Home built start tips nedeed?

rgvkid

New Member
Sep 21, 2008
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Los Angeles,CA
I Live In Los Angeles and Im interested in building a Motorized bicycle for my work commute. My truck cost me $10 gas round trip, Bus $1 but to long. The first 10 miles are a pretty straight level shot from work, aside for one overpass, but the last 3 are over a pretty steep hill. I'd like to ride the bike up to the base of the hill then catch the bus over the hill. If i take the bus the whole way home It side tracks and i have to catch a transfer.

What would be a good recommended setup for a home build? I'd like to go with a full suspension setup but im not sure which motors are the strongest to get me over some inclines and keep me at a decent MPH. I'd like to stay within a $200 range for the motor setup. There are tons of yard sales here so I don't think i will have a hard time finding a bike for under $40 and Craigslist is on my computers favorite list. I don't mind buying used either, what ever it takes to save a buck but the more power the better i would think.

Also, i would like to keep the noise level down, im not a big fan of the guys whom you can hear coming from 2 blocks away and 3blocks after they have already passed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You

Oh Yah, I do custom metal work and I am very mechanically inclined.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
If you are tied to full suspension I recommend a 31cc ryobi weed whacker mounted on the front of the bike. Rear mount is a pain I just tried to get on working for two weeks. every time you move the throttle cable changes length.

31 cc if you don't mind pedaling some will work pretty well.

If you go with a hard tail bike, I would say a 42 cc chainsaw is a good engine to use. I haven't thoroughly tested mine yet but I am very impressed so far with what I have done.

Let me know if I can help. In all fairness I should add that you can buy a china kit for 200 bucks.
 
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Spikedfox

New Member
Sep 14, 2008
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Im pretty sure he will get in trouble with a china kit in california, epa restrictionsa on 2stroke engines
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
I didn't think but you are probably right. Maybe he can get hold of one of those new four stroke weed whackers.
 
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rgvkid

New Member
Sep 21, 2008
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Los Angeles,CA
Thanks, i think im going to go with a hard tail and just setup a soft seat.

Whats the difference in the small 2 stroke motors and 4 stroke motors? another concern is the noise factor. can the 2 stroke chainsaw motors be baffled without losing to much of the power?

Also, are there any other suggestions for motors above 42cc?
 

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
My Ryobi is California compliant. FOr lawn work, I'm not sure for the roads.

IF you are looking for cheap and reliable (once you work the bugs out) a WW is the way to go. depending on how steep those hills are the ww may be able to pull you up them. Mine is almost able to pull the hills even with my fat butt on it. Your weight will be the main limiting factor with a friction drive. And you will pedal somewhat. I don't pedal hardly at all except for the start up, major hills and when I'm trying to keep my speed a constant.

A WW I'm sure can be muffled with a scooter pipe, but I have yet to try it. I took a look at the GoPed that I have in the garage and the ryobi and the size and shape of the exhaust port is the same. So I'm thinking if I work it right I'll be able to get one of those fancy goped pipes and really quiet it down. Right now that is the only draw back of the WW is that it is a little on the loud side, course I also drilled a couple of small holes in the exhaust.....

Also a WW is so small you could conceal it easily. The ryobi I have weighs just a few pounds, I've got it on what I call "quick release" 3 screws hole it to the frame, the extended kill switch plugs in via an earphone jack and I can disconnect the throttle in about 2 seconds. You could easily set it up so that the ww is inside a crate, basket or some sort of frame work. There is a thread somewhere- possibly the other forum (ick) about just that. Anyway if you put 2 milk crates one on either side like saddle bags, you could pretty well hide the WW. OF course the noise is going to be the issue.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
Like shoes I drilled all my mufflers except the 42cc chainsaw. Now it may just be me but I think the 42cc chainsaw is much quieter than any motorcycle on the block. It is a gasoline engine you are going to have noise from any of them. It's just how much is acceptable to you.

I paid $35 bucks for my 42cc engine on ebay and it needed nothing but some case modifications to work on my bike. I did have to get my neighbor to weld the clutch nut onto a drive wheel for me.

I will try to hill test the 42cc today so that I can give you a hill climbing opinion about it.

Shoes talks about pedaling to keep the speed up but I can't do that my bike has the chain ring from a 20" bike so I can't catch up to the motor unless it is on a big hill. I do have to pedal mine on long or steep hills. Not the 42cc yet but I haven't put it on the big ones yet either.

I need to do some more work on the clutch then I will test it. If I can get that done today I will have an answer for you.
 

rgvkid

New Member
Sep 21, 2008
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Los Angeles,CA
Great, Thanks Guys. not sure what a WW is but i will do a search.

I think my only concerns with a friction would be tire wear and the fact that its side mounted. Are the motors that are mounted on over the rear wheel better for the bikes balanceing point.

I look forward to your test Deacon, I way about 145lbs. so I think i should do okay for the farely not to steep hills.

One other question. What is the difference between a Ryobi like motor and the motors that are set in between the frame rails with the long cylinder, like the Expedite 60cc which is sold by ThatsDax? Like the bike in the pic posted.
 

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deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
Ah you do need help...

The two stroke in the photo is from the china kit. Cost between 150 and 200 for the kit. You can do what you want including climbing that hill on the way to work with one of those. I have no idea if you will get stopped by the smog police or not. Possibly you will.

A WW is a weed whacker They come in all sizes both 2 and 4 stroke these days. What most of us (who build with them) are doing is buying them is buying them used for about twenty to thirty bucks. The ryobi is a brand of weed whacker also they make engines for several other brands. You want to get at least 30cc I think.

Most of those are mounted on the side and the drive wheel hangs over the tire held down by a spring. In do it yourself you literally have to do it yourself. Build your engine frame and everything else you need to do.

DYI motor bike/ bicycle booklet email delivery - eBay (item 230293979780 end time Sep-29-08 10:31:37 PDT)

That is a complete set of plans for a do it yourself motor bike using the the weed whacker.... I think they are great 1st bike plans if you are not going to use a kit. However I have to warn you they are my plans. I am not trying to sell you plans. I will be happy to help you along the way to build yours it isn't hard.

I spend all day testing the 42cc chainsaw bike today. The results are here http://motorbicycling.com/f36/ridin-diy-3557.html the last entry except I am about to make a new entry now on a different bike which is the 31cc WW bike built with the design in the plans and the one I recommend for a first bike.
 

rgvkid

New Member
Sep 21, 2008
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Los Angeles,CA
Great Deacon, thanks for the advise. Duh! WW= Weed Wacker, My Bad. I just stumbled upon this site within the last few days looking for an alternative way home and now im like a sponge. Thanks for the plans link, I don't see anything wrong with making a buck doing what you love.

I looked in the WW and so far have only found at most 30cc. I would like to go with at least 40cc but there isn't much in the local craigslist that aren't under $75. I'll keep the search on and touch base once I get some leads.

Thanks again.
 

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
With you weighing in at 145 you probably don't need much more that 31 cc- I weigh 200 and the 31cc hauls me around pretty easily between 15 and 19 mph on flats, I imagine if I weighed as little as you I'd be reaching 20-25mph on flats with ease.

What kind of bike are you planning on putting this on? IF you're using a fixed speed road bike I'd think you'd cruise like crazy. I keep thinking that a road bike with go almost too fast with a friction drive on it. Those little tires scare the bejesus out of me. I'm getting my speeds on a fixed speed cruiser. I have it geared pretty high so I can help my speed out with pedaling, and for exercise....

I've gotten most of my WW for around $20 to $35, I even scored one for free. You have to be patient though and wait them out. One thing I like to do is email myself the ads, wait a week or two and send them a little note asking if its still for sale and make them a lowball offer and see what you get. You never know.

In terms of balance, you don't notice the difference that much, It's only 4 to 6 pounds hanging off the side- hang something weighted off the side of your bike and take a spin, that little weight you'll barely notice it. IF you chop the housing up and off you'll end up with a half pound or so less.

you can be a lot less concerned with weight with these becuase you've got the motor pushing you. I remember back when i was MTBing regularly and every one was concerned with how much their bike weighed, lighter tires, tubes, alloy water bottle rack, alloy bar ends, ultralight this and that. You can go insane with all that crap until it's past the point of return.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
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north carolina
I think if you want more than 31cc or so WW won't do it. You need to look to a chainsaw and that weighs more. Anything heavier than a WW I would put on the back of the bike.

I weight 210 and like shoes says it pushes me around just fine. I don't have a speedometer on the friction bikes but it's plenty fast for me on the flat. I have never opened up the chainsaw 42 on the flats. Heck I haven't even gotten it open going up hill. It begins to skip and race after a while.

All in all the WW is the best small bike helper build. We aren't building motor bikes here as much as motor assisted bicycles. The china kit is closer to a motor bike than the Ones I build.

The instruction thing is like this, I began building WW bikes because I saw a need for simple easy to build motor assisted bikes for us old guys who just need to run to the store or to the bank. Believe it or not I spent about 4oo bucks developing the 31cc motor assisted bike that I now recommend.

The ebay thing is just to get my money back if possible when I do I will give the instructions away on my blog. If the interest dies down on ebay before then I will still give them away. Right now people still have an interest but people from here have access to all that is there just by asking.

When I started working with these bikes I knew from nothing and all the bits and pieces around were just that bits and pieces. You could see a video or see a picture but there was no information on how to do it around.

The WW bikes I saw were chains mostly and not suitable for the average guy to build. I planned for my design to be built without special tools or skills. My first successful design was great except it had no provision for a clutch of any kind. Pedal to start it brake and choke it off to stop it. A seventy year old guy stopped at the foot of even a small hill was going to have a problem with that.

Anyway thats why you can get all the information you need from me if I have it. If not someone here will have it. Most of the old timers remember me with the first few bikes I build with WW. I threw away at least three perfectly good engines because I was ignorant. I learned from those mistakes and now I explain to people who ask how to use the engines. Get Ilikeabike to tell you how many posts there are around here of my failures. Tons believe me.

Anyway we like to help so ask anything
 
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comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
Yes the great thing about the WW and chainsaw builds is the lack of special tools, a dremel or hack saw, hand drill, some pliers and assorted hand tools area bout all you need for one of these things. I believe that with the tools I've had for years I could have built any of these bikes in any of the apartments I've lived in easily. The best part about them in how darn small they are.

You build a simple frame and hang the motor on it. then you fiddle with it to get it just right. then your a DIY addict and pretty soon your scoping out clist for more engines and more cheap bikes to build with and pretty soon you have too many bikes and your significant other either loves it or leave it..... JUst kidding on that last part... My significant other encourages me to have a hobby.:p