Back to pedal power or foot power

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by plinko, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. plinko

    plinko Member

    My last ride bit the dust at 1200 miles.I ride em hard and I gotta say It was not the grubee gt5 engine's fault this time.More like rim failure,frame failure,And vibration.I rode 50 miles from my home and my rim spokes busted out and my frame bent by where the wheel connects to the dropouts and had one big crack.I decided that after 1000 bucks total for replacement parts,3 engines,and 2 bikes costing 250 bucks.I am sticking to pedaling until I either decide to do a nice expensive rear mount 4 stroke,morini build, or a moped.Money and labor I spent on this **** I could have bought something better and more reliable.This 50 mile breakdown and walking 18 before hitching 2 different rides and getting home at 5 In the morning Made me realize I need to build something reliable or diss motoredbikes altogether and buy a good used moped since laws here classify mopeds and m.b.'s as the same.No more cheap china frames and china junk engines for me.Good luck to all those on here and May you not have the misfortune I had on breaking down and the frustration I dealt with from 8 am to 5 am the next day.I had to diss my ride On the side of the road and I will never settle for cheap quality again.

  2. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    I don't blame you. Check out Tomos mopeds. You can get them with or without peddles, and their not cheap China junk !
  3. dougsr.874

    dougsr.874 Active Member

    I'm also ready to ditch this junk....something is always messed up.
  4. professor

    professor Active Member

    I obtained an old Puch moped (basket case) with the idea that my gas/electric will become a customized Puch.
    In putting the Puch back together and cleaning it up, I am real impressed at the quality of this 1977 bike.
    Other than missing parts- here are the things wrong I found-
    Aluminum handlebar locking bit, stripped out (should have been iron).
    Dynamo has 2 bad outputs.
    Engine sounds like bearings toasted and piston hard to move in bore-(probably run with straight gas).
    Spokes and wheels are real heavy duty, drumb brakes. Guess I will adapt a Techumseh 6 hp to it eventually.
    The Tomos is based on the Puch I believe.
    Maybe the site should include Mopeds?
    The big difference is Mopeds are a bear to peddle and the seats are not conducive to it either.
  5. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    I'm not ready to ditch my motorized bike. I'm using the friction drive kit from BMP and engine from Harbor Freight auger. No problems at all until this past weekend when the carburetor almost fell off the engine while I was using it on the auger. No thread lock and vibration from the auger is my speculation on that one. I posted a separate thread about that yesterday. Anyway, due to starting off with a descent bike and some costly components I've added to my bike, I have probably $900.00 in my build. For $300.00 more I could have bought a Tomos moped with peddles, and it would have been something of better quality to start with. It would at least be something that was designed to be motor driven, with heavy gage wheels, spokes, brakes, frame, electrical system and so on and so forth. I've been pleased and lucky so far. But I always make sure my cel phone has a good charge and take it with me when I ride. Not unusual at all for me to go 20 miles from home. I know one day I'll probably have to peddle home or call a friend with a truck or SUV to come get me. But why worry ? Cars break down too. Nothing man made is fool proof ! I have no regrets about my motored bike, but my next one will probably be a real factory built moped.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  6. 2Fat2Pedal

    2Fat2Pedal New Member

    Puch Build

    My son got a 1980 Murray Puch from the dump. It's pretty rough so I started out planning to rob parts from it, but like others was impressed with the quality of these things. So another project born. I'm amazed at the parts availability.

    Had no spark, but that was fixed with a pointless CDI magnito/ignition from:

    It now runs but I can't ride it for lack of cables/controls. Just ordered a cable set and 70cc kit (cyl, piston, head, carb, pipe) from:

    I still prefer my Tanaka/friction MB so far because the peddle mode is much more useful and it weighs 50 lb. instead of 103 lb. dry. I'm sure for the money I'm sticking into this moped, I could buy a used 50cc scooter but what fun would that be?

  7. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    Yeah ! Peddle mode on a factory built moped is about useless for sure ! I have an older retired friend that is 100% Italian. He's always liked me from the first time we met back in the 70's beacuse I drove a Fiat. He's into rebuilding Vespa scooters big time. I've been meaning to get in touch and talk Vespa mopeds. They're not to hard to find, but are not cheap by any means. I figure on buying a new modern moped. A little afraid of buying a vintage model due to not knot knowing much about mopeds to start with and don't want to get into something that I can't find parts for.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  8. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Sorry things didn't work out for you. I hope you find the solution that best suits your needs and as cost effectively as possible. Sounds like a hard lesson in the meaning of the phrase 'false economy'.....when an initially inexpensive item begins the mission creep of breakdowns and replacements until you got more $ into it than the better item would have cost up front.

    Happens with tools too if they're used hard every day. Which is why it's tough to get reliability as a daily commuter out of a HT set-up without major revision and even then it's questionable.

    At the very least your post serves as a reality check for a site like this. Some enthusiasts might come thinking that with a hundred dollar chinamart bike and another hundred and a half in a HT kit they're going to get a quality touring machine or something. Truth be told most, not all of course but many of the folks who build up MBs put very few miles on them, maybe zip around the neighborhood a little, an errand run here and there, etc., totaling a couple-three hundred miles or so a year. Not that there's anything wrong with that, they have fun especially for the price of an HT kit.
    But day in day out get on it and ride reliability for commuting probably ain't gonna be there.

    As to mopeds (and BTW there are some good moped sites out there already IE: mopedarmy), they have their place. Sometimes I think people get the wrong ideas with MBs though and would really be happier with a moped, scooter or small motorcycle.

    But I like MBs for the very reason they are bicycles and pedal well. Kinda why I've always wanted decent bikes to begin with and favored finding good used bikes that overhaul and hold up well, then motorizing them with the thought of detracting as little from the sweet functionality of the original bicycle.

    It's why I've been a stickler for keeping the bike as light as possible. When an MB gets over 50 lbs I lose interest.

    A decent bike with a quality engine/drive assembly is just the ticket for me. I put over 3000 miles on my MBs last year and and am on track to do the same this year.
  9. plinko

    plinko Member

    Well, This grubee least lasted a while.The other raw engine I had blew at 300 miles at 20 mph.And with constant bolt stripping,parts,rebuild kits,sometimes not getting what you ordered for 3 months,shipping costs,and so on. I just can't afford It no longer.Don't get me wrong.If I luck out and find a hard core american made bicycle with a real frame and a stihl 5 horse engine or luck out on a morini.I will build one for shows.But,I live In rough country and the roads are not well maintained.Least with a moped I can get around with less frame damaging vibration because they have a suspension.Look kinda geeky,But,I am worried about getting from point a to point b without breaking down In the middle of toad sprocket hollow 50 miles from home. I am buying a puch or peugot moped for now and I am gonna dress up the body somewhat to make It look a little more modern. I need reliability right now and a product that has Italian or quality replacement parts available without having to order online. I'll do another build one day.But for right now I have to forget the motored bike and do a moped. If It's just a hobby and you ride very little.It's alright.For those like me who ride 2000-4000 a year.I can't endorse It. Not to mention not all us have 2000 bucks worth of tools and parts or the garage,experience,Or especially the time to be broke down while having to get to work. Good luck to everyone.May you fare better than me.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  10. professor

    professor Active Member

    Plinko- today I was cruising some moped site and it was mentioned that the scooters are more reliable than the mopeds, the poster mentioned that when they go for a ride the mopeds are the ones that break down while the scooters don't.
    This was news to me.
    And it was commented by a moped guy.
    He also said something to the effect that the 'peds go a few thousand miles and need rebuilding.
    These things are toys for me, so longevity is not much of an issue. It will take many years for me to do that kind of mileage.
    How about a real 4 stroke small cycle? Or maybe a Honda or Yamaha 'ped?
  11. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    Plinco on the lookout for a small motorcycle ....will probably be more suitable to your needs than a scooter...the small tires , and minimum suspension on a scooter makes them a bit unstable...something to think about anyway
  12. Whizzerd

    Whizzerd Member

    I've built seven mb's now and w/o a doubt, the BMP friction drives with 4 strokes are my faves. Thing is, you're talking comparable money in a "better" mb and a scooter or moped. But, since I really enjoy riding and occaisionally pedaling my mount, the mb fits the bill. I'm already pricing out build #8. I've learned my lesson on the cheap junk. You guys were right, as usual. One big thing is to have a donor bike that fits you. Most important on long rides. Since going to better tire tubes I've not had any more flats. MB's aren't everyone's thing and it's a shame to put a grand+ into something you lose interest in quickly. But if you enjoy the hobby, do yourself a favor and spend more and get LOTS more. The Worksman's salesman told me they sell alot to mb'ers. They're getting ready to sell to another! I can't wait!
  13. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I have said many times that you get what you pay for.
  14. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    I have had no problems whatsoever with a GEBE kit with a Tanaka 32cc engine and heavy duty rear wheel. I mounted it on a good quality 15-year-old front-suspension mountain bike. I started riding 4 months ago and have now ridden 2000 completely trouble-free miles.
  15. plinko

    plinko Member

    Well professor,I assume the reason scooters last longer than mopeds Is because most scooters are 4 stroke and mopeds are 2 stroke.And when you use today's modern ethanol based fuel on a 2 stroke.It does bad things to your gaskets and causes you to have more rebuilds.Don't get me wrong.I don't mind a rebuild or 2 In a year.But when frames and engines tear up every week or I have to tighten bolts and fix the chain digging Into my tire every day.I don't have time for this.I just bought a 250 suzuki marauder.And I figure It will be better for a person like me who has never rode a motorcycle before and cheap on gas. It'll do 65 to 70 without vibration.And top out at 80.I doubt I will be doing over 50 to 55 mph.I may get a scooter later.I have to pay on a fine,Insurance, and get a license.But,At this point.It's well worth the trouble and effort to have something reliable for my style of travel.I'll build another m.b. down the road once I get things straight with the motorcycle.And the next one I build will be all custom.From frame to engine.And remember.Helmets save lives:helmet:
  16. plinko

    plinko Member

    I agree with you 100%.And I am glad you have had reliable performance.My problem Was not necessarily the grubee gt-5 engine I used.It was the frame and rims I got from wall mart.And I just need something for my riding style a little stouter.Many times people overlook bike quality and things like frame and rim thickness.If you ride very little.You may be alright.But when you ride like me.It becomes an Issue.And Next m.b. I build will probably be a dax titan or ezm In frame 4 stroke on a heavy duty frame.Not no cheapo wall mart job.I am so glad to see you had over 2000 trouble free miles and may you have 10,000 more.
  17. plinko

    plinko Member

    Esteban my friend.You are wise and a dear friend of mine.But,Not all of us can afford a 600 buck m.b. kit and have access to or afford a 500 dollar worksman bicycle.I just bought a gs 250 suzuki marauder 1999 model for 400 bucks.Just needs a starter.When I find that rare frame and engine at a flea mkt cheap I will do another build.And It Is misleading that the cheap 2 stroker companies and vendors advertise their engines as getting 4 to 6 thousand miles and will hold 35 to 40 mph all day.Truth Is they can't hold 25 all day without something tearing up.And I have learned from experience and personal humility that a cheap wall mart bike and cheap engine kit = cheap performance.I never thought I would say this but,I will be glad once the 2 stroke engines become obsolete and I hope bicycle manufacturers will offer bikes more suited for m.b. projects.
  18. plinko

    plinko Member

    I got a suzuki marauder 250 cc .And It just needs a starter.Been very well cared for for 400 bucks.I decided to make some monthly payments on my fine so I can get a license and just get cheap liability Insurance.Gonna cost me but,It's worth It.And Once I come up with a custom m.b.. I will build one.But this time.It won't Involve a kit.Doing this one The old school way:helmet:
  19. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    Scoopter vs moped, I'll bet you a scooter with smaller diameter wheels and tires with a shorter suspension travel length will cause you to crash quicker than a moped too ! I'll take an old fashioned style moped with peddles over a modern scooter any day. Plinko, I think you made a wise choice getting a small motorcycle over a scooter. I'm sure it will cost more in the long run with insurance and the other must haves, but more stable and dependable. Japanese vs Chinese as well, we all know who makes better quality products.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  20. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    Plinko..I do agree with what Porkchop says above..Susy mar 250 for 400bucks..good deal..good luck with that...much better choice than even a new chinese scooter I think.