Having 2nd thoughts about my purchase

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Mary, Sep 19, 2007.

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  1. Mary

    Mary Guest

    I bought a Tanaka 40cc engine kit from GEBE recently. I haven't used the engine yet.

    My car is in a local college auto body shop Mon-Th. each week which leaves me wheel-less for a while. Also with the rising gas prices I thought it would be great not to be chained to the high-and-getting-higher-prices.

    Well, I think I made a mistake in buying a bike engine in the first place. Out of necessity, I have been riding my bike staying on sidewalks as I live in Orange County, CA

    It's just plain dangerous to ride in the streets. I have just discovered that there are one helluva lot of obstacles on the sidewalks. Light posts, bus benches, fire hydrants, utility boxes (big ones), pedestrians, trees with areas underneath that one needs to safely navigate past, cars coming out of driveways, etc.

    The area that I live in is congested with fast moving traffic, crazy drivers and one needs a car because this area is so widely spread out.

    After riding today, I just cannot see how it would work to add the engine to the bike. I have to stay totally focussed on my riding and riding slow. Like I said, I bought the Tanaka 40cc engine. Yikes. BEFORE I use this engine, anyone with experience with it know just how slow it will go??

    Any comments from people who ride their motorized bikes in urban jungles??



  2. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member


    imo, you may have gotten too big of an engine, maybe the 25cc would have been sufficient?

    The 33 seems equal to the 40, and is quieter.

    My est. of rider weights 25cc up to 230 pounds, 33cc for the bigger crowd.

    40cc is for special applications. Some people like the largest size, but I'll stay with offering either the 25 or 33.

    As to speed, it's a bike, if your brakes are good, thottle off and you can stop pretty quick, and it can move as slow as you like, often, coasting slowly into a stop, i'm moving slow enough to "just" keep from putting feet on the ground.

    Snailpace, in other words. The lowest drivegear would give you acceleration, not speed.

    I've tackled some urban situations, as a stranger, and the whole trick is finding shortcuts, routes a few blocks over from the main avenues, but in the same direction. My brother could zip around his nearby city faster on the bike than in a car, he claimed.

    On those straps, I put long zip ties in combo with the strap, it acts like a shock absorber, prevents engine slide back.

    If the L bracket is put on the far side of a fender brace, that's what it was really designed for originally. If you drill a hole in the frame, tap a mounting bolt to hold the L, make sure you Loctite Blue the mounting bolt.

    Then the zip ties are double protection. :cool:
  3. Dude. Ride the bike trails. If the cops complain,they give you a warning. Most cops won't complain. It's a motor assist bike,but still a bicycle.
    Remember that your engine is there for hills and straights so that you don't need to pedal. Downhills you can shut her down and coast. Pedal some when your on a bike trail and you see a cop and that cop will see that your not letting your engine do all the work and won't think any different.
    Right now we are a rare breed so map out your destination and pick all the school zones,four way stops and bike trails you can find and have some fun!
  4. npk1977

    npk1977 Guest

    1) It's illegal to ride on sidewalks. (and it's not as safe as the street, believe it or not.)
    2) If you feel uncomfortable biking on the street, and there are no side-streets you can take, then
    3) Return the engine :)

    Though I feel comfortable on my bike in santa cruz, which is a sleepy little town, there are definitely places I would *not* feel comfortable on a motorbike. OTOH, when I first started biking i was *Really* nervous. Perhaps you can overcome your fear, the way I have..?

    Good luck! We'll support you either way :)
  5. When your on the street,wiggle that handlebar. That will alert cagers that you may be inexperienced and will give you some room.
    I mean if you were on a pedal bike with no engine,don't they still give you room?
  6. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I have an advantage, out in the middle of nowhere, folks can demo ride a half hour, ideas naturally run thru their minds as they get more adjusted...

    Any new rider, especially in high traffic areas, might be advised to do the build at a friends house on the outskirts of town, be able to get acquainted with the possibilities and modifications (better mirror, moving the handlebars, adding more lights) WITHOUT automobiles scaring the daylights out when they pass.

    I guess thats my only shortcoming, letting a car pass me without me seeing the approach in my mirror, it sometimes causes a little "heart skipping beat" moment.

    Familiarity breeds success.
  7. twinkiex

    twinkiex Guest

    I ride in Tucson, AZ and I too understand how dangerous all the obstacles are. I pretend like I am an invisable ninja princess and no one can see me, that way I dont get mad as often, and if I do almost get hit by some jerk its MY fault for not assumeing he is a blind idiot.
    There is no more danger in riding a mb that rideing a regular bike. The only differance is you dont peddle as much and the long stretches of road are more fun.
  8. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    if you can find someplace to get used to the machine, you'll come to appreciate the ability to scoot out of situations...you don't have to see it as having more speed so much as having more power...if you choose to try to ride it out, we will support you, no doubt :cool:
  9. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Mary, are you allowed to ride with the traffic instead of the sidewalks?
  10. japat100

    japat100 Guest

    how much longer can it go on ,,gas prices could be $10 a gallon ,, the air is not fit to breath ,,lines up traffic bumper to bumper , and for every ton of vehicle it carry one person to work ,,
    the horse and wagon onces ruled the road ,people were happy ,they were not in any hurry , there were no drive by shootings , there were no head on collision ,,

    there are more bicycle then cars ,we deserve are own lane ,no cars , ,and as soon as government wake up and have a lane for bicycle and mb ,,,, the bicycle will rule just like the horse and wagon ,,it has to happen ,and it will happen ,

    government should stop trying do ban mb and do all they can to encourage bicycle and small 49 cc mb , ,,, so we don"t all choke to death on the air we breath

    we need our own lane and 90 percent of the population agree ,.,so why not ??
    cars and bicycle don"t mix .. car traffic would decrease by 25 percent ,save the planet
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2007
  11. yeah get off the sidewalks it is illegal.
  12. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    A soon as we have enough members to go to congress then maybe we will stand a chance. Cmon Tom and Augie. Get us some more stickers. The new fancy ones!
  13. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    Hi Mary,

    Welcome to the group :)

    There isnt that much difference riding a cyclemotor as to riding a cycle.

    The thing is that you need to learn confidence. I was lucky with that I guess as I have ridden alot in my years - and university towns are among the most lethal in the UK...lol

    It does sound like you brought something overpowered, the first few times I have been out on the bike I did very short runs on quiet roads, getting used to the machine...

    good luck & happy buzzing...

    Jemma xx
  14. Mary

    Mary Guest

    Yes, but I think it's very dangerous.

    (This reply is in response to doc's post about riding with the traffic being legal.) Being legal doesn't mean much if you're hit by a careless driver.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2007
  15. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Mary, if you were to get lots of reflectors and lights, you would be as safe or safer than most motorcycles and if you are talking about city traffic you should be just fine as long as they can see you well.
    You should even get a bright windbraker jacket to wear.
  16. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    You have the power to decide how fast or slow your car goes, so you also have the power to control how fast your bike goes, especailly once you are familiar with it. The two major roads by my house never have bikes on them, it's just too dangerous. The corner curbs all now have the wheel chair acessable ramp, but it points directly at the street and has curbs on both sides instead of those nice wide smooth radial ramps. I'd break my neck trying to get on the sidewalk. I spent a Saturday afternoon getting used to my bike, discovering the city I live in in a whole new way, and finding the side streets with less traffic, and fewest stop signs.
    Even going slow you are going faster than most "cagers" expect so you have to drive defensively.
    will they let you exchange it for a smaller one?
  17. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Thanks alot Scottm for scaring the bajeebers out of her!
    She needs a little confidence and practice. Even if she was driving a V8 MB, it still falls in the catagory of throttle and brakes.
    It's just a little time to get used to it.
    Take it out in the country and have some fun until you feel comfortable on it.
    Doc's Best to ya
  18. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    My most sincere apologies if I frightened anyone. I would never want to spook someone off from the love of motored bikes. It's more than transportation, it's a blast. I never the knew the impact this would have on an old TV junkie. Now TV is boring and all I want to do is ride my bike and learn more.
    You'll do fine Mary, be patient and get comfy with your bike.
  19. kevbo

    kevbo Guest

    Think hard about your choice of routes. The busiest streets are busy because that is the best way for CARS to travel. When you are not driving a car, there are likely better routes to use.
  20. twinkiex

    twinkiex Guest

    Seriously, now that I have a mb I cannot understand why everyone doesnt. My bike is ideal for short trips and uses just drops of gas per trip.
    You can ride with traffic in your area. I do it all the time here on the city one way streets and streets without a bike lane. Consider alterate routes to your destinations with less traffic.