Qusetios about donor bike for a first time buioder

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Porkchop, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    Hello All !
    I'm a new-bee getting ready to build my first motor bike. I have a Grubee 48cc basic engine kit on the way. I'm pretty mechanicaly inclined. I've rebuilt many bicycless over the years but don't know to much about the technical aspects of them. I have a Schwinn Suburban that I purchased new about 5 or 6 years ago. It has less than 10 miles on it today. I've seen this same bicycle in 2 stores on sale for $300.00 today. I'm thinking of purchasing a new Schwinn Point Beach from Walmart ($175.00).
    The Point Beach is way more comfortable to me and I like the retro styling. Are either of these bikes sutible for a motor ? Will the wheels, wheel bearings, crank bearings, spokes and so on hold up ? Not to mention the frame welds !
    Actually, my number one choice is and older 3 or 5 speed with straight frame tubes. I'm going to some local thrift stores tomorrow looking for one. I would love to find an older Schwinn for a good price. Already been flipping the pages on eBay looking for one.
    I also have a 1981 Scwhinn Continental that I purchased new. It has a few hundred miles on it. Both my Schwinns are in pristine condition !
    I want a 26" frame, prefferably retro styling and prefferably with fenders, chrome or painted in case anyone has suggestions.
    Any advice and/or opinions for a first time builder will be greatly appreciated !
    Thanks !

    ..... Porkchop .....
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    The Point Beach (and any $100-200 bike) is not really as stout as we'd like.
    On the other hand, there are a number of these bikes with motors giving good service.
    (I'm running a Columbia from the 1970s. Decent, but not overbuilt)
    Probably the best way to put it is "be gentle, and you're probably allright."

    If I were to choose a bike for a motor, it would be the Schwinn Heavi-Duti. Most grownups will remember this bike. 30 yrs ago we thought of it as a "paper boy bike".
    A few months back I looked up the Schwinn web-site and found that they are still making that model. (I was a bit surprised, but happy) List price $249, I think. About 250, anyway.

    Seems like a great price for a bike that would be just perfect for this job.

    Sooner or later I'm going that way.
  3. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    My first bicycle was a single speed coaster brake Columbia. I got it from Santa back in 1968. I don't remember the Hevi-Duti though. From doing some more research this morning, I've about decided to go with a single speed bike for my build and do a front wheel disc brake conversion on it.
    I also found a friction driven set up that I kind of like. Don't know if they are welcome in this forum or not. I know most people seem to bad mouth them. But I discovered I already have a brand new motor, still in the crate that I've had for a year or more that will work with it with no mods. I have to say I am leaning a little towards the friction drive along with a Honda 4 stroke engine. I'll use my bike for recreation purposes only. Around the neighborhood, campground and so on. Not a speed demon and I know I won't be riding in the rain unless I get caught in it, so it's no big deal to me as far as drive train slippage.
    Did I mention one of my best friends owns a machine shop that's located about 1/2 mile from my house ? And he welds too ! Boy does he come in handy !!!
    Thanks for the input !
  4. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    I just located the 2009 Schwinn Heavy Duty. The MSRP on them is $439.99 ! Ouch !!! I guess maybe you get what you pay for, but I imagine ALL Schwinns are built in China now huh ? Even their more expensive models ?
  5. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    IMHO-- -- Look around for an older, Chicago-built Schwinn to rebuild & motorize!! Tough as nails!
  6. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Lot's of people here use and highly recommend Friction Drives
    They have some unique advantages over other motor drives

    What set up are you looking at?

    Would that be a Honda GX 35 / 31?

    I don't ride in what little rain we get either so my Staton 35 cc Robin Subaru
    works great
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  7. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    One of the websites I found that sells friction drive kits kind of, sort of, highly recommended the motors from gasoline powered augers (post hole diggers) from Harbor Freight. I happen to have a brand new auger as per the one they mentioned, in my basement. I bought it new a little over a year ago and have never put fuel in it. I've only opened the box to see what it looked like and make sure it's all there. Goes to show you how many holes I dig huh ? I caught mine on sale and paid around $160.00 for it. I like the simplicity of the friction drives, but not to impressed at the way they look though. Right now I'm going for the "in the frame" build. But I'll probably do a friction drive later. They've been around for years. I'd prefer to use a 4 cycle. I know Honda in general makes quality stuff, but I don't like the idea of the head and block being one piece nor the plastic/nylon cam shaft and valve lifters. They miaght last forever. I don't know. I'm not an expert on this stuff.
    I saw a break down on that engine somewhere in the past few days. And by the way, I think the engine breakdown was a Honda gx35 or something like that. I'm sure all their small motors are not made with the crank case and head as one unit.
  8. KDC1956

    KDC1956 Member

    Friction Drive is the only way to go for my self.I just don;t like to mess with a chain on an engine.I never did like it on my motorcycle I had at one time either.But Bicycle chain don't brother me lol.My last few parts for my bicycle/trike that I have been working on for so long will be here this friday. Weeeeeeeeeeee.
    As soon as I get them its forget ever thing I was going to do and finish my trike.But then they say its going to rain here too so if it does I want get to test my new trike.
  9. toddjlyons

    toddjlyons Member

    Schwinn Del Mar, Wally World, $129.95, Cut the fender, reverse the sprocket, re-do front motor mount, good to go! TJ