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Next on the agenda was brakes. A Doodlebug only has a single brake on the rear wheel and that brake is pretty much what you would find on a medium-grade bicycle. For a bike that can do almost highway speeds, this is nowhere near enough stopping power.  
 
This tiny caliper is the only thing stopping this bike. On top of being wimpy, our brake pads were completely worn out. We need to get this crap out of here! Two M6 bolts hold the caliper to the bike’s frame.
 
A allen single bolt clamps the handle to the handlebars. Slide off the grip and the handle, then unthread the cables to remove the brake in one assembly.  Easy!
 
A quick and simple upgrade is Hot Rod Minibike’s hydraulic brake caliper kit. The kit comes with a new handle, master cylinder, hydraulic hose, and a hydraulic single piston caliper. Simply bolt onto the bike, and through the magic of hydraulics, receive an instant upgrade to braking torque. Best of all, HRMB sends you the unit pre-assembled and bled, removing the most obnoxious step of the installation.
 
The caliper itself (in silver) isn’t much bigger than the original (in black), but with the differential size in the pistons of the MC and caliper, you end up with more braking torque at the pads. Also, the hydraulic brake’s handle is about an inch longer than the cable brake handle, giving you more leverage over the braking system.
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Comments
MattAtPlaton
MattAtPlatonlink
Thursday, March 01, 2018 11:06 AM
Fun project! The question is: where can you ride it?
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Thursday, March 01, 2018 6:35 PM
Most places you can ride an ATV you can ride a Doodlebug. I'm hoping to do one of the 2018 Gambler 500 bike rallys with the DoD if time allows.
Big Mig
Big Miglink
Thursday, March 01, 2018 7:36 PM
I love that the tire sidewall is the suspension. And your legs and ass cheeks. Godspeed. ALTGATT

That air filter is huge but whatever
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, March 02, 2018 4:11 AM
Oh god, you guys had to post this now... last Friday I went to a local indoor flat track race (seriously, running flat track on concrete sprayed with Dr Pepper syrup) and the boonie bike class (pull start, 12" max wheels) has been gnawing at my mind. About half the field were running doodlebugs like this.
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Friday, March 02, 2018 5:15 AM
@Big Mig: The worst part is the vibrations from the engine. I rode it about half a mile around my neighborhood to get the carb tuned up and my hands were totally numb from the engine shaking everything. Should be better on the trail when you're on and off the throttle a lot.

@Dan: DO IT! You can be up and running for only a couple hundred bucks. I think I've spent $400 or so on this thing so far and that includes buying it off Craigslist.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, March 02, 2018 9:23 AM
I'm really thinking of building something from scratch since building stuff is fun. But I may be nuts.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, March 30, 2018 8:11 AM
You need a torque converter/CVT getup for it. :)
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