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Powercycle Australia-Caveat Emptor


Are You One of the Unfortunates Who Bought a Powercycle Kit instead of going the extra mile for a Fosscati?  Then read on………..

This page is about an attempt to construct the HuaSheng 31cc 4-Stroke rear engined kit as available from Powercycle Australia.  The kit comes with no instructions except for eight B&W photocopies with no text to explain anything useful.  This should serve as a warning of worse to come because as you remove the kit from the box it begins to get worse.

A quick web search on this Company quickly takes you to problems they have had with breaching the Fair Trading Act 1999. See bottom of page for link to the Enforceable Undertaking imposed on Powercycle Australia  .  It paints a picture of incompetence and dishonesty that is all too common in the motorised bicycle kit business concerning shonky Chinese-made products.  It is precisely because of crud products like this that Fosscati decided to build sustainable, top quality, reliable motorized bicycles.

The instructions contain 8 images with no text & their website is no better!

The finished bike. Almost everything was fabricated to mount the engine.

As it stands the kit is unbuildable to an acceptable standard of safety.  In fact let’s be honest and say it is totally unbuildable period!  The M5 bolts that hold the gearbox to the engine and the gearbox cover to the gearbox itself are supposed to be used to fix the engine to the frame on the drive side. The recommended single very short M5 bolt threaded into alloy casing would not last more than an hour under use before either stripping the alloy threads or snapping the thin Chines steel M5 bolt.  To improve the fixings I had to redrill the alloy casing and retapped the hole so I could use an Australian high tensile 12.9 hardness M6 steel stud that runs right through the gearbox to the inner side (see photo).

M6 12.9 hardness Australian steel stud drilled right through gearbox and fastened from both sides.

The light 3mm alloy L section strut that holds the engine to the seat stay or chain stay is not only too flimsy by itself to secure the motor in place but the fixing bolt to the engine had to be upgraded to Australian Steel M6 high tensile and the hole in the casing had to be redrilled and tapped to receive it.   The recommended connection point for the strut to the motor was disregarded because it was just too silly for words.

This bolt is M6 High Tensile to replace M5 that comes with kit.

The engine support frame as supplied in the kit will NOT allow proper alignment of the drivetrain nor is it adequate to keep the engine on the bike under powered use.   As it stands POWERCYCLE’S  kit is a dangerous deathtrap. I had to fabricate a beefier piece of aluminium to support the engine on the right hand side.  With a lot of care this can also serve as the final adjustment to ensure the drivetrain can be aligned so everything is true and straight.

View of built kit from drive side.

The extra strut on the left of photo is for additional support and drivetrain adjustment.

In total I spent about 85 workshop hours to make this kit work and I have a fully equipped worshop.  You are going to need a lot of tools and a lot of extra parts to make this kit work at all.  Costed out at $40/hour that is another $3,400 labour and I’d say about $160 for extra parts.  The cheap Powercycle Kit is actually too expensive to build because, for that price, I could air freight a ‘top of the range’ Staton rear-mounted Subaru, Mitsubishi or Honda kit from the USA for considerably less money.  CHEAP CAN BECOME VERY EXPENSIVE VERY QUICKLY!

As Giacomo says..‘cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap’

I wrote to Powercycle Australia to point out that this kit was unbuildable and probably contravened the Fair Trade legislation.  I also pointed out why it was unbuildable.  I telephoned them as well but that was pretty much a waste of time because the person at the other end knew almost nothing about the kit.  They replied to my first correspondence with the disclaimer that their kits are for off-road use.  I believe Australians need legal protection from shonky traders like POWERCYCLE AUSTRALIA who prey upon people’s gullibility.

Buyers of this kit may have noticed, if they bothered to try building it, that the electric wiring from the kill switch does not reach as far as the engine.  In fact it only goes as far as the seat tube so you will have to buy some auto cable and connectors to extend it to reach the engine.

The kill switch wires only reach to the seat tube. The green wire is my extension running to the engine. Earth wire is connected to the seat tube.

This kit is so unbuildable that it almost achieves 100% unsustainability and, if you consider the wasted resources used to build, transport and deliver it to your door, you are into minus sustainability figures before you have even opened the box!   Quite an achievement even for a ‘cheap’ Chinese product.  The main problem with this kit is that there has been almost no thought put into the method of mounting and, although the Honda- copy engine is actually OK, the rest of the kit is total junk. On Powercycle Australia’s website there are no instructions or downloads for these kits. In fact on the relevant page some of the pictures won’t even load up.  The mounting problems of this kit are not helped by the support struts being straight flat bar pieces of alloy when it can be seen clearly in my photos that this means they have to be bolted into position using brute force. On the photos on their website can be seen photos of specially shaped supports which would obviously have been many times more suitable (see photo below).

The engine supports as shown on Powercycles website are not the ones they supply.

The reason for this is classic Chinese business ethics – the original kits obviously were shaped to take up the increase in width between the rear wheel axle at the bottom and the engine & gearbox at the top.  If they were actually supplied like this there would be much less problems except for the fixing points being way too flimsy.  To shape the flat alloy into this shape is so easy but it makes the total amount of flat alloy a bit longer.  The reason that the design was changed to a straight piece of flat alloy is simply because the manufacturer will save a few cents in material costs and thus make a tiny amount more profit.  The fact that this tiny saving has made the kit totally unbuildable  is of absolutely no concern to the manufacturer.  Neither is the fact that, as supplied, the kit is a potential death trap.  Such matters do not concern either the manufacturer or the supplier.  When I put these facts to Powercycle Australia their email response was that all their kits are for off-road use and safety factors thus do not apply.  This is really disingenious of Powercycle Australia because they must know that 99.9% of purchasers intend to use the kit on on-road bicycles.  Besides, this kit would fall apart if it was ever used on anything other than smooth asphalt so their off-road excuse can be seen for the crap that it is.

Getting a good drivetrain alignment is critical.

It is also not a good idea to use a rear-mounted, chain-driven kit on a quick release axle hub – the forces exerted by the engine require a solid axle. On this bike the existing wheel had a quick release axle, a 7 speed casette as opposed to a 7 speed cluster and a 32 spoke double wall alloy rim.  It was a lovely wheel but the 48 tooth kit sprocket has to go on a 36 spoke wheel (see picture below) so I had to completely rebuild the rear wheel and hub using a single wall alloy rim for 36 spokes with solid axle and a 7 speed cluster. The axle needs to be long enough to allow for the support brackets which attach to it. A variety of spacers are also required.

Sprocket & clamp on solid axle 36 spoke wheel

Positioning the rear 48 tooth sprocket takes a lot of patience to ensure it is as true as is physically possible. Up and down movement, known as HOP, should be corrected when the sprocket is not too tightly attached. Sideways WOBBLE or TRUING can be corrected when tightening the clamping bolts.  Bolts should be tightened in a star pattern to assist in eveness.  Bear in mind that most chainrings and sprockets are not perfectly circular.

This kit is finally up and running and I now feel resonably confident that it will perform to a reasonable standard but this is in no way due to Powercycle Australia but to a long and arduous effort in my workshop.  With Companies like Powercycle selling unbuildable junk it is all the more reason to invest the small extra on a FOSSCATI and rest assured about quality, longevity and aesthetic design with a motorised bicycle built to last by someone who knows what they are doing and is prepared to stand by their product.

 This bike will never wear the FOSSCATI decals!

Without the extra strengthening this kit could not have been built.

The serious problems with what is known as “Chinese Quality Fade” are explained in an article on Forbes Magazine elsewhere on this website.

CLICK BELOW FOR LINK TO  CHINESE QUALITY FADE ARTICLE    (120 Kb)

china- poor manufacturing quality

Read more about Powercycle Australia, a Melbourne motorbike importer, admission to breaching the Fair Trading Act 1999.

Download the full text:

Powercycle Australia Enforceable Undertaking (PDF, 194 KB)

CONTACT FOSSCATI by e-mail:      fosscati@gmail.com

Phone in Australia: 0266 805740  or, if calling from outside Australia,  (612) 66805740

Mobile: 0431 417 588 or, if calling from outside australia, +61431417588

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Des McIntosh permalink
    September 1, 2010 12:46 pm

    This is certainly a cautionary tale Giacomo of a really flawed product. Well done getting it to work by the way and thanks for the excellent pics. It really helps me to understand what Fosscati is about when I compare what you produce with so much of the junk out there masquerading as quality. Keep up the excellent work. I love your website.

    • September 1, 2010 1:10 pm

      Thanks for your compliments Des. I wish more people would understand that in order to be sustainable a motorised bike MUST be reliable and MUST perform properly without breakages. That is what Fosscati is all about.

  2. Magnus MacIntyre permalink
    February 20, 2011 12:48 pm

    Well done Giacomo for exposing the dross in the marketplace. It really is an example of “penny wise, pound foolish” if you think you are getting a cheap bargain you are most likely heading for heartache. I really like the look of your bikes and the quality is self evident.

    • June 2, 2011 1:30 am

      Thanks Magnus,
      As Giacomo says..‘cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap

  3. James Leighton permalink
    July 9, 2011 7:55 am

    Giacomo, Well done for telling it as it really is. My experience is that almost all the kit sellers are unethical and either sell faulty goods or fail to stock vital spare parts which mean that their customers are left high and dry when a component breaks.
    I suppose that explains why you sell the finished product.
    Keep up the good work. Your bikes are really a work of art.

    • July 9, 2011 8:07 am

      That’s why I all but ceased selling kits James. If you sell the finished product it has to be good or it all comes back in your face. Despite that being the case I know lots of people selling built bikes that wouldn’t last more than 2 weeks if used continuously. They bring them to me to fix but they aren’t worth fixing because they aren’t good enough to begin with. The kit sellers in Australia have caused a lot of grief to a lot of people but there are a couple of good ones like the Rotary ones I sell and I’m told Rock Solid are a a good outfit so that makes two!

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