Staton eh035 observations

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by tjdmobile, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    I received this one Thursday, mounted and test drove it (fun!). I chose the 7/8 roller because the commute home from work has about 3 decent hills. I took it on a test run today, 11 miles each way.

    It is fast enough for me, average of 21 mph on the flats unless I pedal, then I can achieve about 23. I am about 6 foot, 170 pounds. Tires are country rock michillins (sp?). I pedal from stops and a bit here and there when taking corners and climbing hills to maintain 20 up hill.

    Here are my questions and concerns:

    I heard the after market tanks on these would take you 30-40 miles. Mine took me 11, but still had a splash left. I am glad I took my MSR bottle. Could this be due to breaking the engine in? Is also using oil (maybe half ounce)

    There appears to be fine tire tread dust all over the motor. I am wondering if the tread is too soft?

    I don't want to be paranoid, just wondering if I am using this thing wrong. Do you guys pedal all the time or something to get the great fuel economy? Wonder if it's my small roller. I do spend a lot of time WOT. I am on an aluminum comp mountain bike, not too heavy.

    Thanks, glad to be in the group!

  2. occchopperfl

    occchopperfl Member

    Hi and Welcome!

    (I have a BMP set up as a FD w/ a 1.25" roller and a Grubee 4 stroke 49cc engine btw)

    a. Not sure about your MPG, maybe it has to do w/ break in and small roller as well.
    b. Tread dust is par for the course w/ FD. Have your PSI at the max recommended.
    Not sure if your tread is too soft, but mtn bike tires are NOT good for FD.

    For more reference info., the 2 MB forums have a TON of info, and bmp website has info on tires, as well as David Staton himself.

    Tire Info:

    Here is a tire I was thinking of getting:

    Question for you:
    The MSR bottle - can you describe the cap? Is it sealed or vented? Anything else unique about it?
    (There is a heavy duty energy drink aluminum bottle that I was thinking of using, but I want to make sure it is ok/ safe to use.)

    Any more questions, please ask me/us. There is a bunch of cool, helpful people in this forum.

    Ride That Thing!

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  3. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Hi and thanks for the response! The MSR bottle I picked up at REI is for use with white gas for camp stoves. It's not vented, has a rubber O-ring so I have to open it very slowly to let the pressure release slowly so I'm not soaked with gas when I open it. Works perfect. The tires I have are street tires, semi slick. Good rolling performance too when I release the drive roller. The Staton unfortunately has the roller pressed in there, so I will ask David how I should go about getting a larger roller on there. Would miss the power on the hills, but would like to be half throttle rather than full most of the time. I will just commute on it for a couple weeks and work out the riding style. I may end up satisfied with 15 mph at lower trottle to get better mileage.

  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    By the after market tank I assume you mean the 24 oz tank instead of the 22 oz factory tank? Asking because there is an after market and larger saddle tank.

    With a EHO35, 1" roller, 22 oz tank, 200 lb rider and 50 lb total weight bike I get 25 miles over the fairly level terrain in my area. I would ease up for break in on the WOT, at least 5 to 10 hours of use or so.

    I remember the rubber dust. I had more in the first 10 miles when I first tried FD than I have had in the hundreds of miles since. Your diligence will prevail.
    I think the biggest contributor to tire wear is jack-rabbit starts, go easy from a stand still, feather the throttle and pedal start to 7 or 8 mph to begin.

    A good guide on initial set-up is try to align the axis of the drive spindle 90 degrees to the plane of the wheel and parallel to the wheel much as possible.

    Down pressure for the roller on the tire is something you'll figure out, about 1/4" to 3/16" or so, too little it can slip, too much it can bog the engine.

    For tire inflation, I run my tires at the high end of the range, near max inflation. Running the tires too soft can and will chew them up. People often have said FD eat tires but I get 2000 miles or more from a rear.

    Last, I've not used that tire but I've seen them. They should be good but I know they have the diamond tread pattern. Conceivably you might get a bit more wear on them if the roller trims the trailing edge of the tread pattern as it passes. I've always used a smooth slick for FD. Overall I think it's just a matter of getting to know the set-up and taking it easy on starts and acceleration. FDs are great for a lot of reasons but like most things there are some trade-offs you have to live with.
  5. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Thanks HV for that informative response. Good stuff in there. Indeed I pedal and idle the engine until I am about 10 mph then engage the engine (as I hear that's a good way to extend the life of the clutch shoes too). Didn't think about the diamond pattern leading to clipping the edges. Very good point, so when they are rounded over, maybe I will get less grinding action. I watched a youtube video that demonstrated very well how to assemble and press the roller down. I am running my tires at 60 pounds (of the 75 max). I could bump up to 70 and see what happens.

    The tank is the standard one that Staton includes on the R/S, the 24oz when I look at my invoice. If I pedal more, I will probably use less gas. Need to stop being so lazy :cool:

    In the end, I am satisfied with the results. I am used to riding a 650cc Sport bike, so I am learning the ropes as cars speed past me and don't give me much room on the 45 mph road that has me WOT. As you stated though, I need to ease off that for now, until the motor is broken in. Kind of like my Ninja, had to stay below 4k for the first 500 miles, then below 6k for another 1000. Then I could let that motor have it. I will chill out on the throttle.

    I have noticed that kids especially can't believe what they are seeing when I ride by. That makes me laugh! It's also nice to ride the bike into town to hit our greenbelt path (no motored vehicles allowed). Turn off the motor and cover it, then I'm riding like all the other bikers on there. This is now such a versatile machine!
  6. The hardest, smoothest tire is best and inflate it to near the max the maker puts on the sidewall. In my opinion, the roller must be absolutely perpendicular to the tire to prevent excess tire wear. There is a lever that tightens to hold the roller down on the tire, to pedal with no resistance you simply loosen the lever and raise the roller off the wheel. Of course you will have to put the roller back down on the tire to motor.

    On my Staton friction drive with the RS 35 engine I bought the larger auxillary fuel tank from Statton(3/4 gallon) and mounted it on top of the drive in the center. The range with that tank was pushing what my skinny butt could tollerate. You should get at least 100 MPG. I got 160+, but I was using a larger roller.

    I changed the oil often during break-in. I used standard oil during break-in, then switched to Castrol Syntec synthetic. I would consider running the engine at just below top speed and varying the speed constantly during the break-in.

    If you find oil getting on and dripping from the air cleaner you may be overfilling the oil. The engine will just push out excess oil into the air cleaner. I found that if I filled the oil with 85cc instead of the 100cc the factory recommended, it worked fine and stayed in the crankcase instead of fouling the aircleaner and dripping on the ground. I rode that bike many thousands of trouble free miles.

    Good luck.
  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I was involved in several friction drive builds before. In fact, I prolly had more flats than anyone here on the forum (one flat every 2-3 weeks). With my center-frame mount and shift kit, I haven't had a flat this year...yet.:whistling:

    I LOVED swapping engines and friction rollers. Staton's drive assembly was not conducive to easy roller changes. In fact, I had to take my Staton to the machine shop to remove and replace the 1.5" rollers.

    Small-diameter friction spindles are MUCH easier to R&R, because they are smaller in diameter than the 1.375" bearings. The big problem is that


    You have to have a press to remove and reinstall the bearings onto Staton drive housings.

    BMP uses the same 1.375" bearings...


    It would be possible to have a machine shop clearance the Staton drive housing's bearing holes. This would allow you to EASILY R&R the bearings and friction roller as a unit. However, you would have to fabricate a bearing retainer on the outboard side, to keep the bearing and roller from falling out.

    Staton friction rollers are also a press-fit onto the 1.375" bearings. The rollers can easily be converted from press-fit to slip-fit with a few seconds of sanding both shafts of the friction spindles.:detective:

    Instead of machining the Staton housing, I bought a BMP friction drive housing and retrofitted the Staton rollers into the BMP housing (Of course, a bearing retainer had to be fabbed to keep the bearing from falling out). This worked well, because I liked Staton's rollers, and I liked BMP's slip-fit advantages.:bowdown:

    Hope this helped somewhat.:grin5:
  8. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Well with such an inviting thread title lol, hope you don't mind some further observations td? :grin5:

    I've not had problems removing bearings from the Staton channel but I have a small, cheap shop press from Harbor freight picked up awhile back (or maybe you know someone with one) In all likelihood it's something that might never come up, depending on use, unless you want to try another size spindle.

    There are a couple few pesky quirks with the EHO35 though.

    An interesting point.
    The dry oil fill is 100ml. As Mike mentions, when you change it, it takes 85ml.

    Now this might get a little longwinded and picky, after all these are just weed-whacker engines lol, but if you're a gearhead like me with your bikes then maybe follow along and I'll explain my observations and the consequences.

    One of these engines used on a hand held power tool is no big deal changing the oil, just remove the fill plug and lay it over a drain pan. So how do you change the oil on these engines when they are mounted on a bicycle? I've seen some suggest a turkey baster syringe or similar tool to vacuum the used oil out. On left side rear mounts where the oil fill/drain is in the rear, I've hooked a tie down ratchet strap to a joist in my garage and hoisted the whole front of the bike vertical by the front wheel to drain the engine into a pan on the floor. On a right side rear mount like a GEBE, the drain is in front, hence the turkey baster or whatever else you come up with.

    Here's the thing: you never get all the used oil out. 15% to 20% stays in the engine. With only 100ml to begin with (3.38oz!) you are getting an 80% oil change, 20% of the heavier stuff stays behind. Does it matter? For me it does. So now when I change the oil I remove the engine to do it and leave it drain well out completely. Doing this I can replace a full 100ml capacity.

    There is another consequence by not vacating all the used oil and attempting to refill with the factory recommended 100ml. As Mike said, overfilling it will cause oil to run out through the air filter but it also causes the engine to burn a little unclean, which in turn contributes to carbonizing on the piston crown. I think these engines tend to run rich anyway and suffer some mild bogging overcoming inertia when used on something heavy like a MB. They do benefit from lessening the restrictive intake air (the white felt filter is really for dusty application like concrete screeds, irrigation pumps, etc) But try this, after an engine is run awhile and broken in, pull the spark plug sometime and shine a bore light into the chamber and check the piston crown, you'll see what I mean, IE: carbon forming.

    I've exchanged a couple dozen emails with a R/S service tech on this and other subjects. Upper cylinder carbon can be a recurring problem with these engines and if not remedied, might eventually result in valves becoming carbonized. Not overfilling the crankcase but getting 100ml of new oil in really helps the life and performance of these engines.

    I've rambled on long enough for one post but I'll last mention I've had excellent results with removing carbon in the EHO35 with Seafoam, not in the gas but as a through-the-carb treatment. I was able to completely rejuvenate one of these engines with this treatment without tearing it down that I had bought used and abused (was on a concrete screed in really rough shape) and it runs like a top today.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  9. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Just a follow-up to my previous observations.

    I have been able to do more riding, and have figured out that pedalling has little affect on the fuel economy since mine is so low. I get about 11 miles on a fill-up. Since I have 22 miles per day I ride, I pedal to work without assist, then fire it up for the way home. I am pretty sure that this is due to the fact I have the smallest roller (7/8"). The motor is really working at 20 mph, near full throttle. I need a bigger roller so I am going to order a second kit with a larger roller so I can actually change out the channel and roller at the same time to make things quicker. I will have to work harder on the hills, but at least cruising won't be shooting flames out the exhaust (exaggeration).

    I did have a small amount of oil in the air filter. Not a big deal, I will clean it soon anyway. Changing the oil will be a pain, but it's not as often after break in.

    Over all, I am impressed with this set-up. I worked hard to ensure that the roller is square to the wheel (measured from edge of channel to equal distance front to back of tire). Tire wear is slightly less now. Harder to see the dust since I painted the plastic cover black.

    I am finding that these MB projects tend to "Start" on the cheap, but I am throwing a fair amount of money at this thing! Fun though, still less than a cheap China scooter, and should last a few more years!

    Thanks for the advice all.

  10. greguk

    greguk Member

    It's not so easy. On bigger roller you will have to pedal first before you start accelerate otherwise you will burn your clutch - it's a bit annoying when you have cars behind you and you have to accelerate fast before they try to pass you. It was windy today and I had to pedal and on that bigger roller I have problem to accelerate. I can't complain on it but I'm aware it's only small engine.

    I will buy motorbike next year anyway.
  11. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    I will make a last followup on this thread. I have now been commuting that 11 miles each way to work for about two weeks. I pedal it in the morning (motor OFF). I use gas power on the way home. With that arrangement, I still end up using a half tank. This MUST be due to the small roller size. The bike's top gear seems to be made to go about 20 MPH, which has the engine screaming nearly WOT.

    I just ordered from Staton a second kit (minus motor) with 1.25" roller. I KNOW this won't take me up hills without pedaling, no problem. I pedal 100% of the time whether the motor is on or not. I use this kit to assist me on the way home, not to motor my lazy butt from place to place. I have a car and motorcycle for that:grin5:

    I think I have the tire wear thing under control. After careful alignment, the wear seems to be less.

    I continue to marvel at the quality of this kit (well, other than the cheesy kill switch). You get what you pay for folks. This kit is rock solid so far. No offense to our HT friends, but I am really glad I held off on buying one and got the friction drive. I absolutely love the simplicity.

  12. greguk

    greguk Member

    Good for you. Don't forget that engines burn 1 tank for hour as a strimmers so it's like depends from you how far you will ride by hour. There is no miracles.

    For HT friends everything will be offence - but what I can do about it? Are they want me to unscrew bolts on cylinder to be equal? I have life you know, I'm tired after work, I can't sit with that drive and repair it and repair it etc.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  13. mbatl

    mbatl Member

    I have a fully broken in robin 35 with the 1 1/8 or 1.125(?) roller and I get 20-22miles if I'm riding wot and aggressive. Your mileage should improve with time once fully broken in.
  14. BentTooner

    BentTooner Member


    EH035 & BMP Kit = Happiness!
    I've been riding a recumbent with the R/S EH035 for 2 years now. I bought the engine used on CList for $100 so I don't know how many miles/hours it had on it when I got it. I've put 2,500 miles on it so far.
    I'm using a BMP friction kit with a 1" drive roller on it because there are some pretty long hills where I live. Never had a problem of any kind with the kit or the engine.

    It goes about 25 MPH top speed. I cruise at about 18 - 20 MPH most of the time and only pedal to help it get started. It goes up all the hills here in Oregon.

    I've been checking gas mileage for 2 years now and, every time I calculate it, it comes out to about 180 MPG. I have the stock gas tank that holds 21.76 ounces and I can go 30 miles on that with a tiny bit of reserve. If you do the math, 21.76 ounces is 0.171875 gallons. So, divide 30 miles by 0.171875 gallons and you get about 175 miles per gallon.

    The engine never uses oil between changes which I do at 10-12 hours of riding. Since I ride at about 20 MPH, that's about 200 - 250 miles between oil changes. That's pretty often but I do it that way because these are air-cooled engines with no oil filter and, the way I get the oil, it seems free.
    I do my own car oil changes at home and, with 6 cars in our family, I'm pretty much always changing oil. I scavenge the oil from the plastic cans by draining them overnight into a container. I usually get just enough (3.2 ounces) from one car oil change to do an oil change on the EH035. I mix oils without worrying about it since I change it so often. The oils range from 5W-30 on the newer cars to 20W-50 for the older ones.

    I add Rislone oil additive to all my vehicles and have done so for decades, ever since I learned about it as a general aviation pilot and its use in air-cooled airplane engines. So, I get a little Rislone in every oil change for the EH035, as well.
    Recently, an older car of mine with 190,000 miles on it started burning a little oil so I tried a can of "Engine Restore" and it helped. So, I scavenged what I could from the can and used it in the EH035. I can't tell any difference at this point, though.

    I check the spark plug at every oil change and it always looks perfect so I have never changed it.

    I clean the air filter every other oil change.

    I hope this is useful to someone. Overall, I have found the MB to be the best form of transportation I have ever seen and I am constantly amazed at how fun and inexpensive it is!
  15. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I've found that the UCO Fuel Faucet is a great add-on; makes it very handy to refill the tank. Just cover the air vent hole with your finger, and no fuel flows. Lift your finger, & out comes the gas. (If you shop around, you may find it for a little less.)

    Also, Staton has several kill switches - I would recommend the rotary style High Quality switch kit. (The toggle switch shorts out REALLY easily.) The rotary switch is also available without the bracket.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  16. tjdmobile

    tjdmobile New Member

    Very cool find! I will certainly be picking up one of those. Right now I go from my 5 gallon tank through a funnel to my MSR, then pour carefully from the MSR. This will make things a little easier.

    Now I just need to find a slow pump from the 5-gallon to the MSR to make it even more handy.

  17. lowracer

    lowracer Member

    File the points off your new friction drive rollers & the tires last much longer. Jim @ BMP gave me this tip & OMG it works great. The points are like little buzz saws chewing away your expensive rubber...
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  18. drg007

    drg007 New Member

    I had the same kit n actually never started the engine. Still missing the gas tank.
    Thanks for the great info.
  19. dchevygod

    dchevygod Member

    good thread

    I just want to say that a staton or bmp kit is prime for an engine swap. Im going to use a CY460R " i kno its chinese but im gonna pull it apart and port it and fix any sharp edges" these are rated @4.2 hp @ 13000 :idea: with that much power a huge roller can be used! Im fixing a deamon fd kit tho, im not able to afford a quality kit so im using what i got and reenginering the design. I made a thread on it but this info was helpfull.
  20. rawly old

    rawly old Member

    Tire pressure vs. roller pressure determines whether your tires get
    chewed or the roller slips. If your tires are rated 35 to 65 psi, I've
    55 psi is about ideal with the staton kit. you'll have to experiment
    bit to find the sweet spot for down pressure. When you do, mark on
    support rod at the top of the cam lever. A problem I found with the
    staton kit was the plastic spacers for the skewer slip from vibration
    after a bit. This too will chew rubber. Solution: Cut spacers from
    alumnum tubing. A pair of crutchs from a thift were just the right
    I.D. for the plastic spacers to fit or buy metal ones at most hardware
    Don't get me wrong, I love my staton kit, but a little tweaking
    to fit your own bike may be in order. I've found the best tire for the
    money is the kenda 838, 26 x 1.95.
    As for after mkt tanks, staton's 96 oz. kit is fine, but pricey with
    shpg. Again ,in a thrift I found a sprayer tank designed to be slung
    on the shoulder horizontally, $2.50, no cap. But, upon further
    scrounging, I found a pumping cap that fit this 1 gal. tank per-
    fectly. I thought about cutting a hole for a fuel line grommet,
    until I realized with a bit of removable fuel line, I could just pump
    gas into the stock tank as needed. So now I have a range of about
    120 miles, more if i fill the 2 one liter bottles for the holders on my
    frame tubes.