My First Build

I've been watching my younger brother tool around on his motorized bike for a couple years. My wife and son had visit to grandma's in San Diego coming up so I figured it would be a good time to give it a go. I'm a big guy (6'4", 285lbs) so this isn't the right toy to try to set a speed record on, but I figured I could put together a fun cruiser for pretty cheap.

I had an original budget of $300... but after carefully considering the potential safety issues of the bike, I decided on upgrading to a hub-sprocket setup vs the rag joint and I was none-too-thrilled with the stock tensioner (even the 4-bolt version). I had images of the damn thing falling in to my spokes running through my head and decided an arch-type tensioner was in order.

As for the bike itself... I knew I wanted to go "all new". I managed to pick up a Kent "Sea Change" (where in the heck they came up with that name is beyond me) at the local Wally World on clearance for ... get this ... $74.50. I'd gone in to pick up a Huffy Cranbrook for $169.00... yeah... my mind was changed.

One thing I didn't like about both the Cranbrook and this Sea Change was the "coaster brake" only. I figured the coaster brake isn't that big of a deal so much as the lack of a front brake is. So I decided to pick up a set of handbrakes... next upgrade will be a single pull two-brake setup... hitting that front brake AND the clutch level is a little... tricky.

In any case... I've only put about 3-4 miles on her thus far... still breaking it in.

Here is a shot of the result... total outlay... approximately $375.00 plus perhaps $10.00 worth of over-inflated priced bolts...nuts...washers... at the local Tru-Value Hardware.

:D
Tang1.jpg
 

DieselTech

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I've been watching my younger brother tool around on his motorized bike for a couple years. My wife and son had visit to grandma's in San Diego coming up so I figured it would be a good time to give it a go. I'm a big guy (6'4", 285lbs) so this isn't the right toy to try to set a speed record on, but I figured I could put together a fun cruiser for pretty cheap.

I had an original budget of $300... but after carefully considering the potential safety issues of the bike, I decided on upgrading to a hub-sprocket setup vs the rag joint and I was none-too-thrilled with the stock tensioner (even the 4-bolt version). I had images of the damn thing falling in to my spokes running through my head and decided an arch-type tensioner was in order.

As for the bike itself... I knew I wanted to go "all new". I managed to pick up a Kent "Sea Change" (where in the heck they came up with that name is beyond me) at the local Wally World on clearance for ... get this ... $74.50. I'd gone in to pick up a Huffy Cranbrook for $169.00... yeah... my mind was changed.

One thing I didn't like about both the Cranbrook and this Sea Change was the "coaster brake" only. I figured the coaster brake isn't that big of a deal so much as the lack of a front brake is. So I decided to pick up a set of handbrakes... next upgrade will be a single pull two-brake setup... hitting that front brake AND the clutch level is a little... tricky.

In any case... I've only put about 3-4 miles on her thus far... still breaking it in.

Here is a shot of the result... total outlay... approximately $375.00 plus perhaps $10.00 worth of over-inflated priced bolts...nuts...washers... at the local Tru-Value Hardware.

:DView attachment 176777
Nice looking ride! Welcome to the forum. I always think I can build a bike for $400, lmfao it always ends up costing me $800🤣😂🤣
 

FrizzleFried

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Thank you DieselTech.

I plan on getting a lay-back seatpost, but I worry as it seems every one I read the reviews on has issues with bending. I am not what you'd call.. small (6'4" and 285lbs) so I think my worry is justified.

New bars are also a must... these stock Kent bars suck.

I picked up one of those inserts for the just before the front sprocket that prevents kinking (thereby eliminating the locking up issue that can happen at the front sprocket) and it'll be here today. I have an analog speedo coming Friday. I already put a cheap headlamp/taillamp set on (surprisingly bright). I'm debating putting the chain guard on... not a big fan of chainguards to be honest.
 

DieselTech

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If you do not have a set a digital calipers, I reccomend you purchase some. Harbor freight or wherever is handy. Get a set that measure in standard & metric. They are handy for other numerous things around the shop. B4 you order a set of jets I would remove your jet & measure jet thread size. They are usually metric thread. That way you know what jet thread size is b4 ordering jets.
 

Chainlube

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...oh, and those U-Bolts are going to get the dremel+acorn nut treatment shortly... :)
Ha ha, I've only said this a thousand times on here, get a muffler clamp instead of that U-bolt. It will raise the engine a bit. Probably enough to get rid of the tensioner altogether.
 

FrizzleFried

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Nampa, ID
I installed a speedometer app and brought the phone along for a run. It was my first real post-break-in run and I was pretty pleased to see that I'd topped out at 31mph...

...not bad for a guy of my size. :D

I have an expansion chamber banana exhaust coming tomorrow. From what I've read I'm gunna feel t he difference at the bottom end... but maybe not at the top.
 

FrizzleFried

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Nampa, ID
Ha ha, I've only said this a thousand times on here, get a muffler clamp instead of that U-bolt. It will raise the engine a bit. Probably enough to get rid of the tensioner altogether.

The U-Bolts that I was referring to are the ones holding the arch tensioner. The engine itself is mounted via two U-bolts and a plate...

31nhdos5wzL._AC_.jpg


I did end up cutting those arch-tensioner U-Bolts off and adding acorn nuts as jam-nuts because... why not?

Tang2.jpg
 
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