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

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

  1. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Barely's got it right. People building these things, building them right, for a living, have it rough. Most potential customers have a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to MBs, most of which revolve around price vs. value.

    With my first bike, the old Tempus, I had people come up to me wanting to buy it or wanting me to build them one like it. I told them "Let me show you what all I did here, then I'll quote you a price." As I guessed, they didn't notice that the pinstripes were my work, the dished steel battery enclosure was my work, the whole lighting and electrical system - my work, the tuning on the engine - my work, custom lettering and paint - my work, sundry custom machined brackets and parts - my work, etc.

    After materials, supplies, & labor, I told one man "$1200 upfront and I'll need some time to put it all together." That usually kills interest right there.

    I told another young fellow, after explaining all the above, "$100 and I'll walk you through building your own." That didn't fly either.

    The people we meet on the street ARE interested, but only casually at first, and usually not long after. It caught their eye. Most, when they truly understand what they are looking at, discover quickly why they themselves do not already have an MB.

    We are the kind of determined individuals who persevered and built our own "statement of independance" or saved back the money we knew it would take, and made a motorbike our own. We are not like them, they are not like us.
     
  2. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    "Draw a line in the sand"????

    How about pulling your head out of the sand?

    What I am talking about is "raising the bar"! Motorised bikes are a VERY cool mode of transportation that is in a PERFECT place to substantially grow for those business-wise forward looking enterprising individuals and as a cultural trend...If the general mindset can be shifted from the mega-cheap and DUI set...To a more mainstream culture! But It will take a mutual group effort...and I BELIEVE IT IS WORTH IT!

    When was the last time you went it to a up-scale bike shop and asked about motorized bikes? I did just last week and the owner spit on the floor. Honestly, given the state of the market (except for the REAL BUILDERS)...I can't say I blame the guy!

    Since some of the posters have felt it important to show off their "fine" product...Here is one of the last bikes I built (sorry no motor).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    LoL

    A few hours ago I was over at Jim Kunstler's place and those folks even look down their nose at the MABs... I would have thought they would at least consider them to be an efficient option, especially for those of us who simply can not use a pedal powered bicycle for practical reasons.

    There's many ways to skin a cat...
    People just gotta accept what others choose to do and don't waste too much time sweatin' the small stuff!

    :)
    rc
     
  4. harry76

    harry76 New Member

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    Disagree with me? How so.... i think you need to go read my posts again....lol
     
  5. "the prussian" Shop Dogs

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    Jc
    I do understand what your trying to say. It would be nice if there was a little more profesionalism in some of the builders out there. However this same debate has existed in motorcycles and cars for decades. There will always be "hacks" and people who rush to sell a bike thats not really up to par.
    Belive me there is a guy in my town who is a "builder" and I have had to work on every bike he put's out . Hey it's a free country !
    If you really want to see a change in the way MB's are precived by the general public and some kind of standards set of private builders.
    Then join up with those of us trying to create a national org. Like the NHRA.
    You do have a leigt gripe but (imo) *****in about it heer is doing less then nothing! If you have a set of vital improvments you think should be performed on every MB produced privately ,write them down and post it. If you feel this strongly about it, your the guy we want .
    We all have a unique chance to make our little hobby into something more, anyone following this thread is concerned enough to want a change.

    Our group is slowly forming right now ,when the time comes to ask for people to join up ,please concider the idea and help work tword the comon good.
    I hope you don't view my coments as a flame or slam as that is not my intent.
     
  6. Lance Portnoff

    Lance Portnoff New Member

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    The difference between a $600 dollar bike and a $2500 dollar bike is a world apart, a quality regular bicycle these days is at least $1000 - $2000 if not more, so the american made products we offer for $2500 to $3000 with an engine are well within the price range of the market. The motorized bicycle market is only used to $600 bikes, Design Logic is at the next level in quality ie cromolly american made frames, disc brakes not sidepull, Honda and Subaru engines not chineese 2 strokes and a proven Staton transmission. People find value in our products, you get what you pay for
     
  7. camlifter

    camlifter Active Member

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    the biggesr problem with MB's is the image they have of being a dead beat, bum, dui, mental defects way around not having a drivers licence. plus a 14 yr old hoodlums hot rod. we'll have to over come that image before they become main stream. all the utube vids of people riding crazy aren't helping.
     
  8. sportscarpat

    sportscarpat Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker

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    Just to lighten the mood a bit here by causing a little thread drift. Joaquin, that is a sweet modern Cook Bros. build you have there! Very cool 26" BMX Cruiser! Need an in-frame gas tank for it? Kidding of course. Some things you just don't put a motor in.
    Pat
     
  9. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    Actually the wheels are 29"

    Sure why not? Here is my personal bike...

    [​IMG]

    Cook Bros. ? I think i have heard about that company before ;-)

    Tell me how I can help?

    I'm not so sure about that. If any of the people that are actually producing the "real deal" feel even the slightest bit of pride from this thread...Then I've accomplished A LOT!

    Because your guys deserve it!!!!
     
    #29 Joaquin Suave, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  10. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    And so the game begins...
    OK, 'Raising the bar'. Near as I can tell these '94 Tomos that Pirate Cycles had for a bit set the bar for 2-stroke 49cc MB's under $1500.

    [​IMG]

    Are you saying that your $1200 'frame only' bikes that uses bicycle parts like this is the 'new bar'?

    [​IMG]

    That looks dandy as a cargo hauler but I sure as heck wouldn't want to have to deal with it's length for my normal running around and parking, nor would any of the buyers I typically get.

    And who exactly is this 'general mindset' you want to change?
    All of us builders? Motorcycle buyers? The general auto driving public and spandex riding crowd?

    I am not trying to start a fight here, I just can't seem to figure out what exactly the point of your topic is about.
    A couple of times a week.
    Sure, there was this old spandex dude with a shop the size of my living room that poo-pawd me, all the rest love me, know me by name, and even keep my fliers for motorizing on their counter.
    Ohh, a double team, perhaps you can shed some more light on your goal with this topic is Lance.

    I could not agree more with you that the better the base bike, the better the outcome. That is why I don't include the bike itself in my motorizing price quotes.

    I also totally agree that all the 'wanna be' builders that slap a $100 kit on a $100 bike give motorized bikes in general a black eye.
    Sadly there are a couple of storefront shops here in town that do that very thing and like 'The prussian' I to have had to work on their new builds as well.

    I do have to disagree that a great quality bicycle needs to cost 4 digits.
    Giant makes great bikes, my personal ride is Giant that was $500 and you can get a great bike like this Giant Roam 1 in XL for under $700

    [​IMG]

    Personally I would like nothing better than to only build on expensive bike bases, and Jackshaft them with performance upgrades as well but that is a nitch market, not the majority.

    All that said, my personal goal is always improving on every complete build and setting my lowest standard a notch a little higher every time.

    The reality is most people don't want to bicycle at all even with a motor, and of those that do over half do it because they have to for one reason or another.
    Sure, many want a quality bike, some just want a disposable lighter build for a year, the trick is to set a low bar good enough to be safe to me.

    Now back to this topic title...
    What exactly is a 'so-so builder' and are you one as well as me?
    Or does your $1200 bare frame bike make you a Real Motorized Bicycle Company?

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND I AM KNOCKING YOU GUYS OR YOU BUSINESS!
    I really mean that.

    I just think you two should draw that line in sand and which side of it everyone stands on if you are going to come in here and make the point is all, because there are some many fantastic skilled builders here that like me, might take offense to you insinuation that using a good 2-stroke motor on a good bike somehow makes us 'so-so' builders of crap.

    Balls in your court again ;-}
     
  11. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    Knock away KC! I can take it. My handle has been my nickname for many of year because I am about as Suave as a Cholla cactus.

    And sorry to everybody about my rant! I started this thread because people that "re-brand" and call something their own are essentially "spitting in the face" of the original manufacturers. Granted adding a motor to bicycle manufactures frame is A LITTLE different...But probably not in the eyes of the bicycle companies attorneys! You know that it is only a matter of time before "the letter" comes.

    Hey, if clever people want to bolt together a motorbike using whom-evers stuff...Good on them. Just don't slap your logo's on other peoples product and claim as your own! Whether it one bike or 1000 of them...You are bagging credit for someone else's hard work!
     
  12. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i think i understand totally what this thread's supposed to be about.

    there's a few "companies" that show up on my local craigslist with re-postings almost daily.

    they're not enthusiasts, they're businessmen.

    they still drill holes in the frames of their cheap chinese bikes for the front motor mount, offer no upgrades, and just build run-of-the-mill bikes at cut-rate prices.

    they also blatantly lie about the legality of their bikes, making claims like "no license needed! 100% street legal!" and sometimes cite the laws for electric bikes in their ads, which are minimal, as well as completely different than gas motored bikes.

    i've called them on it too, and was told to "mind my own business" as well as being told to go have sex with myself, but it slightly different terms.

    there's a hardware store down the street that is now selling complete bikes and i just sold a bike to one of their ex-customers, who had the misfortune of buying a stretch cruiser that used 2 motor mount blocks in the front, wires and zipties everywhere, and the chain cut into the tire, flattening it after 2 days.

    luckily, they gave him his $800 back, and then he found me. i built him a bike for the same price, and the guy couldn't be happier. i also swapped out the non-functional CNS carb with an NT i had, as well as tuning it for him after break-in, all for free.

    oh, and i included a bottle of Opti-2 as well.

    i've had many "customers" who've bought bikes from so-called "dealers" and brought them to me to fix, and i'm surprised by the low-quality of the installs. one of those dealers frequents this forum, usually only to push his products.

    i'm seeing more and more bikes on the streets around here, and surprisingly, the majority of those were store bought, and not home-built. and they're all cookie-cutter, standard beach cruisers assembled by people who don't know, don't care, and it shows.

    most of these bikes will undoubtably join the others already on craigslist, after the owners get bored with them, break them, or get busted on them, just like go-peds, pocketbikes and every other "fad" that people exploited to make a buck.

    it's not just the so-called "dealers" at fault.

    as we all know, owning a glorified moped isn't exactly a status symbol, and the people that buy them as toys treat them as such. breaking traffic laws, not wearing helmets, taking exhaust baffles off, and just being an idiot in general doesn't do us any good. it makes us all look like hooligans, and it's pretty obvious why "normal" people don't take us seriously, and why it seems like the cops are out to get us.

    i was coming out of a 7-11 in huntington beach the other day on the way home from work and a cop was checking out my bike. he was amazed that i had a license plate, headlight, tailight and mirror, and when i showed him my working brakelight, he was actually smiling. after BS'ing for a few, he told me he wished more people would take these bikes as seriously as me, and he wouldn't have to work so hard.

    getting a compliment from a cop about your bike is almost as good as getting some tail because of it.

    i'd like to get to the point where i'm making bikes and custom products for them full time, but it seems unlikely, so for now, i'm back to work at a job that would make normal people slit their wrists so i can save some money to give it a shot.

    one final note, anyone who gets defensive over this thread is probably the exact type of "builder" it was meant for...
     
  13. Lance Portnoff

    Lance Portnoff New Member

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    this was not my thread, I just responded to it, the black bike was the prototype and was raced in the death race 2010 and got a 9th place finish, the new frames are 5 inches shorter wheelbase, the tomos scooter can not be pedaled down a bike path with the engine off and is not a bicycle, its a scooter. The 4 stroke engines are much more reliable than the 2 strokes, half of the threads here are about problems with 2 stroke engines, cheap wall mart bikes are $200, the front hayes brake alone on our bikes is $150 I dont care about cheap bike builders or what they do and if they sell there bikes good for them, it does not effect what we are trying to do, we are just building a quality cargo bike in the USA
     
  14. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    True enough, and the nature of the thing, a couple hun or less even gets a low ball entry into two wheeled motor sport. I'm seeing MBs going begging for $200 or make an offer on the craigslist and yard sales for the area I live. Problem is some of the same types you mention are the ones assembling them.
     
    #34 happyvalley, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  15. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    Ha! Ha!

    I just had the impulse to 'throw you under the bus' for a small part of what you had wrote, Harry... LoL

    Harry said
    "And you dont really need criteria to seperate the real builders from the posers. Anyone can tell the difference, anyone that matters that is..... "

    I do not think simply 'anyone' can tell the difference... between offerings in an ebay ad when they are out on their first jaunt into MABs with credit card number in hand ! 'anyone that matters' really is the general buying public, don't you think?

    'And as a business it needs a brand name.'
    Sure, LoL... what's in a name?
    Exxon is MY favorite... (the mythical English county that pays no tax). :)

    I have seen quite a few 'value added' offerings, and the photos of builds pictured right here in this thread are obvious examples of MABs that show a definite difference between excellent workmanship in assembly and mods, and that done by someone like me, learning from what I read here, making mods and improvements as I go along.

    JS said
    "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?????? "

    I dunno why JS chose to pick on the painters out there, or what they wish to call their venture, (big or small), but there's a lot of difference between the workmanship of applying the metal protection on my new kermit frog green frame and that of someone with real talent at painting who does all the proper prepwork and has creative talent in application.

    Of course I don't much care for vendors who make a whiz-bang presentation, when all they are doing is hopping on the bandwagon to catch the overflow, and all they do is re-ship cartons that come in one door, out the other. It does seem to me their profit margin is quite high... yet I never got to a point where I was able to achieve volume sales on a national level, let alone global!
    :)
    rc
     
  16. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

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    Because they are a little "slower" due to all the fumes they have sniffed over the years! LOL

    to quote myself (modified to show extra care to the sensitive painters in the group)...


    BWAAAA...Ok if you say so.
     
  17. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    I think this is a pretty good thread now that we are starting to get to what it is about.

    Or are we? That is the interesting question to me.

    I can certainly see someone like my long time local buddy Kramer (Helmut here) being pissed if someone bought one of his Wizzer frames then re-branded it with their own name as if it were their own, or you guys at Design Logic for that matter.

    What I guess I still don't get is what is so bad about someone so proud and confident of their builds they put their own name on it with a sticker too.

    As far as I am concerned if you are not proud and confident enough in your builds for sale to put your name on it one way or another then you probably shouldn't be building them for sale in the first place.
     
  18. harry76

    harry76 New Member

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    Rustycase, this thread started out saying that the cheaper bulders take away from the real builders. My point was just that people in the know and a little experience know the real bikes from the so called bikes. You should really read and comprehend peoples posts before you "get the urge to throw them under the bus".... Maybe you should channel that energy into building a bike instead of throwing people under moving vehicles..... Just sayin
     
  19. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    Yes Harry.
    There's no better advice to follow than yours, or example!
    You have done an excellent job of fabricating a period bike.
    and if I were to think abt it more, you've done an even better job of showing others how it can be done.
    Many thanks
    rc

    JC... Yup, it must be all the lacquer fumes... I still got 5's of that stuff hangin around. GREAT for cleaning solvent on almost anything!
    (NOT for microwave ovens.)
    :)
    rc
     
  20. harry76

    harry76 New Member

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    Thanks RC but i think there are a lot better builders to get advice from on here, seeing as this is my first real DIY build. Ive been lucky enough to have had Silverbear, Fasteddy, MSRFAN, Camnz and others to help me along the way.

    Its been a great experience, ive learned a lot. Ive learnt new skills. But had i chosen to buy a bike rather then try building one i would have missed this experience. And i am certainly going to appreciate my bike more knowing it was built with my sweat and blood.....
     

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