Motorized Biking: Heading to Mexico? South America? (1 Viewer)

Hillbilly Castro

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Howdy everybody.
I have felt visceral disgust at the white shit that surrounds me and everything up here in the woods of Upstate New York - the locals call it "snow". Even just going out for a smoke becomes a military operation. My desert boots have soaked to the core, and I start to think: I am crazy, but I am not this fucking loony. So, as three feet of snow came down on me, and I did some searching, I found a $49 flight from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas... and I bought it.
Meanwhile, before the snow came, I bought this: 1103161645.jpg
It's a Golden Eagle Bicycle Engine, one of the most legit bike motorizing kits available in the US. At a cost of $759 it better be. I was anxious about the price, but the forums around the internet all seemed to agree that this is the best kit one can buy - it is heavy-duty, long-lasting, and does not demand the user possess any knowledge of engines in advance. I have found all this to be true in my month with it - we'll see about the long-lasting part, though I suspect it will last.
I have already put some 500 miles on it with zero issues. It does a cool 30mph on flat ground and calm wind, gets about 150mpg with all my gear on it (weighing maybe 10lbs) and moderately hilly terrain. I can fill the tank for pocket change - like, if I'm in a bind, literally with coins and cans found in the street or spanged in 2mins if need be. This is good, but a tank only takes me maybe 40 miles, so for distance rides, stops must be planned or extra gas must be carried. I've done some long rides, cruising up to seventy miles from home base, and it holds up beautifully. You've got to pedal it to start it, and pedal it up hills. You've got to listen to the engine and make sure that you are not overworking it. These engines are NOT built to be overworked.

So I am shipping the engine to LA, buying another bike (probably a geared MTB), and sticking the engine on the new bike. I am contemplating heading due south with it until it just don't ride no more. I have heard accounts of people getting 10,000 miles with these (though never as a sustained journey) before having to do major engine work, but I could be making this up. I remember reading it on the motored bike forums somewhere but cannot find it anymore. If I manage to get that sort of mileage, that's the whole trip to motherfuckin' Tierra Del Fuego. A guy can dream anyway. I've got about a thousand bucks, and I figure if I live like a peasant, I could go for quite some time whether I make it to Argentina or not. Who knows what I'll really do - I'm married to no particular course of action, but heading into Mexico sounds good just by itself.

I have concerns, however. Namely, what would a border crossing be like with this thing? My immediate assumption, as a TurboYakeeGringo, writing from grandma's house which smells like pumpkin pie, is that non-first-world countries tend to be much more reasonable about light motorized vehicles like mine. While the US seems hell-bent on giving anyone who does not drive a 13mpg Suburban a bad, expensive, potentially criminal time, I often hear accounts of the popularity of small motorized vehicles in Latino nations, though usually within large cities and not as a form of long-distance travel. This could mean I get a laugh and a "buena suerte" from la migra, but perhaps I am wrong.

I could also detach the motor from the bike (takes 30mins), and get a ride with a friend over the border with the bike lashed to the back and the motor in the trunk. Then, once in MX, we could re-assemble the motorbike and away I go (?). Or I could put the motor in my pack and pedal across. Not sure, if this becomes a huge latino adventure, how other border crossings might go. Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the Darien Gap.... there are not google-able laws in English on these matters and my Spanish is too rudimentary to really search or read or make sense of what might exist in the Spanish language web.

Anyway, share your thoughts and expertise. I can't tell if this is just too batshit to be workable or what. I've seen some folks trash motorized bikes a bit but I think much of the sentiment must be directed against Chinese cheapo versions.. this is a real-deal Honda GX35 four stroke. With that, I gotta go for a ride lol. This thing is so goddamn fun.
 
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ped

Glorified monkey
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that neat man. maybe get you one of those little bicycle trailers to carry shit.

I got a scooter with a seat that has a 2 smoker on it. they make serious go fast parts for those.

But I think you're def onto something with it. we could use so much less fossil fuels with common sense approaches like this. Cheap and simple. good luck! start a blog with that shit, I'd def like to read it.
 
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ped

Glorified monkey
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I'd like to see what a 50-80cc version could do though just for carrying extra shit. I bet a retrofit would be simple enough.

the chinese motors are ok. the carbs tend to get fucked up easily and the bowls are hermetically sealed. So to clean them you have to drill the rivets or put them in a vice and break them open. Once in cleaning the jets are quick and easy.

as well there are mechanical 2 speed transmissions...would take a bunch of fabrication though

af7d131bba4eecca4d1125907b722457.image.733x550.jpg


http://www.bladezscooters.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=229_5_150&products_id=196

could prolly both climb hills and get 40mph out of it
 
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Hillbilly Castro

Hillbilly Castro

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Shit with an 80cc, you could have not just a trailer but a goddamn trailer camper. I built these for a while and even lived in one for a couple months. 36" wide, 96" long, enough to sit up inside. I even slept two in there reasonably often! The downside was pedaling that fucker when it was hilly, or windy, or honestly, when the terrain was anything but a couple miles on flats with no traffic...

My motor would not do well with a rig like that except in very limited circumstances. I could use it to do a seasonal run from Slab City north to a cooler spot for the summer, I think, if I babyed it and went slow and picked my route carefully. But I get the feeling the 4 stroke GX35 is more of a longevity machine than something with any torque or power to haul.

I actually wonder about getting a chainsaw engine... those fuckers have torque. (right? I am an engine noob tbh)
 

ped

Glorified monkey
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that trailer would be sweet! or hell a little utility job loaded with decent camp gear.

you could also do a simple gearing change. and for extra torque on hills add an electric hub motor with some solar on your trailer. 2 strokes are more powerful for a given size, so yeah a chainsaw (or weed whacker) would def have more power.

There's is no shortage of cheap 49cc 2 strokes for under $100 too. could carry two engines, one as a spare.

50cc is a legal limit though, so any bigger you could get fucked with.

How bad ass would a honda/yamaha minibike 50cc with a 3 speed trans be! would def need to be mounted in the frame but sustained 45mph easy plus any hill while towing.
 
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Hillbilly Castro

Hillbilly Castro

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Matt, this baby does definitely do hills - it just needs a little help if they are steep. On flats you needn't pedal at all, except to start up and get going. When you are going up hills, you are pedaling pretty darn gently, but just enough to help the motor out a bit. You can even do hills without pedaling by pinning the throttle - it's just very hard on the engine. It is sorta the opposite of the electric bike systems, where, as you say, it just aids you going uphill. A bigger engine, like an 80cc, would do the job just fine.
 

ped

Glorified monkey
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check this out. they sell a CVT bolt on transmission for $129. Or a whole kit with 3.25hp 50cc for $300

http://www.thatsdax.com/

I know this isnt what your thread is about but it got me looking around
 
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Tude

Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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Your plans sound fun and exciting and I like your set up and plans for that as well. Agree with Matt - do document your travels and link or post them here. This adds a great travel experience.

I've been seeing more motorized bicycles in the city here - this one guy screws around on a cross bike, and another on a slimmed down mtb-ish bike.

Cool stuff!!
 

Aleus

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Don't plan a long trip until you've ridden a few hundred miles on the set up your using. Those bikes can be uncomfortable and sketchy even on the best roads. I've done 600 mile round trips on a lowered custom 50cc scooter and that made me rethink my cross country plans. Definitely document it and if I'm in the same area I would love to join for a crazy trip like this hahaha
 

TheWindAndRain

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600 miles out and 600 back sounds right for one of these, after that you will have some major readjustments to do from all the vibration. I just got done with a 1300 miles journey, got to love the gas mileage on these.
Here's mine

lJ3EZhzh.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 2626

I deleted myself
How's this coming along man? Got me thinking myself getting a little bicycle with engine and a bicycle trailer for gear and my pooch. I've really been thinking on living my life with a smaller footprint and doing this instead using my old oil burning pick up.
 
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Hillbilly Castro

Hillbilly Castro

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It's coming along! I have been focusing on getting my stuff out here to the west. I'm in LA waiting for my engine to come in the mail (so nervous...) and I just bought an old Giant beach cruiser with six speeds. I have all my gear except I gotta get a couple of thermoses for when it gets hot (put put hielo in) and a decent multi-fuel camp stove. If all goes well, I'm gonna be getting out of here in about a week and heading to the Slabs, and Quartzite afterwards. Right now I am deciding my route. I am considering two options: The first, heading to Tucson AZ and crossing into MX at Nogales, riding south on the west coast of Mexico through Sonora, past Guadalajara, and so forth. I don't love the idea especially if I am alone, just because of the reputation of northern MX and apparently some of the spots south of Mexico City DF can get sketchy too. An option I am toying with is going to Key West - maybe on the bike, or maybe hitching/trains/ridesharing there, and negotiating a boat to Cuba, riding across Cuba, and trying to get a boat to the Yucatan from Cuba. From the Yucatan, the roads are smaller and better to ride, and that area of Mexico is quite safe (plus I get to boat hitch and see fucking Cuba.). I like the idea of heading to FL first because I figure somewhere between CA and FL I can find some work and get another $1000 together. I only have about a grand right now, which would be pretty goddamn thin to expect to go to Buenos Aires on (if the engine fails or something I'm gonna keep hitchhiking).
 

ped

Glorified monkey
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you looking for like those coleman backpacking stoves?

upload_2016-12-14_17-19-38.jpeg
 

ped

Glorified monkey
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well let me know if you need anything. I got some stuff I need to get rid of and can ship it.

Got a cheap lightweight stove but its a canister type thing, a huge 80L pack, etc.
 
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Hillbilly Castro

Hillbilly Castro

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Oh yeah the white gas canister stoves? I was thinking about getting one.. just gotta research availability of those canisters in Latin America..
 

ped

Glorified monkey
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No it's a butane/propane canister. I guess it's what they're called. Like the msr rocket or whatever.

I thought white gas was what the Coleman or whisperlight is. White gass - naphtha out of plain old can.
 
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D

Deleted member 2626

I deleted myself
Right on. Good luck. Going to Cuba like old Muir. Ped what's the 80L pack looking like? Pockets/organization etc. I might be interested. Always looking for a bigger pack for the winter bag.
 

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