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Old 03-28-07, 02:41 PM   #1
cybrmarc
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motorized touring bicycle?

Howdy,
I've been roadtripping all over and am currently in the Chiricahua mountains in SE Arizona. Gas prices and off-roading in my low-slung jetta, plus the drudgery of sitting in a cramped cabin have opened me to the possibility of biking instead of driving. Specifically, a bicycle with a motor. I just started researching today, and what I think I've found is:

-As motorized bikes go, the more "modern" style is to be electric
-Laws in most states regulate that they cannot exceed 20mph or 48cc or you need a license, registration, insurance, ect.
-Most of the GAS POWERED motorized bikes that come pre made are either cruisers, or low-quality NEXT/generic-brand type bicycles, with an expensive $400-500 motor attached.

Okay...so where I stand on all of this is...

-Electric power is of no use to me. I am on a road trip and don't have regular access to an electric socket (I camp in National Forest)
-I am from New Hampshire, where insurance isn't required. I haven't yet been pulled over to test this out of state, but I would prefer a vehicle which doesn't require me to pass through a bunch of red tape to have peace of mind driving (the idea of building/buying a bike that can go over 20 and then sticking to 20mph when I think cops might be around has passed through my mind)
-I am not super into bike culture or know how, but I know a low quality bike is a low quality bike. My wal-mart bike fell apart in less than a year, right now I have 2 or 3 bikes that are 20-30 years old and are still in pristine or close-to-it condition (Raleigh and Bridgestone). I like simple steel.
-I need something that can tour. I have bucket panniers. I need room to mount a rack.
-I need something that can go off road. And in the rain (friction drive I've heard isn't good for this?)
-I'd prefer gas that I didn't have to pre-mix, but I'm adaptable here.

That's all I can think of now. I thought I remembered seeing a website for motorized touring bikes that were fully equipped with racks and were of very high quality, but now I can't seem to find it any more.

thanks,
-marcus
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Old 03-28-07, 05:12 PM   #2
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I think that your best bet would be to go get an old Spree/scooter and ride that...


20mph is close to how fast I ride on the road (well flat roads) while carrying a load. Why not just pedal? It would be quiet and you won't smell like exhaust at the end of the day
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Old 03-28-07, 05:59 PM   #3
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I say just pedal but if you really want to run a motor your best bet for a bike is second hand stores, if you want to keep your cost down. Most components on older bikes are easier and cheaper to work on and update. The laws have been changing because of the pocket rocket plague so if you are touring outside of NH you might want to look into it a little closure.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:05 PM   #4
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Some states (Utah included) require that all motorized vehicles (including mopeds and <50cc scooters) be registered and insured. I think there is a provision that allows bicycles with an electric or gas assist motor to be operated without registration and insurance.
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Old 04-10-07, 04:54 AM   #5
fredgold52
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Take a look at htese. This is one of the original 'motor-bikes' and still available today.

http://www.whizzermotorbike.com/

I loved these when I was a kid (45 years ago)
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Old 04-10-07, 09:42 AM   #6
frameteam2003
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The verry best on the market are the Staton kits
http://www.staton-inc.com/
These are the only really reliable touring kits out their.If your motor quites you can easly get a replacement motor at any lawn moorer supply or tool supple wearhouse and you back on the road.Touring bags can be hung with these too.
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Old 06-01-07, 05:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrmarc
Howdy,
I've been roadtripping all over and am currently in the Chiricahua mountains in SE Arizona. Gas prices and off-roading in my low-slung jetta, plus the drudgery of sitting in a cramped cabin have opened me to the possibility of biking instead of driving. Specifically, a bicycle with a motor. ......
I'm a bit late here, but anyway:

For motorized bicycle info (specifically gas engines) try looking around at http://www.motoredbikes.com/ .

To sum it up-
....Firstly--different states use different terminology and have different laws, don't assume anything. You need to check this first before you spend any money. Email your state DMV to find out what's legal or not. ....As for cross-country riding, ask around on the forum above--some people there have rode all over the US on motorized bicycles.

As far as shopping goes-
....not many bicycles come with gas engines now, the Whizzer is about the only one--but you can get engine kits that will fit onto a lot of upright bicycles.
....there's chain-drives, friction-roller drives and one company making a belt drive. All three of these have various advantages and disadvantages.
....engine kits cost from $150 (for a Chinese chain-drive kit) to $600 (for a Stanton or Golden Eagle kit).
....There's engine choices too: most domestic kit companies offer both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines in sizes from 20cc to around 40cc. The chinese kits can be had with 2-cycles up to 80cc, and Chinese 4-cycle kits are starting to be imported recently (the importation of any more 2-cycle bicycle engines was banned in the USA in 2006).
~
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