Make your Kids’ Bikes Sound like a Motorcycle

By Eric Awwy, 31 Jul 2022

Every aspiring motorcyclist has at one point fallen in love with the cool sound effects that motorcycles produce. There’s just something about the loud, exciting and ridiculously cool roar of a motorcycle engine.

Contrary to what many may believe; this love for the cool sound effect isn’t just isolated to budding motorcyclists. In fact, a good number of bike enthusiasts; especially younger riders, love the motorcycle sound and desire to have it on their bikes. It is akin to the sound cassettes produce in road bikes; it throws in the fun.

It’s a way to feel rad without compromising the state of the environment as no fumes are exhausted into the air by cycling. It can also work as a safety measure to alert other road users of your one’s presence. And who knows, it might even encourage kids to spend more time in the outdoors if they spend most of their time glued to their screens.

Innovative Ways to Make Kids’ Bike Sound like a Motorcycle

Whether your child loves the motorcycle sound just for the heck of it or you intend to incorporate it to inspire their cycling, there are a variety of fun, creative and innovative ways to change the sound of your kid’s bike.

Let’s delve straight into each method…

Use a water bottle

To start off, motorcycle sound effects are usually as a result of the air coming out of the engine through its exhaust system.

The ‘vroom’ sound is usually produced because of the high force of exhaust as one rides and the fact that the engine is open to air.

With that in mind, you can repurpose an old water bottle to create an exhaust and therefore be able to not only mimic the sound effect but also to intensify it on a bike. The distinguishing factor about this method is that this DIYV exhaust system is able to make the sound produced even louder than other methods.

This method worked for us as kids, and it can surely work for today’s kids.

All you need is an empty plastic bottle, an old card, a mask tape and some type of cutting tool such as scissors or a knife.

Wondering how to do it? Here are the steps:

  1. Cut off the bottom side of the bottle to make two hollow endings. You will need to dispose of the bottle top in order to create two openings.
  2. Use the knife or scissors to make an incision into the top side of the bottle. Make sure the incision is wide enough to hold the shorter side of the card without it falling off.
  3. Place the card into the incision and tape it there so it is firmly held.
  4. Place the bottle on the rear fork of the bike with the card inserted in between the wheel spokes. Use the duct tape to secure the bottle in place.
  5. Give the wheels a spin to ensure that the spokes are bumping against the card in order to produce the cool sound effect. That’s it!

Another way to use a water bottle to create an engine noise is by removing its cap and place it right between the bike’s rear tire and frame. When the bike is in motion, it will sound like a motorcycle.

However, the long-term effect of this method is that it damages the bike tire so you are better off using this method just once or sticking to the first method of water bottle application.

Use a playing card

Certainly, one of the oldest methods of making cool motorcycles sound is through the use of cards. This is the equivalent of the aforementioned water bottle method; except there is no water bottle.

The card in this case is a regular playing card which is inserted partly into the spokes of the bikes. It needs to be placed in such a way that it leans against the spokes without falling off. The science of this method is that the rotation of the wheel as the bike is ridden causes the spokes to hit the card and the fast motion results in a ‘motorcycle buzz’.

For this method to work, some type of adhesive or tape is needed to secure the card’s position.

Some people shy away from liquid adhesives as there is risk of damaging the bikes paint work with them. In such a case, masking tape or clothespins work as a better and risk-free alternative to secure the card in place.

One thing you want to note with this method is that the card shouldn’t be on the same side as the gears and brakes of the bike so as to not interfere with their functioning!

If you are interested in trying this, here are the steps:

  1. Test out the card’s position on the wheel by inserting it in between the spokes and spinning the wheels too ensure that the spokes hit the card. Mark the position that you inserted the card.
  2. Cut a piece of duct tape and stick it to one side of the card (Preferably the shorter side).
  3. Stick the end of the card that has duct tape onto the rear fork of the bike. The other end of the card should be inserted between the wheel spokes.
  4. Give the wheel one final spin to confirm that the taped card functions accurately.

The desired sound effect will be minimized in comparison to that of the water bottle so if you are keen on giving your child their desired sound effect without being too loud then this method will work perfectly for you.

As a forewarning, this is a short-term method as you will need to keep replacing the cards in case, they fall off mid-ride and get lost.

Use a rubber balloon

By now, you already know the drill. You just need to find a way to insert any material onto the wheel’s spokes without interfering with the bike’s functioning!

That said, balloons are a cool, safe and fun way to produce the motorcycle sound on a bike. When they hit the spokes, the desired sound is produced by the ‘motor’.

The best part about this method it is very cost effective and very minimal on time consumption. With a tape and rubber balloon, you are set to get your child’s ‘engine’ roaring.

But the caveat is that the balloon is at risk of popping off at any time so having multiple balloons is a sure way to guarantee the motorcycle sound effect. Additionally, the more the balloons the louder the sound produced will be.

Here is how you can achieve this:

  1. Blow air into the balloon till it is about two-thirds full.
  2. Tie the balloon onto the front or back forks of the bike and between the spokes in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the brakes.
  3. Give the bike a spin and test the engine noise.

Use an aluminum can

Like the water bottle, you can also insert an aluminum can between the rear tire and frame of the bike.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Crash the can in the middle.
  2. Attach the indented side between the rear tire and frame.

The impact as the bike is pedaled will produce a cool sound effect that is similar to that of a dirt bike.

However, just like we warned with the second method of water bottle application, this method can be hazardous in the long term as the tires are at risk of getting ripped especially is the can’s edges get continuously sharp.

Use a Spokester bicycle noisemaker

So far, a lot of these items can be found right at home. But the good news is that some manufacturers are in the know about the increasing desire for motorcycle sound effects on bikes and have designed specific tools that are dedicated to this function.

Unlike homemade products which require frequent replacement, such products offer more longevity as there is no need for frequent replacement to maintain the desired sound.

One such product is the Spokester bicycle noisemaker which is a piece of plastic that is inserted between the wheel spokes to produce the motorcycle roar when the wheels are in motion. The Spokester comes in different colors which can match the aesthetic of your kid’s bike while being almost as loud as an actual motorcycle.

Use a Turbospoke

The turbospoke is a manufactured bicycle exhaust system.  Its design is basically the ‘exhaust’ system that is created by the water bottle and card combination with the exception that it has a cooler look and better options for sound.

The turbospoke looks much better than a regular water bottle as it comes with 15 custom stickers which elevate the looks of the bike. And as for the sound, it comes with three different cards that offer three power levels of loudness.

The attachment system is also similar to the water bottle application method; just simple and easy attachment, and in no time your kid’s bike will be rumbling on the streets!

Final Remarks

Getting your bike to produce a cool motorcycle effect is a project that can be done at the comfort of your home. So, if your child has been nagging you about, you don’t have to put it off any longer. All you really need is to spare a few minutes and your child will be the coolest kid on the block.

The great thing about this DIY project is that, the sound produced will differ depending on the method you choose. For instance, as we’ve highlighted in this article, the water bottle method is be able to produce a stronger sound effect. So there really is no excuse as to why your child isn’t getting the fullest amount of fun.

Just follow these hacks and see how they will be a game changer for your child’s riding. And remember, if anyone asks you why you’re doing this, the answer is “why not?”

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