Liability issues

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by monsterwalley, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. monsterwalley

    monsterwalley New Member

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    New here and sorry if this has been covered before.

    I have been thinking about doing a bike build for a little while, but have not
    done much research yet. We have a benefit auction coming up and I got
    to thinking a motorized bike might be a pretty creative idea for one of the
    auction items. I'm pretty handy with fabrication (it's what I do) so I'm
    not too worried about installing a kit. I just havent had time to research
    everything here as far as kit quality, fit and finish etc....

    I guess my real question is... Are these kits safe enough to install on
    brand new bikes and be reliable for a auction winner that may not have any
    mechanical aptitude at all? I wouldn't want the winner to be out for a ride and
    do a faceplant at 30 mph cause something failed, or something constantly going
    wrong with the bike requiring me to constantly fix.

    Is this not a good auction idea?
     
  2. Mozenrath

    Mozenrath New Member

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    Depends on the kit.

    In general, the only way to make it safe is to replace all the auxilliary parts. Things like the clutch cable, throttle, petcock are lousy and fail and need to be fixed or replaced. Test the bike thoroughly.

    No matter how safe you make the bike, best write up a liability waiver for the buyer to sign.
     
  3. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    I would advise that you build a couple of bikes & learn as much as you can before just sending your first bike out into the world for someone to get hurt on. (all the info you need to learn is here on this furum).
    These kits look easy to install, but there are many things that experienced builders do to them to make 'em as safe & reliable as possible.
    Most of the bigger problems come from the chain tensioner & rear sprocket installation.
     
  4. monsterwalley

    monsterwalley New Member

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    Thanks, I deep down think I knew this. I havent had time to digest the info
    here yet, just found this place yesterday. I am on a time crunch if this was
    going to happen and wasn't sure if there was a top of the line kit that had
    the bad stuff weeded out. Thanks and I'll heed your warning and research
    a little better. The brief look around here I did so far indicates that these
    kits will require an operator with a little mechanical skills and I'm afraid
    the bidders at this auction probably won't have anyway.

    Guess I'll have to build one for myself (big grin)
     
  5. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    The most straightfoward, easiest to maintain, requires little maintenance, is a rear friction drive. Owner must be able to comprehend tire wear, proper roller pressure against the tire, accelerated bicycle maintenance, and how water affects friction.

    As for a benefit auction, I would want the end purchaser to understand that I am not liable for any "negative outcomes" resulting from a lack of proper maintenance on each and every part of the motorized bicycle. Also that is is a motorized vehicle of sorts and can cause injury to the operator slightly greater than what one may encounter riding a non motorized bicycle. Operator/ owner is solely responsible for their own actions and anything resulting from said actions.
     
  6. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    I agree with your conclusion. Just like motorcycles from slightly earlier times, these bikes require the owner to be able to turn a wrench with at least a monicum of skill. That being said, the level of skill needed isn't that difficult to aquire.
     
  7. Ditchrider

    Ditchrider New Member

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    Throw a hub motor on a Walmart mountain bike, sorry I said the word electric over the computer. But all they need is a dot approved helmet to ride it and (with motor off) in the bike lane. No license needed. If they stay in the bike lane and don't set a speed record going down a hill ,they should be ok.
     
  8. thegnu

    thegnu New Member

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    Not shooting this idea down but , in the automotive buisness , I have built a street rod or two , most states laws can track liability back to the builder , if it is clearly a builder related defect that caused the harm . my general rule is if I wouldnt trust it with my life I will not trust anyone elses in or on it .
     
  9. 2door

    2door Moderator
    Staff Member

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    You'd be well advised to seek some legal advice before attempting to build a bike for a give-away venture. Just telling someone that you're not responsible, or even having them sign a release might not be enough to protect you in the event someone gets hurt. Just ask the people with fenced in swimming pools with signs that say "Keep Out" how well they were protected when an injury occured in their pool by someone who wasn't supposed to be in it. There's always a lawyer out there who will try to prove negligence and you could well be in his sights. Be very careful with this idea, sir.
    Tom
     
  10. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i agree with everyone above. your charitable act could come back to haunt you in a big way.

    i've sold a bunch of bikes, and in the back of my mind, i always think about what will happen when they crash (notice the use of "will" and "when," not "might" and "if.")

    the people i've sold bikes to, i trust enough not to bring any action against me, as well as being relatively responsible people who know what they're getting into.

    i'd be very leary about giving a bike to an unknown person, with unknown skills, especially if it's the first bike you build, and haven't figured out the quirks and potential hazards.

    my advice?

    if you wanna auction off something, and want it to be different, buy a regular bicycle and customize it with paint, etc, but don't put a motor on it.

    and, build one for yourself, of course...:)
     

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