by Jon Dohrer
Kingston Public Schools
KINGSTON — Last week, a bicycle could be seen scooting around campus at Kingston Public Schools. There was nothing out of the ordinary at first glance — until one noticed that this particular bike made a humming noise and left a light plume of smoke behind it.
That's because the model in question was the motorized bicycle built by students in Glenn McCraw's technology studies classes.
The students took a regular Sears bicycle and mounted a 49cc Skyhawk engine on it. Last week, the students were taking turns tooling about the school parking lot on it.
McCraw said the TechConnect students had fun building and riding the unusual contraption — eventually.
"When we first started, they didn't really get into it as much, but as we went along, they got more excited about it," McCraw said. "By the time we finished it, they were arguing over whose turn it was to ride it."
The bike was primarily built by students in McCraw's Tech I and Tech II classes.
The students began with an antique touring style bicycle. It was a girls model at the start of the project, but it was re-outfitted to accommodate the motor and gas tank, so the finished product looks more like a boys bike. They used a conversion kit, but McCraw said many aspects of the kit had to be adapted for this particular application.
"We did a lot of welding on it to make it work," he said. "And we had to make a lot of our own parts."
Among modifications was repositioning the muffler. The students also re-tensioned the spokes and affected quite a bit of body work to the vehicle. They altered the chain, added new sprockets and made numerous other modifications.
"The motor was torn down and all internal components oiled to make sure everything was perfect," McCraw added
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