Which Friction Set-up?

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by RoostersCrow, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member

    O.K., After years of telling myself that I really don't need a motorized bike, I've decided to just do it. I'm thinking that the friction drive is the best set-up for me to start with but I have a couple of questions about the Dax and the Staton kits that I'm hoping someone here can answer from experience.

    I'm planing on using the bike to ride to town (12 mile roud trip) for small errands and will be riding on dirt roads and crushed limestone bike paths. Will this eat up the drive roller? Both list their rollers as hardened, but is there a difference in their wear rate? I understand that the Dax roller is easier to change out and am wondering that even if it wears faster, might I be better of with its ease of replacement?

    Another consideration is the motors that are available from these two. For someone that puts reliability at the top of their wants list, am I better of going with the well respected Robin 33.5, or for less money, I can go with the Dax 48.8 cc motor that I would think that I wouldn't be working as hard? I'm not a speed demon, so I'm just looking for the best option for a comfortable cruse speed of about 20 mph and the ability to climb a few small hills. I'm thinking about using 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" roller depending on which set-up I decide on. How do the Titans compare to the Robin in MPG?

    I'm open to either companies set-up depending on your feedback. I'm also open to using ones drive kit and the others motor if that looks to be the better way to go.

    Perhaps there isn't enough difference to concern myself with?

    Looking forward to any and all feedback.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015

  2. lowracer

    lowracer Member

    I got the BMP kit with the Subaru Robin EH035.
    I can't say enough good things about the Subaru engine.
    I use a 1.25" roller on a smooth beach cruiser tire & get 34 mph & great fuel economy.
    The Suby starts usually on one pull & never lets me down.
    I run Super Unleaded w/no Ethanol only.
  3. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Roosterscrow....sounds like you are a morning person. :D Just thought I would add a bit of engine info as I have both. I have been very impressed with the durability of the little Suby. Kind of like the old Timex commercials....takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. Only time it has let me down is when I forget to fill it with gas cause it is so economical.

    The Titan has been great for over 2000 miles too.Very dependable, and starts easily. More power obviously, and economy isn't that bad.....around 140-150 mpg. At that range I don't bother checking the mileage very closely.

    Friction drive doesn't work very well for me, but that is location specific. I live in a rain forest, so the only time it stops raining is so it can snow.

    I have just endured a rather nasty winter, and both engines performed better than I had expected. They were tougher than the operator in most cases. Hope that gives you an idea. :detective:
  4. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member

    Thanks Guys!

    It sounds as though both motors are dependable with the Robin being a "little mule". I'm leaning towards the Robin.

    Any input on the rollers. Is my gravel road surface likely to cause excessive ware on the drive roller. And if so, which is the better set up to deal with this? If they are both likely to show premature ware do to my riding surface, I'd think that the Dax set-up with the easier to replace roller would be the way to go, but perhaps the Staton's roller is of better quality to withstand the abrasive dust?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  5. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    There is a good friend of mine by the name of Alaskavan on here. He mostly rides a tadpole that is a phenominal machine, but he also has a friction setup. He lives in Haines Ak, and rides in some of the harshest environment you could imagine. Plug his name into search, and you should come up with some of his ideas and recomendations. If it works for him, it will work anywhere.
  6. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member

    I went and ordered the Staton set-up and after much procrastination on my part. Japans troubles are what motivated me to order now and get the motor I wanted. One has to wonder if these Japanese engines will be hard to come by soon.

    Now, if the snow and ice would melt I could take it for a spin.

    Attached Files:

  7. Mike B.

    Mike B. New Member


    Nice look'in bike you got there. I like the kit you have on it. That's a reliable set-up. I choose a friction drive because it was the simplist and most dependable.

    Attached Files:

  8. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member

    Mike, are you happy with the friction drive and those skinny tires?
    I'm keeping my eyes open for a different bike, as I put the motor on my bike that I ride with the family for fun and am going to want to get a new peddle power bike for family rides or a new bike for the friction drive.
  9. Mike B.

    Mike B. New Member

    The skinny tires (700cc X 28) don't make the ride as "soft" as fatter tires, I'm guessing. This is all I've ever experienced. I am looking to buy a bigger, softer seat for my boney butt though.

    Originally, I bought that Schwinn for riding, not to put a friction drive kit on it. For commuting it's a great bike but with the friction drive I find myself leaning forward too much...alot of pressure on my hands...so I lowered the seat.

    If I had it to do all over again with what I know now I'd buy a bicycle that's more of a comfort cruiser.
  10. RoosterCrow,
    Were the front mounts on the kit mount up to the frame,did it come with extra long U shaped bar or did you have to add extention bars to it to make it long enough so the kit didnt lean to far forward?Im not sure if im expaining it right,but I am planing on putting a Staton Robin kit on a beach cruiser and am afraid the front U shaped mount wont be long enough....
  11. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member

    I ordered and installed 5" extention bracket arms

    I just took the bike for its first ride. Had to ride though some snow and wet spots to get myself to dry black top. The full suspension set-up was nice, but unlike when your peddling there is no need to be in the aggressive peddle position that a mountain bike puts you in. I'm going to be looking for a cruiser with front suspension, so I can sit back and enjoy the ride.
  12. Thanks for sending me the link....
  13. I hear the Dax friction drive kit is better than the Staton kit,is this true?I know the Subaru Robin is a better engine,but whose kit is better?
  14. RoostersCrow

    RoostersCrow New Member


    I know the Statton kit is very well made, right here in the US. I’ve read that you need access to a press to change the drive roller, though. The Dax set-up is supposedly easier to replace the drive roller on.

    I can let everyone know that after just 6 miles on my bike I can already see and feel ware on the drive roller. Here in Michigan the dirt roads are still damp and the sand sticks to the tires. This appears to be wearing the roller in a hurry. I'm disappointed to think that I have to only a few really dry months in the summer to use the set-up. With hindsight I think I would have been better off with a chain or belt drive.
  15. Thats a bummer about the roller wearing that fast....Is that Robin have decent power pulling up hills?What size roller did you buy????
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  16. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I have no experience with the staton products, but I have a dax kit, and you can get the bearings out without a press.

    I observed the bearings were "pressed" in, with lockrings for backup. So I used an old drumstick as a dowel to hammer out the driveshaft with. It worked, but when I was putting it back in (with the wood stick in the center of the clutch drum so I didn't warp it), the right side bearing came out. I put it back by using a 2x4 piece and the hammer, moving around to keep it even.

    I expect you can probably get the bearings out with a crowbar or piece of wood and a bolt: screw the board to one of the holes in the front of the channel (where the U-shaped support bolts up), and leverage the bearing out with the wood. There might be another method, too: if you drive the driveshaft out with the dowel, and the bearings are still in place, install a piece of All-Thread (3/8 or biggest will fit through the bearing centers), with 3 nuts, and 4 large washers. (2 opposing nuts on top of 2 washers, to press the left bearing, and a nut and 2 washers pressing the right bearing. Crank the nuts to push out the bearings, like you were spreading a cheap bike frame. )

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    re: wear on the roller. It's surely possible, but likely just that the roller gets shined up by the tire on use. Mine did that. I can see where the tire contacts the roller. It is shiny and the knurled edges don't feel as "sharp", but I took it as break-in (100mi of use so far). I think it will be fine. Someone made a thread about wooden drive rollers as economical replacements too, and I am planning to make a clamp-on style that goes over the stock roller (1" to 1.5"). If it works, i can have a whole bunch of ready replacements.
  18. I am new to this, and just ordered the parts for a friction drive setup. I ordered the Staton kit, and a Robin-Suburu engine. While I have no experience with a rear friction drive,, I have some experience with front friction drives. I've put several thousand miles on a Solex moped, which is pretty much the same as a motorized bicycle, and I have also used a Sears Bike Bug, a LOOOONG time ago. Both drive systems worked great on dry pavement, they do not work when it is wet, and from what I've read about the Solex, riding it on dirt roads will cause considerable wear. And it has a carborundum roller that never wears out on pavement.

    All just my opinion, but I would not choose a friction drive for riding on dirt. As for the parts, my first choice would have been a BMP friction drive kit, with the chain drive jackshaft setup, so it could be used either way. But they are out of business, and I believe that Staton makes the best stuff out there, even better than BMP, but lacks the chain drive conversion. With BMP out of the picture, Staton was my only other consideration. I am using the Robin-Subaru engine because I don't like Honda's attitude about using their engines and don't want to give them any business. From what I can tell, the Honda engine is a bit quieter than the R-S, but if so I can live with it.
  19. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Has anyone actually used the bmp belt/chain conversion kit? It may have been a good idea but I've yet to see a review or hear how well they work or hold up over the miles???

    As an aside, I can distinguish no difference whatsoever in exhaust note between the EHO35 and GX35.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  20. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    You got me excited! I thought BMP was back online! http://www.bikemotorparts.com/kit.html (closed, but still has useful info and pictures)

    I've got nothing against Staton, but I am happy with my Dax kit, and the seller www.thatsdax.com, so I will buy from them again. They offer a chain drive kit you should see before you decide on your purchase. It uses a 3x reduction enclosed gearbox, and mounts very similar to the friction drive. It can use the happytime type wheel cogs, which he also sells.

    My experience so far with the friction drive is that it works ok when wet, but does slip a little on take off and when crossing puddles. I am using 700x38 tires though. I feel its worth the trade off for not having to deal with chains and being able to pedal freely with no drive interference (disengaged roller).

    Mine seems to work ok on sandy roads or dry clay utility roads, but mud does make a mess under it.