Need help with some direction.

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by IVIaxPow3r, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. IVIaxPow3r

    IVIaxPow3r New Member

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    Hello,

    I am new here and new to motorized bikes in general. But after looking around - it looks like a motorized bike would work really well to help me get some problems solved

    My main problem is that my car keeps having trouble - and I cannot afford to rely on it at the moment (cash is tight).

    So I am looking to get/make a motorized bike that will fit my situation. I'll let you know what my situation is - and hopefully this wonderful community can tell me what direction I should head to fix my problem.

    I am looking to spend no more that $300 (a little over is okay if necessary). I need something that is reliable/sturdy enough to either rarely need repaires or have the repaires minimal and inexpensive. I don't care too much about how fast it goes - I manly am just looking to have an easy ride that doesn't involve too much of my own leg power. I am a larger fella (around 300 lbs) and I know that likely makes a difference on speed - but I am wondering if it makes a difference on how much power I need either way. I would prefer to not have to get a motorcycle license (read: 49cc) - but I don't know if my weight would require me to get something with more power. The area I live in is slightly "hilly" so I need it to at lest be able to make it up hills without dying or causing the engine any problems. The drive to work is 3.3 miles one way (so it's not vary far) and I drive there at least 5 days a week. I am also looking to possibly get a trailer for the bike so I can do some grocery shopping for my wife when necessary as well.

    I would like suggestions on bikes and engines and where to get them from. Thanks in advance for any help. :) Feel free to ask me any questions if I have left something out.

    -Max
     
  2. Tad Bit Tipsy

    Tad Bit Tipsy New Member

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    Try a "pawn shop special" bike, or craigslist. Stick to mostly beach cruiser(maybe road bike) styles. And then get a motor from one of our vendors on either side. A 49cc will do fine, just save up for a bigger sprocket/adapter later on if you feel you need more torque. When looking for a bike just think of things like, is their enough room for an engine and tank, does it have decent brakes, etc. There is a engine template on zoombicycles that you can print out and take with you, to see if the engine fits. Also make sure that the rear is wide enough to fit in a chain on the left, at least 4in+. Good luck. Post picts of any bike you scope out and we'll give you the thumbs up. L8R.
     
  3. dag_29307

    dag_29307 New Member

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    Let me start by saying Welcome to the forum. Next you will get plenty of advice from the members of this forum. In my opinion I would suggest you stay with the 80cc. motor as that is what I have I also weigh in at around 300 lbs. and it moves me down the road just fine. Now as far as the bike I used a Huffy Mountain bike from Wal-Mart due to my needs and my budget Both were the same as yours as well. I found the only change I really felt I had to make was the seat, handlebars, and Tires. the knobby tires really give a rough ride. The handlebars keep me from feeling I am leaning/hunched over and the seat is self explanatory. I spent a couple hours looking over the different posts here and found some very useful information. The thing I learned that was the most affective "Locktite" use it! Really it makes a huge difference. You will get plenty more advice from the folks that helped me, listen to them they know what they are talking about. OH by the way these are addicting...It starts out as a need and before you know it your wanting to build another one just better than the last one with better paint,wheels,exhaust,custom tank and so on. Good luck.

    Once again welcome to the forum.
     

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  4. IVIaxPow3r

    IVIaxPow3r New Member

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    With the 80 cc engine - do you have to have a motorcycle's license? Or is there an easy way for a cop to tell? I am kind of curious.
     
  5. dag_29307

    dag_29307 New Member

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    the 80cc. is not a true 80cc. it is more of a 66cc. engine. the folks here can explain this better than Me but I putt around at about 35 mph. with my bike and I have only had problems for riding at night with no lights. Have not had any problems about engine size yet. and I even told LEO about the size of my engine and no problems. No, no lic. req. here.
     
  6. AaronF

    AaronF New Member

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    Welcome to the forum! There is no way of a cop to tell just by looking,as 49cc are very comparable in size to the 66cc motors.The only way they could really find out is if you were to go through court and had a dynamo test ran on the bike.
     
  7. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    As far as your reliability question, these motorized bicycles can be transportation but I would consider them first a hobby. They can be pretty reliable but they do need tinkering here and there. If you don't like to work on things it may not be for you. But if you like to tinker then you will love it. It is such a blast riding these things and yes you will probably get addicted to them. There are guys on this forum that have ridden thousands of miles with no problems and others that aren't so lucky. They say that the quality of these engines vary and there is not a great way to tell what you are getting until you get it. Your best bet would be to get something from one of the vendors on this site. By the way if you do have a problem with your engine you won't be left in the dark, you will have everyone on this forum eager to help you. Also there are parts you can buy to increase reliability. Look through all of the vendors on the left and right of this forum and you will see them. You might not be able to afford them now but as you go along you can get them. Some that I would recomend is a better spark plug and plug wire, engine hardware kit, o-ring for carb, etc. Last thing, if you use it to go to work make sure you leave early enough that if you have a problem you can still make it on time, remember the bike will still be able to go by peddling if you are in a bind.
     
  8. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    For reliability, these kits can be fine one set up properly, but I would recommend something like a Titan or other rack mount set up for ease of set up and maintenance.

    Figure 20-25 mph cruise speed, though some claim a lot more....take that with a grain of salt.

    If you go with an in frame type, the cops aren't going to be able to tell what size it is, even with a "dyno". The only way to tell what size an engine is, is to take the head off and measure....a 3 minute job that they can do if they really wanted to. No dyno is involved.
     
  9. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    A few additional things to consider are while a bike can be had at Walmart for under $100 new - the rims are treacherous. While the rest of the bike may be fine (get front brakes if it's only got a coaster) the wheels aren't really up to this sort of thing and will probably need replacing - I'd hunt up a good used bike if money is an issue.

    I would also suggest picking out and purchasing an engine kit first, that way you'll be sure to get a bike it fits well on - most problems encountered during installation are a result of the kit... almost fitting and needing some fabrication/modification.

    As for which engine, well that's up to you and your budget - the rack mounts the easiest, the in-frame somewhat cheaper and a better ride. Remember - size isn't everything if you've no need for speed - sprockets can be changed for more hauling power.

    No matter what you choose - pick a reputable vendor as you may need their patience, customer service & parts. Saving $20 from some random ebay seller may well end up costing more than you think ;)
     
  10. rkorson4209

    rkorson4209 New Member

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  11. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    They come with single wall rims which are weak. You want double wall rims. Most bikes bought from a bike shop already have double wall and wall mart type bikes have single wall for sure. A lot of additional stress is put on the wheels of these things so that is why it is a good idea to have double wall rims. To see what the difference is do a search on rims and you will see.
     
  12. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Like tadd said lol;

    Single wall rim + 30mph + sandy turn & small bump =

    [​IMG]

    ...and yes - tire at proper pressure, the rim was trued and in good condit
     
    #12 BarelyAWake, Mar 22, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  13. IVIaxPow3r

    IVIaxPow3r New Member

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    I guess my concern isn't as much about reliability in and of itself - I am fine to tinker with it - but I am wondering if I am looking at a consistent financial investment to keep it running. And if so, what kind of investment? It seems like this would but much simpler to work on than my car is - so that would be wonderful in comparison - and I am very ready to do that if needed. But what kind of consistent cost should I expect? (If any)

    I guess I didn't realize that a rack mounted engine would be any easier - what about this is easier? Also - at some point I am thinking I want to be able to attach a trailer to the bike to go grocery shopping - would there be any advantage to going one way or the other with an in-frame vs. rack mounted engine in that regard?

    Speed isn't too much of an issue for me - as long as I can ride it without needing to pedal - that is the main thing that interests me. Well, as long as it can go as fast as I could pedaling that is. :)

    Is there anything else on a cheap wal-mart bike that isn't up to snuff as well? Like chains or other gears or what not? (I am a newb at almost all this stuff - so I don't really know most of the correct terminology) And am I likely to get a better value for my dollar getting a used bike from a bike shop than getting a cheap bike from wal-mart and fixing the things that are likely to fail?
     
  14. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    I just spent a half hour typing a long response to each of your questions and lost it. Sorry I have to get back to work I will retype later.
     
  15. IVIaxPow3r

    IVIaxPow3r New Member

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    LOL - I hate it when that happens! I am always half tempted to use something like Google docs (which autosaves) or just type things up in a word processor on my comp. Thanks for the effort either way! I really appreciate all the help - this is a very active forum apparently - responses are coming in very quick.
     
  16. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    1. I would budget 25-40 a month for 2 stroke oil and minor parts like spark plug, chain, etc. If you have money left over each month from that budget save it in case you need a new engine or something big like that.

    2. In frame is cheaper and more abundant on the forum so you will find more info about them on here also it will keep the engine heat and exhaust further from your groceries.

    3. The stock sprocket is 44T. This should be perfect for you. A lot of guys on here go with a smaller sprocket to get more speed but loose torque.

    4. At the bike shop they call Walmart bikes throw away bikes. What they mean is if anything breaks throw it away because it is easier to buy a new one than fix it. They are junk. With that in mind look for a good used bike. Craigs list is great.

    Take your time to find a good bike for a good price. Also I don't think it has been mentioned, when looking for a bike make sure the rear hub flange (where the spokes attach) is small enough for the sprocket to fit over. Some newer bikes have larger flanges but most bikes have the smaller flange that will work.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW this is a summerized version of the original post I lost. If you want more clarification of anything please let me know.
     
  17. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    The reason this forum is so active is because we are all addicted to this hobby LOL! Don't say we didn't warn you.
     
  18. IVIaxPow3r

    IVIaxPow3r New Member

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    This sounds very doable - it is actually about the same amount I currently budget for gas. Theoretically I could switch my gas budget to a bike maintenance budget and still come out ahead on repair costs and what not.

    Good to know.

    I guess I don't really know what I am looking for in a good bike. I definitely understand some elements now about the wheels on Wal-mart bikes and what a better option is - but how do I know a good bike from a bad one? Or a good deal from a bad deal? And what kind of price range am I likely to find, or have you found before?

    On the flanges - will that be something that is somewhat easy to spot or measure? Or would I need to take the sprocket with me to be able to tell if it will work?
     
  19. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Hmm... there's really not much to a bike to be concerned with, part of the charm if ya ask me. Other than the wheels, the Walmart cruisers are fine candidates for motorizing - there's little point in worrying about the quality of the shifters as you'll hardly be using them, just about everything else is easily and cheaply replaced should you not like it.

    The weld quality on the frame is a good thing to check, but really - it's just the rims/wheelset that are the only real weak point for just a commuter.

    I purchased a walmart bike for my first build ($200 Schwinn) simply 'cause I didn't know anything about these kits at the time and didn't wanna invest too much. Once I decided I liked it I went and got myself a much nicer bike, you could do much the same if you are concerned about costs (even the $100 Huffy Cranbrook) - then keep an eye out for a better bike as you ride & learn, replacing the whole bike or just the wheels at your discretion *shrug*

    It's when ya start gettin' fancy with shocks and disk brakes that a bike will start to add up ;)


    As for the rear sprocket - just about any 36 spoke wheel will work, the exceptions are rare enough in this price range I don't think it'll be a concern. Even many three-speed hubs & coaster brakes will work... with a touch of finagling heh
     
  20. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    Barleyawake makes some really good points. I mentioned the rear hub flange because the first bike I was going to motorize had this problem, but barelyawake is right, I have never seen a low end bike with the hub size problem. They all seem to use the standard size hub.

    As far as your question about how to know if it is a quality bike or if it is a good deal, it depends what type of bike you want. I don't know much about cruisers, infact cruisers are so simple I would agree with barelyawake that a huffy will work just fine. I am into mountain bikes. I was an avid mountain biker before I discovered motorized bikes. When I look for a mountain bike to motorize I look for several things.

    The first and foremost is that it is a chromolly frame (steel). Steel is better than aluminum because the tube diameters are smaller so the engine will mount easier, also steel frames dampen road and engine vibrations better than aluminum.

    Second I look for specific brands. My favorite is Specialized and preferably the stumpjumper model. Other good brands are Trek and Raleigh. There are others but I have only had these three brands.

    Third I look for welds, cracks, rust. If the bike looks like it is stored outside then pass on it. There should be very little rust and the rubber should be good.

    Fourth, the obvious, the engine will fit and wheels are 36 spoke with the right size hub flange. Generally I have found a 19" and up frame will work.

    I just found a mid 90's specialized stumpjumper in very good shape and paid 150 for it off of craigslist.

    I built a cruiser for a freind and they are more comfortable but my mountain bikes feel way more solid. The mountain bike feels more like it was made for the engine and less like a toy. Also you can go offroad if you feel like it. I don't mean to offend anyone here that has cruisers. I have seen some awesome cruiser builds on here.

    What type of bike were you thinking?
     

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