I need your advice on the Robin/Subaru Kit



New Member
Hey all...I just bought the EHO35 Subaru rear mount engine kit from Staton. I went with the friction drive and am wondering if that was such a great idea. I only ride roads to work with only a few medium sized hills to deal with. Does anyone have any experience with this setup? Will the friction drive really wear my tire out as quick as everyone seems to complain about? It seems that if the kit is mounted properly with correct tension on the tire and kept DRY, there shouldn't be any problem with wear. Is this just because everyone hates friction drive over chain or belt options? Also, if it turns out to actually suck, can I convert this kit to chain drive? I can fix, modify or work on anything mechanical so I guess my question should be, will it be a NIGHTMARE to convert it to chain drive? I'm second guessing my decision, I know....


New Member
Jun 28, 2008
Holly Pond, AL
From what I've experienced, the R/S 35 is best for city commuting, quieter and no oil mixing hassles, while the Tanaka type 33/future 28cc is best for wide open longer distances.

But I use GEBE belt systems, the main benefit being those important first 100-150 miles of breaking in the cylinder. With the thumb throttle, it is easy to vary the speeds for 15-30 second intervals, run through a couple of tanks of fuel.

On the R/S, I change the oil twice-after the first 50 miles, then right before handing it over to the customer, since it takes so little time/effort.

No matter if you decide to keep the friction or change over later, don't let the throttle "get in a rut" during the break-in period.

Vary those speeds, so the cylinder wall allows optimum seating, and the performance of the engine will steadily increase as you put more and more miles on it.


New Member
Jul 24, 2008
upper Pioneer Valley
if it (Staton friction drive) turns out to actually suck, can I convert this kit to chain drive? I can fix, modify or work on anything mechanical so I guess my question should be, will it be a NIGHTMARE to convert it to chain drive? I'm second guessing my decision, I know....
Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. Start with a Staton friction drive and later swap out to a belt or chain drive.

Anybody know if this can be done and what it takes?


New Member
Well, I got the EHO35 Robin/Subaru Engine kit and I've been using it for a little over a week now commuting to work. It really is a very smooth ride and idiot proof compared to the 48cc Chinese engine bike I have been using. A little slower on the pick-up speed since it's a 4-stroke but tops out around 30-35MPH.
Haven't noticed any real wear on the tire after 150 miles +, so I'm not gonna sweat it.
Still waiting to hear from anyone on switching this kit over to a chain drive.....

Ima Schwinner

New Member
Jul 21, 2008
E. Oregon
I'd love to hear from someone who's run the same Robin-Subaru motor through both the friction and chain kits. I'm really curious how much efficiency the chain kit steals from that cute little motor.

I'm happy to hear that your tire isn't showing any wear @150+ miles. Is the drive spindle still nice and sharp too? Have you had a chance to test your new setup in the rain yet?


New Member
The drive roller is fine and the system functions fine in the rain. I was really amazed when I got caught in a nasty downpour and freaked out thinking I was screwed but it still gripped the tire.
I get 20 miles out of the .65 liter tank it comes with. Not too bad, I guess. Comes out to roughly 120 miles per gallon. When I ride I have the throttle wide open a lot and I weigh 185 lbs.
I love the motor. Had to make an alteration so it would fill with gas easier. You can see it at my blog. I get about 26-28 mpg. May have gotten 30 the other day. I am GEBE belt drive.

I do not see why a transition could not happen. The patented GEBE clutch should simply bolt on to the side. Not sure you can 'convert' the kit, but you can probably replace the kit.

You picked a very good motor.

Frictions drives work very well. I preferred belt because I do long trips with lots of mountain/hill areas.

Cost wise? Tires aren't that expensive. Belts, rims and spokes have to be watched with tension belt systems.

Welcome to pocket change mobility!


Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
My first kit was the 1.6hp Robin w/Staton friction drive on my 20" Dahon bike. It was the best choice I could've made for a starter. Later, I upgraded to a 2.2hp Mitsubishi engine w/gear chain drive on the same bike. Then I moved on to a 26" Raleigh, using the friction drive(for simplicity) and Mits engine(for power).

My advice? Go for the Robin friction drive for a thousand miles first.

I have both gear chain drive and friction drive. I like friction, even though Dave Staton said I'd like gear chain drive a hundred times better.



New Member
Aug 3, 2008
I rode a friction drive setup many miles on dirt roads and never had any signs of tire wear, so I would keep an eye on it but not worry too much.


New Member
Aug 13, 2009
Northern California
Hi everyone...Also a newbee here...I have a special need...I want to motorize a bicycle I can use on back roads where I go flyfishing...Sometimes dirt sometimes gravel....I need as much power as possible since sometimes I am climbing out of canyons...I weight 190 lbs and I would be will to purchase a light bicycle to help improve efficiency...Can somebody help please...Thanks...