Dahon Mariner - looking to add chain drive

Discussion in 'Rack Mounted Engines' started by ElementX, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    Ok, I just picked up an old Dahon Mariner today and I'm pretty excited. I have no idea how old it is, but its in pretty good condition. The only thing it needs is a new front wheel. The current one spins far from true and the hub seems very loose.

    This isn't mine, but looks exactly like it:

    I plan on adding a Staton chain drive to this very soon. Anyone have any tips or suggestions?

    If anyone has pics of their motorized Dahon's, post them up! Thanks!

  2. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I cut my teeth on a 20" Dahon Mariner. First install was a Staton friction drive w/Subaru engine.

    With 1.125" roller, it was a perfect match as a starter MB, with top speed of 27mph.

    Then I installed a Staton chain drive with 18.75:1 gearing. That's when I began to feel the bike's squirrelly handling characteristics.

    Too much power for a small bike...for me as a noobie. Top speed was probably low-30's mph.

    Once I became serious about commuting and yearned to ride the highways, I removed the 2.2hp Mitsubishi and chain drive.

    :idea:Then I gave the Dahon away and moved up to 26" bicycles.
  3. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    Well, I called Staton and ordered the chain drive w/Robin EH035 for the 20" Dahon. I also ordered a rear wheel thats set up for this kit, but they said it wasn't on hand and would take a few days.

    I also ordered a friction drive kit, minus the engine, for my 26" mountain bike. I'll be using this one with the Honda GX25 that I already have on hand.

    Next step is to get new tires. The tires that came with my Dahon are Tioga slicks 20x1.75. I am going to replace them with some good street/commuting tires that can handle some rain and gravel. These tires can get pretty expensive. I'm gonna limit myself to tires under $20.
  4. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    What sizes are your rollers, and how fast do you wanna go?

    How much do you weigh?
  5. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    I ordered the friction drive with the 7/8" roller since I'll be using a GX25 with that one.

    I'm ~180 and not really looking to go fast. I would like to be able to propell myself on a slight uphill grade without having to go full throttle...or whatever that range is right before the engine pitch gets twice as high. :grin5: If I can go 5mph up a medium hill, that'd be great. Hopefully I will be able to cruise around 15mph on flat land without having to give it too much gas.

    When the kits show up, I will work on the friction drive first since that should be quick and easy on my 26" mountain bike.
  6. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    :idea: oh and after reading some stuff about electric conversions, I'm thinking this dahon frame would make a good platform for adding a big heavy battery. The frame area right above the crank would allow me to easily strap down a couple small 7-10ah 12v batteries. How to figure out what kit is affordable.
  7. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I have always thought a folder with a friction drive would be a great way to travel, by bus, train or rental car and have the bike for when I got there. It will be a project in the near future.
  8. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    One thought that deserves great consideration, friction drives aren't worth a flip when they get WET ! Not bashing friction drives, that's what I ride ! Just giving you a heads up !
  9. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Friction drives with steel spindles don't perform as well when wet.
    The Dimension Edge friction drive with aggregate spindles performs great in wet weather and btw goes wonderfully with a folder as seen here:
  10. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Have you looked at trying to repair the front wheel & hub ? Easy to do, & not $$ if a shop does it, either.
  11. ElementX

    ElementX New Member


    Ok, so my project has been going pretty slow. The stem post on my Dahon Mariner had some play in it so I had to get it fixed at the LBS. I've actually got 2 (err...maybe 4) projects going on now. 2 bikes, but 4 motor kits (err maybe 5).

    I had originally ordered my chain drive with a 20" wheel, but changed it to a 26" wheel. Then I changed my mind again after receiving my kit, so I removed the Staton custom 48H hub and took it to a BMX shop where I had it laced with black spokes to a chrome 20"x1.75" rim. The tire is going to be a Maxxis M-Tread which will give me lateral traction on any dirt roads/hills.

    The chain sprocket guard on the Staton gearbox came bent courtesy of UPS. I think its like 1/4" thick plate so they must of dropped the box hard to bend it as much as it is. I called David who told me he would send out another one if needed, but assured me his gearbox was tough. I wasn't too worried about it so I told him I'd try it out first.

    I got my Dahon back yesterday so I'll start figuring out the mounts and install everythign this weekend.

    I'm new to this bike stuff so I'm learning fast as I go along. I'm planning to widen the front forks to about 100mm from the current 74mm to fit a front electric hub motor. Plenty of folks have done this with the mild steel/chromoly Dahons, as well as the stainless steel bikes like mine.

    My other project is a Downtube 9FS that is going to use a Staton rear friction drive and rear electric hub
  12. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    5-7, I totally enjoyed your videos on youtube showcasing your twin motor bike. I think I'll be happy doing about 25-30mph on a tiny bike with my RS EH035. That's probably already scarey fast on a tiny folding bike.
  13. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Thanks for the compliment, man.

    Will you have room for the batteries on this tiny bike?
  14. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    I sure am hoping so! I got 3 x 12v 15ah LifePo4 batteries that I will run in series for 36v 15ah. They weigh in at ~13 lbs and fit great inside a soft sided lunch box cooler that I picked up at Walmart for $5. When I'm not using them for the bike, I'm gonna run them parallel for use with my electric trolling motor.

    I sized up the Staton chain drive today and it appears i'll have to cut the support brackets in half. This will allow the gearbox to mount about 1/2" above the factory rack above the rear wheel. That's pretty much the only thing I need to do and everything should bolt together in 10 mins.

    I've decided on Maxxis M-Tread for my tires. The rear will be a 20x2.10 tire on a 20x1.75 48H chrome rim with black spokes. Unfortunately that's caused another setback because the BMX shop I took my Staton custom hub to did not dish the wheel. I attempted to dish it myself to find that the spokes are too long on one side so it can't be properly dished without having about 6mm protruding into the tube. I'll have to take it back today.
  15. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    As I recall, My Dahon Mariner bike accepted both friction drive and Staton chain drive very easily. Staton supplied the hub and wheel assembled. Not dished but straight up, if I recall correctly.
  16. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    I test fitted the friction drive and it looks like I need the 5" extension brackets to push the whole thing farther back because my heel won't clear the engine on the left side. Also, I can't mount the aluminum engagement brackets because they need to be shortened by about 5" and drilled for new holes. Mounting them the way they are, my drive roller was nowhere near my tire, and the QR was as high up on Staton bracket as possible. The support brackets are made for 26" wheels I guess.

    For the chain drive, I will need to cut the support legs in half. Otherwise, the gearbox will be sitting really high above the rear tire.

    I might not get the time to get the brackets cut/drilled. I pick up my rear wheel tomorrow and then I'm going to play around with my electric kit. This has all been great fun so far.
  17. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Ah yes the engagement supports need shortening.
    JMO, you might have better performance if friction drive and electric hub are on different wheels.:idea:
  18. ElementX

    ElementX New Member

    well, you know how it goes...things came up and I didn't get to work on my staton kits as planned. However, my new 900w cyclone kit showed up last week so I got to working on that first. I got the motor mounted on my Dahon, but I haven't figured out where I'm going to put the controller. Its one big mofo thats probably 6" wide; wider than my rack which makes it stand out like a sore thumb. I need to find a nice bag that will fit my batteries and the controller.

    My Downtube 9FS will run an electric rear hub and friction drive only because the front fork has suspension and is made of aluminum. I need to figure out how to mount my cyclone motor at the bottom of the seat tube with pipe clamps.

    My gas kits will have to wait until I get the electric sorted out.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  19. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    You could've put the electric hub on the aluminum suspension fork. I did, in the early version of "The Dragon Lady".

    :idea:If you've already got the rear electric hub, you could go front friction drive.