Grandmother hopes to find simple, inexpensive motor

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by binkie, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. binkie

    binkie New Member

    I'm a grandmother who loves riding my mountain bicycle. Unfortunately the old knees are giving me fits but I don't want to give up my bike, so I am thinking that adding a motor to my bicycle would be the way to go. I still want to be able to peddle the bike on occasion. I don't have a lot of money to spend and have absolutely no mechanical skills. I don't have a lot of money to spend and have absolutely no mechanical skills.

    I'd love to hear from others who have added cost-effective motors to their bikes and still retain the pedals. I'd really like to keep my same bike.

    A friend mentioned getting a "chicken motor." Anyone have one of these? I read about a motor that is part of the wheel but it appears that that never made it into production.


  2. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Grandma, you need to find a friend with skills like a mechanic or handyman.

    A friction drive kit and engine will set you back maybe at least $300.

    A tinkerer with skills can "McGuyver" a used weedwhacker and BMX bike peg and have you running for less than $50, labor included.

    HOWEVER, ya still need a person with basic mechanical skills to fix the stuck throttle, make minor adjustments, etc.

    Do you do your own maintenance on your bike? Good if you do.

    If you're the type to send your bike to the bikeshop for maintenance and repairs, most don't take kindly to motorized bicycles.

    A lawnmower shop might be able to help you install and maintain a motorized.

    ORRRRR someone in your family MIGHT know some hotshot kid who works on anything on wheels.

    He'd be your go-to guy.

    FWIW, they don't call me handsome, but they do call me handy!:jester:

    Sorry I can't help you more. I live out on a rock in the middle of the Pacific.:whistling:
  3. binkie

    binkie New Member

    Thanks for your reply! At present I don't have anyone nearby, but I don't want to give up riding my bike. Somehow I'm going find something out there that will work for me.
  4. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    For ladies I put Robin Subaru 35's on nice step thru comfort bikes.

    Its one thing to buy and install a cheap engine, its a whole 'nother to try to crank it.

    Robins usually crank on the first pull, purr quietly, and I have never met a string pull so user friendly.
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Where Are You?

    binkie, what city are you in?:detective:

    :idea:perhaps a forum member lives nearby and can give a helping hand.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    very nice simple no trouble set up

    yes the Robin Subaru is a very simple no trouble set up -- for sure worth the extra money

    a Lady friend of mine bought this set up a while back
    she loves it
    total break downs to this point with her MB and my MB also = 0 --- yes I also ride Robin

    not wishing to knock the Happy Time engines we see around so much
    but -- these things are pretty much proven to need
    tools used at many times !!!
    no matter what you hear -- quality can not be garanteed or expected with HTs.........

    note -- anything you can find that's made in Japan -- will run a long, long, long, long time

    get one and have fun as you ride that thing
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  7. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I would also suggest a Robin rear wheel friction drive. They are very reliable engines & some of the kit types are very easy to install. Look at my avatar & you will see about what a " Chicken Power Motor " looks like. I would not recommend that one to you, even though I like them.
    This link, which shows a Honda , rather than a Robin/Subaru engine, will show you in detail, how to install.
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member


    how are you with the thought of always mixing oil with your gas such as with 2-strokes ??

    or would you perfer to just pull in gas station and fill up ??

    this may be a big deciding factor ??

    from -- grandpa Mountainman
  9. Waterfowl

    Waterfowl MBc-Sponsor

    That's exactly what I thougt. Grandma mixing two stroke gas and getting her socks and shoes splattered with the oily exhaust. As always a 4-stroke is going to be the best choice for most.
  10. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Just because she called herself a Grandma, let's don't come to the conclusion that she is old & feeble.
    When I first moved to Florida, I saw a pretty young girl carrying a cute baby. I commented on what a pretty baby she had. She said, " Oh no, she ain't mine , she is my daughters !" " I ain't but 26 & I'm already a grandma , she said !" !! I almost fainted !
  11. az cra-z

    az cra-z Guest

    Keep in mind the old adage about bike parts (applies to lots of other stuff, too): Cheap-Light-Strong, pick any two!
  12. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    2-strokes are great and all... but I think 99.8% of grannys would be better off with a Subaru motor.
  13. binkie

    binkie New Member

    Thanks! Everyone has been so kind and helpful with suggestions. I'm older but not feeble yet.:grin5: I've always pumped my own gas, checked the oil and put in a quart when the oil is low so I wouldn't mind mixing the gas and oil if necessary.

    I've been asking friends and neighbors if they know anyone who might be able to help install a motor on my bike and have a couple of leads which I'm going to check into.

    I will take a look at the subaru motor. Sounds like I would be better off saving my money and waiting to buy a motor until I can get a good one.

    Getting my bike motorized is a high priority for me, so while I'm saving money I'm going to keep researching, reading this read site, and asking questions to learn all I can about the best motor to buy. I hope that not too long in the future I'll be able to post that my bike is all set with a motor and I'll be hitting the road.

    Again, Thanks so much!!!
  14. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    In MY opinion, with the bike motors,, you get what you pay for !!
  15. binkie

    binkie New Member

    You're right, Esteban. I may not be able to afford the best, but I'll get the best I can afford.
  16. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    smart Lady -- wishing you the best

    just for the all round fun of the MB thing
    the two or three extra hundred dollars -- in the long run -- are very well spent monies

    makes it nice to (((ride that thing))) (((all day long))) (((with no break downs)))
  17. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    One way to think about it is between .015 and .02 cents per mile, and that Subaru will keep getting stronger as you get more miles on it.

    I have a guy claiming 200 mpg with it....gps certified.
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    When I installed a Subaru 1.6hp engine on my Dahon, it had a 96-ounce fuel tank.

    It took a LONG while between fillups.:detective:

    By comparison, I top off my Happy Time reserve tank(68oz) on "The Dragon Lady" every other day, 11 miles daily ride.
  19. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Subaru kits seem to be in about this price range...

    - $530 for a Staton chain-driven kit
    - $620 for a GEBE belt-driven kit

    I don't usually recommend the GEBE, but I would in this case. That's what I'd shoot for. Get $600 together and get some young ragamuffin to pop it all together.
  20. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Oh yea... there are cheaper friction drive Subaru kits from Staton-Inc.

    I'd either get the friction drive kit or the GEBE kit.