Just starting out, but addicted already!

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

  1. Randog707

    Randog707 New Member

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    BigJohn,I would have ordered another kit from them but the no longer ship to california,which realy sucks cause its a pretty good kit,so the last five kits I"ve ordered have been rawmotorsusa,their kits are realy great aswell,and their the only ones besides Veince Motor Bikes, that I can get a kit shiped here in california.California makes it very hard for people here to pick up this great hobbie of motorized bicycles.Oh yeah I'll post a couple pics in a few days of my new project,I'm taking my rockhopper and carbon fibering the frame,I bought some sheets of carbon fiber and going to heat shrink the C.F to the frame.It should look really cool.
     
    #41 Randog707, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  2. Randog707

    Randog707 New Member

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    Ok so I started wrapping my rockhopper with carbon fiber heres what I"ve done so far,most of frame,my gps to match bike,hope you can see the carbon in the pics,my camera sucks.
     

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  3. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Wow. I think I have gone slightly insane.
    I went on a spending spree this week and ordered a jackshaft kit, new engine kit and a cool bike to put them on. By the time I got all the accessories and a few spare parts, the total price got a little high. In fact, I spent more than I intended to, like a crack addict. (Rationalization is a powerful tool but a terrible master). I have already accumulated 4 bikes and I am awaiting delivery of a 5th. I have converted a large section of my blacksmith shop into a ghetto bike shop.

    I have been tweaking and tinkering with my current bike like a crazy man. While I am riding it to work every day, I find myself planning modifications. I even mounted an old GPS on it with a solar panel to power it.

    What's wrong with me?
    My current bike is a blast to ride and I have no valid excuse for upgrading to a shift kit, much less buying a whole new build. Obviously, I have gone crazy. Tinkering with motorbikes is a sickness. You guys have infected me with "Jackshaft-itis" and the only cure seems to be to build one.

    But here's the cool part:
    I bought a diamondback wildwood bike with all the bells and whistles and have several boxes of cool stuff to put on it sitting in the garage! Now I am watching for the UPS truck every day like a little kid waiting for Santa!

    BigJohn
     
  4. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    I completely understand the feeling BigJohn

    I'm trying to find a GT LT-S to motorise with a shift kit.
    Unfortunately in Australia, they are rare as hens teeth.

    My current bike (with all the shop style tools, accessories and replacement spare parts) and bike trailer is worth around $4,000
    Some might say this is crazy but i've owned a lot of nice things in my life and nothing comes as close to total enjoyment as a motorised bicycle, especially when powering past lycra clad cyclists on a sunday afternoon.

    Fabian
     
  5. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Guys,

    I know this is boring to everyone but me, but i got my new bike and Jackshaft kit in the mail last night and assembled it immediately. I bought a Diamondback and it rides like a dream! I almost hate to put an engine on it....almost.

    BigJohn
     
  6. camlifter

    camlifter Active Member

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    theres no 12 step program for motorbikes. we should do like drug dealers and give the first kit for free, then your hooked for life. welcome to the rest of your life.
     
  7. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Hey Big John,
    I've enjoyed reading this thread and feel as if I know you by now, fully understanding the crazies that come with this addiction, avocation, or whatever it is. I was just counting in my head that I now have a 50 Schwinn, a 55 Huffman, two 63 Americans, three 1930's Elgins, a 68 Schwinn, a Worksman Newsboy and a couple newish Huffys. What is this? And I live on a fixed social security income, spending every spare penny on bike stuff. Since reading about BarelyAWake's shift kit in the Rustoration thread I really want one and I'm thinking I need to eliminate some of these bikes and have just a couple of really nice riders with shift kits. Well, maybe three. But which three? Some of these bikes are like children... how can you put some up for adoption just because you're poor? This is crazy alright, but fun crazy Gotta sell some bikes is all...
    SB
     
  8. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Silverbear,

    I have to tell you. A month ago, I would have thought you were a total nut job for having so many bikes. Now, I think I understand all too well. I have been at this only a few weeks, but I have accumulated 5 bikes, motorized one of them and I am frantically working on a jack-shaft build right now.

    I am having all kinds of trouble with my current build. I have spent 19 hours on it so far and I am nowhere near riding off into the sunset. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. My much anticipated Diamondback frame is sitting out there looking sad and calling to me to get back to work.

    But I am still having a blast. This is an expensive hobby, but not as bad as most. If you compare the costs with hunting or fishing, it's not so bad. And at the end of the day, we are not hurting anyone.

    BigJohn
     
  9. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    BigJohn,
    A few years ago I had just a couple of 60's Schwinn bikes and then I began to think about building them to sell and started picking up bikes here and there... a couple great finds at the landfill, the newish Huffys from a yard sale and the Elgins and Worksman off of eBay. Last summer I started buying more engines than I actually needed thinking I would sell a couple. The season is short in northern Minnesota and as bikes were ready to sell the season ended and winter came roaring in. I did some bike building and a lot of learning through the winter, still enthusiastic about having a little business selling motorized vintage cruisers. Spring came and I ran into automatic clutch problems with two motors which has set me back financially, but also in confidence. How can I sell bikes if I'm unable to repair the motors or clutch problems which may arise? I would be selling these bikes in my own community where people know and respect me. I'm known as an elder and pipe carrier in the Indian community and a former teacher in the school district. I value that and would want to take care of a customer, making right what goes wrong. I'm also thinking that some of these cutomers are likely to become friends and we might end up riding together sometimes. In truth it is part of the motivation in selling bikes; to develop a motorbicycling community and promote the hobby/sport/transport locally and especially with elders like myself. If I can't fix my own broken motors how can I fix ones I sell? The automatics have thrown me some and until I become more expert at fixing motors I don't think I should sell them. So the business idea is kind of on hold until I catch up with my ambition by becoming a better mechanic. So, I will continue to build and ride and learn. This summer I'll be building a low budget bike workshop and further my goal in that way, but I think that selling will wait for another year to give myself more practical experience and more time here on this forum which I think of as a kind of online motorbicycle school. I joined this forum a year ago this summer and when I think of how much I have learned in this time I have to feel encouraged. So who knows, you may also be selling these bikes along the way and may go through some of the same considerations I am. Good luck with your jackshaft. I'm rootin' for ya!
    SB
     
  10. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Dudes!

    I just completed my first shift kit!!!!!
    I got my SBP kit in the mail last Friday and struggled with it all weekend and after work every day. It probably took over 35 hours and I would hate to tell you about all the boneheaded mistakes I made. Anyway, I was sooooo close last night that I took most of today off from work to finish it.

    Since I started with a new motor kit from Bikeberry, it was a real bear to get started. I didn't anticipate how hard these things are to start. You can't use inertia and just have to muscle it. I worked myself into a lather about 12 times and I was almost ready to give up and rebuild it as a single gear (to break in the motor first) and then WHAM it started up.

    I idled it and ran it around slowly in low gear for 30 minutes and let it cool off. Restarted it and ran it slowly a couple more times and then just had to cut loose and see how it worked. It was AWESOME! My other bike can't keep up with it. I shudder to think what it will do once it gets through break-in.

    I want to thank you all for the help and encouragement. I would have thrown in the towel long ago without all your help and knowledge.

    Uh oh. I just read my first sentence. My FIRST shift kit? I am subconsciously planning how I can do it even cooler next time.

    BigJohn
     
  11. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Oh yeah. A special thanks to Fabian...for getting me hooked on the shift kit.
    Thanks man. You were right. I gotta have just one more ride.

    BigJohn
     
  12. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    35 hours? laff

    It took me all winter to build my shiftkit ride ;)


    Congrats man, and yer right ofc - once ya go shiftkit ya can never go back :D
     
  13. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Guys,

    I pointed out before that I am a total Noob, right? Well, I am...but I am enthusiastic and learning as fast as I can. There are so many little things (possibly fatal things) that I don't know yet. I don't even know what questions to ask (or look up). I think this would be easier if I knew what "right" looks and sounds like. (I watched all the Youtube videos I could find, but I have no idea who has a tuned engine and who has a dog). I keep getting the vague feeling that this is possibly an insanely dangerous hobby...at least the way I am doing it.

    My Jackshaft bike (the "blue bomber") is getting easier to start. It was a beast the first few times, but now it's getting easier. Thank goodness. I burned about a half a tank of gas today after work and started it up about 10 times without reaching exhaustion or having a stroke.

    I just got back from a series of long-ish rides around the neighborhood and had a rash of maintenance issues to deal with, but mostly it was smooth sailing and oodles of fun. This thing is fun with a capital FUN! I would love to start riding it to work, but It's still frighteningly new, so I am having to work through all the little issues as they come up. Once I work through the bugs, it's going to be my main ride!

    First, and most annoying: I have had 2 rear flat tires so far. I looked for the cause, but couldn't find anything that would cause it. The hole on the inner tube looked like a cut or a pinch mark on the inside (rim side). Maybe I caused it while I was mounting the tire? I don't see how, but who knows. I taped the rim inside with electrical tape even though there were no spokes sticking through the black rubber thing. Everything was smooth in there. I hope I am the cause because otherwise, this has me stumped.

    I also had a fuel leak from the carb bowl. My engine is leaning WAY back because of the slant of my seat post. I think my carb may be tilted too much and the float wasn't cutting off the fuel flow when it got full. The fuel was leaking from the bowl rim. I cut off the gas, drained the bowl and removed it. Then I worked the valve a few times and replaced everything with my fingers crossed and it seemed to work. Anyway, it's not leaking right now. I may have to figure out a way to level my carb a little if it starts leaking again.

    Third and most sobering: My shaft gears BOTH came loose on the road. I guess I didn't take SBP's warning to use threadlocker on the little locking screws seriously enough. No harm done, but my key almost came out of the right sprocket before I noticed. The gears were still turning the shaft just fine, but I shudder to think what would have happened if the shaft had pulled off the bearings at high speed or the right gear had come off the shaft. I can only imagine the chain snarl that would have caused. That would have sucked.

    Everything is tight and threadlocked down now, but I am still a little spooked. It goes SCARY fast even without winding the engine. In top gear, going down a hill, it goes BONZO fast without going to high RPMs. When I get it going fast enough to wish I had a wind screen on my helmet, a little voice whispers in my ear: "Your bike was made to go 20mph max, you idiot". I may not be using my top gear much unless my "little voice" shuts up. Anyway, this bike is much faster than I anticipated. I will try to clock it when the engine has a few more hours on it and I can really cut loose.

    I followed Fabian's advice and got the 9 tooth power sprocket, but I have the standard sprocket on there right now. It may turn out to be too fast. I assume the power sprocket will slow down the top speed by a few MPH. That advice may turn out to be a life saver.

    I am still learning to shift smoothly. There is a knack to easing the power back on to avoid the little "clunk" from the free play in the chain drive as the engine catches up with the gears. Maybe I should tighten my chain a little? I have very little play in it right now. Is this a fault I should try to correct? Or do I just have to learn to shift correctly?

    I did a poor job mounting my muffler too and the bike is slightly louder than my other one. I used copper pipe fittings to extend and curl the exhaust pipe around the front engine mount and it turns out that knowing how to forge-weld heavy steel has no possible relevance to working with thin copper tube. I don't know how to braze worth a darn. My joints shook loose on my first ride. So, I got impatient and used "JB Weld" and pop rivets to hold it together. It seems to be holding up pretty well now, but it looks like some kind of hillbilly still. Of course, I think it looks fine, but others will disagree. If my exhaust pipe leaks a little, is that bad? I saw a lot of conflicting advice on this site, but no consensus. Do I need to worry about a little gas escaping through the joints?

    I noticed an issue that might be nothing (or it might be potentially fatal, who knows?) This bike seems to vibrate more than my other one and has a kind of cyclic sound to the vibration when I am in a high gear. The engine speed seems to vary by a few RPMs about once a second. Has anyone ever experienced that? Or am I being too vague?

    BigJohn

    PS. A neighbor stopped me and wanted to chat about china-girls. He wants one bad after seeing me buzz around on mine. He is at the rationalization stage where he is trying to justify the cost and time. He pointed out gas savings as a good reason to buy one. I just had to laugh. I think I have saved maybe 2 bucks on gas so far if you don't count the gas I have burned joy riding! At that rate, I should have my two bikes paid off in about 20 years. (unless I build a couple more).
     
  14. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Randog707
    I just got a look at your pictures. Your bike looks much better than mine do.
    Did the carbon help with vibration?

    BigJohn
     
  15. Saddletramp1200

    Saddletramp1200 Custom MB Buiilder

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    I am happy to say there is no known cure for MB's (c) I have 6 right now including two 4 stroke trikes. I have joined with my Uncle that owns a machine shop :) and now there is no stopping me. I owe it all to God, Paul, Our Leader :) and certain long time members of this forum. The best is yet to come. (c)
     
  16. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    The 9 tooth sprocket is much better for hill climbing and standing start take-offf's from the traffic lights.
    From my experience the only disadvantage of the 9T sprocket is that the wear rate on the sprocket teeth is significantly greater than the 11T sprocket.

    What i want is a 55T chainwheel sprocket, so i can run the same 5:1 gear ratio using the 11T sprocket.

    Having said that, the 9T is only worth a few dollars as a replacement item, and the extra chain wear is compensated by my chain tensioner system.

    Once you've had a SickBikeparts shift kit, you'll never go back!

    Fabian
     
  17. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    Fabian,

    What do you use as a chain tensioner?
    I would like to re-design my front mount, but I had to build it to allow the whole motor to be raised to tension the chain. A tensioner would allow me to really lock down the front end solidly and might get rid of some vibration.

    BigJohn
     
  18. Fabian

    Fabian New Member

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    Hi BigJohn

    Here is the reason why i designed my own chain tensioner; only because no other professionally designed product existed that could be added onto the SickBikeParts shift kit without modifing the shift kit in any way.
    This design is a simple bolt on device to the existing shift kit clamps.
    Very effective in operation and so far the tensioner has 6,000 kilometers (3750 miles) of operation without failure.
    I still use the original threaded rod tensioner to set initial chain tension (and to assist the clamps in preventing the engine walking down the seat tube) and from thereafter the chain tensioner takes up any chain stretch for a good 1,000 kilometers (600 miles with regular lubrication) before i need to check the chain for mechanical wear and stretch.

    Chain Tensioner - SickBikeParts (SBP) Jackshaft Shifter (Shift) Kit - MotoredBikes.com: Motorized Bicycle Forum

    Fabian
     
    #58 Fabian, May 14, 2010
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  19. BigJohn

    BigJohn New Member

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    That's pure genius. I have to try that this weekend!

    BigJohn
     
  20. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Fabian,
    That sir is the cat's meow. Has anything progressed with manufacturing these for those of us without your skill? Seeing the daily miles you rack up I'm beginning to see more use for a motorbike outfitted with the SBP kit. Yest, it is on the expensive side, but if it is primary transportation that changes everything with optional sidecar or multiple trailers... one for cargo, another camper model, another for the dog or child. Figure the savings on auto costs and it makes the bike pretty cheap transportation. Less than a motorcycle and way less than a car. Even if you still have to have a car for long distance travel or freezing weather, it stretches out the life of the car a lot and saves in that way. Fabian, is your travel mostly flatland or do you have to deal with hills? I've seen pictures of your trailer and it is substantial. In the summer I trap and deliver minnows to fishermen locally... this would be the ticket. And I could use it for the twelve mile trip to town. If only I had your fabrication skills. Your tensioner is bullet proof!
    SB
     

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