Friction drives , a review of a few

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by u2smile, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. u2smile

    u2smile New Member

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    Hi all!
    I have been meaning to put this up for sometime.

    There are good drives and bad ones, funny some of those considered good are not.

    I will cover Livefast, staton, viper, zipper, dimension edge and the generic china kit.

    I will be posting pix with each review, as I am able.

    Ride well!
    Blake
     
  2. u2smile

    u2smile New Member

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    I will start with my latest buy.
    A staton kit, very poorly made with chinese bearings one of which squealed from the get go.

    They offer a large gas tank to fit on top of the channel,
    on the site it is shown mounted on the channel, BUT not on a bike, they also state that the kits come with the mounting hole predrilled... it was not

    The reason that the tank is not shown on a bike is that the tank is so tall that the seat would be far to high to ride.

    The channel is very short placing the engine right under the seat

    His site askes you what engine you plan to use so that you will be sent the right throttle cable, they sent me a cable that fits nothing I own, I have a lot of engines and kits.

    Having contacted staton to find out why he sold me a wreck, he was disinterested and rude offering no explaination or replacment of the bearing or throttle cable.

    The mount to the bike is the standard trashware bent u shape that will warp over time from the engine weight.

    Overall a very poor kit, little better than a chinese kit.
    I had expected better from an American made kit.
     
  3. u2smile

    u2smile New Member

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    The Viper kit is an odd mix of the very good and the confused.
    It has the an excellant mounting the channel is steel and long placing the engine far back a good thing for sound and acting like a fender ( the staton kit is so short that when I rode it in the rain the tire threw h2o up my back)

    They use a bridgestone engine of 48cc, though there are no spare parts for it and even the maker does not claim the engine on their site. Why they use this engine???

    It comes with a twist throttle. the bearings are mounted in cups that then bolt to the channel, a good thing for a person without a press.

    The bad in this kit is the company has changed hands 3 times and they are a mess to call up and ask anything of. I have one of their earlier kits an alum channel one bearing support a 52 mm clutch, very poor the channel warped fro m engine wieght, I called then to get more springs for the clutch, they said they did not have them.

    But would sell me the whole clutch, I asked for a pix of the clutch and rcvd nothing, called a few days later just to go and buy the clutch. They told me they sold them all that day to someone on ebay. Not real good in the customer service dept.

    I'd buy another of these, knowing that there are no parts or support a one shot deal.
    The bridgestone engine was a dream until it blew, but wow instant power at the twist.
    I will post pix of their mount as it is perfect.
     
  4. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Interesting good to know. I have a old KS bike machine motor friction drive. I should cherish it as it is a cast frame magnesium I think made back in the 50's,60's. Thanks for posting this...............Curt
     
  5. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Have you seen the plans for Carr Precision conversion kit 2 ? citi-sportier posted it in DIY........Curt
     
  6. Albula vulpes

    Albula vulpes New Member

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    If anyone has a review of Roadbugmotors.com friction drive, I would be interested to find out if it is made like its precursor the BMP. Thanks
     
  7. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    Wow, that's not my experience. I have a staton kit with a tanaka 33 on it and it has been solid.

    The mounting bracket is awesome. The bearings have never been a problem.

    You sound a little bitter, it may be clouding your judgement.

    Did you specify which engine you were going to mount to the kit? The throttle cable that came with my kit has fit 2 engines without any problems. I ride a 20 mile commute to work and back and the never had a problem with it.

    His site documents the mounting procedure very well and provides many pictures. I am not mechanically inclined and I mounted the kit and have been riding it since last October without any problems.

    It has been solid! Spend some time on this site and you quickly realize how poorly made most china girl mounting kits are. It takes skill to mount a china girl and get it aligned and running properly. I bought a Staton friction drive because I didn't want to tinker, I just wanted to ride. That is exactly what I have done.

    Time to get ready to work and head out on my Staton equipped Phatcruiser.


    How did you ride the Staton kit in the rain? Friction drive doesn't work in the rain. I smell a rat.
     
    #7 phatcruiser, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  8. Albula vulpes

    Albula vulpes New Member

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    I've had a staton chain drive gearbox and it did have china bearings in it. They were not the problem though.


    Here is a review of what I've had on friction drives:

    BMP: Good quality craftsmanship. Made a rattle though in the clutch bell drum on acceleration.

    ThatsDax: Average quality craftsmanship. Clutch bell drum was made of a less expensive metal than the BMP, but the clutch grabbed it better.

    Roadbugmotors right now sounds like to me the way to go. I've not had one though.
     
  9. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    Just because a bearing is made in China doesn't mean that they are crap.

    My clutch bell rattles but it doesn't bother me.
     
  10. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Ugh! Now I have "Ring my bell" by Anita Ward going through my head...
     
  11. Albula vulpes

    Albula vulpes New Member

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    The China bearings in the staton gearbox were the only thing that survived. It was engineered poorly. It was one of his older gearboxes though.
     
  12. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    I am sorry to hear that. If I lived in place that had seasons I probably wouldn't have a friction drive.

    I would like to try a chain kit. What are you running now?
     
  13. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    I really like the trek with the tanaka. It is a sweet ride. Both rides are real nice. It takes skill to build those. Impressive.
     
  14. UP Rider

    UP Rider New Member

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    I beg to differ, but friction does too work in the rain, I know it does,
    just not as well as dry.

    33 miles round trip per day, 6 days a week, every day above 35 degrees.
     
  15. Albula vulpes

    Albula vulpes New Member

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    Friction drives work well in the rain/wet when new. It is after you own them for a while and the metal drive roller wears down, that is when they don't work too well in the rain.
     
  16. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    If I ride thru any water on the road my friction drive spins out. Plus i live in an extremely hilly area and wet roads will kill any momentum while going up hill. I avoid water like a whore does church.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
     
  17. UP Rider

    UP Rider New Member

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    Knurled roller ? Unknown I haven't ever used one

    Spline ? yeah that is one that I have and it works quite well when wet. But, like I said not as good as dry. Neither, I would guess, would a belt drive.

    Just an observation on my part mind you

    UP Rider

    usflg
     
    #18 UP Rider, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  18. lowracer

    lowracer New Member

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    I've owned both the Dax units and the BMP (now Roadbug, same kit). They both performed well. The trick to rid excess clutch bell noises is with engine mounting. You can loosen the bolts and twist the engine slightly to fine tune its positioning. Also, the included engine to channel spacers may not be the optimum length for every engine & getting the engines clutch positioned the correct distance from the bell is important. Of the two I've owned I'd have to say the BMP/Roadbug is a better quality build, but the Dax offers a larger roller (1.5") for more top speed applications provided the engine you choose can pull the taller gear ratio.
    FYI, friction drives don't do well in the rain (or any wet spots on the road)...
    -Lowracer-
     

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