Reply to a friend

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by renegade2, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. renegade2

    renegade2 New Member

    An out of state friend who knew I had a motorized bike sent me email a few years back when he was thinking of building one. Now I went to the University with this guy and knew he was not 'mechanically inclined'. So I sent him an honest if a little 'tongue in cheek' reply. I just ran into a copy of the text while doing some harddrive cleaning and thought I'd post it.

    So you want to build a gasbike...

    Just a few words to let you know what to look forward to. Note, I'm an optimist (or a masochist) and generally do not carry a tool kit. All of these things did not happen on one ride but they all happened.

    Disassembly: If needed it is easy to disassemble your gas bike, in fact your helpful bike will try and disassemble itself.

    Roaring along when the engine mysteriously quits, doesn't seem to be putting that much drag on the bike though. Look down and see spark plug dangling from the plug wire. Pry red hot spark plug from plug wire with bare hands and throw in handy mud puddle. Roll around until cool. Pull sparkplug from pool, wipe and blow off bulk of mud and screw back into engine hand tight. Re-attach plug wire, ride home.

    Roaring along and engine note seems a bit off. Look down and notice that one intake manifold nut is gone completely and the other is spinning. Carb and manifold are wobbling and about to fall off bike. Stop bike, rescrew remaining very hot nut with fingers. Ride home. A pair of self locking nuts from Ace fixed this more permanently.

    Roaring along and note that engine seems to be louder. Look down and notice that one exhaust manifold nut is gone completely and the other is spinning. Use some foul language and ride the SOB home. Muffler stayed on. More self locking nuts (note do not use the nyloc type lock nuts on the exhaust. It probably gets hot enough to melt the insert in these).

    Roaring along and only notice the louder engine note when you get home and your ears are ringing. Bottom of muffler and innards have departed for parts unknown at some point in the ride leaving one lone stud sticking out the bottom. Screw it, it's not that much louder (might spring for a better muffler at some point).

    Roaring along and engine quits, leg feels wet. Look down to see that the fuel line has come off the carb nipple and spraying the very hot engine with gasoline. Reattach line and say thankful prayer.

    Roaring along (after installing new fuel line and again get that wet sensation. Shutoff valve has loosened enough to allow gasoline to dribble all over leg and hot engine. Tighten by hand and ride home.

    Roaring along and engine begins to pop and complain. Look down and notice that choke lever is flapping in the breeze and weight of mechanism is putting it into full choke. Ride home with one hand on throttle and other holding choke open. Tighten nut at end of ride.

    Roaring along and the engine dies for no apparent reason. Pedal heavy bike home while using much bad language. Spend days troubleshooting problem before realizing that fine Chinese spark plug and magneto have managed to expire SIMULTANEOUSLY.

    Roaring along when the chain guard fractures its front mount then promptly gets lunched by chain. Pry bent remains off bike and toss in ditch. Ride bike home, bandage leg (still haven't replaced the chain

    Roaring along when engine quits. Look down, notice that plug connector and plug wire were apparently having domestic issues and a divorce has occurred. Pedal heavy bike home. A new plug end from the neighborhood motorcycle shop fixed that.

    Riding along and suddenly notice that engine chain is flopping alarmingly. Stop bike and discover that idler pulley has departed for greener pastures. Ride carefully home. Order new idler pulley.


    Yes there is a sublime and zen balanced point where the clutch is too loose to start the engine reliably but too tight to adjust it up another notch.

    Cleaning air filter. Yes it is possible to mount the engine in such a way that you can't get the filter cover off without dismounting the engine. Ask me how I know.

  2. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    these bikes can be perfectly reliable if you choose a good frame, don't get lazy while assembling it, don't skimp on the loctite, and don't build it in an over-complicated way.
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    This was pretty good. It's almost too bad that it seemed a bit discouraging. But it's pretty truthful.