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Old 06-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
Colorado CJ OP
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Anyone Tried Motorized Bicycles?

Not sure if this fits here or not.

My dad and I have been riding our motorcycles together for many years now. The other day he told me that he wants to put a motor on his bicycle and take some longer trips on it. His bicycle is set up for touring and he has a bob-trailer for camping gear (single wheel trailer).

Since he talked to me about it, I've been reading up on motorizing bicycles, watching videos and reading up on others touring adventures.

I think I am hooked!

I LOVE taking long trips with my motorcycle (did a 4000 mile trip last summer), and the thought of taking a cross country trip on a bicycle with a 49cc engine pushing me along at 25-30 m.p.h. has really got me excited for some reason.

The plans for now are to build up two motorized bicycles in the next couple of months and go on some shorter ~800 mile trips, then later year take off for a cross country trip.

We are planning on using Honda GX50 4 stroke engines and shift kits (lets you use the bikes rear casset or internal shift hub. They get between 150-200 miles per gallon and a usual day consists of ~200 miles of riding.

It is a slow pace adventure, but I'm sure it would be a whole lot of fun.

Has anyone tried out any of these motorized bicycles?

This is similar to what we are looking to put together (but on mountain bike frames) and pulling a single wheel bob trailer for camping gear and photography/video equipment.

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Old 06-04-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Yes, I used to have one, and plan to build another. But there are a lot of things to consider. Do not use a cheap bike, or one of those cheap Chinese engines. It will fall apart. (mine did) Use a good quality bicycle and a good quality engine. There are several possible setups. Rear wheel friction drive, rear mounted engine with chain or belt drive, or mid mounted engine with chain drive. Then there is the one you posted a picture of. Mid mounted engine that drives the front sprocket (chainwheel) by chain, and another sprocket behind it drives the rear wheel using a standard bicycle chain. By far the most failure prone item on any bike that uses one is the chain rensioner, also known as the idler pulley. Mine got sucked into the rear wheel twice. Best to avoid designs that use those, or design/fabricate your own, like I eventually did. For long distance travel, definitely avoid 2 stroke engines.

For all the information you need, and more, go to www.motoredbikes.com Someone there is guaranteed to have the answers to all your questions.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Had an 1970 something 3 speed with a USA made bike engine on it. Work like a charm. Really wonder if it would be easier to take on on old 50 cc scooter and crop it into a sidecar like pusher or a trailer type pusher. Can't say I would pay what they want for cheap motorized bike now. Then again a LIfan or what ever they are called seem to be good engine to use to power stuff. THere old plans for free floating around the net of how to mount a lawn mower engine to an bike . Popular mechanic etc had them.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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Motorized bicycles can be very high quality, or they can be junk. You can get an already built Chinese Walmart bike with a Chinese motor on it for under $500, but don't plan on going to far on it. But you can also get really nice ones, that cost about three times that, that are fully capable of crossing the country. Many have done it. Honda and Robin-Subaru make the best engines. They are 4 strokes, nobody makes a decent 2 stroke.

I just noticed the bike you posted a picture of is a shifter. At first I missed the cable going to the internally geared rear hub. The engine turns the crank through a jackshaft, and it only goes one way, allowing you to coast with the engine running. By using the bicycles drivetrain, you can also use the bicycles gears. If you are planning long distance travel, you are going to want one of those, as you will wind up climbing mountains, and just like a motorcycle, you will want a low enough gear for that little engine to climb with, and higher gears for the flatlands. That limits you to a mid mount engine, which is not a bad thing, since you have the space over the rear wheel for a rack to carry other things. You will also want to use a high quality bicycle, that won't fall apart, and you can't get those at department stores. And you will also need to check state laws on motorized bicycles for every state you plan on riding through. AZ has very lax laws on motorized bicycles, while they are completely illegal in some states.


I tracked the image you posted to this site. Looks like they build some pretty nice stuff. http://kcsbikes.com/ They are in AZ. Due to AZ laws, we have become a Mecca of sorts for motorized bicycles. You see them all over the place. You can ride them in bike lanes, and you can shut the engine off and pedal them through parks and schools. And you can park them at bike racks (well locked of course)
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
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Just for fun, check out Derringer Cycles. They are cool looking.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmove View Post
Just for fun, check out Derringer Cycles. They are cool looking.
They are cool looking, but I would have to put some much higher bars on before I could ride one. That shouldn't be a problem. But those are also expensive handcrafted bikes. You can build one that is just as reliable for a lot less, using the right parts. Riding cross country, you will need gears. A single speed will not work on both long steep climbs and flat roads. I recommend the 4 stroke shifter bikes from KC's Yes they start at $1000, but that's not much for something that will cross the country. http://kcsbikes.com/currentBuilds.asp

Or you could look for a modern Whizzer. They are no longer available new, but I see them for sale on Craigslist ever once in a while. They are 148cc however, and are usually classified as a moped rather than a motorized bicycle.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jerry. I wasn't aware of these. Where is KC located? Does he ship them?

Jon
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
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I had a Monarch Twin back in the late 50's. Belt drive to a large (~20 inch) pulley on the rear wheel. It was mounted on a Schwinn bike with the spring front fork.

Not mine but very similar.



My friends mostly had Whizzers. A few had Travis' that mounted on the front wheel and used a friction roller on the front wheel. My Monarch left everyone in the dust. Cubic inches count!

They were illegal in NYC for anyone under 18 so we often had to run from the cops. We'd dart up driveways, cut across backyards and come out on the next street.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #9
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The first time I ever saw a Whizzer motorbike, I wanted one. I know you can buy kits and do it yourself, but Whizzers are the bomb. http://www.whizzermotorbike.com/

The problem is, cops don't know what to do about them. Sme give tickets for unlicensed motor vehicles, others just tell you to get off the street. Motor vehicle laws really don't cover them is they are 49cc motors and won't go faster than 30mph. There are big motors that will fit into them. Making them a legal motorcycle.

topless screwed with this post 06-06-2013 at 06:08 AM
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:21 AM   #10
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I wish I had bought a Whizzer back when they still made them. They qualify as a motorcycle in my state. I do have a VeloSolex 3800, but it is not legal as anything in my state. It is not a legal moped because it is not DOT approved as such. It is not legal as a motorized bicycle since it is a full 49cc. I had to give up riding it anyway, after destroying 2 rear wheels on it. Apparently I am to heavy for it. It was designed for someone of 165 pounds or less. Plus the roads around here are horrible, and it has no suspension.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:28 AM   #11
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I built one in a reasonably good frame -- a Trek. The brakes were inadequate for the speeds it developed. You want some serious brakes! It was fun, but when I got the impression that it was going to kill me, I traded it to a fellow that's far crazier than I. He's put several hundred hours on it, including trips of close to 100 miles in a shot.

It's fairly easy to exceed 35 on one that has a little self-respect.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:48 AM   #12
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i had one ride by my house , wow i thought some was walking down the street with a chainsaw ,, it was loud
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:21 PM   #13
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The highly modified 2 strokes with expansion chambers are loud. They are ridden by the same kids who used to ride modified gopeds. These are the same kids that usually get into ricer cars when they get older. Most of them are not legal. A good 4 stroke engine is very quiet. Not good for racing, but they will reliably take you across the country, at about 30 mph on flat level roads.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
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I built a couple of the cheap 2-stroke ones, they are JUNK, most of the bolts are grade butter, they vibrate bad, drive the rear wheel through the spokes, I wouldn't count on going across town on one those.
4 cycle is the way to go, an a shifter will make it much nicer.
I got a Honda cl-70 which can be ridden as a moped in Ct., (less than 5hp) and its like a Cadillac. have fun
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #15
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Since all small bikes seem to be called "mopeds" now, you might actually consider a real moped. Check out the new Tomos Sprint. It is around $1000, and will take you back and forth across the country many times. It will climb anything with it's centrifugal transmission (NOT a CVT) And, it is legal in all 50 states. I've owned 3 of them, put thousands of miles on them, one was run over by a Suburban, and I rebuilt it fairly easily and rode it several thousand more miles.

Here's a story about a guy that took an 11,500 mile trip on a 50cc pedal moped in 1978, through Canada and Alaska. http://www.mopedtrip.com/
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