My rough idea for a bike

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by bando_red, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. bando_red

    bando_red New Member

    I want to design a general cruising motorbike to take on short trips like to school and work so I can save on gas for my truck. I have a few goals in mind

    1: an antique, vintage sort of look, sort of like the first motorcycles that were made around the start of the 1900s.
    2: fairly easy for a newcomer to build, at least the basic functions to make it ridable.
    3: inexpensive to build. I hope to be able to get it up and functioning for around 100, and less than than 200 by the time it's all polished up and finished.

    I'm very confident I can get an old beater frame pretty cheap, so the big cost is the motor. I don't really know much of anything about engines other than the general type different vehicles takes, so I'm kinda in the dark for that. After reading the noob thread, it seems like a small 2 stroke would be the best option. I think about 4 horsepower would be plenty, as I'm trying to keep it under 50cc (crappy MA laws)

    I was toying with the idea of having it also be able to pedaled manually as an extra measure of dependibility and so I can ride it around as a normal bike , but I think that might complicate things a bit much for my skills.

    any input on what steps to take, or advice? advice would really help

  2. i would suggest friction drive. but if your going for old school look then that might not happen.

    all the engines that fit onto a bike are desighend to fit around the pedal structure of a pushbike, if you have to remove the pedals to fit an engine on then it becomes a motorbike.

    2 stroke is a good starting point for a newbie especcially if you dont know a lot about engines. fitting onto a bike is pretty easy, try going for a mre modern frame first so you get the feel of how these things work before looking into an older type frame.

    its a lot of trial and error for these things as every build is different, but im sure there is always people on here ready to come up with solutions to any bike problems you may have.

    but more importantly have a lot of fun with it.
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    The basic 2-stroke, in frame kits (known here as "happy time" engines) that you can get from any of our vendors are really right up your alley. They're inexpensive, though it'll be tough to keep it under $200.00 if you also need to buy a bike. But even with a bike purchase, you can keep your total under $300.00 pretty easy.

    Many of us think that it's the perfect engine for a beginner, if only because you don't have to put much money at risk.

    Installation is, really, pretty easy. There are one or two tricks you'll want to know that will not be obvious to you. But that's where comes in. There's a lot of info and tips here. Freely shared, too. These folks are eager to help.

    Needed skills? In a nutshell, if you can operate and maintain a regular pedal bicycle, then you are 9/10 of the way there. The rest is not diffficult.

    With fuel at $4.00/gallon, this bike can pay for itself in a month.

    So I'd urge you to go ahead and do it. You're not likely to regret it. You're more likely to wish you had done it a long time ago.

    Have fun.
  4. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog New Member

    About the vintage look...

    You can take a $100 Walmart cruiser, take it apart, and repaint it, and it will completely change the look and feel of the bike!

    I took apart one and redid it with an army theme with the olive and black paint and it came out very nicely!
  5. chainmaker

    chainmaker Member

    You can definitely keep the pedals..that is what allows us to be classified as mopeds. The China kit allows this. There are no markings on most engines that state size so you might want to get a 80 cc (really 66 cc) Kits are in short supply right now so prices are a bit up there. Not everyone imports these kits mainly a few big distributors so when they get their stuff everyone else gets theirs. Read the reviews of the dealers..and take note. there are some shady cats out there that want nothing more than to take your money and make you wait, and some fine upstanding businessmen also. Can you work on bikes, I mean could you re-build a beater? A beater frame is going to need wheels, parts, which adds up fast. You might want to go with a complete bike rather than a frame.
  6. bando_red

    bando_red New Member

    I meant a whole bike. theres a gigantic annual yard sale coming up and they always at least 7 or 8 bikes for around 30 bucks max, and usually at least a few are worn and weather but solid oldies. I don't wanna have to jump through a lot of hoops as far as licenses and restrictions go, which means under 50cc in my state.

    the real challenge for me is the engine. I may not know the all the proper terminology and specs, but I'm pretty confident I can get the power to the rear wheel, and I got a decent handle on the gas tank,brakes,and safety features.I don't know jack about engines though. As I said, money is the big restrainer for me so I was hoping to rip an engine from a weedwhacker or similar device second hand. If I'm not mistaken, the biggest costs should be the base bike and the motor, and I can knock those both out for around 50 bucks.
  7. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    if you don't know anything about engines, then you learn about them by reading thinsg here and asking questions.
    a lot of these engines have issues that require fine tuning and there are some mechanical skills needed to get the motor on the bike correctly so it works right.
    it's not as simple as buying a kit and bolting it on....there are things that need to be done to improve what comes in the kits.
    There are other things that you will need to know, like how to know when you have correct chain alignment, and if the alignment is off, how do you fix it.
    how to assemble the slide into the carburetor, hooking up the wiring the right way so it works and doesn't fail on a few weeks, tuning the carb so the engine runs it's best.
    learning the names of the parts will help us help you when you have a problem. everyone here is more than willing to help you out whenever you need one hides any tricks or secrets here.
    most of all, don't be afraid to ask a question, no matter how minor it may be.
    whenever you have a question about something, a picture always helps so someone can tell exatly what you're talking about.
    when you ask "the thingy on the whatchamacallit isn't working" you won't get any help.
    good luck on your build and have fun with it.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  8. bando_red

    bando_red New Member

    Maybe buying an engine would be best rather than ripping one than so I have a bit more knowledge to work with. Where can I get these chinese motors I keep hearing about? I've tried googling but all the sites selling them are for manufacturers and make you buy like 300 at a time.
  9. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    you can buy a complete engine kit or just an engine without all of the extra parts from some of the vendors lsted on this site.
    if all else fails, you can buy these engines and kits off e-bay.
    i have seen just the engine for around $80.00, and complete kits for anywhere from $125.00 - $185.00.

    for example...
    complete engine kit:

    just the engine:
    Last edited: May 1, 2011