Deciding on a suitable motored bike for myself.

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Sianelle, Nov 9, 2007.

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  1. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Um.... this is my first post and I feel very nervous about it :???:

    I'm not particularly keen on owning a car because it's simply too much vehicle for what I need. Besides a few months ago I sold my much loved 1950s Morris because I couldn't afford to run her anymore, [​IMG] - so it would be downright stupid of me to buy myself another car.
    I have my retro dark green Hercules electric tricycle for local shopping trips, 'go-and-get-it' jobs & etc around this small town where I live.......

    ........ and it works great for that. An upright trike with a ladies step-thru frame is brilliant for short stopping and starting type trips and with the high seating position it's easy to see over and past the tin-tops on mainstreet while their drivers are mucking about looking for parking spaces.

    I've got no end of interesting elderly English bicycles - so I'm never stuck for a bicycle for quick 'nip-up-the-road' journeys. I've got various 1980's 10 speed roadies too if I'm feeling like I want to whizz about and prove how shallow my energy reserves are with this illness I live with. Sooooo it's not really a big priority for me to build a two wheeled motored bike or motor-bicycle.
    What I really need is a trike that can take me further than my electric Hercules, but with a wee bit more seated comfort. Now as it happens I've got most of the makings of one of these hanging up in the garage......

    ............ Mine doesn't have so much chrome and has a lot of gold toned paint instead, but by and large this is what I've got. Wheels are 20 inch. As a conventional custom trike it's waaaay too small for me as I'm just a tad under 6ft tall in my socks, - BUT I'm sure I could rework it into a recumbent type custom. Decent seat at the back over the rear axle; shift the BB to a better position for pedalling; - I'm not lacking for spare bicycle parts so I can do all this without any trouble. Oh and I'm one of those horrible people who has a lathe, a gas welding set and a MIG welder. (Thanks for teaching me how to do all this Dad :grin:)
    Engine would be one of these......

    .......A jolly old English Villiers two stroke engine with a lovely big brass flywheel. I have several of these engines, - they range from 98cc-63cc and nobody in a Police uniform really knows what size they are these days, so most folk who use them just say '50cc' when asked. They aren't revvers, they are stump pullers and I like them, - lots :grin:
    I'm thinking in terms of a steampunk theme, - I'd like to use that Model 'T' steering wheel I've got hanging on the garage wall and drive to the stem through a long shaft and universal joint. Lots of brass and copper detail with rivets. Maybe just a touch of wicker bodywork too so it almost becomes a three wheeled cyclecar. I shall have to get my sketchpad out and firm up some ideas.

    (sigh of relief) Well that's my first post all done, - Mr Moderator please be gentle with me.....

  2. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Well, I'm not a moderator, but as a reader, I found your post well written, and very interesting. It is in General Discussion, so that should be about right. I like your treasures, and admire your ideas. Made me feel like I was reading one of Ian Flemings original James Bond novels. Do any of your bikes toss out nails, or have an ejection seat? :grin:

  3. Sockmonkey

    Sockmonkey Guest

    The engine reminds me of the couple of Seagull boat motors I have seen... 10/1 and an oily streak on the water.:grin:

    I like your idea for a bent trike, have been thinking of doing one myself, but until your post was going to spend over a grand on a new recumbent. Now I think I'll start checking out the garage sales for a standard trike.
  4. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:Sianelle, i love your HERCULES trike.

    Personally, I would attempt to retrofit a front-mounted setup onto HERCULES, using your Villiers engine. With your skills and equipment, you could pull it off.

    An easier solution would be to utilize a GEBE front engine setup. A ROBIN/SUBARU 1.6hp or its lesser counterpart would be more than sufficient.

    Your electric hub system could be augmented by the IC engine to provide regenerative power. one member here has successfully done so. It has permitted him to use lighter, less powerful batteries. It has also afforded him UNLIMITED range for his electric hub system.

    Nice to meet a woman with mechanical skills.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2007
  5. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    Great post! Best of luck Kiwi.

    ....A jolly old CAST IRON English Villiers. The only Villiers I ever saw was in a BSA Bantam!
  6. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Sounds like a good project. Keep us posted.
  7. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    good luck on your project
    sounds very interesting
    that villiers looks pretty cool !!!
  8. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    Hi Sianelle,

    Hmm, that engine looks like a 2F or JDL - I seem to know too much about the cyclemotors of the past lol...

    If you can find one to fit the expansion box and twin pipes from the rudge cyclemotor would work great with that engine, although they might need a little work...

    I had thought about a recumbant too - I didnt think about fitting up a trike as such, but then I dont have the tools to do it and dont know anyone local who does. *sigh*

    Sorry to hear you arent well - I did have a thought and that was using deraillier gearing to take drive from the engine to the rear axle...

    Front fork mounting is a good idea but I can foresee one problem - fumes. With the engine mounted high on the fork you'd need a flexible exhaust of some sort... to run under the body of the bike.

    anyways, good luck with it and welcome again to the madness that is MBc

    Jemma xx
  9. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Thanks for all the encouragement and advice everyone :grin:
    Jemma I love your signature, just to show how true it can be here's the source of several of my Villiers engines......

    Some of my collection.....

    I was having a look through some of the images I have archived on my hard-drive and I thought this homebuilt conversion might be of interest to the group. (not one of mine btw!)

    I shall go and have a lurk in my garage workshop and see what I can find amongst my treasures. Watch this space :grin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2007
  10. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    At least one of those engines is bigger than a 98cc :D. Are they all free turning or is it a case of judicial hammering to free the engine off?

    hope you are ok

    Jemma xx
  11. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    Yes, fortunately all my engines are free turning and are in good enough shape to be of use to me without too much work. I haven't gone so far as to run any rulers over my engines yet so with some of them their exact capacity is still a mystery.
    I have one of these engines too - and a 3 speed Albion gearbox to go with it :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2007
  12. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    I found this interesting picture from an old 'Mechanics Illustrated' magazine....

    Very much a touch of the steampunk airship chic methinks :grin:
    I know this borders on the edge of velomobile/streamliner/velocar type design, but as a wet weather motored bicycle-car vehicle I think it would be a lot of fun.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2007
  13. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    The pics of the one with the motor on the front, it would seem to me that you would be inhaling a lot of fumes since the exhaust is on top of the wheel. I thik that it wouldn't take much to differ this to a lower spot. Could possibly save you from getting sleepy and wrecking. Just my thoughts.
  14. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    I must agree with you Doc. There were a lot of things that interested me about that conversion, but the position of the exhaust wasn't one of them. I'd drop a pipe down beside the front fork leg and turn the outlet away from the front tyre.
  15. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    After thinking about it I decided it might be a good idea to setup a Villiers engine on a suitable bicycle to test out the whole idea. I spent this afternoon gathering together parts and assembling a good solid test bed bicycle and I'm reasonably happy with progress so far.
    What I did was take this unfortunate 1976 DT-1 Raleigh bicycle that has a bent top frame tube due to being crashed by its previous owner.......

    ....... and swapped over the mudguards, wheels, handlebars etc etc to this very sound and solid 1950s Phillips roadster's frame and forks......

    The resulting Phillips-Raleigh hybrid is parked in my bedroom beside me at the moment while I'm typing this and with a leather Brooks saddle and a darn good clean and polish it's looking a lot nicer than the donor bikes from which it was constructed. The mudguards will need to be rubbed down, repainted and lined out at some stage and the Phillips frame and forks could do with a few spot repairs to paintwork, but overall I think I've got myself a good test bed bike. The rear hub is a Sturmey Archer 3 speed with coaster brake and as usual for my bikes the SA hub is fitted with two different sized sprockets for easy gear ratio tinkering. Rims are English Westwood 26 x 1&3/4 and those Cheng Shin 26 x 2 x 1&3/4 tyres should be perfect for a motored bicycle.
    The next stage will be devising and building a mounting bracket/motor mount on the front forks to carry a Villiers engine. The Phillips roadster forks have a forged steel crown and they are well made from decent steel despite their spindly looks. I have a set of sprung roadster fork braces which I'll fit to these forks as well for additional security. Due to the weight of the engine I intend to mount up a decent stand so I can park the bike without it crashing over onto its side......

    ....... Fortunately I have this substantial stand spare from when I converted my Indian made Hercules roadster into a tricycle.

    I only have an optical camera so I'll need to get film developed before I can post any actual progress pictures, but I promise not to leave you waiting too long.
  16. Sianelle

    Sianelle Guest

    A further update.

    Ok...... after much checking and measuring outside in the courtyard in the Spring sunshine I came to the conclusion that the best solution for my needs is to copy the Wall Autowheel.......

    This might seem to be a decision that's completely at odds with my earlier postings, but it's actually a logical progression (Hey, I'm a woman I can do logic how I like.....).
    I have a good number of elderly English bicycles and the Villiers engine is no lightweight to mount in a frame. Rather than having to 'hack about' aged steel and possibly end up getting set upon by a mob of outraged vintage bicycle fanciers, the notion of fixing a powered 3rd wheel close alongside one's very nice old bicycle has a lot to recommend it.

    The great advantage of an autowheel type of attachment is that it can be readily attached to anything in the way of a lightweight vehicle which would make it perfect for attaching to a tricycle or velocar as well. I would much rather have an attachment that I know works well and don't have to worry about it snapping spokes or trying to get clearance with a drive chain or belt past a tyre or the frame stays. Perhaps the most important thing is that the engine is mounted low which keeps the centre of gravity at a useful place for someone like me who isn't always steady on my feet.
    I shall keep you posted as to developments.

    On the 'Heritage Lane' forum there is an excellent thread about the B&S Cyclecar which used a close cousin of the Wall Autowheel as its driving force. It's well worth looking at. :grin:
  17. flailer

    flailer New Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  18. luke

    luke Guest

    the pic is of a wall autowheel original made in the USA but made underlicence worldwide.they were made for quite a number of years from the tens into the twenties.the engine was also used in lawnmowers but i can not find a pic to post of one.
    regards luke