General n00b questions?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Drunkskunk, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Drunkskunk

    Drunkskunk Member

    I'm brand new to the idea of gas motors on bikes, but have over a thousand miles logged on an electic I built. Now I need a project for all my spare parts, and I want a dirt bike, so I have a few questions.

    *Who sells them? Best company? Best reputation? cheapest price? Best brand?
    *4 stroke VS 2 stroke. Does it matter?
    *Is there a list of manufactures someplace?
    *Or a comparison chart?
    *Is there anything I should be looking for or trying to avoid when searching for a motor?
    *Should I hold out for "pull start" or is pedal start good enough?

    And a few more specific questions, I've seen the Spookytooth website, and they list 2 motors there of 2 diffrent sizes, but the same price.
    *Should I consider them?
    *Is this typical of what a kit is, and a price for them?

    *What is the power output of these motors? Horsepower? or Watts?

    *And finaly, are there any common mistakes n00bs make that I should avoid?

  2. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    all I can suggest is read, read, read !!!
    there are answers to all your questions
    I would recommend reading through 'parts and accessories'
  3. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    You most certainly need to read, read, read, of course... but I'll help you find your way just a tad.

    One of the best things you can do at first is check out the Pictures Gallery here and look at some of the builds. You'll soon see that most all look pretty different, but they all mostly have the same parts. You'll first need to decide whether you want a foldable 20" frame, a cruiser, mountain bike, road bike, trike, recumbent, recumbent trike, etc...

    Once you find your frame, you'll most likely end up with an engine under 50cc for your first build (Trikes will need more power, however). People seem to be happy with the Happy Time engines (don't search for Happy Times, that's the name of all generic Chinese 2-strokes), but I'd prolly go for a Robin/Subaru, Honda, or Mitsubishi engine. Supposedly the Mitsubishi TLE43 has been getting lotsa props lately, for its quietness and price (under $200).

    As for differences between 2-stroke & 4-stroke... 4-strokes are generally better all around -- quieter, better for environment, more efficient, more reliable, & able to fill gas right up without mixing oil, etc. The only two places 2-strokes seem to win at is size (for frame mounting) and the ability to be tipped over (i.e.- folding bike)... this is why airlines will allow you to pack a used 2-stroke, but not a used 4-stroke.

    Anyway, there are a bunch of sites to check out... spookytooth, whizzer, & have assembled bikes already. Most people seem to buy the happy time kits at or ebay.

    As for the pull start or pedal start... most 2-strokes are pedal start, while most 4-strokes are pull start. I bought a foldable 20" bike from that has a 2-stroke that can be pull or pedal started (I don't think that's too common).

    Soo... only other tips I got are: It's not too easy to mount a 4-stroke in the frame. I'd prefer not to frame-mount the engine or gas tank just to protect my gonads in case there was a freak explosion. I'd also prefer not to lace the sprocket on a rim... I'd rather have two freewheels -- one for pedals, one for engine. The foldable bike I bought has this setup already... only other way I've seen this done is by buying the Nuvinci 7spd hub, and either mount the engine on the front or mount the engine in the back and have Staton attach another freewheel for you.

    This could all be too much for you, dunno... I'll help you more if I can.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2008
  4. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    drunkskunk...since you haven't decided on anything yet, i'm moving this into general discussion. please keep replying to this topic with new questions and comments...also keep us posted here about what you're learning and deciding.

    when you've made an engine/drive/bicycle choice, i'll know where in the garage it goes... read read...there's actually threads that are about "noob mistakes"...

    have fun :)
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    And, Golden Eagle & Staton are the two top rack mount engine kits.
  6. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    At least we know where you are coming from.
    I wonder how he's gonna take being told he's wrong?
    I'm 6'2' @ 235# and I think my GXH50 is doing quite a fine job of powering my trike. And I also haul plenty in the box on the back! Check the picture gallery to confirm this by other trike owners.
    A 4 stroke is not any harder to mount in the frame than a 2 stroke. (oh I forgot about the limited mechanics thing). Also check out the Picture Gallery to confirm, (not harder, just not many yet as they are still new to the scene). I have mounted, 2 stroke in frame, 4 stroke inframe, 4 stroke rack mount, and now that rack mount is "in frame" on my trike.
    If a freewheel is working properly, then how does it friction start (bump start) an engine? It can't! Or Give us links to verify.
    When did NuVinci start making a 7 speed hub? The NuVinci is a variable speed hub, it has NO set gear settings.

    Sage advice comming form someone who says,
    Browse the picture Gallery and read, read, read. Please ask questions as a reply to a thread if you can. As far as "Whats best"? only you can answer that question.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  7. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    All fools crawl before they walk.

    Not well, I'm afraid.

    I honestly was just trying to put things into perspective by saying trikes & bikes with 20" tires or less will need more to get the same speed as a 24" or greater bike.

    It can be done with the right frame and/or crank, sure... just not my cup o' tea, at the moment.

    Read post number 46 here. I didn't think it was possible, either; that's why I asked this guy 2 or 3 times to make sure he knew what he was talking about.

    I have seen NuVinci CVP video, but I could have sworn that I saw a thread here titled NuVinci 7spd or at least somewhere in thread, so I always assumed there were 2 or more different ones... but it turns out I don't reads good. My eyes musta twistied on me, but a CVT makes me that much more enthusiastic about the NuVinci hub

    That's called transitioning... I like my words to flow.
  8. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    Originally Posted by grndslm
    I think I'm most interested in a 4-stroke frame-mounted engine, but I'm not the best when it comes to mechanics,
    My response was,,, At least we know where you are coming from.

    My comment was,,, Sage advice comming from someone who says,
    Originally Posted by grndslm
    If he tells me to keep reading, tho... I'm gonna have to karate kick his arse.
    That was Your response to being told to go,, read, read, read.

    If your gonna give advice, Make sure its accurate and factual. The new peeps that come here could be mislead easily, until they,,,,read, read, read.

  9. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I'll throw in with some "answers" to the original questions...more answers in the Socratic tradition, than in the normal sense (That means questions as answers to questions).

    There is no one way to go with a motorized bike. I depends completely on what you want out of it.

    What are you looking for?

    Are you looking for low entry cost? - One of the Chinese 2 stroke kits

    Are you going for a specific look? - as mentioned above, check the gallery.

    Do you need primary transportation and have a bit more money? - Maybe a 4 stroke.

    Are you going to use the engine rarely and pedal most of the time? - a very small 4 stroke, but generally a 2 stroke may be better.

    2 stroke vs. 4 stroke - there is no way to say which is "better" because that depends on you.

    2- lighter, less expensive, easier mounting (generally), known items- there is a history

    4- heavier, quieter, more torque, no need to mix, likely better long life- but that remains to be seen

    My Honda GXH50 is rated at 2.5 hp and has carried my 220+ pounds to 40 mph.

    I wanted a certain look (1911-1919 motorcyclesque), I ride on sunny days out in the country for the fun of it, my motorized bike is in no way, shape or form a necessity- I chose the Grubee WS-II gearbox and mounting and I bought the real Honda engine. It works for me, but your needs are likely different.
  10. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    I read all that... as I said, my opening sentence was for transitioning purposes. "Of course you need to read, read, read... but here's what you really wanna know." And there's also a big difference between this thread and my first thread... after the majority of my fairly specific questions were answered, there were 3 or 4 people who decided to all chime in and tell me to read, read, read. Only one person mentioned it in this thread, and I more or less mocked him because that specific response is not very helpful. Why even post at all if you're just gonna be that simple & obvious with your response? I just don't understand...

    ... or if we just discussed what the OP wanted to discuss, we could put him on the right track *and* save space/time/energy.

    And I'm soo sorry I didn't know the NuVinci hub was CVT only... you could have told me and the OP that, but no, you had to dig up some crud and throw it in my general direction. Sorry, again... I never admitted to having all the answers, just sharing the information that I've learned, something people around here are reluctant to do.

    ALSO, if anybody else feels like they need to attack me personally, please PM me instead of clogging up the forum with your BS. Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  11. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    And yes, I read this thread, and after we were talking about NuVinci, Zomby Builder mentioned a Nexus 7 speed, and I mistook Nexus for NuVinci and it has been in my head ever since.

    Thank you for the correction, Papa!
  12. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    grndslm...enuff read read is the right answer because the info is here...i'm gettin' darn tired of justifying policy, after a year of positive and forward evolution of the motorsport, we have earned our wings!!!

    you better ponder your next post carefully. i knew from the beginning to expect this kinda stuff, and i knew what it would take to protect our contributing members from it...this is between you and me now, and you cannot win. nobody likes me anyway, so i have nothing to lose. your move.

    (did i just read your admitting to "mocking" another MBc member for advocating policy?)
  13. Papasaun

    Papasaun Guest

    There is no personal attack here at all, but there is your poorly veiled attempt to deflect the criticism of your WRONG information. You can stomp your feet, yell and accuse all you want, it won’t help. If not me then one of the other members would have corrected you.
    The whole point of encouraging new members to read, read, read, is to get them up to speed on this hobby. If you want someone to hold your hand and spoon feed you, call your mommy. The members have taken the time to write out so much information and its posted here, for all to see. Take time to look before you ask, is all we ask.

    The “crud”, as you mentioned, is “quotes” from YOUR posts, so I guess in your opinion all you have posted is “crud”? Then all you have done is clog up the forum.
    If you’re wrong, then accept the criticism and get on with it. But for you to continue this infantile display of “one up man ship”, or “I’ll get the last word in to prove I’m right”, is really clogging up the forum.
    YOU were wrong, get over it.
    But you won’t because you think if you just stomp your feet more or accuse more then it will make you right and everyone will believe you. Let me get the cheese ready to go with your upcoming whine.

  14. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    I firmly believe that the majority DO like you augi (myself included)
  15. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    It sure is...but there's too much to sift thru! I have to believe that there's a better way to point n00bs in the right direction than "read, read, read".

    I really do appreciate the time you put in augi, but I still think it'd be better to have a general n00b response, or even a sticky to prevent those that *do* read from top to bottom, seems better than to say "read, read, read" when there's thousands and thousands and thousands of posts, some of which just say read, read, read or what's the difference between 2stroke & 4stroke? If you can't help n00bs get the general stuff out of the way promptly and easily, it makes the specifics that much harder to figure out.

    Yes, I did say "more or less mocking" because it started out as a transition phrase only, but I would never really answer someone with *just* read, read, read so in a way it was more or less mockery.
  16. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i have made this forum completely viewable to the public...many folks tell us they built their 1st MB without making a single post.

    i have opened a "guest" forum...people can ask that basic question in there without joining or posting repeats in our garage.

    i even recently started a "lazy-man's" forum where you can ask for a link to the answer. noone's using it, maybe because they still have to read read read the link? nope, it's because the latest wave of new sign-ups are onboard with our policies, and don't mind doing a bit of their own work.

    i've done more than enuff for the new builder, our dedicated members understand that this forum is a process...YOU are responsible for NOT adding yet another repeat topic for the new folks to sift thru. you haven't exactly pitched in on that front, now have you? imagine this place without firm policies...120 thousand posts, 2/3 junk...believe it, without our firm moderation behind the scenes, that is what this place would be. i know, because i'm the one keeping that junk off your monitor, along with our hardworking moddy-staff.

    so, you go ahead & keep concentrating on the (maybe a) dozen problem issues we have going (but that's our job, not yours) & you will miss out on the several hundred active and productive threads that are never any trouble for staff.

    what we do works...we won't be changing what we do. so if you just got here, you best start reading. when you've progressed to the point where you have something new to add, let 'er rip!
  17. grndslm

    grndslm Guest

    Those people prolly already have innate mechanical abilities or lots of previous mechanical knowledge... and even those guys could possibly benefit from a general n00b sticky.

    I prolly woulda noticed it if it was titled "Lazy Man's Forum; Gimme Links!" Why even start the title with "New Members..." when most all the n00bs will see everybody else is posting & viewing [& more likely to get a general, community response] in the General Discussion, Frame-Mounted, & Rack-Mounted forums??

    I'm giving you a pretty good idea to prevent the retarded posting of which you speak.

    Are we having the same conversation or what??

    OK, now imagine this place with GOOD, firm policies and GOOD organization... then you'd have even less posts with better information in less space.

    You add a new forum that pretty much asks for more of these repeat topics that you claim you don't want. However, you can't add a General n00bs sticky in the General Discussion forum that answers at least 9 outta 10 of their n00by questions right off the bat?!? What's wrong with this whole picture?

    I give fresh responses everyday. When you've progressed to the point of understanding the n00b, let the sticky stick.
  18. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i so completely understand the new forum-user...and this is not the place to cut your's all laid out in the rules and "stickies" join MBc, you join a can't hang, or won't even try to help maintain the board, then begone. i volunteer my time to help people motorvate their bicycle, there are plenty of places where folks can learn about how forums work. you seem to know a lot about forum-usage but you also seem clueless about teamwork.

    you haven't read read read anything about our history, growth, or constant-evolution. i warned you about the "what's the best?" topic but you weren't having any of it, so i let it run to it's non-conclusion to press my point...we've all seen enuff of you to know you're not gonna be contributing anything worthwhile (that's not entirely true, but the friction outweighs your contributions) so...


    when you've progressed to the point where you've realized you're in someone else's house, use the "contact us" form...choose the "my account is active but i can't post" option, and we'll talk. if we can reach an accord, i'll clean up all our little spats and we'll start fresh. this process has worked out well for other members who are active to this day. you can still view everything, tho, so read on.

    meantime, i'm gonna go read read read the cool stuff the members who deserve my attention are it stands right now, you're just too much work for too little in return. in my experienced opinion, you should have just stuck to a simple "project topic" til you figured things out.
  19. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    My $0.20 AU worth

    From my perspective, I use a level of humour and patience when it comes to things mechanical. Human ingenuity at it's best is priceless.

    With HT, I have had to dig a bit deeper lately, but I have not been late to any of my appointments, yet.
    The HT gets me there and back,only once it failed me,I was prepared.

    But most of my time when I get back is fixes that are not anyone's fault, when it's the cheapest alternative at the moment on a standard kit.

    But these fixes are inexcusable had the kit's contents been manufactured elsewhere. Let's say someone told you this is the best the BMW can do,
    it be a insult.
    I can start the blame game of who's fault it actually is for quality, but as I stated before this is not the place.

    The HT is just that, Happy Time Standard ( HT-S) I can accept up to a point the intelectual insult by the manufacturer/s, yet I can accept and expect to upgrade the standard of this product,myself and with this forum if we choose to.
    It's obvious by now, the money to be made is SPARE PARTS, always has been and always will be, the automotive industry is sheer proof of that, HT is no diffarent.
    Here in this forum we share, or at least I do and a few others the upgrading of the Standard HT, so hopefully it's "status" might be lifted to HT-S1 or
    HT-S2....., S1 and or S2 and so on may become a recognisable level of after market upgraded level of quality-durability and this goes back to the principle, you get what you pay for with a DIY basis.

    A motor, to fit my bicycle at less than $300.00 AU in these times of fuel prices, and it may get 70 Km to a Litre of fuel, is good Value at a minimum level of quality and initial cost. It will get Joe Average to work cheaper than running a car, hopefully.

    To get better Value, understanding what goes on behind the scenes where the HT is produced, we may need to spend more for quality per HT unit and bring that unit up to specs. at let's say BMW level of quality.

    It's give and take, you cannot expect a BMW quality HT kit at these prices.

    The trick then is,
    how much will it cost per unit to upgrade quality ?

    So far for example, to upgrade the first line items, all external fasteners
    ( Nut,Bolts,Washers and now that Clutch Ball Bearing) is probably $35.00 AU + the cost of your kit.
    OR, IF, HT Land ever do "get it" and decide to join in the race with the rest of the world and pull their finger out and include these same quality fasteners at production level, it might cost $20.00 more.
    Would anyone still pay for a HT kit, if it costed $20.00 more, with a upgraded quality of all fastners, rather than go out and do it yourself and learn a new skill along the way ?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008