Friction Drive- vs.-Golden Eagle - 35 cc



Just converted today from a Staton friction drive to a Golden Eagle belt drive. The material they supplied was very good, and I go faster with an increased gas milage (140) to around 190 mpg.


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
Hey, I have to put my first 35 on a tricycle for a guy.

Tell us about it over in that new area, Rack Mounts, if you would !!!!!

Every GEBE forum member thus far seems to prefer that 35cc, so I'd like to hear more ! I tried the 45, but it was too much motor for my liking.




Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2006
Hey Torques,
I am eager to hear about your switch to Golden Eagle.



I'll give you more information as it becomes available. I rode it yesterday 14.5 miles. During deacceleration, there is a noticable resonnance. It might be my chain guard hitting something. It may take me a week or two to dial everything in. There was more fuel remaining after my ride than on my old system. I will determine today what the gas mileage is but I am sure it is much more than on the friction drive (134-143 mpg). I am expecting somewhere in the upper 100's, we'll see. The acceleration is very much more quick and solid feeling. As far as a 45 minute install, ha ha, that's not right. It took me around 4 hours to do it yesterday. I was taking my time and also need to cut out some sections on the rear fender so that the belt would clear. I will post pics here later today.


GEBE set-up for what it is worth

I note some prefer the 35cc Subaru 4-cycle engines versus the 25 4-cycles or the 2-cycle Tanaka engines or other popular 2-cycles.

Last year I installed a nifty 4-cycle Honda GX25 on a single speed cruiser, using the GEBE kit. What I have learned is below.

If you do not plan on running up hills, the wee 25 is just fine and will move you at 20+ MPH easily, and this is fast enough for me. This Honda and the Subaru version are likely the most reliable engines available.

They need breaking in, as I have learned and have been advised by GEBE's Jake. He indicates it takes about 2000 hours (he may have written 1500 hours, will check, but either way, it is a long time) to break the engine in, and I am sure he is correct. He indicates its torque or pull power will increase dramatically. I have noted the engine really has begun to grab after only 10 hours or so.

Now, I live on a paved hill that is, essentially, about .75 mile in length, but it is a climb that required a shift to next to highest ratio gear on my Bianchi when I was able to take the effort (knees). Compared to freeway rise at viaduct - overpass - increase incline five feet or so over length, to give idea of incline.

The reason I installed the engine was to make the climb or make it easier - I pedal-ride with the belt off most of the time.

What happens on the hill is that the clutch begins to slip after a bit and I have to pedal assist with a zig-zag path. I know about the GEBE gear ratios available. (It is getting easier as the engine breaks in, but...) I prefer not having the problem. If the bike had multiple speeds, I am sure it would be better, but single speed cruiser is what it is and cannot be changed due to frame construction.

What I think:

Clutch size is important; engine weight is important; size is important. So, the 35cc 4-cycle versions, Robin or Honda are 8 pounds, versus 6.1 to 7 for the 2-cycle Tanakas, except the 8# monster PF4000.

The PF3300 Tanaka sports a 78mm clutch (large) like 35cc 4-cycles but only weighs 6.1 lbs dry. It is also 1.6 hp, like the heavier 35cc 4-cycles. And, this is a guess, but I think the larger clutch and .5 hp increase will be enough to gain what I need.

Frankly, I like the little 25GX Honda. No oil in gas, light, quiet and small, and if it would take my bum up the hill, without the pedaling etc, I would not hesitate to keep it.

Which all means I am going to move to a large clutch, 1.6 hp Tanaka 33 and sell the Honda. And, if you do not plan to work steep hills and think 20 mph is fast and safe enough, the smaller 4-cycle GEBE kits are the ticket. (You can find separate Honda engines and buy the small clutch kit or go with the whole GEBE package.

Hope this is of some help.



No doubt!

I agree, he could have said 1,500 hours, but that is what I recall.

I can't disagree. Hell, I won't live that long, bike-mile-wise; but if you think about it, that these little motors are used on pruners, weed-whackers, tillers and similar things, maybe that is reasonable. Either way, they take some breakin' in, and the motors take the beating.


DUDE, that is a sweeeeeeeeeeet bike!!!!!!!!!
i like the cross-bar thing with the holes in it. is that a custom bike?



For multi-speed gearing you could have a three speed hub laced onto your rear hoop, and mount the shifter on the handlebars. later model Sturmey archer three speed coaster brake hubs are cool (Avoid the problematic tcw-III) these hubs came on a lot of the tri-wheelers.
You also might locate a vintage bendix "Automatic" 2-speed hub to lace to the rear hoop.
Just some thoughts from a kustomizer of old bikes...


Good idea

Will check into that, Uncle_punk13. I cannot recall, but I think my bike is limited to 109mm width. Can't stretch the aluminum frame at dropout. Will give the alternative you suggest a study and search over next few months. If I recall correctly, the Shimano 3-speed or SRAM was 121mm wide, and these were the shortest of available hubs, the I have the problem of recessed dropouts that require a very long axle, as noted below.

Pianoman8t8: thanks, Bike is Trek CNC Rail. If you type into your browser, should bring up a few still not sold. TREK only made 500 or 1000 of them.

It is a plain cruiser, one speed, coaster brake, so if really into motoring, I would suggest another model or one of the folders Jake suggests at GEBE. Way easier to adapt, as in multispeed, front brake for emergency if chain breaks, and easier hook-up for engine straps and so on.

I got it done with lots of creative thought and with no messing with the frame with drills etc. Worked out fine, but required some added mind work, like the rear axle had to be replaced with longer one to accommodate GEBE engine support bar, because frame is recessed at the dropout. A half-dozen stainless steel washers and longer axle worked. But, if the rear hub had been a SRAM or Shimano gear box, I daresay, the problem would have been harder to solve, if at all.