Just starting out, but addicted already!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BigJohn, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Guys,

    I bought a 66cc kit on Amazon 2 weeks ago, just because it looked cool. I have never worked on small engines before and have limited mechanical aptitude, so I went looking for better instructions and found your site. I have been a "lurker" on this site since then, reading through the posts. I was both amazed at the level of expertise and a little intimidated.

    Anyway, I started putting my first bike together yesterday and ran into numerous problems. Your posts REALLY saved my bacon! Using your good advice, I was able to solve each problem as it came up. I was also able to avoid a lot of problems (like vibration or chain wobble). When I finally got the bike together, it started up for about 30 seconds and then died....and wouldn't start again. I went to bed last night feeling kind of low. (That was a fun 30 seconds while it lasted.)

    This morning, I started wading through the threads looking for an answer to my problem and I came across a post by Bairdco back in Febuary walking another noob through the troubleshooting steps.

    Anyway, with your help, I got the bike started this morning and it seems to be running pretty well. It sounds like it's fairly smooth (but of course, how would I know?), and simply flies up hills! WOW, what a rush!!!

    Thanks for all your help, guys.

    BigJohn
     
  2. James the welder

    James the welder New Member

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    I hear ya man I am new here too. Having a blast on mine.I thought we were just a few crazy nuts out on the road. drn2
     
  3. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Wow! I have been storming around the neighborhood all day (30 minutes on, 30 minutes to cool down) and I have to say, this thing is AWESOME! Everybody on earth needs a motorbike...well...most people anyway. I should have gotten one of these years ago.
     
  4. ballermj23

    ballermj23 New Member

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    yea it makes you feel like you did something great!! LOL i know..

    when i first it running i had a ear to ear smile. dance1


    check your bike often be save where a helmet! brnot
     
  5. rkorson4209

    rkorson4209 New Member

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    i DON'T THINK ANTONE WILL FORGET THAT FIRST TIME. Welcome to the forum.
     
  6. Randog707

    Randog707 New Member

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    welcome to the forum BigJohn,these things only get more fun in time.But "Caution" they can become an obsession,I have a garage full to prove it.
     
  7. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Thanks guys!

    I have been riding like a maniac for a week now and am almost through with 2 break-in tanks of 16:1 fuel and have just filled up with 32:1 mixture. I had a broken clutch cable last week, but no other problems. This thing is the most fun toy I have.
     
  8. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    Hi BigJohn

    If you think you're addicted now,,, just wait till you get your SickBikeParts shift kit.
    Then you'll never be able to pry yourself away from the bike, always wanting, "just one more ride".

    I use 6 gears just to get from one end of a traffic intersection to the other, racing heavily loaded Kenworth trucks through the gears, matching them, gear change for gear change when transporting a heavy load in my bicycle trailer- it's a total blast :)

    Fabian
     
    #8 Fabian, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  9. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Oh no.

    A what? a SickBikeParts shift kit?
    Several gears in the distance of an intersection?
    That sounds ....strangely....intriguing.....must....find....out...more....
    new...obsession....taking....hold.....
     
  10. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Ok....Im hooked.

    How hard are these to build?
    What do I need to buy?
    Where can I find some instructions?

    What kind of Bike would you suggest I mount it on?
    Obviously, I just started planning my second build.

    Wow.
     
  11. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Wow again. That looks a lot more complex than the stock kit.
    It may be beyond my meager skill level.

    It sure looks like fun though!

    BigJohn
     
  12. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    Nope, not hard at all.
    In fact the SickBikeParts shift kit goes together on the engine with surprising ease, in a step-by-step manner with clear and concise instructions.

    I had my bike up and running with the kit all attached in a few hours, and never looked back at a single speed setup.

    I strongly suggest that you get the "Deluxe" kit as it comes with a whole bunch of useful tools included, and a few optional extras - well worth that little bit extra.
    Also, order the "dished 30 tooth" chainwheel gear and the optional 9 tooth Jackshaft gear if you want serious hill climbing ability - these parts are installed on my bike and used with very good effect; parts that i should have bought from the start.
    If you need even more hill climbing ability, SickBikeParts offers a 24 tooth chainwheel option.

    Below is a web link.

    Sick Bike Parts

    In the photos, you can see the left and right side of the SickBikeParts shift kit and how it is installed on the bike.
    With the low range gears sellected, my max towed weight during a durability test was 75 kilos (165 lbs), going uphill, although at slow speed.

    Fabian
     

    Attached Files:

    #12 Fabian, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  13. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    laff

    Yarp - welcome to the addiction heh (^)
     
  14. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Fabian,

    Your bike looks great and I love your trailer. That's my next project for next weekend (unless I get a Jackshaft kit in the mail). Is that firewood you are hauling? I assume you are running on the options you suggested. How fast will your bike go without the trailer? What's the difference between the options you suggest and the standard kit?

    After reading the installation instructions, it looks like converting my current bike would be more work than starting with a new bike more suitable. I am not completely sure what a 3 piece crank even looks like and my cheap scwinn 7 speed cruiser probably has a weak rear axel and cheap shifters that will break or something. I should probably buy a more suitable bike (so I might as well start with a new engine kit as well.)

    The trouble is this: I am a serious and complete Noob. I have never been inside a real bike shop or done more than adjust the brakes on a bike. I got my engine on Amazon because it looked cool and I bought a bike to mount it on at Walmart.

    I am an amateur blacksmith and have a ghetto machine shop, but I forge knives, not bikes. (It turned out that none of my many hammers were helpful. I had to buy a set of wrenches). I have never worked on bikes OR gasoline engines. Installing my first kit, I had to sand down the throttle slider inside the carb to make it move freely. This problem was not mentioned in the instructions or anywhere on this forum, so I had no idea if I was ruining it. It turns out that I guessed right and it works, but the point is, I have to learn EVERYTHING as I go. The Jackshaft instructions specify a level of skill that I clearly don't have.

    After reading all the horror stories on this site and the intricate work you guys do, I was frankly amazed when my bike finally started up and actually worked. Even now, I suspect I have a mixture problem, but I don't know how to read a sparkplug yet. I have an almost superstitious awe of it and wonder just how much luck was involved in it working so well.

    Of course that won't stop me from trying. This is just too cool not to try. But I really need to make it easy on myself and get a bike that will be easy to convert. If you were me, that is, ignorant and thumb-fingered, What bike would you buy for a clean, easy install?

    BigJohn
     
  15. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Honestly BigJohn, the mindset & skills you've attained as a blacksmith may serve you far better than any bicycling or gasoline engine experience - these creations bear little resemblance to your average bike when done and the engines... well... they're so primitive that previous time spent tinkerin' on anything else may just confuse and befuddle lol

    Yet they are simple, a bit of courage, a touch of patience and you'll have the bike and engine figured out in no time - it's the need & ability to fabricate things that tends to trip people up, and that is something you've got. It's tru that blacksmithing and metalworking aren't quite the same, but they're dang close heh and that ability is SO valuable in this hobby - you've a distinct advantage over those that are forced to rely on a hardware store exclusively.

    A shiftkit is worth the trouble, but yer right - perhaps not for yer first bike as you'd hafta pull it all back apart again and the time to ride is now! Still, it's not that difficult to install one and the instructions on SBP's site are quite good. I'd recommend riding the bejabbers outa the bike you've built and save up pennies & parts for a winter project - one season on a MB and you'll be an "expert" jus' like the rest of us addled addicts :D
     
  16. Pappy

    Pappy New Member

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    OMG! It's Alive, It's Alive.

    Is there a rehab for this site?

    Not that I would go, just woundering.

    My name is Pappy, and I'm a MB Juncky...lol

    Welcome Aboard BigJohn
     
  17. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    BarelyAWake,

    I appreciate the encouragement. I need it.

    You are right about parts fabrication. That's the one thing I am not too scared of. I don't know much about working with aluminum, but I can cut, drill, bend, file and temper steel with the best of em. I can whack out a door hinge or new custom bracket faster than I can drive to Lowes. I didn't do much of that on this bike, because I wasn't even sure what it should look like when I finished and didn't have any idea how important alignment and tolerances were. My next build will be much better as I am not worried now about making a more complex engine mount or replacing the cheap hardware that comes with the engine.

    I learned an awful lot about engines by pulling it apart and cleaning it out (following advice I got on this forum). Without the encouragement I got on this site, I would have never had the guts to tear it apart. I have big clumsy blacksmith hands, so small parts freak me out.

    I really enjoy riding to work on my current bike and wouldn't want to take it apart. I have had a lot of offers for it already. Everybody who sees it seems to want one. I get a lot of thumbs-up in traffic and I draw a crowd every time I stop. I have already put something like 250 miles on it in 2 weeks. If I build an even cooler bike, I might sell it to help finance this new crack-addiction, but definitely not until I have another (better) ride.

    I know myself well enough to know that I simply CAN'T wait until winter to build my next one. Once I am hooked on a project, I tend to be obsessed until I am finished or defeated. Besides, I live near Savannah. We don't do winter here. Winters here are about like Autumn up north...perfect riding weather. I anticipate riding it hard, all year round.

    If you guys can recommend an easy bike to convert, I will order everything within the next couple of weeks and start turning a wrench. I guess I should look up and visit a bike shop sometime too.

    BigJohn
     
  18. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Thanks Pappy!
    I don't need rehab...yet. My next bike may be a total lemon.
    That would probably cure me.

    BigJohn.
     
  19. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    Ok, where do i start.

    Advise, it's subjective and everyone has their opinions.

    maybe i'll just list my points of notice, and you can make a judgement on it's relevance to your situation.

    Point 1) Installing the SickBikeParts shift kit is well within your level of experience.

    Point 2) You are correct in making an assessment that it may be better to start of with a new bike more suitable to the requirements, as it's exactly the process i had to go through.

    Point 3) Your brakes are by far the most important aspect that decides your choice of bicycle, followed by the requirement to ideally have circular frame tubes to mount the engine and Jackshaft.

    Point 4) Following on from brakes, it is ESSENTIAL, and i mean ESSENTIAL to have a bike with disk brakes, ideally with the commonly available I.S. brake mount system.
    Next you will want to upgrade your front disk to the largest disk commonly available, generally being 8 inches in diameter and also replacing the standard front caliper to the most powerful mechanical caliper available, being the Avid BB7.
    It doesn't matter what you do with the rest of the bike, the most important thing is to be able to stop the bike quickly and controlably in all weather conditions, even with a seriously heavy load pushing from behind.
    Disk brakes still work perfectly when the braking surfaces are soaking wet, something a rim style brake hopelessly fails to do - this is by far the most critical aspect of brake performance.

    Point 5) A shift kit is essential for longer distance travel and also if you have any form of hills to climb.

    Point 6) A trailer is quite useful for removing neck and shoulder strain caused from carring a backpack and also carrying spare parts and tools, not to mention the load carrying capacity.
    In my opinion, a uni-wheel trailer, like the BoB IBEX is the way to go, unless you need to haul serious volume and weight. In my situation, i haul everything from 20 litre (4 gallon) jerry cans to firewood and chainsaws.

    Point 7) It's advantageous to have a 9 speed cassette, as you can strip apart the cassette and make your own custom ratios by combining the preferred sprockets from two cassettes, to give a seriously low first gear and good top speed without over revving the engine.

    Point 8) It's also advantageous to be able to carry spare fuel in the form of aluminium drink containers with a screw on cap.

    Point 9) This is purely personal preference: having both a speedo and tacho add to the experience of riding a motored bike.

    Point 10) get yourself a decent horn (like the AirZound) and a decent set of lights.

    Fabian
     
    #19 Fabian, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  20. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Fabian,

    Thanks for the advice. I just ordered a couple of Avid BB7 MTB Mechanical Disc Brakes (160mm). They look like they would stop a truck. I am going to mount these on my current bike and if they are as good as they look, I will get some more for the Jack Shaft build. I did notice that my rim brakes were taking a beating at these higher speeds and was beginning to wonder how long the pads would last. I didnt even think about them getting wet....yikes.

    I know that opinions are subjective, but I am so new to cycling that I don't really rate an opinion yet. I am still lost on a couple of things. How can I tell if the the crank hub is right? If I use a Walmart bike or basically any cruiser, are the rear axel and derailleur high enough quality? or are they likely to break and kill me? Until this week, I though a Scwinn was top of the line. Do I need to buy a Cannondale or something like that? I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I want a durable, safe bike.

    Which bike did you settle on? Or did you build it piecemeal from parts?

    BigJohn
     

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