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  • HEAVY METAL: The Re-Cycle

    Thought I would show off a little project I've been building for myself. I've been doing some practicing with my little MIG welder, and finally decided to put my welding skills to the test and build a pocketbike. This is not just any pocketbike, mind you - the entire bike is built from scrap metal I had laying around, plus parts from junker pocketbikes and gopeds.

    So it begins ............. the Re-Cycle.

    Height: 20" at handlebars, 15" at seat
    Length: 28"
    Width: 8"
    Wheels: 4" goped wheels, running 9x3.5-4 tires
    Drivetrain: 47cc pocketbike engine with CVT

    -Needs to be short enough to fit under the tonneau cover of my truck so it can be fully closed and locked - max height 16".
    -Front end easily removable to accomplish this, perhaps removeable handlebars.
    -Use pocketbike engine and goped wheels for drivetrain - #25 chain.
    -EXTRA CHALLENGE: make it all from recycled metal laying around. Only purchased items can be drivetrain and wheels.

  • #2
    The frame is made of four tire irons welded together, the inside of the wrench ends filled with - what else? - car lugnuts. The engine plate used to be part of an office keyboard track, with a curved slot cut out for carburetor clearance, and the crossmembers on the frame were bicycle kickstands.

    The head tube is a small section of pipe with car lugnuts on either end, and a large 1/4" gusset plate to tie it into the arms of the frame.

    The rear wheel mounts are cut-down training wheel mounts. A funny thing about goped wheels - the axles are fastened INSIDE the wheels, and can't be slid out like regular pb wheels (or if they have, I haven't found out how yet.) To accomodate this, slots were cut in the axle mounts with a 4" angle grinder and cutting wheel.


    • #3
      Like the tire iron frame. Looks good...Bob
      Bob Wright

      Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.


      • #4
        Here's another shot of those rear wheel mounts, and the mockup with the rear wheel in place:

        And please no comments about how bad the welds look right now - these were all before cleanup ..... They look a lot better now.


        • #5
          Starting on the top half of the frame:

          Top of frame in place and welded up:


          • #6
            (** Note: Earlier photos show a different head tube, made from a small section of 3/8" water pipe inside two sleeves, attached to one arm of a 3-piece bicycle crank. This design didn't work out very well, as the pipes wouldn't take a good weld and hold together. After several hours of frustration and easily-broken welds - not to mention enough cussing to make a sailor blush - out came the cutting wheel. **)


            • #7
              The front forks are also tire irons, with 1/4" steel plate for triple trees, and chopped-down training wheel mounts, doing the same trick with the slot. (Been using a LOT of cutting wheels - that 1/4" plate is tough stuff!)

              (Yah, I know, the front forks aren't gonna turn with that big plate like that. I just didn't get a picture of the bottom end cut out yet.)
              Last edited by SpyGuy; 11-20-2009, 11:20 PM.


              • #8
                Hey, starting to look like a bike now!


                • #9
                  Well, let's drag out one of my REAL pocketbikes, and check out the difference:

                  For reference, that's a full-sized Cagllari/Daytona pocketbike, aka "Cag." The Re-Cycle is approximately two-thirds its size, and is running the same 47cc engine as the Cag, except for the transmission (trans for mine is actually off a larger bike).


                  • #10
                    Gas tank is a stock Cag/Daytona tank, secured with a big ol' hose clamp in pure redneck style. Have another tank on the way, and it will be hard-mounted to the frame using small wrenches as support brackets.

                    Yup, that IS a bicycle seat! The pipe it's mounted on used to be a set of mountain bike handlebars, cut and notched to fit on the new frame, and supported by a really big nut.

                    Here's a shot of the bike next to my Kragen Zooma goped:

                    Kinda hard to believe those ar the same size wheels, huh?


                    • #11
                      The footpegs for this little beast - can anyone guess what they are?

                      If you guessed the ends from a fireplace set, you're right! A couple of large bolts were found and welded to the frame, and the fireplace ends plus some jam nuts to keep them from rotating were screwed on.

                      No need for a kickstand - the pegs sit out just far enough, and it's not like I'm going to be doing any sharp cornering .....


                      • #12
                        Finally got around to doing the forks so I could turn. Having those big plates bang into the frame and gas tank wasn't any fun, so I grabbed my 4" grinder with the cutting wheel, and went to town:

                        And a shot from the front:

                        Turned out I'd goofed on the height of the wheel when welding up the front end, so the wheel rubbed against the bottom of the triple trees. About five minutes and several careful cuts later, problem solved.


                        • #13
                          Okay, so I know you're sitting there looking at this, thinking, "Well, just how big IS this thing, anyway?" Good question, and one I'll answer right now with a couple more comparison shots. As shown by my handy-dandy tape measure, a standard license plate is 12" long. (Got it in Vegas last time I was there ....)

                          Now, standing on end next to the bike:

                          Here's that Cag again, head to head on my truck bed:

                          And the difference between the wheel sizes:

                          The standard minimoto pocketbike as shown is approximately 36" long, stands 22" high, and has wheels that are 11" tall from ground to top of tire. By comparison, The Re-Cycle is 28" long, 20" tall (at top of handlebars - seat height is 15"), and wheel height is 9".


                          • #14
                            MOved on to the rear end, and the brakes. (Figured those MIGHT be important later on down the line ....) Since the frame was all custom-built, I needed to find a way to mount the rear brakes so they would properly grab the disc. A standard brake bracket was attached to the rear axle, then a tab was welded to the frame so the brakes could be mounted correctly.

                            The chain had to be specially cut to fit - there's not a lot of slack nor room for adjustment, but it seems to work just fine.

                            Throttle and brake levers in place. These were a major pain to figure out, as the tire irons were smaller than a regular handlebar. The brake lever was from a pocketbike, and had a broken perch (the piece that holds the lever and clamps to the bar), so it was made to fit using a thin strip of steel and bolted in place. The throttle lever is from the same wrecked goped I got the wheels from, and has a bent washer sitting on a nut underneath to keep it solidly in place. Sounds ghetto, but it doesn't move at all.

                            Last edited by SpyGuy; 11-21-2009, 12:27 AM.


                            • #15
                              Now, I needed an exhaust pipe. A regular pocketbike pipe wouldn't fit, as those run over the top of the engine, and the motorized bicycle pipe I had hung way too low, and would be more of a stand to pick up the rear of the frame. The goped can exhaust I had would work, BUT ... the bolt holes were just slightly off, maybe about 1/4"-1/2" from the ones in the cylinder. Great .......... now I have to fab one. Using an old trashed pb exhaust pipe, I sliced off the header end, then welded a large washer to the stubby pipe. Nuts were added on either side to attach the goped can exhaust.

                              And mounted up to the engine:

                              Admittedly, the pipe hangs a little lower than I'd like. It works fine as is, and I'll be mainly riding on smooth pavement, but I think I'll be fabbing up another pipe to replace this one.