How Many Miles Did You Get On Happy Time before the times became unhappy ?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Mountainman, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    went into the search area -- didn't see anything

    question -- estimate of miles ridden on your Happy Time before breakdown

    type of breakdown -- rebuild or bought another ? cost to repair or replace ?

    I have ONLY ridden 3 different MBs with Happy Times now

    I find them interesting to say the very least

    for me they sure do not seem to be consistent in the way they run

    it seems kind of hard -- nailing it down -- how long do they usually run for ?

    I have heard of everything from 0 miles to 5 thousand miles before repairs needed

    how about you Happy Time riders -- care to share the HT experience ???

    not wishing to put down the HT engines
    let's face it -- for low cost of investment -- HTs = only MB engine just over 100 dollars
    for one's who like to tinker either a little or a lot -- HTs seem to be there for them also
    but -- it would be nice for new one's getting into MB riding
    to at least have an average of miles expected from these little 2-strokes ???

    ride the motor bike
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009

  2. macarollo

    macarollo Guest

    Mine broke many times. Some of that was due to not using locktite.... some of it was because the engine vibrated so much.

    I had...
    muffler baffle blow out..
    most of the bolts shear off... (if you count each one this problem equaled many breakdowns)
    clutch lever break...

    I can't even remember all of the things that broke... some of them could have been avoided.

    If I built another I would throw away all stock nuts, bolts, studs and buy strong Grade 8 hardware.

    I would use locktite on everything from the start.

    These two steps are really a MUST for anyone building one of these kits. There are other MUSTS, but these cannot be overlooked... unless you want to break down.
  3. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I totally agree with all that Macarollo has written above.
    My Grubee 55cc Starfire - 1000kms engine holding studs sheared then they kept shearing until I learnt to make my own, at about 2000 kms the piston rings needed replacing and a total rebuild. At 3000 kms it seized when the con rod pulled the shaft out of the piston (gudgeon pin). That was a write off and I went over the handlebars and could have easily been killed. The next was a ZBox 70cc and it lasted about 1800 kms before the rings went and the con rod bearings. Then another 70cc which had ring problems and sounded rough as guts before it had done 500 kms. Then another 70cc ZBox that has always sounded rough as guts. Some had needle bearings and some just had the standard bush - both types were just as bad. Then I had a good sounding 70cc Zbox that I was so impressed with I put it away in a cupboard where it won't come to any harm. I have rebuilt 2 of the 70cc motors and I think they work but haven't used them. There are good ones and bad ones and I've built so many I know that it's just chance luck getting a good one. They are all badly engineered inside the cylinder but the really bad ones will never be any good. I still use them for simple trips but I can never rely on them and that is why I have the 4-stroke. It is so easy to keep running and it doesn't let me down. The 2-stroke is a beautiful little design but very poorly engineered and a dirty polluting little motor that needs to be improved in the combustion chamber. It would be an unbeatable motor if someone got the design ripped it off in India with some improvements (such as 8mm mounting studs - not 6mm) where the engineering skills are so much better. Alternatvely if Franco Morini or Tecumseh made an engine specially for bikes I would buy it regardless of cost. The HT is actually a very expensive engine when you factor in all the fixing and unreliability. Buying one is penny wise and pound foolish or whatever the dollar equivalent of that expression is. I still buy them for customers but I try and talk every person into buying the 4-stroke because I can't offer any warranty on the 2-stroke whereas I can safely warranty the 4-strokes for 12 months. Every so often there is a really good HT that goes on and on and I know that this is true about maybe 5% of them but 95% of them are total rubbish no matter who supplies them.
    Some of Grubees early Starfires were pretty good but then they were attacked by quality fade. I'm told the batch now in stock in Sydney are really good and I'm tempted to get some because George, the supplier, will warranty them for me. He's a braver man than I am and I admire his confidence.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2009
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    just seems those shopping should be aware

    well Irish John -- you have laid out a lot of your HT experiences here
    thank you from up top the mountain
    and I think many who are looking to buy a motor for a bicycle
    will thank you also -- after reading your comments

    my concern is that ones buying these little 2-strokes
    don't get there expatiations too high
    and I think it should also be known to interested possible buyers of HT's
    they may have to tinker a whole lot to keep running

    I have a couple of friends that have them now
    guy down the mountain sells them
    I haven't seen two that run the same yet -- don't care for that
    of 5 HT's -- shouldn't 3 at least run similar ?

    one friend with less than 50 miles put a new carb on the other day
    his bike is running so so now -- maybe at 70 to 80 %

    ride the motor bike
  5. Mine went a bit over 3 thousand miles before a bearing went out but that was entirely my fault. I was carrying a 2 ounce container for 2 stroke oil and poured it in every time I would show everyone up at the 4 dollar gas pumps. Not only was the 2 oz bottle too little for the nearly 1/2 a gallon tank but later after many tanks doing it like this I had discovered that my 2 oz container was actually 1 and 1.2 oz.
    I'm rebuilding MOOP 2 and this time I'm gonna mix my 6 oz to a gallon at home and carry a spare already mixed bottle with me. No more gas station trips for MOOP 2.
    There;s just something right addicting with this HT man. I love my Titan 4 strokes but MOOP 2 is special.
    There's just something about this HT.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    little outline -- if you don't mind

    problem -- mixed oil wrong

    noted -- HT when running good is addicting -- something special

    question -- how many miles on your HT now Large ?

    ride the motor bike
  7. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I really shouldn't be posting an answer, since I can't give even a wild guess about average lifetimes.

    But I agree that there's something special about the happy time engine.

    Maybe they're not for everyone, but I'm pleased as punch with mine.
  8. hmmmm

    mine still going strong after 6700 k.m. and only did one re build on it after blowing a head gasket and that was only after 4800 k.m. , but at the time iwas riding through a snow storm and driving in 3/4 inches deep of snow. So at the time I was i was pushing my engine pretty hard at the time. but got it fixed 1 week later and it's still going strong right now. :cool2:
  9. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    One problem with the information on this Forum is that is heavily weighted with excited and adulatory postings about the HT when the engines just aren't worthy of that level of praise. Even this thread is beginning to read like it has been infiltrated by Chinese govt spies trying to desperately shore up the price of HT shares.
    Large's engine is a good one and I have no doubt about that and so is the other motor mentioned above but they are exceptions to the rule. The new guy trying to find out whether to get one for himself could be forgiven for thinking that this little engine is an engineering masterpiece after browsing through this Forum. The reality is very different to the picture painted on so many of these threads and I feel sorry for the casual browser whose expectations are falsely boosted by the adulatory HT postings he sees on MBc.
    When it comes to the HT expectations are really only just resentments under construction - and the construction period is pretty short!
    Yes there are good ones but it's a lottery and your chances of winning are certainly not high. It should also be said that prolonged fast riding at high revs, not W.O.T, will destroy these motors very quickly. That means that if you live in open country and do 20 mile runs frequently don't get an HT. You should stop to let the motor cool down every 15 mins - good excuse to take up smoking! These motors are built to run short bursts between traffic lights.
    I would love these motors myself if only they were reliable but the certainly ain't that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    looking like this may become a good thread for ones to read before buying a HT
    at least letting them know what to expect -- approx odds ? approx milage ? approx ??

    seems like the industy is lacking in the middle ground bicycle motor sales
    thinking that a motor with some good quality for around 200 - 250 dollars
    guaranteed to run for 5,000 miles
    would be a big hit
    that would be something to talk about in a different thread I guess

    ride the motor bike
  11. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    There is one such motor already and it's called a HuaSheng - cost about $200 for the engine.
    The 2-stroke industry is lacking in the middle and high ground and if that demand is to be satisfied it sure as anything won't come out of China. We'll be looking to Europe, Japan or the US or maybe India (probably unlikely to be india) to meet that demand.
    The only company I know of who have designed really powerful small 4-strokes is Honda. Their 50cc twin was used in motorcycle racing in the 1960s and they certainly have the edge on technology to deliver small multi-cylinder engines having made a 125cc 5 cylinder and a 250cc 6 cylinder 40 years ago. Both 4-strokes red lining above 20,000 rpm.
    I think the 2-strokes are just too polluting these days to merit the substantial investment needed to make a small bicycle engine. The HuaSheng is only a good motor because it is a copy of Honda. But I've heard some disappointing reports of the HuaSheng recently from my supplier who stopped selling them when he had 4 that failed out of a batch of 40. One of these failures was caused by the owner using a fuel\oil mix that seized the engine but even 3 duds out of 40 is a defective rate of 13% which is totally unacceptable. Are we beginning to see quality fade here?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
  12. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    My experience with the 7 ive owned is 5 of 7 took a dump before 1500 miles. My current
    66cc has 1750 miles and 'knock on wood" still sounds/purr's sweet. My family put on
    1600 of them. (Maybe its just me, how I push them)

    I know all about the quality, illegal/import, "green" issues but...
    I feel we need the HT. Here's a common situation.... Say I heard about a putting a engine on a bike.

    So I go on line, and I see a complete bike kit for 149.00 including shipping. I only have moderate mechanical ability,
    not a lot of money and i'm not sure if i'll stay interested in the sport. I have to pass the costs/budget with the wife.:sweatdrop:

    We get the green light to go. Kit arrives, and struggle a little putting it together but learn a ton about
    what this MB things all about. Then go for the first ride then WHAM your hooked. You get
    a good 800 miles of pure childhood rush.

    Then, Bang bang bang knock knock knock KA-BHAM. Either, you've had your fun and enjoyed the experience, or
    get another kit. Maybe its time to upgrade to a more expensive kit. Maybe you've learned enough to mix
    it up a little and try building something harder.

    Never the less, it was the HappyTime which has lead you here to experience something you never would have
    tried if it cost you 400.00 to 700.00. Its only a matter of time before someone designs a version of the
    HT with quality. I just hope the beginner/pro's and can afford to experience the same fun thry did with the complete 149.00 kit.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  13. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    can't smoke on the sidewalk in Calif !!!

    so true
    these in many cases are the first engines that get one's interested in MBs
    and it seems like the bang for the buck is still a pretty good deal

    when I was looking for a motorized bicycle
    I had already taken a short ride on my friends HT
    the HT just didn't do it for me -- there were many reasons
    think that I had been spoiled by the many Honda's, Yamaha's ect over the years
    and thanks to this site -- a little investigating done
    I bought a motor made in Japan
    also played in at that time ---
    I wanted to spend my time riding and not repairing much

    I still send many interested parties to a friend down the hill that sells HTs
    if that's their only price range available
    but if they can afford more I send them to my other friends bicycle shop
    where they sell the Station set ups

    there's something for everyone -- kind of anyway
    still thinking that a nice little upgraded 2-stroke would be great
    but then again I am in Calif
    don't think that 2-strokes will be around long here !!!

    one can't smoke cigs on the sidewalks or streets in many places in Calif !!!

    ride the motor bike
  14. Haven't fired up the replacement engine yet so right now zero.

    I keep procrastinating but I should get it done this week... or today.
  15. Revorunner

    Revorunner Member

    What does everyone expect for 150.00?:rolleyes7::rolleyes7:

    If you baby the motor and do not drive it hard it will last longer. No brainer.

    If you rev it to it's limit all the time it does not last as long. No brainer.

    Like the old saying goes,YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.:grin5::grin5::grin5:
  16. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    no guarantee on that claim

    no guarantee on that claim Revorunner

    that's what this thread is beginning to explain -- I think

    Happy Times may be good running for a very short while
    or in some cases for a long while
    there seems to be no guarantee -- hit and miss -- I guess we can call it ??

    ride the motor bike
  17. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    These motors seem to go for a long time if you treat them right. The internals do anyway. Usually when something breaks on mine, it is not internally. For some reason I have had alot of problems with clutches and the gears going bad. On one motor I had the crank was wobbling. It caused the gears to wear out. I don't know if it was a factory defect, or if something happened to it. I only blew one motor. I think it was from over revving it. What happened is the wrist pin needle bearing came apart at about 3,200 miles. I wonder if i should replace the wrist pin needle bearing after a few thousand miles. All my other engines I went through were replaced for other reasons. These motors are so cheap that when a few things go wrong with it I feel I am better off buying a brand new motor. I am going to try to keep my current motor running as long as possible. I want to see how many miles I can get out of it before an internal part fails. I am going to make sure I don't over rev this motor. I have not exceeded 29 MPH on 26" wheels w/ 40T sprocket. When I do take it up to 27-28 mph I usually do not cruise at that speed for very long. Sometimes I go that speed for a few miles when some good music, such as static X is blasting in my ears, lol. Other than that, I try to cruise at 20 - 22 mph.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2009
  18. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    I have a pre-ban GruBee 48cc square head on my '46 Columbia that must have been one of the good ones. I really don't know how miles are on it because the first year or two I didn't have a speedometer / odometer on the bike.
    But the engine continues to run quite strong, and I hope to get some more years out of it.
  19. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    HT's almost made me give up on this hobby until I found higher quality alternatives. I believe they're downright dangerous to their operators.
  20. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Without a freewheel sprocket they are a death trap. I have a twist clutch from the old metal twist throttle HT days of about 5 years ago. Getting that clutch in is pretty quick because you always have a hand on the grip but even that wasn't quick enough when the engine seized and the con rod turned the piston sideways in the cylinder. The HT is the best motor for someone who is tired of living.