Nel Lusso with Motorcycle Gas tank and Seat

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by jackal_lantern, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    So this is my second build due to the fact that my first one got stolen years ago. I decided to pull out all the stops.

    I really liked the classic look and low price of the Huffy Nel Lusso, but if I had to do it again I would choose a much higher quality bike.

    Considering I live in a place with a lot of hills, I decided to modify an old 150cc Kawasaki gas tank to removably attach to the bike frame. In addition to this I took off the bike seat and made an Ostrich leather motorcycle seat that looked cooler and allowed for more comfortable riding.

    The motor on it is nothing special, just a 49cc Grubee Skyhawk with a Pirate Cycles 40 tooth sprocket and Hub adapter.

    The pictures below show the build in chronological order.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011

  2. I was just looking at one of these to build a bike for my wife. They look cool and I was wondering how the chain fits on the bike with that wide of a tire. I think they're 2.325s or something aren't they? Being a lighter color, I wondered how marked up they would get from the chain.
  3. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    I heard some things about the tire/rear fender rubbing on the chain. I did have to take the rear fender off and there was some tire rubbing but it is not really damaging the tire. For the first little while I saw tire dust from the chain rubbing, but it left only scuffs on the tire wall. I am also running the Hub mounted sprocket from pirate cycles and a 415 chain, which may make a difference on how it rubs.

    The biggest issue about the bike for me was the coaster brake. the little bracket they use to attach the coaster brake to frame broke and **** near killed me. I ended up fixing the coaster brake to the frame with an 1/8" steel bar as seen below.

    All and all you can't beat the bike for the price, but in some aspects you get what you pay for.

    Attached Files:

  4. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    Couldn't you come up with something better to fix the coaster brake arm?
    did you drill the frame to bolt that bar to it?
    if so, bad idea.
    You should have just picked up a steel strap that wraps around the bike frame tube like this. It looks much cleaner and will be much safer in my opinion.
    Drilling the small frame tube and running a olt through it was a bad idea. the force generated by that bar and thecoaster brake arm will eventually cause the frame to crack where you drilled it.
    The torque is now multiplied when you use the coaster brake, because the brake arm and the bar you put on are acting as levers.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  5. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    The bike came with a strap like that and that's what broke. The hole I drilled into the frame was 1/4" which is relatively small compared to the frame tube. It does look a lot bigger considering the hex head. Even though I was hesitant to drill into the frame and I see where you are coming from, I think the bike should be fine even though I will keeping an eye out for any cracks in the area. Hopefully I'll be able to find a thicker steel strap.
  6. Chris Crew

    Chris Crew Member

    A metal hanging strap for 1/2" metal electrical conduit makes a nice substitute strap--I broke a couple of standard bike straps before I switched out on both of my bikes.
  7. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    Actually, I ended up going to the hardware store this weekend and doing just that. I will probably end up eventually putting on hand brakes on the front as a backup.

    Attached Files:

  8. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    The Nel Lusso, as well as the Panama Jack, Cranbrook Collage & Kareoke are all Cranbrooks. The Jack and the Lusso both have this remarkable welded-on backrack that will support MY 200# carcass without complaint. The Kareoke comes with a digital music amp and the Collage has light green fenders on a dark frame. They all handle the HT kits with ease- you WILL have to open up the big hole on the sprocket by a slight margin. I resolved the chain issue by inserting a locknut between the frame and the outer locknut on the left- that pushes the frame open and the hub over to allow room for the chain- you will have to shift the axle to the left to accommodate, otherwise you will have only 2/3rds engagement of the left nut on that side. As regarding brakes, you NEED at the very least a caliper front brake in conjuction with the coaster brake to bring this beast under control. And yes, a heavier lockstrap for the lever is not a bad idea. I've seen posts where a lug had been welded there for the purpose- seems reasonable to me. Make sure you bolt out to in- a bolt going in to out will back right into the teeth/chain junction of the sprocket should the nut fall off. Results are not fun.
    BTW- among the children's bikes there is a Cranbrook on 24" wheels. It looks as though a HT engine might fit in there, allowing smaller adults a shot at the fun. Someday I might even try it to see what happens.
    the Old Sgt.:army:
    ChiefGeek likes this.
  9. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    So I've been riding this bike for about 6 months now and have been loving it. More upgrades I have added are a front brake, Dellorto carb, and a front headlight wired to the white magneto wire (I know I've read a lot of threads that badmouth this, but I have had no problems so far.)

    Aesthetically, I fabricated a cafe racer seat end to add a reflector and a place to store a tool pouch. I'm just afraid now it looks too much like a motorcycle and I'll have trouble with cops. time will tell.

    Attached Files:

  10. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    How did you make the butt bump? :army:
  11. jackal_lantern

    jackal_lantern New Member

    Pretty much, took a piece of steel sheet metal and and shaped it around a plywood base that could be bolted or zip tied to the rear rack of the bike. I later removed the plywood and ziptied only the sheet metal to the rear rack so that the cafe-style end can cover a portion of the seat. I sealed up the hole by cutting a piece of 1/8 plywood to fit in the semi-circle hole left open.

    There is a simple diagram on how I did it attached (no measurements.) I would recommend making a model out of paper or cardstock to get the shape and measurements one would want for their bike.

    Attached Files:

  12. birdmannn101

    birdmannn101 Member

    Sgt, do you have any pictures of what you did? I took the wide tires off and replaced them with a smaller width tire and the chain still rubs.
  13. ChiefGeek

    ChiefGeek New Member

    Kudos Jackal!

    Very inspiring build! I just purchased this bike over the weekend , and my engine kit should be here Wednesday. Hope to come close to the quality job you did, thanks!
  14. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    for more hill climbing ability you should buy an offset intake manifold and use 2.5" of 3/4" heater hose between it and the carb to give more low rpm power. that and increase the cylinder compression.
    I like that gas tank though. I bet you can go hundreds of miles between fillups!