How to go about starting a legitiment motorized bicycle business

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by cmb271, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    I have a dream, not really a dream but a idea, to either build frames (or buy them if building them is outside my technical skills and to create a motorized bicycle company that is legal. How persay, well I'd like to know the best way to start a business that allows me to register them as a moped, I'd most likely keep under the 50cc limit and tend to stick with 4 strokes unless someone ask for a 2 stroke which I wouldn't recommend. I'd replace all the crucial nuts and bolts that are known to fail first or that are cheaply made with something of higher quality, high quality rims and bearings for the torque, a well documented how to guide for repairing the bicycles as well as the ability to get a tag or to register it as a moped.

    Since I live in georgia the moped laws are not very well defined making loop holes extremely fun, I would install headlights, tail lights and turning signals just to make registration (which isn't required) easier for those who want to, I need to know the steps I need to start a corperation for manufacturing these as a moped but there's not much documentation on starting a moped manufacturing company in the U.S. any ideas?

  2. craig7

    craig7 New Member

    yeah i want to do the same thing here in ontario, i just wanna make the cheapest legal transportation possible. too bad just about everything legal here has to get screwed on insurance.
  3. dougsr.874

    dougsr.874 Active Member

    What you have is a dream only, you cannot possibly do what you're saying and compete with the Chinese imported scooters, etc...the 50cc Chinese scooters are selling here in Panama City, Florida for less than $700.....and they are street legal..with all the bells & whistles..a person who buys one of these is not looking for high quality, just cheap trans....
  4. troyg

    troyg Member

    A few things that should clue you.The safety regulation BS that started in the 70's would cripple any attempt you'd make, that's #1.As darwin said, you'd need to charge more than people would spend to make your money back, effectively throwing money away, that's #2. Once a company, you'd be responsible for a lot of customer complaints that were their fault, see #1.
    The most important thing to me is #3, this is why I never started building for a profit: when you turn your hobby into a business, you no longer have the hobby (it loses it's fun),
    if there are many MAB riders in your area,
    there will be more complaints,
    more complaints lead to restrictions,
    restrictions lead back to where we started.
    Under the radar, have fun, let the populace think you're crazy, when you are one of the few sane,... my.02 cents.
  5. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    Please post the statute that says that it is not legal.
  6. fattirejack

    fattirejack Member

    Dream BIG,
    They told the Wright Brothers they couldn't fly. Your young, you can live your dreams. I don't have any suggestions on how to go about it. Your parents may be the place to start? I do know that you should check into the liability issue, before you get to far. You will need some type of liability coverage if you are manufacturing motored bikes. The world is lawsuit happy today, and you want to be covered. You should have a design, and a working model. Be sure you have the knowledge, and abilities before you invest a lot of money into your venture. Chinese production may be cheaper, it doesn't beat American ingenuity. Seek advice of local manufacturers, parents, and a lawyer.
  7. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    There's no one and I mean no one in my geneal area with a motorized bicycle, I live in the south, everyone either has a truck or a harley but I'm thinking of targeting those who just need to get to point A to point B. I'd try to make them as stupid proof as possibly (put gas in, check oil periodically, don't over rev it for a long period of time, don't be stupid), I'd do the break in portion myself so they don't have to, I'd draft contacts that allows them to return it if they don't like it within three days and offer a service plan for general repairs (that weren't caused by negligence but by kit defect that I overlooked). I'd put it at a use at your own risk, if you flip it into the windshield of a car, that's your own problem, even if it was a defect that you failed to notice and report. I'd most likely offer a 2 month check in to ensure the bikes are in working order and are being carred for as well as make recommendations to any issues the person is having.
  8. troyg

    troyg Member

    The member you want to talk to is "KCVale" he's made a nice business and probably has the know-how.Best of luck.
  9. Fly1

    Fly1 Member

    Let me say this. Product Liability insurance kills your dream before you ever start. I love America & the people
    like you that have dreams as you. But there is just not the profit there to even consider something as that.

  10. troyg

    troyg Member

    If you want another clue, look up "Goblin Aero" here and on the web.The guy built something special, went to crazy trouble for molds and such, actually had protos out, and POOF gone.I bet he spent thousands for naught.
    The main problem you're going to encounter, look how many bicyclists are in your area, not many bikers, you won't have many sales.At some point, the idea of riding bikes, has been lost on Americans.
  11. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    Ah, young man, I do think you are on to something. I think we all are. Why do Americans spend so much on such a crappy "cars first and foremost" transit system?

    There will always be a market for cheap, efficient transportation but the hardheaded majority of people who are addicted to cars will not allow it. It's not a conspiracy at work here, it is an attitude. A delusion. A kind of hypnosis.

    Indiana is the most recent state to step up th regulation of scooters/ mopeds/ motorized bicycles. Hell, too many car infatuated Americans are calling for the registration and increased taxation of BICYCLES. Yes, bicycles. The most efficent and cheap vehicle ever invented.

    Our roads should be dominated by efficient, two wheel vehicles. But, alas, most motorcycles you see are grotesquely overpowered and are essentially the toys of men and women who drive their cars and trucks to work. Motorcycles are very expensive, and if you can find some kind of salvageable motorcycle at low cost, there are almost always title issues. A cheap car is almost as cheap as a cheap motorcycle.

    These motorized bikes we enjoy so much have evolved to fill this void. But the obstacles are many. Any ride, anywhere, can end up with a stop by law enforcement. Engines are cheap, but poor quality that will keep even the best mechanic on guard. he Whizzer is the closest thing we can find to a reliable, retail product.

    It shouldn't be like this.
  12. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    Build a great bike.

    Ride it around town.

    If your bike is great, it will be noticed.

    The best advertising is word of mouth.
  13. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    Trust me I get ALOT of people asking for information and if I'd build them one, If I did I'd most likely have it custom made for them so I don't end up building a dozen or so that don't sell. Lately I just tell people what it is and to look it up because the fear of being liable for their stupidity
  14. Fly1

    Fly1 Member

    Well I do agree with that. My early comment was the thinking on having a store front & all the over head that
    goes with it. KC Vale seems to do well with out a store front. But he also makes some dam nice builds.

    I have thought of doing the same, but I,m retired. I have people
    wanting me to make them stuff in my small machine shop all the
    time. I turn most away. I can do better at that then bike building
    but AGAIN I,m RETIRED. You know the only bad thing about being retired???

    You never get a day off!!!! (wink) Fly
  15. Wolfshoes

    Wolfshoes Member

    At one time I did have a impure thought about making a selling motorbikes. My opinion is in most cases, they are considered to be sporting equipment. I did contact a independent insurance agent and the response was they could find a interested carrier and the policy would be upwards of $15,000 per year depending upon questions regarding suppliers. I suppose about the time the carrier found out you had to certify the engine was to be used for racing only and you wanted to install it on a bike form Walmart and sell it to the guy down the street for road use, the agent rep would be out the door beating track records. We are in the Wild Wild West of hobbies. It could be the future of transportation and deserves some slack from product liability laws but, ladies and gentlemen, except for perhaps some major players, we are on our own (my opinion as usual). I can only guess out there who has and who does not have this insurance. To the ones flying bareback; I can only hope the best. At times I may be blunt in commenting about hardware but perhaps a reason for contributing to the forum is to help keep them out of trouble while they do their pioneering work.
  16. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Thanks Fly.

    It's all about a continuous supply of customers, and of course an Internet presence.

    I live in the 'sweet spot' of the country for year round riding (80F again here today hehehe), and a Government and Sheriff that do everything they can think of to take peoples AUTOMOTIVE driving privileges away.

    Everybody and their brother that has ever rode one want's to make a business out of it here,
    heck search Craigs with 'motorized' under 'bikes for sale' and you'll find hundreds.

    Sadly most are poorly home built the builder maybe got a gallon of fuel through before it stared falling apart so they put to for sale just to break even.
    This however is widely known here.

    Junk is Junk but it's not the only option, hence me ;-}

    The net that captures people and takes away their driving rights is not limited to the poor.
    Plenty of well off people just want something that looks cool, is comfortable to ride, and reliable.

    I am the most expense builder in town, but it's not all profit, heck I'm happy to split $175 with my help for a simple build.
    I just have a much higher quality standard for a 'simple' build is all.

    Tough gig for one guy somewhere you don't want to drive a car let alone ride a bike half the year.

    I am a lucky guy, I don't need to make much, my wife is paid well, enough to keep supporting out 25 year old son and her sister, but I have my own money and that's why I get to play.

    'Going commercial takes the fun out'?

    Again I am a rare bird here, I have the luxury to build and ride not just customers custom desires, which make up ~75% of my sales, I get wild hairs and keep trying new things that usually end up selling as well.

    Another concern is indoor space.
    I had to commander the bedroom adjacent to the shop space just to house all the bikes not on the shop floor.


    Damn the Legal pitfalls like insurance and sales tax...
    I have registered my trade name here but I know all to well how the sales tax works here.

    The premise is you don't pay sales on every single part you buy, then have to them all every month on a form and pay it then.
    I install parts customers buy, all labor, and I claim my income.
    Well below poverty level again for me this year but still an addition to the wife's income so the government get's their pound of flesh from me.

    You can do OK a bike or two at a time.
    Pocket money anyway.
    Just do 'em right so you don't have return headaches is about all I can advise.

    VAWN DAVIS Guest

    wll i as well have the dreams of opening up a small shop building these and when i buy a part i normally buy 2 or 3 and get turned off by the legal crap of what it will really cost, you said it best when you said it would turn your fun hobby into a pain so if john q. public wants 1 i build it but no advertising it ad as we all know where ever we go we get a thousand questions and interested people there is a market for these if not for riding and having fun but even transpo but good luck from ..moses lake wa.
  18. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Got a web page with documented builds and good pics yet?