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Rip Lips
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I found a few great sites but was wondering if you had possibly a better idea of where to find a good deal on mini bike engines. I want to do a little project with my son this spring and build him a retro mini bike like from the 60's and 70's. In a couple of the sites I found engines that were pretty pricy, is it easy to say, buy an old mower off of Craigslist and put that into a minibike or is there something about the particular engines that I need to be aware of? It's my first foray into building something with an engine.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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You should be fine with virtually any horizontal shaft engine, lawnmower, edger, etc.
 

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Plenty of mini bikes and go carts or even better something like the Honda Pilot on Craigslist. Pep Boys auto parts carries a line of cheap Chinese knockoffs. Or what about a small ATV? Get a basket case and you and your son can spend the spring getting it running for summer. Choose one to purchase that meets your mechanical level of repair.
 

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Huge Member
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Snowblowers and rototillers have the right type of engines. You might want to do a google search for minibike builders/forums. I know there are some out there
 

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Rip Lips
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will do some searching around, I don't want to buy a complete bike, I want to build one as a project with my son, more of a father/son deal and to teach him accomplishment and follow through on completing what you start, you know, the whole daddy schtick, I love it. I want him to remember the things we did together as well as the fun he will have riding it.
 

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IMO you might be better off doing restoration instead of building from scratch, that way you have a huge & ready resource of parts and knowledge. You can still do the retro thing by restoring an actual 'retro' bike and on top of that you build in some real value.

Try one of the Honda Trail series CT-70/90/110, beater CL deals can be had for a hundred bucks and you can rebuild it to new condition with NOS parts, paint, decals, etc. And you also have dedicated forums to help you along the way to resolve problems and answer questions.

Then you also have the performance aspect, most kit or do-it-yourself minis are pokey at best while CT's can be modded as he gets older to go faster and be of actual practical use (and street legal).

My drug dealers site: http://www.dratv.com

 

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I gave my grandson a baja doodlebug for Christmas. When the governor is removed it will go pretty fast. See youtube videos. They are only $279 at Sears and Northern Tool.
 

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↓ hog hunter ↓
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Any horizontal shaft 4 stroke will work well, provided the shaft is a common diameter size that will accept a centrifical clutch and has a common size keyway. Look forone with a fuel tank larger than 1 pint, unless you plan to have a frame mount fuel tank. Be careful on the old Briggs & Stratton engines that have a suction fuel tank under the carb, they are also right under the exhaust. Refilling the tank when the engine is hot can be a problem if you spill.

Stay away from Tecumseh engines, or branded Sears, Craftsman and others that are Tecumseh. The governors are simple for a kid to figure out how to disable and then it's only a matter of time before it grenades.

Also stay away from clutch brakes that have a friction band around the centrifical clutch. These work very well, until the chain breaks. Speaking of, buy master links in bulk and teach your kid how to replace one in the field.

Have fun.
 

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Harbor Freight sells knockoffs of B&S / Techumseh horizontals. HH
 

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Bliksem
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They haven't changed much since the 60's. They look about the same to me. I've bent and welded tubing to make frames for them. A horizontal shaft engine, 2.5 to 5 horsepower aluminum case model.
 

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Stay away from #35 chain, i always had problems with it, It always wants to pop off. Try harbor freight for a motor. If you have the money get a torque convertor.
 

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hey old timer!! your damn right we disabled the governor on our tech five horse. it's a wonder we weren't killed on that thing. we knew enough to back off the throttle every time we hit top end so we wouldn't hand grenade the engine
 

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JAFO
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I have an old Suzuki RV90 from the 70s. It's a great bike to teach kids how to ride on.
 

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I third the harbor freight for cheap new engines. They go on sale often keep an eye out. Plus you can use one of the 10% off coupons.

Norther tool has all the rest of the parts you will need...chains sprockets, wheels, controls, etc.
 
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