Lessons Learned

Overall, the bike could have been much better built. With the modifications, it does an adequate job, but a bit more forethought would have helped make a better bike with fewer headaches. Overall the bracket system is not a bad method for attaching an engine sans welding, but using a tensioning mechanism is essential. A better mechanism than the spring that I used (Iíve been thinking about using a turnbuckle) and a sturdier mount for the engine would show the greatest improvements in usability, reliability and safety. In many ways this project should be used as much for how not to build a motor bike as how to build one. Here are some things I would do differently (some have already been mentioned):

  • Use at least 1/2 inch thick plywood for the plate (1/4 inch thick aluminum or steel would be even better it you can cut it)
  • Add a tensioning mechanism from the start.
  • There is definitely a bracket geometry that would work better. A stiffer set up that connects on the other side of the wheel would make for a much stronger and more stable platform.
  • The rims that came with the bike are not nearly strong enough to take the 25 plus miles an hour the bike can achieve. Mine have come out of alignment and been seriously bent a few times already.
  • Steel brackets would be better to attach the motor plate for added strength and safety. One of the aluminum brackets I made broke at one of the bends. A set of store-bought u-bolts would probably be the best solution and they would be even easier to use as long as you can find the right size.