Hi, I'm planning a huge adventure, please help!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by crowley1027, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Hey everyone, my name is Nate. I'm a less than successful 21-year old, who doesn't have too much going for him except his intellect. I am going to move to California, where I have a room in my brother's house, free of charge. I contemplated the methods of going from here in Westerly, RI to California, and I've settled on the idea of using a gas-powered bicycle to do a coast to coast trip. I don't want to get into all the details, because you'll see the whole thing in movie theaters soon (;))

    I need all the help I can get as far as the bicycle and engine go. I have a...*runs to check what kind of bike*...A mongoose cambridge. First thing I should know is -- should I get another bike? The triangle hole in the frame measures 12" vertically, and 24" diagonally; is that big/good enough for most engines? I could have a friend cut / weld a new bar in.

    Now, the most difficult part: Engine/drivetrain.

    What engine? What size? What mounting style? What modifications? What about using two or three sprockets and a shifter assy on the other side to have a wider range of power?

    I need to know it all -- remember, I'll be putting 3000 miles or so onto this engine, so I need a good, reliable, long lasting engine and parts. I'll carry a whole bunch of internal/external parts with me in case of failure.
    --what parts would be most likely to fail/which parts should I bring extra?

    For legal issues, let's pretend this is all hypothetical so you can tell me what engines I "could" use, instead of what engines I can't since they are illegal.

    Any questions, feel free to ask -- Bashing is welcome, since whatever you have to say could be used in an educational way to me.

    Thanks everyone who helps - Maybe I'll stop and see you on my way to California!
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

  2. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Bump? Nobody has anything to say? :-(
  3. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    How exciting!:bowdown:

    I dream about riding my motorized bicycle from coast to coast. I KNOW my Tanaka 47R engine could make the trip. The bike would PROBABLY last with tire/tube changes. My tank holds four liters, or 4.24 quarts. At 100mpg, that'd be less than $125 for gas and oil. Every part on my bike is reasonably priced.

    My extra parts list would include foldable tires and air pump, HD tubes, left foot pedal, 18 oz of engine oil. My tool bag would be full. I'd prolly install panniers and front and rear racks.

    I run a Scooterguy center-frame mount and a shift kit to connect to an 8-speed rear cassette. I highly recommend this setup. You could buy the frame-mount from Dax and the shift kit items from SBP. I bought the sprockets and chain on ebay. Staton makes a good rear chain drive, but it's a bear to change the rear tire.

    JMO, if you're new to motorized bicycles, I wouldn't recommend the Chinese Happy Time engine. I'd choose a Japanese engine, like Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Tanaka.

    Unsure if I'd camp out, sleep at friends' homes or in motels.

    Can you post your route, so members along your way can ride with you a distance? With 26,000 members on this forum, many of them would like to meet you along the way.

    Sounds like an awesome adventure. Give yourself 30 days or more to get there.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  4. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    My entire budget is somewhere between 1600-2000, and that includes everything; I only have the bike right now. I need a tent, engine kit, mods, and various ****.

    Yes, I will be camping, because I don't have friends coast to coast.

    Can somebody fill me in on some engines that I could purchase? I was just going to go with a HT engine, shift kit, and some replacement parts for the HT...
  5. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    yeah, you definitely want a shift kit unless you want to go mad at how slow 25mph feels while you have a zillion miles yet to go.
  6. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    This adventure is easily financed at $1600-$2000, if the bike you have is up to the task.

    Which bike are you using? I'd make sure it had a front suspension fork, and buy a seat suspension with a nice, comfortable seat. You'll be spending a LOT of time in the saddle. Members who've traveled thousands of miles mentioned flat tires, many of them. Besides extra tubes, i'd bring along a bunch of patches. Backpack, of course, with a medical emergency kit.

    Heck, the best advice I can give you is to research "Bamabikeguy". Before he passed away, he logged thousands of miles riding his MB across the U.S. and shared the information and experience with this forum.

    Keep in touch along the ride. Many of us will be following you. Some will try to meet up and ride a few miles alongside you.

    Too bad the Happy Time engine wasn't more dependable. I'd carry a spare engine, already broken in. And two good spare chains with master links and a chainbreaker.

    Road trippppppp!!!!!!!
  7. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan New Member

    5-7 won't steer you wrong. He's been playing with various motor/drivetrain combinations for years.
    I have a few bikes, and the most reliable motors I've got are a Mitsubishi TLE 43, and a Lifan (Honda clone). Both have several thousand miles on them. I haven't even ridden my HT w/shift kit in over a year.
    If you want a taste of what crossing the country on a bike can be like, read threads started by Uncle_punk13 , and by Bamabikeguy. They've both done some serious traveling.
    For spare parts, I'd recomend a fuel filter, and extra sparkplug.
  8. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    The only things unreliable about the Grubee engine is the CDI and bolts/nuts and sometimes the carb. Replace those and everything is fine. I ride mine almost every day and it has been super reliable. Flats are the only thing that plague me so I should get a tire with steel wire bead and kevlar. Amazon sells one that I will get if I can find one with the right width: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-26-Inch-Comfort-Bike-KEVLAR/dp/B0012RJSXK/ref=pd_sbs_sg4
    Having a stock CDI, which puts way too much ignition advance at high rpm's, and riding a long time at peak rpm's like you plan to do will almost guarantee piston seizure if the jetting isn't rich enough (but then you get too much carbon on the spark plug and it needs to be replaced at intervals. and it runs crappie).
  9. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Jaguar: Using the right sized sprockets, I could keep engine revs down to a minimum, correct? I don't mind pedaling, so I could have a huge sprocket for just low rev cruising on flat ground, a tiny sprocket for hills, and the inbetweens!

    Or no?
  10. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Sounds VERY cool.
    A HT engine MIGHT make it, But a decent 4 stroke would be more reliable. I always use the 66/80cc HT engines, but I'm not trying to ride it almost 3000 miles in one shot. If you DO go with the HT, go ahead and get the 66/80cc (and a shift kit.) There's really no way for a cop to tell the difference. It has a little more "get up" and if EVER asked just say," Why yes officer, It IS a 49cc. To prove otherwise he would have to pull the head off on the side of the road. There are ways to tell the difference, ( round head, square head,) but he would have to be a MB expert to know this. I've been doing this for over five years and not one problem. They don't even think to ask about CC's.
    Your other problem is gonna be MOUNTAINS. I'm not talking just some hills, I'm talking something that goes up and up and up, ect,ect,ect. Thats where your gonna need a good 4 stroke with a shift kit. The problem there is I've never seen anything bigger than a 49cc in a 4 stroke for bicycles.
    And, Unless your gonna go 2,500 miles with a 60lb back pack on, I suggest you also build yourself a trailer. But that's the easy part.
    It seems you have some decisions to make. 2 stroke,(cheaper to build, more power, less reliable.) / 4 stroke( more money to build, less power, more reliable.) A spare 2 stroke engine is only $90.00 or thereabouts and only weighs about 18lbs. A spare 4 stroke is a lot more money and a little more weight. (just a suggestion.) So, not only do you have spare parts, you could switch out engines in case of a MAJOR blown engine.
    It's a long, long way to go on a motorized, But it also sounds like a lot of fun. If I were a little younger I'd ride it with ya. And, Oh yeah, Get a VERY, VERY comfortable seat, Lots of spring and padding.
    Big Red. AKA fatdaddy.
  11. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Shift kit. About $150.00, is the way to go. Saw one for sale cheaper than that on this site somewhere. And low rev cruising would be a smaller sprocket.
    Big Red.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  12. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Way too much trouble, changing sprockets. Best to have your engine set up for a broad powerband and gear it up a bit for decent top speed.
    Remember that these are small engines and with all two strokes the most power is had at top rpms. I would buy a 66/80cc engine and optimize the porting for a broad powerband. Also reduce engine vibration by adding or subtracting weight from the piston pin. For free, if you can give me all the exact measurements using a digital caliper, I would tell you how to change the ports using a Black&Decker rotary tool.
    Check out my web site to get an idea of these kind of changes. Unfortunately I have no experience on the 66cc, only the 48 and 55. But I have the formulas for exact calculations for porting that applies to any size engine.
    Also, save your back and make sure the handlebars are not low. Look at my bike on my site and see how I used an adjustable gooseneck to bring them up. I hate how the 10-speed posture became the fad for non-10speed bikes as well.
  13. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Out of sheer curiosity, why is it better to have an expanded chamber exhaust as opposed to a very short / no exhaust? Wouldn't it produce more power if the exhaust gasses escaped straight out of the head?
  14. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Big Red: I know/knew about the shift kit, I just didn't know if I could change my existing sprockets to enhance the efficiency of the power range.

    Jees, if someone has a HT engine laying around they'd like to throw me, I'll pay to have it shipped -- That'd be a mighty nice gesture ;)

    Haha, I think I have to wait at least 4 months before I decide to do this trip. Need to sell my car, most of all...I just don't want to wait! Haha
  15. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Theorizing is one thing but real live testing is it. Here's test results posted on my site. On my site is also info on the best mods to your present exhaust and how to make your own expansion chamber.

    On my 48cc engine that I slightly ported for a bit more top speed I compared the two exhausts on a steep short uphill (#1), a medium grade long uphill (#2), and on a long flat street. Below are the comparison results. My test engine uses the Jaguar CDI, standard head, 110psi cylinder compression, standard intake manifold, Dellorto 12mm carb, and is ported for exhaust/transfers/intake durations of 140/110/123 degrees. All tests are with the CDI optimized for best results.
    ______________Uphill #1___Uphill #2___flat street
    standard pipe___10.0mph___19.0mph____28.5mph
    torque pipe_____18.0mph___24.5mph____28.5mph
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Active Member

    Hey thanks Van.:grin5:

    I'm waiting for an ultra-dependable Happy Time engine to be made available.

    Or a V-twin!
  17. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Just replace the things I mentioned and you will have an ultra dependable engine.
    The Chinese will continue to be cheap. Don't wait on them.
  18. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

  19. crowley1027

    crowley1027 New Member

    Can I ask what makes a HT engine cheap? I've heard about the casting, casting marks, and poor quality, but specifically WHAT about it makes it inferior? and could ( like jaguar suggests ) it just be souped up with better parts to make it more reliable?
  20. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    They are cheap, get one and play with it and you will get an education.

    The only engines I would even consider to ride across the country
    would be 4 strokes.
    50 cc GXH Honda.
    35 cc GX Honda
    35 cc Robin Subaru
    50cc Huasheng Honda clone.

    I would use a quality gearbox by Staton or an EZ Motorbike Q matic.
    Maybe a Grubee 4G.

    The money you would save on 2 stroke oil and gas would
    pay for a HT engine and that isn't even considering all the
    repairs you wouldn't have to do.

    If you cut corners on your engine and bike you will pay for it later
    and the trip will never be finished.
    The guy who posted here trying to go coast to coast with a Chinese
    2 stroke never made it.

    High quality puncture proof tires like Schwalbe Marathons would
    keep you rolling. There was a family that biked across the country
    and they were continually replacing wheels and other bicycle parts.