Mountain bikes, though tough, are still unable to take on certain terrains and riding conditions. To be sure of gaining the reliability necessary to take on these harsh terrains, you want to install a motor on the bikes. The purpose of the motor is basically to add some torque and reduce your own effort input.
Like with every other kind of equipment, you have to know the steps to follow to realize this end. We have stepped in to offer you this very insight. In our discussions hereunder, we are going to look into the step-by-step procedures of how to install a motor on a mountain bike.
How To Put A Motor On A Mountain Bike
To do your work easier, here is the step-by-step guideline on how to put a motor on a bike.
Step I: Gather the essential supplies
You should start by gathering the essential supplies for the job. For this job, you will need to put on some protective gear. Examples of these are face masks, gloves, aprons, overalls, and trousers. Then, you will also have to prepare your workspace appropriately.
To do this, you will have to cordon it off and clearly mark ‘Work in Progress’ to deter would-be trespassers. Lastly, you will have to match the motor with the right kind of frame. As a general rule, the beach cruiser frame is the best for the job as it has been noted to bear much weight not to mention withstanding heavy impacts too!
Step 2: Prepare the mountain bike
After gathering your essential supplies and putting on the necessary protective gear, you now have to prepare the mountain bike for the purpose of installing the motor. This preparation basically entails increasing the height from the ground level for the sake of bringing about higher clearance.
You are also advised to install a spare front caliper brake to make it possible for you to bring the entire bike to a halt easily. If you so wish, you may replace the stock inner tubes with some that are more resistant to punctures. When cruising speedily, bikes are more predisposed to the risks of punctures.
Step 3: Identify the right motor
Identifying the right motor is just as good and awesome as installing one on your mountain bike itself. A good motor has to be able to produce the torque you need. This, in turn, is determined by the nature of the terrain you intend to ply. You should, therefore, determine these twin issues beforehand.
As you choose your own motor, be mindful of the fuel consumption too. Remember, these motors run on gas, which is generally costly to come by. On the last note, you also want to factor the levels of emissions as you do not want one that is more likely to make your environment dirty.
Step 4: Determine the compatibility of the motor with the bike
Before you embark on the task of installing a motor on your mountain bike, you are advised to test its efficacy and more so whether it can fit and work hand-in-hand with the rest of the bike structure. It is generally advisable that the motor fits snugly onto the frame of your bike.
In case this is not realizable, you have to modify the frame in such a way as to accommodate the motor you have at hand. You may do this by fabricating new brackets that are to care for this new dimension. The motor should also be tightened firmly to prevent any possibility of falling off as a result of too much shaking.
Step 5: Put in place the rear sprocket
Move on to attach the rear sprocket now. The rear sprocket acts as the primary drive great for the back wheel. Being the most significant part of your bike’s riding mechanism, you have to be sure to fasten it tightly. Indeed, many motors do wobble and lose form when riding in treacherous terrains.
This being the case, you have to see to it that the sprocket is dead on in the distance that spans the wheel all the way around. Test too that the motor remains steadfast when the wheels spin at extremely fast speeds.
Step 6: Fix the drive chain into the system
It is the drive chain that conveys the torque from the engine of the motor to the rear wheels. Compared to the other parts of the drive train, it is the drive chain that is the most fragile. To ensure that it does not fail even when subjected to higher stress loads, it is in your best interest to line it up perfectly straight.
Test for fit by shaking the bike gently. The chain as to hit the dropouts. If it does not, you have to make some adjustments here and there to see to it that this happens.
Step 7: Assemble the entire bike structure
Having fixed the drive train firmly in place, the time has now come to assemble the rest of the bike together. You will have to fix the carbs, throttle mechanisms, clutch, and fuel lines. This is perhaps the most complex part of the entire operation. Each component requires its own approach to undertake.
This calls for the familiarization with the steps that underlie the installation of each. Thereafter, you have to proceed and implement each step at a time. You may need an expert to offer further guidance on how to make a homemade motorized bicycle at this step. That is because most bikes that have been poorly assembled have caught fire not to mention disintegrating.
Step 8: Conduct a test drive
As a last measure, you now have to conduct a test drive. This simply means riding the back within some predefine course. To do so, get on the saddle, first and foremost. Then, engage the motor and have it generate the torque. After this, press your feet on the clutch to connect the motor to the transmission mechanism of the mountain bike.
Ride the bike around and attempt the various maneuvers like acceleration, stopping, deceleration, and turning to the sides. Take note of any issues which may require fine-tuning. After you are through with the exercise, you should now make those final touches before calling it a day.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is it legal to put an engine on a bicycle?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. That is because the laws that govern the installation of the engines on the bikes vary from place to place and jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Some may allow for them to be fixed, others may limit the extent to which they may be used, others may designate specific parts or portions of the city for their use, yet others may completely ban their use altogether. It is hence up to you to familiarize yourself with the laws that exist in your locality of use.
Q2. Do you need a license for a motorized bike?
Just like the case of legality above, the issue of licenses also varies greatly from city to city and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some may require that you seek some licensure before use, others will simply allow you to use them without any licenses yet others may require licenses under specific circumstances.
Yet again, you have to determine whether your own city of locality requires a license to operate the bike. As you search for the license, ensure that you read through the terms that govern the issuance of that license keenly to avoid getting into trouble.
Q3. Can you ride a motorized bicycle in the rain?
Why not? But then, there is a catch. The motor is very sensitive to rain and water. You hence have to be sure that you seal it appropriately from the rain. This may require the use of tarpaulin to effectively seal off the motor from direct exposure to the external environment.
When excess moisture is allowed to trickle into the engine, the fire may be put off. Then, there is also the risk of diluting the oil in such a way as diminishing its potency considerably. Do not seal off the exhaust as this might make it difficult for the engine to dispose of the fumes.
Q4. Is a pedal-assist bike considered motorized?
NOT really! The pedal assist only comes in when you are pedaling. It negates the input of physical power when doing so but nevertheless brings about no support at other times of the journey. The motor, on the other hand, will provide power at all times of the journey, from start to finish.
Many jurisdictions do not consider pedal-assist bikes to be motorized. Instead, they only term it as special kinds of bikes. It is necessary that you get to know how this bike is classified in your area to help with conforming to the various laws.
Q6. How does pedal-assist work?
A pedal assist has a speed sensor. This one detects the forward rotation of the pedal or any other rotational speed. It moves on to activate the motor to generate the force that eventually powers your rides. When fitted on the electronic bikes, a display comes along to alert you on your progress.
You will, for instance, be able to know beforehand how much power your motor consumes to power your pedals. The torque sensor also determines the amount of force that your pedal requires before moving ahead to activate the motor.
Q7. How will it cost?
These motors come in various shades and forms. This coupled with the differences in their torque output means that their costs of acquisitions also vary tremendously. Then there are different locations wherein these motors are manufactured. As such, we cannot state for sure how much the motor costs or is likely to cost.
Generally, though, you should be ready to part with no less than 500 dollars for a fully built motor that runs on gas. The costs for the electric counterparts are however higher owing to the limited emissions which such motors give off.
Q8. How many types of motors do exist?
Motors come in several kinds and forms. The kinds of fuels used to power them are what bring about much of the distinction. With regard to the source of fuel, we have an electric motor, gas motor, and solar motor. The electric ones draw their power from batteries, mostly Lithium-ion.
Those that run on gas mainly use gasoline to do so. Lastly, those that are solar powered also have some batteries. Their batteries are rechargeable mainly by the use of the energy that is drawn from the sun. It is yet again up to you to decide which of them you find relevant to your needs.
Q9. Do I require any expertise to ride a motorized bike?
Not necessarily! Riding a motorized bike differs not so fundamentally from riding a normal bike. All you might have to know probably is how to shuffle back and forth from the motor to the manual pedaling. Then, you have to learn how to take note of the various readings and prepare appropriately.
Many people have experienced some confusion for a start, which is expected anyway. However, with constant practice and careful attention, many have overcome such confusion in no time. You should thus not shy from giving it a try.
Q10. Apart from the mountain bikes, it is possible to mount these motors on normal bikes?
A.YES! However, the bike you choose has to be strong enough to be able to accommodate the extra weight. It is also necessary that the motor you choose conforms to the rest of the bike. These two are essential to avoid any frictions arising in the course of use.
You may have to enlist expert assistance from those who have already tried these motors out for inspiration. Then, you should also mind about the emission levels, nature of your terrain, and the operational expertise needed to narrow it down to a good one.
Our labor in explaining the processes of mounting the motors on the mountain bikes ends there. We now pass the ball to you. Read through our explanations above to find out how to add a motor on a mountain bike. Remember, it is never a bad idea to seek expert assistance.
These motors are potentially dangerous and have as a matter of fact been known to spark fires. The least you would want to happen to you is to put yourself in the line of danger. What more could we possibly assist with? Kindly let us know…
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Last Updated: June 8, 2022