Brother’s Custom Bicycles  » Business  »
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7801 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park Florida 33781
  • I have never before had any serious issue with my driving record
  • A police officer happened to be sitting in the parking lot of the gas station across the street and saw me do this and pulled me over, which is when I found out that my license was suspended for some unknown reason
  • Unfortunately because it was so old there were late fees on top of the fine, and at the same time they suspended me for it they also turned it over to a collections agency so I had collections costs also
  • At this the judge reluctantly agrees that it is possible that I might not have known that I was suspended and that I had to have been valid somewhat recently, but he still snarls that this problem of the unpaid ticket should have been resolved a long time ago
  • Please avoid buying anything from Brother’s Custom Bicycles, this company needs to be shut down


    • by Reviewit
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      I have recently had some issues with my driver’s license. I had moved to Florida from Indiana, and had gotten my license transferred over from that state after arriving here with no difficulty. I have never before had any serious issue with my driving record. One day while driving through a residential area I was not familiar with, I accidentally cruised past a stop sign that was hiding behind a fairly large bush. A police officer happened to be sitting in the parking lot of the gas station across the street and saw me do this and pulled me over, which is when I found out that my license was suspended for some unknown reason. My car ended up being impounded, and I got a ticket for driving while suspended and had to go to court for it. I contacted the BMV to find out why I was suspended and found out that Florida had suspended me because I was suspended in Indiana.

      So I phoned the Indiana BMV to find out what was going on and was told that Indiana had decided to go back through all their old unpaid tickets and suspend the licenses of those people, and that I had an outstanding speeding ticket from, and this is not a joke, 1993. Whether I did or did not actually pay this at the time I have no idea. I am usually pretty responsible about taking care of stuff like that but I don’t keep receipts that far back, so even if it had been paid I would have no way to prove it. Unfortunately because it was so old there were late fees on top of the fine, and at the same time they suspended me for it they also turned it over to a collections agency so I had collections costs also. Just this one ticket ended up being fairly costly, but I was also going to have to pay a fine to have the suspension lifted in Indiana as well.

      So the day of my court appearance comes, and I try to explain to the judge what has happened. He is not amused, and gets upset because the paperwork he is looking at says that the effective date of my suspension is 1993; so he immediately assumes that I have been driving suspended for 19 years. Even the prosecutor points out that when I was pulled over that I had a Florida license in my possession, and that I wouldn’t have been able to have had that issued if I had been suspended in another state when I applied for it; so it has to have been suspended at some point after I transferred my license over. At this the judge reluctantly agrees that it is possible that I might not have known that I was suspended and that I had to have been valid somewhat recently, but he still snarls that this problem of the unpaid ticket should have been resolved a long time ago. I end up getting the maximum amount of fines he can possibly give me, and the advice that I had better get it resolved because he doesn’t want to see me back in his courtroom.

      So this means that I now owe almost everyone a small fortune. I have towing fees, impound fees, and storage fees for about a half a week because I couldn’t get my car out until payday. Then because I can’t drive it, I have to pay to have it towed home. I have all the fines and fees from Indiana, plus the reinstatement costs there. Then I have the fines for the


      failure to yield and driving while suspended here, plus another reinstatement charge for Florida. Needless to say, I resign myself to it being a good long while before I’m going to be driving my car again.

      So I go out to the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, because I had seen some motorized bicycles there at a place called Brother’s Custom Bicycles. These are actual beach cruiser bikes that have 2 stroke 49cc gas motors on them that run on gas and oil mixture. I had thought they were kind of cool when I had seen them on a previous visit, but now as I remember them it seems to me this may be an ideal way to be able to get back and forth to work until I can pay off the thousands in fines I now owe and use my car again . While talking to the salesman I explain my problem and why I want to get one, and he tells me that the bike will be perfect for me and will help me solve my transportation problems. When I asked him if they required a license to drive he told me no, because they were 49cc. This seemed reasonable to me because that is how the law is in Indiana, anything 49cc or under doesn’t require a license. So I buy a Huffy model for $475 plus tax, and leave happy thinking my transportation problem is solved.

      Within a few days I wished I had bought one that had a bigger frame. Being a fairly small woman, I got one of the smaller frames. The issue with this is that they cut the exhaust pipe off in order to make it fit, which made the bike much louder than some of the others. The shorter exhaust and the way it curved backwards also meant that the oil that had gone through the engine ended up coming out of the exhaust black as tar and fairly hot, and not only flying back and getting all over the bike but also all over my feet and lower legs. The bike always looked filthy and I could not wear anything on my lower body while riding it that I did not want to be ruined by dirty oil.

      After about a week of riding it, I was going to work Monday morning and ended up being late. While going about 30 MPH down the road, the bike suddenly experienced a couple of weird lurches and then before I could stop and pull over, it jerked violently and the chain that drives the motor flew off of the bike. I pulled over and went back and picked it up out of the street, and ended up having to pedal the bike the rest of the way to work. Since I hadn’t planned my travel time for riding it manually, I was 35 minutes late. I also arrived drenched in sweat and exhausted because for some reason the clutch doesn’t fully disengage when you pull it back, and the bike is incredibly difficult to pedal. Even on flat ground you feel like you’re trying to go up a 45 degree incline.

      After work I stopped at the bike repair shop right down the road. The man working there showed me clearly what the problem was. The chain was too wide and just barely cleared the opening it had to go through. It had been vibrating back and forth up against the sides of the channel it travels through and whenever that happened it would cause the chain to lag a bit. That lag would cause the motor ...


      • which was pulling on it to yank it against the teeth it travels on and make small gouges in the chain, slowly chewing it up. Once those gouges got bad enough, they suddenly started to seriously snag and it ripped the chain apart. This bit of wisdom and repair cost me $40 in parts and labor. I left with a narrower chain, annoyed but thinking my issues with the bike were resolved.

        The Friday of that same week I am on my way home from work and once again have to turn around and head back to the bike repair shop. The flange holding on the rear mudguard that they had on the back of the bike that goes over the rear tire became disconnected at the front. The mudguard immediately fell onto the top of the tire. I was moving at a pretty good rate of speed, so the front edge jammed into the tire tread and the tire burst. This caused me to have an accident when I lost control of the bike, and I ended up (thankfully) mostly unhurt lying on the ground in the driveway of a shopping plaza. I had to go and have a new tire put on and have the entire drive train readjusted, because the motor had come unaligned from the impact of hitting the ground.

        Costs this time were $125 parts and labor for the rim, tire and alignment. I did not have the mudguard replaced or repaired as I did not want to have this issue again. By this time, the bike is starting to look pretty funky and almost abused after about two weeks of use. It has a mudguard on the front but not the back. The rear tire no longer matches the whitewall on the front, nor does the rim on the back match. The one on the front is painted to match the bike, but the one on the rear is not because it warped during the accident and had to be replaced. The bike and motor are both missing paint on one side where it skidded across the pavement. And to top it off, it is always filthy and covered in dirty oil from the exhaust no matter how much you wash it.

        A little over a week goes by without me having to repair it again, but the Tuesday of the week following the exhaust pipe falls off as I am on my way in to work. I pull over and attempt to recover it, but doing so does me no good because before I can get it, it is run over and flattened. Also when the pipe fell off, a huge glob of hot oil had come flying out of the motor and hit the cables that were cable tied to the bike frame. This melted through the plastic conduit tube they were in, and also melted the plastic coating off of the wires that ran to the motor. Luckily I was almost right in front of the repair shop when it happened and I left the bike there and walked the two blocks from there to work.

        When I went back later to pick it up, the wires had been replaced. A new exhaust pipe had to be ordered and would not be in for several days, so in the meantime he had re-run the wires to go down the front of the bike frame and had attached a piece of metal to deflect the oil which would now come out of the front of the motor and keep it off of the cables. So

        the bike now has a funky looking piece of shiny metal wrapped and banded around the frame so the hot oil won’t burn up and short out the wiring. Not only does this look incredibly ghetto, the bike now sounds like the world’s smallest Harley Davidson because what little muffler it had was attached to the exhaust pipe. The only good thing about this repair is that the man at the repair shop by now feels so sorry for me that he did not charge me for the rewiring or wrapping the piece of metal around the frame.

        I start my trip home on this partially repaired and obnoxiously loud mechanical nightmare, but I don’t make it all the way there before I get pulled over by the police. The cop chews my rear end for the noise the bike is creating, and then to my astonishment, writes me a ticket for driving while suspended. These bikes, once modified, are apparently considered mopeds/motorcycles and do require drivers licenses regardless of engine size. The ticket I got for driving while suspended says Make: bicycle, Model: Huffy. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about that, because next week I will be going back to court to appear in front of the exact same judge that seemed to want to burn me at the stake the last time I was there. Needless to say I am sure I will be getting more large fines, and I still have not totally cleared up the first set yet. And paying them off will slow down because I can take a bus home from work, but they don’t run early enough for me to get there on time in the morning. I now have to pay a fortune to take a cab to work every morning.

        I am in the process of filing a lawsuit against Brother’s Custom Bicycles. They defrauded me by misrepresenting their product and lying to me about this bike being legal without a driver’s license in this state. Even worse, they also sold me a poorly modified bike that was very dangerously assembled. The guy who repaired it several times told me the day when he replaced the wiring that he thought I was having these issues because bicycles were not meant to go 35 MPH and so the vibrations were causing the bolts to come loose. Prior to finding out the bike wasn’t legal for me to ride, we had discussed and decided on welding some key parts to insure the thing would stop rattling apart. My issue with this is that the people building and selling these bikes should be and are undoubtedly aware of this, so why are they assembling them so poorly? Why not use stronger bolts and nuts that lock? Why would something like an exhaust pipe not be welded onto the engine and simply be screwed on with a single narrow bolt? While I was not badly hurt when the tire blew out, I got very lucky that day. Had I not been right next to a plaza driveway and been able to get off the road immediately, I would’ve gown down in the middle of a busy street and could’ve been killed if a car were close behind me.

        In addition to my lawsuit, at which I intend to ask for damages equal to the cost of purchasing the bike, all repairs, and all fines associated with the ticket I got while riding it; I have also contacted my state representative about this company and it is now being investigated. Please avoid buying anything from Brother’s Custom Bicycles, this company needs to be shut down.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 4125061581730530/k2311a0625/6.25.12
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