Gas...it's so dirty, but oh so much fun!
It's dirty, but it feels oh-so-good!!
The short-story, is that over the past few months, while the electric setup continues to make progress. Waterproofing the electronics is proving far more challenging than I bargained for. This is the pacific-northwest, so one can hardly ignore the chance of rain! So, with a 300-mile solo ride planned for late June, I needed something better-tested. I swallowed a bit of pride, and as a part of me withered away...the idea of a gas motor was solidified. Only ~$350 + a weekend, and the deed was done...and yea, it works great in the rain, no waterproofing necessary.
I just completed the 1st test ride tonight, and while going /uphill/... While going uphill, let's just say it met every design goal of mine, including a necessity to augment this tiny motor, by also pedaling. The motor-side pulley is an 11-tooth, and that has proven more than sufficient, for both hill-climbing power-output, and the desired power-assisted cruising speeds. Total weight added to the bike, before gas & oil, was ~12lbs (roughly the same weight as JUST my electric setup's battery).
In-all, I took a very conservative route, but still feel a little "bad" about the whole thing; the motor is a 24.5cc 4-cycle OHV Robin/Subaru EHO25. Which boasts low emissions and high efficiency, to meet both EPA phase2 and CARB tier II emission regulations. For an upright/wedgie bike pushing a 210lb operator, the fuel-consumption is estimated at roughly 225MPG. In my case, it's a ~160lb operator, on a steeply-reclined recumbent...I'll let you know what the fuel-economy ends up being
My setup is such that the motor can be easily stopped and started without ever stopping or dismounting the bike...and yea, this sweet little motor starts on the first pull! The goal was to simply stop & start the motor, as I saw fit; for slow & silent country cruises, silently slipping through small/rural towns, or...blazing up 'thar hills, and the silent downhill descents that'd soon-follow
Some of you will recall an electric-assist project for this bike. The short-story is that my electric setup is not moving far-enough along, soon-enough, for my immediate and short-term needs. While the electric setup is my dream-goal for in-city trips, barring lottery winnings, gas is the mainstay for long-hauls...so it was a necessary-evil either way. At over 200MPG, I suppose I cant feel too guilty.
Well, more details, and better pictures, will soon follow; with sunny weather promised later this week, a beach run sounds like a great shakedown trip