2 new camp motorbikes

Discussion in 'Biking' started by Sushidog, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    I just received and assembled 2 new camp bikes. I have been trying, unsuccessfully to get these for a couple years but I finally had some luck. Every time I tried they were unavailable.

    Here's a couple pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    They are 125cc Ice Bear clones of the 1971 Honda CT70 that I had as a kid. The Japanese no longer make anything close to this, so I had to get these from China. They have real hydraulic front suspension (unlike my old CT70, which just had springs up front.) They also have little hydraulic disk brakes up front rather than the drum brakes of old. The handlebars fold down for travel, just like my Honda did, plus they have both side stands and a centerstand, to make servicing the chain easier, unlike my old Honda. They have CDI electronic ignition, so no more points to file and a 12v electrical system with electric start. They have a 4 speed transmission, which is 1 more gear than my old Honda 70 had. An automatic clutch, makes it easier for my DW, being a new rider, to learn on. They are very quiet too, perfect for campground use.

    Most parts are interchangeable with Hondas but there is a good supply of inexpensive Chinese parts available. They were cheap too, about $1,100 each shipped to my door. They were created and packed well, with lots of bubble wrap and plastic film protecting all the chrome. They are much better made than I was expecting coming from China. The quality of their materials, fit, finish and attention to detail seems almost equivalent to the Japanese. The wording of the owner's manual is hilarious.

    "Before shifting gear down, reduce the motorcycle speed, and when shifting gear down before the connection of clutch, increase the engine speed to avoid overwear of rear tyre and driving elements. The parts will cool down when they are unloaded. This is conductible for matching between the engine parts."

    I know what they are trying to say, but the wording is rather strange.

    Overall I'm satisfied with my purchase. They should make great little street legal camp bikes to tool around the campground, light duty trail use and great for cruising the side streets around town. Though I haven't opened them up yet, and won't till they are broken in, the literature says they will go 49.7 mph (and get 80-120 mpg too.) Good thing they improved the brakes from the original Honda design. My original 1971 model 70cc Honda would hit a tad over 40 mph. Though I doubt either of us will be riding them 50 mph, it's good to have the extra power available if needed. Here's a link to the website where I found them.

    http://www.scooterhighway.com/monkey-ib-championdax-l.html

    Does anyone else use small motorbikes when camping? If so, what kind and how do you use them?

    Chip
     
  2. cuckoo

    cuckoo Active Member

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    Those look awesome... Ran into a fella who had one of those and an original Honda a couple years back at the CG. Hauled them around behind his restored Volkswagen Westfalia... Great looking combo!

    My MIL actually has a '70 Trail 70 sitting in her shed about 200 ft. from were I am sitting now. Have asked her if it we can restore it and put it to use and her response is "After I die"... Every few months will lube and work the clutch, brakes, shifter, and such to keep them from freezing up. Guess it will be there awhile...

    Since you titled it "Motorbike" and being electric driven by a "motor" will our scooters qualify? Actually a few of us here around FL have modified the little scooters to zip around the CG's. Although not legal at all of them we still have a good time! Mine with Bills ride attached...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Cool doggie carrier. How far can you go between charges and how fast will it go?

    Chip
     
  4. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Love it! I used to be able to wheelie those things forever! [:D]
     
  5. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Is this you then?
    [​IMG]

    [LOL]

    I was riding yesterday and got one up to 35mph. The throttle was barely cracked open so it should get great gas mileage. Those 125cc engines easily have twice the torque of my old 70cc Honda. The more I ride it the better I like it. I am thinking of replacing the street tires with some on/off road type like my original Honda came with. So far I've found this type online: http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/29/393/12642/ITEM/IRC-TR-1-Dual-Sport-Front-Rear-Tire.aspx

    I also like the old Honda CT-90/110 "Postie bikes" and the old ST-90 Hondas. I think they would also make great camping/trail bikes too, but I couldn't find any new or barely used CT's or their clones anywhere. It's a shame, as I'm sure the market would still be good in the US. I think they still sell them in Australia.

    Chip
     
  6. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    I'd love to get an off-road variety for camping...but I don't have any way to get it to the camp site [:(] . Would be a blast cruising around the logging and fire roads in the mountains.
     
  7. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    I've been after a Honda Big Ruckus for about six years now...I should have bought the one I saw at the dealer that I hauled the Concourse to after I wrecked but alas DW said no more bikes and I wasn't feeling up to arguing. I know there is a Chinese clone but the horror stories of quality (of the Ruckus clone) scare me away. One guy bought five (became a dealer) and out of the five only two didn't require serious work ...to the point that when he was done he was left with four bikes and spare parts...

    Screw it let's camp !
     
  8. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Yeah, I was concerned with quality issues too, but these bikes have really exceeded my expectations in that regard. If something serious happens with the engine after the 1 year warranty expires, there are complete replacement Lifan engines (the people who make the Yamaha scooter engines) available online in the $350-$450 price range (from 110cc to 150cc.)

    I was at the, local Honda dealer a couple days ago shopping for some gloves, and I noticed a $4,500 price tag on their 150cc scooter! Japanese bike prices have just gotten out of hand. Granted it's a sweet bike, but pleease! I could have bought 4 of my little Chinese bikes for less than one Honda scooter. If the Japanese still sold any of the models I was looking at (Honda CT-70, ST-90, CT90-110, Suzuki RV-90 or anything similar) I would have surely considered buying a couple, but if they wanted $4,000+ a pop, it would have turned an affordable $2,200 purchase to an $8,000 investment. Are the Japanese bikes better? Most certainly. Are they that much better? Well since they don't make anything even close anymore, I didn't have the opportunity to find out. I did find a 26 year old Honda CT-110 that the owner wanted an unbelievable $2,500 for! I'm sure I will have some minor issues with them in the years to come, but I'm prepared (and can easily afford) the repairs with all the money I saved up-front. Man, I wonder how much faster they'd go with a 150cc engine swap, hmmm...... [;)]

    Chip
     
  9. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Don't get me wrong I'm glad you found what you wanted and the exceed expectations. I may well get a Ruckus clone but probably not the way I was going to (become a dealer) they were like $900 wholesale with a $1700 retail so my plan was to by 5 ,keep 1, sell 4 and pocket $3k. Now I will just buy one at retail for $1850 but it at least it will be a complete bike.

    Screw it let's camp !
     
  10. capy235co

    capy235co Member

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    From one in the motorsports business, please be very careful buying Chinese scooters and dirt bikes. Sounds like you have been lucky but there is a reason a Honda cost a lot more.

    A couple of good consumer questions: To you insurance agent: Can they be insured? To your DMV: Can these be registered?

    Are they 50 state and federally compliant vehicles? Is the exhaust USFS Approved? Is there an MSO (Manufacturers Statement of Origin)?

    Not trying to bash the choice but my experience has been less than favorable.
     
  11. jjkach

    jjkach New Member

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    Those are very cool! Great pics!

    Looks like Bill enjoys his ride too! [;)]
     
  12. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Good questions! I didn't think to ask my insurance company if they could be insured. It didn't occur to me that this might be a problem. I take it you have had problems with your ins. company.

    I checked in advance and yes, the Louisiana DMV will register them. I have the MSOs in my hand (they just came in the mail today.) They are on La's approved manufacturer list. They are both DOT and CARB compliant, so they are street legal in CA too. As you suggest, many aren't. I haven't checked to see if it has a USFS approved spark arrestor. The exhaust system is well baffled, very quiet and appears identical to the stock Honda unit. If it doesn't have a USFS spark arrestor (basically a fine-meshed wire screen) inside I can purchase an add-on USFS spark arrestor insert for around $18. The weld on external units run around $30. However since it appears this exhaust is a carbon copy of the stock Honda exhaust, I doubt the forest service would ever examine it for compliance. I'll pull the end cap off and check for the screen. If not present, I'll add one just in case I decide to take it off-road on US forestry land. (I'll need to change my street tires to dual sport tires first. I'll probably remove the centerstand for off road use too, as I've had a bad experience with a centerstand dragging on a dual sport bike once.) Thanks for the heads-up on some things most people don't think of.

    Chip
     
  13. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Just an update. I returned from the DMV today with registrations and license plates in hand, paid-up till 2016. Taxes, titles and registrations were steep here in Louisiana at over $300 for the pair. The good news is that I added both bikes to my GEICO insurance policy for only $99/yr for both! I sort of expected to pay that for each one.

    Next up on the agenda is some rugged dual sport tires, possibly a couple of K&N air filters and some riding gear (new gloves and boots) for both of us for the holidays, as we already have a couple of new helmets. I may try to expand my fuel carrying capacity a little since each bike holds less than a gallon of gas. I have been looking at the little 1.5l Primus fuel bottle for about $15 each. Each of these little aluminum bottles strapped to my rear rack will give us an extra 40 miles or so of range (almost 50% more) without adding too much weight or complexity. They are much sturdier and safer than a cheap, plastic gas can sloshing around back there.

    Here's a link to the fuel bottle: http://www.lg-outdoors.com/proddetail.asp?prod=WT732531PRIMUS

    We are preppers, planning on a full-time mobile retirement as part of our survival strategy, and these little bikes are part of our contingency plans. We're to old to bug-out on foot and could cover many more miles per day on a couple of these rather than hoofing it - even if we were 20-30 years younger. In an emergency, we could even double up on one bike, as the seat is huge and they come equipped with passenger pegs - though we might exceed their weight capacity by more than a few pounds. [;)]

    Is there anyone else out there doing anything similar, are we the only 56 yr olds here crazy enough to throw a leg over a motorbike and hit the trails and side roads while camping? Sure, we're trying to recapture our youth. So what? Like Janis Joplin would say "Get it while you can!"

    Chip
     
  14. cuckoo

    cuckoo Active Member

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    Congrats on getting them registered...
    Sorry bout not responding earlier. The electric scooters get about 20-30 minutes between charges and guessing top speed is about 15 mph.
    Since it looks like it will be awhile before I get to tinker with a Trail 70 told the wife I'd opt for this.... Yamaha's 1200 Super Tenere... [:)O]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    That is the sweetness right there!

    "Do you ever take it off any sweet jumps?" Napoleon Dynamite [;)]

    One of my little bikes was idling rough, so I thought I'd clean the carb. I took it off and discovered that it was only a 19mm carb. From experience, I knew it could make use of a bigger one. I ordered a 22mm carb online, which is the stock size carb for a Honda ATC/TRX 125, for only $25. It arrived a couple days ago and I installed it today. It bolted right up with no jetting changes necessary. The only modification required was enlarging the hole in the carb spacer (with sandpaper and a drill) to match the bigger carb opening. The intake manifold was already 22mm from the factory, so no alterations were needed.

    WOW, what a difference. It's jetted a little richer than my stock carb so it warms up faster and has much better throttle response and torque across the entire RPM range. It's started to rain so I can't take it for a long ride, but the power difference is incredible. As a bonus the choke lever and petcock is relocated to the left side which is easier to get to, allowing me to keep my right hand on the throttle while I operate the choke. It also moves both of these controls away from the hot exhaust pipe eliminating the possibility of getting burned. I'm a happy camper. I'll order one for my other bike soon. I'm still using the stock air filter which fits the carbs but only has a 3" foam disk element, so I will be switching to a UNI foam filter or a K&N model ASAP.

    Chip
     
  16. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Here's an update on the bikes. I got my Uni air filter in and installed it today, replacing the stock, restrictive air filter and box it came with. Not only does the Uni filter the air better, but it provides more airflow for a little more power too. Here's a pic of the carb with filter installed and a shot of the difference between the old carb and the new one. The new carb and filter set-up will flow about 50% more air than stock, adding an extra pony or so to the stock, under-carbureted 7.8hp engine.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've been lucky as the jetting seems spot on for this motor, since both the Honda TRX-125 engine that my new carb is designed for and my Ice Bear 125 engine have practically identical specs. I didn't even have to move the jet needle.

    I took one out and barely brought it up to full throttle in top gear for a couple seconds, as it is still too new to go for a true top speed test. It sure seemed like it could pull a little taller gearing, as it quickly hit 52mph with power to spare. I think I will swap out the countershaft sprocket with one that is one tooth bigger - from 15t to 16t. It should easily hit 55mph then, while retaining lots of low speed power for trail riding. This will make first gear more useful as it now seems a little too low.

    Chip
     
  17. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    I guess I can't quit tinkering, but I found the mirrors the bikes came with did not have long enough stems to see beyond my shoulder while riding. I went online and found some small, inexpensive bar end mirrors that work just fine. Not only do they provide an unobstructed view while riding, but the image is crystal clear. I guess the shorter stems impart no discernible vibration to the little mirror at any speed. I only bought one pair from D2moto and mounted one on the left handlebar of each bike, saving me a few more bucks. They are made from billet aluminum, and appear to be well made despite the low price of only $26 for the pair shipped to my door.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Chip
     
  18. 4mula1fan

    4mula1fan New Member

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    We have a Yamaha Zuma along with Cartzilla. Fun times for sure.
     
  19. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Cool, what kind of gas mileage does the Zuma get and how fast does it go?

    Chip
     
  20. terryjeep

    terryjeep New Member

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    Hello, also got a 125cc Zuma in October for camping and I just surprised DW with a yellow/black one for Christmas. These are rated at 50 mph give or take and around 80 mpg. We can't wait for warm weather here in pa.
     

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