A little lost



This post is written to ask advice of other members, philosophical advice. While searching for the right combination of frame, motor and running gear I have found the choices to be myriad. Where I am stuck is: should I build the bike around the motor or build the motor onto the bike? If that makes sense to anyone.

The way I see it, the most reliable and ecologically sound motors are not an easy fit, they are awkward and a bit ugly and designed for multiple uses, this almost necessitates building the bike around the engine and a lot of fabrication.

The quick fix of course is the bolt-on kits, not as efficient or reliable, but they look good, are affordable and have a design specific mission. This is the obvious choice for building the motor onto the bike.

I hope that I have not offended anyone with my analysis, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder and at some point you just have to " get r done". I think there is definitely value added for either school; I am interested in getting some input on approach.

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wheels, i built sabrina II with the sum of the parts being a major priority:

first, whatever i ride must look as solid as it really is, my personal standard of beauty in my own work. mechanical soundness holds a very close second place, with "fun to work on" my obvious 3rd choice. also, affordability was a real parameter that i couldn't get around, so...

in my case, what other choice did i have but to find the right frame to put a chinese 70 on?

eye-candy? hardly. reliable long-distance traveler? i highly doubt it. fastest? nope. completely cool buzz bomb for the area i live in? you betcha!!

what if you DO mind having to readjust sh*t all the time? might not want a chinese bolt-on, i'd guess. ease of operation more important than fun of operation? friction drive becomes a serious consideration. and so on & so on...

the whole thing has to start with your mental picture of what you're riding in your mind, then reverse-engineer it 8)

everyone has their own sets of priorities, honoring those in oneself will usually result in a groovy build...i know
i'm pretty gol-darned happy with my bike, and i'm pleased that so many other people seem to get as much joy out of their rides too :D
I bought a bike, then bought the kit. That bike didnt work, so I went looking for another bike and brought the engine with me every time I looked at a bike.

That bike fell apart, so I took the motor off and took it with me every time I went to look for another new bike to put it on. I found a suitable bike and it is working famously.

I think the best thing to do is design the bike around the motor.
Right now I am visualizing a servi-cycle/cushman/honda sexy to ride, whatever will get me to Big Sur! Thanks for your well thought out post.

in my mind, i see that bike with a well-balanced front-beltdrive & nice baskets or bags in the back, and i see it cruising thru the redwoods all day without a hitch...very neat (in my mind, anyway)... 8)

just thought i'd say... :)
Shes a little tight, rolling on 24's , hill climbing will be a virtue on my odyssey, are the limitations of 24's just flatland speed or are there other dynamics to be considered on 24's ?

OK wheels here is a long story.....my other 1/2 and I where watching the news and one of our customers is a hot shot at EXON we knew what was going to happen with the gas prices so I did some research we had both seen moto bikes over seas but not here ......we bought 2 engines and found parts and pcs to make our first bikes and god where they frankinstonian looking we made all the mistakes and screw ups possible and created some new ones :) they where mountain/ racers with the old skinny tires and down tubes we found out the more rubber on the road the better.
we played peter pan trying to fly over the handlebars because the tube was low and that hand breaks will bend around the fork if you do a panic stop.
4 bikes and 2 more engines later we bought the bikes to go with the engine...strong breaks , strong welds (ya we had one snap) extra strong wheels and spokes now we did this a little at a time as we could afford it and I could not afford top end so I got what would work at a good price. Try going to the bike shop with 120 $'s in tip money :) .
Head lights where a nightmare but we have that fixed to what we need.
My next project is to try some springer forks for a smoother ride or some disk breaks (if the price will come down on them).
If you look at the pics here and on other sites some of these bikes are awsom to look at you have to make up your mind how much work and expence you want to put into it.

I'd look very closely at the welds on that red bike.
I think it is a combination of both sometimes. Once I had held an engine and seen how it all fits, every bike I looked at went through my "would an engine fit in there?" filter. I've got plenty of really cool ideas that involve plenty of different frames and engines. For me it's kinda been like I throw a whole bunch of ideas, frames, motors, ect, up there in the sky(or head), look around to see what resources I've got to use for cheap, then seen what plops out. For us it was that red AMF cruiser. Two tanks of gas later, I came into work last week and it was already being dissassembled. Nothing was wrong with it, but we had another bike we though would be cool to have an engine on, so time for some more lets-make-it-happeness.
One idea I have is putting a chinese built on a 20" girls step through bike, so I would love to see you put something on that one pictured above. It may look cool with engine just hanging out up there.