Looking to buy a bike

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by mystic-chris, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    I very recently learned about the world of motorized bicycles, and I believe I want to buy one this spring. I don't have the facilities to build one myself, so I've been looking at various complete bikes. The "Nightrider" (themotorbicycle.com) appeals to me in its design, simplicity and price. Does anybody have any experience with, or knowledge about, this machine? And/or suggestions about others? Many thanks in advance.

  2. professor

    professor Active Member

    First, find out what is legal where you are. If you can ride one of these, you can do a whole lot better than a cruiser bike with a HT kit on it for less than 700$.

    My 2 cents- you need "V" brakes as a minimun on 2 wheels. If you can't stop or if you come to a slow skidding stop, you could get killed or worse.
    The typical (what we call HT kits) are under 200$. Check out the site sponsors.

    You can buy a lot of tools for the difference between the cost of the kit/bike and 700$. Actually, one of these can be built in your kitchen. I think there is a video on assembling one on youtube too.

    Some of the guys here build to sell also.
    One is an assembler- you buy the kit and bike- he puts it together.
    Maybe you can find someone HONEST in your area to do it.
  3. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    MOST motored-bike "makers" who sell ready-to-ride bikes aren't "makers" so much as they are "assemblers". Unless a maker is fabricating a frame from scratch or at least making heavy modifications to an existing frame, each "maker" is pulling from a similar pool of stock bikes and bike kit engines.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with that. My first MB I built was from a stock bicycle, and my second one will be as well, with modifications being mostly cosmetic with some aftermarket additions. I would be a hypocrite to knock someone who is doing the exact same thing that I did. But you still need to keep that in mind when picking a pre-made bike because then you know what you should REALLY be looking at-- what is the quality of the stock parts they are using, and how is their CUSTOMER SERVICE.

    Customer service is what really makes one MB merchant-maker stand out from others.

    I've not heard of TheMotorBicycle.com before. Looking at their site, I would reluctant to deal with them because: 1. they sell just two styles of MBs; 2. They sell NO aftermarket or DIY parts; 3. nowhere do they state the brand of engine or bicycle. I would be leery of the Nightrider they offer because it's an aluminum frame-- run-of-the-mill aluminum bicycle frames can't stand up to the vibrations from the engine.

    So, before you pick a bike, scout through the sponsors of this forum and look at the merchant reviews. Owners of Sick Bike Parts and Pirate Cycles are both active on this forum. I know other forum sponsors are active here as well. (Pirate sells completed bikes as well as other forum sponsors, SBPs doesn't sell complete bikes, but they have top-notch customer service).

    Spend some time here on the forums, learn a lot, meet people and merchants, and THEN make a choice.
  4. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member


    Thanks for your replies. Here in Connecticut, all I need is a standard DMV operator's license, and they're pretty straightforward about MBs:

    Motor Driven Cycles: If you have a motor scooter, moped or motorbike having a motor that produces 5 brake horsepower or less (or 3.7 kW or less) and a seat height of at least 26 inches, you may operate it on the roadway without registering it. However, you must have a valid motor vehicle operator's license to operate it, and you may not operate it on any sidewalk, limited access highway or turnpike. If the maximum speed of your cycle is less than the speed limit of the road that you are on, you must operate in the right hand lane available for traffic or upon a usable shoulder on the right side of the road unless you are making a left turn. As of October 1, 2008, these vehicles are referred to as "motor driven cycles."

    I, too was a bit put off by the lack of specs on themotorbicycle.com's site. I've sent an inquiry for more in-depth info; we'll see what they say.

    I'm surprised at the comment about the aluminum frame being potentially insufficient for accomodating a small engine. Are aluminum frames pretty much ruled out by most MB builders?

    As far as building an MB myself: having been a hot-rodder of small-block Chevy engines for years, I've got the tools and the ability. But my upscale condo apartment isn't the right place to build, and I really don't have the time for that part of this hobby anyway. So it's going to be a ready-to-ride MB for me or none at all!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  5. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I had an aluminum frame fail catastrophically on me, and I'm not the only one. My frame cracked nearly clean through near where the down tube meets the head tube, but NOT on the joint. There is less than a centimeter of the circumference of the tube still holding together. I used a new bike and only rode it for about 200 motorized miles before I noticed the crack.

    While there are high quality aluminum frames (generally in the mountain bike market) you're talking about something where the frame alone will run you upwards of $1000 for a new frame.

    Yes, there are people who have aluminum frames that have NOT failed, but for the average-quality bike, the aluminum used is just too brittle.

    The complete lack of DIY parts at themotorbicycle.com says to me that they "refuse" to mention that these machines require a lot of user maintenance. You WILL need to buy replacement parts yourself and you WILL have to do most repairs yourself... a bicycle shop can/will only do so much. Motorcycle and moped shops generally won't touch them.

    I highly recommend buying a ready-to-ride bike from a merchant that has a large range of DIY parts because even if you make no modifications, you WILL need a source for parts for repairs.
  6. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    Thanks, Red. Yeah, that sounds sensible about the aluminum frame. I never bought a frame alone, but the high-quality, aluminum-framed mountain bikes/hybrids that I've owned were $1,200+ bikes. AND, they didn't have 2-strokes rattling in between their tubes!
  7. professor

    professor Active Member

    Chris- check out Pirate cycle's ad. I think they are in Mass.

    I am certain the frame issue is vibration that causes failure on aluminum bikes.
    You know how alum. rods only last so long on a car engine? Same idea to me.
  8. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    Pirate Cycle

    Thanks, Professor.

    I looked over their site, and I like what I see. Sounds like these guys have some fans and credibility as well. Plus, I'm in Mystic, CT and they're only about 80 miles away in Worcester, MA. I like the idea of actually picking up the bike after seeing it and riding it.

    Cool. Love these internet forums, no matter what avocation I'm researching!
  9. Dave C

    Dave C Member

    Wow, you are so lucky to be so close to one of the best at assembeling-for-sale motorbike companies.

    I don't see how you can go wrong:cool:
  10. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    I PM'd you, please reply. Thanks!

  11. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    If you don't plan to commute long distances, electric assist may work for you. Installing an electric kit can involve little more than replacing your front wheel with an electric hub motor wheel and mounting the batteries on your cargo rack.
  12. mystic-chris

    mystic-chris New Member

    wheelbender6: That's intriguing. Do you have any info on reliable suppliers/good products? Thanks. -Chris
  13. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Here are a few vendors that I hear good posts about:
    Some of the gas bike vendors on this site also sell electric kits.
    You can get answers from members with more ebike experience in our EBIKE subforum on this site.
  14. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    There are many Nice

    high quality bike motor kits out there that require very little skill and very basic hand tools that everybody should have..

    GEBE ( golden eagle )
    Dax Titan
    Bike motor parts
    Dimension edge

    For example a GEBE system can be installer in about a hour with just a screwdriver and crescent wrench...

    Choosing a good bike is just as important as choosing the right engine...
    V brakes !!!! Good tires not stock ones!!! Strong wheels !!!! 26 inch bikes work best...maybe suspension if you ride on rough roads..provisions to carry extra fuel... A good light...a speedo... Good high quality seat is a must ...

    And Laws !!! Don't waist your money to find out the police won't allow you on the streets...

    And also keep in mind the the MB laws are kinda iffy to say the least.

    In my state they are legal , but your local police dept. Can say no !!!
    So instead of just trusting the state law.. Ask some riders in your area and if there are none ask a local cop ..
  15. gdfalls

    gdfalls New Member

    Bikes for sale

    Chris I have two new bikes in the for sale post. Honda GXH 50 with Staton friction drive. Very quiet 4 stroke. Check out the pics and let me know what you think. Would sell motor and drive separate from bike if you don't want bike. I also have a Micargi Rover GT with Daemon friction drive and 2stroke motor. I would also sell the motor and drive separate on this bike. Very easy to install comes with need tools to do so.