New Poster, 2nd Bike!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by RumblingV8, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Hey guys!

    First time poster.

    Not a motorbike-themed username here, although a V8 bicycle would be pretty rad. I'm first and foremost a car enthusiast, and my current job is as a go-kart mechanic at a local high-speed track. My first post here is marking my second bike build - I've read through these forums a lot over the past year or so, and compared to other motorized bicycle forums, I find this one to have the best layout and the best wealth of information which certainly helped me navigate around my first build.


    I don't quite remember how I first learned of the motored bike, perhaps it was online somewhere. But I had two bikes, my trusty mountain bike and an old 80's Shogun road bike that sat unused... I decided to take a chance and build a Dax F80 kit onto my unused frame. As a first build, it ended up a little hodge-podge and rickety... since the picture, which was taken the day i first built it, I've revised my engine mounts with larger hardware, and in general, everything is assembled better than it was since that first day I slapped everything together. After adding an exhaust (muffler cut off due to pedal clearance) and proper chain tensioning (after destroying a wheel on the first ride) I have since sold the bike to a friend (with a "warranty" of my repair services should the bike need it), and got enough out of it to kickstart my next build, which I'm hoping will be a little bit better quality of a build now that I have a good hold on how to put one of these together, and I have a professional workspace to assemble it in my spare time. I've also got a bigger budget for the extra bits this time around!

    My next bike is another 66cc kit, this time a black Flying Horse brand, going on a brand new Huffy Cranbrook, minus the tacky stickers, and (for me) uncomfortable handlebars. I've seen a few Cranbrook builds, both on this site and others, and decided the style and simplicity was more my style than the road bike. It's got whitewalls, just like my 4-wheel ride, and the classic style really appeals to me. I inspected every single sample of the Cranbrook at the local Walmart and picked the one with the best welds. The bike frame was beefier than I expected for the price, but the less dollars is reflected elsewhere in the bike, specifically the chain guard, pedals and fenders. I may ditch the pedals yet, and both the chain guard and fenders are undergoing some customization. I appreciate a good looker but function takes a precedent over form and flipping over the bars at 30mph is not on my to-do list. If the fenders can't be properly stabilized then they will be ditched.


    I'm excited to start from scratch on the new one!

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    You're right. The standard Cranbrook handlebars are no good.

    And a few other Cranny parts aren't all that great. But on balance the Cranbrook is a good bike for this job.

    I say you've made a good choice there.
  3. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Such as? For the price the bike is, I was expecting to put some work into it to make it more passable. Starting from the basics was more appealing to me, the Cranbrook is a great "clean slate".
  4. professor

    professor Active Member

    I cringe every time I see a motorized bike with nothing but a coaster brake.

    You could return it and get something with at least 2 V brakes

    One day you will need to stop "NOW" and without decent brakes -
    you may as well reserve a spot in a hospital bed or morgue beforehand.
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    But adding a front rim brake is such an easy matter that I wouldn't say it disqualifies the Cranny at all. Still, it's good the you brought it up.

    You definitely want to add a front rim brake. One on the rear won't hurt, either. And that brings up one of the Cranbrook's weak points. That rear hub is not terribly good.

    It's useable. I've got one that's closing in on three years now and it's still working. I toasted a few bearings plus a few of the other small parts inside that thing before I got the hang of it.

    So I'd urge you to take that hub apart right now and get familiar with the parts inside and how they go together. Give 'em some good grease while you're at it. It's not that it's all that hard. But it's a bit difficult when you're not familiar with these parts. You should also keep your eyes open for single-speed bikes in the trash. Grab those for spare hub parts. Other spare parts, too, for that matter.

    Other weaknesses in the Cranbrook are trivial. Pedals, for instance. But that doesn't really matter. They're easily replaced with something better. Plus most other low cost bicycles will have the same junk.
  6. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    No cringing here professor, rim brake is already on the way. I'd never ride a bike, much less a motor bike with just a coaster brake... I hate them with a passion. I contemplated a V brake adapter, in fact I could competently fabricate my own, but I ordered a standard front rim brake before I even purchased the bike due to ease of installation. Eventually I'd like to upgrade to a springer fork, and when that happens I'll add a front disc. Not sure about the rear yet. Is there a reasonably reliable replacement for the stock hub that I could purchase before i even get started? I wouldn't mind ditching the coaster hub right away for something better. :D
  7. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Front brake arrived today. Can't do anything with it though, as my springer fork doesn't arrive until tomorrow... and even then, my new handlebars aren't coming until Tuesday. Engine kit should be here Saturday. I hate waiting for parts, but this does make me pace myself. This installation will be less hasty... I will most likely put the engine on the bike either Tuesday or Thursday next week. Gives me a chance to replace all the hardware right away and work on a paint scheme that matches the rest of the bike.

    Bobbing the fender and cutting down the bike's chainguard tonight. Far too much empty space on that thing.
  8. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member


    Forgot to snap a pic from the other side, but I also removed a lot of the blank space from the chainguard as well as the obvious fender mod.
    Was going to use a metal cut off disc in an angle grinder but then i noticed how thin the metal actually was. Tin snips did the job just fine on both the fender and the chain guard. Light grinding to smooth out the edges, and boom!

    Thoughts on the look so far? Flat black springer fork is on the way.
  9. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Parts came earlier than I expected! :D
    Assembled about 90% of the kit on the bike today. I have to say, when I opened the box and started looking through the parts, the quality of the components was MUCH better than my previous dax kit. I can't speak for how the engine runs - i haven't fired it up yet. But as far as almost every other part goes, i am honestly impressed. The hardware, carb assembly (both are NTs, the FH came with a different gas line nipple which was way better), idler, grips... Compared to the Flying Horse kit i think the only components I've found to be of a superior quality in the dax f80 kit are the clutch lever and exhaust. The welds on the Flying Horse muffler are beautiful... stacked dimes all day long. But the bending on the pipe is awful. The pipe has been flattened out pretty severely. This isn't necessarily an issue, as i can weld up my own exhaust fairly easily, and due to the size of the exhaust port i'd say it could use a slightly bigger pipe anyway. Anyhow, all of the extra bits aside, I really need to see how the engine runs in first before I can speak for the full quality. Only other nono was the haphazard black spray. Easily fixable though.

    The bike looks sweet! can't wait to show it to all of you. Definitely a WAY better install than the first time around. Very clean, sleek and professional. I think previously, i was just so darn excited to throw it all together that I did a crappy install and ended up having to fix it all later. This time was measure twice, cut once. Do it right the first time. Went better knowing what i was doing and I also had some help this time around. An extra pair of hands is always good, especially when they can solder better than yours. :rolleyes7:

    I'll post pictures tomorrow when the chain and guard are on - then I can fire it up! won't be riding it seriously until after Tuesday when my springer fork gets here. No sense installing the front brake if i'm just going to have to take it off again and put it on a new fork.
  10. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Got the chance to run it through a few cycles of break-in today. Engine has good power. Nice and quiet. Starts easier than my dax engine did, which is nice! Skinny tires on the old bike had a tendency to lose grip and simply lock up with a clutch pop.

    Here is the best picture of the bike with the kit (mostly) assembled. After installing the chain i had to cut and fold in a section of the fender to increase clearance.
    The chain is very close to the tire... Bottom chain is fine because i can adjust it with the tensioner, is there anything i can do to space out the top of it? At speed when the chain flaps around it has the tendency to leave nasty grease marks on my whitewall (but no real damage other than that).


    Fork comes tomorrow, and then i can finally have a front brake! Riding with just the coaster is sketchy... I was only willing to ride it in my workplace's long flat parking lot with no cars.
  11. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Your new fork may address an issue you may have after you start riding it, and that is the handle bars low height may cause you to put too much weight on your hands when riding which will cause vibration numbness. It may just be that you had not yet set the final angle. Looks good, like the color scheme.
  12. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Wasn't just the final angle, it wasn't the final handlebars! Was waiting on the fork to install the new bars. I had the originals flipped upside down as a temporary measure because i found it to be more comfortable. Smacking my knees on them and hitting my hands against the gas tank at slow speeds got old real fast. I'm happy to have these new bars. Mounted them upside down to keep the sleekness.

    Can't say the fork install went exactly as i expected. The bracket that the spring attaches to on the top of the headset didn't want to align quite right, and as such i didn't want to crank down on the locknut too much and create stress on parts that probably shouldn't be stressed. Rides nicer with the springer fork and the straighter bars make it more responsive. Gained a little bit of wheelbase too, and it definitely doesn't hurt the overall feel.

    Brake install was interesting but i expected as such. Took some creative bending to get it in there just right.

    Can't wait for it to be all broken in so I can really cruise with this baby.

    image1.jpg IMG_0389.jpg
  13. canalcat

    canalcat Member

    What's with the exhaust pipe on muffler? Rad And loud?
  14. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Rad and loud? What do you mean?
  15. canalcat

    canalcat Member

    In the first pics of bike ,I saw no muffler ! Am I wrong or need glasses?
  16. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    I have pictures of the bike pre-motor but every one I've posted since then has had the muffler on it.

    Glasses are nothing to be ashamed of, I have to cram mine in a full face helmet every day at work.