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Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Neph, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Neph

    Neph New Member

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    and I need help from top to bottom.

    ok, here's the situation: I've got a pretty good chance at getting a job. I've been out of work for quite a while due to some poor choices in fields, so this i a godsend. only problem is, it's 15 miles away- too far to walk. checked the bus routes, they're no help either. I'm out in Kansas, and I've got a budget of around $250 to try to get transport. I've been wanting to build a motorbycicle for a long time, due to disagreeing with cars on issues of safety. to me, this seem like the perfect time- right when I need transport the most.

    so, first question: is this even a good idea? my mom doesn't seem to think so. I told her a lot of people use it elsewhere in the country, and I've even seen a gas-powered around town before, but she seems to think that "that's all well and good where they live- where they tolerate that kinda thing... but here, people will hit you just on principal!" ok, I admit there's safety concerns, and honestly there's also the issues of reliability and complexity- I've done some mechanical things before, but grease monkey, I'm not.

    second question, tying in with the first: is it even possible to come in around budget? I've got some friends in the area, and can borrow some small amounts, but nothing huge. a quick net search gave me King's motors with an engine at $160 and amazon with a bike at $108, putting me just overbudget at $268, although I'm sure I can try to find a bike cheaper locally.

    on the other hand, this site says buyer bewared with the chinise stuff... I'm sure it'd work until I get enough paychecks to upgrade, with regular maintenance, right?

    edit: question three: is it legal? the links over in the legal section are dead...
     
    #1 Neph, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  2. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Legal? Only your BMV/DMV will say for sure...
    The Chinese bikes can be made very reliable, however you are going to have to be somewhat mechanically inclined.
    Finally, you can lower that amount by looking on ebay for a slightly cheaper kit, and getting a used bike from Craigslist, or even a cheaper wartmart bike.
     
  3. JonnyR

    JonnyR New Member

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    welcome to the forum alot of people like the walmart cranbrook as a bike its under 100 but you can find a cheaper bike on creagslist

    as far as cheap kits go unless you have good mechanical skills i dont know how satisfied you will be having to go 15 miles each way on one of them it can be done but it takes alot of tinkering to make it perfict to do that on a regular basis

    i would look into a 4 stroke kit if you cant afford it used local 4 stroke motor like a briggs and stratton can be adapted from a snow blower,tiller, water pump,string trimmer any real engine that you can get can be adapted for this and a 4 stroke will be less tuning and fiddling with the bike as a whole if you dont have alot of skills in that area yet
     
  4. lksdG2

    lksdG2 New Member

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    hey, i found a kit locally because i was too impatient to wait for shipping for $205 and a bike locally that just needed air in the tires for $30, i also found some ape hanger bars for $20, so i built a good looking bike for $255.

    when i first got it i was riding it to work 11 miles each way a few days a week and it definately needed some tinkering here and there to keep her in good shape, mostly chain tensioning but ocasionally this or that would come loose. the chain ended up irritating me beyond belief as it was stretching to ungodly lengths so i tossed it and got a new one for $24.

    my bike is in its 4th life form so to speak but $279 is all ive spent other than gas and oil. i have a bunch of bikes and parts laying around though so that helped with the cost.

    anyways i think if you put your mind to it and really search for the best deal (not always the cheapest) you can stay on budget. and any problem you run into has guaranteed been encountered before and discussed on this forum so do plenty of research when something goes haywire.

    good luck.
     
  5. 2stroker

    2stroker New Member

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    If your looking for reliable transport dont go with a chain drive to much to go wrong..I personally ride friction kits. Theres a couple good ones. Stanton has a bike kit, theres the bumblebeebolton pretty simple kit, theres the dax kit. All good kits. very reliable..If you look through the post on this forum you will be able to see some of the problems you will have with a chinese kit..and some of the problems you wont have with a friction drive..
     
  6. Greybeard

    Greybeard New Member

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    Those who have built a few of these bikes have learned what is nessesary to make the somewhat reliable. Those who are noobs spend a lot of time on here asking for help. Employers don't set well with people that are late or miss work. Relying on a $250 motorbike to go 30 miles a day sounds to me like a good way to lose a job.
     
  7. Neph

    Neph New Member

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    thanks for the name- good to have a fallback in case I can't find anything local

    well, at least I know it's possible XP now if I can only pull it off...

    oh, is there a spot on this site for local sellers to advertise? it's not exactly big around here, and I'd like to try to save on shipping and possibly cut a deal by buying local...

    I'll try to find a friction drive within my price range, although I don't exactly mind having to futz with a chain every once in a while. ...just so long as that's all I have to worry about XP

    well, I'll admit, this is my first bike. and, with my background being in IT, I'm not exactly the best mechanic in the world. but these aren't exactly ferrari engines, either, and I was on the robotics team for a while... honestly, I'd like to spend more on it to get it to a reliable spot... but I don't have the cash. at this point, it's either rely on it until I get enough to upgrade it and risk losing the job due to its failure, or never have the job in the first place.

    edit: I looked at the bumblebeebolton, and immediately said "that's just perfect! unfortunately, it's a liiiittle out of my price range... for the entire bike... but now I must have it, so I'm going to try to find a way...
     
    #7 Neph, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  8. 2door

    2door Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Your mechanical abilities will determine how reliable a 2 stroke will perform for you. Those with little to no mechanical skills find it difficult to get the Chinese 2 stroke engines to perform well and be reliable. They are the ones who will tell you to go with a 4stroke friction or chain drive. Those who have the talents to make a 2 stroke perform will swear by them and recommend them for reliable daily transportation. There are many members here who have accrued thousands of miles on the "cheap, junk, Chinese kits".

    When it comes to maintenance, It doesn't take much to keep a well installed 2 stroke kit performing perfectly. It's those who don't know how to turn a wrench or posses a basic understanding of a mechanical system that will shy away from the basic Chinese in-frame engine kits and say they are poorly made junk.
    You need to analyze your talents as far as mechaincs goes and make your decision based on what you feel you're comfortable with.
    If you've never had experience with small engines the 2 stroke is simpler than the 4 stroke but requires a better understanding of internal combustion engines, drive systems and general mechanical skills. This will apply to the installation as well as the maintenance required to keep it performing.
    Any motorized bicycle, 2 or 4 stroke as well as any mechanical system will require some degree of proficiency to keep it running/performing to it's design capabilities.

    Tom
     
  9. Tyler6357

    Tyler6357 Active Member

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    I was a total rookie in my knowledge and mechanical abilities when I first got my 2 stroke china girl center mount chain drive kit off of e-bay. I already had an old 21 speed mountain bike that had been sitting in my garage for a long time unused. I can't say that I haven't had my share of problems. I have learned a great deal about how these things work since I got started with the help of the pros on this website. I wouldn't say that my mechanical abilities were too poor to figure stuff out or that I have had any problems too great for me to fix myself. However, you will spend more than you think on accessories and replacement parts. Maintenance is required, probably far more than a moped or scooter would require. You get a lot of vibration which tend to loosen screws and nuts, you must constantly tighten things up before each ride. You need to carry some basic tools with you on the road just in case. You will find that the china made 2 stroke engines come with substandard cheap made Chinese parts, like screws with poor threads, poorly made nuts, or poor welds on things like the stock exhaust pipe, etc. You will find yourself spending extra money to replace these things. In my opinion $250 is NOT enough unless you already own a bicycle to install the kit on. I would recommend that you peddle the bike to work until you get a bit more cash before you purchase your kit. Remember if you have troubles you will have to peddle that heavy engine around until you can get the problem fixed.
     
  10. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I think that if it was me and I was young, I would start out with a good multi speed pedal bike and ride it back and forth to work. Then when I had accumulated enough money I'd buy a magic pie electric motor which is super reliable and installs easily and quickly. The initial outlay for an electric bike is more, but there is virtually zero maintenance. If you could plug it in to recharge it once you got to work you're golden. The laws in most states are a lot more ebike friendly than for gas motored bikes.
    SB
     
  11. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Trying to keep my china girl running has been a chore. Still, I enjoy tinkering and this kit has allowed me to (constantly) do that. If you end up buying a Chinese frame-mount kit, be sure to immediately replace the drive chain, spark plug, and acorn nuts. The stock chains are very low-grade metal. The stock plugs, though functional, are of the lowest quality I've ever seen. The acorn nuts don't allow you to fully tighten your head to spec, not to mention the fact that they strip out with the smallest amount of force. I also recommend replacing the motor mount studs and nuts, as these are prone to bending and stripping. The stock mufflers have VERY bad welds. After the guts fell out of my muffler, I repaired the muffler internals, only to have the ENTIRE MUFFLER break off only a few days later! The stock CDI is prone to frying, so don't hook ANYTHING to the white wire. You may want to keep a spare CDI (about $10) on hand with your riding tools. Yes, you MUST have "riding tools". (A small ratchet with a 10mm socket, a pair of pliers, a multi-bit screw driver, and an adjustable wrench are the least you will need to bring) Always check and tighten all bolts before each and every ride. I think I've covered most of the basics of keeping a Chinese kit going. I haven't mentioned oil/fuel mixture, or air/fuel mixture, both of which will need to be just right.

    An easier and somewhat more reliable option is that of the friction drive kit. My first FD build cost me no more than $30 excluding fuel/oil. I bought a used Schwinn for $20, and somebody gave me an old Ryobi weed-eater for free! The other $10 was for mounting materials. I used wood for my mounting medium, and it worked great, except for some eventual cracking (after several hundred miles of riding).

    I started with a friction drive I built from a Ryobi 30cc 2 stroke weed-whacker engine. That motor ran great for about 600-700 miles worth of riding, then I broke the crank shaft due to the fact that I had a flat spot on my rim. (If you bend your driven rim on an FD bike, always repair/replace it immediately.) Until that point, the only trouble I ever had with it was a bad carb diaphragm. I've since converted three other leaf blower/weed eater motors to friction drive systems, and once again, the only troubles I've had are carb related. Carb problems are a pretty easy fix. (An entire carb rebuild kit which fits most 2-stroke carbs only costs $9.99 at Home Depot.)

    I got into MBs because I needed cheap transportation. I started last spring, and I'm still riding them to this day. I must warn you, I've had grease on my hands just about every day since then. :)

    I wish you luck on your first build, and on your potential new job.

    Happy ridin'! usflg
     

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