Is GEBE Tanaka 2-Stroke Kit the Best

ricland

New Member
Jul 27, 2008
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GEBE 2 Stroke


First, I have to think the fact that the Wizzer company decided to go with the belt kit and stayed with this design for the past 65 years, is some evidence design is the best for bikes; better than friction and chain anyway.

Then I heard about the GEBE 40cc Tanaka Purefire 2-Stroke from a fella who owns a bicycle-engines.com 4 stroke Honda Clone kit. He said the Tanaka is the kit he wished he'd have got.

He also says the rear rack mount is the way to go.

What confuses me though, is all the bad press I read around about 2-strokes. Most people are saying they're unreliable, that you're always tinkering with them.

And then there's the Tanaka's low horse power (1, I believe) yet GEBE promotes it as the most powerful bike engine around. They actually call it a "cross-country motor made to pull "heavier loads."
Golden Eagle Bike Engines, Geared Belt Drive Bicycle Engines / Motors for Mountain Bikes & More

And they sell this kit for $659, which is almost double the BEC Honda clone kit.

Is it worth it and why?

ric
 

Me-N-Mike

New Member
Jul 23, 2008
7
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Central PA
I don't know anything about the other kit you have listed but I do have the GEBE kit. I have the EHO35 4-stroke engine. I can tell you that has plenty of power. I weigh 250 and it will hold me at 26-27 mph. Since a 2-Stroke has more power I imagine the Tanka 40cc would really fly.

I'll admit the GEBE is a bit pricey. Is it worth it? I don't know. I guess it depends on how you want to use your bike. It looks like the BEC setup would probably have a fair amount of resistance should you wish to pedal w/o the motor. If you plan to ride your bike w/o the motor running you may want to take this into consideration. I can tell you that the GEBE kit is very easy to install and remove (except perhaps the spoke ring). The components seem very durable.
 

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
288
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Essex, UK
Tanaka 32cc two stroke produces 1.6hp stock. That would give me 30mph flat out. With a pipe fitted up I get 34mph flat out.

Tanaka 40cc two stroke is 2.2hp stock. With the standard gear the engine isnt much faster but its alot stronger.

As long as the belt alignment is good and the sheave alignment is good then the machine should make 1000 miles to a belt. Mine at the moment has managed about 700-750 miles and hasnt failed yet.

Two strokes are the simplest of the IC engines and as such if looked after at the right oil mixes and such are perfectly reliable - even the stupidly tuned motors can last a long time

Yes, GEBE are on the expensive side - but then so are rolls royce or maserati. As of this time I would say that GEBE are probably the best of the kit makers.. course thats just my opinion.

Jemma xx

Jemma xx
 

ricland

New Member
Jul 27, 2008
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Tanaka 32cc two stroke produces 1.6hp stock. That would give me 30mph flat out. With a pipe fitted up I get 34mph flat out.

Tanaka 40cc two stroke is 2.2hp stock. With the standard gear the engine isnt much faster but its alot stronger.

As long as the belt alignment is good and the sheave alignment is good then the machine should make 1000 miles to a belt. Mine at the moment has managed about 700-750 miles and hasnt failed yet.

Two strokes are the simplest of the IC engines and as such if looked after at the right oil mixes and such are perfectly reliable - even the stupidly tuned motors can last a long time

Yes, GEBE are on the expensive side - but then so are rolls royce or maserati. As of this time I would say that GEBE are probably the best of the kit makers.. course thats just my opinion.

Jemma xx

Jemma xx


Thanks, your answer was thorough, but I'm still not sure I understand the reliability question between the two engines. Cruzier, for example, appears to think 2-strokes are a pain in the neck. He loves his Dax Titan which is a four-stroke rack mount.

And I know that most people mean a happy time when they talk of two strokes needing a lot of attention, but sometimes this isn't clear.

Are you saying the Tanaka is such a superior 2-stroke it can't be compared with the Happy times, that you won't have the problems you have with the chinafire, save mixing oil into the gas every time you fill her up?

By the way, what's the horse power of the Titan? And on the topic of the Titan, why is it only one person sells it?

If you were going to enter a cross country race, which kit would you use?

ricland
 
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Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
11,843
236
63
up north now
"happy times" which are more accurately called CIF (Chinese in-frame) bicycle motors are not unreliable once set up properly.

1000 miles to a belt and that's better than a chain how?!?

For 600++ dollars I'll build three CIF's and keep the change thank you.
 

seanhan

New Member
Aug 7, 2008
29
0
1
Texas
After doing some reserch I have decided to get a gebe tanaka 40cc kit.
Should I buy the new wheels from gebe. Or are they really necessary.
Also any recomendations on the easyest bike to install the kit on without any modifacations.
I want to just install and ride with minimal problems.
thanks fo any info !!!!:p
 

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
288
2
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Essex, UK
"happy times" which are more accurately called CIF (Chinese in-frame) bicycle motors are not unreliable once set up properly.

1000 miles to a belt and that's better than a chain how?!?

For 600++ dollars I'll build three CIF's and keep the change thank you.
and thats the charm isnt it - set up properly. I dont have a engineering shop in my kitchen - I dont want to have to rebuild an engine to get it to run and I certainly dont need to have to worry about it failing on me when I need it. The CIF engines are low compression, low efficiency and even you will admit not great on quality.

I dont know how long the belts will last - but its a given that if you choose belt over chain you will have to replace it more often - but you wont get a belt smashing the living crap out of the wheel if it slips off - why do you think the original geared motorbikes used belt? and why alot of the machines made now are going back to them? chains are longer lasting, but they are noisier and personally I would rather have a belt snap while riding than a chain, and yes, they do snap.

Two strokes are inherantly more powerful than 4-strokes. Thats a fact.
Two strokes have fewer moving parts than a 4-stroke. That is also a fact.
Two strokes are inherantly more tunable than a 4-stroke. another fact

The only drawback of two strokes is the total loss lubrication system which means you have to mix petroil. I dont see that as even close to a problem since I get a reliable simple and powerful machine with a 32cc engine when everyone else is fighting flappy chains, sprocket problems and engines that detonate more often than a NSU Ro80, and did I mention they are up to 50% bigger for the same road speed...

Commercial engines are more expensive - all three of the commercial kits - staton, DAX and GEBE - have developed their mounts to the same quality. Quality has and always will cost money.

Sean, fitting up the GEBE kit is fairly simple. The most important requirements are to fit up the sheave on the wheel accurately and also make sure the belt tracks true as close to the centre of the drive gear as possible. This can be helped with spacers and such.

With the 40cc engine it does tend to push the belt a little hard - the best way to look after it is to not snap the throttle open or pull away without pedalling.

I have fitted up the GEBE on both a cruiser bike and a MTB - my preference would be a cruiser bike with front suspension decent brakes and deraillier gears (hubs can be a pain if you arent used to them). The model I have is a Schwinn Deluxe 7. A drum brake fitted to the front hub will give you good weatherproof brakes.

The argument between which is more reliable is purely subjective. If you compared a CIF engine to a similar quality 4-stroke then you would have a fair comparison. A fair comparison between engines would indeed be the DAX 50cc Titan versus the GEBE 32/40 - properly treated they would last about the same time, you need to mix fuel for the 2 strokes - but then you need to adjust valves and such on the Titan and the power per swept cc is lower.

The two advantages of a CIF engine is the frame mount position and the availability of the shifter kit. Its my own personal opinion, that for the requirements I have (I use my bike as my only form of transport) even given those advantages the potential problems of the CIF engine are too many.

Jemma xx
 

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
288
2
0
Essex, UK
regards the GEBE wheel - of all the engines the 40cc is the most likely to damage wheels.

However, that said, the GEBE system doesnt cause too many problems with the wheels as long as you properly align the sheave.

Its a personal decision. If you worry that you wont be able to set the sheave up then go for the wheel, but most wheels with decent spokes should be suitable.. and you can always replace spokes and such if you need to

Jemma xx
 

lennyharp

New Member
Jul 19, 2008
429
1
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Mesa Arizona
I bought a Staton kit with a gearbox of machined gears that would last 20 years and did about 1300 miles in 9 weeks on the bike with a Robins Subaru EHO35. It was great and I felt like it would handle most anything I threw at it. I rode with datz510 a lot and decided to try for more horse power so I bought the Tanaka 40 and the GEBE kit for a hundred and fifty dollars more than I spent on my Staton.

When I got the GEBE I was disappointed in the plastic ring that is expected to clip on the rim. I live in the desert and the heat eats up plastic. I was also disappointed that a product that cost less than half to produce than the Staton was priced more than the Staton. The motor cost $70.00 more but the basic kit was more than half of the difference in cost. I promptly sold my GEBE kit and will never know if my conclusions were right, but am happy with my decision to go with steel and aluminum rather than plastic and rubber to drive my 240 pounds around the desert. I am putting together a Chinese frame mount and SickBikeParts shift kit, and will soon have plenty of power.
 
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oldguy

New Member
Sep 12, 2008
10
0
0
Missouri
Jemma has good information. She is one of the reasons I felt comfortable in ordering the GEBE 32cc. kit. The choice of 2 cycle came from years of riding 2 cycle motor cycles. I had a Jawa that I rode all over the east without a problem. Wore out tires but never had a bit of trouble with the engine other than fouling up a plug now and then. I liked to run a little high on the oil mix. I was able to buy two take apart plugs and then would always have a clean one with me. If I had to, I could just sit by the side of the road and clean the plug.
I like the power of the 2 cycle and the quick rev. I never found the mixing of the oil as a probem. After all, you have to change the oil in a 4 cycle. Is that a problem? You have to mess with oil sometime. 4 cycle folks talk like they never had to deal with oil ever. I like the proven industrial engine from Tanaka. It just starts and runs. I guess I have gotten old enough not to enjoy working on engines all the time. I just bolted it on and drove off. Whatever you do, enjoy it. That's the real reason for doing it.
 

Otero

Member
Feb 1, 2010
768
9
18
wa
I got 'round the GEBE price by building my own belt drive with a sheave made
from the aluminum rim of 20" bike. It works out to be the same size as the GEBE
sheave which is plastic and is known to occasionally have issues with broken
spokes. Might it be that the plastic sheave flexes? I don't know, but I've had
no problems with mine so far. I've been running a honda gx35 which works just
fine,(30+), but I like more power for hills. Anyone know where I can find the
best price on a Tanaka 40cc?
 

scotto-

Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder
Jun 3, 2010
6,508
10
38
Ridin' inSane Diego, CA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otero
Anyone know the best place to buy a tanaka 40cc. I've built my own belt drive
that runs just fine with a honda gx35cc, but I'd like a bit more oomph cuz I
plan to be riding over a lot of mountain passes. I pedal as best I can, but I've
had major traumatic injuries to both legs.
I know monster scooter parts sells them, but I'm hoping for a better price. It
just doesn't make sense they want close to $400 when a chainsaw with
tanaka 40cc is just $300. I don't want to tear up a chainsaw and try to adapt
it, but I'm thinking there must be somewhere I can get a surefire cheaper.

Maybe Google BladeZ scooters......they were standard engines on all of their earlier stand-up scoots, but are no longer made.
I've owned 2- 47R, 2- 40cc, 1- 33cc and 2- 26cc Tanakas and can tell you they are a very well made, clean burning Japanese 2-stroke engine with lots of HP parts made for them not too many years ago. They were expensive, but as they say, you pay for what you get........very true with the Tanaka!

I still have several, but they are currently in use. Good luck with your search.

dnut
 

zean

Active Member
Dec 5, 2010
230
49
28
california
Hi. Staton-Inc has 2- Tanaka 35cc $239.-- and the Tanaka 40cc pure-fire CARB compliant for $329.-- This person's merchandise is made out of steel and looks good and is very strong, made to haul a thousand pounds and very fair priced. I've got to get some sleep. Thankyou.
 

zean

Active Member
Dec 5, 2010
230
49
28
california
Hi. Excuse me, I didn't realize we're talking about GEBE. I have @ 1400 miles on my GEBE with Tanaka pf40cc. It's powerful, reliable and efficient and light weight. It's everything they say it is in the advertising. I got about 900-1000 miles on the gates belt with the allignment not too good. I believe That I should get 3000-4 or 5000 miles with the GEBE wheel with sheave pre-installed as a courtesy on my second belt. This set-up is also easy to go off-road. This is a terrific bicycle engine kit if you like to ride and have a piece of mind not to work on your bike (just check and tighten as needed all the nuts and bolts once in a while) and if you did break down the kit is so light weight that pedalling home is not as difficult as other engine kits. Thankyou.
 

Otero

Member
Feb 1, 2010
768
9
18
wa
This is an old thread, but I'm happy to announce I finally got a
NIB Pf4000 of Ebay for $250. Also, like the guy at the start of this thread that
got a Honda clone from bicycle-engines.com, I wish I'd bought the Tanaka. That
may be a clone but it's missing a lot of Honda DNA. I don't know about the
GX50, but my honda Gx35 is totally reliable, which is more than I can say for
the clone.
Now that I've got a Tanaka I'm sure I won't be disappointed due to all the
positive feedback. I don't know about the GEBE kit. I couldn't afford it so
I built my own belt drive which is quite reliable and performs at the same level
as the GEBE.
I'd love to see some video of a Tanaka in action, but I can't see to find any.
Pics are old; now using a 24" whl rim for a sheave. Mounting the Tanaka
soon.
 

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