Anybody have any experience with these Lifan 125cc engines on Ebay?

Contemplating picking one up for a future project. The one I am looking at is the electric start version. Doesn't seem to have the kick start option. What else do you need for one to get it up and running?

I see it needs a carb and exhaust but what about wiring? Also what is the simplest way to adapt the #420 sprocket to a #35 or???

Anybody know the overall dimensions for this thing? Do they fit a typical Minibike frame fairly easily other than fabing the mounts? Anybody have a source for the mounts?


Some of them come with the carb and wiring harness. The one you linked is a 3-speed + reverse semi-auto; not ideal for a minibike. You'd probably need to fabricate mounts, but that wouldn't be difficult. These engines mount with plate mounts straddling two lugs on the engine case, one top, one rear; through bolts go through both plates and the lugs. There are threaded lugs on the bottom of the case but they aren't sufficient for mounting the engine; they are for a footpeg bracket. I've seen pictures of broken cases from people using the footpeg lugs to bolt the engine to a flat (typical minibike) engine plate. My theory is that the footpeg lugs are too close together for mounting the engine and the torque/vibration/shaking cause the case to break. Just use the engine mounting lugs and avoid that potential problem. You can get a good idea as to what's involved by checking out [MENTION=54906]Aston jag[/MENTION] 's shifter bike build (maybe bump the thread up from page 8 while you're there; a lot of newer members probably haven't seen that impressive build). I'm sure Gary and [MENTION=21502]jdogg[/MENTION] would help you with more info. One thing I would do differently would be to extend the engine mounts up to tie into the upper frame to make everything (mounts and frame) more rigid. As for sprockets/chain, I think I'd source/adapt a 420 rear sprocket and (obviously) run 420 chain (I think I've seen 420 sprockets that have the bolt pattern to work with the DB sprocket adapter and gokart live axle sprocket hubs; probably some other sprockets that could be made to work on whatever you build). The beefier chain should hold up better when banging gears!

I've been thinking for quite a while about buying this one; it's a high performance 125 (11.4 HP @ 9,500 RPM) kick-start, 4-speed manual, complete with everything except exhaust for $314 w/ free shipping. I consider it quite a bargain, even compared to a Predator (think of all the additional parts you'd buy for a Predator). You can get a head pipe for around $20 and a nice aluminum muffler for around $15. I had an eBay one day only, 15% off of anything over $50 coupon code (good yesterday only); last night, I decided to go ahead and buy the engine ($267 with coupon code!) and the :censure: checkout was down until after the coupon code expired! :cursing: Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but, at that price, decided the time was right to buy it for future use.

Want more? How about 16 HP @ 8,500 RPM with a 5-speed manual, electric & kick start, complete, for $555? People spend more than that building a Predator, and they don't have a multi-plate wet clutch, 5-speed transmission, or electric start.


Active Member
I have dealt with a lot of them ,nothing really wrong with them .I will get you some dimensions ,but they are fairly long ,you will need or build a wiring harness ,but everything can be purchased very inexpensively .Check out Beatrice cycle ,and they have tons of info for swapping and you can see the stuff available for them ,and all the parts can be found cheaper once you figure out what you want or need .Those engines hang off a mount up top ,and there is a second mount at the back near the sprocket ,but underneath is the foot peg mount area which would also be a good way to mount one up in a mini .You might look for scrap pit bike frames to find engine mounts. ,some are junky ,but some have very nice easily adapted pieces ,you might get lucky ,and I often just through them out so you can get them cheap or free .I would also look for a manual start although the engine you show is a semi auto so it can be easily push started if the battery craps out on you .


Active Member
The Piranha 140 in Charles link , is what I use the most for the bikes I build ,lots of power ,and work real well ,I think it’s the best value for the dollar .I have played with more than 20 of them and have had no issues or complaints .
[MENTION=56569]Charles S[/MENTION] Thanks for pointing out the one I linked having reverse..... I just flat missed that. And thanks for the links and the info.

[MENTION=16815]bruces[/MENTION] Thanks for the harness input. I am still pondering.....

I was thinking about one of these in a BC-1300 frame.... :shrug: Am I way off in left field????? The Predator cost to build verses the cost to purchase one of these has been what got me thinking about it... I would like to go down the road without the engine screaming like a Predator would. To dang old to go fast enough to fall off.... Just don't want to listen to or feel the engine noise.

:thumbsup: Do it! Worst case, you may need to stretch the frame a little, or modify the downtubes to allow the cylinder to tuck between them. I'm one person who wouldn't flame you if you were to modify a Bonanza frame, but I may be the only one. I've noticed the Gilson/MW/AC frames have a longish engine bay and wondered if one of these engines would fit without a stretch (but I'd stretch one, if I wanted to). Read the description VERY carefully before ordering; there are a lot of variations.

If you couldn't bring yourself to cut up a Bonanza frame, it shouldn't be difficult to add a swingarm to one of these (looks very similar to Bonanza).

This frame is somewhat similar to a Bonanza but I think it's a little larger; could add suspension to it. I would buy just the frame and fork and use wheels and brakes of my choosing, with either of the two.

8" minibike kit , larger than the AZUSA minibike, more engine room
I'm following this thread. I think my next build will be with one of these motors. A 212 motor, TC and or jackshaft, plus and hop up parts suddenly makes these motors look cheap and lightweight. The auto clutch would help make it easier to ride for newbys too. I think ground clearance and lower seat height would be easier. Downsidem ism I don't see a lot of hot rod parts for them (cam, hc pistons, head work,etc.) But they seem to put out decent power, rev high without risk of loosing a leg. They look like an old Honda CT 90, if the insides do too they should be dam near bullet proof.


Active Member
These engines are based on the z50-ct70 horizontal Honda’s ,the ct90 is pretty close in design but not exactly the same .I just measured an original Honda 70 engine from a cub so it has electric start and it is 1 foot wide and 17 inches long ,not including the shifter or the starter lever on the width I measured a clone 110 and got the same measurements but an extra 1/2 “ in length .I think the 110 is also a good engine and have used dozens of them .I do not recommend any of the full auto engines for a bike ,they are really slow ,with the 110-125 cc models in a ct70 or z50 chassis doing about 30 mph on the street .I have a few 125cc engines around here ,they will be slightly longer that the ones I gave measurements for .
I should also mention that the Chinese pitbikes have tons of problems ,but most of the problems I see are rear wheels blowing apart ,broken or improperly welded frames ,poor plastics ,and poor wiring ,and because of this I buy lots of them for donor parts and pay almost nothing for them .You might want to look in your local classifieds and you might find a bike with problems real cheap ,often I pick them up for $20 -$60.00 ,which might get you a good start to your projects .The rear wheels blow apart pretty often ,so if the bike has a good one you can sell it within a few hours for $50-$100 so the rest of the bike is free .


Well-Known Member
I used one in my bar stool racer (I know the chain is loose in the pic!) I use the four bolt holes in the bottom of the engine and mounted that to some rectangular tubing. I figured if those were stroiung enough to support the footpegs, they'd hold the engine in place! Engine always starts when it should and runs great. Most of the sprockets on those are for 420 chain. It would not hesistate to buy another
I just finished an off-road shifter kart for a customer with one of these. They run super hard! Sound mean and rev out beautifully. I've had good luck with the engine hauling a 400+ pound giant go kart at 50mph. They're good to me!

Sent from my iPhone using OldMiniBikes
I used one in my bar stool racer (I know the chain is loose in the pic!) I use the four bolt holes in the bottom of the engine and mounted that to some rectangular tubing. I figured if those were stroiung enough to support the footpegs, they'd hold the engine in place! Engine always starts when it should and runs great. Most of the sprockets on those are for 420 chain. It would not hesistate to buy another
Having already owned one that thing is just scary. But I do like it. I have another frame in the shop and I guess that I will have to finish it up one day but I wont put one of those on it... :surrender:
Last edited:


Active Member
That bar stool racer might be a good use for the crappy (slow) full auto engines I happen to have ,how fast can you drive it before it gets scary ,or does it work better than I am imagining ?