Greetings! Looking for advice on cross country setup.

Jacob Cammack

New Member
Jul 5, 2018
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0
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Hello,

Brand new here and happy to find ya'll. I'm wanting to get setup on a motorized bicycle. Been a bicyclist for a long time, as well as a pedicab driver and was about to buy a motorcycle for some upcoming travels and then thought... "Hey... a motorized bike doesn't need to be licensed, is way cheaper, and gets way better gas millage." I'm a bare bones minimalist who likes to keep it simple.

So here's what I'm looking for and some questions I have:

1) What's the best motor I can get? From some preliminary research I'm hearing that there's some issues with the consistency of reliability of build from the chinese kits. Sounds like it's possible to do a bunch of modifications but I'd prefer potentially to just not buy crap from the start. I don't need anything fancy (like I said... I'm a minimalist), just best bang for your buck.

2) Also... being new to all things motors... I need to understand what would be best for a cross country setup. More cc's I'm guessing and perhaps some other modifications. I will be in the mountains probably so elevation change will happen.

3) I'm all about buying used. Anyone have any advice on best places to look and what to look out for? Bad idea?

4) Safety issues, other considerations when travelling across the country? I'd prefer not to be overwhelmed by the sound of bike ideally. Anyone do mufflers of any sort? :) I will be tra

5) I'm open to cannibalizing the engines of other machinery but only if there's a good reason to. As pumped as I am to learn all things motors, I also just wanna get er done.

6) Advice on best setup for the bicycle itself? I'm sure it's all about comfortability and solid/safe setup in the end but I thought I'd throw this out there.

Thanks! That's enough for now. If you think of other considerations I've missed, please throw them out there. I'm just wanting the best bang for my buck bare bones "get er done" awesome setup possible. Gonna be leaving Lincoln, Nebraska and heading to Wyoming on July 20th so don't have a lot of time. From there I head to Montana.

-Jacob
 

Chaz

Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2012
1,004
69
48
Vancouver, British Columbia
I don't think you will have enough time to buy, assemble, and be able to trouble shoot the problems that will come up. If you can find a good used bike locally that was built by someone who really knows their stuff, then maybe. I can't imagine going that distance without having some problems along the way. You would need to carry some spare parts and a decent set of tools, etc.

I don't mean to be a downer and I really wish you the best of luck. You asked for opinions and so I gave you mine to help you avoid some headaches.
 

dogcatcher

Active Member
Nov 11, 2016
229
181
43
Texas
I agree your time frame is way too short to be ready with a start to finish build. An option might be to find someone local that has one for sale, and has enough experience to "educate" you on what all can happen on trip like this. First you are going have to be a self sufficient mechanic, both for the bike and the motor. The bike shouldn't be the problem, but these motors can be a new experience even for an expert small engine mechanic.

I would also suggest a support source, someone that can overnight ship anything and everything that can and will go wrong. Either a vehicle crew that follows you or someone that can express mail you stuff.
 

Venice Motor Bikes

Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles
Mar 20, 2008
6,611
419
83
Los Angeles, CA.
I'm not sure a 'first time builder' motorized bicycle is your best bet for travelling cross country!!
I've been building these for over 11 years & I wouldn't trust one out in the middle of nowhere!
 

dogcatcher

Active Member
Nov 11, 2016
229
181
43
Texas
I suggest you research the story of "The George A. Wyman Centennial Recreation Ride", it was a reenactment of the first motorcycle ride across America. It will give you a lot of ideas on how to handle us naysayers.

My thoughts, it could be done, even on this short notice, but it could be a great experience or it could be the biggest train wreck of your life. I am retired, as is my wife, our only regulated schedule is our Doctor's appointments. I would build my bicycle, get to know every nut and bolt on the entire machine. I would have a complete collection of spare parts for the bicycle and the engine so that if I had to I could build a new bike on the side of the road. I would take my time, riding a max of 6 hours a day at the max of 20 MPH. While I am on the bike, my wife would be in our pickup with all of the support gear, including parts, gas and oil and tools.

Without knowing your exact destination, I chose Cheyenne as the end of the ride, from Lincoln to Cheyenne according to Google map that is about a 40 hour ride on a regular bicycle. That is riding time, add time for flats, and you will have a few of them. Toilet stops, you have to stay hydrated, so you can plan on a few of them every day.

Bike, buy an off the shelf cruiser from Walmart, because if you need a replacement there are Walmarts all over the place. Motor, I am going the easy way on this one, the Monster 80 from Gas Bike, basically a Harbor Freight motor kit. But 2 of them, one for your spare parts kits. Extra tires, Kevlar and flat resistant tubes, a hand pump and a CO2 inflator. An oil change kit, you will want to change the oil as recommended by the manufacturer, that is by hours not miles. There are a lot more things, but this will get you started on the logistics of this kind of trip.
 

Echobay

New Member
Jul 16, 2018
13
0
1
61
I disagree with almost everything you heard. First off, these are Chinese 2 stroke people, putting engines on single speed bicycles.
Secondly, if you are a road bike tourist with experience, that's the last thing you want. Mid engine chinese 2 stroke are noisy eare embarrassments. They are neither pedal assist motorized bicycles nor motocycles.
Ideally you find a paratrooper bike that folds. A Honda ghx50 friction drive kit.
Maxxis hookworm tires.
Bikepacking bags as cheap as.possible.
This set up is ready to go in 2 hours.
Allows durability and reliability. Can be broken down and put on a bus in an hour.
 

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Jacob Cammack

New Member
Jul 5, 2018
6
0
1
40
I don't think you will have enough time to buy, assemble, and be able to trouble shoot the problems that will come up. If you can find a good used bike locally that was built by someone who really knows their stuff, then maybe. I can't imagine going that distance without having some problems along the way. You would need to carry some spare parts and a decent set of tools, etc.

I don't mean to be a downer and I really wish you the best of luck. You asked for opinions and so I gave you mine to help you avoid some headaches.
you're not being a downer at all! i really appreciate you taking the time to respond. i did ask for opinions and that's exactly what i was looking for. i've decided for now to keep to my classic life choice... hitchhiking. super fun... meet a lot of people... etc. thinking i might buy a small motorcycle at somepoint. seems a better way to go for long trips overall.

thanks again! -jacob
 

Jacob Cammack

New Member
Jul 5, 2018
6
0
1
40
I agree your time frame is way too short to be ready with a start to finish build. An option might be to find someone local that has one for sale, and has enough experience to "educate" you on what all can happen on trip like this. First you are going have to be a self sufficient mechanic, both for the bike and the motor. The bike shouldn't be the problem, but these motors can be a new experience even for an expert small engine mechanic.

I would also suggest a support source, someone that can overnight ship anything and everything that can and will go wrong. Either a vehicle crew that follows you or someone that can express mail you stuff.
thanks for the heads up on how tricky these motors can be. i've decided to wait for now and just enjoy being on foot as i used to do a lot. very enjoyable. i might revisit this again and if so, maybe just get a small motorcycle. peace and blessings, jacob
 

Jacob Cammack

New Member
Jul 5, 2018
6
0
1
40
I suggest you research the story of "The George A. Wyman Centennial Recreation Ride", it was a reenactment of the first motorcycle ride across America. It will give you a lot of ideas on how to handle us naysayers.

My thoughts, it could be done, even on this short notice, but it could be a great experience or it could be the biggest train wreck of your life. I am retired, as is my wife, our only regulated schedule is our Doctor's appointments. I would build my bicycle, get to know every nut and bolt on the entire machine. I would have a complete collection of spare parts for the bicycle and the engine so that if I had to I could build a new bike on the side of the road. I would take my time, riding a max of 6 hours a day at the max of 20 MPH. While I am on the bike, my wife would be in our pickup with all of the support gear, including parts, gas and oil and tools.

Without knowing your exact destination, I chose Cheyenne as the end of the ride, from Lincoln to Cheyenne according to Google map that is about a 40 hour ride on a regular bicycle. That is riding time, add time for flats, and you will have a few of them. Toilet stops, you have to stay hydrated, so you can plan on a few of them every day.

Bike, buy an off the shelf cruiser from Walmart, because if you need a replacement there are Walmarts all over the place. Motor, I am going the easy way on this one, the Monster 80 from Gas Bike, basically a Harbor Freight motor kit. But 2 of them, one for your spare parts kits. Extra tires, Kevlar and flat resistant tubes, a hand pump and a CO2 inflator. An oil change kit, you will want to change the oil as recommended by the manufacturer, that is by hours not miles. There are a lot more things, but this will get you started on the logistics of this kind of trip.
thanks for all of your great advice. good to know flats are something that can happen often and how fast, etc. for now i've decided to pass on doing all this. might revisit it again sometime in the future. a small motorcycle is looking like not a bad idea too. peace, jacob
 

Jacob Cammack

New Member
Jul 5, 2018
6
0
1
40
I disagree with almost everything you heard. First off, these are Chinese 2 stroke people, putting engines on single speed bicycles.
Secondly, if you are a road bike tourist with experience, that's the last thing you want. Mid engine chinese 2 stroke are noisy eare embarrassments. They are neither pedal assist motorized bicycles nor motocycles.
Ideally you find a paratrooper bike that folds. A Honda ghx50 friction drive kit.
Maxxis hookworm tires.
Bikepacking bags as cheap as.possible.
This set up is ready to go in 2 hours.
Allows durability and reliability. Can be broken down and put on a bus in an hour.
this looks pretty cool. i like the idea of bagging it up. i'm passing on doing this for now. just gonna go on foot and hitchhike. very enjoyable. might revisit it again in the future. i don't know. a motorcycle sounds pretty awesome too. also just taking a regular bicycle and hitchhiking/riding when i want to. thanks for your help and for bringing this sort of option to my attention. i appreciate it. peace, jacob
 

Echobay

New Member
Jul 16, 2018
13
0
1
61
this looks pretty cool. i like the idea of bagging it up. i'm passing on doing this for now. just gonna go on foot and hitchhike. very enjoyable. might revisit it again in the future. i don't know. a motorcycle sounds pretty awesome too. also just taking a regular bicycle and hitchhiking/riding when i want to. thanks for your help and for bringing this sort of option to my attention. i appreciate it. peace, jacob
I suggest you take a look at and follow Bicycle Touring Pro on Youtube. For 18 years he has toured the world. Most recently he toured the pacific coast. We all tend to embrace bike tourist more so than hitchhikers. He is the living example of an envious life. Darren Alff is his name, he is currently in Eastern Europe. Remember a ftiction drive motor can be added to your new bike in abour 30 minutes. ....lol
 

dogcatcher

Active Member
Nov 11, 2016
229
181
43
Texas
While you are studying the Bicycle Touring Pro, also do a Google of bike and motorcycle trips on your proposed route of travel. There are quite a few blogs out there that other bike riders have written about their travels across America. A of of tips and ideas of what can and does happen in some of the greatest places and some real dumps.

Some of the motorcycle trips are interesting in that you will find blogs about a person that is riding a cruiser, and the next one might be riding a street legal dirt big hauling his camping gear in saddle bags. But the good blogs share the tips and tricks of having an enjoyable trip.