DIY Mopeds For Under $130
By James Grahame
Fifty years ago, American manufacturers like Whizzer produced thousands of quirky motorized bicycles. Similar motor bikes are returning to the road, driven by the ailing economy and a healthy dose of nostalgia.
The most affordable way to get your hands on one is to modify an existing bike. Zoom Bicycles offers a range of bolt-on 49cc and 80cc 2-stroke motors. You can expect maximum speeds between 30 km/h and 50 km/h, depending on the engine displacement and overall weight. Fuel economy is up to 150 mpg, although these little motors demand 89 Octane fuel premixed with 2-stroke synthetic motorcycle oil.
The built-in clutch allows you to use your bike as you normally would, although the engine kit adds about 19 lbs to the frame. To start the engine, simply release the clutch lever when you're underway. A $19.95 pull-start option is also available.
Each Zoom Bicycles kit includes the engine, 2 L teardrop fuel tank, rear wheel sprocket, muffler, chain, chain guard, twist throttle, clutch assembly and all the necessary mounting brackets, gaskets and hardware. The standard 49cc version is priced at a mere $109.95 with free shipping to most of Canada and the USA.
Wondering what it takes to install? You can download a 37 page instruction manual that guides you through the assembly and operation of your very own DIY motorized bike.