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General n00b questions?

Drunkskunk

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
124
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?
 


azbill

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
3,721
all I can suggest is read, read, read !!!
there are answers to all your questions
I would recommend reading through 'parts and accessories'
 
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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, & fiveflagsmotorbikes.com have assembled bikes already. Most people seem to buy the happy time kits at thatsdax.com 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 fiveflagsmotorbikes.com 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.
 
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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...

and...read read read...there's actually threads that are about "noob mistakes"...

have fun :)
 

loquin

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,214
And, Golden Eagle & Staton are the two top rack mount engine kits.
 
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Papasaun

Guest
I think I'm most interested in a 4-stroke frame-mounted engine, but I'm not the best when it comes to mechanics,
At least we know where you are coming from.
I don't like being forced to do something, but oh well...
I wonder how he's gonna take being told he's wrong?
WRONG,
1.
you'll most likely end up with an engine under 50cc for your first build (Trikes will need more power, however).
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.
2.
It's not too easy to mount a 4-stroke in the frame.
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.
3.
a 2-stroke that can be pull or pedal started (I don't think that's too common). also, I'd rather have two freewheels -- one for pedals, one for engine. The foldable bike I bought has this setup already.
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.
4.
the Nuvinci 7spd hub.
When did NuVinci start making a 7 speed hub? The NuVinci is a variable speed hub, it has NO set gear settings.

You most certainly need to read, read, read, of course...
Sage advice comming form someone who says,
If he tells me to keep reading, tho... I'm gonna have to karate kick his arse.
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.

Papa
 
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grndslm

Guest
At least we know where you are coming from.
All fools crawl before they walk.

I wonder how he's gonna take being told he's wrong?
Not well, I'm afraid.

WRONG,
1.
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.
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.

2.
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.
It can be done with the right frame and/or crank, sure... just not my cup o' tea, at the moment.

3.
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.
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.

4.
When did NuVinci start making a 7 speed hub? The NuVinci is a variable speed hub, it has NO set gear settings.
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

Sage advice comming form someone who says,
That's called transitioning... I like my words to flow.
 
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Papasaun

Guest
Quote:
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.

All fools crawl before they walk.
My comment was,,, Sage advice comming from someone who says,
Quote:
Originally Posted by grndslm
If he tells me to keep reading, tho... I'm gonna have to karate kick his arse.
That's called transitioning... I like my words to flow.
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.

Papa
 
H

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.
 
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grndslm

Guest
That was Your response to being told to go,, read, read, read.
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...

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.
... 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.
 
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