Legalizing MTD

#1
Hello,

I am in the process of trying to get my MTD Trail Flite into street legal condition. Found some DOT tires, now onto the hand controls.
It has been difficult finding hand controls that will fit 7/8" bars, that have all the necessary switches, and don't cost a fortune.
Also looking for something period correct. I could prob get new plastic stuff but wanted to see if I could keep it looking somewhat vintage.

Ended up seeing these on eBay a while back, so I bought them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-7-8-mini-bike-handlebar-controls-throttle-lever-assm-universal-ON-SALE/173884104735?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

If you read the description, you will see that these were designed to be used with wiring that runs inside the handlebars. My MTD has the removable handlebars, and I need those to fit the bike in the back of my Exploder. So i had to modify them and drill 2 holes to put the wiring on the outside of the bars.
Throttle was a real bear, since the housing is not slotted for a cable. Ended up drilling the throttle for a bigger barrel, and cutting the barrel off, and sliding the cable through the housing and then soldering on a brass barrel. Not much room there but it worked out OK.
Made a rectangular hole on the right side to fit a tiny rocker switch. My first thought was for that to be the kill switch, but I think I am going to use that for the 4 way flashers instead and keep the kill switch I already have.

Still have to figure out the mounting of brake light switches on both sides, since both levers are supposed to activate the brake light. I have an idea that I think will work.
Bought 4 small amber lights that I plan to use for blinkers/hazards/running lights. Tested the circuits for the switches on both sides and everything works.
So left side has horn button and Hi/Lo beam switch, right side has L and R blinker switch and 4 way flasher switch. Once the brake switches are installed that should take care of the hardware side of things.

Some pics




Took quite a bit of work, but there is still a bit to go.
For now the wiring is just zip tied to the handlebars in anticipation of building a small fuse box with a flasher and regulator/rectifier and battery. Obviously a ton of wiring needs to be done.
I'm not even sure this will even work, but I'm going to give it a try!

Thanks for reading!
 
#4
Thanks for the kind words!

Yeah this may be all for nothing but I at least want to try.

Was able to get the brake light switches mounted on both sides. Had to drill & tap the housings for 8mm x 1.0 microswitches. Had to tig weld some aluminum on the levers to contact the switch, just building up a small section, then filing it to fit.
Came out OK, and test confirm that the switches are working. Switches are closer to the bars than I would like but I think I can make them work. These housings have an angle to them which makes it a pain.
 
#8
Well I plan on using heatshrink tubing either way, but soldering might be a good idea as well.
Once it is all covered with wire loom I think it will be fine.
It is pretty close but not as close as it looks in the pics.
Once I get it wired up i’ll post better pics
 
#9
Wired up my taillights/brake lights today, and the 4 way flasher switch.
Happy to say all went well, tail and brake lights work with both hand levers, which is required in MA.
Came out OK




Went to wire up my Hi/Lo beam switch, but it looks like I burnt out one of the filaments in my headlight bulb. I was trying to see which side was hi beam, and which side was lo beam. Only one side would light, and the socket is getting power on both sides, so it has to be one of the filaments. Ordered a couple more bulbs, once they arrive I can wire up the H/L beam switch, bringing me one step closer lol.

I have a horn button that is just a simple 1 wire circuit to ground.
Does anyone know if there are minibike specific horns, or should I try a motorcycle horn, etc?
I would prefer it to be small in size, not sure what the regulations are on horns, do they have to have a certain decibel reading? Or do they just need to be moderately loud? Or do they just need to be there?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Once the H/L beam switch and horn are completed, then I can start getting into blinkers/flashers. That should be fun.

I don’t currently have a chain guard, that might be an issue but if it is I would have to make one of those.

Thanks for reading!
 
#10
Ended up ordering a horn. Saw some that were 126 decibels, that seems kinda loud.
Found just a normal regular horn that is 105 decibels which seems loud enough but not too loud.
 
#11
The first time I replaced the wimpy OEM horn on a (new) motorcycle with a really loud one, it was only really loud for about half a second, which was how long it took for the horn button/switch to go up in smoke. Too many years ago to remember exact specs but I'm sure the horn was in the 115-130 dB range. I was fortunate that only the switch burnt up and the wiring harness was okay. That's when I learned that the really loud horns need to be wired through a relay. The horn button/switch only activates the relay and the horn is connected to the battery via the relay, using heavy gauge wire. A 126 dB horn would certainly need a relay, you may not need one with the 105. I think you'd need to know the current draw of the horn and the capacity of the switch and wire used. Talk to someone familiar with electrical matters, maybe @I74 could advise you on this.
 
#12
The 105 decibel horn is only 1.5 amp draw, so I think it will work out ok.
Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it!
Don’t want to run a really if I don’t have to
 
#13
Well, now I am getting to the point where I feel like I am splitting up the power in too many directions. I am looking for a small fuse box and battery. I have a battery here and I feel like it is too big but might try it temporarily.
The horn came yesterday and tested it and works. Loud but not too loud lol.

May try wiring up the rectifier/regulator later today, but will probably wait until I get the fuse box, I am thinking of getting one with (6) circuits
Headlight
Taillight
Brake light
Horn
Blinkers
4-way flashers
 

GustoGuy

Active Member
#14
Well, now I am getting to the point where I feel like I am splitting up the power in too many directions. I am looking for a small fuse box and battery. I have a battery here and I feel like it is too big but might try it temporarily.
The horn came yesterday and tested it and works. Loud but not too loud lol.

May try wiring up the rectifier/regulator later today, but will probably wait until I get the fuse box, I am thinking of getting one with (6) circuits
Headlight
Taillight
Brake light
Horn
Blinkers
4-way flashers
Pretty cool:). How hard will it be to register your bike in Massachusetts? Do you need to take the bike somewhere like the local DOT to have it inspected? I am following this thread because I am putting on a headlight and working taillight and brake light and a GPS speedometer. I may add a few more goodies like you to make my Rupp look like a street-legal bike. I ride miles of low maintenance roads around my cabin so I doubt I will go through the legalities of making it street legal
 
#15
Ended up ordering a fuse box with 8 circuits.
6 will do it I think, but want to leave 2 extra spots just in case I want to add anything later.

Started working on mounting the 4 directionals, just going to use small diameter pipe with nuts welded at the ends.
I will make them easily removable by making it either bolt or clamp on in existing locations. This might all be for naught so don’t want to just start welding stuff on.
 
#16
Pretty cool:). How hard will it be to register your bike in Massachusetts? Do you need to take the bike somewhere like the local DOT to have it inspected? I am following this thread because I am putting on a headlight and working taillight and brake light and a GPS speedometer. I may add a few more goodies like you to make my Rupp look like a street-legal bike. I ride miles of low maintenance roads around my cabin so I doubt I will go through the legalities of making it street legal
To be honest I think it is going to be extremely difficult, if not near impossible.
The reason I want to try it, is because everyone says you can’t, but never met anyone who actually tried it.
Everyone knows a guy who knows a guy lol
I think no one even tries anymore.

I will definitely have to take it in for an inspection, but since I don’t have a VIN, that is going to either turn into a very thorough inspection, or a flat out no. I see scooters around here all the time. I talked to a guy at work who rides a scooter to work, and he said it was wicked easy for him, and it’s only like $20 a year, and you don’t even need a driver’s license ?!
The displacement of the engine may become an issue. I think they are looking for 50cc or under.
I’m not sure if they actually check the volume with oil like in the old days.
 
#17
To be honest I think it is going to be extremely difficult, if not near impossible.

The displacement of the engine may become an issue. I think they are looking for 50cc or under.
I’m not sure if they actually check the volume with oil like in the old days.
I can not imaging anyone actually doing that at the DMV. Replace all your engine stickers with ones from a smaller engine.
 
#19
I can not imaging anyone actually doing that at the DMV. Replace all your engine stickers with ones from a smaller engine.
Well, they wouldn’t do that at the Registry, but they have inspection places where they would go over the bike.

Looking at it again, reading all the rules is confusing because the laws for mopeds, scooters, and motorized bicycles are all different. According to MA law, anything over 50cc is supposedly considered a motorcycle.
So I guess I could put a 50cc engine on it for the inspection, then put stock motor back on it?
Either that or fudge it so the stock engine appears to be only 50cc.
My fear with that though is if caught I’m sure I could be in a bunch of trouble.
 
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