First Time Motor Biking

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by PhilH, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. PhilH

    PhilH New Member

    July 8, 2012: Break In Ride

    I bought a Schwinn Legacy with a brand new Grubee Skyhawk in June but hadn't had a chance to break it in until July 4 (having 2 overactive kids and a "high-maintenance" wife). Up to this point I just rode it lightly around the neighborhood (got a few dirty looks from some people whose nap was interrupted by the sound of the engine :cool:).

    So Sunday my wife and took a nap, and it was my chance to test the capability of the bike. I even put some bottled water on the saddlebags to increase the load. First I took it around the neighborhood to warm it up. Then I took it on a downhill and got pretty close to 40 mph. Then I killed the engine and tested the brake. The standard Schwinn Legacy came with a coaster brake, so it took me quite a while to come to a complete stop without skidding. I seriously need a front brake.

    Then I took it to a long level ride, and got 30 mph on it. I was quite happy with it.

    Then the dreaded uphill test. The builder told me not to go uphill with the engine alone, but I thought he was being overprotective to the engine. So I found myself a long 10-degree slope and let it rip. I got a decent 25 mph most of the time, but at the end the engine started sputtering and lost power. That was probably why the builder didn't want me to go uphill. But I thought it was still in break-in period. The fuel mix was quite rich in the oil, so maybe it was expected. I decided not to complain at this point and give the engine some time to stabilize itself.

    So there goes my break in ride.

  2. PhilH

    PhilH New Member

    July 25, 2012: First Commute to Work

    Knowing how the bike's "behavior", it was time to take it to what it was bought for: commute to work. My office is located at downtown Lexington, and one particular road is scenic and hilly.

    I left at 8.40 am and fired up the bike. It started up well and I took it to a cruise for about 5 minutes averaging 25 mph. Then came the hilly part. Lucky for me, the hilly part always started with a downhill, so I cranked up the bike on a downhill to gain momentum for the uphill, so the engine didn't have to work so hard. Worked like a charm :idea:

    After the scenic-hilly part, I came to a very busy artery road. This is a challenge because cars don't always pay attention to two-wheelers, especially "slow-movers" like bicycles. However, for unknown reason, my engine decided to idle at a much higher rpm than normal. This was the first time it acted this way, and I didn't know why. But it worked to my advantage since I could cruise with 30 mph most of the time even on a slight uphill, comparable to most cars in a busy road.

    I arrived at my office at 9.05 am, and I was surprised because I expected a 30-minute ride. That change in idle rpm really helped me cruise at a faster speed, but I don't know if it will hurt the engine on the long run or not. I will have to see about it.
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I don't know quite what to say about that idle increase either.

    If it's only a little bit and your bike behaves normally otherwise, then I'd suspect that it's 'just one of those things'.

    But if you start getting a lot of RPMs when it should be idling, then I'd suspect an air leak at the carburetor intake. I understand that that can be damaging to the engine. So you ought to keep an eye on this.

    Otherwise it sounds as though your bike is performing well for you.

    We're glad to hear it.

    Have fun.
  4. zwebx

    zwebx Member

    i also would say an air leak... (i once broke my intake manifold and only had enough to keep the carby on so there was a definite leak and the engine would be able to rev high and whatnot, but when i let off the throttle it would not slow down untill i forced the rpms to be lower then it would idle high) so i would recommend looking into anything like that early (specially if you have crappy breaks like my bike does)
  5. PhilH

    PhilH New Member

    You guys are right. I checked the idle screw and the air idle screw came loose. I don't know what caused it. Vibration, maybe? The engine does vibrate a lot, but I doubt it's the cause. Anyway, I fastened it and it seemed to work fine... for now. I'll keep an eye on that matter and see if the screw is bad/defected. Thanks for the info.
  6. PhilH

    PhilH New Member

    August 12, 2012: First Service

    It had been 2 weeks from my last trip with the bike and I felt the need to clean it. I had a 2-stroke moped before, and the most maintenance I did on it was the spark plug cleaning. So I took the spark plug, and goodness me, it was all black and wet. Sure enough it was flooded with unburnt gas-oil mixture from the tank. I thought... hmm, what is going on here? It's a Grubee Skyhawk, I have heard good reviews on it, but why did it flood the spark plug? So I checked the petcock, and sure enough I left the petcock open for 2 weeks. I was sure I "OFF" it last time I used it. Turns out I misunderstood the symbols on the petcock. Instead of "ON", "OFF", and "RES" like normal (Japanese- and American-made) petcocks, this one had symbols to describe those functions, and I just simply put it on the wrong symbols. Why couldn't the Chinese use latin alphabets like everybody else? :annoyed:

    Anyway, cleaned the plug, pumped the pedal several times to dry-up the combustion chamber with the petcock on "OFF" symbol (correct this time), put everything together, and it started on the first crank. Wonderful! I did some adjustment on the air-idle screw (see above entry), and it ran like the first time, maybe better.

    Note for others who use Chinese-made engine: be vigilant (test if you're unsure) about the petcock positions. Make sure you know where the "ON", "OFF", and "RES" positions are.