The Chronicle of a Mad Motorized Texan

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by waylow, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. waylow

    waylow Member

    Today was a Great day, I got my new bike in the mail! the Firmstrong CA.520 I got it put together in about 30 minutes and was on the road in no time, giving her a test ride. First impressions: wow is it ever different from the Cannondale F500 that I normally ride. The Cannondale has great Headshocks and is a dream to ride. The firm strong had my hands bouncing all over the place as my front wheel rolled over bumps and potholes. In the distant future I might look into some suspension forks. The handlebars are way up in the air like a chopper, and I love it. The frame is HUGE and takes a second to get used to. haha speaking of which, it has a crank forward design, and the bottom bracket is moved forward about 6 inches... riding it around normally is a huge workout for the hamstrings. peddling is like doing knee raises with resistance on the downward motion. After you get used to that, the bike seems awesome, the tires seem perfect for a motoredbike, its got good V-brakes, shimano components, fun riding position, awesome looking frame, and I love the flat black... removed all the stickers before going outside on it. One bad thing about it, is the hubs suck. I was going to replace the rear hub anyway, so no big deal there... so I guess I will just buy a new front wheel with a decent hub.

    All in all, it far exceeded my expectations, and I believe it to be a perfect starting point for my engine project. In fact, I liked my 4 hour ride on it tonight so much, that it convinced me to bite the bullet and go all out balls to the wall. scrap the mitsu/NuVinci kit, Instead get the GP460 and Dominator Pipe, a multi output staton gear reduction box for future versatility. Then using ideas from Kerf, kawasaki999, duivendyk , and SirJakesus and everyone else on here who's done similar things before me, and given me much help sofar (Thank everyone very much, and I apologize if I misspelled your nick or forgot to list you too).

    I have decided to fabricate a idler pulley system and sprocket changing shifting system with a front mountain bike derailleur. If anyone who has done this, reads my thread, Please post pictures from all angles and upload them in a reply post to this thread. I would really like to see some good angles and clear photos of how you mounted things.

    Then once I come up with a design for a mounting bracket for the derailleur, I can draw it up in a CAD file, and cut it from aluminum stock at my university with the CNC machines. I have just come up with some designs for my rack mount brackets. That I will cut from a large sheet like 3/16 th inch steel with the university's CNC plasma cutter :)

    Now that I have the bike in my hands, the ideas are a flowing, and believe that I have come up with some great designs. I hope to take pictures along the way to post for everyone to see how it came together. Fingers crossed, the gear reduction box and the engine will get ordered next Thursday. Once I start getting parts in, I can make final measurements and draw up the CAD files to be cut. What exciting times we live in... hurray college!

    Thanks for all the help everyone! This is like the coolest thing I have done in a long time. I love projects!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008

  2. waylow

    waylow Member


    Last Night I ordered my Staton gear reduction box, staton hub, and a few more goodies. will be ordering the engine in a few weeks. I am excited about getting this project on the road. Thanks for all the help everyone!
  3. waylow

    waylow Member

    Read this if you know about gears!

    I got my shipment from the Harris Cyclery, and I must say, the Tandom kick stand is the best kick stand I have ever seen, I will post pix when I can.when it is up, it is only on one side like a normal kick stand, and the other leg retracts with it, to the same side. When it is down, it has 2 legs and is totally stable! It is GREAT!

    The gears I ordered... are 1/8th and 3/32nd the same thing or something? am I doing math wrong??? my 13t Rockwerks 1/8th Track Cog says that on the label, and on the gear it says: 1/8" - 13T

    Now here is where it gets confusing. on my 16 tooth gear the label says Rockwerks 16t 1/8th Track Cog. But in the bag, the gear says
    BC1.37x24tpi 3/32" - 16T can anyone explain the conflicting numbers? and more importantly, can you tell me if the 410H chain will fit on a 3/32" - 16T sprocket? I sure hope so!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    waylow - would like to see a picture of your MB when you get a chance.. Not that happy with my center stand - that double stand sounds LIKE THE ONE -- Ride That Thing - Mountainman
  5. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    How is the kickstand for balance? Works well?
  6. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    You got the pyramid center stand right? What about it is not making you happy? I love mine.
  7. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    Good luck with your project, it would be really something if you could come up with a 3 speed deraileur somehow.Nice to have access to a state of the art machine shop,that's what I really missed after retiring.
  8. pumpbuilder

    pumpbuilder Member

    How goes the project? Looking forward to doing a ride with you up Congress.

    Oops, sorry thought you were in Austin, still looking forward to the ride.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  9. waylow

    waylow Member

    Just dealing with shipping hassles and problems. The things that I order seem to get damaged before shipping, get mislabeled before packaging, have not been shipped yet (staton), or straight damaged and thrown away by UPS.

    Eventually it will all get here and I can get things rolling.
    I really hope that I can get some working suspension forks for my new cruiser bike. If I can't I am not 100% sure that I will use the frame. I don't know what I will do with out mountain bike suspension. Not to mention, the quality of my Diamond Back frame is many many times higher than my Firmstrong Cruiser.

    When I get some more of the parts in, and I can start making my brackets and stuff. I will get some pictures of the project and show everyone my kick-stand. which by the way is still totally awesome.
  10. waylow

    waylow Member


    Ok, a lot has happened since my last post. I had a bicycle wreck on my bmx bike and fractured a vertebrae in my neck. Then I had like 6 seizures over the next few months. The people in the ER know me by name now. So anyway, I am finally medicated and starting to feel better. I had to drop all of my classes and take a brake from college for a while.

    So it is back to working on the motored bicycle project!
    After getting my firmstrong cruiser, and giving it a proper test period, I have decided that it is garbage. you get what you pay for, and 250 is just not enough. I after I fix the dang thing, I will be selling it.

    I thought a cruiser would me more comfortable for motorizing, but I am going all out on this money pit, and a screaming DDM engine demands a proper bicycle to start with. I am mostly a mountain bike guy. bmx second, third is freewheel then fixed gear street bikes. Mountain bikes are my favorite, and by far the strongest. Over the last 8 months or so, I have been making friends with the owners of my local bike shop... who were friends of friends before they opened the shop. I went there today and I told them that I want to buy two bikes, and they said that they would give me a good deal. I am getting the 09' Diamondback Overdrive Pro which is a 29'er with bigger wheels, just for riding and fun.
    Then on to business, the other bike I am getting is the Diamondback Response Comp, to motorize. It seems to be about perfect, it has great shocks, very solid and sturdy frame with a newly beefed up boxed toptube. It will accept my cool 2 legged kick stand, and it has disc brakes. If I had known this in the beginning, I would have done it differently, with a tophat and gear on the left hand side. but since i already have the uber expensive Staton wheel with the left handed freewheel and the Staton gear box, I will use them. Luckily, the Diamondback Response frame just happens to have the bosses for the V-brakes that I need. And I still have the disc up front with the Rock Shox.
    I have been searching like crazy, and the Diamondback bikes are by far the most bike for the buck, compared to all the other good name brands, i.e. Gary Fisher, Kona, Cannondale ect. And I have been riding a lot of them lately, they are awesome! you can get a bada$$ Response Sport with disc brakes for 430 bux. My neighbor just got one, and I fell in love with it... hence the new diamondbacks in my future. But yes long story short, my friends at the bike shop are knocking like almost 300 dollars off the msrp, which will really help.
    I did not have much money when I started this venture, I wasted 250 on the cruiser, and spent the rest of my money on the staton gearbox and wheel. Now I have some money again, and I am dropping it all on new bikes, and then I can get to work designing a proper motorized bicycle. Screaming engine, sturdy mounting, proper stopping power and tires. I am excited, plus, it turns out, now that I broke my neck and the seizures cooked my brains, I really am a Mad Texan, soon to be motorized.

    Thanks for reading if you're still here,

    P.S. I went this way because buying a new diamondback is much cheaper than fixing my old one, and its a way better bike. Test ride one, they are so awesome and wont totally break the bank.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  11. pumpbuilder

    pumpbuilder Member

    Glad to hear your doing better.
  12. waylow

    waylow Member

    I have not forgot about the kickstand pictures either. I am having my friends at the LBS order my new Diamondback in about a week, so after I get it and get the stand on it, I will take and post pictures for everyone.

    Haha, I need to learn how to be old. I am fragile now, and yet, I can't stop myself from doing wheelies and jumps and tricks and flatland stunts and sky-hopping over curbed gaps and anything else fun that I can find on my bike. Just yesterday I was out riding the BMX bike that I was on when I fractured my neck, lol, and I was trying to ride manuals (wheelies w/o pedaling) and one time I ate ****. luckily I landed on my left glute/hamstring and not any bones. I also always wear a backpack with some stuff in it while I ride, it has saved my a** many times. I need to get a few helmets, of different types for different uses. I think I am going to go with a good motorcycle helmet when I get my MB out on the street.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2008
  13. MachoMouse

    MachoMouse New Member

    dang waylow rule!!
    good luck with the bike...sounds like it'll be awesome!
  14. waylow

    waylow Member

    Well This is a cool feeling. I have 2000 dollars worth of bicycles in the mail.

    haha, and thank you for the encouragement MachoMouse. I need it. I am in WAY over my head. I expected this to cost about 500 bux when I started.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  15. xPosTech

    xPosTech Member

    Should we just call you Tim (the Toolman Taylor) now? :rolleyes: I was known at the ER years ago but it was from taking all the kids in.

    Have you thought about a crash suit?

    Stay safe . . . God Bless

  16. pumpbuilder

    pumpbuilder Member

    I look forward to your getting it done, I need to go out for a ride but miss having a crowd to ride with.
  17. waylow

    waylow Member

    hahaha xPosTech
    you hit the nail on the head. I am like a real life tim the tool man taylor
    only i'm Tony the tool man Tarantino. lol
    I definately have the problem of always doing things to the max. more power, more torque, more fuel, more air, more speed... at home, more hard drives, more monitors, more computers, I am always looking for a way to make my things that much better... and I have found that this works best, by starting with the best. I originally planned on spending about 500 dollars on this project. Now it looks like it will be closer to 2500. But I think that I will be happy with myself when it is done.
    2009 Diamondback Response Comp
    Staton Gear box and rear wheel
    DDM GP460 engine
    And all the rest of the goodies (which tend to add up very quickly)
    I am excited about using my university's new cnc waterjet machine. it can cut through 8" steel with water! haha. I am going to make all my own brackets. I should be getting my new bike in about a week or so, and then I can start working on the brackets, and soon after I get the bike, I will order the engine and the rest of the little things that I need.
    I am very stoked about all this. When I get the bike, I will take some pix of it, and all the stuff that I have to go with it.... and my sweet kickstand
  18. waylow

    waylow Member


    well, I have all the engine stuff, and the bikes. But I keep having tons of seizures. so I have moved in with my new girlfriend and her 2 children. I have had no time to work on my bike, but, I think the time is getting near.

    I have had like 9 grand mal seizures and several hospital stays since my last post here. I have all my engine stuff, I need to take pix. i got a cam for xmas, so I will do that now (i know i said that b4). and then I can get back to figuring out how to use SolidWorks the cut my brackets with the waterjet at school. I am also thinking about making my own rear sprocket...

    I really really don't want to lose my rear disc brakes, they are just too awesome. so, I need a larger rear sprocket and a new way to mount. I am sorry, but after looking at andyinchville or whatever's video and pix of the tophat adapter.. . with my bicycle at least, there is absolutely no way that would work and allow me to keep the brakes.

    However, I am thinking about a 300-360t rear sprocket, attached to the rim, not the hub. to help with my high revving GP460

    sorry A, no hard feelings, best of luck to you, and nothing but love for those on bicycles, motored bikes and human powered bikes alike!
  19. waylow

    waylow Member


    OK, Question:
    How long have any of you worked on building up your MB?

    my bike has been in the build process for like 9 months now lol

    has anyone else had to take forever to get everything together and built?

    twists and turns aside, it has been quite a process, and somehow exciting, even though I have never got it together. I just have TONS of parts.

    All I need to do is make the rear rack/engine mount before I can put it all together.

    HOWEVER. the frame I finally ended up choosing to use has is 11 years old now, and it is super strong, but really needs new shocks badly.

    So I have decided that before building the rack, I need to get new forks/shocks/wheel. This way I will be able to place the rack in a place that is well balanced and not too far back; as the bicycle was very fun to ride wheelies on back in the day. I figure that I need to try and minimize this potential front wheel lift off.

    Also, this way I can use the Staton wheel with rear rim brakes, and with new forks, I can have my beloved disc brakes up front. All of my other bikes have Discs and they are so so so much better than rim brakes, i love them.

    So, new front end setup, figure out how the frame will set, then build rack and mount everything on the beast. This is my plan. Then my CY 460 should be screaming around town with my dominator pipe, big carb, reed kit, and later I will install my TS head kit along with the rest of the TS parts. I have a problem.... I must go all out on everything I do, or its obviously not worth doing!

    Thanks for reading
  20. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    You are either suffering from "Mission Creep" and/or just deep down really love keeping on just BUILDING the evolving perpetual "perfect bike".If you don't set some self imposed deadline or a have limited budget,that's easy to get into,with inspiration provided by the MB Forum.