Are buyers getting more interested in BETTER quality kits ??

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Esteban, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    As long as I have hung around this board, I have seen the constant frustration with owners of H.T. kits. I know some of you have had great success with them, but it seems to me that there are just TOO many issues with the quality,,, or lack of !! When I first came here, the $99 kits on WalMart $59 bikes were all the rage. I am almost 60, ride a regular bike everyday & could wear out most WallyWorld bike in months. I don't want to work on my bike/bike motor, everyday, & feel that many of you are aggravated with these as well. TOO MANY problems. BUT, as long as they are selling, very little will be done to improve the quality.
    I see more & more members are realizing this & turning to better built kits, engines,, etc. I am not affiliated with any seller/manufacturer, & won't recommend any certain seller/product ,, but I know quality when I see, or use it. By the time a buyer gets a HT running right, he could have many problem free miles on a kit costing more. He may buy 3 kits before he gets one running like it really should. Also, in MY opinion, a $99 bike, is the last thing I would put any motor kit on. I paid that much for bikes in the 1960's. I am retired & on a low fixed income, so I know what it means to stretch a dollar.
    If you have had good service out of your kit & bike, I think that is great ! BUT, for me , "" You get what you pay for !!""

  2. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Esteban -- although new to the very small bike engine riding -- lifetime of riding motorcycles -- I have seen some very cool looking motorbikes on this site -- I agree with you in regards to Quality WANTED by some.. My little motor hasn't even gotten here yet -- and already I am thinking about a real upgrade -- must keep my hp low due to no drivers license.. Have a good day, from Mountainman
  3. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Oh I would hope so. The difference is like night and day between a chinese kit and one made with a quality engine and components. My happytime I never trusted more than walking distance from home, but I would take my staton kit as far as I had fuel for the return trip. It may have been much more expensive but every extra dollar is reflected in quality and reliability.
  4. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I think people are always interested in better quality. The issue is whether people are willing to pay for it.

    I see people complaining about spending $250, give or take, for a HT, which is certainly a jump above what they used to be (cheaper ones still out there for around $200), but in the world of engines that can be put on bicycles, this is still inexpensive.

    There are numerous prices points for motorized bicycle in ascending order:

    - basic HT
    - slightly better HT
    - Chinese 4 stroke w/ Hoot gearbox
    - Chinese 4 stroke w/ Grubee (if you can find it)
    - Dax Titan
    - Honda engine w/ Grubee (again, hard to find the box)
    - Various GEBE and Staton
    - Whizzer

    Now, there are some exceptions, but generally speaking, as you go up in price, you go up in quality. That is the inherent tradeoff. Don't like the quality of the Happy Times? There are options, but they cost more.

    If there were a truly high quality 2 stroke frame mount, what would it cost? I don't know. I mean, there are stunningly high quality 2 stroke manufacturers out there, but they have not broken into this market (question- can they under current EPA regs?).

    My thought, just a guess really, is that if there was a really nice 2 stroke, it would cost at least as much as the Grubee/Honda or Dax Titan...and would anyone pay well over $400 for a 2 stroke? Especially when there are already other options available.

    I even wonder if anyone would by it at $300...and I don't know if it can be profitably built and sold for that.

    Interesting topic.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Sir Jakesus -- thanks for your input -- new to this -- don't even have my engine yet -- should be here end of this week -- ordered from Station -- Subaru 33.5 1.6 hp -- this old rider has no drivers license in Calif.. wow the more that I look into hassle free riding in this state -- MANY CONCERNS !!! But -- doing some homework !!! And yes getting back to quality -- if one can afford it I have learned to try and buy the best -- pays off in the long run... Have a great day, from Mountainman
  6. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    I saw a motorized bike on another forum and out of curiosity looked the kit up on ebay. If it were not for the internet and ebay wholesalers I would not have gotten into the hobby to begin with. After all nobody stocks/advertises the kits locally. A+ to the site administrators and the free sticker campaign.

    If I ever upgrade to a better kit I'll find a buyer for my existing bike, for sure... and at a profit, most likely, due to gas prices. One needs an "entry level" model to hook people and the HT fits that bill perfectly.

    I would not have bought a so-called "high-quality" kit for my first unit, just as one would be foolish to buy their kid a $3000 guitar before making sure they stick to being a musician.
  7. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Putting a cheap ,vibrating motor on a $99 bike, is something I would NEVER do. Save up more money & buy a good, dependable, long lasting, kit, FIRST. That is the economical way to do it.
  8. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi; tanaka, honda and subaru are true quality and inexpensive if you find dealers on google. true quality bikes can be had for pennies on the dollar nationwide on craigs list. quality is job one. you should tune your bike for the forces it will see with a motor. true the wheels, zip tie the spokes, put goo in tires and you have more of a chance to complete your rides with a wide grin. p--s on w-mart! mitch
  9. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Mitch -- I owned a bicycle shop many, many years ago.. trued many a wheel -- have never heard of zip tieing the spokes ? Would you fill me in ? Happy riding from - Mountainman
  10. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member

    todays ride I think that people may have different experience and reasons to get into Motorized Bike riding. I got started because of gas and the need to feel more independent and save money. This all started 2 months ago if we are talking Motorized bikes.

    I got started for similar reasons riding a bicycle for all my transportation needs in 1973. Gas tripled overnight and I needed dependable transportation. I knew I had a power source in my body and mind. From 1973 I owned a few trucks, and no cars until about 1979 and I still got around mostly by bike. I learned early on that low quality bikes were not dependable. I did use a lot of different bikes and only some held up to heavy use.

    I have crashed a lot of times mostly racing crashes but a few from equipment failure. You do not want the steering on a bike to fail as it did on mine and sent me where I was leaning into the path of a car. That is a story but I was ok other than a lot of skin left on the pavement and maybe a broken finger. You really do not want the fork to fail and throw you face first into the pavement as it did on a friends bike. He was not so lucky and needed a lot of surgery to his face and other broken parts.

    I built a dozen bike frames and quit because of the desire many had to get lighter bikes, too light at times. Also the trend to aluminum was not really good if not well designed and used in the right places and ways. Some metals fatigue quickly and fail easily. Some materials are resilient and can take a lot of vibration and stress.

    Steel is Real is an article that explains some of the reasons I would use a high quality steel frame and fork. When suspension is added I will use aluminum as in the fork for my current bike. The suspension is dampening the shock and the aluminum is not fatiguing. Cro moly steel is a spring steel that handles a lot of vibrations and stresses. Mild steel is better than aluminum but worse than Cro moly steel, and a heavy bit of it like my old Varsity makes .

    I have not even mentioned head sets, pedals, handle bars, stems, seats and the many other components that make up a bike. When you have a package of good quality components you have confidence on a long, hard, even steep ride like I did this morning. I would not want to mix it up with traffic on anything less than what I rode on this morning's ride.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  11. augidog

    augidog New Member

    boy do i agree with some of the info in this topic.

    build a good foundation/chassis.

    "wheels & brakes" takes on a whole new meaning at 30mph or in an emergency.
  12. Snax

    Snax Member

    Frankly, I think people should always start out with the very best equipment that they can reasonably afford. I purchased a Trek Calypso cruiser for my MB build - then my wife proclaimed it as hers before I even ordered the motor. So now, I'm riding a junk yard special put together from no less than 8 different bicycles, using the best components from each of them at a cost of about $30. Even so, I don't think that I have compromised on quality compared to the $100 bikes sold new in the store! Yes, it's still a piece of **** in many ways, but it's a better piece of ****.;)

    As for the HT motor I put on it, it's tough to argue with the cost if you enjoy the process and the tweaking of it along the way. Ultimately it boils down to payback however. I would have paid more for the same kit if I could have been assured better quality, but I figure the current motor will pay for itself in just 3 months of commuting to work by allowing me to cancel the car insurance and burning 1/4 the fuel. That and I've spent more on other things in the past and gotten less entertainment out of them.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  13. Proud owner of $99.00 bike w/ an HT kit

    I'm new to the MBC market, but not to how things work. I have played billiards for 35 years. I didn't go out and buy a $2,000 pool cue the minute I had some interest in the game. I bought a $20.00 cue to see if it was something I would enjoy doing in the future w/out a major investment.
    In just about every product you can purchase a starter version of it to determine your initial interest. Same thing w/ my bike investment. I have spent a total of $274.00 + a few additional items to have a very nice MBC.
    I could sell it tomorrow for well over my investment if I decide to do so. That - is how things work, you upgrade as you gain desire in whatever the sport or your interest is.
    This niche is necessary to help a person such as myself get the desire to -make a better one next time.
    You are obviously already past that inititial introduction stage. I'm not, and and am very glad a less expensive alternative is available.
    In regards to the quality of HT kits, MOST of what I see was user error, not the equipment's fault. It was a loose nut or an adjustment that wasn't right, not failure of the engine.
    Better quality is already out there already as were mentioned in the other posts.

    I am an Operations Supervisor for DTV. We have over 15 million customers.
    Less than 1% on average of that entire customer base calls a center to vent or complain about services provided. That means over 14 million never have a problem. That is the same as this website. Not every person who owns an MBC is a member on this site. I am sure untold MBC enthusiasts exist in great numbers that are perfectly happy w/ the $300.00 investment that we never hear from.

    I appreciate your emphasis on "YOUR" opinion, and I am expressing mine.
    At this point, I have not had any problem at all w/ my introduction build.
    I will most definitely be upgrading in the future, but my first build created the desire to do so.


    Troy Fitz.
  14. Snax

    Snax Member

    Well I think that outlines the key factors: A commitment to the investment and a willingness to explore and tinker. Lacking the latter, one MUST have the former. :cool:
  15. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Lenny - what do you think about the ever-popular Kulana?
  16. augidog

    augidog New Member

    carrot, that was a very good post.

    let's admit the place wouldn't be here without the happy-time...however: that's no reason to not call a crook a crook. without MBc we wouldn't even know how messy the chinese-engine market is, or how to recognize the crook...but, shoot-gol-DANG i wish those guys would build a quality version. they have to know by now we'd buy it. i think grube is gettin' the message, he outta consider opening a factory in the USA. plenty of mid-westerners would rather drop-forge connecting-rods for ****-wages than say "welcome to walmart" all day for ****-wages.

    counterpoint: how many HT's are sitting in the shed or garage or basement unfinished, unused, unrunning...the buyer hating all things MB from now on? i bet many more than you would think...the price is just low enuff to not let it bother you too much, so you'll let it go...nothing happens by accident, millions of american dollars have been spent on now-dormant chinese products. it's called "economic warfare."

    but, back to agreeing with you...anyone who finds MBc and reads will use his or her HT-time to learn about the real-deal...that's about all we can hope for, eh?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  17. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member


    I am not familiar with that bike and so far have not been willing to buy a bike from WalMart, Target or even Sears. I just bought a 1200 dollar mountain bike for 131 dollars delivered to my home. Ebay has been a great tool for recycling used quality products. If a bike is well designed it should work, but a lot of department store bikes are questionable. a Cruiser is a tried and true design and that says it will probably be designed by copying the successful ones.

    I have a problem trying to acquire a lot of cheep junk just to see if I like it. I can see you point of trying something out at a bargain price, but wonder what bargain a fall-apart motor or bike is. I would prefer borrowing or renting a quality unit that is safe to ride than what you recommend. I can quickly justify the $1000.00 investment I have in my motored bike by the $10.00 per day I am saving in gas not to mention insurance, registration and other expenses. I will be paying for a second safe , quality bike in 6 months or less.
  18. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    Just tossing out there that I have been watching craigslist for weeks for a quality bike to make into my 2nd MBC. I am into reducing, reusing, and recycling. But the people that sell bikes on CL around me are not the same people who would let a bargain go by at a yard sale for $10. So it's been difficult. This shines a nice light on walmart's cheap cruiser bikes. Everything is different from how it was just three months ago before the surge in fuel prices. People have death grips on what were formerly toys or cardio health equipment. The town dump metal recycling zone is also barren.

    I would just cruise the yard sales-- tis the season-- but I've got a young baby at home so I picked a swing shift that eats up my whole weekend mornings to keep him out of daycare. There are some compromises but they wind up being worth it.
  19. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member


    The good you do for family and children will last longer that all the best toys and things you can collect. Congratulations on seeing a major truth about family early on. Good riding on what ever you can put together and maintain it well. That keeps most bikes going and catches problem areas early on.
  20. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I agree with Carrot, to an extent. I do believe most problems are not the fault of the owner/assembler, but the cheap quality kit, itself. Many of the motrs I have seen , once tuned in, hold up fairly well. The rest of the kit is a box full of junk. I am sure there are many happy H.T. owners out there who never have seen this board. BUT, I'll bet my hound dog that there are many more who will never buy another motored bike kit, because of their frustrations with their first cheap one.
    If you are pleased, have gotten good service, then I am happy for you !
    I just hope some of the manufactures & importers are watching this thread.