Madwagon goes to the Park

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
I hope and plan to ride the MadWagon to every park in my town (there are a lot) and snap a picture. This one is on my side of town and is a quick 1 mile ride from my house. It looks out over the water and there are lots of things for kids toplay on. Its a nice spot. I can't bring my dog there but, I can ride my bike there.

So making this plan will make me ride my bike into other places than the office park ti ride in circles.:ride:
 

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comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
nice looking frame on that bike. is Madwagon the brand? and that appears to be a friction drive, right?
yeah MadWagon is the brand. They are a an American company that imported/had these made in China. solid steel frame based off really old school designs. Other than that I couldn't find much more information. A couple of the bicycling forums really railed on them hard- because they have a steel frame, are heavy and the components are cheap.

I read that, saw the picture on craigslist and thought, "[email protected], that'd make a nice motored bike!" I snagged it for $35 and I think it was worth every penny. Not to mention that the name is PERFECT for anything motorized!

I think it's crying out for more work on it though. I think I"ll be playing with this one for a long time.

It is a friction drive- 31cc ryobi with a mount so that I can move engines easily.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
So is the ryobi fast enough and got enough guts for you. I have one coming I hope. I paid for it but it is moving rather slow and the salesman won't tell me anything about the shipping now that I have paid for it. EBAY of course.

the Bolens I had seemed to do really well. I like the way your bike looks by the way. I heard you mention cable stretch. I had that on one of my bikes till I replaced he cable with a chain. I use just enough cable on it to marry it to a brake lever. It seems to have done the trick.
 
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SpiderSpartan

New Member
Jul 29, 2008
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Cincinnati
Hey, I have that exact same Homelite engine that's on your blog. I have to close the choke to keep it running. I'm in the middle of attaching it to my bike using a chain drive. What did you have to do to go legal? Just fill out a form? I'm in ohio and I'm afraid I'll have a hard time making mine legal, if I even try. Check out what I've got so far.
Motorized Bike (SpiderCast)
 
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comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
Hey, I have that exact same Homelite engine that's on your blog. I have to close the choke to keep it running. I'm in the middle of attaching it to my bike using a chain drive. What did you have to do to go legal? Just fill out a form? I'm in ohio and I'm afraid I'll have a hard time making mine legal, if I even try. Check out what I've got so far.
Motorized Bike (SpiderCast)
I can't wait to get that little homelite running again. I'm going to rip it down entirely and rebuild it from the ground up if I can't get it to run with just the carb cleaning.... A spray bottle of carb cleaner was only $5 at home cheapo. Do you have the 25cc or 30cc model? It's going to be my experiment engine- I've found some resources on modifying them to do a lot more. Homelites are the weedeater engine of choice on the RC speedboat lists for mucking about with. So I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. I'm calling it my winter project.

In Mass it was easy to get the registration, fill out the form and then find a RMV that will process it without getting a VIN#. It costs $40 for 2 years. So far Framingham and Lowell RMVs will do them with no issues. Beverly RMV will not.

I've been following your blog. When I saw that the homelite didn't have a threaded shaft I figured I'd go the same route as you and add sprockets. I've found a lotof jackshaft kits out there for a small amount of money. I suspect I'll have to keep my pedals because my butt is too big for that little engine to move around. Isn'ta that homelite a tiny little thing?!?

UncleKudzu Thanks for the props on my blog. I have a lot of fun writing it and keeping track of my (mis)adventures. and yeah I'm in love with that frame... Is that wrong?

Deacon- the ryobi is fast enough. I pedal up to 5 or 7 mph and drop the engine and I get to 14 pretty quickly, she builds up speed and cruises around between 14 and 19 easily. I'm having some issue at WOT, so tonight I'm going to clean my muffler and see if that makes a difference and go back to stock tuning on it. I'll tell you one thing when that thing is runnig well it handles my weight (195lb) easily. I'd like (kind of) to see what it does with less weight on it. A reason to diet? The engine starts up pretty easily and will easily bump start but I like the pull start. At a little above middle throttle position I pedaled up a hill at 14mph. I've got to try it without and see what she does. I made the trip to the park and back in short time.

As far as guts I haven't tested her enough to tell you more about teh pull. I do see that the muffler on mine will need cleaning often, and I bet mine would do better if I did a carb cleaning. But the walbro on it is pretty nice, it has more movement ont he throttle than the craftsman did- so more range in speed, not just WOT and idle.
 

SpiderSpartan

New Member
Jul 29, 2008
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Cincinnati
I've got the 25cc. If you look at the drive shaft there should be a type of nut at the base(there was on mine at least). I was able to use a deep socket ratchet to take off the piece that accepts the square rod, which was good, because mine was broken. Here's a pic. That left me with a short threaded drive shaft. I had to spray a few sprays of carb cleaner into the gas tank and run it through the system when I first got mine, but now it runs great. What type of mods have you found for this thing? I wouldn't mind trying to get a little more power out of it. I think the 25cc are 1HP.
 
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MrLarkins

HS Math Teacher
Jun 17, 2008
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Arkansas
that is a great idea...I think I'll do the same thing...we have a few parks here, and some that are farther (i could make a day of those)...the closest is Toad Suck Park...I'll take a pic.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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north carolina
Unless you are opposed to sounding like a 50cc scooter, drill a couple of holes in the muffler and forget about leaning it out. It made a huge difference in my bolens 31cc (ryobi) Also in the chain saw.

I can drag start that 33cc now that I am using a turnbuckle for tension. I like to rope start mine first and warm it up. Once the chainsaw is hot it starts on the drag in just a couple of turns of the engine.

Funny I never could get that 31cc bolens to drag start hot or cold. It either had too much compression or I didn't have enough tension on it.

I keep cranking more and more tension on the chainsaw and it seems to run better. I do like that gravity clutch for drag starting. I can get up a little speed before I drop the engine. I have all of mine rigged so that I can hook the engine up and pedal it home.

The 31cc ryobi should be light enough for me to ride the bike trail with it wired up, then drop it and ride it home.
 

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
I have a feeling that your going to love that ryobi- it's a nice little wacker... Light weight too, made the old craftsman of mine seem like it was made of lead.

Spider- check out some of the forums on RC boats One of the big mods is to chop all the fins off and install water cooling and a radiator as well as tuned pipes, some of the sites have sweet looking tuned pipes. The RC airplane guys put in a glow plug and use a different type of fuel. Standard thing is to match and port the inlet and exhaust then do a tuned pipe.

Those boats really go like h3!!. My father has a fiberglass hull for a mini lobster boat... It would be hilarious to get this thing going and race it in one of the annual lobster boat races up in Maine... None of the races have a minimum size requirement, so anything from 2 foot to 30 will go. Ha. I'll get the links from my father, I'm not into the RC stuff like he is, he's got a series of sail boats as well as a couple of hulls he's been working on.

I'm gonna go get the muffler off the ryobi and I'm hoping its like the homelite and has a size that will take a scooter muffler. Deacon I was thinking it sounded a lot like a little scooter when I was riding it the other day.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
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north carolina
Mine does I swear you can hear that tinny sound a mile away. I hope it comes soon before I get hooked on this chainsaw. I'm afraid I will think the ryobi is too lightweight now that I am used to hossing this chainsaw around.

I love the bolen. It was light and fast as the devil and that was without being able to fine tune the tension.

the holes not only allow the bike to breath better they keep the muffler from clogging I think.
 

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
I figured out why the engine was bogging down and dying at the high end- it wasn't getting enough gas. That tiny little tank was almost out. But looked almost full due to the angle of the bike, When riding it's level but not when it's sitting. Looks like the range on that ()*(^&&^$$%# little tank is about 10 miles or so. Sigh. I need something larger. I'll be working on that this weekend, until then I have my reserve tank, the red metal water bottle.

At work they have a metal water bottle for $10, stainless steel with a wide mouth that hold 24oz or .7 liters... It also comes in a lot of nice colors. So i may use that. We'll see.
 

comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
Took a cruise around town, hit some of the land marks and took some pictures, notably Central Cemetery, Beverly Common, Dane St or Lyon's Beach and Independence park. It was good for me to make stops here and there, my fat butt isn't used to biking like I used to be. I do pedal most of the time and keep the bike at 14 mph. I have a good cadence at that speed and it keeps my heart rate up, so I'm getting exercise. Hopefully it will spur my weight loss into higher gear-0 so that I can cruise around at 19mph and have a good cadence.:ride2: AS of right now I'm a sweaty mess. Its also humid and warm out.

Some more pics are below.
 

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deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
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north carolina
That adapter shaft makes a good nut itself. It is also 5/16 fine thread I am pretty sure. I have a bunch of them around but they are most likely mixed up with other nuts by now.

The thirft store bikes here have dried up with the price of gasoline on the rise. I hate it to because I could buy a lot of bikes last year.
 
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comfortableshoes

New Member
Jul 22, 2008
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Beverly, MA USA
I agree the cheap bikes at thrift stores have dried up. The Salvation Army here has no bikes at all and the little antique store, where one could get a vintage bike for around $50 now sells them for $150.

Also Craigslist here around Boston is much more expensive than it used to be. Bikes that would have gone for less than $100 are going for much more. No more do you find those great deals on Cannondales or Gary Fishers, unless someone hasn't done their research and then you have to send an email so fast t makes your fingertips hurt.

Everyone is just trying to make it though by eking out what they can from what they've got.

In a year or 2 the good prices will be back, but they'll never be what they were.