Want Motorize A One Speed Schwinn

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by clintonhorner, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    I have a nice old Schwinn cruiser coaster brake bike that I want to motorize. I would like any advice on the best value motor kit to purchase, and I am concerned about the braking. I think it best to add a front brake to improve braking. I have never done this so help me out you motor heads and get me rolling!

  2. james65

    james65 Member

    One speed schwinn

    Please give more info. What year model.

    I have a 1950 roadmaster. I use a 66cc HT engine and a coaster brake. It is hard getting used to having your foot cocked to put the brake on. I would never tell anyone to not put a front brake on thier bike. The more braking power the better.
    I am not interested in top end speed. I use a 44 tooth sprocket and cruise comfortably at 20 MPH.
    Also front end suspension is also a plus.

    Attached Files:

  3. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member

    Tight Ride

    James thats a sweet ride. Front brake good. You'll have to bend the brake arm in to a Z shape to clear the new sprocket use a vise and or heat dont F it up. Grubee is all that i have and it is very reiable. I am gonna get another fires quick. after initial fire up. Grubee 66cc. http://s1019.photobucket.com/home/lazieboy1
  4. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member

    LZ1 is a Coaster brake.
  5. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    Welcome to the forum!
    The engine install has been covered on this site; ad nauseaum. As for the front brake, go to your LBS, buy a caliper kit, and install it. They are easy to install. Ask for a linear or v type caliper. Stay away from the side pull ones.

    Check out this thread, It can help you out immensely:
  6. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member

    Side pull sux in rear. (back tire) but is cool in front.
  7. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for everyones helpful advice. James, that is a very sweet ride you have! I read through the " crash course" and found it helpful. As a newbie, I will try to do as much research as possible and do my best not to ask to many silly questions!

    I live in Tucson, and my brother owned a bike shop here for years, and he will help me out with adding brakes and other stuff

    My Schwinn is a plain old cruiser made in Tawain. It is solid bike. the clearance from the crank to the top tube is 15 inches.

    My main question is I have is that I have searched many web sites for kits.. They all look about the same to me. I have seen kits on EBay for about a 100 bucks. Others, like spooky tooth go for $290 My wife has me on a tight budget, so I am looking for a medium quality kit that can get me rolling

    I would apprecitate any suggestions


    Attached Files:

  8. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    New to this forum. Love it!

    I have already posted posts regrarding building a motorized bike. In my enthusiam I did not properly introduce myself to this forum. so here goes!

    I am 49 years old and live in Tucson, AZ. I have 3 little girls and I am a massage therapist at a very cool resort. My commute to work is only 1.5 miles, but is very hilly. I like to come home on my lunch hour to see my kids, so I drive back and forth. I thought that having a little scooter, moped or motorized bike would be a great idea to save some money and have fun buzzing to work. I recently saw an old "spooky tooth" at a yard sale, darned near bought it, but it needed repairs.. that led me to this site for more research.

    In my early 20's, my brother and I were avid bike enthusiasts. We built MT bikes before there were MT bikes. We raced bikes, and growing up in Iowa, we rode RAGBRAI often. I built a crazy cool 3 wheel recoumbent from scratch, and also entered a bike I built for a HPV contest that was held at Indy 500 track.. If i find an old pic of that I will share it! I went 3 years with out owning a car.. it drove my parents nuts!

    My brother went on to open his own bike shop in Tucson, "Ordinary Bikes" and I lived vicariously in the bike world through his experinces. funny thing is that he would always make fun of the "crazy people" with their motor bikes!

    I currently have sweet A** Lightspeed road bike, a very cool circa late 80's Stumpjumper MT bike and a Taiwain made Schwinn cruiser.

    I am considering converting my Schwinn to motor power. I got wise and did a lot of research on your forum, and found out many interesting ideas and facts.

    1. some say that it is harder to start with a one speed coaster brake bike and that is easier to start with a MT bike. ( I hate to mess with my stumpjumper!) I read some posts that say it is even dangerous to use a one speed!

    2. the chinese kits you buy are relativley similar, best to trust the dealer

    3. The kits you buy will need to have many retrofits to make them work well.."Junster" posted an article about this. I am good with my hands, but I am a bit sktitish when it comes to overhauling motors!

    4. Not to alienate my new forum buds, but the more I read the more interested I get, but also the more hesitant I get. I might consider an old moped or scooter to get the job done. I like the idea of building a motor bike, but I need to feel like it will be a fairly managable deal.

    I love looking at all the pics and posts.

  9. professor

    professor Active Member

    Hi Clinton, welcome to Motoredbikes.
    My 2 cents is, "4 stroke".
    I just picked up an old Puch moped (basket case) and the engine was apparently run on straight gas- piston scored, all engine bearings seem shot. This is not likely to happen with a 4 stroke. Most everyone is used to checking the oil, but not mixing.

    One thing I noticed upon putting the moped back together, is it is a real bear to pedal around with no motor going and the pedal ratio is real low, so even if it was running, your feet would not keep up with the engine= no exercize.
  10. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    Thanks professor... I have been mostly reseaching the chinese 2 stroke.. I don't know much about 4 stroke kits. Are there 4 stroke kits out there to convert my bike? I do know that I have had many 2 stroke weed whackers, and they do not last long! Thanks for the input!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  11. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    You say that there are hills in your area, but you are only 1 1/2 miles from home. Can't you commute with a regular non-motorized bike ?? If not & I were you, I would seriously consider a quality, rear engine mounted friction drive .
  12. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    welcome from FH :)
    I have 5800+ miles on my EZM 4stroke kit
    (yes, there are 4stroke kits available ;))
  13. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    !.5 miles... whats the big deal!

    Estaban, True, my commute is only 1.5 miles, but I am a massage therapist that works an evening shift 2-9. I get a short hour lunch at 6 PM and I like to zip home to see my kids for dinner. Time is of the essence! Pumping my butt up that hill leaves me sweaty (I live in Tucson and it is hot!) Long story short, no one wants a sweaty massage therapist rubbing their butt, so I would have to shower and return to work. I want a motor bike or moped to make the trip quick and easy! I also would love to make some back road trips on my rural roads just for fun!

    I have only researched 2 strokes, but the 4 stroke notion is worth looking at.

  14. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    OK, I understand & can see the reasons.
    I never recommend any certain dealer/seller. It is just my way of doing things. I still recommend a good quality rear wheel friction drive, 4 stroke is fine. Nobody would want to get a massage with GREASY hands, either, because you had to work on the bike motor kit a lot , to keep it going.
    You get what you pay for.

    Take the time to look at the video linked below. It shows what all is involved in assembling & mounting a typical kit, from one of several vendors.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  15. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    Friction Drive

    Esteban, I love this forum, I did not know squat about friction drives as an option to motorize my bike. I have to say it looks like a pretty simple deal. So help me through this: You but a friction drive kit for a bout a 140 bucks, then you get a horizontal drive motor, like a Honda. They seem to cost about $250. I like the idea of a 4 stroke, Quieter and probably I am guessing more reliable. do you have to buy a throttle kit and kill switch also? do you have to buy any mounting Hardware for the motor ? After reviewing other threads, I would probably opt to mount this type of kit on my MT bike.. Good brakes, gears etc. Thanks for the helpful advice
  16. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I have never recommended any certain dealer. It doesn't mean that I don't think that there aren't some good friction kits out there.
    Your choices are ;
    1- Some people will be mechanically inclined/or interested enough to build their own kits , using a suitable motor they already have. Not very hard or expensive to do. 2- Other options will be to buy the motor mounting kit , YES, buy a throttle & kill switch, & a motor, then assemble themselves. 3 - Others just want to order the entire assembly , bolt it on & ride. This is a good choice for first-time buyers. Options 2 & 3 will usually end up costing about the same , + - $400 , if the same QUALITY components are used. Subaru/Robin, Honda , & a couple others are good 4 stroke choices & easy to find.
    A list below;

  17. clintonhorner

    clintonhorner New Member

    like the friction drive

    Esteban, Thanks for mentoring me through this process. The more I researched the friction drive the more I liked it. I will say that my 1st notion of a motorized bike was a motor in the frame and tank on the top tube! But the friction drive seems really practical and easy to install. I researched several friction drive kits and found one I like. I also like the fact that you can use a variety of motors. I am on a strict budget with my wife, so I thought I'd buy the friction kit 1st and add a motor when when I get a nice check!

    The last few questions I would ask you are:
    1. I have a nice "classic" MT bike and a nice one speed Schwinn. I would like to use the Schwinn, because it is a nice ride, and I dont want to mess with my MT bike, because it is a collector item. If I put a front brake on the one speed and tune it up nice and tight.. do you think it is a safe ride?

    2. I like the options of different motors with the kit. 4 strokes seem quieter and more reliable, but the 2 strokes are cheaper and faster. If I opt for the cheaper chinese 2 stroke, am I asking for trouble, or just more noise?

    Thanks again, I am going to buy a friction drive kit when I get the cash, then decide on the motor.
  18. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    The Schwinn, one speed, would eb a good candidate,,,, but you do need front brakes.
    Donor bikes that already have front brakes & a a rear dearrailer for a few extra gears, are esay to find & work well. Semi-slick tire, NOT mountain bike tire , on the rear & you are set to install.
    If possible, save up to be able to buy a $400 kit with a good motor, rather than using a cheap Chinese motor.
    REMEMBER, that I said, " You get what you pay for ."