Has anyone adapted motorcycle wheels onto bicycles?

Discussion in 'Performance Mods' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Oct 20, 2007.

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  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:my latest projects involve high horsepower and quickness. however, speeds will be kept below 30mph, for safety sake and because of lousy road conditions. that being said, i need wheels and tires that will promote a stable platform for my bicycles.

    has anyone adapted motorcycle or moped wheels onto bicycles? is it practical, or should i just stick to balloon tires?

    or maybe 4" STINGRAY wheels/tires front and rear?


  2. DougC

    DougC Guest

    The problem with the Stingray wheels is they're not built particularly strong, and there's only one source for tubes and tires.

    A lot of motorcycle and moped wire-spoked wheels are 36-spoke, which is a common bicycle count as well. Even many of the pre-WW I board-track era motorcycles used 36 spoke wheels, though some had 40 spokes instead. A motorcycle wheel shop can generally lace any rim to any hub you send them, if the two parts have the same number of spokes. Even just using spoked moped wheels would be WAY stronger than bicycle rims and hubs.

    Motorcycle/moped hubs can be driven a lot harder of course, but many have the chain drive on the left side (opposite a normal bicycle chain) so if you want to have (or are required to have) regular pedals, that may be a problem.
  3. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    If you have any fabrication skills and a welder, the beefier wheels should be used...at the least, on the rear. It should be VERY simple to adapt a motorcycle wheel to a bicycle.
  4. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:Thanks for tips.

    my original front fork is so flimsy, i can easily spread it by hand to install the front wheel. when i upgrade to stronger wheels and brakes, i'll change the fork.

    i have no welding skills, so i'll have to farm that work out.

  5. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    If you can afford 'em new or find 'em cheap I'd reccomend Worksman wheels. Heavy duty and in my opinion the best of both worlds, they'll bolt up with minimal modification! Moped grade wheel hoops with front drum brake and heavy duty coaster. I use 'em on the Whizzer and so far NOOO problems!
  6. OCC Schwinn wheels are super cheap so they are not very strong and not very round and the "wheel hop" starts at about 7-10 mph.
  7. Drill the hoops

    I wanted to do the same for braking advantages on MC wheels. By the time you buy bicycle components you will prob spend twice as much as high quality Japanese MC parts. (Honda) That being said, it is a lot easier to use bicycle stuff. They are a LOT smaller. Shop for the deals at your BIG local shop, Precision Bicycle is my fave here in Burned up Land. They always have opened product, returns, managers get rid of it stuff. I just bought a rear Hyd Hayes Dot 4 for 49.00 - 53 .00 out the door. It orig cost over 175.

    If you still want to do the MC parts - drill the 36 holes in your hoops to accept the spokes & be sober. I did it to my Whizz hub & it was fine.
  8. I've had great succes installing #10 or #9 gauge spokes in bicycle wheels, yes the hub and rim require drilling, but you can change the lace pattern to help strengthen the hub, pm me if you like and I can help you..... there's also buchaanans in cali, they can sell you spokes of most any size or length, but I would reffer to a pro for the drilling and assembly unless you reeeealy know what your doing.. it can be done with success, so enjoy those high speeds ....
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:Thanks for the heads up, Wheelmaster.it's good to know that 9-10g are available, and you can use the bicycle rim. i have HD hubs; i guess they can also be drilled out.

    i'll scrounge the 'net, look for 9g-10g spokes. then i'll contact my local bike shop, and see if they can do the spoke job.

  10. MC spokes

    Remember that when you get to the #10 gauge or bigger your probly looking to talk to someone in the motorcycle shop, your bike shop will scoff at you and say it can't be done.. best of luck on that baby !
  11. DougC

    DougC Guest

    I've been pondering the "next step", even though I've only gone on the first long test-ride of my motorized bike.

    I noticed that the 35cc engine at times really struggles--when starting up even minor hills, or into the wind, even if I pedal a bit to get it going. It only makes its full 1.6 HP at higher RPM's, and if it starts under a load it never gets into the higher RPM's. And I read the same kinds of remarks online when I look at user reviews of single-speed mopeds.

    Ideally I'd like more power (to allow a passenger and still move ~35 mph reliably) and an automatic transmission, to free up my engine placement possibilities. Adding much more power or a multi-speed transmission unit would put a lot more stress on the rear wheel.... so I think I'd want stronger wheels....

    For various reasons I don't like the affordable (-that is, Chinese or India) moped or scooter options. The mopeds are only built with around 50cc engines; the scooters go up to 250cc's but would be very tough to modify for 28" wheels, and the parts support of both leaves me wondering. Most places that sell you the mopeds and scooters don't keep any spare parts on hand, nor do they do service work at all. The Japanese mopeds and scooters are built very well and have good dealer and parts support--but they cost several times as much, making them impractical for my budget.

    I wasn't that interested in motorcycles at all until I looked at photos of a lot of antique motorcycles, and I had fun building what I have--but looking back at the amount of money that I spent building what I have now, I'm thinking that starting out with a suitable used Japanese motorcycle and modifying it wouldn't have cost a whole lot more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2007
  12. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    :cool:Yes, Doug, but what fun is that?

    you wouldn'y be interacting with us. you'd be on a Japanese motorcycle forum, saying "Why does my Yamaha wobble at 90mph?":grin:

  13. Worksman Wheels

    My local schwinn shop just closed thier (Shop) Buisiness. I was lucky enough to Sqeeze through the door and managed to get a pair of Worsmen Rims The front with the complete hub Brake Assembly. I have a 69' Schwinn Heavey Duti I Laced the back Worksman onto my bendix hub ***. Everyone wants to know how I put motorcycle wheels on my Bike Ha Ha thats how huge these bad boys are. they also accept up to 2.125 Tread which alone makes for a sturdier Donor. These wheels are touuuugh. And I wouldnt put 9 or 10 on these I ran 14 ga. on a GT w/69.7 cc for 2800 miles so far jump it every day and have only broken 6 spokes I mean I have hammered on.The only spokes that broke were due to my chain tensioner spinning in the spokes breaking one spoke and bening one spoke both times. each time I waited a couple of weeks and each time the pressure held on the exhisting spoeks over strained the one closest. other than that these DT 14 ga. are still on'er. But this new schwinn with them worksman oh Baby Is Sturdy.
  14. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member

  15. DougC

    DougC Guest

    One thing I would warn about the steel Worksman rims is, you cannot use any kind of rim brake with them. The edges (where the rim brake pads would normally rub) are rolled, they are not flat at all. So you're stuck using some kind of hub or disk brake.
    Worksman offers some aluminum rims that are optional, and I don't know if those accept rim brakes or not. There are other wider cruiser-bike rims around, if you would go to the effort of building your own wheels. You might have to drill the other rim's spoke holes out a bit to fit the Worksman 11gauge spokes through, but that shouldn't be real difficult even with a hand-drill.

    ...I have those rims on my (non-motor) recumbent bike, not because I ride it hard off-road, but just because I wanted wider-than-1" rims that preferably matched, and that was the least-expensive model that the shop found that came in both 20" (406mm) and 26" (559mm). Mine are called "BFR"s, which at the time stood for "Big Fat Rim".

    Also, I'd bet that a typical moped wheel would be considerably stronger than even a higher-end downhill MTB wheel. Even though they're not engineered for off-road use, moped wheels are still designed for heavier loads overall.
  16. augidog

    augidog New Member

    funny how i just saw this thread...for reference to what you'd wind up with.

    my "Sun Metal Products-1982" front drum seems to be a hefty steel bicycle rim laced to an as-yet-unidentified front drum...it's heavy, but it's a real wheel with a real brake & well worth the extra poundage.
  17. ihatemybike

    ihatemybike Member

    Just get some nice DH mountain bike rims. I use Sun Rhyno Lite XL rims for skatepark / dirt jump riding and really beat on my wheels.

    For tires look to the MTB urban freeride tires.
    Kenda K-Rad or Kiniption
    Maxxis Holy Roller or Hookworm
    Arrow Launch
    Tioga FS100
    DMR Moto R/T or Transition
    Halo Twin Rail
    Schwalbe Table Top or Big Apple
    Specialized Rhythm or Compound
  18. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    The Wheelmaster will lace 10 gage motorcycle spokes into bike rims/hubs. I chose the Sun BFR Mammoth rim with a Sturmey-Archer X-FDD Dyno-hub and the oversize spokes

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  19. bushido

    bushido Member

    ^ nice setup, how much did that run you?
  20. funker

    funker Guest

    It can be done,
    After a crash that i had on my first MB, I decided to give my bike "real brakes", so i went to the local motorcycle shop and i brought this complete wheel from a 110cc chinese cub motorcycle. The difference was extreme, not only in the stability of the braking power, but in the grip to the ground; even in rainy days the bike remained absolutely stable.
    I have to chop some metal from the fork and the brake plate on the wheel, but nothing big, just some minor adjustments to make it fit right. The fork it a bicycle one, and even after the crash, remained working fine, holding the almost 5Kg that weights the motorcycle front wheel.

    This is the picture of the bike with the wheel: