How to Put a Motor on a Mountain Bike: Step By Step Guide

This how-to guide will help you through how to install a motor on your mountain bike step by step.

A motor on a mountain bike is something that has been done before and will continue to be done.

Bikes have been around for decades and modifying them has always been a favorite pastime. The reasons to modify your mountain bike are limitless, which is why it’s so popular among all kinds of riders.

You can use an engine or motor to assist you on the uphills, find a more efficient way to get from point A to point B, or for fun. But no matter why you want to add a motor, the process of doing so is actually quite easy.

Read on for some guidelines and instructions on how to put a motor on your mountain bike!

Why Put a Motor on a Mountain Bike?

Before we jump to steps let’s first talk about why you want to put a motor on your mountain bike? Generally speaking, there are two main reasons:

1) For fun!

If you want to just have some fun and be silly on your bicycle, then having a motor is probably the best way to go. This is especially true if you get an electric bike kit. Electric motor kits are a great way to be silly on your bicycle without having to put in any work. Basically what you’ll need to do is get an electric bike kit with the battery and all that stuff so when you pedal it will start moving, and then just sit back and rely on the motor.

2) Real transportation

If you want to use your bicycle to get from point A to point B on a regular basis, you are going to be better served by getting a good mountain bike with some gears and an internal eight-speed hub. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “the motor will help me go faster!” but having gear in your bicycle makes it much easier for you to go faster and much easier for you to go slower. You should only get a bike with gears if you plan on using it as transportation and not just something that makes you lazy.

What You’ll Need

  • A Motor

A motor of sufficient power to meet your needs. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

If you don’t choose a motor strong enough to meet your needs, you will not be happy with how it performs. This is one area where I cannot stress how important it is for you to do the research on how much power you need and how much power each motor delivers. Please don’t just buy any old motor and assume that its power will be adequate for your needs. You need to do your homework first.

  • Measuring instruments for petrol and oil

You’ll need some measuring instruments for how much petrol and oil go into your bike’s fuel tank.  For how much petrol, you will need a simple measuring cup that can measure up to at least 4 liters of petrol which is the standard volume of a full tank on most motorbikes.

The reason why I specifically call for a measuring cup and not just any measuring instrument is that most of them are usually calibrated in milliliters or fluid ounces which will require you to do a calculation before converting it into how many liters your bike’s fuel tank can hold.

  • Spray lubricant

Most of the time, engine manufacturers will use grease to lubricate the internal mechanisms of your engine.  Your bike’s chain is also likely to be covered by grease.  This grease may trap dirt and dust which can cause unnecessary wear on these parts in the long run so you might want to remove some of it every now and then.

Wiping off excess grease with a clean rag is all you need.  In case your bike has a chain guard, spray some lubricant on the parts that are covered by it to preserve its durability.

WD40 is good for this purpose.  As long as you wipe off the excess WD40 with a clean rag, it will not leave any residue or damage to anything in your bike.

  • Oil and oil filter

Make sure to first choose the right grade of oil for your chain. Most major manufacturers will provide you with the right information about the oil type that they have designed for your bike so there should be no room for error.  Some of them will even tell you to change the oil filter along with the oil itself.

If you are not sure what grade of oil is right for your engine, it would be a good idea to consult your manual or look for the information online.

  • Chamois or rubber gloves

I am only saying this because I have personally experienced how greasy a chain can get when working on it and realize that you might not want to get your hands all dirty if you are just getting into bike maintenance. A chamois seems to work best as it is not too rough on your hands and is relatively cheap.

  • The correct sized wrench for your chain and other equipment

If you don’t have the right tool, then there is no point in even trying to get them off or put them on in the first place.  Make sure that you have the correct size of the Allen key so that you don’t strip the bolts.

  • Putty, Drills, and Screws

It is likely that your mountain bike will have some minor scratches and dents on it that you will want to cover up.  Use putty to fill in these areas before painting.  Also, if you don’t have a drill handy, then use screws instead of bolts.

  • Zip Ties and Duct Tape

Zip ties and duct tape or any type of plastic straps that are strong enough to hold your motor in place while it’s powering your bike are essential.  Just make sure that you don’t get zip ties or any type of material that can rust over time.

  • Starter Fluid

There is a chance that your motor won’t start up right away and you will need to manually spin it. To do this use an aerosol can of starter fluid from a nearby auto parts store.

  • A Battery Charger

When deciding to put a motor on your mountain bike, you will need to get a battery that’s compatible with this change.  The best way is through a battery charger because it will ensure that the charge is complete and won’t have any residual power left over from the last time you used it.

How to Put Motor on a Mountain Bike Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Preparing your mountain bike

If you are putting a motor on your bike, the first thing you need to do is take apart your original parts. Decide what components that you will be keeping and which ones will be removed in order to make room for the new additions. You may want to keep your pedals and crankset, but you should replace the brakes with the motor.

Familiarize yourself with all of the components so that you can make a decision about what is going to be replaced by the motor. You will need to remove these parts in order for them to fit onto your new bike.

Step 2: Finding the Right Motor

You need to determine which motor design would be right for your bike.  If you are looking to ride on trails, then you may want something small and light. Oftentimes, motors with a higher “RPM” provide more torque and a smoother ride.  Other types of motors will allow use up less energy while providing more power, but may not be the best for use on trails.  Make sure that you take your weight into consideration when choosing a motor. An ideal motor would provide just enough power to help you ride up hills and go faster without wearing out your battery while also being easy to control.

Step 3: Ensure that the motor and the bike are compatible

If you are upgrading an older bike, it is essential to make sure that the motor you choose is compatible with the frame of your existing bike.  Using a frame-mounted motor may require cutting and welding, but will provide for extra stability.

Step 4: Attach the rear sprocket

The sprocket is a disk-shaped component attached to the wheel of the bike. Having the motor mounted on the rear sprocket provides for more control while using it, as well as being less expensive than purchasing an internally geared hub.

You will be able to find gears that are compatible with your motor and your bicycle’s frame. You may have to replace your current front sprocket with a larger one.

Step 5: Set up the drive chain in the system

Use the drive chain that comes with your motor system to connect it with the wheel. You can connect both to each other, linking them together as a way of power transmission. Depending on whether you have purchased an internal or external geared hub for your bike, you may be required to use the original gear train components from your old bicycle.

Step 6: Putting the bike together

Now, you can assemble the entire bike structure. First, attach the seat into its designated hole, which must be installed to give you a comfortable sitting posture. After that, fix the neck of the seat along with its support brace and then add on the wheels before putting it in your motor hub. Finally, connect your drive chain with your wheel’s sprocket so that transmission of power from one place to another will be possible.

Step 7: Drive your motorized bicycle into position

Start pumping the pedals of your bike to get it moving. You may have to pedal for a while until the motor gets going. It is important to note that bicycles with an internal hub and those without suspension will make more noise than bikes with the conventional chain and gears. Also, those with internal hubs have less traction than the regular ones.

Step 8: Safety precautions to put in place

Always make sure that your bicycle is equipped with lights before riding it at night. During the daytime, always wear a helmet to protect yourself from injuries while cycling along roads. Know how to handle your bike.

Check out this article if you’re looking for mountain bike helmets.

FAQs

Can you put a motor on any bike?

Yes, you can put a motor on any bike that has wheels and can be pedaled. Some older models may not have the holes in the appropriate places, but you can drill extra holes into your bike if needed.

Is it hard to put a motor on a bike?

It is not hard to put a motor on a bike if you know what you are doing. It can be dangerous or very easy, depending on your comfort level with bikes and tools. Ask a professional if you are not sure.

How much does it cost to put a motor on your bike?

It costs around $20-$100 for most bikes but can be as expensive as $400 depending on the quality of parts you buy. The more expensive models will last longer and perform better, too. What kind of battery goes in bikes? The size of the battery used will depend on the size of your bike. For most adult bikes, you need a 10 amp-hour or higher battery to get enough power. Most parts are sold as kits so you will have to put them together yourself. This can be hard if you don’t know what you’re doing and is best left to a professional if you are not sure.

Are bikes with motors street legal?

Bikes with motors are illegal to ride on public roads in most states. In some places, you can get a special permit to ride one. There are also many laws about how loud your bike can be, so check with your local police department before buying a motorized bike if you want it for city streets.

Can you ride a motorized bicycle in the rain?

You can ride a motorized bike in the rain, but it might be hard to control if you get wet. Your tires will get wet and create more resistance on the pavement when they are wet so make sure you have enough brakes to stop quickly if necessary.

Are motorized bikes worth it?

They can be fun but you will spend a lot of time and money maintaining them. Bikes are supposed to be fun, so why not try riding your bike super slow for a while or going on crazy trails that have big bumps?

If you are planning on buying a motorized bike, make sure that the bike is legal in your area. You could face times in jail and large fines if you get caught riding one. There have been many instances where state police and local authorities have cracked down on people who ride motorbikes illegally so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Final Words

I hope this article on how to put a motor on a mountain bike was helpful. Motorized bikes are a ton of fun and can be used for a lot of different things. They are great for people who love the thrill of speeding but not the price. You can get them for a lot less than buying a car or motorbike. They are also much easier to store and use so anyone can enjoy riding one no matter how old they are.

It is important to follow all laws when it comes to how fast you can go on how powerful your motor can be. You don’t want to have to pay ridiculous amounts in fines for not doing something correctly. Take the time and do things properly and you will be fine.

If you are a new rider it is also important to take the safety precautions necessary so that you can make sure that no one else is hurt on the road.

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