"So & So" Motorbike Co. I don't get it???

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Joaquin Suave, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

    Pardon me, I don't mean to be professor Buzzkill here...

    But, whats the deal with people buying a Felt or "whatever" frameset (probably retail), a cheap import motor package, and a couple of other ancillary components (again probably retail). Blowing some paint on the frames & fenders...

    Then calling themselves a motorbike company??????

    Have they designed or custom build a d*mb thing? Are they paying for product liability insurance on their supposed product? Are they marketing their product to anyone other than a couple of "homeboyz" in the hood?

    Just because you are handy with some wrenches and can build a website, doesn't mean your are a manufacturer!

    Personally, I feel that there should be some criteria to designate the REAL BUILDERS from poseurs that JUST buy and re-market other peoples "stuff"!


  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Heh, where to begin?

    Let's face it, there are many assemblers and very few builders. The nature of the game so far has been backyard mechanics thinking or being asked "where can I get one?" Then, mission creep sets in, lol.

    If you were manufacturing chopper motorcycles say, building frames etc, to become legal with the authority to issue 17 digit VINs or MCOs (manufacturers certificates of origin) for titling purposes, you would need to apply for and obtain a USDOT Manufacturers License certificate and adhere to the safety regs and record keeping requirements.

    So far for MBs, liability, legal or even credibility issues haven't been of much concern because it's mostly small potatoes to this point and heavily weighted toward the do-it-yourselfer. This might have to change but I think it's very likely a slippery slope to navigate.

    If/should MBs become numerous enough on the highways AND the number of "builders" escalate to the point where .gov takes notice and steps in, then expect the same safety requirements in effect for motorcycles with frames, wheels, brakes, lights and speed rated tires to take hold. And pretty much kiss the DIY, backyard built motorized bicycle goodbye.

    Those of us around during the '70s oil price shocks saw a similar (not exactly the same I realize) thing happen with Mopeds. They went from an essentially unregulated, cheap mode of transportation to a whole legal, regulated class of motor vehicle.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  3. Joaquin Suave

    Joaquin Suave New Member

    Superb reply Happy,

    Or should i call you Mr. Valley...

    I guess that I'm suffering from a severe case of wishful thinking because i am trying to get people on the motor bicycle forums to sift the proverbial "wheat from the shaft". If a person were to try to claim that they were a bicycle manufacture on a bicycle enthusiast forum, when it was obvious that they were really just "collecting" other manufactures parts... It would get them laughed off the site. Not so with the moto-bike set!

    So, rather than looking to DOT, NHSA, to give the motorised bicycle clan any legitimacy...I'm just saying we should define from within (not regulate...OOH, bad word!!!). If you are putting together other peoples stuff in your own unique way...then you are an assembler ( AND THAT IS STILL A REALLY COOL THING)!

    If you are designing and building your own frames, clutches, transmissions, etc....Then you are a manufacturer! And deserve the right call to yourself a motor-bicycle company.

    Just my own $.02...Not that it means squat to anyone else.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Only if I should call you Mr. Smooth, lol.

    IMO, it's a worthwhile topic but we might be in the minority thinking so. Most folks just wanna have fun with a hobby. Beyond that, your thought on "define from within" strikes a resonant chord to my thinking....for a number of reasons.

    I know what you're saying about bike building sites, particularly frame builders. (we might compare notes on those sometime). They tend to be terse craftsmen, lol.
    Also though, I have thought for some time that, I'll dare use the word for lack of a better one, self-regulation was something to seek a consensus for, to maintain a degree of advantage in keeping ahead of the curve on legislation and keeping these MB THINGS accessible and not morphing over completely into an unlimited, motorcycle class......I mean if you really want to go fast, get a MC!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  5. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you Joaquin, but that is what many motor scooter sellers are doing now. They buy off-the-shelf China Scooters, change the body work a bit, and sell it under their name. Buyer beware.
  6. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member


    I am glad i've read this thread- I will be entering into the "Assembler's" buisness here pretty shortly, with the intention of introducing a low-cost form of transportation to my area. I HAVE designed and will produce a hub-to-sprocket mount that will do away with the rubber ... doo-hicky... that comes with the kit. That thing SOOOOO offends me. But I guess in the end, I am an assembler... for now... I have found myself sketching frames and springer forks ala 1920's Europe with working tanks and fat saddles. Later on, perhaps... but for now, let's see what happens. My customers won't care if I call myself 'Master Bike Guru' as long as I don't sell them junk... but this does clear up where I actually stand in the matter.
    the Old Sgt.
    Assembler par excellancé
    Shop Foreman, Chief Bottle Washer & bootblack
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015
  7. gia

    gia New Member

    hub to sprocket mount?

    Okay, I'm in the early stages of my first build, and enjoying all of the murphy's law stuff and delays...but you caught my interest with the hub to sprocket mount, and you know I'm not the only one who'd be interested in hearing more about it, as well as whether or not one can be purchased from you and how much it would cost. Spill your beans, please!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015
  8. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    So&so bike company

    The design is simple to the point of stupid. Anybody with a lath and drillpress can do one. Start with 3.5diameter rod stock aluminum. Lop off a 1.5 chunk and chuck it in. Knock out your hole to .003" less than your average hub diameter. Face off the portion you see and notch a mark the radius of the 9 holes of the sprocket. Invert, re-chuck and face THAT end. Place sprocket over marked face, align holes with radial mark and punch you centers with the sprocket fixed. Drill and tap for the sprocket screw. NOW come the fun part- draw three lines on the marked face to represent where screws will hold the seperations. they will be 120 degrees apart with two screwhole outside the line in the middle and one inside the line at either end... play with it on paper, it will make sense. You will use these to guide the driling of the six holes (two per cut/line) that will hold it together. Thes you drill and tap to fit the same size screw that holds the sprocket, inletting for screw heads as you go. You will need an upright vice on your drillpress for this. Now cut your seperations across the holes you drilled last, creating three pieces- mark the mateing surfaces to allow for sloppy hacksaw work. Loose bolt onto the hub with the gaps equal and the marked side on the left side of the wheel. Bolt your HT sprocket in place. Adjust, tighten and call it good.
  9. occchopperfl

    occchopperfl Member

  10. gia

    gia New Member

    Yeah, pics would be great--I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, as I'd have to get someone with the tools to make it for me. They might understand the directions...but a lot of people are pretty visual in trying to make something.
  11. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    bike building

    Well as it turns out, I just spent today moving my shop to new digs. This included my 780 lb unimill. I am now waiting for some quality time with my chiropractor. The aluminum stock is on order and I suspect next weekend I will start cutting. I've ordered six bikes and six motor kits besides. DID YOU KNOW- you can go to walmart.com and order any bike they stock and have it delivered to your door? They have a multitude of Cranbrook variations and options including welded-to-the-frame backracks, drink holders and bottle openers attatched to bike. One bike even has an amplifier for your digital music widgit- they call it the 'Kareoke'. Translated from Japanese, it means 'Tone deaf'. Anyways... once I procede with these mounts, I will document the process.
    the Old Sgt.
  12. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    As for "assemblers" calling themselves a MB "company"... I'm going to guess that very few of them make their bread and butter selling their assemblies-- the bulk of their business is from selling the parts and pieces to the DIY crowd, and then build (ahem... "ASSEMBLE") a handful of bikes for the folks who are looking more for a quick start into the hobby.

    I don't think there is a large enough number of people with disposable income to fuel a sustainable demand for TRUE builds. Is there a demand for them at all? I would have to say "of course there is a DEMAND for true custom builds!" Heck, I would love to have a reproduction of an actual turn of-the-century motorized bicycle (which is what the first motorcycles were) but I will never have that kind of cash. While I am doing the work myself on my bike, and while there is some customization beyond "just paint", my bike is going to be fairly stock since I am not a metal fabricator.

    I think the biggest portion of the MB market is the DIYers-- the people who want to fabricate their own thing regardless of cost because THAT is what they want out of the hobby, and the people who use stock parts because it's really all they can afford.