Gasifier for a motor-bicycle?

Hello everyone, I’m brand new to the forum and my particular interest is to build a small gasifier to run a two stroke engine on a motor-bicycle. The engine is a 98cc Villiers made in the late 1940’s and is of very simple construction with a cast iron piston and cylinder. The Constance gasifier caught my interest as soon as I saw how simply it can be constructed on You Tube and I was wondering how adaptable it might be to being used on my motor-bicycle project.

My father and brothers were in the metal trades so I was fortunate enough to be taught a good many things about the use of tools and metalwork that most women never get a chance to learn so I feel reasonably confident in my ability to build a gasifier, but as a new chum I’ve got an awful lot to learn about the underlying principles involved in how they work. Any advice forum members could give me will be very gratefully received.

Welcome to the site Anne.
The designer of ‘The Constance’ happens to be on this site. Here are links to Stephen’s threads.

Hello Miss Anne and welcome to the site .

I echo what Bill said above plus I would also give a lot of thought to a charcoal gasifier.

Several can be seen here


Hello miss Anne,
My Brother-n-law is a Kiwi Helicopter pilot in Hawaii. Nickname is “Kiwi”. I agree that a small charcoal gasifier is the way to go. They have been doing it in Europe for decades. Many designs for ideas. Here’s a pic of an oldie motorbike. Good on ya for starting a project. Ps. Welcome

Thank you for the warm welcome gentlemen, your advice is very much appreciated. It seems like I have a certain amount of reading ahead of me as I get myself up to speed on charcoal gasifiers.
It’s nice to see a picture of the Haleson steam motorbike again Gordon. I find steam fascinating only I think the necessary skills to build such a wonderful creation might be beyond me.

I started to think about building a gasifier for a motor-bicycle after seeing a picture of a wartime Swedish motorcycle that was fitted with one.

Anne, Just remember that on most 2 strokes, the gas (woodgas) has to go through the crankcase and lubricant will have to be injected … I remember working on a BMW 2 stroke around 40 years ago … The only thing that was wrong with it was the crankcase gasket had around 1/8" missing … Today that could have been fixed with RTV … We did finally get it to run right on gasoline … I almost bought a motor for my bicycle a couple of years ago when my legs got paralyzed … There are many kits available for around $150 … You just have to add the gear to the rear spokes etc etc … One guy I met added fatter spokes to hold the gear… I’m sure a small charcoal gasifer would add some snap to the mix , Mike L

Heres a short video of a 100cc motorcycle simple charcoal gasifier for ya from 2013.

You could mount a constance wood pellet gasifier but I think the weight could be a problem. Im sure it can be done. Then all the traveling you want could be done on the sheep poop there.
Lots of small simple charcoal gasifiers on lawn tractors for ideas too.
Look at Koen’s trikes he builds in Thailand.He has a charcoal gasifier blog here. He is a premiere small engine charcoal gasifier builder. Hes doing an amazing job.He is in your time zone too I think. Gordon

Mike, - I live in a small country town in a dairy farming area and I use a tricycle to get about the local area. For a year or two I rode it with an electric hub motor providing a helping hand, though at present I’m changing the drive over to a small two stroke engine. I have a disability and need to use a stick for walking, but when I’m riding one of my bicycles or my tricycle I’m fine. It’s all good exercise too.

For lubricating my elderly Villiers two stroke engine I was thinking of using a drip oiler mounted on the intake manifold. Some of my vintage motor bike friends suggested that I use a small hand pump as was used on two stroke gasifier motorcycles during WW2. The only problem with doing that is the resulting clouds of oil smoke being discharged from the exhaust pipe after every pump stroke isn’t exactly environmentally friendly.

Thank you for the You Tube link Gordon and I will check out Koen’s blog to see what I can learn there. It’s good to know that others have been successful with gasifier conversions on motorcycles and that I’m not having crazy ideas all on my lonesome.

Anne, It’s not a crazy idea. Its a great idea. I’m thinking of building a wood gasser trike for trips to town and cruising the mountain roads. I’m just short on play cash. Wish I had the money to build everyday. Maybe soon. have fun always, Gordon

Hi Anne, I can’t just jump in my truck and drop by … My daughter just started teaching at some university in China today … I had lunch with her on Wednesday in Milwaukee and drove 140 miles back in a snow storm … She flew to abudabi and then to Shanghai … I think she is 4 hours (by car) north of there. At any rate I love driving on wood … The walking stick I use is around 6 feet long and has a mag nail in each end … It is long because I have to walk through 2 foot or 3 foot snow drifts and need to know where the ice is and don’t want the stick to get me in the guts or eyes … It will all melt soon but it’s your turn for fall and winter … Peace Out, Mike LaRosa

There was some discussion here awhile ago about running two strokes and someone recommended a certain oil injector system. I wasn’t able to find it just now, but I’m sure you can. If you are just now putting an engine on your bike, I would consider one of the small four stroke weed whacker engines they are now making. Edit, Wait a minute I think the oil injector was in regard to older tractors which required leaded fuel for valve lubrication.

The wonderful thing about the internet Mike is that we can in a sense ‘drop by’ with folk who share a common interest despite them being thousands of miles apart. Brrrr… 3ft snow! Driving in snowstorms! In Winter we can get some hard frosts here and black ice on the roads, but the nearest we get to snow is when the highest mountain in the district might get a very light scattering on its summit. The Chinese are doing some interesting things with gasifiers, so perhaps your daughter might be able to find some useful information for you.

Keep warm, Anne.

As a woman of slender means I can’t really afford to buy a new four stroke engine Andrew. I already own an assortment of useful two stroke engines so it really does have to be a two stroke engine in my bike. Many if not all of the Japanese two strokes have a separate oil metering system which could be adaptable to other engines that normally use an oil/petrol mix, but with my vintage Villiers engines a drip oiler setup should work just fine. :slight_smile:

I think Koen is using charcoal with a 2 stroke in Thailand .

As I’m supported by an Invalid’s pension I don’t have much money to come and go on either Gordon. Petrol here in New Zealand is commonly over $NZ2.00 a litre so a gasifier makes a lot of sense. Over the years I’ve developed somewhat of a scavenger’s habit and I’m always on the look out for thrown away raw materials which I can use on my projects. Sometimes I just have to be patient though and wait to save enough to buy a particular item that has to be purchased new (sigh).
Your trike idea is a good one. I’ve been using trikes I’ve built up myself as my main means of transport for a while now and they are extremely useful vehicles. You only have to look at China and the way they make use of tricycles for general freight haulage as well as personal transport to see how versitile a good trike can be.

Cheers, Anne.

Thank you for that link Carl what Koen is doing is certainly very interesting.

Hi Anne,
Here is a picture of an interesting vintage 2 cycle bicycle that has a drip oiler added to the intake. It also has a compression release just to the right of the spark plug where I think the rider could pedal the bike and the engine would act as a pump to get the charcoal gasifier up to operating temps.

I’ve been to NZ, beautiful country. I’d build a wood gasifier,based on Stephen’s Victoria for a motor bike, but that’s just me… I have a couple of 400cc motorcycles, I’m gonna have to think about a gasifier side car at some point now I guess… good luck on your build

Thank you so much for the picture Don. That is a particularly nicely done conversion and there is so much in that photo that is worthy of further study. As an old bike enthusiast I love to see interesting motorised bicycle pictures and this one is definitely a keeper.

Hello Arvid, have you seen that incredible Russian sidecar outfit with a gasifier on the internet? When I was younger I owned sidecar outfits as my main form of transport for around 10 years. I still miss riding an outfit, but my doctor would have a fit if I was to take up riding one again.
I know everyone has been advising me to build a charcoal gasifier, but my main concern would be obtaining the necessary fuel at an affordable price. I don’t really see myself being able to make my own charcoal so I would need to be very sure of a good source of supply before committing myself to this option. That was why the Constance gasifier particularly appealed to me as in the district where I live wood is very easy to get.

Thanks for wishing me luck and yes New Zealand is a beautiful country I feel very blessed to live here.