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Motorized Bike Help!

Old 05-21-22, 10:44 PM
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80sbaby
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Motorized Bike Help!

So I bought a Schwinn adult tricycle. The guy threw in a starter and said "5hp electric start comes with bike to be put on". Says it will make the trike run like a moped up to 45mph. He tells me all I need to buy to get it going is:
- Throttle Cable
-12v battery
- 1in clutch
- Steel plate to mount the motor

I have no idea what his vision is for this motorized trike. Has anyone ever done this and is there a website/video for this technique so I can replicate it?
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Old 05-22-22, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 80sbaby View Post
So I bought a Schwinn adult tricycle. The guy threw in a starter and said "5hp electric start comes with bike to be put on". Says it will make the trike run like a moped up to 45mph. He tells me all I need to buy to get it going is:
- Throttle Cable
-12v battery
- 1in clutch
- Steel plate to mount the motor

I have no idea what his vision is for this motorized trike. Has anyone ever done this and is there a website/video for this technique so I can replicate it?
45mph on a tricycle…..🤔 Nope
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Old 05-22-22, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
45mph on a tricycle…..🤔 Nope
Having worked on plenty of Schwinn tricycles, I would not consider them up to the task of dealing with the added stress of a motor, let alone at that speed.
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Old 05-22-22, 06:20 AM
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News flash ! ! !
Person riding a motorized tricycle crashes while trying to negotiate at turn at an estimated speed of 40+ miles per hour.
I have nothing to add other than bicycles are generally not built for the load an engine will place on them. They are very dangerous and more so because the rider has no idea how to handle just a device an calamity ensues.
I had to work on a POS Huffy that has a gasoline engine attached in a hodge podge fashion. It is a death trap but I replaced the BMX style BB just to get it out of the shop. I refused to touch anything not directly pedal bike related. I do not want to be responsible...take it to a small engine repair shop.
Good luck
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Old 05-22-22, 06:24 AM
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And this is why our shop refuses to work on any motorized bike or even accept them as a donation. Especially the DYI conversions...... pedal on
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Old 05-22-22, 07:27 AM
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Look up Honda ATC. 3 wheelers were really popular in the 70’s and 80’s and far superior to anything you could dream up with your Schwinn.

They are all gone because of turnover design issues. At 45mph, you will end up in the hospital, not if but when. And probably sooner than later.

John
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Old 05-22-22, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
News flash ! ! !
Person riding a motorized tricycle crashes while trying to negotiate at turn at an estimated speed of 40+ miles per hour.
I have nothing to add other than bicycles are generally not built for the load an engine will place on them. They are very dangerous and more so because the rider has no idea how to handle just a device an calamity ensues.
I had to work on a POS Huffy that has a gasoline engine attached in a hodge podge fashion. It is a death trap but I replaced the BMX style BB just to get it out of the shop. I refused to touch anything not directly pedal bike related. I do not want to be responsible...take it to a small engine repair shop.
Good luck
Many LBSs have a policy of not even letting a gas powered bike in the shop. When I had my shop in Cleveland years ago the city and my insurance both excluded gas from being allowed in the building.

These days many shops are struggling with the whole E Bike service issues. From battery storage, unavailable service parts, non "bike industry standard" parts (brakes being #1) used, lack of tech back up, and the feeling that these expensive bikes are still just a bike and thus shouldn't cost much to fix shops are finding out that taking in some bikes (E and gas powered) just doesn't make business sense. And can cost the shop real cents if something goes wrong.

One more example of what is able to be made and sold and why it is not always the right thing to do. Many people are driven by hope and dreams and less so by sense and safety. Andy
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Old 05-22-22, 10:00 AM
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Just want a little power

lol my goal is NOT to go 40-45mph. 10-15 is good enough for me. Is it possible to install and just not push it to that limit? I have seen e trikes, just wanting a little power to go with my wheels. Also want to note, the starter he gave me is VERY heavy, is that normal?
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Old 05-22-22, 10:21 AM
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How are you going to control the motor? Full ON or full OFF?
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Old 05-22-22, 10:40 AM
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I am no bike expert in any form. I wanted a motorized tricycle, which already exists. I thought I could buy a trike and get an ebike kit. With an ebike I thought you can control the speed as with the other motorized devices ive seen is. Does a starter operate differently?
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Old 05-22-22, 12:03 PM
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So I re-read your post. I guess all you have an car/motorcycle electric starter motor.

Is that all you have?

If that is the case have there is not a chance of building it if you can’t even figure out how a way to make it work

There is also a problem that few people on this forum will want to turn you lose on streets, bike paths, or sidewalks with an ill contrived motorized tricycle that will injure yourself or worse yet someone else.

John
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Old 05-22-22, 12:08 PM
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Yes, all I have is the starter. Fair enough about being set loose with a 40mph diy vehicle. However, what is the difference between buying an ebike kit and assembling it va this motor? Safety is def important to me and I'm not trying to risk my life. If an ebike kit is the route to go, let me know and I'll nix the motor. My goal for posting this was to simply figure out if anyone has done this motor configuration safely and if so how. I see no one has, nor does anyone think its safe. I just want to make my trike an ebike for some assist during bike rides. Any guidance on that?
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Old 05-22-22, 12:33 PM
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If all you want is assist, look at front wheel conversions. Friend has one and loves it. Doesn’t make the bike faster than he can pedal it, just gets up to speed quickly and helps keep tempo.
Believe the Swtych kits come with everything required to make it work.
Am contemplating one of those on a trike for Mrs Doc, whose hip issues make it impossible to ride either of her gorgeous Treks.

The whole notion of a starter motor (not designed for continuous running), findoing your own coltage throttle, and using a 12volt car battery scare the heck out of me.
Not to mention a 45 mph Schwinn trike.
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Old 05-22-22, 12:51 PM
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Here's one article that has a little info about installing e motor kits on trikes and recumbents and I'm sure you could find more with some searching. Best Electric Conversion Kits for Recumbent Trike and Bikes (ebikechoices.com) It lists hub motors as well but I would stay away from using one of them on the front wheel as your bike's front end is not likely strong enough to pull the whole trike. I may be wrong on that but personally I wouldn't take the chance. Like the other posters, even though you mentioned not wanting to go too fast I think this will be a little trickier to ride as trikes like the Schwinn tend to tip over to the outside when going around turns too fast. I think a dedicated ebike motor kit will also be a far better choice than trying to modify the starter motor and most lithium battery fires are from homemade battery packs and chargers.
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Old 05-22-22, 02:55 PM
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IMO there are three types of motorized, gas, battery, etc., bike owner operators.
1) Those who want to be able to enjoy their rides but lack the physical ability and are able to resume longer rides due to an "e bike".
2) Those that want a bike that can go fast without the rules and regulations required of a motor vehicle of any type.
3) Those that are unable to own/operate a motor vehicle and skirt the law by buying/making a mode of transportation that allows them to ride without the cost or legality of doing so.

Where I live/work most fit the "3" category. They "can't' obtain a license to operate any type of motorized vehicle thus enter the gray area of the law and buy some sort of 2 or 3 wheeled motorized bicycle that goes as fast as city traffic generally goes without the cost factor of a vehicle as well as the licensing, registration, insurance, etc. of said vehicles.
Wonder what happens when one of these scofflaw riders hits you or your vehicle? They have no insurance, generally have barely a pot to piss in. You suffer damage to your vehicle or perhaps physical injury and absolutely no recourse.

It is also a royal pain in the ass to work on these devices. Trying to find parts is very hard and requires quite a bit of time and research generally not billable...it should be. You can use a standard Park bike stand but often requires two to lift and attach the bike. Those that ride them treat them like crap and whine when it doesn't work. Especially on scooters. We often find that the wiring harness has been torn because of some kind of harsh treatment. When asked the owner always says "I was just riding along..."...suuuuuuure you were.

When I was hired as a bike wrench I made it clear to the owner I would not work on anything other than the average bike mechanisms of an ebike or scooter, etc. and I've stuck to that. Fortunately we have a mechanic who built custom motorcycles and is an ace when it comes to the ebikes, scooters, etc. He gets to do all the fun stuff like diagnosis, etc. But even a simple flat repair on one of these beasts is a pain in the ass.

However on the positive side I just helped build a Spesh e road bike that the customer bought from Spesh online and had shipped to us for assembly...wow...what a sweet bike. Not too heavy, the motor is small, the battery is as well. It went together flawlessly and runs like a dream. The "e" part of it is barely noticeable and is more of an assist, but wow what an assist, than a glorified moped. It was a pleasure to build compared to the usual POS e bikes we have to service.
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Old 05-22-22, 03:42 PM
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Dibs on the OP's stuff.
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