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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The bike, part 1

Since I've had some people ask about it, I figured I'd go into detail a little about it, and maybe even get your advice on a few things.  Bare in mind that bike building, as a process, takes time, way longer then they perceive it to be on TV anyways, especially if your doing it right.  

I've long been in love with Board Track racers, those lords of speed and reckless behavior that risked life and limb on nothing more then over-glorified motorized bicycles, often achieving speeds close to 100 miles an hour, and I'm talking back in 1919 people! You'll notice in the example posted here, that theres even still pedals involved, because you had to pedal it to start, sort of like the mopeds in the 70's and 80's and even still today.  This is my goal, to build something that emulates the past, to show how far we've come, while keeping it simple, and proving that when it comes to style and speed, old school had it to.
Add To this love of board track racers, a love of Bobbers and choppers, (just like almost anyone who's ever lived here in the united states, and you'll see a timeline progression of advancement in bikes that never really veered far off course.  Bobbers, are merely stock bikes, with the minimalist amount of parts and ad on to make it run, While choppers are very similar, a chopper is usually stretched and the front end is kicked out to make it even longer.  Both are great and both are cool in their own right.  And thats where my bike fits in. 
Enter the basis of my bike.  What you see here to the left is none other then a Micargi Leopard. A steel stretched beach cruiser style bike, set in a bobber configuration  on a board track style frame. While this  awesome piece of artwork is formed out of steel, sweat, and attitude, you'll notice its missing some key elements to really make a board track bike, namely, a tank to hold fuel, any form of suspension, and most importantly, an engine.  Now the tank is simple enough, it'll be made of steel as well and designed to fit the the opening in the back bone.  The suspension will be in the way of a replacement front end, in old school springer style, similar to the one pictured above.  Now the engine, now thats a different matter all together.
I've spent the last year of my life thinking about the power plant I want to put into a bike, and I'm still unable to decide.  My three options are;
A) 2-Stroke, essentially making it a beefed up moped style motorbike, only including a transmission so its able to reach  good cruising speed of 50-60mph.
B) Electric, using a 36V electric motor, and beefing it with lithium batteries for maximum power and distance,
C) Steam, using compressed air cylinders to power a steam engine for something different and unique.

While all three appeal to me, and all three are green energy alternatives (thus fitting into my lifestyle nicely) Its that vary factor that is causing such an issue.  I've created a poll, and I'd like to hear your opinions.


23 comments:

Lemmiwinks said...

Great post!
looking forward to reading the next one

kokojesta said...

Awsome bikes man, makes my bmx look like a toy, keep it up ;)

Asher said...

EVIRONMEEEEENT! I'm always looking for new ways to be more friendly, environment and otherwise!

Thanks for the neato info.

LoneIslander said...

Those are some pretty cool bikes you got there.

Nikola Begedin said...

I live in a hilly terrain, so I'm not sure if that bike frame would be suitable for me. Still with the engine, the uphill parts shouldn't be to hard.

arnyke said...

very nice
i like it
supportin !

Sparrow said...

@Nikola Begedin - I'm part of an group who makes and rides these all over, and there members all over the rocky mountains. Depending on the motor and the gearing you use on it, it can be a hell of a hill climber! For hills (or if your higher weight) then you'd need a larger sprocket on the rear, sure you wont go as fast, but you'll make it up those hills.

thecatzpajamas said...

i remmber this bikes gettin popular in m place!

amidoinitrite? said...

I'm looking forward to your next post!

Mutefox said...

I say steam! If only because I want to watch/help you build something unique like that

David Davidson said...

I haven't ridden a bike in years,

That's how out of shape I am. :(

Michael Angelo Cerritos said...

I've seen A LOT of bikes like that around my way. The chinese food delivery people use them lol. I believe the way these work though are that they charge a battery through pedaling. So you pedal for a while, then get to rest while you use the energy you worked up. I think they hit around 30 or 40. But yea thanks for the tip on my blog, I think I just might do that. Much love bro.

nicole said...

great bikes !

following & supporting you.
take care.

Come At Me Bro said...

Love it!

Sparrow said...

@Michael Angelo - Glad you took my recomendation, but your wrong on the way these bikes work. As a former NYC resident (who lived on the lower east side in chinatown) I can attest that the ones the delivery people use are pedal assisted bikes, and they top out at around 20.
These have no battery, and you pedal them to start the motor (sort of like a kick start) and the record speed for a board track racer was 117mph set back in the 20's on an Excelsior Cycle (which became Schwinn).

infostation said...

Nice bikes, I approve greatly.

Barnacle said...

This is going ot be interesting! :O

Gangrenous said...

why does that bike have chopper handlesbars? hah

check my blogs if you like interesting politics!

Kid C said...

These are pretty cool lookin bikes!

Eferhilda said...

I say keep it simple and clean. Use the two stroke or a beefed up four stroke that will fit the frame. I know that you have had experience working on gas engines in the past so sticking to what you know for this bike would be the best and most efficient.

saMWilliger said...

Interesting!!

Splash87 said...

A steam engine would be quite awesome. Definitely unique, quiet running, and I would think most environmentally friendly. Just got to make sure to keep a pump around in case your air tanks run low while your out.

John said...

I can't wait to see what you come up with!! I just got into motorized board trackers (right before Thanksgiving) and have, since then, been thinking about engine power. I found out about electric power using a Bionx PL500 unit. Steam?? Google, here I come...

Cheers!