I have a bike shop in Lavrgne, Tn. While servicing customer's bikes, a friend brought in an e-bike that he found at the salvage yard. Not knowing what to do with it or what posibilities it had in store, he left it at my shop. I looked at it and researched the possibility of another battery and that would lead to another motor and the price was going up and up. While still in the thinking phase of using parts for another project, I mentioned the possibility of installing a gas motor. After another week, (the bike was in my shop for two months) I proposed a deal to obtain the bike because I had just found out that after many,many tickets for expired registration that my car was terminal if I did not replace the computer and since it was a saturn, the likelihood of keeping it running, let alone justify repairing a car with 300,000 miles on it was reason enough for me to commit selling it for the money to get a motor. Now, keep in mind that I was new to all this and researching all of the outlets for a bicycle motor is quite overwhelming. Especially when you don't know the industry that well to know what is good and what is bad.
A call to Motovelo scored me my first motor. Now the reason I chose them was because their support system is second to none. If you want to sell your motors, follow their model, they got it down. Within a couple hours, I had the bike started. This is where all my troubles and real education began on really knowing these motors inside and out. Upon starting the motor, I could not adjust the idle. For some reason, the carb had some internal problems that I would know nothing about for some time. I had to adjust the tension on the throttle cable to get it to idle properly. Other than that, the newness and adventure was well underway. No problems through the break-in period until I took a long trip with a friend of mine. The scooter he was riding had restrictors that kept it from going over 30mph. We were going to ride about 20 miles to the shop where those rollers in the transmission were going to be replaced with lighter ones to allow it to shift to a higher gear. The trip out was great, riding by yourself is ok but with two or more, you seem to have more control over your space and your lane. The ride back was different because he now had 10mph on me. Since I was also uneducated on gas oil mixtures and types of oil, I settled for the regular kind. 40 miles into the 50 mile journey, we were riding down a straight stretch of road and it happened. It stopped running. Locked up. I thought I had mixed the gas/oil wrong when I refueled but I just overheated it. I rode it to a local gas station about a mile or two up the road and shot some WD-40 in the cylinder to free it up. It took about an hour. It actually took about an hour and it started and took me the rest of the way home. The cylinder was done at that point, so I ordered another cylinder kit. After 15 seconds it seized and I was done with the motor and went online to ebay to purchase a motor only. Upon arrival, I installed it and was on the road again. On my next long ride it seized. So I realized I needed to change the oil to synthetic and chose Amsoil Dominator Racing oil and a new cylinder kit. So, after a couple of months of running, I got caught in a downpour and the crank bearing got washed out and it sounded like ping-pong balls were bouncing around!
Tearing down the motor was the easy part. It actually took longer to pull the motor off the bike than it took to disassemble the motor. With the motor tore down, I need the old bearings off the motor I replaced. The screws on the Motovelo motor had heads that sheared off when trying to remove and had to drill them out. Upon using a hammer and jig to remove bearing from Motovelo motor, the case broke in my hands. With the bearings out, I put them in the newer motor and reassembled the case. It took a total of 45 minutes to do that and I did not soak the cases because they were not that dirty. I had the bike running that evening and rode about 600 miles before the seals started causing a vacuum leak and the motor would idle high.
I ordered a turn signal kit and a speed carb, hoping that the carb was bad and remember, I had issues with the old carb from the beginning. So with the turn signal installed and new carb on, things were pretty good again. Really only 75 miles before it started revving again. I ordered a new seal kit and new crank bearings because I thought if I was going to break this thing open again, it was going to be done right. New case seal with ultra black gasket sealer and new bolts for the case and clutch cover which allen bolts worked great. The motor was completed and installed within a couple of hours and it rode like a dream. I rode the new carb, the speed carb about 300 miles before it started to give me trouble. I cracked it open and found a paper gasket. Really??? Well, I had a couple other carbs that needed to be rebuilt with new gasket material and actually had a customer come to the shop needing one and I was able to test the others I rebuilt before putting in sealed bags. I recently rode about 270 miles in three days and I even attach a trailer to it for things that don't fit in the saddle bags. It's a great bike!