Motorized bicycle setup for long distance riding

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Herdo, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    Hey everyone, I've got a few questions on the setup you all would go with if you were going to embark on a long distance trip (1000 miles or more).

    I'm going to lay out a template but feel free to be detailed and also add anything else you feel should get attention when planning a long trip like this.

    1) Engine:

    2) Transmission/Gear box:

    3) Tires/Rims/Spokes:

    4) Hubs/Brakes:

    5) Frame:

    6) Exhaust:

    7) Trailer or everything strapped to the frame?

    8) How would you do your riding (how long would you ride)?



    1) Engine: I'd without a doubt go with a 4 stroke, most likely the HS, although splurging on a Honda 50cc might be a good idea.

    2) Transmission: I would probably go with an SBP Shift Kit although I have no experience with one. While I have heard they are finicky, they do last a long time. Chain tightening and tensioning would have to be worked in to the routine probably every time you stopped for gas.

    3) Tires/Rims/Spokes: As for tires I would go with a 26" although I know nothing about what makes a good tire for long distance travel. I want to say I would go with a large balloon tire like a Quick Brick which is quite wide. What sort of tires are needed for long distance travel?

    4) This is where I may end up getting into trouble. I would definitely go with a 90mm front drum hub such as the Sturmey Archer X-FD. The back I think I would go with the Sturmey Archer 70mm 3 speed internal hub with drum brake. This might be a good idea or a terrible idea. I know the internal gear hubs can be somewhat fragile, but I think with 95% of the riding being at a cruising speed, it would cause very little wear. Good or bad idea?

    5) Steel frame, probably a Schwinn or Roadmaster straight bar because I would want to mount a large custom tank inside the frame.

    6) No idea. Is there something that would be better for longer riding?

    7) I would most likely be pulling a trailer.

    8) Average cruising speed of 15 mph or so (10 - 20 mph), average about 75 - 100 miles a day. If I planned a long trip like this I would really want to enjoy it so I would only be riding 5 hours a day or so pretty slowly.



    How would you plan out your trip? How would you build your bike? What did I do wrong? haha
     
  2. xseler

    xseler Well-Known Member

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    Where would you be heading to? Steep grades and higher elevation can make a difference in certain things --- brakes, carb, tires, etc.

    Sounds like a great time, though! It would be fun to go with a group of motorized bicycle riders ---- call the group "Heck's Angels".
     
  3. rogergendron1

    rogergendron1 New Member

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    bike... full suspention high end aluminum frame 29 in mountain bike... ie cannon dale or something

    engine... honda gx 160 degoverned, but mostly stock aside from better valve springa and aluminum flyweel. mounted on a heavy duty rear rack ( a solid 1/4in thick alluminum plate and aluminum angle iron welded to frame)

    trany... verry high quality racing cintrifugal clutch with high stall engagement 3,000 rpm + and fully adjustable, strait to a jackshaft that transfers power to a rear 8 speed rear hub

    thumb throttle for comfort and a big beach cruiser type gell or memory foam seat with a suspention seat post.

    trailor.... make your own to carry what you need... mine would be all aluminum tubing with 20in rear wheal from a schwinn sting ray, and maple wood deck and sides to give it the old pick up truck look ...


    with a gx 160 four stroke geared for torque you could ride all day with exorberant amounts of power at your desposal and still go plenty fast enough to smoke a china girl in a race even pulling the trailor !!!
    the heavy duty rear mount woul allow for full suspention and the use of ay size motor you want lol you could slap a 212 predy on it if you wanted. the jackshaft would go to a free free wheel and to a 8 speed casett or 7 speed hub givving you gut wrenching torque in 1st and ludacris speed in 7th !!! 29 in wheels for a smooth ride .

    that would be my dream ride !!!
     
  4. rogergendron1

    rogergendron1 New Member

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    yeh i would def pick a real honda motor for somthing like that no clone... i know how reliable they are, we have them on our iar compressors and they run 12 hs a day 7 days a week 365 days a year with no trouble !!!!!

    and a degovernd honda 160 puts out like 7-8 horse power with upgraded valve springs and a aluminum flywheel !!! all that on a 7 speed hub !!!!!!!!!! wow wheelies in first and second and 50mph speeds after 6th gear !!!! full suspention down hill bike with a big comfy seat and a shock absorber seat post, you wouldnt feel a bump !!!

    somthing like this but with a heck of a lot more motor and a better bike like the down hil 2 stroke morini bikes...like the green one in the pics but with the motor in the pics mounted like the black bike... ummm like the grey schwin but with a gx160 mounted and run to the 7 hub
     

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    #4 rogergendron1, Oct 15, 2013
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  5. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    Well MY theoretical dream trip would probably take me from my home in Phoenix to Yellowstone, so I imagine there would be some very steep roads in there the entire ride would be about 1000 miles.

    I have been planning out a real trip for next spring (assuming I get my bike built and get some miles on it before then), and going anywhere in AZ is going to include some steep gradients, but nothing too serious. The first trip I am planning is from Glendale to Prescott Arizona. About 120 miles one way. I'm thinking I would break it up into 2 parts. Leave Thursday and stay Thursday night in Wickenburg about half way, then finish the trek into Prescott Friday in the early afternoon. Camp in Prescott Friday night have my girlfriend meet me Saturday and camp together Saturday night and drive back Sunday.

    I think that's a good first overnight trip and I plan to do a couple 50 mile day trips prior to that so I should be ready.

    Oh and as far as the Heck's Angels goes... I'm in.
     
  6. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    Very nice rogergendron1. I'd like to see one of those in action. If I was to make this trip, I would really like to keep the engine as legal as possible in as many states as possible. I guess with an engine that big you can always just register it as a moped or motorcycle and not have to worry about anything, haha.

    Also, would that 7 speed hold up to that kind of torque? I'd be afraid of ripping the thing apart.
     
  7. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I'd be very surprised if this is at all even close to what you've in mind, on the other hand it's exactly why I built it, for long distance riding with a heavy trailer laden down with camping gear, noms & toys... er tools.

    vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNLTLRx8sTI

    [​IMG]

    pics: http://s305.photobucket.com/user/Serenity151/library/tad
    build thread: http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=24210

    1) Engine: 49cc four stroke Lifan (Honda CRF50) clone

    2) Transmission/Gear box: 3sp internal autoclutch

    3) Tires/Rims/Spokes: Alexrims DX32 double wall alloy

    4) Hubs/Brakes: Quanta 20mm sealed bearing, Avid BB5 disc

    5) Frame: fabricated

    6) Exhaust: Piranha 50

    7) Trailer or everything strapped to the frame? both

    8) How would you do your riding (how long would you ride)? 100+ miles per leg


    Granted mine is a hybrid, but the Lifan/CRF50 (about $250) is a high quality clone with an actual, integral transmission (3 or four speed, auto, autoclutched or standard - your choice) and is a beautiful little engine, the full lighting & charging with electric start is a handy bonus & it'd be fine by itself stock. There is however a vast selection of aftermarket preformance parts ofc.

    Figured I'd throw it out there lol :D
     
    #7 BarelyAWake, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  8. FMB42

    FMB42 New Member

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    I think just about everything has been covered (and I especially agree with the "full suspension" recommendations). Running a good chain and, if equipped, the very best tensioner you can get should reduce the chances of serious chain problems. I'd also replace the axle nuts with some top quality units (if you haven't done so already).

    As for visiting Yellowstone, I can promise you that this is a "must see" park (if you haven't been there already). Yellowstone is, imo, second only to (both rims) of the Grand Canyon (and I've visited just about every park and scenic place there is in the Western United States). And like they say, you see a whole lot more on a cycle than you do out of car.

    Best of luck on your build and trip(s).
     
  9. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    You couldn't be more wrong BarelyAwake, haha. This is exactly what I was looking for! I really just wanted to see what everyone's optimal long distance setup would be and you delivered!

    I am so impressed with your build I am now questioning my own build and how many wheels it should have :D. I have to ask, how much would you say that bike cost you (I understand if you don't want to answer that)? Unfortunatley I have absolutely no fabrication skills so a three wheeled recumbent like this is probably out of the question.

    That first ride video had excellent music and editing as well. How fast were you cruising in that video? It looked like you were flying, but the ride looked very smooth. Thanks for sharing.

    Fmb42, you are very lucky! I have never been to Yellowstone and I have been dreaming of going for years. I have been to the Grand Canyon several times and I agree, it's absolutely gorgeous.
     
  10. FMB42

    FMB42 New Member

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    That I am Herdo, that I am. My only regret is that I didn't take more photos.

    Have yet to visit the Smithsonian and the D.C. monuments though, and I've been told that (like the Grand Canyon) these places must be seen in order to be believed.

    Anyway, I'd relate some of the immensely impressive sights that I've seen in Yellowstone, but I'd rather not "spoil it" for you ahead of time. Just make darn sure that you don't miss the "Old Faithful Inn".
     
  11. rogergendron1

    rogergendron1 New Member

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    the lifan clon of the honda pit bike motor with the auto clutch id the best clone around !!! i would go with a lifan 50cc auto if it would fit but a morini 50cc 2 banger would be reliable and powerfull too. yeh a gx160 would need to be registered so if you want to stay around 50cc the lifan 50 auto or the denardis/morini is you best bet
    the lifan would give you years of trouble free smooth 4 stroke power and operation and the denardis/morini would be more prefomance oriantated but would still be up to the task !

    mabe a 50 - 70 cc demo saw motor rear mount and chain drive ?
     
    #11 rogergendron1, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  12. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    I have been looking at this Lifan and it is one awesome engine. I wish it was a bit lighter so I could justify putting it into a normal bicycle frame, haha. Since BarelyAWake's post I have been looking into 3 wheeled recumbents and it is looking more and more appealing. I'd have to find someone who could fabricate a frame for me and I have absolutely no idea how much that would run (probably more than I am willing to spend).

    When all is said and done I planned on spending about $1200 - $1500 on my bike and then some upgrades later like a custom gas tank which runs about $300 alone.
     
  13. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Thanks Herdo, I'm glad ya dig it :)

    The recumbent thing can be difficult if you've limited fabrication ability, factory recumbents are often ill suited for motorization, mostly limited to rack mounts or electric hub drives & they're usually grossly overpriced in any case. If you do decide to look into building one sometime - check out Atomic Zombie's DIY plans, they're very straightforward & well written.

    If you're interested in using something like the Lifan/Honda CRF50 but can't scratch build or alter a frame, there's a couple of stretch/chopper style bikes that'll take it without too much of a problem & look pretty comfy too, here's one by Crazy Horse as an example: http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=18970

    ...knowing ofc any motorized bicycle project requires at least some amount of fabrication, there's usually still some options that don't need welding or so little of it you can shop it out.

    As for how much the T3 cost me - that's a tricky question for two reasons, the first being I didn't keep close track & took my time and the second being it's a true parallel hybrid, which nearly doubles the cost of the build as it's got dual just-about-everything lol, but roughly $3000ish give or take. By building one I have ofc figured out how to save quite a lot of time & money were I to do it again, happily this one turned out so well I don't think I'll hafta though *shrug* I did also give into temptation & got some goodies, like the full multi-display Trail Tech Vapor dash, that kinda stuff adds up quick... but it's so shiny :D

    As for speed, I built it as a reliable distance hauler so it's not set up to break any land speed records - w/the torque it's got it'll haul hundreds of pounds up any hill you can find but the normal cruise gearing (like in the vid) is around 30mph, although I will say 30+ feet first w/yer butt a foot off the ground does indeed feel like "flying" heh

    To help with the two/three wheels question - I only went trike as I wanted a lay back recumbent (the two wheeled ones freak me out), while it's really comfy it's also sometimes awkward while playing in traffic as it's a bit wide, low & hard to see. If ya can't manage a trike this time around I wouldn't sweat it, there's always another build and they've all their own advantages/disadvantages.
     
  14. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the info BarelyAWake, I am definitely interested in going this route however, I would need to keep the price around $1500 total (at least initially, I can always add stuff later). If I could come up with the plans for the frame maybe I could have someone fabricate it for me. Any rough idea of how much someone might charge for a project like this?

    I'm trying to piece together a very rough estimate but I'm having a serious problem keeping it around $1500, haha. It's about this time that I really wished I had a friend who can do this kind of work that would help me on the weekends or something.

    Like you said, maybe I can't manage a trike right now, but maybe someday I can get some welding experience.
     
  15. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

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    Big Boy Cycles uses the Lifan clone semi auto motors with great success.
    Electric start with a full electric system for lights or whatever.

    They just sold some bikes to a rental place in Tahoe so that shows you how bullet proof their builds are.
     
  16. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    If I hadn't gone hybrid that would have been about the cost - electric drive systems aren't the least expensive way to go heh. I prolly could have kept it under a grand easy if I hadn't gone hybrid and fully suspended.

    Check the local ads & scrapyards, CRF50/clone based ATVs are very, very common - if ya dig around a bit you can prolly find a new/used kiddie sized dirtbike or four wheeler for pretty cheap, used really cheap. While it may be a used engine it'll get ya started and you'll get just about everything else ya need for motorization (taddy or bike) for pennies on the dollar, once built you can always get a new engine & bolt it in there... doing this you may well get everything except the bike for about what just an engine costs.

    As for fabricating a frame, if you can cut steel you can always have someone tack/weld it up for you - it's the fabrication & fitting that's so time consuming & what ends up costing the most. If you can take your time & do that bit, you can then find someone that welds well (try auto exhaust places for example). If you've done all the prep & fitting it shouldn't cost much at all as welding is actually pretty easy & quick w/experience & the proper equipment. A basic, unsuspended cruciform tadpole once cut shouldn't cost a lot more than a hunnert or so to zot together, if ya know a guy & it's all ready to go.

    I know it's messy, long & difficult to read, but if you dig around in the T3's build thread I tried my best to reference every part with links, alternatives & the reason why I went that route with as much comparison shopping as possible, trying to get quality without the price tag usually associated. Recumbent parts cost more just because they say "recumbent" on the package - for example 20mm axles for BMX/freestyle are inexpensive ($15-20 or so, mebbe less) but the exact same 20mm axle (quality, material, finish & fit) for a recumbent will cost twice that at a minimum - the difference being only the fad/fashion of recumbents lol, so shop around & avoid recumbent bits, it makes no difference if the part is the same.
     
  17. rogergendron1

    rogergendron1 New Member

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    how about one of thease trikes with a lifan or HF 79-99cc predy mounted on the rear ??? it would be within cost and comfy too ... with all the power you need for any hill and good cruise speed ...

    they are around 1000$ front shocks and pleanty of gears and big ol tires... big rear rack to mount any motor you want and easy to make a trailor... you could have a nice front basket too and use the rear for the motor clutch and jackshaft

    basicly where that rear rack is mounted you take it off and just bolt on a large 1/4 aluminum plat and drill holes or weld for your motor mounts depending on the motor i think a 100 $ 99cc preddy would do just fine bolted down with a cetrifugal clutch and a jakshaft or even a cvt tranny

    soo 1000$ for bike
    100 $ for motor 99cc HF
    200-300 for the tranny
    100$ for parts chain sprokets exe..
    boom cutom trike with all the power you could want
     

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    #17 rogergendron1, Oct 17, 2013
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  18. Herdo

    Herdo New Member

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    BarelyAWake, thanks for all the info. I think I could probably work out the cutting myself although I would definitely need someone to do the welding.

    I am on about page 7 of your T3 thread, and it looks like at this point in the build you are using the frame from an old ATV (I think), is that what you ended up sticking with? I guess I am asking if you ended up building the entire frame from scratch or if you pieced together different section to create the final frame.

    Also, when building a tadpole like this, what do you use for the "front end"? It looks very complicated; did you build that section yourself or is that a pre-built piece you found somewhere? How about the back end that the wheel attaches to? It actually looks like it's from a standard bicycle. Thanks again, I'll be reading through your thread some more!


    rogergendron1, that may be my best option. It seems as though there would need to be a lot less tweaking with a standard tricycle. I am surprised at how expensive they are to be honest though. I will be looking into standard trikes a bit more. :D
     
  19. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    No worries, it's fun stuff lol

    If you've not had metalworking/weld prep experience I'd suggest chatting up an experienced welder, which isn't hard as all ya hafta do is find one & start askin' questions as most live to babble about what they do & all would rather stick something together that's been properly prepped. It's not difficult & mostly about clean, tight fitting joints but talkin' to them will also give ya an idea how experienced they are, how psyched they are to do the job & most of all, a chance for you to check examples of their work ;)

    My taddy is a bit complicated, it's not something I'd suggest for a first build & I mentioned the thread more to skim lookin' for ideas & links then to read through the years of babble page by page heh but hey, thanks for the interest & I'm glad yer getting something from it! It's... urm... bent bits and chunks from like three different wheelers? There' quite a bit of bicycle, a touch of go kart, a dash of street bike & moped both and then a whole buncha random stuff from anywhere I could find a dealie that was close to what I needed... heck even the headlights are re-purposed household interior lighting lol

    For an introduction to fabrication I'd strongly suggest something w/a bit less chaos, the deltas rogergendron1 gave as examples would be the simplest, quickest way to get into it - although I'd prolly utilize the factory upper mounts these CRF50 clones often use & put the engine where it usually is mounted with the mopeds/dirtbikes & wheelers. They're just flat steel upper plates so I'd bridge the upper frame with a top tube, cut the lower frame out & weld in the CRF50 plate mounts instead, strengthening the frame for motorization & hanging the motor low, just like a ped. They even have a CRF50 clone w/pedals like a moped, prolly about as useless too heh but it'd be easy.

    If ya wanted to try yer hand at making the tadpole style trike, or any scratch build this is a goldmine of ideas: http://www.atomiczombie.com/DIY Plans.aspx, remembering any trike getting just about any four stroke other than a rack mount is going to be expensive or there's going to be some chopping going on, sometimes both lol - they're all pretty bulky engines & it's in width that makes a bike tricky, even the HF utility motors end up being roughly as wide as the CRF50 clones because of the aftermarket clutch/redrive, oddly they can end up costing more because of that if you're not careful...

    ...then again four strokes are the tool for the job for the long distance heavy lifting, their miserly appetites don't hurt either when yer talkin' cross-country so - is it worth the effort? Only you can call that 'un :p
     
  20. rogergendron1

    rogergendron1 New Member

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    those spacific trikes are expencive but you could just get a cheaper one lol

    i showed you those because those are mountain trikes with larger wheels and mountain bike gearing with good fron suspention, i think they even come with disk breaks and 21 speeds !!!! the tires are like the schwin chopper bike tires ... wide and have tread for snow mud exe.... yeh a little expencive but worth it

    here is the video off the web for there trike...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6qR8zFE3TM

    here are close ups of the trike tires frame exe...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_yhaCpf3wc

    just a thought ... a trike of this design would be nice you would have all the gears and large tires for any terrain and pleany of room for any motor.... you could probably do a trike conversion on a full suspention mountain bike though or a hard tail multie speed cruiser and save some cash doing it yourself
     

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