Need help deciding Chain drive or Friction drive

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by f3if3i, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. f3if3i

    f3if3i New Member

    I'm new and all to this. I hve been doing a lot of search on friction drive and chain.

    Right now im gonna get the 33.5 cc 1.6 hp Robin/subaru with BMP friction drive or Staton axle mount chain drive. With the chain drive, I'm worry there will be too much drag if I wanted to just pedal and changing a flat would be huge hassle. and if the cog get attach to the spoke, I'm worry it might break a spoke.

    With the friction drive I'm worry the tire will wear out fast. I'm not sure but it seem logical to me it would. I would definately go with friction drive if someone who ride one can tell me the tire will last at least 2000 miles.

    I also would like to pedal assist while the engine is running so I'm not sure if that will be possible with the chain drive.

    I have dreamed a lot about travel the country and be on the road... :D:D with this I think it'll happen

    Your advice?

  2. a/c man

    a/c man Member

    I look at it this way, something is gonna need replacing no matter what you build and ride after 2000 miles. I have a friction drive and a chain drive bike.
    Neither are maintenance free.. Both are fun and have different "personalities".

    Friction drive... rear tire and drive spindle not going to last forever
    clutch shoes either. Bearings ?

    Chain drive.... chain won't last 2000 miles, sprockets either.
    Your tire won't last no matter what you drive.
    More adjusting, cleaning, lubrication.
    Any way you slice it they're both fun, but different, and no one can guarantee
    that failure won't happen with either one somewhere along the line..
  3. f3if3i

    f3if3i New Member

    Thanks for sharing. Mind me asking what a drive spindle is? It's the metal cylinder that roll on the tire? That thing really does get worn out?

    Since you own both can I ask if you notice any different in speed and comfort when riding?
  4. a/c man

    a/c man Member

    I prefer my chain drive 66cc. It has a whole lot more power for pulling hills and going really fast. It needs constant maintenance and can be a chore.
    It is quite comfortable and fairly reliable. I can take the lane when riding in traffic because of it's speed especially taking off from a dead stop. Peddling without motor power is more of a "drag" than the friction drive, but to be honest very few of us MB'ers do much if any peddling, why the heck do you think I put a motor on it !

    The friction drive is far more simple with less to go wrong. It is also quite comfortable and not as quick or fast (31cc 2-stroke) but gets better gas mileage and requires little maintenance. You can lift the drive spindle off of the wheel if you want to peddle and is just like a regular bike

    Neither of mine are very quiet because they both have expansion chamber exhaust systems. I choose to not only be seen, but also to be heard.
    I have always ridden motorcycles (41 yrs) so of course I gravitate to something most like what I am used to, just my personal preference.

    I have no experience with the Staton axle mounted chain drive, but I'm sure someone here can fill you in. Anyway dive in and enjoy the fun no matter what you decide, I guarantee an ear to ear grin when that engine comes to life and you take off to see the countryside .
  5. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member

    ? friction

    I think friction drive seems simpler and easer. I have chain drive and have to mess with tensioner several times and make custom one 4 temp. chain can bind up. friction none of that BS.
  6. strotter

    strotter Member

    I have a Staton friction drive, Staton axle mount chain drive, and a BMP friction drive.

    Hands down, my axle mount chain drive is my favorite/best. I love it so much I'm thinking of getting another one for my other teenage son. Virtually no drag when pedaling or coasting. You have to fill the tire with slime. Changing a flat is terrible. Do a search for "axle mount" and read my review.
  7. f3if3i

    f3if3i New Member

    REALLY? No drag?

    But I also just notice how much more expensive staton chain drive is compare to BMP friction drive... $300 for the kit!!??

    I think I'm gonna go with the Friction simply because less maintenance and so much cheaper :cool:
  8. Whizzerd

    Whizzerd Member

    Great choice! IMO, not only is the BMP unit a fine quality American made product( I've built four mb's with them) it has user friendly engineering. The Robin/Subaru is no great powerhouse but is dead on reliable. If I were to take off on a roadtrip, it would be my choice. That said, guys here that use the Tanaka or Mitsubishi 2 strokes are happy with them. I'm using a Titan 50. It's much more powerful than the R/S. At 750 miles though I just had had the tank mount bracket snap in two and the gas tank filler neck cracked. Regular use, no wrecks or tip overs. Dax has one in the mail but that wouldn't be much help on the road would it? James at BMP is a fine vendor and the BMP unit is currently on sale for $99 bucks. They work great if properly installed and adjusted. You will need to a good quality tube and tire. The rear mount adjustable kickstand from SickBikeParts helps eliminate tip overs. Enjoy!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  9. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Friction drive with a good quality motor is my favorite. No matter which you choose, like everything else , there will be " pros & cons " to it. You WILL have flats on the rear, so consider what it takes to repair that, before buying.
  10. strotter

    strotter Member

    My $.02
    Staton axle mount is worth the extra cost!!

    Regarding changing rear tire.... I filled the tube with slime, Kevlar liner, extra thick tube and schuwbe tire. Haven't had a flat since....
  11. unior

    unior Member

  12. Whizzerd

    Whizzerd Member

    My Grandfather was one handy guy. As a machinist, Journeyman Machine Repairman for Borg-Warner and proprietor of an auto repair garage one thing he told me I'll never forget. He said that the BEST machine, in the long run, is the SIMPLEST one that will do the job. Nothing wrong with any of the systems out there. I've played with many now. Avoid the cheap Chinese stuff. Bad metallurgy. Higher quality Chinese is OK. Again the Friction Drive is simple, affordable, well made and works superbly. I personally like the BMP.
  13. f3if3i

    f3if3i New Member

    I have ordered the Subaru EHO35 and BMP drive. Hopefully get it this week :D

    I like to Keep It Simple too. I imagine the only thing that can go wrong with friction drive is tire wearing out... with other system... spokes, wheels, chains... too much hassle.

    I'm very curious right now how fast I can go with this on by bike... anything over 30mph will be awesome.
  14. Whizzerd

    Whizzerd Member

    Top speed w/ your BMP/ R/S 35 will depend, frankly, on how much you weigh. To a lesser extent but still a factor will be tire size and pressure. Obviously bad bearings or bad adjustments to the bike itself will affect not only speed but safety, comfort, etc.. Two of my BMP's ended up w/ the R/S engine. My daughter weighs around 130 lbs..Her bike is a ladies 24" Huffy Cranbrook. Tires are Continental 1.75 diameter. After a careful breakin, I had her open it up to check speedo accuracy. 24.8 mph with the 1" diameter roller.
  15. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    Chain drive or Friction drive?

    Friction works well if it's dry. Chain works well if it's wet or dry.
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I've played with friction drive for years, using Staton, then BMP which I preferred because of easy bearing and roller replacements. My engines ranged from Robin/Subaru, then one Mitsubishi, twin Mitsubishis, and finally the GP460 4.25+ hp engine. The best in terms of power and reliability was the BMP with 2.2hp Mitsubishi engine. I was never able to fully harness the 460's power. It has a very small power range; go below that and the engine was a dog. Other times, its awesome power chewed up tires quickly, and the rubber dust was a problem.

    Presently, I'm using Scooterguy chain drive for less than 2 months. I have used the 2.85hp Tanaka 47R engines and the 4.25+ hp GP460 engines. Still experimenting. The 47R is VERY loud at higher rpm. The 460 is loud, but not as loud as the Tanaka.

    There are many issues I've had to deal with, like chain falling off the front sprocket, chain breakage, oil spray onto everything aft of the engine, "hunting" sprocket gears.

    HOWEVER, the moment you powershift through 8 speeds, you will be hooked forever. NOTHING comes close to that feeling, especially if power and acceleration is your goal.:bowdown:

    My present and best ride is my Diamondback bike with dual disc brakes, GP460 engine and 11t/25t rear cassette. My next build is a 29" bike with Scooterguy drive, either Tanaka 47R or GP460 engine and NuVinci rear hub.

    I'm not into top speed; I just need to keep ahead of traffic going my way.

    FWIW, I will never go back to friction drive.:devilish:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2010
  17. unior

    unior Member

    I don't understand how you guys find 47r's.
  18. f3if3i

    f3if3i New Member

    So are you using chain drive right now? You prefer it over friction? I would love to see some pic of your MB