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Cheap ebay chinese bicycle engine kits - worth it?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Kernel, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. This could belong in Off Topic, but I reckon it's more relevant to this forum since a bicycle with a motor would technically be a motorcycle.
    This is the particular kit I'm looking at: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/70cc-motorised-bike-motorized-push-bicycle-engine-kit-/140601085980

    I have been thinking of getting one of these 2 stroke 70cc kits to put onto my bicycle for doing short trips, (ie dandenong to wantirna distance and less) to save on petrol and wear and tear on my motorcycle.
    It would be a fun little project sitting the kit up on my bicycle.
    I also want it as something I can thrash around and not really care about and to learn more mechanical skills on. Parts are very cheap - a whole new engine is only 130 bucks - and I reckon could learn to rebuild it myself. I'd rather a 4 stroke kit so that there'd be more skill transfer to working on proper 4 stroke bikes, plus it'd sound a lot less annoying than the smoker, but they're a fair bit more expensive than the 4 stroke kit.

    The only thing that concerns me is that being chinese 'quality', the bottom end of the motor might be rather fragile. They don't sell spare parts for this apart from the front cog, so I'd be buying a whole new engine each time the bottom end went. But maybe they're alright?

    Yeah, yeah, I know - "Why don't you just pedal the damn thing?" But I'm lazy.

    Thoughts, comments? Bad idea? Good for what I want it for?

  2. I have always wanted one of these things, they look so lol and they would be such a cheap way of getting around.

    What kind of gear does one need to ride in? do you need rego/insurance etc etc?
  3. I've heard that up to a certain engine size you don't need anything more than what you need to legally ride the bicycle. I'll ask vicroads tomorrow. I reckon it's one of those things that you'd simply get away with though. They might have their own very cheap fee code?
    If anyone here knows please chime in.
  4. Illegal in NSW if they are over 200w which is not much. 70cc would make a lot more
  5. yeah, a little over ten times that by the claimed power figure of 2.2kw

    edit: according to this site http://www.zbox.com.au/legal.htm in victoria it is only legal if the motor makes less than 200w of power. lame...
    anyway like I said i reckon it's something you'd just get away with. I saw a guy riding the busy streets of dandenong on a bicycle with a 2 stroke ICE attached, during the time of day where there's cops everywhere.
  6. I've had a look at a couple of these and they look like neatly designed little units but the visible quality of castings, fasteners and welding was about what you'd expect, ie not very good.

    All the ones I've seen are very unlikely to be legal. Any vehicle with more than 200W is subject to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act and as such must comply with the applicable ADRs. If the engine delivers more than 200W and is less than 50cc the machine would need to be complianced as a moped, which may be just about possible for a small commercial concern but is unlikely to be practical for an individual. If it's over 200W and over 50cc it's a motorcycle and would need to be complianced as such. Basically forget it.

    Last I heard, there was some pressure to lift the 200W to 500W for power assisted bicycles but AFAIK it hasn't happened yet.

    If you go ahead, best of luck to you, but you will be running the risk of getting nailed for riding an unlicensed, uninsured and (in the eyes of the law) unroadworthy vehicle. If you're prepared to cop that then fair enough and I wouldn't discourage you. If not, either don't do it or don't say you weren't warned.

    Edit: BTW, I didn't make it clear above. The 200W is a Federal limit, so these are illegal in every State and Territory.

    As for the illegality of IC engines in power assisted bicycles, they're fine if they're under 200W. However, IIRC, it is illegal to use the power assistance anywhere other than a road (at least in WA) so you can't ride under power on a dedicated cycle path or a shared cycle/foot path.
  7. After looking further into the legalities, I pretty much found out everything that PatB stated above. After posting this in a public forum I don't like my chances of getting away with it if a police officer decided to ping me for doing it, but is it something which is actively enforced?
    I think I might take this up with my local member.

    Patb touched on this slightly, but aside from the legal issues, is this worth doing? IE will the kit fall apart within half a year, or are they alright? I'd like it if there's anyone here that has specific experience with these sorts kits and can chime in.
  8. Hmm, considering i nearly paid that much money for my blender, i'm considering buying one of those engines and making protein shakes with it.
  9. I love the smell of Two stroke in the morning.
  10. Not to blow my own trumpet but I used to do this stuff for a living so I'd consider myself fairly well informed if, nowadays, a bit out of date and forgetful :D. I had all sorts of fun and games about 10 years ago when everyone and his brother decided to become overnight millionaires by selling Chinese scooters (as in stand-up thingies) without checking out the legalities first. There are probably unsold containerloads of the bloody things all over Australia even now.

    I suspect it would depend heavily on circumstances. Ride it as a responsible and reasonably legal cyclist and I wouldn't expect much attention. Ride flat-out down the footpath, helmetless, scattering pedestrians and scooting through red lights dodging traffic as I've seen a couple of guys over here doing and you're a booking waiting to happen. Incidentally, there's not much chance of the engine being overlooked when running. They're far from silent, though not, IMHO offensive. Much the same as mopeds used to be back in the 70s which, I suppose, is unsurprising given that that is what they basically are.

    Can't really offer an opinion on reliability. I've seen three in total but I haven't seen any of them twice, so make of that what you will. OTOH, they're an ultra-basic piston ported two-stroke with only three moving parts so there's a limit to what can go wrong. If you strip the thing before use (or even turning it over) and clean out all the swarf and casting sand you'd be in with a chance.
  11. I had such kit on my bike for around a year - then it fell apart. As in, the inside of the cylinder was completely worn out.... after no more than a couple of thousand kms. While it was running it was fun, but very often it wasn't running. There was always something wrong with it and all in all I was glad to be rid of it.
    My opinion: definitely NOT worth it!

    ...and, as everyone pointed out, not even legal on our roads. If you want cheap transport, just get a scooter.
  12. Go electric, I know someone that cranks out push bikes that will do 70kmh. Down side is they are much more expensive.
  13. **** the law.
    nothing is legal in Vic anyway. nothing. you can get arrested for smiling here.
    only downside is i'd blow it up within a week
  14. If it makes you feel any better I'm pretty sure this law is the same in all states of Australia: if it is still to be considered a push bike, the assisting motor can put out no more than 200 Watts.

    What I question is the morals of selling those kits on ebay without mentioning that little detail... and this sort of 'buyer beware' mentality would not make me trust the product they sell either.
  15. i don't care. cheap fun until you get busted. just do stealth runs after dark.
    go full ninja even, including sword. knock over a few 7elevens
  16. I've nothing against breaking certain laws in principle. Indeed, as I get older, I feel less inclined to comply with laws I consider unduly restrictive, inconvenient or just plain stupid so I'm certainly not speaking from a finger wagging, moral high ground perspective here. However, to do so needs to be an informed choice and carries certain inherent risks, ie getting caught and penalised. Having made the informed decision to accept those risks, you lose all rights to expect any sympathy when you turn up and whine about being handed an enormous fine by the "fascist pigs".

    This. I personally think it's stupidly low, but that is the legal position and has been for decades. Exceed it by all means but do so in the clear understanding that it is at your own risk. Given the likely penalties for using an unlicensed motor vehicle on the road (as defined in the various Road Traffic Acts so also black letter law with no real wriggle room, however stupid it may seem) it represents what I would see as quite a substantial risk. You may have a different view.
  17. That's just the problem: there is nothing stealthy about these things, they are noisy and obvious from a mile away. If you have an electric motor I reckon you could get away with being over the power limit pretty easily because 400W electric engine looks pretty much the same as a 200W one. With those things... not so much.
  18. **** the law and all that but if you run into me with one of those with no insurance, then the law won't help you.
  19. hope you're cover includes being attacked by ninjas then.
    cos i'm gone, like puff of smoke backflip onto a rooftop gone.
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