About this project
We are back!
As some of you may know, Motopeds was on Kickstarter before and was unsuccessful. I have partnered with a new group that has helped me find a great factory that will make all my quality parts at a much lower price and minimum order. Hopefully everyone has a Motoped soon!
What is a Motoped?
The Motoped is a motorized bicycle. It uses a Honda xr50 or chinese pitbike engine along with downhill mountain bike parts mounted to a custom frame and swing arm. It is quiet and most 50cc engines get up to 100+ miles per gallon.
Why a motoped?
When gas prices hit $4.50 a gallon, I began to see a lot of motorized bikes and mopeds running around town. All of these bikes were using 2-stroke engines that smoked badly and sounded like chainsaws on steroids. I thought the forest was being cut down, but no, it was just my neighbors new motorized bike.
I thought to myself, there's got to be a less annoying sounding (and less polluting) engine than these 2-strokes and a much better and safer design. I knew that the Honda xr50 engine had been around for 40 years and there was tons of aftermarket parts for it. I just needed a way to combine pedals with it and make the bike exceptionally functional in all conditions. The Motoped was born!
What do I need to build my own?
We will provide you with a detailed list of off-the-shelf motorcycle and mountain bike parts or you can buy all the items you need right here on kickstarter at a major discount. The basics are a Honda xr50/pit bike 50-190cc motor, gas tank, seat and a few other motorcycle parts, the mountain bike parts include forks, brakes, wheels, tires, cranks, and pedals. All of the custom made parts - frame, swing arm, jack shaft, bottom bracket, rear hub, sprockets, and exhaust system will be sold in the "Motoped Frame Kit ". For more engine and parts specifications visit motopeds.com
What parts are included with the Motoped Frame Kit? The Frame Kit comes with the frame, swing-arm, sub-frame, jackshaft assembly, sprockets, bottom bracket, rear hub, and exhaust system (pipe&muffler)
Motoped Frame Kit details
Frame The frame is hand tig welded out of certified chro-moly tubing. Head tube size is 1 1/2" mountain bike. All tank/seat/ body mounts are Honda crf50 style pitbike. Shock mount is 7/8" wide with 8mm(5/16") hole. Frame is powder coated metallic grey.
Swing-arm The Swing-arm has been greatly improved and is now hand tig welded 6061 aluminum. Dropout spacing is 135mm with 14mm axle. Standard 51mm ISIS mountain bike brake mount. Shock mount is standard mountain bike 7/8" wide with 8mm(5/16") hole. Shock length is 9.5" (240mm) eye to eye.
Rear hub This is a custom made rear hub that must be used with the motoped. Rear hub is 135mm wide with 14mm axle. 36 spoke. Left side is ISIS mountain bike disc brake mount, right side is solid mount for sprocket. Hub has sealed bearings and is anodized black.
Jack shaft The jack-shaft is made up of a 3/4" steel shaft running on 3/4x1-5/8x7/16 sealed bearings with aluminum couplings and sprockets. Sprockets are 7075 aluminum and are for #420 motorcycle chain. Each Sprocket is hand made.
Exhaust system This is a custom made exhaust system that must be used with the motoped. Exhaust pipe is 1" outside diameter. Pipe has exhaust port for honda xr50 style port. Muffler is hand tig welded from 6061 aluminum.
The motoped has a patented pedaling system that combines the engine drive with the pedal drive through a jack-shaft located in the swing-arm pivot. This means that the rear wheel drive chain is not loosening and tightening as the rear suspension travels through its arc. Also, this allows for one chain going to the rear wheel unlike most motorized bikes that use two chains to the rear wheel - a separate chain for the engine and the pedals.
Why use a Honda 4-stroke in a motorized bike? The Honda 4-stroke horizontal OHV motor is the most popular and most copied engine in the world. It was first introduced in the Honda mini-trail 50 in 1969 and is still being used today almost unchanged in the crf50. The Chinese have been making copies of the Honda 50 for years now, with all kinds of variations in design and displacement, but all having the same motor mounts as the original Honda. The engines range from 50cc to 190cc. The Chinese copies of the Honda xr50 has spawned a whole group of minibikes called "pitbikes". The amount of aftermarket performance parts for the Honda xr50 and it's pitbike clones is endless and readily available everywhere.
Mountain bike parts
The mountain bike parts needed for the motoped are Forks, Wheels, Tires, Rear shock, Brakes, Cranks, Pedals, Headset, and Freewheel.
The xr50/pitbike parts needed for the motoped are Engine, Tank, Seat, Plastics, and Throttle.
What does it cost to build a complete Motoped Retail? This depends a lot on the components you choose and where you buy them from. Below is an approximate retail price list for all the parts required to build a motoped with mid-price range parts from online sources. Buying from your local bicycle and motorcycle shop could be more expensive. We have simplified this and provide everything but the motor for Only $1,500 here on Kickstarter.
How hard is it to build my own?
If you have both mountain bike and pitbike experience, it's a piece of cake. If you have just mountain bike or pitbike experience, you will need to do a bit of learning on the one you don't know. If you have neither mountain bike or pitbike experience, you can find a local bicycle or motorcycle shop that will build it for you in under a day.
There are no special tools or machining required to build the motoped, that is as long as you use or purchase the correct parts in which the motoped was intended. We have a list of exact part specifications and where to buy them on our website Motopeds.com.
Is it legal to ride on the street?
It depends on which state you live in. Laws for motorized bicycles vary by state, so we recommend reading up on your local laws before hitting the road. If it is legal to ride motorized bikes in your area, it is generally legal to ride a motoped (with a 50cc automatic engine). In some states, motorized bicycles that are 50cc or under, automatic transmission, and are capable of pedal propulsion do not require registration. In states that require DOT approval for all motor vehicles, you may have to install DOT tires and other specs.. Some states allow motorized bikes in the bike lane and some don't, also, there is usually a 30mph speed limit on motorized bikes. Some other requirements like headlight, tail light , Mirror and horn maybe needed, along with proper safety equipment. We recommend these on every bike always!
Why kickstarter and what's next
We have been making the Motoped in small quantities for $3,500-$4,800. To get the price down to a reasonable amount, we need to do larger volume run. We're hoping Kickstarter will enable us to do a run of 500-1000 or more so we will be able to get the price down to $599 for the kits and $1,500 for the complete bike minus the motor. The main frame will be manufactured using Cro-Moly tubing. When we do a large production run in the future we will also be heat treating the swing-arm. The motoped is made from stock tubing sizes right now, manufacturing in large numbers we will be able to do things like custom tube extrusions, forgings, and hydro-forming.
We have made a few improvements to the frame for this next production run. The new frame has a boxed gusset section strengthening the frame and making it more rigid allowing for more aggressive riding. The motor mounts are thicker and gusseted for running larger motors.
The swing-arm is 1” shorter bringing the Motoped wheelbase down from 53” to 52”, the same wheelbase as a Honda CRF150F. This shorter wheel base will make the Motoped handle much better, especially in tight corners and braking to immediate acceleration.
Risks and challenges
The design is solid, we've been making the motoped in low quantities for 2 years now and have worked out all of the early problems. It appears there is little risk of the motoped not performing up to it's intended design.
We have located the highest quality motorcycle factory we could find to manufacture these kits and complete bikes. Now all we need is your help with purchasing one bike to meet the factories minimum order, so we all can enjoy these amazing low prices.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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