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Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Joaquin Suave, Jun 25, 2011.
got frames comming in, pick paint color, add sweat, blood and parts
Show me someone turning there own hubs! How about fabing up a nice steel rim for me?
Ever try and make ball berings? There is very little on a bike that I can't make for myself, but why would you? We all are using parts we didn't make and call it our work! Now while I understand your basic gripe (and agree to an extent) what exactly turnes one from posser to pro?
And baird ,tail is always better (unless you can find a female cop and get both )
Electric motorbicycles are a different breed. Way less problems than a gas moped or scooter for sure !
If the batteries have a charge they will run.
fyi shop dog, steel rims are not quality, aluminun rims are the gold standard, they can be trued are lighter, and dont bend as easy. oh and I did meet my girlfriend when I was on my bike, and did get tail.
I guess that depends on how old your are and how long you have been married.
I am over 50 and still married to the same wonderful woman for the last half of it.
Thanks for that lance ,but did you get my point? Were all standing on the shoulders of others.
We use Staton transmissions and hubs, Shimano, Thompson, DMR, Maxxis, and Chris King parts. one company cant do it all.
Of course we are! But that doesn't have much to do with my original complaint about people branding "their" product when their "product" is only really an assemblage of other manufactures products.
Have you ever seen a person take a Trek frame (for example) then assemble it with a brooks saddle, answer handlebars, and whatever components....Then go "parade it" around as his own "JimBob's" brand bike???
I don't think so! So why does adding a motor to the equation make it any different? To me it doesn't.
For some reason, a lot of the motor-bike people find no problem with the practice. And I think that until the motor-bike "krewe" starts holding itself to a higher standard...I don't believe that Motor-bikes will ever be taken seriously as the high-tech efficient COOL vehicle that they are!
Seriously, it is not that hard to design and make your own stuff...And WAY more gratifying!
it seems it's a comon practice in the motorcycle chopper world. and we most likely are just following there lead. OCC dosen't really make much of there own parts, the frames, motors and forks all come from other companys, they cut the wheels most times and cut some stock fenders, add some round bar and dimond plate and, walla. the have a custom cycle with there name on it. i don't see much of a differance between us and them. i try to make my bikes as unique as possible but there still just bicycles with motors on them, which i call my own.
I've found this thread to be a very interesting read. Many good points have been made on many important topics in the MB assembling/building world.
The first major question that needs to be answered by any person or company who tries to make a profit from MB's is who is your target customer? This gets us to the demographics of MB riders.
Here's a short, and not complete, list of some of the groups as I see it:
Underage kids with very little money
Adults with very little money
Adults who use them as transportation as a way to get around loosing their DL.
Adults who want modern bikes with standard kits
Adults who want classic bikes with standard kits.
Adults who want custom modern or classic bikes with custom motors and drive systems.
As you may have noticed, my list is also organized by how much each group is typically willing to spend on a bike. There will always be a group or two who is looking for the absolute cheapest form of a MB and they will keep the people and companies this thread complains about in business. They buy the bike, something breaks or goes wrong and they come here to complain, lol! They get a well deserved “I told you so!” from the veterans on this forum and then they learn what a better MB looks like from all of the people on this forum who hold themselves and their builds to a higher standard.
I agree with Joaquin that one way to move the MB industry out of the shadows of sketchy builders is to create different designations for the level of work put into a MB. Making these designations "stick" will take a majority of the people and companies on this forum coming together and agreeing to use this vernacular.
Here's just an idea how the designations could work:
Assembler is a good title for a person who buys a low cost bike and attaches a similarly low cost engine kit to it. Whether they put their own stickers on it is less important.
Builder could be a title for someone who does more than an Assembler, such as adding custom parts. How many custom parts are required to step up from an Assembler to a Builder? I don’t know, that’s something that needs to be talked about.
Fabricator should be reserved for a person who is cutting, welding, machining and otherwise fabricating a good portion of the bike or its drive systems.
I would also add...
Manufacturer: A person/ company that designs, makes, or has made to their own spec motor-bike frames and/or motor-bike specific components with the intention of marketing them to the general public.
I have to say guys, I am so happy to find others that share my general feelings on this subject!
if jimbob makes a p.o.s., the customer will want his $ back, then jimbbob is s.o.l.
Customer to JimBob:
I think you sold me a piece of cr*p! I want my fricken money back!!!!
JimBobs pionent reply:
Well gosh dood (at this point he twists his "flatbill" 105 degrees in a counter-clockwise direction)...I wish i could refund your money but I spent most your money on crack and a cheap h**ker and the rest of it went towards convincing my ex girlfriend that she didn't need to call child support!
Sorry, I am thinking what this thread should now try to "keep a wrinkle in it".
AND we should start a motor-bike chapter of SOPTAMTOS!
I detest main stream culture....
Am I a poser or fabuildamotorcator? I just can't figure it out......but I did come up with a new name for our motorized bicycle company today.
Side note: I only build 4-stroke motorized bikes now, but you already knew that!
Explanation...in case any of this was directed at me...
I own ribbonprinting.com.
I inherited it from my mother when her brother (yes, my uncle) died suddenly one christmas eve. (3 years ago)
To run the company I must use all of the skill sets.... I've either developed... or had from birth.
Developed: "small engine mechanic for a large lawn care company when i was younger" (2000 yards a week...30 mowers running 7 days a week 10 hours per day)
From birth: a knack for taking **** apart... fixing it...then reassembling it.
also i can read a book frontwards backwards and upside down...dunno...I just can. (for placing typeset in the machines that require constant attention and adjustments) We fabricate many expensive and hard to find parts for these very old imprinting machines with our lathe... using mics and well...whatever it takes. This includes computer systems and software, control systems etc.
Yes..I can build websites...
OK....why does this matter?
Well....I was asked to help a local bike store develop their website.... they had owned the url (name) for 2 years wihout so much as a phone number at the site....I said "that was silly" and put up a scratch site in about 45 seconds.
Ventura Motorized Bicycles
As payment they kindly installed a Grubee GT5 on my schwinn jaguar. ( I immediately fell in love...found you guys...and dove into development of various systems)..(keyed ignition, Alarm, Lighting, electric hub repair and install, etc)
I also came to quickly understand the art and finese in builds by Venice and others. Quality welds, well thought out layout, retro appearance...you get it.
Fast forward to my enthusiasm....yes i jump the gun.
a hybrid is disappointingly ..merely a mountain bike city bike combo....not a gas/electric bicycle as it should be.
So I bought trybrid and tribridbicycles.com ...logical progressions of that train of thought. gas/elec/human powered bikes.
Once they saw my extended workmanship on the original prototype the bike store asked me to partner up with them to develop many new and exciting concepts as well actual design and CnC products to make everything safer and more enjoyable for the entire industry...perhaps the entire planet.
literally...3rd world countries will be using their gas/electric bicycles to charge their cellular phones in years to come... (which may very well be the difference between "stuck" in poverty and "rising above it" for entire nations) but thats another story entirely.
It's all very exciting and I can just tell this entire industry is on the cusp of a new public awareness of a very old technology. Batteries just caught up with what the support technologies can accomplish.
It's "ART"..... Applied Research and Technology...LOL!!!
Anyhow...if I've offended anyone...I'm truly sorry. No harm has been intended.I could go on defending our obsession...aahh HOBBY....but I think you all may understand my direction and reasons a little better after my rant here.
And that's all I wanted to say.
oh...and i don't like unsafe crap work either...
Me too, and partly amused. Those who want to make a business of MBs, good luck to ya, but I suspect much of this is just about bragging rights and/or a stealth attempt at marketing, with maybe some dreams of grandeur thrown in, lol.
Profit or break even and keep yourself in gear? lol. As far as real money or even making a living, there aren't too many Don Grubes out there, or even the much maligned boygofast with his Asia connection probably moved more pallets in a week than most would in a lifetime.
The only omission is, with the 6 categories listed above, you might need to add "with very little money" to all the first 5. Or maybe amend it to "only wants to spend very little money", lol.
Like it or not, the China 2 strokes are lifeblood of the whole gas bike thing and for one simple reason. Price. For a hundred and a half and that bike hanging on the garage wall, you get your motor running.
And BTW, you can't malign or blame a customer base because of that either, if that's the nature of the market and their choice, pi55 them off and they all go away too.
Meh, upgrade this and better that and sure, but anyone who's tried to do it knows for every hundred dollars of price increase the customer base falls off dramatically. It is what it is. Get much above that $500 price point and the base thins considerably. Higher still, $700 to $1K customers becomes sparser, above that the natural thought starts to dawn on people, those with a valid DL anyway, "Heck, for just a little more I could just get a scooter or motorcycle".
I've attended the NAHBS for the last three years, handmade and custom bicycles with all the hand sawn lugs, TIG welding and fillet brazing under one roof to keep anyone happy. It's rarefied territory with soaring prices.
There sure seems to be a lot of terse frame builders there, taking themselves quite seriously. I'm not sure how many of the attendees do though because there's a lot of people looking and copping ideas but I doubt many are buying. Some of the same builders have had a presence each year, the Richard Sachs and Grant Petersens have broken through, but quite a few fall by the way as well because I only see them once. I think it would help immensely for a custom bicycle maker to have a trust fund, lol.
But here's the thing: Cyclists who will pay multiple thousands for a bicycle, and get on a waiting list to do it, will be the last to buy a motorized bike.
He11, the market for quality ebikes is populated with a much higher end and ready clientèle.
But to gas bikes, in the end it's the backyard guy who never forgot what being a kid was about. Will there be a place for this guy? There sure will. More and more I've come to appreciate the approach of the resident deacon here in DIY, the deacon with his chainsaws, weedwackers, door hinges and unpretentious, low key bikes because after all, that's really at the heart of the whole thing.
seeing as how we have all these "builders" here could one of ya build me one with a reel type mower attachment that you just slide on in place of the front wheel and that I can pull behind me???So as I can ride around and cut grass while I wait for my ship to come in...
OH and Happy Valley you forgot a group * Lazy a$$ adults that don't wanna peddle.
No worries, warn't my list, twas quoting the other fella, lol.
I believe as a builder/seller of MB's, your time would be better spent marketing your bike to your ideal customer. I wouldn't offer high end Tiffany China at a Street Swap Meet - you'd have to pack it all up and bring it back home = wrong crowd, see my point?
What's being proposed here as I see it, is a list of recognized reputable builders, right? I've seen this discussion evolve in two other hobby forums that I frequent. Just look at a couple possible problems with this situation, namely who gets to say what builders are 'reputable' and 2nd, how to maintain this groups level of 'customer satisfaction', will there be a committee to govern this group of builders?
Our group here has a major thing in common with the other 2 builder forums I mentioned, and that is prospective BUILDERS frequent the pages, not BUYERS of finished goods. Your buyers are out there, intelligent and smart marketing will bring them to you with money in hand, good money, the money you deserve for your time and talent. My solution is not to focus on what the other guy is doing, but work on your own product and find YOUR customer. The market will weed out the lesser, low quality cheaply built products. Trust me on this , it always does.
Build what you love building, don't be distracted by what others are doing or by the prices they are charging. The news of the excellent quality you put into your builds will spread, just as the news of crappy thrown-together builds will spread, only 5 times faster, See my point here? If you do excellent work, your work will set you apart from your competition, not some 5 star appointed committee's stamp of approval. -Vinny