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Feedback on Motorized Bicycle Setup


bmzero

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For the last year and a half, I have been waiting on parts to build what's called a MotoPed (www.motopeds.com). It's a pretty unique setup in that it's comprised of legitimate downhill mountain bike components as well as a chassis that supports a Honda-based engine. I am not affiliated with Motopeds in any way.

 

Here's mine:

16290964629_b96fb2b18f_b.jpg

 

The unique aspect of this setup is that it's completely street legal, not as a motorcycle, but as a motorized bicycle. The laws for this vary in each state, so your mileage may vary, but in my opinion, this type of vehicle would be perfect for camping/RV'ing. They're small, light, can go anywhere (sidewalks, parks, etc.) and can get you moving down the street legally at easily 35mph.

 

The one I built is fairly extreme (high seat height, a lot of suspension travel, kick start, manual clutch, big horsepower [relatively], knobby tires, etc.), but I have been considering sourcing the parts in bulk to build a RV-specific setup. This setup would include an electric-start 49cc engine, automatic transmission, low seat height (for easy mount and dismount), street tires, headlight, brake light, blinkers, reflectors, extra-quiet exhaust, etc. This setup would weigh somewhere around 130lbs and probably cost around $3000 if I can buy in large enough bulk.

 

They're an absolute blast to drive. I commute to work on mine whenever possible.

 

Here are some more photos - http://www.followmybuild.com/bmzero/MotoPed

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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FYI from the *GREAT* state of IL. Better put a speed limiter on it.

 

IL Moped Classification

A moped is actually a sub-class of a motor-driven cycle, restricted to:

  • Only attaining a speed between 20 MPH and 30 MPH within 1 mile.
  • A motor capable of producing 2 brake horsepower or less.
  • An engine displacement that does not exceed 50cc (cubic centimeters).
  • A transmission that does not require gear shifting.

All four criteria must be met for you to be able to operate your moped with a regular IL driver’s license.

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Been thinking about doing a gas engine bike.. for the under $200 conversion, looks like a fun afternoon toy.

 

 

Example from google images

 

limited_80cc_bicycle_motor_engine_kit_mo

 

Yours looks like it could be used off road pretty easy too

This is what I am planning to build. The engine kit is available online. But I am waiting until I find a springer front end just for the extra cool factor.

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This is what I am planning to build. The engine kit is available online. But I am waiting until I find a springer front end just for the extra cool factor.

Wife and kids are trying to convince me to buy a bicycle, so if I do, it would have one.. they didn't say it had to have no engine :D

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FYI from the *GREAT* state of IL. Better put a speed limiter on it.

 

IL Moped Classification

A moped is actually a sub-class of a motor-driven cycle, restricted to:

  • Only attaining a speed between 20 MPH and 30 MPH within 1 mile.
  • A motor capable of producing 2 brake horsepower or less.
  • An engine displacement that does not exceed 50cc (cubic centimeters).
  • A transmission that does not require gear shifting.

All four criteria must be met for you to be able to operate your moped with a regular IL driver’s license.

 

 

I wonder how they would test the maximum speed?

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If they questioned the speed they could easily put an officer on it to make sure it was run at full throttle and use a radar gun to clock the speed.

 

I'm not sure it would be that simple. Officers can't just hop in your car to make sure it's legal. Not sure this type of vehicle would be different. Just a curiosity. In this day of lawyers and judges, this would be an interesting scenario.

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We have used everything from full sized street bikes to scooters. Right now I have a "street" legal Yamaha WR450F(for the fun of it) and the wife rides a Honda Elite scooter. We still bring our mountain bikes for exercise and quite time. But in my opinion, nothing beats a scooter. Most can go freeway speeds, hold a ton of stuff and are very easy to ride along with being fairly quiet. As stated, we still bring our bicycles! Here in Washington state a moped is basically the same as a scooter, anyways. We had Yamaha Zuma 50 2 stroke scooters in the past, great units! No way could you carry the items just the trunk would hold on one of those motorized bicycles!

Went and looked at a Grohm the other day, as we have been thinking of getting different rides. But she wants another scooter if the Elite were to go, I just want a clutch (wheelie purposes only). So looks like we will keep what we currently have for motorized camp transportation, did I mention we always bring our bicycles?

 

Curt

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Went and looked at a Grohm the other day, as we have been thinking of getting different rides. But she wants another scooter if the Elite were to go, I just want a clutch (wheelie purposes only). So looks like we will keep what we currently have for motorized camp transportation, did I mention we always bring our bicycles?

 

Curt

The Groms are great. I have been considering them myself. I just can't bring myself to buy a scooter just yet.
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If you want a licence for an untitled vehicle without an MSO showing compliance with the rules and laws you are going to have to allow what the licence folks require. You might fight them on it in court if you are really unhappy but that isn't going to be cheap.

No license required for a motorized bicycle, state dependent I'm sure, though. I commute on mine weekly. My office is a block from the Police station. I have ridden beside many, many cops on state highways with no issues.
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That's a cool concept, yet an expensive idea with limited practicality because of the reduced speed - limiting your travel to around town on low speed limit roads, for safety if not legal reasons.

 

Here's another more practical solution, that we plan on taking with us when we FT.

28cir6a.jpg

28tb11h.jpg

 

They are a $1,000 ea. (not $3,000 ea.) fully street legal (CARB certified for legality in all 50 states) solution that will hit 60 mph (with my fat butt), with a reliable 125cc 4 stroke engine (higher HP, bigger engines are readily available.) The higher top speed allows use on many more roads (though still not freeway legal or safe) and allow for a longer range too. They get around 100 mpg and even in Louisiana, a state with one of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, it still only cost me $99/yr to add a pair of these bikes on my GEICO policy. They are based on the old, proven Honda CT-70 design, yet modernized with things like hydraulic disk brakes, 12v electric start, electronic ignition, etc. so many parts are interchangeable making them inexpensive to repair too.

 

I bought this pair a couple years ago online, and have been very satisfied with them, taking them on a couple trips so far. I made a few inexpensive mods like bar end mirrors, a bigger carb and higher gearing to get the additional performance, and also a hand operated rear brake to help with unloading them out of the back of my truck. I also added some quick detachable bicycle baskets to the rear racks to make carrying things like a grocery bag, making quick shopping trips easier.

 

Another similar option is a Madass: http://www.peirspeed.com/madass125.htm Though they cost around $2,700 ea. I could buy a lot of gas for the $3,400 I saved upfront on the pair. Again they are fully street legal, requiring insurance and registration, but this buys you a place in the flow of traffic, not relegated to a bicycle slow lane.

 

Chip

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Different states, different worries. All the the DMV's I have been at in IL had this 2x3 poster telling you exactly what licence you need for what class motorcycle displayed PROMINENTLY-- like the second most obvious thing in the whole office after the big pictures of Obama and Jesse White (current head of the DMV). And the poster was all about telling you how you couldn't ride anything without a special license unless it met all of the above requirements. Therefore I assume they may pay attention???

 

Of course, on private roads in the campground--does any of that even apply? Could a State officer ticket you for riding a motorcyle without a licence on a campground road?? Phil?

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I'm not a MotoPed salesman, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but the thing that makes these things unique is the pedals and good suspension. The pedals allow you to turn off the engine and pedal down the sidewalk, through a national park, etc. They are definitely not a motorcycle and should not be compared to one.

 

If your only purpose is riding on the street, get a motorcycle (ie. scooter, etc.). However, if you want some of the benefits of all three worlds (on road, off road, and pedaling), the Motoped works very well and I'm very happy with mine.

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