Hello from Vermont

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by VTBikeman, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. VTBikeman

    VTBikeman Member

    Greetings from the Green Mountain state of Vermont.

    I run an audio company called Moscode (Moscode.com) and I'm a jazz bassist, but this summer I got hooked again on biking.

    Last year at the Rocky Mtn Audio Fest in Denver, a local bassist that I had met the year before came by with his bike on which he had installed the Bionex electric motor and batteries. I rode it around the parking lot to get the feel of it and filed that experience away for the future. This summer I was looking into electric bike kits and almost pulled the trigger but the cost and weight of batteries had me thinking about alternatives.

    When gas hit $4 I started by looking for a moped as a way keep my 97 20 mpg Nissan Quest parked. I saw a Batavus for $800 at the local cycle shop. I drove it but wasn't that impressed for $ 800. After scouring craigslist for more I came across Blue Collar Bikes selling the china made 2 cycle motor moped kit and having 2 bikes on hand I decided to give it a try for $200.

    I put the 2 banger on my 27" wheels, 24" Panasonic touring bike which has proven itself to be really strong with a steel frame. I also had a hybrid bike but due to the stylized frame the motor would not fit on the bike.

    I researched the VT DMV and found out it has to be registered, inspected and insured.

    Now I had to add lights. I concocted a home brew of tail, brake, plate, & head lights and turn signals.

    All this stuff took a lot longer than I thought it would. I was still looking into a commercial scooter or moped when for the same money I realized I could get full fledged motorcycle.

    I decided to get a Suzuki GS450T, '81 and got into that. I took the MSF course last wknd and now I have the Motorcycle endorsement on my license.

    I have spent way too much brain power on this project but I really enjoy riding my motored bike. The local motorcycle shop held a block party for everyone-Harleys to mopeds and EV's and my bike got a lot of attention.
    I was surprised and thought I'd be laughed at for this contraption but everyday I ride in downtown Brattleboro someone stops me and asks me about it.

    Bratt is a hilly town and I have had chronic fatigue syndrome since '94 and biking seemed to kick it into high gear laying me out for a day or 2 after doing moderate pedaling. So the motor was the only way to go. I use my homebrew most of the time since I don't have to wear motorcycle gear to use it. I can wear a bike helmet and sneakers, shorts and a t shirt.

    I use the Suzi to go further than 10 miles from town since I will be on higher speed state highways. When the weather gets colder (we never really had any summer this year) I'll be more inclined to use the Suzi since a full face helmet keeps my face a lot warmer but I can also use it with the homebrew.

    I've attached a few bike photos from when I initially put it together, pre-sophisticated lighting.

    Some notes on the bike:

    I am using 2 5W LED MR16 replacement bulbs ($30 ea) as head lights. 1 is a 38 deg beam and one is 10 deg beam for hi beam. They are almost as good as a 50w halogen, which the batteries will not support. I can override the beams (but don't) so more power would be good. I may just add 2 more AA cells in the batt pack to goose it to 14.5 volts which will also give me more reserve. More thought is required.

    I have not utilized the 6v 1/2 amp winding on the magneto yet. It won't run all the lights as that needs 12 watts and it cautions against pulling more than 3w off of it. When I do I will probably just use a voltage doubler and a simple current limiter to recharge the bats during the day trips.

    10 NIMH AA 2500 ma-hr rechargeable batteries form the 12V batt pack in a soap box from Walgreens and another soap box houses the turn signal circuitry which disables the appropriate brake light for flashing, like on a car.

    Brake switches are Radio Shack microswitches glued to the brake lever with screws installed in the brake lever to activate the switch.

    Rear plate light is 4 white LEDs. Rear brake lights are led automotive 1127 replacement lights that I soldered directly to. There are 2 inputs, one for running lights and one for brake/turn as on a car.

    Front turn signals are amber auto replacement leds jury-rigged onto the handlebars.

    The bike motor has run well. I think the clutch handle is poorly designed as the clutch handle has to be moved further than the holder button will hold it to full disengage the clutch. When I fix that I will post some photos.

    About the engine:
    My carb leaks. The float valve leaks I added a 2nd cutoff right above the carb to limit gas loss. I may have to cut a new gasket to keep the gas inside the carb.

    The spark plug cap fell apart so I replaced that.

    I added a chain tensioner to help reduce play when my speed changes. You can see that in the photos.

    I have had too many flats on the rear wheel and am now looking to beef up the tire. Shelden Brown's website has lots of info about tires. The rims are very strong and have taken a lot of jarring with no bends. As I say, the bike is really strong. 27" touring bikes are not the best choice for this but I had one.

    Finally, my biggest pain in the butt is the fact that this is a hard tail. It wacked my back on July 4th after riding with my full weight on the seat and I wound up with back spasms that put me in the hospital for a night to the tune of $4k eating up my med deductible. Needless to say I can gladly go off on the state of the health care industry in the country. Lets get on our representatives to change it. Democracy requires participation - Tag - YOUR IT!

    I am thinking about my next bike project and there is no doubt it will have bigger tires and a suspension but that will wait until next year. I still have amplifiers to make.

    Attached Files:

  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Welcome to the forum. You're just up the road a piece from me in the Happy Valley, I'm just over the line, visit Bboro a lot.