Goodbye from Florida

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by PatNoPed, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. PatNoPed

    PatNoPed New Member

    I thought that this bicycle engine craze was going to be the perfect solution for me. I have pedaled thousands of sweaty miles on my trek road bike (human powered). To be able to throttle my bicycle all the way to my destination and arive still freshly showered was a dream come true...
    Twenty miles into my first ride, the little plastic chain tensioner wheel bails, chain wraps into the rear wheel and locks me up hard. Had I been in traffic, I woulda been messed up but luckily I'm just bummed out and my bicycle is a mangled metal mess. The links on the chain were twisted and it was junk. My mechanic picked me up and put together a new chain for me. I was able to ride it home from his shop that day. Excited with new parts I head out the next day. Engine is sluggish, stalling out left and right, idle screw does nothing, choke does nothing and I'm peddaling!?! Limp back to the shop and we discover a blown intake gasket AND a freshly missing idle screw. A new gasket is made from proper material and a replacement idle screw adjusted. It ran great, idled smooth, and I rode it home again, happy. The next day (today) I try again and a jackhammer type noise starts creeping into my head. I pull over to try to figure out what the **** is making such a racket and I discover that the actual engine casting has cracked where the front engine mount bolts screw into the engine. Not only did it crack but it cracked in half and broke off! The bolt had nothing to hold onto so it jumped ship too. The noise I was hearing was the engine jackhammering my frame. It was barely holdin on to my bicycle! I don't know how I made it home without the entire engine falling off but I did. I can't ride it anywhere now. To add insult to this already expensive injury the infamous "leaky gas cap" has stained and ruined my sun cruiser paint job. I'm glad I took the time to try to make it look nice. So what's next??? I can't rely on this to get me anywhere, ESPECIALLY school or a job (the main 2 reasons I got into this hobby). If I don't totally break down I'll be filty with grease and covered in leaky gas by the time I get there. I'd rather sweat and pedal! My bicycle engine honeymoon is over and the big question for me has been answered. Reliable transportation? No. All my parts and enthusiasm I left on the side of A1A. Feel free to use them for your own bicycle and ego repairs. Good luck to all of you, hopefully you'll have better luck than I did.

  2. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Pat, im sorry to hear about all of your bad luck. I guess all I can say is if you ever decide to get back into motoredbiking, save up until you can get the GEBE set up. If you need dependability, that will be your ticket to sanity. Good luck from here on out....graucho
  3. Dub

    Dub Guest

    second that

    Do it right with the GEBE. It has it's own idiosyncrasies but it IS reliable transportation. Save the money, read all you can on this board about them and get back out on the road.
    I commute 12 miles round trip almost every day on my tanaka 40cc. Others are going much further. The only maintenance I do is when I choose to add or change something on my bike. It definitely has payed for itself.


  4. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Like the others have said, there are MUCH more dependable kits out there. You get what you pay for !
  5. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Most of us DO have the HT motor setup, and with a little patience and willingness to fix the **** ONE TIME, things can be good.

    There's some good info on this site. Maybe just put the bike away for a bit and read, then decide if you want to give it up that quickly.

    I live down south in Boynton Beach, and have had my share of pains getting started, too...and you do get what you pay for, but on the other hand, I have been using my bike as my main vehicle to commute to work every day, and I'm saving a ton of gas money, too.

    I don't show up to work smelly or greasy - trust me - these bikes are great once you work out the bugs.

    If you really want to get rid of it, I'd be interested in buying your motor for the spare parts...PM me.

  6. starkm32

    starkm32 Member

    Sorry that the substandard exports from Xnese based factories got to you, and lost us a member.

    The trend is a viable one, with demands for better quality from consumers, the need for quality control should become transparent in a competing market.

    In the meantime you may want to reconsider, as gas prices slither to new heights!;)

    Best wishes, in a flagging economy.
  7. Bummer About your Experience.

    I would agree not all people Will benefit from A motorized Bike If they have no mechanical ability or the patience maintaining the problems that may come about.

    At least you tested the waters and now have a new story to tell.


  8. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    Aw, Pat, don't conclude it all based on some cheap kit engine. This is a good lesson for those starting it right the first time and get a quality kit with a quality engine.
  9. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Could not have been said better !!
  10. Dub

    Dub Guest

    his engine cracked on day 3. no amount of ability or patience could help that one.

  11. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    That's a very sad tale Pat and you don't need to tell me what sort of engine you had. I guessed it from the first sentence. The 4-strokes aren't like that and you can get reliability from them.
  12. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    But let's all be honest...the motto here is: YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO TURN A WRENCH. Period. Even with the best kits...if it's not the motor, then the bike itself may need seems to me that there is always "something" to do...but for me that's good - it makes it a hobby.

    I ride my bike to work just about every day, so you CAN make it reliable. It's all in how you look at it. For comparison, I went to a motorcycle shop a few weeks want a brand new Suzuki 250cc cruiser type bike? $3200....and you get total reliability. We are paying less than 10% of that to motorize a vehicle meant for humans, not machines, to power. You must be reasonable and expect to do maintenance and up-keep.

    Again, for me, it's fun and relaxing...
  13. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I rode my HT to work every day too Marktur but I needed 3 engines at home to ensure one always was good enough to get me there. More than once I got home late at night with bust piston rings, stuffed bearings, broken mountings, a dozen other serious things and I'd pull one engine out anf slot in the next get a few hours sleep and go to work next day. It's a lot more than turning a wrench. Since early May I've gone over to 4-strokes. I don't need 3 engines to get to work anymore and I can get home and not do major bike surgery. Now tell me which one is cheaper cos within a month the 4-stroke had outstripped the 2-stroke and it is far far cheaper in the long run. I use much less fuel, don't buy silly amounts of expensive synthetic 2-stroke oil and I get to work in 30 minutes when it used to take 55 mins cos it's faster and doesn't have to stop for a cool down. The HTs are not about resonable maintenance and upkeep. They are about unreasonable maintenance and unreasonable upkeep and expense caused by a shoddy product that sells for $250 when it's actually worth practically nothing. It's the bad dentistry versus good dentistry argument and bad dentistry is actually very expensive.
  14. GasKicker

    GasKicker Member

    I agree totally with Marktur. You have to expect to turn a wrench.
    I think we all probably had failures on our first build. Just not quite as catastrophic as the one you describe. I still have minor issues creeping up on all of my bikes. It's part of the learning process. You eventually learn "do's and don'ts".
    I've been lucky so far and haven't had to push my bike very far. If a failure like yours had occurred, I would have probably given up on the idea.

    Good luck Pat.
  15. Yes I agree with Mark. EVERY TIME YOU RIDE you need to be holding a wrench and make sure that everything is tight. Roll your bike back and forth to ensure your tensioner is straight,check your chain tension. Check your head bolts that they are not loose. Don't have to torque them every day. Just check that they are not loose. And don't run over 20 mph unless you are a seasoned bike mechanic and a piston and ring swap every couple of thousand miles is no big deal for you.
    Even my rack mount I'm always checking my bolts. It's been a casual thing for I rarely find anything wrong except for a chain that needs adjusting and when that truck hit me everything went out of wack but it's fixed now except for a rim that's slightly bent bike is still ridable but that annoying bend I'm not very good at spoke adjusting and I just can't get it perfect but I can still ride.
    I plan on some heavy duty jobbers. Hopefully I can get a freewheel flip flop hub for it too.
    It's like when you fly a plane. Before you fly there are checks to be made.
    Do this every day and you're golden.
    As long as you own your motored bike,I don't care what you have,you'll always need to tinker with it and you need to get in the habit of checking your bike before you ride.
    Alignment is probably the single most important thing to check daily. I don't care if you have a chain,belt or even a friction drive. (friction drive check for tension and yes,your alignment can go off on these too.)
  16. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    That's crazy - 3 motors? 55 minute run to work? The first thought I have is how fast are you going? How is your bike geared? Are you running it full throttle to get there faster?

    I think maybe you would be better off with a scooter or car for that big of a daily commute, maybe? I ride about 5 miles each direction to work...that's not bad at all, and if the motor dies, I know I'm not THAT far from home or the office...but 55 minutes? That's pretty far of a stretch - and I can certainly understand your need for reliability. Now that you have a good motor (what did you get anyway?), you should still concern yourself with the BIKE. I'm not sure it would be a fair statement to say that bikes are made to handle this job at all...but at the same time, I was watching the "Tour" last night for a bit, and they were averaging over 25 MPH...but then again, they were also on $5000+ sponsered bikes. THOSE should be pretty dang reliable, but now you're in that Motorcycle is smarter for the money area again...

    I dunno, I'd be wary of such a long ride. I would also make sure I geared down my bike, so that it's happy cruising at the speed you want to go, and I hope that's UNDER 30mph.

    Large is right - 20mph and the motor should chug along forever until it's out of fuel...
  17. spunout

    spunout Member

    question to the OP:...where did you purchase your kit? name? ebay?
  18. stringer

    stringer New Member

    I will never buy a chinese engine kit. Seems like such a hassle, unless you enjoy being a mechanic as a 2nd job.

    The japanese are so much cooler than the chinese. The Japanese are like cool action hero dudes that make awesome stuff and have a buncha swords. And the chinese are a buncha punks that need to get punched. :evil:
  19. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Mark, I nursed my bikes like babies but I had to use them a lot and they got worse as the quality fade kicked in on the HTs from 2007 onwards. I NEVER go at full revs except up hills. I run each engine in for 500kms at a boring 23 km\hr. I used synthetic oil fuel mix and white lithium grease in the gears. Those engines found the long 25 km run to work too much even though I stopped every 20 - 30 mins for a 10 minute cool down. But with the HuaSheng 4 stroke it can run all day at 28 mph and keep cool. The Honda is even better from what I hear. Some of the parts are that same old HT rubbish quality but the engine and Grubee gearbox are definitely very good value. I use a 48T sprocket which lets the bike cruise at 30 mph with a bit still left but 28 mph is very quiet. If my motor ever does seize I will live to tell the tale thanks to a freewheel drive sprocket. I had an HT seize and it threw me off before I could twist the clutch in (I used a twist clutch). I could have easily been killed. HTs were never OK but the later ones got really shoddy. I don't really like the environmental aspect of 2-stroke engines although I miss the pulling power on hills. The Honda motors are very cheap in the US - you can get them for US$220 and we have to pay US$475 here in Australia. You guys have all the good bikes as well to choose from and some of your US 4-stroke kits are great value for the quality. Here's a picture of my bike. I'd love springer forks but I can't get any to fit my 7" long head tube. It's a 1&1/8" diameter tube as well which doesn't help matters. The rigid forks give the engine tray a terrible beating on country roads.

    Attached Files:

  20. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    To PatNoPed -- sounds like this was A SAD SETUP that someone sold you -- at least for someone who does NOT want to be repairing things all of the time !!! There were days in the past when fixing things was not a big deal for me - today - I ONLY WISH TO RIDE !!! Many Blessings sent from - Mountainman