can anyone make a living with this hobby?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by TyDow, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. tyrslider

    tyrslider New Member

    Sep 26, 2008
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    Maybe I'vbe just been lucky but all my chinettes have been good runners from the start and if I get a couple thou out of a motor I'm tickled (doesn't seem uncommon). Then get a motor only replacement for $100 and do it again!

    It is not difficult to retrofit these motors w/ better bearings, balance the crank, put a real piston and rings in'em (start w/ an iron bore), etc etc. I just don't really see the value in it.

    If you wanted to race or land speed or ?, I see the point, but the value to price ratio seems best to me where it is.

    The price to value ratio is poor on dept store bikes, as far as I'm concerned. The steel frames (and some of the structiral parts, handlebars, stems seat, seatpost etc) seem to hold up, but the wheels gotta go, the headset bearings can be scary, the brakes can be an issue etc.

    The electrical lighting has been worked out by many. After I'm done focusing all my energy on a product I have in development, maybe I'll offer up a universal lighting kit w/ headlight, signals and a brake light.

    I think, w/ any business, you gotta be creative and set yourself apart. you can't expect to just start up, open your doors and have people knocking down your door to get your product.

    They can be made reliable but not w/o replacing some of the kit parts w/ better designed products that not just anyone can come up w/. I can back my bikes up w/ a labor warranty and teaching them how to adjust the chain, brakes and do simple maintenance is easy once you have already taken care of the known problems. This is a good way to gauge what kind of person you are dealing w/ as well.

    I should also think that someone who has no mechanical ability is not typically (there are exceptions and they prove the rule) is not a very seasoned bike rider and therefore not a great candidate for an mb.

    There seems to be a bit of a myth about where people think, I'm not a very good bike rider but because these have a motor, I could ride one. These folks are a REAL potential liability. Be exclusive, be choosy, have standards for your customers. I think that is more likely to pay off (w/ much hard work, good marketing, service, etc) than just selling as many wally worlds as you can to people who shouldn't have a bicycle let alone an mb.

    That's my take!
  2. Creative Engineering

    Sep 20, 2008
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    And you are certainly right tyrslider!

  3. leftywoody

    leftywoody New Member

    Aug 23, 2008
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    My late father-in-law told me a true story about when he was a very young man and working his way through college . He was studying to be an accountant . And he wanted to be self employed . He asked his boss , Will I be successful ? , his boss replied , It all depends on the woman you marry .... How true .
  4. DEATH4OF4

    DEATH4OF4 New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Yes Lots Of Paperwork And Then Every One And There Grandma Has One And Then Some People Will End Up Wrecking It For Everyone Else, I Haven't Had Any Problems With The Law Here..yet. But I Will Build Them For Friends. They Sell For Like 600 Or 700 $ On Line.its Harder To Fine Good Bikes To Install Them On With Little Modification,but I Suppose If You Look You Could Find Some Bikes That's Are Not Garbage. The Kits Are Easy To Install A Six Pack And There Done. You Would Also Have To Tell Them How To Break The Motor In The Right Way Cuz A Lot Of Them Just Want To Get On And Hit 35 Right Away. Could You Imagine Breaking Them Before You Sell Them...that May Take Awhile,but You Would Know The Kits Good.I'd Hate Selling Junk.
    #64 DEATH4OF4, Mar 28, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  5. FlyJSH

    FlyJSH New Member

    Feb 10, 2009
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    ABSOLUTELY! I lived in Key West for a few years. All the tourists there rented those 150cc wanna-be-Vespa. How hard could it be? It isn't like it's a REAL motorcycle. SO off they went in a swimsuit and flip-flops. Seemed like everyday I saw one of the dopes catching some nice road rash.

    Jun 25, 2008
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    Some sound advice. This thread should demonstrate what happens when you sell to fools
  7. commander

    commander New Member

    Mar 19, 2009
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    totally agree, you can make some xtra cash by building these MB, but to rely solely on there sales to make a living I think would be wrong thinking.

    I have seen a site where I could buy 10 - 80cc motor bike kits for $1000. I almost bit even though I have only built one bike so far , cause as a consumer I feel these bikes could easily sell themselves. I wouldn't get into fancy builds either. Just simple 70 dollar walmart bikes that a motor would install on easily and then add my inexpensive 100 dollar motor and then sell the whole thing for 270 dollars. the whole build prolly would take less than 1 hour to do . so the profit would be exactly 100 dollars . So my thinking was if I got those 10 engines I could easily double my money. with about 10-15 hours labor and the rest of the time would be in locating buyers.

    @270 dollars per bike my thoughts were they would be easy to sell, but then I talked to a lawyer friend and he kinda convinced me about maybe some liabilities and insurance blah blah . So i gave up the dream . lol But I still believe a guy doing these builds for friends and what not you could make some xtra retirement cash.

    Oh and one last thing , I would only sell them as -is with out any warranty . take it for a short ride , if you like it you buy it and that would be the end of the sale. just like if you purchased a used car . same type of sale.

    Jun 25, 2008
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    Hi Guys,

    Have been considering the sale of Website & Business to a US buyer. Have posted it here as I'd like the buyer to be someone who has knowledge of this business and can be trusted with the name we have strived to build. My reason for considering the sale, is quite frankly due to geographics. Its plain that despite our efforts and success to date in the UK, the business has far more growth potential in the US.

    Asking price of $6000 has been calculated on 30% of total income generated to date. This would include the whole shebang, customer database, domains, hosting etc etc.

    Here are the stats of the website to date since its inception in August 2008

    * 15,637

    * 73,349
    Page Views

    * 4.69

    * 33.14%
    Bounce Rate

    * 00:03:36
    Avg. Time on Site

    * 72.95%
    % New Visits

    Will disclose financials etc under confidentialilty with serious buyers. Have already consulted our domain and host provider and they have said its simply a case of informing them of the buyers details and they'll switch everything over.

    Please contact [email protected] if interested. Offers welcome (reasonable ones)

    Hopefully Cruiser will consent to switching the forum tag too..flg.
  9. eDJ

    eDJ New Member

    Jul 8, 2008
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    The more I think about it the more I figure the young guys here in their 20's could
    just sell their service and knowledge of these motors and make a little money doing installations
    & maintenance on peoples bikes. Where i live we call it a "Shade Tree Mechanic" business but most
    "established" businesses will call it being a "Fly By Night" operation. But if you're a young guy
    and have some of the special tools for working on these HT's and have learned most of the
    common problems these motors have you could probably do this. Even helping your customer
    buy their kit from a good seller who offers some warrenty is a service of value to them.

    I'd suggest these policies: 1) only working with customers who started with YOU, from you
    helping them get their warrented kit from a quality seller. 2)If they have motor problems later,
    avoid doing extensive motor or overhauls by telling them it's cheaper for them to just buy a replacement motor that you can install quickly for them. (it's easier money with less headaches
    for you) 3) Ride your motorbike a lot so people will come to believe it is a dependable proposition
    and may consider hiring your service. 4) Consider keeping a few spare parts, the CDI box, fuel
    tank, muffler, sprockets in different sizes, chain, a throttle grip with kill switch, spark plugs, etc
    would be worth keeping to sell for a flat fee that includes your installing it. Your following will
    realize your value to them (and you'll be able to make money on this) when you can quickly get
    them back on the road and saving gas money.

    Of course if I knew at 18 what I know today about promoting a shade tree "nich" business
    I'd have made so much more money. But working out of your hat and living hand to mouth
    is fine when you're a kid with little more than kid ambitions.

    Even Andy Granatelli, who made STP famous, started out doing simple mechanical services
    as a boy for whatever people would pay him.
  10. Hill of Beans

    Hill of Beans New Member

    Dec 22, 2008
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    I'm guessing that you are a very talented and resourseful younger man. Your posts tell me so. Never forget your kiddish ambitions. Truth is, they are untainted by mostly harsh realities, and best realized by putting the adult aside. Your strategy is well thought out, though far from original. Many posts from others tell me so. So many factors to consider without even considering luck. But most of all, don't expect your inspired and knowledgeable enthusiasm to be contagious.
    Always look forward to your innovative postings, and works in progress.
    Want an MB challenge?? Send me a PM.
    Tom Hill

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