Started by Necessity, Now I'm addicted.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BoDean_LP, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Hello all. I'm new to the world of motorized bikes. I just want to share a little about how I got started.

    I lost my driver's license due to lack of insurance, so I was in need of transportation. A regular bicycle just wouldn't do, and I couldn't afford a moped. I had about $60 to spend on a motorized vehicle of some sort. By some awesome twist of time and fate, I stumbled across the humble friction bike. My friends sort of laughed in disbelief when I said I was gonna build one. Now they're laughing in amazement.

    I bought an old 70's or 80's Schwinn cruiser from a junk lot for $26. I then found a barely running 22cc leaf blower on CL for $10. Before I could mount the leaf blower, somebody gave me a 31cc Ryobi weed eater. It was a matter of about three hours, and I had the Ryobi on the bike and running. The first time it fired up was just awesome. I installed a Schwinn Speedo, and was registering a top speed of a little over 29mph. Sadly, I bent the back rim by hitting a storm drain edge at about 25mph. The bent rim wreaked havoc on the poor 31cc crankshaft, and it broke about 15 miles from home. I soon mounted the 22cc, but then was given a Ryobi 30cc a few days later. The intake cracked on that, then back to the 22cc. Amazingly, somebody gave me a Homelite blower that had the same 30cc bottom end with a cracked cylinder. I combined the two engines to make one good running one, then polished everything with a Dremel. About a week later, I bought a no-name bike of the same cruiser style for $30, onto which I mounted the 22cc. For a few days, I actually had the 22cc on a Free Spirit trike, but the 30 minute mounting job just didn't hold up, so I scrapped it until the new welder arrives.

    Speaking of welding, I didn't weld anything on the two cruisers. I instead used plates of 3/4" thick solid wood. One is cedar or something similar, the other is pine. I just traced out the necessary holes, and then drilled and hacksawed until it all fit together. I wish I wouldn't have, but I drilled holes in the Schwinn frame. On the second bike, I used U-bolts instead. I'll upload some pictures soon. The U-Bolt setup gives me the option of adjusting the tension and changing the size of the drive socket.

    I now have a 66cc kit on the way, which is going on the nicer looking no-name. (The no-name is as such because somebody painted over all the logos. It has Schwinn grips, so maybe . . . Well, it's old, whatever it is.)

    I know I'm a little "long winded". I type too fast for your own good I guess, because thoughts become paragraphs before I know it. So, that may be something you notice from me. I'll try to only write useful things though, so please bear with me.

    Anyways, hello to you all. My name is Josh (BoDean). I've been an addict for 30 days or so. I know that there are twelve steps, but who would walk when they can ride?

    Oh, this was what I looked like the first time the cruiser fired up: dance1
    And this is how I did it: .cs.
     
  2. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Welcome to the forum Josh.
    Wood actually makes a good medium for mounting up an engine.

    Builds good airplanes too.
     
  3. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Welcome Josh. Sounds to me like you have enough mechanical ability and ingenuity that you'll have success with whatever you decide to build. Post photos when you can. Above all, have fun and ride safe.
    Tom
     
  4. superharry

    superharry New Member

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    awesome addiction, can be costly if your not careful... lol--- he said wood! huh huh huh huh
     
  5. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    That's a great story. Welcome to the board.

    It's cool you can mount up weedeater motors, but if you get around to making a solid purchase, you can line up a good used mountain bike and a Dax Friction Drive. www.thatsdax.com
    It might take some of the engines you can find used, the larger motors with 2 or 3 shoe clutches.


    I thought about motorizing bikes since I was a kid, and while they were rare in my experiences growing up, I thought they were very worldly and I wasn't shocked to see one. When I ride mine now, people generally seem surprised by it. It gives me something to do when I'm on limited income and pedal biking just takes too long when I'm tired or carrying things.
     
  6. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    My engine kit came in a few days ago. I bought it used on the bay for just about the cost of a new one. The shipping time was only a few days, and I figured at least I'd get one that's been tested. The previous owner of the kit had to know very little about mechanics. There were no washers on anything, except there were washers BETWEEN THE INTAKE MANIFOLD AND THE BLOCK!!! I mean, there was a visible gap between the block and the manifold!!! Luckily it was an easy fix. The packing wasn't so good, so the tank arrived dented, the motor had a broken cooling fin, and the muffler was in pieces (all the guts of the pipe were in the bag with it). The chain had some bad links, and had obviously jumped off of the guys bike a few times. The kit took me about four hours to install. There were lots of missing bolts, so I had to go through my stash to find suitable replacements.

    I had no instruction manual to use, and didn't feel like going up and down the stairs to check on here, so I did it all by what made sense. I even wired it up correctly on the first try. After pedaling only about two rotations of the crank, I popped the clutch, and she fired right up. Sadly, the chain immediately jumped off, bending a few spokes and breaking one. Then the clouds opened up and it rained for two hours. I was so disappointed. Later that night, I went down and straightened everything out and aligned everything by the light of a small lamp post. Pedaled about five or ten feet, and . . . RING PING PING PING PING, VROOOOOOOOOOM!!!! I was flying around the apartment complex at about 25mph. I've already put about 50 miles on it. I'm a joy rider. I ride my bikes just for the fun of it, and I ride whenever I have free time, so this bike will see some miles. :)
     
  7. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    BTW, the muffler was effectively useless when it arrived. The internals were in a bag, and were mostly crushed during shipment. Instead of trying to fix what was already a cheap muffler, I bought a $2 lawn mower tube muffler, which was about 1/8" shy of the inner diameter of the muffler pipe. I wrapped it in steel wool to make up the difference in diameters, and then screwed the bottom plate on the muffler. The volume dropped to a very acceptable level, and I did the install right in the parking lot of the store. Easy as pie. The thing was so loud with open pipes that, well, I'm sure lots of you know. I guess I should post my muffler fix method to the appropriate thread, but I think it's appropriate here as I'm simply discussing the beginning of this new hobby of mine.
     
  8. waistofhumanspace

    waistofhumanspace New Member

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    [​IMG]
    ............................ME!...........................................
     
  9. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    I rode her to work for the first time today. All was well on the trip there, except I'm having bogging problems which I know are a result of vibration causing the fuel to froth up. (When the fuel line isn't totally full, I can actually see the fuel in the line turning to foam.)

    On the way home, the bogging problem went away temporarily. Man, oh man! The speed was incredible! I had a feeling that I shouldn't go that fast yet, but I kept pushing her. I had almost reached what I believed to be top end when the motor completely died. I looked down to see the spark plug wire dangling. The internals of the boot had vibrated out, and the boot would no longer stay on. I held it on for a while until, by an awesome coincidence, I happened to see a massive (3 ft long!) construction grade zip tie on the side of the road. I wrapped that around the entire engine to hold the boot in place. I didn't get 1/2 mile from that fix when my chain fell off! One of the already-bad-when-I-bought-it links gave out. After a bunch of bending and hammering using the two small crescent wrenches I had in my pocket, I was able to patch the chain good enough to last me about two miles of 5-10 mph limping toward the hardware store (which still beat pedaling). It broke in two places this time, about a block from the store. The pedaling wasn't so bad with the chain off. At the store, I purchased a made-in-USA #41 heavy-grade roller chain for $9.99 which was long enough to make two or three bike chains. Using a borrowed hammer and punch, I quickly installed the new chain. I went ahead and added a new plug, and also replaced most of the sprocket bolts (adding lock washers too) while I was there. The bike was at this point running like a dream, ready to make the 2-3 mile trip home. Lo and Behold, the skies opened up their gates, and down came a torrential downpour. Well, I got my "wet-wings" today. I made the trip in near-tsunami rain. (Well, it wasn't raining THAT bad, but it WAS pouring). One thing to consider when riding in the rain - water drops don't feel so good when they hit your eyeballs at 25+ mph. Use eye protection.

    On the rain-soaked trip home, the bike still had the bogging at high speed problem, but it made the trip just fine. Tomorrow I'll add some coolant hose rubber to the mounts to absorb the vibration. I may eventually fill the frame with expanding foam if the rubber doesn't help. I know the wood block spacer isn't helping.
     
    #9 BoDean_LP, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  10. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Yeah, I know what you mean, Happy.

    Everywhere I go, people are checking the bike(s) out.
    My friend's son, who is 16, LOVES to go riding with me, and people are amazed to see TWO at once. It's amazing how many people have never even heard of a MB.

    I had a Schwinn 3 wheeler when I was a kid. My dad was gonna mount a chainsaw motor to it until he saw us two wheeling around corners. He became convinced it would be too unstable. So, I've been wanting a motor-trike now for some time. I did a quick and ugly mount job to one recently, but quick and ugly does not equal enduring and reliable. I'm gonna weld up a good mount to it as soon as I can. After I motorize it, I plan to build a velo-shell for it. I'd like to have a weather proof shell for it, so I'm gonna build one using corrugated plastic. I'll definitely start a thread for that one.
     
  11. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Don't rubber mount the engine, it will cause you more problems than it will fix.
     
  12. Highwaystar

    Highwaystar Member

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    If you don't like the -weather in Indiana, give it ten minutes, it will change!LOL

    Great story. There are a lot of Hoosiers sporting motored bikes, I would like to get some people together for an organized ride.
     
  13. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Group rides are awesome, even if there are only a few people in the group. It's just cool. I'd like to get together with some local riders. If I can't find any, I'll just have to start building bikes for friends so we can ride. I think enough of them are interested . . .

    Thanks for the advise about the rubber mounts Bikeguy. I'll find an alternative. I had the motor mounted a little high due to the bicycle's original chain guard. It's off now, since the bolts vibrated out, so now I can lower the motor in the frame a little bit, thus eliminating my spacer block and hopefully enabling me to make a tighter mount.

    I still need to replace the factory studs with some appropriate-length bolts.

    The back wheel needs replaced. It's got a bad "hop" in it. I can't find a good (new) rim for less than $40 locally. I may drop the cash and get it over with. It's what I need to do. I don't feel all that safe on it as it is.

    Every now and then, the chain will make a "CHICK" sound that makes me think it's gonna jump the sprocket. I ride on busy roads. I'd hate for the back wheel to lock up at high speed with a car on my tail.
    No no no, I DON'T want that to happen. I wish I wish I wish I hadn't bought a used kit. :-||
     
  14. Uncle Salty

    Uncle Salty New Member

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    Welcome BoDean LP-- Sometimes the End Result justifies the means, I've had my share of missteps, but it's always the journey not the destination for me, thanks for sharing--Uncle Salty
     
  15. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Howdy Uncle Salty. Nice ta meet ya.

    Well y'all, I fixed the high speed cut out problem. After the chain guard was removed, I was able to lower the engine a little. I added some large curved washers between the motor and the frame to help tighten it up. I torqued it down, and now the motor is very secure. The fuel doesn't froth up anymore!!! The top speed went WAY up with no engine cutout or rough running. Then I added a tail light, and it made the motor run differently. I guess I shouldn't use a 12V bulb. I'll just unplug it during the day. I don't drive as fast in the dark anyway.

    I fought with the back wheel all day. First time I fired her up this morning, the chain jumped right off. (Glad it wasn't while I was flyin' down the road.) Upon inspection, I noticed that the spokes were WAY bent. So, off with everything. I took the sprocket off, trimmed the dust cap, then spent an hour straightening and tightening spokes. It's a hard job, but I made the spokes straight enough to hold the sprocket steady again. I tightened some spokes too much, because after a bit of riding, the wheel developed a huge wobble, then it started rubbing the frame, and eventually alternating between rubbing the frame, then rubbing the tensioner. So, in a Thortons parking lot, by the light of a street lamp, I set about loosening the spokes on one side, to allow the wheel to bend the right way. I made it stop rubbing the tensioner, and it quit rubbing the frame as tightly as it had been. By the time I made it home, the wheel was almost straight. Man, messing with spoke tension is an art form if you don't have the right tools. I was using only a crescent wrench. (I usually carry two with me on rides.)

    This hobby is turning out to be a regular 40 hour a week job. My friction bike is SOOOOO much smoother and is basically hastle-free. Too bad she doesn't run in the rain. :(
     
    #15 BoDean_LP, May 3, 2012
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  16. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    Why not? Mine (Dax Friction Drive) works fine.

    Try running your rear tire at the lowest recommended/rated pressure, and putting more roller pressure than usual. You might get some more vibration or drag than usual, but you should make up for it in traction.

    What tire and drive system are you using?

    re: This hobby is turning out to be a regular 40 hour a week job. My friction bike is SOOOOO much smoother and is basically hastle-free. Too bad she doesn't run in the rain.
     
  17. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    I'm using a 2.125 whitewall street tire that's pretty smooth now. I relieved some of the roller pressure because I broke a crank on a different motor. Part of that was due to a flat spot in the wheel though (which I have straightened out now.) It's a home-built job that uses a pretty smooth bicycle peg for the drive roller. I need something rubber or rubber coated to help with traction. I've wrapped the peg in duct tape and ran it in the rain without too much trouble, but the tape eventually wears out.
     
  18. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    I just bought a super straight 24" back wheel with coaster brakes for only $6 at a flea market. I've been looking for a 26", but the cheapest was $30 for a bent one. The spokes on the 24" wheel seem to be thicker than normal, so that's encouraging. It doesn't have the sprocket on it, so that's something I've got to teach myself how to do. Luckily, my 26" wheel has the exact same hub. This is gonna take yet another two hours. Goodbye daylight, hello dark. Well, at least I've got a tail light.
     
  19. BoDean_LP

    BoDean_LP New Member

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    Well, I mounted the 24" wheel. Sadly I could only find a knobbly off-road tire for it. I also swapped out the front wheel for a non-bent one. Now I've got a 24" on the back, and a 26" on the front. Top speed went down quite a bit. I didn't mount the speedo 'til after I mounted the 24" wheel, but I can tell that I'm not going as fast as I was before. My top speed now is 27-28 mph, but the motor's not running great. Yet again, I have the speed-based motor cut out. I can once again see the fuel frothing up in the line, so I know it's doing that in the carb bowl too. I think it's the knobbly tire on the back. I'll have to get a street tire soon.

    28 mph isn't too bad, considering it's on a bike, but I can do almost that on my friction bike. Top speed on it, using the same speedo, is 29.4 mph, but that was on a flat, while pedaling along with it just to see how fast I could go. The 28 mph on the china girl (are all these chinese motors called that?) is obtained very quickly and easily. The acceleration is great! I'm still on the lookout for an affordable 26" wheel with a coaster brake though.
     
  20. beach cruiser

    beach cruiser Member

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    I'm building a FD for my wife. Just got a kit from DAX. Was thinking of an easy way to get more traction from the shaft when I thought of getting a can of PLASTI DIP from Home Depot for around 6 bucks. Should work..we.
     

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