People have been adding motors to bicycles for over a hundred and fifty years. The first motorized bike known as the Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede was invented in 1868, and since then, people have put motors on almost any kind of bicycle you can imagine.
Some worked better than others. What is the best bicycle to put a motor on?
The best bicycle to put a motor on is a V-frame or similar curved frame like MTBs and cruisers. The frame’s shape on these bikes lends itself to the motor placement, and these styles can handle the added weight. Additionally, finding a model without rear suspension is best because it makes the conversion process more difficult.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
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Top 3 Best Bicycles To Put A Motor On
Before you can start looking for that perfect motor, you need to find the right bike to put it on. Ideally, it would be best to have a larger bicycle with a V or curved V-style frame.
You can identify these from the bike’s side view because the frame will look like a larger triangle on top and then below and to the rear a smaller triangle shape.
Although the frame shape is vital for safe motor installation, it’s not everything. You also need an overall high-quality bike that can handle speed and added weight.
Plus, you’re going to want excellent brakes since stopping a motorized bicycle is more demanding than a strictly pedal-driven stop. Below I’ve collected the top three best bikes to put a motor on.
1 – Huffy Stone Mountain Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Huffy Stone Mountain Hardtail Mountain Bike is a great bike from a well-known, long-established, and trusted brand.
Not only is this MTB a lightweight V-frame, but it also comes in multiple colorways. More importantly, it comes in more than one tire size, and you can choose a six or twenty-one speed to suit your riding style and local terrain.
You’ll appreciate the comfort of a slight-rise handlebar that enables upright riding. Best of all, the durable steel frame is backed by Huffy’s limited lifetime warranty. Get this great bike by clicking right here.
- With a gloss red hardtail frame and 21 speeds to conquer the trails, the Huffy Stone Mountain is ready for outdoor adventures
- An Amazon exclusive: Ideal for ages 12-19 and a rider height of 58-70 inches; durable steel frame is backed by our limited lifetime warranty (see owner's manual for details); Kolo 1200 suspension fork handles bumps and dips for a smoother-feeling ride
- The indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur combines with the micro-shift twist shifter to deliver 21 speeds on-demand for uphill climbing, downhill riding, or pure acceleration; removable rear derailleur guard ensures consistent gear operation
- 24" x 1.95" knobby tires tear into bike paths with ease; linear pull hand brakes deliver consistent stopping action; premium padded ATB saddle has stitched sides for lasting quality; alloy quick release provides easy seat height adjustment
- Slight-rise handlebar enables upright riding to minimize back and shoulder strain; ATB-type resin pedals on the 3-piece Kolo crank have responsive feel; Kraton grips are comfortable to the touch; alloy wheels in matte black; kickstand included
2 – Sixthreezero Around The Block Men’s Cruiser
Like the Huffy, the 26″ Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s Cruiser comes in plenty of colors.
A dual spring saddle will help keep you comfortable on longer rides, plus the upright, ergonomic riding position on a cruiser is easier on your back and arms.
I especially like the rear rack, which gives you a place for a basket or panniers to carry your cargo.
This model is ideal for city streets and flatter terrain as a single-speed bike. Moreover, the design on this bike is purpose-built for your comfort with full leg extension to help keep all your joints feeling good as you ride.
Learn more about the Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s Cruiser when you click here.
- BEACH CRUISER BIKE FOR MEN: Classic, curvy men's beach cruiser bicycle with 19-inch durable steel frame; ideal for casual, comfortable riding around the neighborhood
- COMFORTABLE AND ERGONOMIC: Beach cruiser bike features an upright riding style which keeps your back and shoulders comfortable while on the move; road bike features wide cruiser handlebar with foam grips
- SINGLE-SPEED DESIGN: Single speed beach cruiser bike is great for cruising on flat terrain; pedal-backwards coaster brakes for easy stopping; mens beach cruiser bike features a front handbrake and rear coaster brake to ensure precise stops
- SLEEK STYLE: These bikes for men feature a stylish, curvy frame with blacked out compontents for added style with a comfortable dual-spring saddle; beach cruiser bicycles include matching fenders and rear rack for optional bike accessories such as baskets and panniers
- QUALITY TIRES: Adult beach cruiser bicycle features 26 inch wheels with 2 inch semi-slick tires provide excellent roll and a cushioned, stable ride
3 – Kulana Lakona Beach Cruiser Bike
If you want a heavy-duty, durable frame, then I recommend the Kulana Lakona Beach Cruiser Bike with its steel frame.
This outstanding cruiser is available in kids and adult sizes. The swept-back handlebars make it easy to maintain a comfortable riding position, and the structure is more than capable of handling an engine.
The only downside to this bike is that it comes in a seven-speed and a model with push-back pedal brakes.
It’s essential to be careful when you order and ensure you choose the handbrake model. So long as you get the right style, this excellent bike will get you and your motor anywhere you want to go.
To get your own Kulana Lakona Beach Cruiser Bike, click here.
- Durable steel cruiser frame is perfect for the beach or around the neighborhood. Fits riders 4’0” to 5’0” tall.
- Single speed drivetrain is easy to use and maintain.
- Rear coaster (pedal) brake provides intuitive stopping power.
- Fenders help protect you from splashes and dust while adding vintage flair.
- Extra-large spring saddle and upright riding position provide a comfortable ride.
Complete Buyers Guide For The Best Bicycle To Put A Motor On
Shopping around for the right bike is essential, whether you’re putting an engine on it, buying a birthday gift, or riding in the Tour de France.
The difference is that you need to look at slightly different features if you want to add a motor.
I’ve compiled a complete buyer’s guide for the best bicycle to put a motor on below. Feel free to bookmark this page for your next motorized bicycle project.
1 – Frame Shape & Style
There are so many sturdy and often cool-looking frame shapes and styles for bikes.
However, when it comes to mounting an engine, all those fun-looking frames are at a disadvantage compared to the classic V-frame.
This style lends itself to engine mounting, whether it has precise angles or a curved frame variant.
The triangle frames were traditionally called men’s or boys styles because the female style had a dropped center for easier standing over in a skirt.
Unfortunately, some styles, like those with no toptube or unique decorative details, may not leave room for your engine.
The last thing you want is an engine that comes off your bike when you’re going twenty miles per hour. Proper mounting is essential.
2 – Brakes
All bicycles go fast, and some can exceed thirty miles per hour downhill. However, most people’s average speed is closer to ten or twelve mph.
Meanwhile, bikes with engines average rates over twenty miles an hour. As a result, most non-motorized bike brakes are made to stop at slower speeds.
Ensure that you choose a model with top-of-the-line brakes or at least plan to upgrade when you add the motor.
3 – Wheel & Tire Quality
You need high-quality wheels and tires if you plan to add a motor to your bicycle.
Look for reliable wheels with an excellent tread pattern like Knobby Tires or a similar trusted brand. Moving quickly means you need excellent traction on the road.
Moreover, you need to inspect them regularly and promptly replace worn tires or damaged wheels. After all, going twenty-five mph down a busy street is the wrong time to have a tire issue.
4 – Frame Durability
Durable frames come in many materials. You may find aluminum, Chromoly, steel, or even rarer frames like titanium and alloy metals.
Regardless of which you use, it’s crucial to pick a frame from a reputable company known for selling durable bikes.
Your bicycle’s structure needs to handle added weight from the engine, higher speeds, long ride times, and every bump in the road without any problems.
I recommend checking reviews to see what people who have used your bike in real-world circumstances have to say about it.
5 – Comfortable Seat
Unlike a road bike or BMX, you generally remain seated when riding with a motorized bike.
Choose a bicycle with a good seat with springs to move with the bumps in the road. You will be much more comfortable if you’re not stuck on a rigid, small, unmoving platform as you ride around.
6 – Upright Riding Position
Bikes designed for crouch-over positions are not the best option for adding a motor. Look for a bike that has an upright riding position so you will be comfortable.
Hopefully, you’ll never have an accident, but this position keeps your face from being the first thing in an accident if something happens.
Plus, your joints will thank you for the more ergonomic ride.
7 – Handlebar Rise
A bike with the proper handlebar rise gives you better control. Additionally, it can help prevent arm and back pain and unnecessary muscle fatigue.
Too low handlebars will cause strain and instability, and unlike stunt bikes, a higher handlebar isn’t essential for pulling up during jumps.
8 – Motor Use & Cargo Capabilities
Putting a motor on a bicycle serves several vital purposes. First, it offers accessibility to those who might not be able to pedal long distances but still want to get out and ride.
Second, a motor can help you get around without fatiguing your legs or getting sweaty, which is helpful if you live in a crowded city and want to ride to work.
Third and finally, putting a motor on your bike offers you an opportunity for cargo. Any bike can carry a basket or rear rack, but when you add a motor, your legs don’t need to do all the work of pushing that extra weight around.
The ability to bring more is fantastic for long rides, touring, and getting around without a car. You can easily adapt a cruiser with a motor to fit work equipment, become a bike messenger, or enjoy a more extended trip.
Choose a bike that has the cargo carriers you need. If you can’t find all the bells and whistles, ensure that your frame is compatible so you can put more than a motor on your bike.
A rear rack is a good start, and you can build out the cargo capacity from there by adding a front basket and paniers. You can even add a cup holder for your drinks if you like.
9 – No Rear Suspension Please
The rear suspension on a bicycle can get in the way of proper motor mounting. However, it’s not a super-common feature.
Typically you will only find rear suspension on full-suspension mountain bikes. The only reason I mention it here is for those who might prefer an MTB-style bike over a cruiser.
Added springs on the frame can block necessary connection points, and they will also cause the frame to move more as you ride, potentially unseating your engine.