"So & So" Motorbikes, I don't get it???

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Joaquin Suave, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    Pardon me, I don't mean to be professor Buzzkill here...

    But, whats the deal with people buying a Felt or "whatever" frameset (probably retail), a cheap import motor package, and a couple of other ancillary components (again probably retail). Blowing some paint on the frames & fenders...

    Then calling themselves a motorbike company??????

    Have they designed or custom build a d*mb thing? Are they paying for product liability insurance on their supposed product? Are they marketing their product to anyone other than a couple of "homeboyz" in the hood?

    Just because you are handy with some wrenches and came build a website, doesn't mean you are a manufacturer!

    Personally, I feel that there should be some criteria to designate the REAL BUILDERS from poseurs that JUST buy and re-market other peoples "stuff"!

    [/rant]
     
    #1 Joaquin Suave, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  2. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Active Member

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    I was so disappointed that you didn't make it to the Willow Springs race.

    Are you going to make the next one?
     
  3. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    OHHHHH! Me too DOOD!

    I put in a few "nighters" to get ready and did my first REAL test ride on friday at 3:30 in the afternoon. It went great, then i had problems with my clutch on the second test ride and my buddy and i decided that we were just "NOT ready for prime time"!

    Am i going to be at the next race????...Dose the pope wear funny hats???
     
  4. harry76

    harry76 New Member

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    Never really thought of it, but my 2 cents is if someone can assemble and sell these bikes hats off to them. Theres obviously a market, not everyone has the skills, room or time to build it themselves. And as a business it needs a brand name.

    And you dont really need criteria to seperate the real builders from the posers. Anyone can tell the difference, anyone that matters that is..... You only need to glance at a Sportscarpat bike to know its the real deal. And most people on here seem to know it.
     
  5. windsors03cobra

    windsors03cobra New Member

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    Who really cares ?
     
  6. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    people who build quality bikes care.
     
  7. sportscarpat

    sportscarpat Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker

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    We all have to start somewhere. I started a year and a half ago with a beat up old Schwinn and a Grubee engine off ebay. Been having fun ever since! By the way Harry, comments like yours make all the hard work worth it.
    Pat
     
  8. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I get asked a lot to build MBs for people... so frequently in fact that it's tempting... flattering though it is, there's a couple few problems that prevent me from even considering it.

    It's the classic issues ofc, time & money... but not mine so much as theirs.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't consider myself a "master fabricator" who's every second is worth the equivalent of my own body weight in gold, but there's really only two options when building these things, the one most likely to sell is ofc the least expensive - cut every corner w/the cheapest components available, a box store bike that costs $100 or less and using no more than what comes in the $150 kit. After tax, S&H and w/e little things you simply hafta get to make it work - lets say you've about $300 into it. Add in labor and some profit margin and you're looking at selling the thing for somewhere around $450+ at a minimum... lets say $500 just to make this easy - mebbe ya got better grips and a comfy seat *shrug*

    So, $500 for a motorized bicycle built for you & ready ta go - sounds like a good deal right? Is it though? It might a good deal for the builder... but is it really such a good deal for the buyer? Let's think for a moment what they're getting for the money. The cheapest new bicycle money can buy with the cheapest stock kit that could be found, bolted together w/o a thing done to either of them to rectify any of the issues that comprise most of this forum - not even the problematic break in period as that takes time (hours = money), built by someone who probably isn't the most skilled as otherwise they'd have charged more.

    What kind of person would be interested in this "good deal"? Odds are, someone without any mechanical experience or even the inclination to tinker - else they'd not buy such a simple machine from someone else, they'd just have slapped it together themselves. Problem? They will think it's just like a factory moped, that it'll be a gas & go w/o a worry in the world.

    This is a recipe for disaster.

    As anyone who's built one for themselves know - there's some... teething pains even with the simplest build. Take a mo and peruse the thousands of "help me" posts throughout every section of this forum to get an idea... and that's mostly folks that had the wherewithal to actually try and build it themselves. Sure, you can build yourself a pretty sweet machine for about $500, but buy one?

    There's only three likely outcomes for those that would - they'll get frustrated and trash the thing, be nickel & dimed by the builder to fix all these issues as they develop, or both. Even if they persevere and pay someone to dial it in, odds are it'll be after things have broken - which means not only paying to fix it, but replacement parts as well. Which means even if, IF they don't loose all hope - even after everything is finally sorted as much as it can be, what did they end up with? Just another Walmart bike with a HT kit for almost exactly the price of a brand new Tomos moped - but without the warranty.

    I can't in clear conscience advocate that, let alone do it myself.

    I love these cheap crappy kits - I really do. I don't even begrudge those that would seek the least expensive bike to build 'em with. Why?

    Because they're an incredible opportunity for an exemplary learning experience no matter your background. Young and old, mechanic or not - building these bikes for yourself encourages innovation and self expression with what really is the simplest mode of mechanized personal transport there is. It's a stepping stone, an introduction to what could lead to so much more, these cheap kits provide far more than their cost in education, let alone the satisfaction of riding something you built yourself. It's so not about the bike, it's about the build & if you don't build it yourself you are getting ripped off plain and simple - if not the money, the experience... most likely both.

    We've some fabricators building unique works of art that I would recommend to those that haven't the resources to do it themselves, sure they cost the same or more than a moped, they're also not stock HT kits on a wallyworld bike. Sure, there might be a couple of builders out there offering good builds for about that price, for the love of building or just trying to support their own habit - but I'd not bet on finding one.

    If truly all that's wanted is inexpensive, basic transportation - get a moped, there isn't a motorized bicycle out there worth the money if that's all that's desired.
     
    #8 BarelyAWake, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  9. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    I admit, when I saw the length of your missive I yawned a bit but stayed with it and glad I did. Not quoting the whole thing to save bw but the end was a nice capper!

    For some reason I'm reminded of an email conversation I had awhile ago with someone about MBs, here it is:

     
  10. harry76

    harry76 New Member

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    Well said BarelyAwake...... well said...... i couldnt agree more "its not about the bike, its about the build & if you dont build it yourself you are getting ripped off plain and simple - if not the money, the experience... most likely both".

    Ive learned so many things since i took up this hobby, and i plan on learning a lot more new skills. Ive done things i never thought i could or would take on myself. With the exception of machining parts (and a lathe is now on my wish list) i try to do all the work myself, and its very very rewarding. I now have a new attitude and look forward to trying new things rather then fearing them, and a new confidence to at least try it....
     
  11. "the prussian" Shop Dogs

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    This exact debate is why some of us are trying to establish a national riders group and establish a vendor code of conduct . Then if they have an endorsment ,you know what your getting...
     
  12. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    I'm "bumping" this reply from "overthere". Hopefully this won't ruffle your feathers Mr. Valley. I believe that it is VERY revelent to what i'm trying to convey...

    and my reply...

    Superb reply Happy,

    Or should I call you Mr. Valley...

    I guess that I'm suffering from a severe case of wishful thinking because i am trying to get people on the motor bicycle forums to sift the proverbial "wheat from the shaft". If a person were to try to claim that they were a bicycle manufacture on a bicycle enthusiast forum, when it was obvious that they were really just "collecting" other manufactures parts... It would get them laughed off the site. Not so with the moto-bike set!

    So, rather than looking to DOT, NHSA, to give the motorised bicycle clan any legitimacy...I'm just saying we should define from within (not regulate...OOH, bad word!!!). If you are putting together other peoples stuff in your own unique way...then you are an assembler ( AND THAT IS STILL A REALLY COOL THING)!

    If you are designing and building your own frames, clutches, transmissions, etc....Then you are a manufacturer! And deserve the right call to yourself a motor-bicycle company.

    Just my own $.02...Not that it means squat to anyone else.

     
  13. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    I'm curious as to who you feel are 'real builders' & who are 'poseurs'?
    Because every one of us who build & sell motorized bicycles started off the exact same way... (with a engine kit & a plain bicycle.)

    This is the bike that started it all for me... a 2007 Schwinn Jaguar & a 66cc kit.
    & the guy who owns it still rides it every day with the original engine! ;)
    [​IMG]
     
    #13 Venice Motor Bikes, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  14. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    I'd like to add a little more... I don't think theres anyone who claims to be a 'manufacturer'; we just 'motorize' bicycles... plain & simple. ;)
     
    #14 Venice Motor Bikes, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  15. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    Listen, I understand we all have to start somewhere!

    But, what irks me is when people try to take credit where credit is not due. If anybody, people like yourself, Sportsman, Design Logic, and I'm sure many others that I am not aware of...should feel that this thread of mine is about getting people to giving you guys your due credit...

    And voicing my opinion that when people take other manufactures products, repaint them, assemble them, and claim them as their own...

    THEY ARE POSEURS!

    When someone goes out and designs their own components or frames then either makes or has them made to their specification.... Then they are the real deal!

    And deserves the honor of be called a motorbike company!

    You have paid your dues...Don't you get sick and tired of all the hacks and awan-bees looking at your stuff and saying...I can do that too???
     
    #15 Joaquin Suave, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  16. Stinky Finger

    Stinky Finger New Member

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    It's no secret that there are an awful lot of amazingly talented folks out there building these bikes.
    Truth be told though, there are also a lot of folks out there who don't know a screwdriver from a torque wrench but wish to have a bike.
    That's where the build-for-sale guys come in and from what I've seen they are providing a quality product to an eager market.
    More power to 'em!

    dance1
     
  17. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    You sir, know a lot.
     
  18. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

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    Yeah, I've got $500 in parts in the OP Roller. I don't think I could sell it for that.

    And I lost track of the hours...

    Yeah, there is no way I would buy one of these things knowing what I know now.

    And there is also no way I would ever build another China 2 stroke either.

    One was enough.
     
  19. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    There have always been various 'motor companies' that basically assembled parts from jobbers... and many of those were sold without warranty and such.

    I kinda gotta disagree with Harry... There's different kinds of folks out there.
    Some take pride in ownership,
    others take pride in a build.
    Of course there are some who can say both.
    Good for them!

    Leno might be a good example... he's gotta be a great fellow!
    He might even be a competent mechanic.
    Yet he has hired staff build/rebuild the machines in his collection.
    I wouldn't think for a minute he does not take great pride in them.
    And I wouldn't consider him any less a person because he did not build them.
    He likes interesting machines!
    me too.
    rc
     
  20. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    Hmmm, so just to make sure we are on the same page, if I don't design and build my own bike frames, motors and transmission I am not a Motorized Bicycle Company?

    I know that is not what you meant, it just sounded like that to me at first read ;-}
    I consider myself an MB company, and a damn good one at that.

    No, I don't design and manufacture frames, but I sure as heck design and make other things and every build I do is a custom job from top to bottom.
    Not only that, when I can get a deal on a good bicycle for ~$125 I can build and sell a quality MB for ~$500 and make my $185 standard build money.
    Well usually anyway. It depends on what the bike needs to meet my quality standards.

    For example these two builds just went out for under $600.

    [​IMG]

    Note that above bike has a drive side tensioner because of the vertical dropouts and the buyers desire for ease of chain tensioning.

    This one like most others don't get a tensioner on the drive side.

    [​IMG]

    My shifter bikes like these sold for ~$1000.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am all for drawing a line in the sand between real builders and posers.
    I use nothing but Skyhawk motors, replace all the wiring with my own custom keylock ignition system, and nothing leaves the shop with stock grips, poor motor mounts, or one brake.

    So am I just a poser with web site skills?
    Grab your stick and draw a line and lets play some volley ball ;-}
     
    #20 KCvale, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

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