Can I Put a Chainsaw Engine on a Bicycle?

by Manuel Paucar

Chainsaw engines have been used in lawnmowers and in scooters. It’s not an issue of advanced mechanics to mount one. In fact, it’s just a matter of choosing the correct engine and knowing how to place it on the bike. Nowadays, the majority of motorized bicycles (these are totally different from motorbikes), use chainsaw or gas-powered engines.

Motorized Bicycles

Motorized bicycles are identical to conventional bicycles, with the small detail that they are equipped with an engine above the chain, or on the back brake. These chainsaw motors give the bike the ability to accelerate more than a normal bike will ever do. Moreover, pedals aren’t used anymore, since it’s the motor which controls the movement for the bike.

Installing the Chainsaw Engine

Installing the chainsaw engine can result in severe damage to the motor if it’s not properly done. The easiest method to mount an engine is to get another rear wheel and spread the front forks a bit to fit it up front. Once you do that, you mount the engine to the front forks, creating a front-wheel drive.


Motorized bicycles are hybrids that have seen increasing popularity among youngsters and adventurous adults. Due to that, stores like Wal-Mart started selling bicycle engine kits with an incorporated manual and a chain to put between the pedals. The kits are available on eBay as well. Depending on the kit you buy, each engine will have improved features, like a U-clamp adapter and inline fuel filter, among other things. The average price of a bicycle engine kit is about $150.

How to Use a Motorized Bicycle

Motorized bicycles work almost the same as motorcycles. They only differ on the mechanism. To turn it on, you should pull the chain, and the motor will start working. The benefit of a motorized bicycle is that you don’t need to use pedals to go further, since you can use the chainsaw engine to propel the bike.


Nevertheless, since motorized bicycles can reach a faster speeds than normal bikes, people are exposed to plausible risks or severe injuries. American and Canadian governments stipulated federal regulations governing the safety requirements, standards of manufacture and a speed limit as well. For instance, the speed limit of a motorized bicycle is 32 km per hour.

About the Author

Manuel Páucar (Lima, 1978), is the author of "Chronicles of the Exile," a popular column in the Hispanic market. In his 18 years as a writer, he's published four books and received several awards, including a special recognition from the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Páucar attended the Andes Chef School in 1999, and studied theater arts at CTL Institute in 1998.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images