New riders first impressions


New Member
Jun 8, 2008
Gainesville, FL
Good Morning all.

I have been riding for about a month now. I have also been reading the posts sporadically for that time too. I was wanting to post about something I could help with, but have not had the opportunity since I know so little so far.

I do have something worthwhile to contribute, a newbie's perspective.

I got my kit from Dax and it arrived in about 2 weeks. The paper instructions were all but worthless. I used the step-by-step on his website and it was great. My kit went on an old mountain bike with a thicker frame. The engine mounts would not fit. I sanded down the mounts (one on motor, one separate) until it fit. There was no room for rubber , otherwise I would have had to sand more and risk structural integrity. I took the advice of several people here, and replaced the hardware with nylon lock nuts, and used locktite in various areas.

It ran for a good 200 miles with no real problems. I had a hard time getting it to start and it got worse. I figured it was a slipping clutch and read the thread on clutched. Norman does a great step by step on that and I was on the road after a cleaning and re-adjust.

I got my 36 tooth sprocket and put that on. I too out a couple of links of the chain and it was real loose still, It looked like I could not take out 2 more, but after trying with that tensioner to get it right, I almost lost spokes when the thing wobbled inward. I had to slide the tensioner so far back towards the axle that it had no grab. Depressed, I went to the postings. NO TENSIONER?!? I gave it a try. I had to loosen the motor mounts and wiggle, but I got two more links out (and a bruised thumbnail - hitting out rivets with a hammer - make sure your aim is good) and a little wiggling, I got it together with the master link. It runs great. Not too loose. Not too tight.

The 36 tooth sprocket is very nice here in Gainesville, FL. We don't have many hills and they are mild. My wife clocked me at 34-35MPH on the bike. I keep it at about 27-30 where I can go fast, and around 20 when I don't feel so confident.

Final thoughts - I want less vibration, I want better suspension and I should get back around to cleaning up all the "Macguyver" mess. Other than that, I think I will ride my 8 miles to work and back with the bike, unless of rain.


Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor
Dec 28, 2007
Duvall, WA PNW
Just think of the work as "free" therapy. Works for me.

I would say to find the post about "porting and polishing"....this will help with starting as odd as that may seem. Also this helps a little with smoothing the engine out as well.