Friday, June 22, 2012

Motorized Bicycle - Index

completed motorized bicycle

Every year my car club The Road Lords, puts on Scarlett Fever.  Scarlett Fever is a benefit car show/concert/art auction for our girl Scarlett who is battling Rett Syndrome.  During the show we raffle off items to help raise funds for Scarlett's medical expenses.  This year, I offered to build a motorized bicycle for the raffle.  I have always wanted to build a motorized bicycle but it wasn't until I saw an article in Make magazine that I realized there were relatively inexpensive kits available that should make it a pretty easy process.  I really couldn't justify building one for myself, but the raffle gave me the perfect excuse.  Now I could satisfy my urge to build and ride one without incurring the expense or worrying about storing it in my overcrowded garage afterwards.

1903 by Felt

I could have used any bike but I have been enamored by the Felt cruisers ever since I first saw them.  They aren't cheap, but they are built with quality parts and the styling can't be beat.  Their 1903 was just begging for a motor!  With the springer front fork, large leather seat, huge top tube, pinstriping, and fat white tires, it looked like one of the early Harley's.  I was fortunate to find one locally at Cags Cycles.

Grubee Skyhawk motor kit
With the bicycle picked out, I needed a motor.  Their are dozens of places online that sell chinese motor kits that include everything you need to add a motor to your bicycle.  After researching some online forums I placed an order for a 66cc Grubee Skyhawk kit from  Ordering anything cheap from China is always a crapshoot but this kit got pretty good reviews online.  It arrived a few days later packaged in typical fashion; slopped in grease, wrapped in used bubble wrap, and litterally thrown into a box.  Despite that, everything arrived in one piece and without any missing parts.  The manual is a bunch of faded photocopies written in Chinglish so you better have some idea of what you are doing before you start.

Just a word or warning.  IF you have a bicycle with standard geometry the motor kit could install in a few hours by anyone with moderate mechanical skills.  But because of the unique styling of the Felt 1903, nothing fit out of the box.  There was a significant amount of machining involved to get the motor to work with bike.  This motor, with this bike, is not a project for a beginner.  There is a lot to this build, so I have broken it up into parts.  Click on the links below to view the build.

Part I - Mounting the Motor
Part II - Attaching the Sprocket
Part III - Chain Tensioner
Part IV - Fuel Tank
Part V - Other Parts
Part VI - Epilogue

1 comment:

  1. Good one! I found your post very informative; Keep posting in future, too.