First time new build, lots of questions!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by DaveA, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. DaveA

    DaveA New Member

    I will try to keep this as concise as possible. Any advice/feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Purpose: building this with my daughter so she can use a motorized bicycle to commute to/from college campus (10-15 miles daily). She can use the campus bike racks which saves her $450 per semester in parking permit fees. If the engine fails, she can pedal.

    Needs: bicycle, engine kit, performance upgrades, safety features, security, luggage/storage options.

    Budget: We would like to keep the cost under $600 but are ok with spending for quality upgrades/features.

    Bicycle: We like this style here but a 3 or 7 speed w/disk brakes would be ideal. Do we add those features or try to find a model in this style that has them (haven't found one yet).

    Concerns: would be nice to have some gearing for when pedaling is wanted/needed. Is 3 speed enough? Is 7 speed too much? What about brakes, is a coaster brake enough? Can dual disc brakes be installed or a hybrid caliper brake in the rear and disc brake up front? Will a female style bike work with fuel tank mounted over rear tire?

    Engine kits: We are thinking of installing one of the 2-stroke kits from either BikeBerry or U-Moto. A friction drive was just mentioned to me which I know absolutely nothing about so I'm curious to see or hear about any of those builds.

    Concerns: U-Moto says that their motors are assembled in the U.S. to assure quality. I don't see where BikeBerry does this and fear they order engines that are assembled in China with does not fill me with confidence. Anyone have experience with either or both?

    Upgrades: some items I am thinking about are 1. tuning sprocket 2. Should we upgrade the stock carb for better performance? 3. Is a boost bottle and intake manifold worth it ? 4. Tuning Exhaust 5. on/off toggle switch vs stock kill switch?

    Concerns: I don't want to get crazy with upgrades just because we can. I'd like any upgrades to fulfill a practical purpose such as increased performance, fuel mileage, longevity etc.

    Safety: Turn signals, brake lights, headlamp, helmets, clothing. Any other suggestions?

    Concerns: My biggest concern is braking and then visibility. She will be on the roads with automobiles many of which are driven by fellow "self involved" students (if you catch my drift).

    Security: I'm looking for any recommendations on bike locks and/or tips on how to properly secure something like this to a bike rack etc.

    Luggage/Storage: Any recommendations on some lightweight storage on a bike for books etc?

    Final Thoughts: We are wide open to suggestions. I don't want to overly complicate the build. We can always upgrade things at a later date if it is felt that running a basic kit is best at first. But if you guys/gals already know what works/doesn't work then we can save time.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, Dave A.

  2. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    I sent a daughter off to college, still paying for it.

    i'd just get her a good bicycle, preferably a fixie if the terrain is flattish.
  3. DaveA

    DaveA New Member

    thanks, I appreciate that feedback but we are definitely wanting to build a motorized bicycle together so I'd like to stick to feedback on actually building one, not alternatives :)
  4. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    a bike with gears usually comes with nice v-brakes on both wheels

    a beach cruiser is comfortable for long hours in the saddle

    none of these are made in the US - 'assembled' might only mean 'put in the shipping package'

    build as basic a bike as you can for first build - you'll do a lot of things wrong or not suited to your expectations - you can later sell the first one (perhaps at a profit) & build one more to your liking once you understand what these are
    DaveA likes this.
  5. DaveA

    DaveA New Member

    Some other questions that just came to mind.

    1. how hard is it to pedal a bike with a 2-stroke chain drive engine on it? Is there any resistance?

    2. I've just seen that it's only recommended to ride for 30 consecutive minutes? Is that accurate?

    Dave A.
  6. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    there is some extra resistance - some bikes more than others - gears when tank is empty are a good idea

    I run a bit rich to get up the many steep hills in my area, I've not had a problem on long rides (I also don't ride WOT)