Motorized bicycles have been around since the 1860s, and they have come a long way since then. Today, they are a cheap, healthy and environment friendly mode of transportation. The best bicycle engines diminish pedaling and offer a smooth ride.
2-Stroke Bicycle Engines
The best 2-stroke, 2-cylinder bicycle engines do not add too much weight to the bike but have enough power. The frame, piston, head and brackets for mounting should be made of aluminum. The drive roller, which powers the clutch, should also be aluminum. These engines come with 35cc to 50cc tanks. A centrifugal clutch makes it possible for the engine to speed the bike up to 35 mph or more. A 2-stroke motor gets about 150 miles per gallon. The bike rider should be able to easily disconnect the engine for a smooth transition back to pedaling. The best 2-stroke bicycle engines can be installed with little trouble and should have a remote kill feature besides the throttle control and gear ratios. A fully enclosed engine cowling and a two-barrel carburetor gives longer life to the engine. However, the 2-stroke, 2-cylinder bicycles produce an audible whine, so make sure to buy ones that have a glass-packed muffler and that are EPA approved for noise levels. Since the 2-stroke engine does not always run clean, emissions should also be EPA approved.
4-Stroke Bicycle Engines
Because of their better lubricating system, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder engines have a longer life than 2-stroke engines. They also should mount easily onto your bike but are heavier than the 2-stroke motors, adding about 20 extra pounds to the bike. These engines can be mounted at the rear or onto the V-frame of the bicycle. They give you full function of the original bike plus the extra power of the engine with a clutch hand lever and a kill switch. A 4-stroke, 2-cylinder bicycle engine is very quiet and has better mileage than the 2-cylinder, but it has less power and speeds up more slowly. However, it also can reach speeds of approximately 35 mph. The best 4-stroke engines should have a belt drive. Changing oil, which needs to be done every 50 hours, should be a fairly easy process.
Bicycle Engine Kits
2-cylinder bicycle engine kits come in both, 2-stroke and 4-stroke versions. Both are excellent choices, depending on what the rider is looking for. A bicycle engine kit contains the engine and the necessary materials and tools to be it together and mount it onto a bike. A 2-stroke kit should include an EPA-approved engine block, a carburetor, the ignition coil, the oil/gas tank and switch, the fuel line, the exhaust and a muffler, the throttles and handle bar, a chain idler and a guard, an igniting device, clamps, springs, bearings, a clutch lever, throttle and clutch cables, a chain sprocket and sprocket bolts, cylinder heads and a spark plug. It should also include the brackets, gaskets and other hardware needed to mount the engine.
A good 4-stroke kit has fewer parts and is easier to assemble. It should include the belt drive transmission engine, a gas tank, a chain, the engine mounts, a throttle and cable, an idler, a pedal crank and the clamps for the spokes sprocket.
- Photo Credit riding bicycle image by apeschi from Fotolia.com