First Commute



Last week, for the first time, I rode my motorized bicycle all they way to work. I rode from the west side of Tulsa, all the way to 76th street and Whirlpool drive - which is about 16 miles. I didn't pay attention to the time it took me, but it was a great ride! I get more attention on this monster than any fancy car or chopper. People literally snap cellphone pics of me, either stopped at an intersection or riding alongside the road. No problems with the cops. I will certainly be doing this more often! There are modifications I'd like to make to my machine, however:

Gotta fill the handlebars with something. Birdshot is the obvious answer, but around here I can only get it in bags weighing 25 Lbs and costing $50. What else would work? Sand? Foam?

Brake pads could use some help. They're old and hard and don't stop as well as I'd like.

Any ideas for a bright light? I mean blinding. I'd like to be seen, and don't want to use the white wire.

The shift kit from Sickbikeparts will find a home on my bike soon.

Why don't you search for a thread that I started titled, "Looks like I'm getting 150 mpg".

I'd make a link to it, but I don't know how.

After a few answers we started talking about my light system. Blinding is only a bit too strong to describe it. I'm happy with it. Those cagers see me plenty early in heavy, heavy rain, thick fog, etc.
Can you send a link of your project? Didn't run across it yet while I search. Sounds like something I need to see!
Here are pictures of my bike. It's an old Trek 820 mountain bike, I used it instead of my moon dog, because the Trek has rack mounts, cantilever brakes, strong alloy rims, and a very strong cro-moly frame. I was going for utility, not looks.

Ozzy, the reason I mentioned filling the handlebars, is I'd like them to not vibrate so much. I think if I filled them with something heavy, it might absorb some of the energy.

Lastly, you'll notice I have 4 levers on the handlebars. The ones on the rider's left are the front brake (Inner) and the clutch (Outer). The ones on the rider's right are the throttle (Outer) and the rear brake (Inner). The twist grip throttle turned out to be more trouble than it was worth, so I put another lever on. Works great.



  • marksbike1.jpg
    164.9 KB · Views: 377
  • marksbike2.jpg
    150.1 KB · Views: 374
  • marksbike3.jpg
    151 KB · Views: 321
Ozzy, the reason I mentioned filling the handlebars, is I'd like them to not vibrate so much. I think if I filled them with something heavy, it might absorb some of the energy.


That seems to make sense. Wouldn't bird shot sound like a maraca? How bout sand?
I think Sand will be the first substance I try in the handlebar. Not so much because of it's weight but because of it's price. I've got sand in bags for the winter... Lead shot is $50 a bag, and nowhere can I find it cheaper.
Nice MB Tinker, I have a Trek 4500 as my ride and had more vibration than my hands could handle. I changed my handlebars to a cruiser style to get my weight off of them and then added some silica sand, this helped about 30%. I to looked into bird shot but found it expensive. The product I may try in the future is called Barsnake their web site is, it's meant for motorcycles so I don't think the solid form will work but they make a liquid, it may treat 2 MB bars, it's kind of pricey as well @ $60

For my light I used a 3 watt single led flashlight i mounted with auto hoseclamps, I have cagers flash me alot
Depending on how good you are with electronics, the new cree xr-e 3 watt LED's are very very impressive (stupidly bright). They would run easily from the white wire if you ran it up to a buck/boost converter combined with a resistor. There is a great selection of lenses available.

There are also a lot of halogen replacement fittings that contain LED's as well. They take 12V but converting the output of the magneto is pretty trivial with something like national semiconductor's simple switchers - they have a design programme that will tell you all of the component values and the efficiency of the converter.

Heath Young