If you’re a perpetually do-it-yourself-minded person, then chances are good that you’re familiar with a phenomenon that I like to call ‘project brain.’ While it can certainly happen with bikes, it could happen with just about any intensive, hands-on thing that strikes your fancy. Cars? Of course. Getting way into stripping and refinishing wood furniture? Absolutely. Learning how to do colorwork (using more than a single color at a time) in knitting? For sure.
Anyway, project brain is when you get so locked into accomplishing a specific goal that just about all good sense goes out the window. Did you spend more money than you wanted to on parts for that bike? Yes. Are you sorry? No, you just want to get it done. That’s it, that’s the story.
In the latest series from YouTube automotive channel Donut, noted motorbike enthusiast Jeremiah Burton just started a new project: Turning a Coleman Powersports minibike that he bought at Wal-Mart into a 100mph beast. Can he do it? Either way, they get what’s hopefully an amusing video series out of it, so it’s worth trying, right?
To reach a goal, the first thing you need to know is exactly what you’re working with. Spending some time on the dyno with the Little Red reveals that the stock bike makes a blistering 3.47 horsepower from the factory. The guys estimate that they’ll need to crank it up to around 28 horsepower if they’re going to hit a speed of 100 mph at least once. Difficult? Yes, but Jeremiah insists that it’s not impossible—and besides, he’s motivated to prove the dyno guy (who says it’ll never happen) wrong.
Back at the shop, he gets an absolute pile of upgraded parts for that teeny, tiny little engine. We’re talking about a billet aluminum connecting rod, a lightened billet flywheel, and a billet side cover. We’re talking about a performance cylinder head with larger intake, as well as bigger carburetor to direct more air into the combustion chamber. There’s also a new camshaft that’s made of metal instead of the stock plastic unit. At the end of the day, the only stock thing they’re keeping is the engine case itself.
Proving doubters wrong can be powerful motivation, and when you add that to project brain, it’s easy to dig in and keep a laser focus on your goal. There are two more parts to come in this series, and we get a little sneak peek of the future at the end of this video, showing that it does get significantly quicker and more powerful. Will they cross that 100-mph finish line, though? We’ll have to wait and see.