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Small motorbike advice please


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Hello we have a kontiki 665 and are thinking of buying a small motorbike to put on the back, just to get us to the nearest shops etc when sited.

We thought about a smallish bike, although my husband does have a m/b licence, a lightweight bike that would take two not lighweight people!

We are worried about the weight on the back of the motorhome, has anyone got any advice for us please. We also though about electric bikes as an alternative.

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We started with pedal cycles, then mopeds - Yamaha QT50 - then graduated to some Monkey bikes which have gears. Your hubby,s licence would permit him to drive ones with bigger engines, like my Ape with its 115 CC engine.


Weight is an issue principally the back axle loading because of the overhang. Although we carried two monkey bikes on a rack on the back for several years a visit to a weighbridge resulted in me building a small trailer so as to keep the rear axle within its ratings. May people carry motorcycles on the back in ignorant bliss just like we did for several years.

But bikes are fun.


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Guest JudgeMental

if concerned regards weight, and if you rear axle is near capacity why not use a trailer


they are lightweight and small, and will allow you to carry a decent sized bike or scooter

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I'm assuming that by a lightweight bike you might mean a 50cc scooter which everyone seems to go for. If correct then I would advise against it as these machines are power governed to 30mph and at this speed following motorists become aggravated. In their impatience they either sit on your back wheel or cut you up going for a non-existing overtaking space. Not nice I know but a fact. Go for more power but it might mean using a trailer.


If you only really want to go to the local shops then I would have thought that an ordinary pedal cycle would do fine and you can make use of the short cuts, etc.


Alternatively, electric pedal assisted bikes (very little effort) are now available with ranges of around 50 miles (flat) or 35 miles (undulating). Their weight is also down to around 20kg, including battery, which makes them little heavier than ordinary bikes, and a better bet, weight wise, on your rear end! Again, at this weight you can resort to old fashioned peddling to get you home if you've miscalculated your power consumption.


Have fun.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi as for small motorbikes I have a Lifan ( Chinese) LF100 I put on the back of my Swift590. It is 95kg all in ( Fuel and box) and sits on a rack that weighs 27kg made by Watling. The bike brand new on the road cost me £650.00 ( Thats road tax registration etc) a good£1000 cheaper than a Honda or Suzuki and about 85miles to the tankfull. Keeps up with traffic in town and with wifey and me on it tops out at 68mph.It has bigger wheels than the scooters so gives it a bike feel when cornering. I'm lucky as where I work we have a weighbridge so I could check axle weights and find I have to run with very little water in the van as the tank is right at the back. No problem take a 5ltr bottle in the toilet for tea etc and fill up when we stop.
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This thread has some interesting discussion



I've taken the liberty of copying a formula posted there by mtdloft. I used it to calculate the anticipated axle loads before buying a Honda Innova 125. It gave me confidence that I'd be within limits, and after I'd bought the bike and fitted it, - the local weighbridge confirmed that the sums I'd done were pretty near spot on. (see bottom of this post)


As regards choice of bike, my 2nd hand Innova weighs about 110kg with a top box. (very handy bit of kit for shopping and going top the beach, storing helmet, lock and chain).


I notice Alanarch has got a Chinese bike. I was very tempted by one of these (ebay is full of Honda and Yamaha lookalikes) but I decided to go "mainstream" after I phoned a couple of the lookalike sellers and asked how soon they could get me a spare set of brake pads, silencer and an ignition lock. My conclusion was that spares may not be quite so readily available as for a Honda Yamaha or Suzuki.


If you can take the weight go for a 125 They're not much heavier that the famous "Honda 90" as nearly all body bits are plastic.


Don't forget to allow a few extra kgs for the extras you'll need like helmets and clothing


My preference is for big rather than scooter sized wheels. I find them more stable.


Whatever you buy. LOCK IT EVERY TIME WITH THE BIGGEST D LOCK YOU CAN CARRY. If possible chain it to some street furniture as well. These bikes are serious favourites with oiks who will burn them out after racing around a field for an evening. DON'T USE the steering lock. It's too easy for thieves to wrench the handlebars and bend the bit that's welded to the frame and still steal it.


MTDLOFT's formula


In the equation below:


M = Mass of rack and bike together

Fn = New front axle weight

Fc = Current front axle weight

Rn = New rear axle weight

Fc = Current rear axle weight

Oh = Over hang (distance from rear axle to centre of bike)

Wb = Wheel base


Measurements in Kg and metres


Fn = Fc - [M x Oh / Wb]

Rn = Rc + [(Oh+Wb) / Wb x M]


Eg (taking roundish figures for a partially loaded 4.600kg van) with a bike and rack weighing 160kg mounted 2metres behind the axle & Wheelbase of 4m


New front axle load = 1,400kg - [160kg x 2 / 4] = 1,320kg

New rear axle load = 2,300kg + [(2 + 4)/4 x 160] = 2,540kg




2nd had Innova's up to 4 years old on ebay from £600 with about 5k miles are still a good buy. (if local to you)

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