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Low-budget Basement Chopper

March 15, 2009

Kates’ gas powered bicycle, originally uploaded by

A while ago, I convinced N. that I (J.) needed to get a Whizzer, which is basically one of the original generations of commercially available mopeds. From a practical standpoint, a moped is a really great idea. It allows a person to run a great deal of errands, and get to and from most necessary activities in a highly economical manner; the Whizzer gets well over 100 miles per gallon at 25-30 miles per hour. Pretty convincing argument, no?

Well, like I said, I did manage to convince her (or at least wear her down) and was about to put some money down, when we discovered that the Whizzer could not accommodate two people. From Whizzer, we went to motorcycle. Certainly a motorcycle is still very economical in comparison to most automobiles. However, the question remained in my mind, ‘what would it be like to use one of these unique bikes?’

Well, first of all, these (usually retro-fitted bikes) are really not all that unique, at least in China. Coincidentally, most of the after-market, 2 cycle bicycle engines available are manufactured in China. Second, the number of kits available are not really that plentiful. After a great deal of research (25-30 minutes), I found that there are basically two 2 cycle kits, and about five versions of a rear-wheel drive, 4 cycle kit available. Fortunately for me, that narrowed the search a great deal.

I decided to settle on a 2 cycle kit. Why? Well, there is the (possible) aggravation of having to mix oil and gasoline, but I don’t plan on using this equipment so often that I wouldn’t be able to keep a moderate amount of fuel on hand. Also, the aggravation to cost factor ($200-300 less compared to the 4 cycle engine) is something that I’m willing to deal with.

From here, I don’t have a great deal to report. However, I plan on finding the most retro-looking bike available to get an overall classic-looking ride.

All suggestions and comments are welcome!

Whizzer, originally uploaded by Red Dog 3D.

One Comment leave one →
  1. MrsBug permalink
    March 16, 2009 9:08 am

    I don’t, unfortunately, have any advice, but I will say that my husband bought one of these off Craigslist this winter and is dying to use it! Once it gets warm enough here in Michigan, he’s going to be on the road, testing this out. We live only about 6 miles (one-way) from his job and we live in the country so we’re thinking this will be a nice commuting option for him on nice days.

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