what did you do to your motorized bicycle today?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Skarrd, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

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    I added a set of proper turn signals. Two red in back and two amber in front.

    LEDs with an automotive LED compatible flasher unit. I got a little box that holds 8 AA batteries in series, giving 12 Volts. I couldn't find an On/Off/On switch at the auto parts store. So I got two On/Off toggle switches and put one on each handlebar near the grip. Mounted them on the hold down bolts for the brake/clutch levers. So activating them is simply a matter of reaching over with my thumb and throwing the switch. If I throw both at once, then I've got 4 way flashers.

    More than half of my riding is after dark. And I used them tonight on my way home from work. It was definitely a more secure feeling signalling my intent to traffic in a way that everyone would see and recognize. I should have done this a long time ago.

    This was a hurry-up job. So the wiring is not all that neat and tidy, for instance. And I was too rushed to be taking pictures in any case.

    But I'm building another bike right now. And this one is meant to be very tidy. I'll build a better set of turn signals for that bike. And I'll get pics of that.
     
  2. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Regarding turn signals and whatnot: I'm looking at rigging up the same for my bike. I have some Mini Bee lights in amber and red on the way, and I'll be getting out my soldering iron and going to town in a while.
    For right now, since it isn't yet street legal per the latest laws, I've been just riding ol' Tempus around in the mobile home park I live in. She's been tweaked and tuned and is humming about as well as I can possibly get her to. And during the latest ride I encountered a fellow resident who built and was riding his own motorized mountain bike. It had an HT with an Angle-Head and the usual other standard kit parts. From what I could take in at a glance he seemed to have done a good job with the assembly. I plan to try to get his attention at some point just to learn more about the man.

    So, fellow Indy motorbiker, in the off chance that you may already belong to this forum and may also be reading this, if you're the guy in the Indianapolis area with the newly-motorized mountain bike who lives in the Skyway mobile home park, then I am the guy with the red vintage-looking balloon-tire motorbike who's been cruising in laps and stopping to adjust things. Don't be afraid to ride up and say "Hi". Join our noisy, smokey, buzzing little fellowship. :)
     
  3. turnofftheradio

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    Picked up a pullstarter at a garage sale like 2 years ago. Finally chopped my crank arm up to fit it. Man those things are wide! I like it! [​IMG]
     
  4. tgaydos

    tgaydos New Member

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    [​IMG]

    i went for a 31 mile ride today, it was glorious. :D
     
  5. DaveC

    DaveC Member

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    ...wow...this place really slowed down over the winter. Most likely start to pick up here pretty soon with spring coming.

    I've been planning my electric build but other than that not much of anything bike related. It's going to cost as much as an electric scooter but those little things would embarrass me to ride seeing as how I'm 6' 1" and 220# ;)
     
  6. trackfodder

    trackfodder Member

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    I disassembled and sanded down a Vista Workhorse, which is apparently is an industrial bike . It has thick spokes and a great coaster brake. Tonight I sprayed the fenders and mounted the wheel sprocket. It has a triangular frame which makes mounting the engine a snap. I was just before buying a Wallyworld Huffy Cranbrook for $89 but found this on Tulsa Craigslist for $75.
     
  7. tgaydos

    tgaydos New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I had a new exhaust made, it still needs to be bent and fixed to work properly as it has made my bike slower. so i stuck the stock back on for now.
     
  8. TheNecromancer13

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    I stupidly broke my air filter by leaning it against a wall, so I replaced the filter with a better one.
     
  9. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Got plans for remodeling old "Tempus" here. I spent much of the afternoon trimming the head tube of an old springer fork, so it will fit my current JC Higgins frame. Then I plan to disassemble the whole fork and prep the parts for red paint.

    And later I'm going to need to start making brackets for my new headlight housing, and the new turn signals. Gonna update her vintage styling into at least the late 'teens. For now, she's still wearing the mock carbide lamp.
     
  10. trackfodder

    trackfodder Member

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    I ordered a rear fender rack yesterday. I intend to have a piece of stainless bent to fasten to it and extend down the sides to mount some little hard bags on . This will allow me to carry a motorcycle battery to run lights and turn signals. I had to get one that mounts to the seat post as my bike has a single tube extending to a U shaped rear upper frame. I find the crank hits the muffler. It has been a PIA as I had to torch it to miss the front down tube.
     
  11. mogollonmonster

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    I.... Got it out of mothballs and stood it in the rain to get the dust off, lol. Surprising, how much built up in a little over a month...

    Chain, master links, sprocket, and a few odds and ends have finally come together, now so can Tanglebones. Just awaiting a day without howling wind and rain, so I can work outside. I'm thinking of a new paint job, gotta love AZ, the bike wasn't pink when it was sold. Unless Tanglebones is dirty, He looks like a She! Must fix that.

    P.S. ALLEN WRENCH, pray tell, what inspired the name "Tempus", specifically your spelling?
     
  12. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Well, at the time (February 2010) I was boning up on my Latin. Working in the courts and various legal-related fields, I wanted to have a better understanding of legalese and lawyer-speak. So when it came time to name the bike, I had a bunch of words in mind. "Tempus" won out. It's the Latin word for "time". As we all know: time flies [tempus fugit]. And the bike was built to replicate a motorbike from another time (late-'teens). And it sounds very similar to "tempest" which is a windy storm. And I honestly didn't come up with anything that much cooler after all, so I went with it.
     
  13. trackfodder

    trackfodder Member

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    Is she wearing "Indy scent"
     
  14. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

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    Welll....only a bit of this was done today. But if the question were, "what have I done to my motored bike in the last month or so", then this would be it.

    The bike is on my 'service rack' in this photo because I've got an egg shaped tire on the rear and I'm trying to get it more round. I failed, by the way. I've taken it out for a test run since and it's just as bad as it was. My last tire purchase was a real loser. Very bad Indonesian tires.
    DSCN0717.JPG

    I've experimented, in the past, with 'better' tires. Continentals and Panaracers and such. And --yes-- they're nice tires. But I've not been impressed with their life spans. If an eight and a half dollar Kenda or Cheng Shin is going to last as long, then I don't see the point in spending thirty dollars plus for a name brand.

    This last purchase came folded in half like bike tires often do. I unfolded them and parts of them stayed flat as though they'd been through a hydraulic press. Figuring this was trouble, I mounted them on rims --they were so distorted that even this wasn't easy-- and partially inflated them and simply stored them like that for eventual use. But even that didn't help. Also, the ones I've used so far seem to have no lifespan at all. Cracks are showing up quickly. These are garbage. I know I've got tires that are better than this one. Tomorrow one of them will have to take it's place. And when I buy more I'll be careful to check that the brand is trustworthy. This is pretty disappointing.

    But, anyway, some recent innovations. Note the proper exhaust system. The sound of the bike is so much better. It sounds almost like a respectable Honda or something like that. Maybe I'm overdoing it there. But it doesn't sound any worse than an old VW Beetle or Karmann Ghia. And their sound was kinda likeable, for that matter. And it's a lot better than "Zinnggg! Zing!"

    And I put some good turn signals on the bike. These are highly recommended. They actually only worked for about a week. When I ran into my first rain with them, the flasher relay quit working. It was instantly clear to me why that should be; that thing was designed to ride in the cab of a car. There's no water-proofing at all. It died as soon as it got wet.

    But this wasn't as disastrous as it might seem. The turn signals gave me a much better 'presence' on the road. Losing the flasher relay gave me the opportunity to simply turn on these lights in steady mode after dark. Now I've got good running lights. Red in back and amber up front. And the cars on the road do, in fact, seem to treat me more as a vehicle than as a toy.

    Plus I can still signal a turn by merely reaching over with my thumb and flipping the toggle switch back and forth a few times. Granted it's a bit clumsy since, when preparing for a turn, there are other things that my hands need to be doing. But it can be done.

    Future improvements to this design will include wiring that's better hidden. But I've also got a by-pass circuit in mind that ought to allow me to run these lights steady when wanted and then switch one side over to a flasher relay circuit for an actual turn signal. I think it'll work with one switch. It might require two. But that'd be a small price to pay. I'll also need to weather-proof the flasher relay. But that won't be any big problem.

    I've got a new saddle on the bike which I built yesterday and today. Two test runs on it felt pretty good and I think this is a saddle I can live with. The heart of it is a bicycle saddle with bee-hive rear springs and a hair-pin spring up front. I took the beehives out a long time ago and replaced with some springs that are better suited to this task. And it was a pretty good seat. But not quite good enough. To be close to comfortable I had to slide back so far that my butt was over the edge.

    For the last month or so I've been trying to make another saddle work. This one is an actual motorcycle solo seat. One that's pretty small by motorcycle standards, but fairly large for a bicycle. I had a good spring setup under it. But I had trouble getting it mounted really well to the bike. When it was good it was quite good. With the exception that it was just a bit wide for comfortable pedaling. But I had a hard time getting it to stay put. No doubt I'll work with it again sometime and see if I can get it dialed in just right. But not right now. So I resurrected the older saddle.

    The older saddle needed a larger 'footprint'. So I cut out a thin plywood 'pan' with a narrow horn, widening out to a wide and deep seat. For cushioning, aside from the springs themselves, I put in two layers of some under-layment I had left over from a flooring project. Before that, though, I took some of this under-layment and rolled it up into a 'sausage' that's a bit over an inch across. I laced this onto the plywood seat-pan right at the back edge. In order to give this seat a bit of 'lift' at the rear. Put the other padding over this and then covered with a cover made of cheap plastic tarp laced onto the whole thing through the undercarriage of the saddle. On my test runs I noticed that I could definitely feel the rigidity of the seat pan right in the center of the seat. But I'm not sure this will be all that uncomfortable since the springs in the undercarriage are softening the road. But even if I find this to be a bit hard, adding a bit more padding with be a simple matter.
    DSCN0720.JPG

    I've also been experimenting with engine drive-train gearing. The 44 tooth sprocket was not too bad. But to get moving with any speed at all, say about 15 mph, I had to listen to that engine scream. It gets tiresome. So I changed to a 36 tooth. I figured this would give me about 10% more speed at a given engine rpm. This would have seemed like only a moderate change. Yet the difference was, maybe, a bit too much.

    It certainly had one advantage. I could get moving to a speed that would get me out of congested traffic spots quickly and would allow me to eat up some miles on the open road at an engine rpm that sounded really nice. But it also made it too easy to go faster than is wise. My wife and I took a ride one day. I led and had her clock our speeds on her scooter. We were going in the low 20s in those places where stop signs and such weren't getting in our way. And my bike handled that quite well. But I'm not comfortable with sustained speeds in that range. It doesn't really feel as though I'm beating my bike to the breaking point. But I can't help the feeling that sustained 20 plus will result in accelerated wear and tear. The risk of wheel bearing failure or frame fatigue and breakage might be greater. Probably enough that I just don't want to do it.

    This gearing also had one disadvantage. The greater speed was gained at the price of correspondingly less torque, of course. The bike was definitely a bit weak getting rolling from a stop. Even on level ground. I could have lived with that except that hills really defeated the bike. There's a hill on my commute that was too much when there was a headwind. The bike couldn't pull me up by itself. I don't mind helping with the pedal drive-train, of course. But my pedal gearing is very low, for the sake of start-ups and pulling away from a stop. This meant that I'd have to get down to a very, very low speed in order to allow pedaling to make any contribution at all. And then I'd have to pedal like a mad man. Not impossible, but clumsy. There was one night when I had a good, strong tailwind and the bike pulled me up that hill pretty well. I found myself wondering if the bike weren't suddenly stronger for some reason. But that wasn't it. The difference between a strong headwind and a strong tailwind is quite a bit, after all. It's enough to make that sort of difference and I had to conclude that that gearing was just a bit high.

    So I went with a 40 tooth sprocket. I've only had one work commute and a couple of local test runs with this. But I can tell that this will be a satisfactory compromise. I'll be able to travel at the speeds I like with an engine that's purring like a kitten. I'll be able to kick it up a few notches when needed. But I won't be tempted to over-do that because I won't like the noise that's involved.

    One of those work commutes with the current gearing was last week. I was also still working with that motorcycle seat I mentioned above. I had a hard time keeping it adjusted right. As a result I got home so exhausted and with a back so sore that I drove to work for the next few days.

    Mostly I don't have to drive on four wheels very much at all and life is good. But these bikes, though very sweet and more fun than a barrel of monkeys, can beat you half to death if you don't watch out.
     
  15. mogollonmonster

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    Track Fodder, I took that whole sentace as a pun, not sure if that was the intent lol.

    Allen Wrench, I was thinking of something else entirely, as such, your bike's name is far more inspired than I had hoped. Tempus is an excellent name for such a bike, as much for the definition as because you like it.

    This afternoon, I fiddled with my derailur a bit, I really need to get a new pedal chain and do away with the derailur entirely. Gotta take the 56t over to the boss's place and use his bench grinder to dress the teeth. Didn't really look at it till today, and when I noticed the flat sides of the teeth hadn't been beveled. I checked the Dax website before I called, glad I didn't bother Duane, says in their online kit install instructions, that you'll have to bevel them yourself. Not like I mind, any labor savings on their end is money savings on mine, not that I approve of cutting corners, just some corners don't need to be there to begin with.

    Trying to decide on paint color, I'm quite partial to green, but I've heard it's a bad idea as most color blind people can't see green and blues very well. Not sure how much I believe that or care, but I sure won't be using red that's fer sure! Blue, green and black are just about all that appeals to me, I'm leaning towards black or blue, as my '63 Shwinn American is already green, and will get fresh paint before hitting the road. Speaking of the "Troll", I got the crank freed up! The Bendix coaster break is cleaned up awaiting reassembly. Finally got the front fender off, had to cut the gooseneck bolt and use vicegrips on the remnant, but its out and the fender is off. The Breakfree CLP worked wonders on the crank, but the fender bolt was to far gone, even after a month of daily "drip soaking", oh well.

    Hey blue! Hope it's warming up over there. Always love your homebrew mods, keep em coming. Got to agree with your point on tires, I'm only going to get so many miles out of a set, so why pay so much more? I run the cheap Kevlar Bells, as even Kendas are $45+ each around here, heck, my bells cost $53 for the pair or somethin like that. Keep it shiny side up, and be safe!
     
    #8635 mogollonmonster, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  16. mogollonmonster

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    Slapped the 56t sprocket on, fit the chain, and took her around my dad's block. My top speed is now 23mph, but Tanglebones will pull me from a standing start at an idle! When I mix fresh fuel tomorrow, I'll take it around Overgaard and see how it does on the hills.
     
  17. phatcruiser

    phatcruiser New Member

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    Bluegoatwoods. Have you tried continental gatorskins? I've got a couple thousand miles out of a tire on my commuter with little sign of wear. There are reports of gatorskins going 4-5k miles before being replaced.
     
  18. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Any day I get to tinker with the bike is a good day. Had to swap out a broken spoke (good thing I keep spares). It probably happened when I ran over that dead branch during the last ride. Saw it too late to stop and it was too long to swerve around. I thought everything was fine. This is what I get for not checking all 72 spokes. :(
    So I had the wheel off and the tire off, trued the wheel up while I was at it - not that it was far off anyway. Then I put her all back together and futzed with it until the wheel and chains were how I like them. Finally I went out for a brief local cruise.
    My motorbike has been like a sign of Spring; people wave as I go by now, give me thumbs-up; one guy even took my picture.
    I didn't see the other MBer around today. He's new, but he has skills and seems cautious and attentive about assembly if the manner of his bike build is any indication. He has a basic, diamond-frame mountain bike - I think it was a Trek but I'll have to see it again. No suspension, decently bright lights, 2-stroke HT with NT, I saw he upgraded the fuel line and the air cleaner, and engine is solid-mounted to the frame. I have to wonder if he balanced it too, because it hums real smooth - kinda like mine. He's off to a good start for a first timer. I plan to look out for him so I can talk to him longer than last time. I didn't even ask his name last time; mostly chatted and looked at his bike.
     
  19. mogollonmonster

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    Well, I got fuel, took a little ride. I think reducing the load on the motor with the 56t has brought about the need to jet down a size or so, more riding will tell.

    I have a friend here in Heber who exposed me to the Motorbike World, Scotty, who's been riding China Girls since before I was born. Hoping to meet up with him here soon and go for a ride, hopefully I'll be able to keep up!
     
  20. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    today I moved mine out of the way so I could get the battery charger out of the garage, 'cause my car was dead.
     

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