A little over a year ago, I made the decision to start a new project in the form of a motorized bicycle. Little did I know how obsessive this project would become. This project took a hold of me so strongly that my mind seemed to permanently dedicate some percentage of my brain to be constantly working on it. Even sleep did not release me from its grips. Id lay in bed half asleep with dream induced visions of designs and concepts that mostly made no sense once I woke up. But tirelessly and with enough waken time dedicated to the project, the bike evolved into a fully functioning vehicle.
Most of the countless hours involved with this project, were not necessarily dedicated to aesthetics, but to performance as well . I broke my usual trend towards ‘Form over Function’. Instead of placing all emphasis on making something look wicked cool, and not caring about how well it worked, this bike actually meets my standards for how I want it to look, and its performance is top notch too!
Instead of trying to replicate an era or style of bike or motorcycle, I wanted to create something completely new. I do have many inspirations though. Mostly from old machinery and the details that once existed during a time in which everything was made by hand. Well before the invention of plastic, which has often been hailed as an ingenious development that allowed many things to then become mass produced. However, my perception involves plastic being the invention that made the world ugly.
Anyways, back to the bike…
Customization is not possible without accessories! Here is a list of things Ive added. Most of these items were either fabricated from scratch or a modification of some other object.
-Leather bat shaped skirts for the wheel fenders riveted in place with copper rivets.
-Antique brass bicycle lamp with a custom made visor as a headlight. Fitted into the housing are 52 LEDs powered by a custom battery housing that is hanging under the fuel tank.
-Miniature ‘Pedestrian Slicer’. This is the front plate on top of the front fender that antique motorcycles used as a license plate. Mine is still awaiting an emblem.
-Copper tubing as fuel line. The copper line was used in antique motorcycle and the looping pattern was actually functional to aid in preventing particulates from traveling from the tank to the carburetor. (This is very difficult to make without the right tool and strangely, I found this tool in a bag on the sidewalk!)
-Steel and Brass toolbox. Open on the right side with a skeleton key. It currently holds a tool kit, but may be used as a battery and charging system at some point)
-Antique glass fuel filter.
-Motel T tail light housing as the tail light. Fit with LEDs and works as a constant light as well as with a brake light.
-Custom made Brass air filter cover
-Wood fuel tank side panels.
-Brass fuel tank knee panels.
-Rear flip up kickstand.
-Red Jeweled Kill Switch
-Vintage style Saddle
-Vintage bicycle horn and glass reflectors.
-Brass or Copper hardware anywhere I can add it!
Performance wise, the bike is built around a Chinese 66cc 2-stroke engine. It has a jackshaft allowing the motor to drive the pedal side chain. The benefit of this is that you can now use traditional bicycle gearing! I have installed on the rear wheel a 7 speed nexus internal geared hub. Thats right, I have 7-speeds on this motorized vehicle! Front and rear suspension and full hard rubber mounting of the motor makes for a super smooth ride. An expansion chamber, custom head and tons of tweaks bring me to a top speed of about 45 mph (measured via gps on my android). I can probably squeeze a few more mph on this, but San Francisco does not have a long enough flat road! The tank holds about 3/4s of a gallon that can easily take me 90+ miles. The gearing improves the versatility of this bike drastically. I haven’t found a hill that I couldn’t climb. The big test for this bike was to ride it in the annual 49 Mile Vintage Motorcycle ride in San Francisco 2010. For those familiar with San Francisco, this ride included riding to the top of Twin Peaks and Coit Tower. In other words, this bike was able to climb the steepest hills all awhile keeping up with full sized motorcycles!
After 500+ miles clocked in on the bike, Ive received a good amount of attention. A true head turner you can say. I am humbly flattered every time a small crowd forms and inquires about what they are looking at. My response nowadays is more of a robotic speech that has entered into route memory in my brain from having answered the same question so many times. I believe there is a strong niche that can easily become a community or sub-culture based on this type of locomotion. A true vehicle for the subversive…..
There are many people that have made motorized bicycles, but only a few have used it as a medium for art and self expression. Ive toyed around with the idea of offering custom pieces. All will be top notch in performance as well as incredibly unique. If you are interested or just want to be on my email list regarding these vehicles, hit me up at Paradox@ThetentacleParadox.com or simple go here
LEAVE A MESSAGE!!!