first 1.5 years and 1000 miles pain free, dont be afraid

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by skipS, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. skipS

    skipS Member

    When i started coming to this site I asked questions about the Chinese HT motors and was almost scared away from all the nightmare stories. People wrote and warned me of all kinds of things. I heard stories of motors lasting only a few weeks, vibating apart over and over, wheels breaking spokes all the time, gas tanks leaking, people getting stranded ETC. I almost gave up on the idea of a HT build. I had a budget I wanted to build in (under 400 USD ) and I wanted something reliable that I could ride on my short commute to work (6 mile round trip). I decided to try my luck anyhow.
    I chose a Walmart bike, which everyone said would crack, get lose spokes, etc. I chose the Grubee Skyhawk 66 cc I found on sale at I threw it in a retro panama jack Walmart cruiser and I spent about a week building it. I rubber mounted the motor with a piece of car tire, I rubber mounted the Gas tank with a piece of inner tube, I changed the stock plug and coil wire out, I used loctite on everthing I could, and i zip tied all the rear spokes at the point were they cross, And I added a dual brake handle and robbed the brakes off a dead mountain bike I had.. Thats it. Total cost $350 USD
    Yesterday I realized i had been riding the bike for almost two years now, ( or two full riding seasons here) and I have over 1200 miles on it trouble free. there are no frame cracks, no fender cracks, no lose spokes, no wobbily wheels, no leaky engine, no leaky gas tank. It starts every time in 5 ft or less and is vibration free at 25 mph which is plenty fast for me on my short commute. I also have a 150 RWH 2004 Kawasaki ZZR 1200 sport touring bike with over 53 thousand miles on it, and the HT bike gives me almost as much fun as that bike does.
    So my point I guess is, Don't be Afraid, take your time, choose the right combo and enjoy yourself. Maybe I got lucky with my choices, But so far ( knock on wood) im a Happy guy.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

  2. 1200 miles on a HT?! Awesome dude. You are one of the lucky ones....

    not many have had such luck as I'm sure you have read about all the horror stories about those engines....

    Keep ridin hard.

    Anyone can jump off a 10 story building at least once, get lucky, and live...that doesn't make it a good idea though.....

  3. flashstar

    flashstar Member

    I would like to leave my 2 cents...

    With proper planning, preparation, etc. there is no reason why anyone cannot get 1200 miles out of a HT. Of course, a bit of luck helps!

    I built my HT 2 years ago and installed it on a bike frame that I had sitting around since around 2003. I used a quality Motobecane frame and purchased my HT from thatsdax so I reduced my risk of problems right there... Then, I took my time purchasing all of the parts to install the motor correctly. I even got a disc-mounted rear drive sprocket to bypass all of the issues with the spoke-mounted drive setup.

    Before I sold my bike, I had put 400 miles in it in the course of a year or so. At the time, the bike was working really well, however I wanted to sell it when it was in good condition so that I could get the most money out of the sale.

    Since then, I have purchased a GT50 and a thatsdax Titan and oddly enough I have had less trouble with my good old Happy Time. That isn't to say that the GT50 and Titan are inferior... it's just that the HT platform has a ton of parts designed to make it very easy to install and maintain. Sure... my HT engine vibrated a ton at 25 mph and made so many weird noises.... however it never left me stranded. As long as I could find gas I felt secure riding 20 miles out into the middle of nowhere and back on my Happy Time.

    Finally, I added a SBP expansion chamber exhaust and the little Chinese engine came alive! I usually ascended hills at no less than 24 mph after the modification. I actually miss that manual clutch and rear-tire burn-outs! By the way, I don't know why so many people like centrifugal clutches when the manual clutch is so much fun...
  4. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Contrary to a great deal of information this site offers, the newer Cranbrooks (your Panama Jack is a Cranbrook) are a very sturdy, reliable machine that can easily accomodate the issues of the HT motor. Most of the noise you hear on that thing at 255=MPH? REMOVE THE SLIDE FROM THE RACK! I'm seriouse! There's a lock wheel under the rack that allows the back to expand out by 6"- either stuff a wedge in the non-locked side or remove it completly at that gawd-awful rattle goes away!!!!
    the Old Sgt.:army:
  5. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    that's 25mph
  6. toojung2die

    toojung2die Member

    Happy Too


    I enjoyed reading about your experiences with the Happy Times motored bike you built. I don't have as many miles on my bike but I'm hoping to have a similar story. My motor was bought from BikeBerry back in 2009 and I didn't find a bike to put it on until later. I was looking for the right bicycle.

    I must've bought the 80/60cc motor kit at a good time because after 400+ miles it seems to be almost broken in and better than new. The longest trip I have taken was it on was 40 miles and it behaved flawlessly. Having the correct jet is important. The stock jet was rich and probably good for break in but not optimum performance.

    I recently bought a badly neglected 1985 Yamaha QT50, my new winter project. I tore it down, have the bike running great and all the electrical issues worked out. The QT50 is extremely well engineered when compared to a home built China Girl motored bike. In many aspects the QT50 is a superior ride. Smooth, quiet and comfy. It has all the bells and whistles you would expect in a nice moped. Not even a chain, it has shaft drive.

    Tonight I took both out for a ride to compare. I'm going to let my friends ride the Yamaha because I prefer my "Hardly Davidson". I don't know if it's the power or the sound or the engagement of the clutch but I like riding the bike I built more than the QT50.

    I remember thinking when I was a boy how cool it would be to have a motor on my bicycle. Now I have a motor on my bike and it is even more cool than I had imagined. I agree, don't be afraid, build it and ride.

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011