A beginner with plenty of questions. All input is appreciated.

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by betacrash, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. betacrash

    betacrash New Member

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    I am a hobbyist by nature. I build all sorts of stuff (mainly ukuleles) and I love to brew beer. I get distracted easily and that is how i ended up here. I was looking for a bike, then i got interested in a three wheel bike thne i thought about a quadcycle then i saw an ad in a sidebar about bicycle motors. So here I am. I've always wanted a moped or scooter and I think a motor bicycle is just what I need. I am an information junkie and a strong believer in the search function but sometimes its hard to get the information that I need.

    First off, I would like to do a cruiser. I want a classic style that would resemble an antique motorcycle. It would be mainly black and look tough as **** (this is all in my head). Here are my questions:

    BTW if there is an end all be all FAQ that answers these questions please just point the way and I will read it. thanks.

    Question 1: Engines/Motors

    I want a black 80/66cc motor. I have seen them everywhere for all kinds of prices. Obviously cheaper is better without giving in to poor quality. I've seen some deals on ebay but I want to make sure that I get something good. Most of the online vendors are turning me off with either their high prices or high shipping. So far bikeberry's kit is what I am probably gonna buy unless somebody can enlightened me on a better choice. I cannot tell the difference between the engines other than the names that they are given and I would think that is arbitrary.

    Question 2: Bikes!

    Bike choice. I see many cruisers around and understand that there are differences. I would like to go the cheaper route ($100) but I'm afraid that I will be encountering other issues (that I don't know of) due to buying a cheaper bike. Please if you could, provide me with some good examples of bikes that can be purchased at Walmart, Kmart, Target (the usuals) ALSO! Is the only issue with oval tubed bikes mounting issues? Seems like some creative work with a U bolt would resolve this.

    Question 3: Brakes

    Say that I buy something cheap like a Cranbrook. I noticed that it does not have hand brakes. Which makes me wonder what to do for brakes. Even if a bike has the rubber caliper brakes are those good enough and are disc brakes the logical choice.

    Question 4: HT

    It's been bothering me because I cannot find the definition....WHAT DOES HT MEAN!?!

    If you've gotten this far then you are a kind soul and I appreciate the time you took to read this. Thank you.
     
    #1 betacrash, Jun 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  2. BADBOOH

    BADBOOH New Member

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    I am not super knowlegable however I've heard only good things about the RAW engine kits. As far as a cheap bike, if you go with the cheaper bikes like the cranebrook, I've heard the main problem is with the cheap wheels, these would have to be upgraded. Another thing others have suggested about these bikes is the poor packing job of grease. So if you go the 100 dollar route you might end up spending more money anyways. I installed a front caliper brake, and am still using my rear coaster brake. She doesn't stop like a race car, but good enough. And as far as HT, I would like to know myself. Be careful, these things are alot of fun, while extremely addictive.
     
  3. Gator Wrestler

    Gator Wrestler New Member

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    Just a FYI, HT stands for Happy Time a slang term for the 2 stroke engine kits we all have learned to love/hate.
     
  4. betacrash

    betacrash New Member

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    alright, things are starting to make sense. now i know what coaster brakes are. ill stop calling them the thing that makes you stop when you pedal backwards.

    could someone inform me what makes the cranbrooks wheels cheap? i just looked at one today and i could not tell any real difference.

    if someone could recommend a good cheap bike that would be the cats pajamas.

    also, do the vendors usually state that they sell RAW engines or is there something else that i should look for? thanks for all the help guys.
     
  5. CoastalCruiser

    CoastalCruiser New Member

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    Cranbrooks, as well as most lower priced bikes, come with 14 guage spokes which can snap under the torque load of the motor. Getting the wheel upgraded to 12 guage will run you about 75 bucks. Any bike with a 70 degree included angle and at least a 12 and 1/2 inch seat post measuring up to 1 1/4 inches diameter is a perfect candidate for a Chinese 2 stroke. Grubee skyhawk GT5 is the best 2 stroke motor kit available. The bad news is motor bikes are illegal in Ohio.
     
  6. betacrash

    betacrash New Member

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    I just put Cincinnati as my homesite since it is the closest big city. I actually live in St. Leon, Indiana. I will have to look up the laws for IN.

    Great info about the spokes, I will try to look for a cheap bike with 12g spokes.

    And thanks for the Grubee suggestion. I will look into those.

    I really think it would be a good idea to compile some of this info into a FAQ. Who knows, once I feel like I know what I am talking about maybe I can put one together.
     
  7. CoastalCruiser

    CoastalCruiser New Member

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    Check into the Classic Posts section.
     
  8. VIP

    VIP New Member

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    I built a Cranbrook. I used the rag joint rear sprocket assembly until I got the Nice Aluminum piece from Manic Mechanic. That is a class piece and it allows perfect lateral adjustment of the sprocket.

    The rag joint.. I had to thin the pieces on the outside of the spokes next to the sprocket to get it to line up properly. I thinned them by using a band saw. Be careful if you do that since you have to hold the pieces some how.

    It lined up fine but it is not a precise thing when tightening down the nine bolts you could get some wobble in the rear sprocket.

    I took enough links out of the drive chain that the hump going over the chain Idler was not a radical change in direction.

    I added a Front brake and a mechanical speedomoter.
    The fitting from the gas tank on mine was in an awkard position so I had to extend it and add a 45 degree angle to get it to clear.


    The split end clamp joint on the intake manifold to the Carb is hard to get a good seal.

    I am going to tackle that issue soon. Thinking about trying to put a thin plastic hose piece over it with a couple clamps if I can get that to work.

    Hope none of this scares you off. If you have some mechanical ability you can solve all these issues.

    Pictures here: Motorbike

    For the last few years I built and repaired Mini Sprint race cars that are powered by sportbike motors so I had to make a lot of parts, brackets etc.


    Have fun...!!
     
  9. captainrichhill

    captainrichhill New Member

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    I got my "Point Beach" cruiser style at Wal-Mart. I think it was $139 26" wheels 7 speed hand brakes. Fenders. It's great. You may want... I correct myself you will reinforce the fender brackets or you will surely die in a fiery crash sooner then later. And to top it all off.... I look way cooler then ANY scooter around.
    Great hobby!
     
  10. betacrash

    betacrash New Member

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    once again guys. thanks for the input. now i know what a rag joint is and what the manic mechanic adapter is. very nice.

    question about your 7 speed. doesnt that interfere with the throttle since they are on the handlebar grip?
     
  11. asianflava

    asianflava New Member

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    Welcome, I was in the same place as you just a few weeks ago. I bought a cheapey bike from Sports Authority that was on clearance. It's a no frills cruiser no gears, and a coaster brake. I just finished the engine install and have been riding it the last few days. I plan on adding caliper brakes at a later time.

    You can see my build thread here:

    http://motorbicycling.com/f41/my-build-thread-19099.html

    BTW: thanks for asking the HT question because I had no idea what it was either.
     
  12. betacrash

    betacrash New Member

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    well, i pulled the plug yesterday and ordered a motor kit from bikeberry. i hope i made a good decision. it is a flying dragon or some firework name like that. the total cost came to $180. the 6 month warranty was appealing. now i need to get a bike. i am awaiting to hear opinions about the 7 speed models and how to incorporate the gear selector with the throttle. thanks again guys. almost there.
     
  13. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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  14. moronic_kaos

    moronic_kaos New Member

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    Ok in regards to the Cranbrook, I have to defend it a little. It's actually a nice bike. Yea the fenders are a little cheap-o but most of the stock ones aren't meant to handle heavy vibrations (they're built for bicycles, not mopeds).

    As far as the rims go, they're not bad. They can be upgraded to 12G spokes but don't expect it to be something easily found at a bike shop. 14G spokes are considered an "upgrade" since they make the bike light-weight, which is what most bike-riders strive for. Just get the rag joint PERFECT and AS TIGHT AS POSSIBLE and the spokes won't bend or loosen much. But that's a lot easier said than done. The manic mechanic fitting would be more than worth it ($60 with Ground Shipping & includes a sprocket) to eliminate the whole sprocket-balancing process.

    There's some talk about soldering the nipples to the spokes to prevent them from getting loose. Haven't tried it myself but haven't heard any complaints.

    And the gas tank? Not sure what the issue is here but I've got the copper shut-off valve (referred to as the "old-style") and it works just fine.

    ? Shaving the rag joint?? Haven't had that issue yet... If anything it's too close to the hub for me.

    But yea, get the manic-mechanic or perhaps the HD-hub (requires respoking the wheel), which also converts your bike to a rear drum brake operable by a lever and the Sprocket is built right in.


    Oh, and regards to the chain. GET A CHAIN BREAKER! Sooo beats a hammer, screw, and vice (though its possible). They sell them in the bicycle section at walmart for $5. Get 2 of them, as they fall apart after 2 or 3 uses. I think one of the vendors has a nicer one for ~$10 or $15.

    Problems with the carb/intake fit? Found this:

    Ported Billet Intake

    Depends on the motor. Sometimes they fit, and sometimes they don't. Try the one you get first.
     
  15. BADBOOH

    BADBOOH New Member

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    I got to say, no matter what any body says, the cranbrook does look pretty good, especially considering the price, however, you get what you pay for. There is a diffrence between a $84 bike and one from $300 and up. with that said if this is your first build buying a cheaper bike might make most sense, since you can screw it all up without mesing up a really nice bike. The motorkit could always be but on another bike at a later date. And you can always add little accesories here and there until you end up with a bike you call your own. Have fun there great.
     

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