A motorised bicycle is a power-assisted bicycle that has an engine attached to it. This engine facilitates pedalling and allows one to use the bike without any pedalling at all. Such features are especially useful for the elderly, and for other people who would like to enjoy cycling but may otherwise find it too strenuous. Riding a bicycle is enjoyable, because it helps one to beat traffic jams and is also a green way to get around in the city. Depending on the regulations of the country, a motorised bike may also be deemed as a moped, motorcycle, or as another type of motor vehicle.
These bikes use several types of engines, ranging from the traditional internal combustion engines that run on fuel to rare steam-propulsion engines. Although it is possible to buy a motorised bike that already has the engine installed, an engine can be attached to virtually any bike. For this, special engine kits, which include the engine and the necessary tools, are required. These engine kits are available from high street bike repair shops and sports equipment stores, but they can also be conveniently purchased on online auction sites, such as eBay.
Engine Types for Motorised Bikes
The engine types for motorised bikes are distinguished by the kinds of fuel they use. Apart from traditional petrol and diesel engines, bikes can also work using electricity or steam propulsion.
Steam Propulsion Engine
Steam propulsion engines are not very common on motorised bikes, as they were historically used on steam trains. A steam engine is an external combustion engine, and thus steam comes out of it when it is used. This may look interesting, but may also become a nuisance when the bike is used on a daily basis. The steam engine takes in steam at a high temperature and pressure, and emits it at a lower temperature and pressure. The difference in the steam energy is converted into mechanical work. The engine works on compressed gas.
Petrol engines are either two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines. The combustion of fuel, in this case gasoline, takes place inside the combustion chamber, and for this process, an oxidiser is used. Thanks to high temperature and high pressure, direct force is applied to the engine, and chemical energy is turned into mechanical energy. A two-stroke engine completes its cycle in only two strokes, or up-and-down movements, and one crankshaft revolution. A four-stroke engine requires four strokes and two crankshaft revolutions for the same process. Two-stroke engines are considered to provide a high power-to-weight ratio. Compared to four-stroke engines, they have fewer parts and are thus more lightweight.
Petrol engines run on petrol and other similar volatile fuels. The fuel is mixed with air before combustion takes place. A spark plug is required in order to light the fuel.
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine much like a petrol engine, with the main difference being the fuel used. In this engine, the fuel is not heated. Instead, only the air is heated, before it is injected into the combustion chamber, in which it ignites. Petrol engines use spark plugs, but these are not necessary here. A diesel engine runs at lower speeds, and thanks to higher compression rates, these engines are highly efficient. Thus, less fuel is required in order to run the engine. This makes using a diesel motorised bike quite economical. Moreover, when compared to a bike with a petrol engine, such a diesel bike also generates fewer emissions.
An electric engine is not very powerful, but it is sufficient to drive a motorised bike. The motor uses electricity that is then transformed into mechanical energy. The most common type of electric engine is magnetic, in which magnetic fields are formed. Motorised bikes with electric motors work with rechargeable batteries, so there is no need to buy any fuel. As a result, fewer emissions arise than would otherwise come from an internal combustion engine. The most powerful electric bikes can go up to 45 km per hour, while lighter bikes exceed 25 km per hour. Such motorised bikes are either pedal-assisted, meaning that pedalling is used in order to control the speed, or they are of the power-on-demand type, in which case the electric motor is activated by using the throttle on the handlebars.
Different regulations apply for bikes. In Australia, the Australian Vehicle Standards define an electric bike, or e-bike, as a bike that comes equipped with an auxiliary motor and has a maximum output of 200 watts, or a continuous rated power of 250 watts if it can be activated by pedalling.
Although it may be tempting to fit an engine onto every bicycle around the house, not all of them are compatible with all engines. There are some requirements that should be followed, so that the engine may be installed. Generally, these requirements have to do with mountain bikes. There should be no back suspension, and the bicycle frame, in terms of the length of the seat tube, should be at least 50 cm. The frame should have a V-shape and should be angled at 70 degrees. From the top of the tube of the frame to the top of crank, the frame should measure at least 36 cm. The rear rim should use the spoke 36 pattern and there should be no rear disc brakes that may get in the way. The frame needs to be sturdy enough to be able to support the engine. In any case, the engine kit should fit into the bike frame.
The engine size, or capacity, should be carefully considered when buying a motorised bike engine kit. In general, there are three sizes: 48cc, 66cc, and 80cc. The unit of measurement, cc, refers to cubic centimetres, and thus to the volume of the engine. The higher the number, the bigger the engine. The smallest engine is the 48cc engine, and it is sufficient for an average bike user.
Quite often the size "80cc" actually refers to a 66cc engine. This is due to the fact that throughout the years, the largest engines have been advertised as "80cc" and the name has just stuck to them, although they are actually smaller.
Motorised Bike Engine Kit Components
Besides the engine, an engine kit should include all the necessary tools that are required in order to install the engine at home. These kits are generally simple, and everyone should be able to complete the process without any expert help. Besides the engine, the kit should include a carburettor, if it is an internal combustion engine. A silencer to deal with the exhaust is also an essential part. A drive chain guard, a drive chain, spark plugs, an electronic ignition, a fuel line, bearings, and other similar parts are essential to internal combustion engines that run either on petrol or diesel. Installing them is slightly more difficult than installing electric engines, although these require wiring as well.
Buying Engine Kits for Motorised Bikes on eBay
If you are looking for motorised bike engine kits on eBay, it is easiest to start with the search box that you can find at the top of any eBay page. You can start with a general search, such as "motorised bike engine kit" or add some more specific keywords, relating to the engine type or its manufacturer. Once you receive the initial search results, you can sort them, either by auction time or price, or by the item condition. If the first search does not yield the results you are after, try clicking on related searches for more inspiration. Soon, you should be able to find a great deal.
Top-rated eBay sellers are valued by other buyers, and they are more likely to provide you with high-quality service and top products. You can contact them in order to acquire more details on the item listed or on delivery, payment methods, exchanges, and refunds. You can find top-rated sellers if you browse the feedback and ratings given by other community members who have previously dealt with the seller. As an engine kit is likely to be rather hefty, you can also ask the seller about a local pick-up that can help to save on delivery costs. When you meet the seller face to face, you may also learn some special tips and tricks about the engine, or receive instructions from the seller about how to install it.
Riding a bicycle is both fun and time-efficient. It helps one to beat traffic jams and get ahead quickly. However, not all people find pedalling so enjoyable, especially when they have to cover long distances. Fortunately, bikes can be equipped with engines that are either controlled with pedals or the throttle, located at the handlebars. Motorised bikes are a convenient way to get around, and they require little effort on the rider's part.
Engine types are distinguished by the kind of fuel they use. Traditional internal combustion engines run on either petrol or diesel and they burn fuel in their combustion chambers. They are either two-stroke or four-stroke engines, depending on how many up-and-down movements it takes in order to complete one cycle. More environmentally friendly engines are powered by electricity or even steam, although the latter are quite rare.
Besides choosing the fuel type for the engine, its size should also be noted. The smallest engines are 48cc, while 66cc and even 80cc engines are also available. The safety standards and requirements of the country should be observed beforehand. Moreover, the bike should also be of a specific size in order to fit an engine onto it. Engine kits include the engine as well as tools that are necessary for the mounting process, and such engines can be installed by virtually anyone.
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