Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Affordable Transportation In Times of Hardship

The aftermath of the 2008 stock market crash was very difficult for me. 

I spent 2009 trying to get back on my feet and the first 6 months of 2009 were especially difficult.  I had very little money, no transportation and a mortgage that was going to be foreclosed on.  I had to sell my brand new pickup truck for the loan value losing my down payment and 6 months payments.  I sold my customized pickup truck for a couple thousand dollars. All in the desperate attempt to keep food on the table.

Needless to say I had to be very creative in my transportation means to get around and earn.

Around month 3 of my purgatory, I encountered a teen who had a motorized bicycle. 

I had never saw such a thing before.  However he demonstrated it and it was absolutely brilliant. 

Here was a motorized bike, basically a cheap DIY motorcycle that would get me around and not needing insurance or registration the perfect stealth off the gird vehicle.

So I scraped up a couple hundred dollars and built one.

I found a Diamondback beach cruiser that was on sale and got the motor kit.

I put it together and found that it had issues.

One really needs the dedicated rear wheel and sprocket combo from the kit sellers, and one needs to fabricate a really strong motor mount.  The fuel lines also are cheap and need a real hose from the auto parts store.

However once that was worked out.  I started using it every day. 

I was amazed that I could keep up with city traffic, and that I could either go all out balls to the wall noisy engine, or stealth mode on bike trails at just above engine idle speed.

If you loaf along at 20-25mph on it, you will get the promised 150mpg. 


I was also able to use public bike trails and sidewalks without undue notice from the authorities.  Many times I passed police officers riding in their cars and coasted past them without them giving me a second glance.  Never mind that I was doing 20mph or so and not pedaling. 

I also discovered that there were many many bike trails in the Midwestern state I was at.  I was able to take long trips of 300 miles in the space of 14 hours or so.  Traveling on what are former rail lines converted into bike/snowmobile routes, I passed thru most of the state hardly seeing another person except when crossing highways. 

The fuel tanks on these machines are small, so you will need to pack along extra fuel.  I found that the cheap aluminum water bottles (clearly marked) were prefect for refueling and transporting fuel. 


I had the 80cc engine on mine.  Even though most states regulate and have a 49cc rule, I found that in all practicality no one ever checked.  However should one fear being checked by the .gov for having the larger engine, the engine displacement on mine was printed on a paper sticker and easily removed. 


1 comment:

cryptical said...

Sounds like there might be a market for building out the bikes and selling them, or producing kits with the extra parts (brackets, hoses) needed for the semi-DIY folks.

To save folks the google, http://rawmotors.com/ for the motors.