Back after several years- a re-introduction.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bigfoot, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    I have an introduction from years ago around here, but a lot has changed for me, & it has been several years since my last post.

    I rode a DAX 65cc for a few years. Never ridden anything motorized before, despite being well into my 30's. I no longer have the DAX 65cc bike (gave it away). That bike was amazing. I Abused the crap out of it. It never failed. It never left me stranded. Loved the freedom of distance- I explored more of the local area than I ever had. I have pics I can post if I can figure out how.

    The DAX was a gateway drug for me- I decided to get my motorcycle licence. I learned many things by doing that. I learned:

    1) There is a lot involved in getting a motorcycle licence in Canada, if you have never had any kind of a licence before.
    2) Insurance is expensive- especially for the short Canadian riding season.
    3) It is a heck of a lot of fun to ride a motorcycle on a country road on a nice summer day....It's been far too long since I have done this!
    4) Driving a motorcycle on the road can be nerve wracking- to trust that other drivers will always do the right thing (my life depends on it) is a fools errand.
    5) I live in a very beautiful part of the world, yet I have seen hardly any of it.
    6) I am much more comfortable & happy on a motorized bicycle.
    7) Everyone drives way too fast for me around here. (10-20 km over speed limit everywhere is the norm). Breaking the law is the norm if it is convenient.
    8) It is much harder to ride a motorcycle very slow, than very fast. Learn very slow control at first.
    9) Even the smallest motorcycles (such as my Suzuki DR200) feel like big, fat pigs after riding bicycles my entire life, then motorized a bicycle. Motorcycles are appallingly heavy, with primitive yet complex mechanical controls.
    10) Motorcycles require specialized winter storage. A motorized bicycle I can simply keep in my apartment.

    People talk about these motorized bikes being unsafe- they are only unsafe if:

    1) You build it poorly (integrate it into the bicycle poorly). The DAX never ever let me down. I know that I had some EXCELLENT guidance from this forum for the build. (Bracing the engine on the frame to compensate for the torque on the frame was something Id have never have thought of. The engine never shifted once-rock solid).
    2) You ride like a crazy person- Stealth, courtesy, caution go a long way.

    So Im thinking of going back to motorized bicycles. I dislike the illegality of it ( I live in BC Canada), but mopeds are usually poorly built. I may however, be willing to pay for a custom moped build if it is easily stored in my apartment, & if it is truly reliable in the middle of a nowhere mountain road. does not have to be fast, just rock solid reliable- no chinese junk engines. The DAX was great, but I would not trust it to do any more than I did , with my extremely limited mechanical knowledge. I took it to its limits. It did struggle a few times, weird clutch issues & overheating & noises.

    I need something that looks like a bicycle, is quiet & efficient, light, high quality build (I will pay for it-including custom builds). My favourite for a long time was the Solano county choppers Excelsior moped. Not sure it could handle rough terrain though.

    I need a sort of Jekyll/Hyde bike- really blends in with any mountain bike on the side of the road, but can handle any mountain pass anywhere, power to spare. wont break down, make weird noises, overheat. Can ride on the side of the road, & be a real beast off-road.

  2. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Please post your pics at 1024 resolution.

    To some degree, i agree with you on this point.

    :iagree: but the police make it an impossibility these days, because they've completely f#*ked up the enjoyment of riding motorcycles with draconian motor vehicle legislation. For this reason i no longer ride motorcycles, except when touring through south east asia, upon which i relive the enormous joy of motorcycling without the stress of aggressive police harassment.

    An ex-girlfriend of mine was French-Canadian and she had many photos of the immense natural beauty of Canada. It is a wonderfully scenic country.

    That's not particularly fast with ridiculously low speed limits. In many cases the speed limit needs to be doubled for a "speed limit" to have any relevance to "road safety".


    and admire your bespoke engineering concepts/solutions installed on the bike.

    I also dislike the illegality of motorized bicycles in my location, but the law is not in any way sensible and does not take into consideration those who ride their motorized bicycle in a sensible and socially responsible manner.

    You will then need a SickBikeParts shift kit, with optional chain tensioners and a dual range front gearing system. Once that has been achieved, you can do "all" of this:








    and this:
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  3. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    If you want something that blends in, maybe look at an ebike. They're making leaps and bounds with those things lately, I've seen some of the more expensive ones break 50 mph if you're into that. A great thing about electric motors is that they've got full torque the whole rev range so they tend to be pretty monstrous when it comes to dirt, and 3000 or so watts will handle just about any terrain you throw at it. ebikes don't tend to break down or overheat either, and if they do it's probably down to poor wiring and a couple of minutes with some electrical tape will get it running again.
  4. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    The problem with eBikes, using current battery technology, is that they only go 3 miles before the battery is flat, especially when you're pushing into a fierce headwind with a heavily loaded bicycle.
  5. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    Not everyone does 400 pound hauls uphill, there are plenty of people doing 30 miles or more on a single charge without doing anything special. Just keep in mind that it's still a bicycle and give it some pedal assistance every once in a while and it'll be fine. Optibike has a 26 amp hour battery that they say is good for 100 miles depending on whether or not you ride like an ass. If your regular commute is over 100 miles you should probably consider buying a car.
  6. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    You do make a valid point.
  7. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    Thank you for your replies-

    Fabian-I'll check out those links- great pics in the first one from Australia.

    I would LOVE to use an ebike- if only the battery technology was substantially more advanced than it is now.

    I feel like I live in the stone age, technologically- It's not even close to where I'd like it to be.

    I'd like to use something like gravity well propulsion, yet all I can get is a gasoline engine . :idea::confused:
  8. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    :iagree: +1
    Hopefully the new technical developments in Formula 1 will bring forward massive changes in battery storage capacity, as well as battery charging rate efficiency, as well as significant reduction in battery size but with significantly increased energy density per unit size and weight.

    :iagree: +1

    :iagree: 100% +1
  9. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    Fabian- Those are great, inspiring pics- you really get around!:likelots:

    I'm curious as to what is available in/to Canada (legally) as far as a quality engine goes. I read that you worked on your bike for a couple years, solving various issues. When I first posted here a bunch of years ago, there were very few options as to buying a ready-made, quality bicycle engine-usually chinese stuff w/the unhardend metal, asbestos clutches, questionable design & quality issues in the engine.

    I'm wondering how far has it progressed in about 5-6 years or so.

    What MUST be replaced, what SHOULD be replaced, & what CAN be replaced (upgraded), & what DOESN'T NEED replacing?:confused::detective:

    Judging from the pics on those links- you really trust your bike (looks great btw).

    I have a feeling that a lot of hands-on time needs to be spent to get it to that level of quality-a bike like yours must be reliable- your life can depend on it, wheras a city or suburban commute wouldn't need that kind of quality- A quick phone call, get a cab home, & fix it.
  10. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    I most enjoy making my way to scenic locations at a (much slower) speed which really allows you to take in the scenery and appreciate the beauty of life, but yet still feeling that sense of pushing the bike hard; trying to squeeze every last bit of power out of the engine.

    Not a lot has changed with regards to the quality of the Chinese bicycle engines (which are surprisingly reliable) but aftermarket accessory products have advanced significantly; improving the overall reliability and functionality with regards to a motorized bicycle application.
    SickBikeParts is one of the manufacturers that has updated it's product line; to the point where the "Shift Kit" is now a truly bolt on device (with the installation of their left and right side chain tensioners) that gives dependable reliability under adverse riding conditions.

    I will say that the older style asbestos clutches worked terrifically well compared to the newer clutches, which also work reasonably well after they have been bedded in, though they need a little more preload applied to the clutch spring.

    The newer design engines on the market use an improved big end connecting rod needle roller bearing system which has largely eliminated problems that came with the older style caged needle roller big end, though part of this improved reliability comes from the use an aftermarket Jaguar CDI.

    The aftermarket side of things has progressed reasonable well, but engines have had minimal design progression.

    1) The standard CDI needs to be replaced with an aftermarket CDI.

    2) Depending on how functional you want you motorized bicycle to be, the engine kit needs to be fitted with a heavy duty SickBikeParts shift kit; using the White Industries Heavy Duty Freewheel bearing system, as well as the left hand side and right hand side chain tensioners.

    3) For reliable touring capability, you'll need to fabricate a lower chain stabilisation device to prevent chain suck, because without it, you "WILL" have no end of problems with chain suck when riding over rough and difficult terrain.

    4) To improve the functionality and useability of the bike when negotiating steep inclines with a heavy load (like a bicycle trailer filled with all of your camping/survival gear) you will need to modify the Shift Kit bottom bracket assembly to allow a dual speed, front derailleur operated shifting mechanism; effectively giving you low range hill climbing gears as well as flat ground highway gearing.

    Any type of creation that you put your heart and soul into tends to be a creation that you not only like, but gain tremendous joy from it's use, especially when ironing out a myriad of reliability problems that previously caused many breakdowns; leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    I have no choice but to place trust in my bike and my reliability solutions, because if it didn't give the reliability that i request of it, i wouldn't be able to travel to the places i have visited.
    For what i demand of my bike, there exists no other option than 100% reliability, under extreme riding conditions.

    Approximately 2 years was spent getting my bike to give the reliability that it now offers me. I also sacrificed 2 relationships in the process, but those relationships gave lesser enjoyment than my bike, so there are no negative downsides.

    There have been times when i thought to myself: if this bike stops because i have overlooked parts of my preparation checklist or though any failure to properly engineer/fabricate components, i will surely be in deep trouble.
    Having said that, i wouldn't venture so far off-the-beaten-track if my bike didn't give the reliability that it now has.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  11. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    Wow- the Optibike R11 looks very very good.

    Add the external battery for an extra 100 miles, & I'd be very happy w/this bike

    Rather expensive though!