Starrman15's vent



Just got in from grocery after work.
(I am a guitarist & singer)

Very surprised & pleased!
Believe me, I'll check everything out as I become familiar with the site.

Again I do not want to "trash" or put down any particular business.
Just attempting to combine my passion for bicycles & dirt-bikes & motorcycles....(you get the idea)

I also have a passion for excercise & my favorite form of cardio is cycling.
At 48 years of age I have found cycling to be the best way for me to trim down between my lifting days at the gym.
Also the excercise really helps my vocal strength.

That is why I am not interested in purchasing a "pure" motorcycle.
I like them,but Ohio weather is not that kind to the motorcyclist unless you are just die-hard about riding vs. automobile.

I desire a motorized bicycle for many reasons.
And this has become a quest! HA HA!

1. Sometimes you just don't feel up to pedaling on a hot day.
But the engine will get you out & you will get some exercise.

2. Sometimes you ride 15 to 20 miles one way invigiorated & then realize
"Hey I am tired & it's getting dark & could use some help getting home!"

3. I am just not a "bike rack guy"
Never will be.

4. I want to be able to commute reasonable distances 20 to 30 miles
motorized & have the option of turning the motor off for exercise at will.

If not, my motorized bike will give me some exercise & the pleasure of
going where cars & motorcycles can't & enjoying God's beautiful creation.

Also, caring about others (AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE BIKE TRAILS...I
do not use the GEBE on the trails out of respect & noise levels.
Contrary to what GEBE tells you, the engines are LOUD!

5. For the motorized aspect of the bicycle I desire some real power
& speed.
I do not want to sacrifice one for the other & do not believe you have to.

6. Traffic conditions warrant (temporarily) some power & speed since every now & then we Bicycle riders pull up to a traffic light at a conjested intersection to get us where no bike trail or sidewalk exists.

And how about that WALK SIGN at traffic lights?
How many of you have stood there....waited for the sign to say "walk"
& have almost been run over by drivers on cell phones turning right on red etc.
They could care less about the "WALK" signal!

Bottom line, I have found it better in most situations (except 5 O'Clock Traffic) to get in the lane you need to be in & just abide by traffic rules (visibility permitting of course) then get out of everyones way.

7. Well, thank you for wading through my post.

BTW, Bike Lights!!
I am open & would like anyone who cares to turn me on to a product they feel good about!
Besides a great mirror, lights are very important.
There are so many products out there I am confused as which type & brand of light system to purchase.

Again thanks & a great day to everyone!
Thanks...but I need to politely vent

I will try & get to the GEBE rant thread as soon as I finish this note.

First & formost I want to say "thank you" for all the support & info I have received in less than 24 hours!!
You all are really good people.

The next thing I want to say is that after a year of "tweaking" personal work,
& putting my almost 80 year old father (a great mechanic with almost every tool & know how known to man) up to the task of mounting that darn GEBE bike engine kit after I failed......remember the popular mechanics article....
what B.S.....& I needed about 12 beers to soothe my aching pocket book & nerves......
We have achieved success as far as adapting said bicycle to their product.

So Starrman you may ask....what is your problem with GEBE then?

WELL, I will be honest with you all.
IMO, it is a work in progress & a VERY costly one!

If anyone out there does like this engine, then that is great.
I have a fine one to sell you cheap.
It just does not meet my needs.
VERY underpowered for the price.

But GEBE keeps trying to tell me it is "what I need"
& All is fine"
That thing is SO tempermental it is ridiculous!!
And they have accused me of putting too much oil in it or voiding the warranty by using STABIL.
But hey, the thing won't run without FUEL STABIL!!

Bottom line, if it worked perfectly, I would not want it.
Because I want & need more speed & power.
They pushed me away from the 40 cc Tanaka.

You know, you can't go to a Golden Eagle Dealership & test drive all of their engines mounted on demo bikes.
If something like that existed I would never have purchased the Robin Subaru. is a crapshoot & I lost.
If the thing only cost 2 to 300 dollars max then that is not SUCH a big deal.
Still alot of money though...
But $629.00 dollars & I am not going to go into the problems & learning curve involved with this engine over the past year!

Well, they ought to tell you a few of their secrets when they sell you one of these 4 stroke Robins!
& try to get a spark plug for one of these engines....good luck!!

I also purchased one of their wheels & axles which I do not regret but a costly purchase nonetheless.

So I decide I want the Tanaka 40 CC.
& I have not gotten out from under the Robin yet....
They tell me that they want list price for the Tanaka 40 cc engine without the GEBE CLUTCH!!

That is ridiculous!
What good is a Tanaka 40 cc engine to be used in concert with the GEBE kit without the clutch??
Also, I can buy the same engine in town for almost 100 dollars less!

But they informed me of how to take the GEBE clutch off the Robin & mount it on the Tanaka.
Now what what in the world do I want with an almost $600.00 dollar Robin 35 cc "doorstop"??

This is what I call "Customer No Service" & a slap in the face!

OK, thanks for the therapy!
I realize more important issues are at work in the world than a bicycle engine.

Bottom line, I think I know how to fix the problem but I am not going to spend another 4 to 500 dollars at GEBE.
Something has to be done with this Robin & I will not just "eat it"

My options are to go into a completely different direction or sell the Robin for a paltry sum.

Also, is the clutch design on GEBE bike engines a patent?
It sort of reminds me of this little Honda mini-bike I had in around 71'

If I can work around them I will or just completely change direction
in motorizing a bicycle.

Again, thanks for listening!
Starrman 15
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First, I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations with the GEBE/kit. As you may discover, I've had my own troubles with GEBE. I have not field tested my GEBE bike yet (still in progress), but all of the parts seem to be high quality. I also bought the R/S 35cc. Everyone (well...almost everyone) who has gotten the kit on a bike successfully seems to have a good opinion of it. However, IMHO, the people at GEBE have a knack for making the smallest thing amazingly complicated.

Keep a good thought. There's a lot of useful info on this site as you browse around. I have learned a lot here.

BTW, Bike Lights!!
I am open & would like anyone who cares to turn me on to a product they feel good about!
Besides a great mirror, lights are very important.
There are so many products out there I am confused as which type & brand of light system to purchase.

IMHO, since we all have engines on our bikes, the weight of a lighting system is less important. And if weight is not a factor, I think cobbling together your own lighting system is best. It is so easy that even a software guy like me can do it! I bought a 12 volt tractor light (you read that correctly) from Pep boys for about $20, and a 12v 5.2 Amp hour sealed lead acid battery from a local shop ($25). I connected the two with some simple wiring (the tractor light has a built-in switch) and ... it is awesome. I also spent $55 on a *really* nice 1.2 amp trickle recharger, which recharges my battery in about 4 hours.

I needed a seriously bright light because I ride at night. I had some overpriced LED nonsense that probably did make me somewhat visible, but did nothing to help *me* see the road at night. My tractor light is so bright that, on more than one occasion, people have assumed that a car was approaching. I had this mounted on my old non-GEBE bike and it would brightly light an approximately 14' x 14' square just in front of my front tire (that was not a typo: 14 feet x 14 feet, brightly lit square).

It was mounted to a cheap handlebar basket it such a way that it handled vibration/bouncing quite well. The battery was in a knapsack (along with my bike tools and stuff) that was also in the handlebar basket. It was a neat system. I would post pics but I have it all disassembled while I transfer it to my GEBE-bike (in progress). I may upgrade to a 12 volt halogen from Harbor Freight with a metal housing (mine is plastic), but I am totally sold on the 12 volt homemade lighting system.

This is what I've bought for my rear light (not hooked up yet)

A local electronics dude gave me a circuit for making it blink, and I will post that if I have some time.

There is always a 50% probability that things will improve!

:cool:i have less than 100 miles on my ROBIN 35cc friction drive, but not the GEBE kit. my engine is perfect. well, it might rattle at idle and low speed. for all intents and purpose, it is a perfect match for my 20" DAHON bike.
sometimes i wonder why i'm replacing the ROBIN with a new MITSUBISHI 2.2hp/gear-chain drive.:rolleyes:
Starrman, are you driving with your choke on?
I guess the best way to address this is seperating the bikes part from the engine part first, because Sam's rant and your vent can both be combined for object lessons.

When I first talked to Dennis and Julia in 2005, it was always intended to be a hobby business, which meant getting some bikes on the road, buzzing around town.

The first 3 bikes were Wally World $100 Avalons. Poor brakes, infererior derailleur, razor thin saddle, assembled by a guy who worked at McDonalds the previous week, but a lesson I had to experience to get to the next level, building reliable transportation.

I could not rely on WalMart for help with bikes, and that got me to Paul Watson, at the Peddler in Decatur, who carried the Sun Line. I bought a coaster brake model, found the Retro 7 in the catalog and ordered a red one, and have been hooked on that brand ever since, because it has everything Schwinn has for as much as a $100 less.

2.125 tires give some folks headaches, rubbing the belt, but I've got it down now, and fingernail polish instead of Loctite is such a simple clean solution I learned HERE I could never endure long trips on thinner tires.

I learned about 12 gauge spokes the hard way, broke 1, then popped 2 more in another mile. From that experience, I would NEVER snap a spokering on a cheap stock wheel. I quickly retro fitted my few customers with the heavier spokes. Never had a problem since, except rust, because I use the cheapest steel version of 12 gauge.

Don't want rust? Spend more than $35 and get aluminum.

Winter 2006 is when GEBE did the belt/gear upgrade, a great improvement, again I retrofitted my folks with the taller mounts and heavier belts. I wanted all the bikes to be up to date, and then I wouldn't have to carry two types of parts.

Way back then it was suggested that instead of a straight screwdriver slot on the end of the driveshaft, put an Allen's hole in the end of the shaft, which the newest motors all have. Feedback works.

When I took the Denver trip, GEBE came through in the pinch on support, I'll tell you that. Taking a long trip? Send some money up to GEBE to hold on your account, so next day air to some little post office in Nowhere OK is guaranteed.

Motor sizes/types. I've recommended the 25 cc for riders under 200 pounds, the 33 cc Tanaka now for heavier riders.

I've tried the Tanaka 40 (tooooo much motor in my humble estimation), and the 35 R/S on that Workman Trike.

The 33 Tanaka is a keeper I'm thinking, if only it had a 48 oz tank !!! I'm ordering a 96 oz. from Staton because I think I'll use a 33 on a long run in the fall.

Mixing oil is no big deal, at home or on the road. The Denver engine has 5,000 miles and is still using the original plug. Feedback on the 35 R/S will be important, I looked into them but like the 2 cycle idea, seeing the oil instead of relying on a dip stick.

What can do to help GEBE newbies....

Emphasize the spokering "centering". If Dennis built your wheel, you can go by a veteranarian and buy a few 60 cc syringes for a buck. Saw off a little over 2/3 or the syringe, then grind down the remaining plastic till it is SNUG in the gap between the ring and the wheel. Notch one end so it slips over a spoke.

Then, when somebody needs help with an install, you have a "gapper". They could even be mailed to prospects by us, OR Dennis might see the idea and make these 17 cent items en masse for the kits.

I don't currently have a GEBE wheel, but if I did, I could probably mass produce 50 of them with all the leftover cattle syringes here at the house, send them to Michigan.

If a person reads of GEBE on, ask for a BAMAGAPPER.

Emphasize rear wheel/tire/tube modifications, you DO NOT want a flat on the road, especially on the rear. Take that from a guy who got 3 in one day on the way to Florida in Spring 2006, before learning about better tires and Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

Finally, only one 25cc was broken in improperly, I let a neighbor use it and he put in ethanol. That engine is the one on my "pasture bike", the first coasterbrake Sun I bought. I would never sell an engine that had a drop of ethanol in it.

Don't use ethanol, don't forget oil mix, and put 150-200 miles on long straightways without jackrabbit starting. It really works.

Sam's mount modifications seem studied and viable, there is nothing built that fits every situation, back when I complained to Dennis about the front straps, he bulked them up within months, added that angle in the kits to eliminate bending them around posts.

That's feedback that can be implemented for everybody, proof that GEBE keeps evolving.

If you are like me and NEVER release the tension arm on the belt, adding a second spring to prevent occasional slippage or hopping works, especially on demonstration bikes where a stranger is wanting the effect without knowing all the little tips.

Good, new ideas will occur to riders faster on than up at GEBE, they are too busy shipping orders to enjoy riding very much, I suppose.

GEBE cannot tell you to throw away the spark arrestor on the end of the exhaust, while a private citizen like myself can say "Scr*w the EPA/OSHA or whoever required this thing ...Toss the screen away !!! It will clog in 500-700 miles or so. )

I'm only going to offer the 2 new versions of the 25 Zenoah and 33 Tanaka, (once they hit the floor).

But first I must complete that Staton/ Workman project, too many precious funds sitting in Ozone Park NY. THAT is the major vent I have, waiting for 2 tricycles to be delivered "sometime" in the next two months.
40cc Tanaka Fuel Tank vs. Robin 35cc

Wow, this IS a great thread!
Quite a bit of info here!

It was asked if I was running the robin with the choke on.
No, absolutely not.
But there were a couple of times I HAD to just to keep it running.
The fuel stabilizer Dennis reccomended fixed that problem.

But I every few fill ups need to add some fuel stabilizer.
Not such a bad thing I guess.
The word on the street is the grade of fuel were getting here in Dayton Ohio
is ****.

The Robin ran like a scalded dog yesterday in incredibly humid & 90 degree temperatures.
Makes me think twice about selling it but that fuel tank position just drives me up the wall!
& different strokes for different folks....The robin is just a bit underpowered (for my needs)

I literally have to pick the bike up & luckily have tree to cram the back end
into....chock the front tire...then fill er' up!
I will have to take a pic of this operation for you all to see!

Now to my question.
Is the Tanaka's tank in a better position?
Straight down so whatever the fuel the tank has in it, the engine gets it all.
I can't tell from the pics of the engine itself.

I did see a pic & I think it was one of bamabike guys bikes.
It was a great side shot & it was the Red Max I am almost certain.
And that is what I am looking for.

Really interested in the 40 cc Tanaka but maybe the RED MAX is the answer.
I don't know & am looking to ya' all for all the input & advice you can lend!

Thanks for listening,
Starrman, did you know that can turn the motor where the fuel tank is strait up and down?its not hard at all to do this.:eek:
This is the Tanaka 33 and Zenoah 25 tank placements.

That was a major concern when choosing not to handle the 35 R/S. You could dangle a small funnel off the cap, tied it to the neck??

How much do you weigh?

The 25 cc get's me (180 lbs) up to 34 mph on the straightaway, when I ran a 40 the fastest I got was 35, and the 33 Tanaka is just as fast.

Just my opinion, but that 40 cc is way more than a bike needs, unless you plan on pulling a concrete mixer, cattle hauler or airstream camper behind it.


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Now THATS what I'm looking for!

Thanks bamabikeguy!

Let me go jump on the scale....I weigh 216 at the moment.

The Tanaka 40cc sounds like a winner.
I really would like more power than the Robin delivers.
Not just speed.
I have to run it almost flat out too much.

BTW, I purchased A new wheel from GEBE Dennis reccomended & he put the ring on himself & sent it to me last September.
It is supposed to be able to handle the tourqe of these engines.
Okay, I love when advise is completely disregarded.

When you get the 40cc Tanaka, the break in is MOST important, a lot more than any of the other engines.

YOU MUST break it in similar to a motorcycle, varied speeds over varied time sequences.

10 seconds at 3/4 throttle.
20 seconds at half
15 at full etc......

There was a airplane mechanic on board this winter who had the recommended sequences of an engine, which serves as a guide.

Hard for impatient types like myself to adjust to, but that sucka would run.

btw: back to gas, use only name brand types, no "Joe's gas", but patronize the Big Boys like Amoco and Standard.