Happy Time electric starter/generator Question...

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by jamesburr36, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    Just out of curiosity, how many here would be interested in a electric starter/generator for the HT engines?

    I'm building a new bike and have decided to buy a freewheel sprocket hub for the engine. Every once in awhile I do like to actually pedal the bicycle but h*ll the resistance from the engine chain and clutch can sometimes be too much. The problem with this is I will not be able to pedal start the engine any more so I ordered a pull starter. That was before I read all those horror stories about the d*mn thing breaking relatively quickly.

    So I've been studying a way to make an electric starter that would be no bigger mounted on the engine than the pull starter. With the added benefit of the starter motor becoming a generator once the engine starts I will be able to with the aid of a controlling circuit charge a battery at 13.8 volts and run a real set of lights and turn signals and horn.

    My goal is to make it safer for me to ride on the streets. I ask the question because if this works well for me I would be willing to make kits, starter, lights, batteries, and etc. to sell to others but only if there is a market for such.



  2. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    I would be interested in this if you could do it and set it up for resale....

    I think moreso for the generator part of this and being able to run better lights at night!

    Please let us know how you are progressing with this...
  3. JE

    JE Guest

    Good Idea but as soon as you put a Electric starter on it"s no longer considered a bicycle. You would have to license it as a Motorcycle.
  4. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel Member

    While you are at it I guess that it would apply to the 4 cycle engines also? I would say you would have an eager market, especially for the lighting part. Go for it!

    JE, I have never read anywhere that an electric starter would classify a MAB as a moped, only restrictions on engine size/wattage, top speed and the ability to actually pedal using human power? That would put an idea like ibdennyak's generator and sky4lrks projects out of bounds? If you can dig up the ruling on that to share it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  5. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    In California a starter makes no difference. The fact that it has an engine is all it takes to be considered a motor-driven bicycle. I figure the CHP police would be thrilled to see me set up with the proper lighting and a horn though.

    I guess it depends on where you live.

  6. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    I don't have a 4 cycle engine to adapt one to. Just a happy time thingy. If there was enough of a demand for a starter for this motor I would invest in a 4 cycle engine to adapt as well.
  7. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    Hold on here.... in the beautiful state of South Carolina, a bicycle is just a bicycle and not to be considered any other motorized concept by nature.

    I am still VERY much interested in this!
  8. levsmith

    levsmith Member


    yeah i am very interested. it would be nice to have proper lights. have you started developing it yet? i think you would have alot of people interested in this.
  9. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    In the planning stage. Looking for parts and suppliers. I'm hoping to have a working prototype in 3 weeks or so considering I'm doing this in my spare time. I'm also doing a complete overhaul of my HT in preparation to install on a new beach cruiser bike.

    I'll keep posting my progress.

  10. QuadManiac

    QuadManiac Member

    I bought this electric starter for a pocket bike the other day on ebay for $13 + shipping (see links), with the intent of doing the same thing. Sure couldn't pass it up at that price.

    It arrived today, and I have yet had time to determine whether I can adapt it or not. I will have to come up with a way to tie the crankshaft to a keyed shaft needed for this starter/generator, but I don't expect it to be too hard. It's pretty close to the overall size of my pull starter. I'll keep you all posted on my success or failure, lol.

    BTW, i had the pull start rope break on mine within 2 weeks... but replacing it with 1/8" nylon rope from Home Depot seems to have done the trick.


    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  11. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    Thanks for posting that Ebay link. It's $10 cheaper than the one I was looking at. This is the same starter motor that I was planning on adapting to my engine. It also works as a generator since it has permanent magnets in it. After doing some research I found the starter solenoid and the rectifier/regulator that goes with this motor.

    I don't see any reason why I can't make it work with a lot of effort. As for the kit I want to make, well, It's going to take longer than the 3 weeks I thought because I deciced to fabricate all the lights and some switches myself. It will save me a lot of money in the long run to make my own parts rather than buy them elsewhere. Besides that I can create a style all my own to match the retro look of this beach cruiser. Fun project.

    I'll keep posting progress.

  12. QuadManiac

    QuadManiac Member

    Great! Can you tell me where you found the starter, the solenoid and the rec/reg?

    Although any solenoid and rec/reg from a motorcycle, quad, etc. should work, and many are avalable used on eBay at very reasonable prices, I'd like to see what was intended for this particular unit. Of course, at our relatively low current requirements, it may be easy to use an off the shelf electronic regulator - 5A and up devices are cheap and readily available.

    BTW, This motor is brushed, so it should just require a regulator, not a rec/reg... though adding the diodes for the rectifier isn't going to hurt anything, other than reducing the idle output voltage a bit. Being brushed, however, i worry some about it's longevity. Most bikes these days use a fixed stator and rotating magnets - no sliding contacts. These DO require a rectifer because they generate AC. Our brushed units will just generate a DC voltage that's a function of engine RPM. Being brushed is an issue only due a finite lifetime on the brushes themselves. There's a reason all vehicles went to an alternator back in the late 60's - generator brush life. Although i expect with the mileage we put on our MB's we can expect a long life compared to a normally driven automobile.

    The other issue is that this motor/generator's stator has a rather large rotating mass, so it's going to act as an additional flywheel. We'll have to see what, if any, problems that presents once it's installed.

    Please post a link to what you have found so far, so we can compare notes?

  13. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    I was just poking around the web looking at parts distributors. Here is one site with the cheapest parts for pocket super bikes --> http://www.bensfineart.com/category0024-electronics.html and another --> http://www.scooterparts4less.com/FS529A_4Stroke_bike_parts.htm . Here is a terrible but only version of the super poket bike wiring schematic --> http://www.rnrfabrication.com/Wiring Diagrams/X1-pocketbike-wiring.pdf . I'm assuming the 'manostat' is the rectifier/regulator. It appears the rectifier and regulator are built into the same 4 pin component yet the schematic shows 3 connections to it. I'm still digging around for info on this. Will keep posting as I find it.

  14. QuadManiac

    QuadManiac Member

    Ground is common in this case, so two of the pins will be connected together - the negative rectifier input and the negative regulator output.

    At those prices - 10 for the rec/reg and 15 for the soleniod, i don't think we can do too much better on used ebay parts. Now the only issue is mounting and a driveshaft.
  15. jamesburr36

    jamesburr36 Member

    I figured it would be a fun project. Eventually I'll get it together.

    My problem seems to be that the more I think about doing this the more cr@p I want to add on. Soon it will be too complex and expensive to do if I don't control myself.

    Oh well. Got to start somewhere.
  16. QuadManiac

    QuadManiac Member

    Man, I agree with you there. It started out - WOW! Only $129 for an engine kit... then i got the cent clutch and pull start add on - now $169... then i got the Sick Bike Parts shift kit - another $199... then some new linear pull brakes - $45... assorted tools and freewheels and helmet and gloves and repair stand - another $200+... now I'm lookin at shock forks and other goodies, lol.

    Oh, well... it's kept me busy while the weather is too hot in the desert to ride quads. That's worth every penny and I've had a blast doing it. And I'm having a lot of fun riding now with a 5 speed tranny in total comfort.

    Could spend it on a lot of worse things.