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Honda GX160 5.5HP Beach Cruiser Build


New Member
Nov 29, 2015
My Project
I'm starting my 4th gas bike build. I had originally planned to do a 79cc predator build. But, I saw someone had just done a well documented build and what the hell go big or go home, right?
The engine
I picked up a Honda GX160 5.5HP engine with electric start, for 80 bucks. It starts first pull. Weighs 32lbs with the tank, exhaust (not using either) runs perfect.
I was looking for a Honda 100 for the weight and size but I couldn't turn down this deal and electric start which means it has at least a 50watt coil for lights and other stuff.
The Bike
today I picked up an older heavy beach cruiser all steel (so I can weld without argon :) for 40 bucks. Not sure how old it is, but it has the old style shifter, and brakes.
The plan
So nothing is "set in stone" regarding the construction. 90% chance this is going to be a rear/rack mount. This is due to personal preference, crotch heat, and most importantly I don't think the damn thing would fit in the vee.
In my head the plan is a custom rear mount( I'm going to brace the frame up a bit, nothing to ugly but I want to add some steel) to a knockoff TAV2 torque converter. This will then go to a jack shaft or straight to a China kit sprocket. In the future I want to do a shift kit but that's to much to get into right now and this will be a great foundation.
I have the:
The bike
Honda engine
All the steel dor mounts and plates
Ordered (tav2 torque converter)
I need:
sprocket and rim mount
Throttle cable
Any advice on what size sprocket (rim mounted) I should try first? I'm thinking a 34 tooth
Here's a link to the torque converter I bought. It comes with 2 sprockets.
Please chime in with experience, advice, suggestions.
Yes a 160 is probably overkill but keep in mind I'm 6' 5" 250lbs so those horses won't go to waste
image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg



Sep 17, 2013
Back in the day I attempted as my first build such a bike before I had ever seen a motorized bicycle or heard of a Whizzer. Materials included a 26 inch frame, 20 inch rear wheel and having a local machine shop shorten the one piece crank by cutting and rethreading. I did not not do welding and instead bolted aluminum over the rear tire as a mount. The engine was about a 3 hp cast iron. I did not finish the build with the main reason being the mount was far away from being or staying ridged enough. Using a 20 inch rear tire reduced the center of gravity, but not enough from being too top heavy for a kick stand. I could suggest using a step through frame like a early European Tomos. It appears Honda engines use a pulse pump for the fuel allowing the tank to be mounted below the carb which may help if a frame mounted tank is desired.

As a 4th build, where you stand with local laws must be apparent. Wisconsin probably would allow it with a 30 mph limit. Illinois would likely issue a ticket as a overpowered motorized bicycle.


New Member
Nov 29, 2015
The mount does scare me a little but I have faith I can get it more than strong enough. Maybe not the prettiest design but I think it will hold. I can't start mocking things up until I get the CVT in a week or so.
Regarding the laws. In California I believe its illegal unless I register it (because it's WAY over 49cc) but
I have my CA Motorcycle License (M1)
So I should be able to get away with it. If I have to I could go through the hassle of registering it with the DMV( which is possible, I have seen a plated China girl b4)
And yea your dead on with the center of gravity but nothing I can do but run a center/motorcycle kickstand. I don't think it will be to big of issue.

Anyway hopefully the CVT comes early so I can start on the mount.


Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2007
Yea it was hopeful wishing lol
I abandoned a "V-twin" pocket bike(pb) engine project years ago.
I just couldn't find a cruiser bike w/multi-speed and a midframe large enough to fit 2 pb engines.
Then I found the Sixthreezero bike and the "V-twin" project is on again.i
My prayers were answered. It has a massive midframe area.[


Well-Known Member
May 6, 2020
If anyone goes this route,,, order tubing ment for bikes...

You can get it from a supplier in the USA and its very affordable,,, it normal comes in shorter section's...

There is a raft of different sizes,,, shapes,,, and steel's to choosen from...

This is only 1 of many supplier's that can sell us all kinds of varieties of frame building components... 👍

For those that choose too go this route...

Nova Cycles Supply Inc. > Catalog https://www.cycle-frames.com/