Would you believe I'm planning my next build? (4 Stroke Content)

Discussion in '4-Stroke Engines' started by Sheik Yerbouti, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Well, we just finished our last bikes and they're hardly broken in, and now I'm planning my next build. I'm sick, I know but I have my reasoning. My bike is going to be my absolute number one form of transportation. It's my only way to get around. Our last builds were diamond frames with skinny tires. Although the diamond frames made engine mounting easy, the skinny tires are just a little too skinny for riding in any form of inclement weather. They're pretty much summer bikes.

    So right now we're just testing the waters, getting some ideas down for the next build. I think Taylor wants to build another 2-stroke happytime. I'm considering a 4 stroke this time around. Taylor's really into the 2 stroke look, but I want to venture into 4 stroke territory. My initial concept was to make a military-esque 4 stroke cruiser with this frame:

    http://bikebuyers.com/GL-bc-07-army-photos.htm

    I wanted to get a custom tank in the shape of a barrel and mounting it behind the seat. But at the same time, it wouldn't be entirely feasible or practical.

    A. The frame probably wouldn't fit a 4 stroke.
    B. The tank would prevent me adding a rear basket for hauling.

    So I think that concept is practically scrapped. So after getting past the whole concept of strictly aesthetics, I compiled a list of things that I feel I need to have in my next build.

    1. Chunky, wide, good tires.
    2. Very competent braking (Disc perhaps? Drum?)
    3. Vintage looks. I want to make it resemble motorcycles of yesteryear.
    4. Comfort, shock absorption.
    5. Weatherproofing.

    I am willing to put more into this bike, and I want it to last me over the next several years. This is going to be the one. The first step would be finding a good frame. I'm still a poor college student, so those ultra expensive Felt frames are still kind of out of my league. I want to get the best bicycle to start with for under $200. I guess for riding comfort a set of springer forks or Mountain Bike shocks are a must. I really don't need a cruiser frame, but if anybody could recommend a good mountain bike frame with shocks that isn't gaudy as all getout, that could make a good base for this project.

    At this point I'm more or less thinking out loud. This thread will just compile my meditations. More ramblings soon enough.

    MBC EDIT: THIS THREAD HAS BEEN MOVED
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2008

  2. Okay. Things I've determined from my research.

    1. Brakes: Disc brakes can be a bit expensive and require a fork that's meant for their inclusion. So they're kind of out. Drum brakes require an entire new wheel for their inclusion, I can probably get them for 100 bucks. The advantage of both drum and discs are they don't lose stopping power when it gets wet. I think that I am going to go with a setup that includes front and rear v-brakes on a double brake lever with the coaster brakes on the bike. I think these 3 working together could stop me pretty well.

    2. Frame/Bike/Suspension. I think I found one right here. It's the right style, looks nice, has springer forks. Would a 4 stroke fit on this frame and would it be strong enough?

    http://bikebuyers.com/pantera-gts-man.htm

    http://bikebuyers.com/pantera-gts-man-photos.htm

    It's a solid steel frame. I'd probably get the red or black one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  3. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    oops! had to edit this...no way (i think) you put anything but a drum on that springer :oops:

    but, on a regular frame, your setup is a winner :)
     
  4. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    This is on a schwinn cruiser,
    Papa
     
  5. So, the springers are going to restrict me to just a drum? The reason I was going for the springer is because it looks so darn cool, and because I thought it would help with shock absorption. I could go with a regular frame AND save some money if you think that I should scrap the springer fork in favor of a cheaper braking system.

    Papasaun, that cruiser is absolutely gorgeous. How does it feel compared to a HappyTime? Less vibration?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  6. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    Lots less vibration. My HT engine was on a MTB frame and I had to lean over too much, the cruiser let me sit up right, and was a blast to ride! Sold it though so can't offer more than that. I too wanted / needed to haul stuff on the back and this setup worked good for me but, I next went with a rack mount Staton with a 4 cycle Honda and gear box. Took it off my MTB and stuck it in (frame mount) my trike. Never going back to a HT engine again! I love the 4 cycle Honda.
    You could get a small trailer and use it to haul stuff and go with a rack mount! If I had stayed with a 2 wheel bike that is what I was considering.

    Papa
     
  7. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I don't need to haul a whole lot, maybe a toolbox full of art supplies (I'm a design student), so a rear basket will suffice. Mind if I ask what kind of braking system you had? Just front and back v-brakes on a double lever?
     
  8. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    Yes, just V brakes front and back but, they each had their own lever. The 4 cycle I used has the auto clutch! It really was smooth. That bike came from Walmart (online order only) aluminum frame, $130.00. Its the "point beach" model.

    Papa
     
  9. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    after a year.5 of riding, building, experimenting, etc...i wouldn't trade anything off at the expense of braking. as far as i know, the only suspension setup that accepts a rim-brake is a mtb-style fork with the crossbracing. the springer itself has no place to install any kind of brake, but that's ok because a drum-brake requires no special fork. i figured i'd pipe in before you got all yer parts together and then discovered the "bad news" about the springer.

    your concept of "coaster/2 rim-brakes/dual-lever" is brilliant because of the redundancy...which is lacking in a "2 rim-brake/dual lever" setup...altho i myself used that setup (and loved it), i can no longer recommend it after MotorBikeMike chased us around the board pointing out the redundancy issue. the setup works, but it does so at the rider's (full-time) risk.

    i think (strictly my opinion) you might find the stock "scwhinn-style" springer to be just a tad squooshy at 30mph...and it might be even more squooshy with a brake, who knows? i've had the chance to compare these to an original (mid 60's) scwhinn springer, & there is no comparison...the after-market version doesn't come close.

    i'll just leave it at that for now...did this help? more questions?
     
  10. Thanks augi, I'm opting against the springer fork for just a straight fork. Finding a cruiser with any other kind of shock absorption is probably rare, so I can deal with not having it. You're right, braking is much more important, especially due to my current city-bound situation.

    What are the disadvantages of having a redundant braking system? What risks would be caused by having a redundant v brake setup besides the fact that I might have a bit more trouble stopping when it gets wet? I'm kind of adamant to spend that much on a front drum.

    I'm going to be checking out some old cruisers at a friends house today.
     
  11. reclaimer

    reclaimer Guest

    http://www.bicycledesigner.com/defaulthome.asp?Main=/partsmain.asp%3FType%3DbrakeThere is a way to mount caliper brakes to that spinger. I've seen kits for the 20", but havent found one that says 26" yet. If you look at the "red barron" thread in the picture gallery, it has one. No fenders on that one thou. I've seen stretches with over fender brakes, just havent found them yet. My dyno has the same style fork.

    edit: It just struck me that if the kit adds something to bolt the brake to... one size fits all?

    http://www.bicycledesigner.com/defaulthome.asp?Main=/partsmain.asp%3FType%3Dbrake
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2008
  12. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    yup, there it is, thanks for the correction :)

    but i have to wonder if that geometry will actually work? doesn't the relative position of brake-to-rim change with each bump?
     
  13. I'm going to PM the builder of the Red Barron for clarification. I'll post the results.
     
  14. reclaimer

    reclaimer Guest

    Nope the whole fork pivots. After lookin at it a bit, not sure I'd trust it at speed. lol.

    edit: Please do. I'd be interested in hearing(er reading) what his experince has been with them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2008
  15. From redb66:

    It should mount up just fine. You may have to leave off the fender. The springer front end has a pre-drilled hole in the correct location.

    It works just fine on my bike. The idea behind the springer front end is to put the tire (point of impact...bump in road) out in front of the head tube to help dampen the shock. The brake itself, when applied has a forward movement as it grips the tire. I suppose is you were on really rough terrain and applied the brake it may change the relative position. The springer front end is pretty firm and can be adjusted to different stiffness settings. I have the dual pull brake lever with the same type of brake on the rear tire. So far so good. Overall ride of the bike is excellent. With the dual spring seat and the springer front-end it is a very comfortable ride.


    Nice. Looks like I'm going for that bike.
     
  16. More research tonight, this time on engine kits.

    I have three options, I will put them in the order of most likely to least likely (which is mostly dictated by funds).

    1. JL Hoot kit. Has the same engine as the bird dog kit but contains what most people call an "inferior" gearbox. The reason this kit is most likely to be the one is the fact that it's so cheap. I know that traditionally "you get what you pay for" but this will give me plenty of tinker time as well. It also doesn't come with a killswitch (which is fine, I'll wire my own and use it as an anti-theft device), and comes with a non-adjusting mount and a different crank set. I can fix the mount issue and devise my own way to get the mount on (I'm an industrial designer, it's what I do). But the crank set might be a whole different can of worms. Will it fit on the Micargi that I posted earlier? Or does the one piece crank foul everything up?

    2. Bird Dog kit. The obvious advantages are the adjustable mount, the better gearbox, and the twist throttle, kill switch, double brake lever combo. Idealistically, this is the way I'd go, but realistically, I can't afford it.

    3. Same as the above kit with a real Honda engine. It'd cost 60 or so dollars more for a real honda engine, if I hit the lotto maybe I'll do this.

    So in conclusion, my questions regarding the JL Hoot kit are: Is the gearbox entirely worthless/what grease do I pack it with? Will the crank set fit my above posted bike?

    Here's an except from a post where BirdDog crucified the first the JL Hoot kit. I placed commentary in parenthesis beside each.

    1) The gear box included in this kit is NOT the same as the Grubee gear box. Grubee actually has a patent on his design. The HuaSheng engine output shaft is too short for this gear box clutch design. This means that you have to use several flat washers to make the shaft longer. This is causing the bell housing to split and fail after a short amount of use. (A definite concern, true or false? Can it be fixed?)
    2) The gearbox is not compatible with the Honda GXH 50. (A non-issue, the engine is going to he a Chinese copy anyway)
    3) The gearbox does not include an engager system. (Not entirely sure what this means)
    4) The gearbox includes a fixed rather than a freewheel output sprocket. (Not entirely sure what this means)
    5) The kits are sold with no warranty from the factory. This means it is up to the vendor to stand behind their product. I tried to follow the instructions to submit a warranty issue with one of the vendors and the web form I was supposed to use did not exist. (I figure I can fix it unless the engine totally ruins itself. I don't expect great support for these kits anyway, it's more of a self-reliant hobby)
    6) To my knowledge there is currently no way to obtain parts for this kit. If you break something I guess you’ll need to buy a whole new kit. (This doesn't make a ton of sense to me, if the engine is the same then why not just order parts from Bicycle-Engines for it? Did they do something I'm not aware of to the Bird Dog kits that makes parts incompatible?)
    7) The mounting plate is not adjustable which limits the bikes the kit will fit. (A non-issue, I can figure this out)
    8) Does not include the dual brake, throttle, kill switch grip. (Non-issue, I can get an aftermarket dual brake)
    9) Does not include a kill switch. You must purchase and install your own. (Non issue, I can install a quality switch in an inconspicuous place and use it as an anti-theft device)

    That's all for tonight.

    Take care everybody. Thanks for the assistance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  17. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Sheik, I'll take a stab at your questions as best I can:

    1) The gear box included in this kit is NOT the same as the Grubee gear box. Grubee actually has a patent on his design.

    [A patent has nothing to do with quality]

    The HuaSheng engine output shaft is too short for this gear box clutch design. This means that you have to use several flat washers to make the shaft longer. This is causing the bell housing to split and fail after a short amount of use. (A definite concern, true or false? Can it be fixed?)

    [Don't know]

    2) The gearbox is not compatible with the Honda GXH 50. (A non-issue, the engine is going to he a Chinese copy anyway)

    3) The gearbox does not include an engager system. (Not entirely sure what this means)

    [The Grubee kit has a lever that allows you to disengage the gearbox entirely so that you are not turning the gears when pedaling without the engine on..or even with the engine on, but not "engaged"- how important? How much are you going to pedal alone? If very much, this is important, if not, it is less important]

    4) The gearbox includes a fixed rather than a freewheel output sprocket. (Not entirely sure what this means)

    [The small sprocket that transmits the engine power to the rear wheel sprocket from the engine freewheels when the engine is not engaged, that is, it spins freely and does not turn the gears in the gearbox- importance is the same as #3]

    5) The kits are sold with no warranty from the factory. This means it is up to the vendor to stand behind their product. I tried to follow the instructions to submit a warranty issue with one of the vendors and the web form I was supposed to use did not exist. (I figure I can fix it unless the engine totally ruins itself. I don't expect great support for these kits anyway, it's more of a self-reliant hobby)

    [I think you are right about this- it is a self-reliant hobby full of tinkerers]

    6) To my knowledge there is currently no way to obtain parts for this kit. If you break something I guess you’ll need to buy a whole new kit. (This doesn't make a ton of sense to me, if the engine is the same then why not just order parts from Bicycle-Engines for it? Did they do something I'm not aware of to the Bird Dog kits that makes parts incompatible?)

    [I think he is talking mainly about the gearbox itself and since I don't know how reliable it is, I don't know how much of a concern this is]

    7) The mounting plate is not adjustable which limits the bikes the kit will fit. (A non-issue, I can figure this out)

    [It may be a non-ssue, but I would spend some time getting measurements to make sure it will work with the bike you plan on using it with before you order- this can be a big issue. The engine weighs 12 pounds and will vibrate- the mount needs to be solid]

    8) Does not include the dual brake, throttle, kill switch grip. (Non-issue, I can get an aftermarket dual brake)

    9) Does not include a kill switch. You must purchase and install your own. (Non issue, I can install a quality switch in an inconspicuous place and use it as an anti-theft device)

    The difference in price is about $80- is it worth it? To me, yes, but that doesn't mean it is or should be for you. When I did my research, I found there was more information out there about the Grubee kit and I needed the adjustable mounting plate as well. Also, I think a one piece crank may be optional with the JL Hoot, but I have only seen it listed with the 3 piece and I needed the 1 piece. I am happy with my Grubee, but that does not mean the Hoot will not work for you. Keep in mind the $80 you save won't mean much if you have to fab stuff up, make stuff work and replace kit parts- Good luck!
     
  18. Fantastic, HoughMade. I'm going to do my best to make this a pretty definitive thread for people doing 4 stroke on a budget.

    Now I'm having a problem deciding. I'm going to be riding this around campus, it's going to be my only real form of transportation, so I want pedaling like a regular bicycle to be an option. Now, I've heard of people able to get the price of the JL Hoot kit down to something like 220 or so shipped...which really makes the kit tempting. I have access to a pretty full fledged wood/metal shop, I know I could devise a mount, I'm pretty crafty.

    I also have to get a double brake lever regardless for my bike, which comes in the Whopper Stopper kit. I should probably just break down and get it, but it pushes my budget pretty far. Does anybody know how much Bicycle-Engines charges for shipping?
     
  19. RATRODER

    RATRODER Guest

    Sheik,bicycle-engines.com carries all the parts for the gear box BIG+, the freewheel output sprocket is a BIG BIG+ for pedaling.louis
     
  20. You're probably right. I'll probably cough up the extra dough. I might have to cheap out on the bike a bit.
     
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