The "If I knew then what I know now" Thread

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by MarkSumpter, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    I thought this might be an interesting and informative thread for new people to gain some insight from some of the more experienced builders and even not so experienced builders what they would have done differently on their first build had they known then what they know now.
     
    #1 MarkSumpter, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  2. oldguy387

    oldguy387 New Member

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    The first thing I would have done is get a Grubee GT5 from the start.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Not put a chain tensioner on a round chain stay. lol, didn't end well.
     
  4. oldguy387

    oldguy387 New Member

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    I would have looked for a newer model.
     
  5. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    My first build well at least for MBs since I was a teenager was a Huffy Cranbrook with a china Girl 66cc engine last November

    I have build cars and motorcycles but since being semi retired I needed something to occupy my time.

    I got my first engine from a friend that had it and no desirte to put it on a bike so I jumped up and built the Crannie.

    [​IMG]

    Since then I have put several together for friends and have to keep them running for them.

    I think the thing I would have done differently would have been to make a 4 stroke with a centrifugal clutch as my first build simply for the reliability factor and I probably would not be having to work on OPBs all of the time cutting into my riding...

    Not to say I wouldn't have built a China Girl. I do love them but my friends would have seen the 4 smokers first and been hooked on them instead and I would be riding more instead of wrenching.
     
    #5 MarkSumpter, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  6. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    Wow you guys were fast jumping on this thread I will have to type faster if I want the first post in my new threads from now on!!!
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Think it is one of those questions we all have spent a lot time on. Great thread too, btw.

    My answer was the cause for my second build. At the time I thought a $20 bike and a $150 kit was huge money to spend on this crazy.

    (just spent a little under $900 bucks on a mill/ lathe to make parts and am not done with it)
     
  8. rohmell

    rohmell Active Member

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    If only I knew then how popular these MBs were going to be in my area, I would have bought 25 or 30 of the engine kits in bulk, instead of oneseys and twoseys here and there.
     
  9. John the Chimp

    John the Chimp New Member

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    I would have torn the motor apart and cleaned all the cast flashing. Polished the piston, wrist pin, needle bearings,and rod. I would have port matched the intake,and exhaust. Just would have gone thru the whole motor before the build. Buy and Dial in the dual brakes. Heavy duty axels.Grease the hubs with good grease. A major tune up on the bike its self.
     
  10. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    I would have started with an antique frame like the JC Higgins I have now. The Micargi Huntington was a good solid frame, don't get me wrong. But I had to really think through some of the changes I had to make. Its top tube was elliptical one way at the head tube and another way at the seat post. Mounting the tank was a pain, I had to make custom brackets. The downtube was oversized so I needed to get a custom mount from SBP. Chainguard sat too high. Chainstay didn't like the tensioner bracket. The left crank would play Jingle Bells on the muffler every time I peddled. On and on. I finally get all the bugs out, and some guy hits me on it with his truck.
    The Higgins was just made for a bike motor. I doesn't get easier than this bike.
     
  11. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    I would not have put my china girl on my Gary Fisher. I would have Craig Listed or Freecycled a bike to build on. It was too nice a bike to tear up with an engine. Why put an engine on a nice light bike fitted for me, when an old Huffy with a heavy steel frame some one is giving away will work just fine.
     
  12. bishop letov

    bishop letov New Member

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    In my experience.. I wouldnt have passed up on those junker above 30cc wacker engines, especially the Echos that had less then 200 hours on them of the SRM-265 t variety.

    We all live with a do and learn mentality but **** I guess I was just lucky with my set up and Zero dollar build.
     
  13. donutguy

    donutguy New Member

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    Hmmmm I did a lot of research before I built up my bike. I think the only thing I would have done different would have been to use ThatsDax for all my equipment.

    The first guy I bought stuff was okay, but nothing like the personalized attention I am getting from the guys at Dax.

    My second build will be a rear mounted chain drive kit from Dax, I have a disc rear hub on the bike I will be building up, so I will be going with a sprocket that mounts right to the hub.

    It's gonna be a minimalist build- pretty much if I don't need it to operate the bike-it's not going to be installed....I want to see how light I can get with a motorized bicycle.
     
  14. walander

    walander New Member

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    Would have stayed clear of grubee garbage, Also, I spent over $700 on my first commuter bike. It was a tricked out cranny with a 66cc grubee. It looked cool ( actualy, I still have it and rode it to work today) but after spending so much money trying to make that bike fast and reliable, I then realised that im fine cruising at 25 to 30 mph and I later got a R/S eho35 on a friction drive kit from dax, and there is no going back. Sure, I build all kinds of bikes for others, some selling for more then $1500, but when im going out to ride? I take the simple eho35 bike. The point to this story?
    Before you spend any money on a setup, please take the time to think about what you want it for and dont fool yourself into thinking that you will be able to rely on a cheap bike with a cheap china girl for day in day out transportation.
     
  15. PerryP180

    PerryP180 New Member

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    I would have never spent the extra $20 to "upgrade" to a CNS carb. Get the carb that comes with the kit then replace it with a DAX. I would get rid of the petcock filter and rely on the inline filter I used. I would replace the chinese spark plug wire from the getgo. Took me a while to find out it screwed with my speedometer.
     

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