Next, we turned our attention to the chain. Our bike came with a chain, but with the motor out, the chain was not installed. We looped the chain back on and found it was too short (this bike has seen a number of different gear ratios and this chain was obviously meant for one of the top-speed gearing options). This wasn’t such an issue as the chain in our hands had seen better days. We picked up a new 10’ chain from Hot Rod MiniBike, a cool site that sells all sorts of minibike hop-ups.
With everything set, we finally went for a ride. HOLY HELL THIS THING IS NUTS!!! Barely crack the throttle and you’re doing 20. On the first pass we found the brakes didn’t really work, so we turned back and tightened the cable. We also adjusted the throttle cable to remove a dead spot that made rolling into the throttle impossible. After a bit of tweaking, we were able to settle things down a little, but man this is one hair raising bike to ride. Remember, you’re squatting over a tiny little frame with barely any brakes and no suspension. You’re always on the lookout for bumps and holes because hit the wrong obstacle and you WILL go flying. After a few minutes of riding, we never found what full throttle felt like. We did however figure out where we need to spend money next.
First, we need new brakes. We found a hydraulic brake kit that replaces the cable handle and caliper with a hydraulic one. This should give us a good improvement in braking torque. We also need new tires front and rear (our rear tire is nearly bald and our front tire has a slow leak). We also need to install that bigger fuel tank as this is a very thirsty engine. The carb needs some major tuning (the bike runs very rich and stumbles at WOT). The throttle cable still sticks, but the housing and ends are all custom made for this engine, so we will need to modify a stock throttle cable to work. We would also like for those lights to work so we can ride this thing with some semblance of safety (the wiring for them needs to be redone and of course we need to somehow power the lights which will likely mean a standalone battery). Really though, this bike is everything we expected. It’s crazy, fast, and just plain insane. It’s a lot of fun too! And once we get the gremlins figured out, we can surprise the crap out of scooter riders.