum posts, I now believe I have a good understanding of why rubber mounts should not be used. If rubber is used, it should not just be wrapped around the frame and mount like a cushion. I just want you all to know that I now know that.

I attached the rear mount directly to the frame. When I got to the front, I had trouble as the angle of the bike frame didn't align with the angle of the motor mount. I tried the parts from the kit and realized it would require a bunch of fabrication. Hmmm, what to do? Of course, I didn't want to crimp my frame. I then hit the internet and in a moment of frustration, hit the buy it now button.

Well the part came quickly and I realized it wouldn't work either, doh! Should have measured first! Anyway, with my frame size, I recognized they don't even make one so small so I would have had to make some shims. Ok, that would be a whole lot of work.

All that to say, I went with the hockey puck. I am open to criticism or guidance for another option.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:58 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Up next, exhaust installation. I was so excited! Like finally; progress! I hoped I would not have to bend the pipe for clearance and mess up the chrome with heat. I put it on and it looked good!

It was then I realized the crank arm wouldn't clear the motor. Bummer.

Back to the internet for bent crank arms. Time passed and I got the part.
At least, it gave me the opportunity to regrease the bearings in my bottom bracket. Be sure to order the right part here. I had to order axle, sprocket and crank arms as old and new parts would not work together. I did reuse the stock bearings and the new grease caps were not the same thread so I had to work it out.

Happily, the bent arm solution worked.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2016, 09:07 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Next up is motor chain installation. Of course, me being me, I pre-purchased the idler with the skateboard wheel which attaches to the chain cover.

When I put the chain on, there was so much slop, I decided to remove a link (with the punch). At the same time, I recognized the bike chain length was too long (as the new bent crank arm kit has a smaller front sprocket. I took a link out of the bike chain too.

To my surprise, everything lined up without needing the idler! Yay!

I heard, the difference between a new builder and an experienced one is the chain idler. I felt pretty good that I lucked up and got it to happen on the first try. Again, this was pure luck.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2016, 09:13 AM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

I'm not used to this posting stuff. I don't know why I can't see the comments left by other members? I can see that there have been comments, I just can't see them on my end. Someone please PM me so I get a better understanding of how this works. Thanks.

Edit: I think, the only comments had been left by me! LOL

Last edited by JankeyKevin; 09-24-2016 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Clairification
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2016, 07:45 PM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Next progress was I modified the stock exhaust hanger. Again, I stole the idea from another member, here. It is pretty rigid. I should also mention that as I went along, I replaced the original hardware with bolts from the local big box hardware store. To hold the exhaust, I cut the heads off some 6mm screws.

The hockey puck mounts came with long hardened threaded rod. I Dremeled them off as originally, they hit the exhaust.

We were in Canada (across the river from Detroit) on vacation, this summer. If I had been thinking, I would have bought 6mm threaded rod. It is not sold, here, at the local hardware.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2016, 07:57 PM
JankeyKevin JankeyKevin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MotorCity
Posts: 30
Default Re: 1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

I also installed a rear brake for safety at speed. I am a total believer in increase the go, increase the whoa. Taking some of the advice, here, the coaster brakes are for emergencies. I am still debating on a front brake. My mind is pondering disc or rim? I have had bikes with both and the stopping power of mechanical disc is exceptional. My reservation is just pure vanity. I like the classic look of the chrome wheels and the only disc ready wheels I have found, so far, are brushed aluminium. I guess, we'll see.

Anyway, the rear frame was already drilled for a mount. The angle was wrong to mount it on the outside so I mounted it reverse... I recognize I bent the arms incorrectly, they should taper towards the wheel the opposite way to prevent squeal, oopsie.
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