July 28th, 2021

#7752: Success! I rode it!

There's still a lot of adjusterizing and fiddlation to do, but I got on the motorized bicycle and rode it, with the engine burning fuel and making a civilized putt putt putt.

The tires have slow leaks so they weren't exactly at proper pressure. The engine was struggling because I don't think the carb is set correctly (and I didn't run it very long, and the choke was off, so cold engine--and 16:1 fuel) and there's some weirdness with the chain. I can't seem to get the rear wheel to sit straight for long. The clutch only works about halfway.

Still: I rode about halfway down the block with the motor providing all the power, and then I rode up to the corner, and then back to the bunker, all without pedaling. I did have to pedal when I hit the driveway because the engine didn't have the guts to get me up the hill there. I could (even in my current crappy condition) pedal the bike faster than the motor was moving it.

But it works! (I finally invented something that works!...er, no.)

And of course I had to do this on just about the hottest day of the month, of course--83° at 8 PM and 75° dewpoint--but this was the first time my back didn't bother me and I could do it.

I was surprised at the speed with which it kicked over, too. I mean, once I got the chain to stay on and was able to get some speed up, let the clutch out and bruuuuumm off it went. No choke at all.

Of course the motor is brand new and everything is still factory-tight. Let all the moving parts bed in and that will help. Also, adjusting the carb to the right tune, getting the chain handled, and fixing all the other little bitsy-pieces that are out of whack.

Oh--and how did I mix the fuel? Well, it occurred to me that a typical Pepsi bottle holds 16.9 ounces--half a liter--so I put one ounce of oil in, then added gasoline, shook it up, and put it into the tank. (YES I made sure to dry out the bottle first!) 2-cycle engines are not that damned fussy about having an exact ratio, so it was close enough.

And while I was putting everything away, I was grinning like an idiot. I still am, in fact.

* * *

I took that useless drill pump back to the hardware store, intending to find some kind of clamp I could use to elevate the bike to some height so I didn't have to sit on the ground. I couldn't find a clamp, but I did find this 2-cycle oil which claimed that all you had to do was to add one packet to 2.5 gallons of gasoline, and it would be fine regardless of what ratio the engine needed.

There was no description of what it was or how it did that, so I left it alone. Also, it came in a plastic pouch like ketchup from a fast-food joint.

* * *

Well, time to hit the store for some sundries.