How Much Does An MB Really Cost?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by augidog, Feb 15, 2010.


How much do have into your "completed" MotoredBike?

  1. $200 or less

    8 vote(s)
  2. $300

    7 vote(s)
  3. $400

    4 vote(s)
  4. $500

    6 vote(s)
  5. $750

    11 vote(s)
  6. $1000

    6 vote(s)
  7. $1250

    3 vote(s)
  8. over $1250

    9 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. augidog

    augidog Banned

    if you wanna give a brief description of your machine for reference please do, but you can vote without posting a reply if you want. what i'd like to do here is put a graph together that reflects the cost of a "completed project"...regardless of engine or kit, style or much did you spend before you were satisfied you'd met your personal MB-Goal?

    the poll is multiple choice if you have more than one bike, thanks in advance for taking the time :cool:
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010

  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    It's been a movable feast.

    3 years ago I would have said $200. That very quickly became $300.

    That soon became tempered by reality. Not for performance and speed or gits and gats but for dependability/reliability and safety over the road in the long haul....and as much for the original bicycle as the power components IE: No more chinamart bikes.

    Now, considering the above, IMO with reworking the various elements of the whole MB package (considering you are able and do the work yourself) I'd say standard retail will require an entry level investment between $600 to $800 with maybe the next tier of upgrading putting it at $800 to $1000.
  3. professor

    professor Active Member

    The gas/ electric I am doing is around $250 and that cost reflects it being complete.
    Of course, I have no idea of the time involved- multiples of time over any kit.
  4. Warner

    Warner Member

    I have about $1,500 into my bike, including the cost of the bike (1994 Trek 920 singletrack that I bought at auction for $90).

    Here's how my build unfolded:

    During initial build, I replaced:

    Pedals with metal cage bmx style pedals
    Bottom bracket set – replaced with new guts
    Seat post with Suspension seat post
    Old seat with Cloud 9 seat
    Rear wheel with heavy duty rear wheel (48 spoke heavy duty from Staton)
    Tires - twice, before settling on the Specialized Armadillo Nimbus tires with spin skins liners – no more flats!
    Replaced rear derailleur (that got bent somehow - prior to kit install)
    Installed bicycle computer (speedo, odometer)
    Installed tach/hour meter
    Built and installed headlight system - 55 watt light, SLA battery
    Installed Planet Bike super blinky tail-light
    Built custom bracket and installed Transit Epic DX Panniers
    Installed bar end mirror

    And the recent or pending upgrades or replacements:

    Stock forks with Rockshox Dart 2 Suspension forks
    Front rim brakes with Avid BB7 Mechanical front disc brake
    Rear brake assembly with Avid Single Digit 7 brake
    Replaced Both brake cables –front with SRAM pitstop full metal jacket
    Grip shifters, grips, and cables with SRAM 3.0 grip shifter set
    Threaded headset (converted to threadless) with FSA the pig headset
    Threaded stem with Sette Edge 2014 O/S Stem 31.8
    Handlebars with Sette Duo O/S 31.8 Riser Bar 2014 2 ½” Rise
    Brake levers with 09 Avid Speed Dial 7 Levers
    Front wheel with Forte’ Terramax wheel with hub for disc rotor
    Healight, horn, and kill switch with motorcycle type handlebar controls
    Handlebar mount for Garmin GPS

  5. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Under $300.

    Kulana Moondog $99
    50cc HT engine w/steel cylinder sleeve $115
    Chrome "retro" style headlight and bullet tail light $30
    Puncture resistant tubes $14
    Digital Speedometer/Odometer $10

    Miles of smiles - priceless!
  6. motor_head

    motor_head Member

    depends on what your building where you get parts, bikes can be had at garage sales for $20, engine depends on what you use could be the kit, a briggs or weedeater, briggs can be <>$50, a weedeater can be had for <$20 or free! if your not using the kit the drive can be the biggest problem i'll say $50

    if i garbage picked most of the stuff i could prolly make one for $50

    someone will probably say the cheap ways aren't reliable but if you know what your doing they can last along time and many miles.
  7. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    But the thread isn't what you "prolly" can do, it's what you actually did. :)
  8. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    When all is said and done, including redoing some things many times to get it the way I like, I'm thinking well over $1,000, but under $1,500.
  9. motor_head

    motor_head Member

    well my trike will probably be around $150 when i'm done, the 3hp briggs was $60, bike frame made to trike will be free, drivetrain will be around 30-40 bucks
  10. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    I'm not shy and afraid to say I have too much into some of my builds.

    My fat tire builds are always between $1000 to $1500. Mainly due to electric/gas set ups.
    Also costs with the Rear wheel-rim, and jackshaft set up. O' ya... lets be honest "experimentation and mistakes".

    My Gebe/Staton set ups are always between $450 to $750 after the expensive kits. (expensive but very happy with them)

    My HT builds are always between $150 to $300 depending on the bikes used with a few mods.
    Mainly happy with them also for the cost invested.
  11. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I should have my trike on the road shortly, at a finished price of about $150 - but offset by the fact that I've sold the original MB the second brand new engine came with for 150% of what I paid, and kept the piles of spare parts (including a complete 2nd HT kit, and three complete hi-dollar spare wheels) for myself.

    So, in cash terms, I've made money on building it, so far.

    I do intend to spend about $100 more on two custom rear wheel hubs with integral disc brake rotors, though. Local machinist is going to make them for me. I have the disc brakes already - they were part of the box of spares I got with the MB.
  12. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Mountain Bike - $300AU
    Engine kit - $290AU
    RSE billet head - $95AU
    SBP low profile air filter - $16AU
    Alloy inlet tube - $20AU
    SBP shift Kit - $280AU
    Shimano MegaRange Super-Low gear cluster - $61AU
    6-speed grip shift - $20AU
    3L Tank - $71AU
    Velo Plush Recreational seat - $70AU
    Cateye headlight - $42AU
    Taillight - $12AU
    Centrestand - $42AU
    Cateye speedo - $41AU
    Mountain Mirrycle rear-view mirror - $25AU
    Studs, bolts, odds and ends - $100AU

    Total: $1485AU (About $1300US)

    There are probably some bits that I've forgotten, but that's basically it.
    (And there's still more to come - different sprockets from SBP.)

    ... Steve
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  13. Huntington

    Huntington Member

    I have over $1,000 parts on order for the latest build. Stuff should start rolling in this week and Im sure more to come.
    2x 2" 12V Chrome Scooter Headlight
    Terminal Block and wire connections.
    In-line Cord Fuse
    Wire 16 AWG, 12 Ft
    Connector/Adaptor:Trail-Tech Male Coaxis Lockable Connector with 4' Coil Cord
    Connector/Adaptor: 1 Male to 2 in Parallel Female Trailtech coaxis plug "Y" cable
    LiFePO4 Belt Bag Bike Battery: 12.8V 6.6Ah (84Wh, 14A rate) + Fast Smart Charger
    $183.93 USD

    jemcycleinc ebay:

    nolimitsmotorsports ebay
    Fuel Line Hose 1/4 X 4 Stainless Steel Braid
    2x Magna Clamp Fuel Hose Line Fittings 1/4 - 5/16 - CHROME

    Nashbar Tail & Brake Light.. (just wanted the brake light switch)

    Chain Tensioner Motorized (livefast spring tensioner)
    $29.99 USD

    Spooky Tooth Cycles:
    NGK Spark Plug Boot
    Chrome Engine Covers
    Grey Gasket Sealer
    Scooter Pro Synthetic Two Stroke Oil
    Motorcycle Grips for Motorized Bicycles
    KBC Nomad Cruising Helmet

    Sick Bike Parts:
    Muffler for SBP Expansion Chamber
    Fuel Valve
    Plug Wire - High Performance
    NGK BP6HS Spark Plug
    Expansion Chamber - BLACK - Exhaust Pipe
    Clutch Cable - Teflon Coated
    Clutch Cover for standard Chinese 2 Stroke engine
    Carburetor O-ring
    Air Filter - Heavy Duty - High Performance
    Engine Hardware Kit
    GT2 Bicycle
    $595.83 USD

    Total: About $1232.09 and I still need to pay for the motor and get some Kevlar tires, switches, and a few odds and ends.
  14. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    Wal-Mart Schwinn Point Beach on sale $ 165.00
    GEBE Tanaka 32cc kit $ 589.00
    new brakes and tires and tubes $ 150.00
    New GEBE 105g rear wheel $ 120.00
    misc. stuff $ 100.00
    grand total $ 1124.00
  15. Flapdoodle

    Flapdoodle Member

    Mine started as an about $200 machine. Back problems, just old age and the awful roads here in the sticks ended with my going the fat tire route, a $380 electric motor kit for starting and redundancy if the gas engine quits. Interestingly, the gas engine never quit after adding the electric motor. An inverse of Murphy's Law?

    I consider a heavy chain a necessity (#41). I love the bike, so other things were added like fenders, high power tail light, and wide comfy seat.

    In my opinion, your health, roads conditions, weather and driving habits will dictate what the final cost will be.
  16. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    I'm one of the $200.00 and under, on my first build. Most costly of 5 builds cost my friend $300.00 plus gas from Mississippi to Alabama. He just sold it for $650.00 and we're going to build another one for him this spring. The profit will be split. My first build, I had a bike but the frame cracked, so I bought a cruiser from Alabama Thrift Store for $20.00..the engine (HT) $ tires $40.00...double brake handle $15.00 (we put brakes off a mountain bike on it). Have made clutch and boost bottle mods but as far as labor. Now if I count the labor you can bet I'd charge a paying customer about $200.00 to $300.00.
    I see that the majority of those that voted have at least if not more then $750.00 in their NO WAY, as it is just a toy to sputter around on. I don't take more then 20 mile trips, 10 each way, at least I didn't last year, this year you might never know.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  17. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Adding up all the amounts i've spent, including purchase cost of the bike and sorting out problems to to give good reliability, plus cost of replacement parts and upgrades in the name of saftey, the dollar figure comes to just a bit under $3,500.

    I haven't even started on the projects that are to be part of the upgrades, namely, an electric start and generator and electric motor combo.

    By the time it's all said and done, i'll factoring in a figure of $5,000

  18. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I have always been one to believe you " get what you pay for !" I know many who have bought the Chinese kits, [ I don't used those ] installed on a cheap bike , & have had too many problems. Time all is over, they have had 2, 3, or even 4 builds versus my one. I would hate to know the hours some have spent on their bikes, just to keep them going. Most of mine have totalled anywhere from $350-$750, using good quality older bikes.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  19. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I also believe that you get what you pay for.

    My learning curve has been steep and expensive. However, the pleasure building MB's has been priceless to me. Besides, it is well within my family budget because it replaced one of our vehicles, which saves over $8,000 every year.

    With that in mind, I wasn't about to start with a cheap Walmart bike and invest thousands into it.

    My first three projects were two new Raleigh cruisers and a Dahon folder. These were replaced with used 21/24-speed medium-priced Giants and Diamondback mountain bikes. Engines and drive kits of all configurations were tested. Speed and power increased dramatically but reliability suffered greatly.

    My latest project is a used $125 Diamondback Response mountain bike with dual disc brakes. It fits my goals of a 6-mile commute to work perfectly. I'll be trying a $250 Scooterguy drive system and one of my $250 TLE43 2.2hp Mitsubishi engines from my Staton kit.

    This should be my cheapest build and the most reliable setup. I am searching for a more powerful engine, but am not willing to sacrifice reliability this time.

    My most expensive build was "The Dragon Lady", a girlie Raleigh cruiser. It had twin 2.2hp Mitsubishi engines and front and rear Staton friction drives. I installed a ROCKSHOX front fork, which made the ride very enjoyable. Even though front and rear caliper brakes were added, it was not enough to be dependable at high speed. The bike also weighed 100lbs. and was very difficult to carry up two flights of stairs.

    If it wasn't for the extremely expensive shipping costs, I'd buy the $2k+ GT bike with Morini engine already installed.:detective:

    Update: The GT "Boxer" bike is $2699 plus $100 shipping. Shipping to Hawaii MIGHT cost $400.

    Forget it. I'll just keep building MB's, knowing that I'm not off MY deep end of the pool.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2010
  20. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    What bike and setup do you have?