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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Building a Bicycle with a Gas Engine

This idea started a whimsical idea after running across a YouTube video of someone in Franklin Tennessee with an electric bicycle. I found the 80CC engine on ebay and started the process. After initially losing the bid on EBay the seller send me another offer and I took it! The MSRP on these engines can run $200 +. Needless to say I didn't give that much for this one... After a week or so waiting anxiously on UPS, the package arrived from BC Canada!
Now, with an engine and no bicycle I had to "go on a hunt"! A friend had told me of a used bicycle shop on the outskirts of town that also doubled as a tack shop. You gotta love Tennessee... The proprietor was fully aware of the bicycle conversion and made a suggestion of the cruiser pictured here. Ironically enough it is called an Earth Cruiser. All things considered I thought this would probably work very well for what I had intended to do. Contrary to that however, This was not a project for the complete idiot. It did involve some modification to the kit as well as some modification to the Bike itself.
The first issue is the sprocket that mounts to the rear wheel.... The hole is not large enough to accommodate the coaster brake or the diameter of the hub. After "enlarging" the hole things went smoothly until attempting to mount the motor... The Motor mount was not designed for such a large frame and there was some minor modifications there also. All in all, nothing was a "big issue" but again, this is not an installation for the complete idiot!
Finally after two nights of tinkering, modifying, beating, banging and with a few choice words I was ready for a test. I really thought this was going to be more difficult and cantankerous that than it turned out to be. I primed the carb, engaged the clutch and peddled away. at about 8-10 mph I released the clutch and it roared to life and I was cruising! Unfortunately that wasn't the end of the adventure... It seems that the back sprocket was considerable out of round with the wheel and took some work to finally get it lined up... Another night or two later the subsequent test went flawlessly! To date I have only about 50 or 60 miles on it but it purrs right along the weather herein Tennessee has gotten too cold to enjoy riding but I am anxiously waiting for warmer days!

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