Motorized Bicycles: a Big Scene!
October 05, 2011
I've long thought that more could be done with bikes and little motors than the standard scooters and mopeds I've seen around. Actually, I haven't seen many mopeds. ...Saw one at a museum the other day -- a neat black 1960's-type item with the motor over the front wheel. I remember those! Seemed like a great idea. Our neighbor had one. I haven't seen 'em out and about since. ...Velo-Solex! That's the one. I've posted about a revival for it here, years ago. Haven't seen one.
Well, Derringer is a moped that has its act together. It's a coherent, dialed-in rig. 180mpg. 35mph. "Only" $3500. It's patterned after the old board track racers -- dang, I didn't know that was a scene! Those guys went 100mph on their little moto-bikes. Check out the historic pics on that site!
A motor on a Typhoon frame would look similar for much less $. Ah, but "similar" ain't the same as a good design. I've been googling around and there are a lot of clunky looking kit options out there these days. But I bet even they can be dialed in better.
Now, I'm attracted to stylish vintage solutions, but in the end a lightweight ergonomic configuration is likely what is desired. Something you can relax on, but -- face it -- the bike ends up heavier and so if you're going to be pedaling some on occasion you want to be in a good power position and you don't want a lot of extra weight in chrome. So a lean, compact option is also worth checking out -- and is hopefully out there -- still looking good -- but I didn't hunt around much for that.
Of course, e-bikes are also taking off like rockets. Lots of options in that market, too.
Pal Chris and I have also long jawed that a chainsaw motor on a mtbike might make a sweet ultralight motorcycle -- to extend the range of a regular bike and make uphills easier/quicker.
So here are some places to check out:
derringercycles.com -- classiest solution yet
heliobikes.com -- pretty styley options here, too, for $1k
livefastmotors.com -- some classy bikes here for $500
motorbicycling.com -- a huge forum on all aspects of moto-bikes
www.bicycle-power.com -- a hub for links going to lots of gas-bike and e-bike sites
www.kingsmotorbikes.com -- retailer of lotsa kit stuff
Here's a project bike from the Forums. Looks like it'll be sweet!
Here are a couple enthusiast builds -- pic taken from the hobby Forum.
Here's a $1K dialed-in vintage-look (semi?)production bike from Helios.