Thursday, December 18, 2008

The new guy

Well, I managed to find myself a good deal on a Hobbit, and I'm quite excited. This seems to be a bit of a return to my first moped, which was an Express, but many things on the two bikes are very similar, including my favorite color, Yellow and White. It was titled and plated as well, which is nice, making for cheap transportation. I need to drag it up the elevator and into the house here so I can get it running, but somehow the idea of cleaning and inspecting the fuel system on the carpet sounds like a no-no. I might just have to work down in the underground parking lot. I may be selling off my Yellow Maxi to support my new hobbit. I've got two maxi's, plus I've gotten bored with the Maxi Taxi. I just don't know what else to do with it but ride, and I have to say that the enjoyment is about 75% build 25% ride for me these days. New pictures soon!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Goodbye Bing Jets!

I've been aching to get rid of my Bings recently, because I haven't enjoyed tracking down and paying for the jets. I have a decent selection, but I never seem to have quite the right jet. Bing works so well on my wife's green Maxi, sits under the side covers nicely, you can choke it, the stock airbox works well. A few of us Mosquito's were sitting around (I just wanted to include myself in that group, since I'm all legit now) and I had the idea that dellorto jets might be close enough to fit into the Bing emulsion tube if it were drilled and tapped to fit. Well, that happens to be the case. I took an 11/64 drill bit and ran the old threads and material out of the emulsion tube from the Bing. It drilled out pretty easily, but the side walls were left incredibly thin, but still holding nicely. So then I took my tap (the dellorto jet thread size is 5mm x .8) and threaded the dellorto jet into the tube, and it fits right nice and snug in the same location as the stock bing jet. I haven't had a chance to run it yet, but I think I might take another emulsion tube and add some JBWeld to the boxed area and making it round and even with the rest of the tube. I'm worried I might develop a small leak in the emulsion tube by the jet, it's awfully thin. Yay for up close focused pictures (I've been practicing!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've put a few hundred miles on this Bravo since I got it, and the bike had a progressively worse rear wheel wobble. I decided the rim was true, but the old tire had a flat spot from sitting for many years. Sometimes the tires get hot enough from riding around that the flat spot will work its way out, but not on this bike. The last few months I've been trying to understand why someone would buy one 16" white wall tire from the moped shop, and leave the other sitting on the rack, taunting me every time I walked in. I finally found a place that had them in stock, and made a purchase. The showed up today and since my wife was at work, up the elevator comes the bike! Changing the front took 15 minutes, including polishing the rim up with steel wool. I also discovered how to remove the speedometer cable, by twisting the actual housing of the cable, which was a new-to-me trick. The rear tire took much longer. Something to the tune of an hour and a half. Side covers off, engine mount bolts loose, push wheel back, deflate tire, remove belt, hold the moped in one hand up in the air while pulling back and down the deflated tire so there is enough room for it to drop from the subframe. It took about 20 minutes to clean the wheel up, and I got to mess around with that transmission in a rear wheel for the first time, what a novel idea! To put the wheel back on, I had all kinds of trouble, and I also forgot it needed to be flat to get in there, so I had to let all the air out, and then once again hold the bike with one hand up 2 feet in the air while bringing the wheel into the right position lining the variator up into its bracket. The next 45 minutes was spent trying to stretch the belt back over the variator, which was no good. So then I disassembled the variator so I could just put the belt on without stretching it and cheat. Unfortunately, I have no piston stop, and I couldn't find my usual rope, so I had to wad up some cloth to feed into the cylinder, and it did not work as well as rope. Maybe I should get a piston stop as a gift to myself for Christmas. After assembling the variator, then realizing I didn't have the inner cheek properly aligned, I had to remove the whole shebang again, including the "piston stop rags" which took a while to get properly inserted into the cylinder. So finally it came all back together, and here is the finished product.
I think I need to up jet just a smidge more, I'm in the mid 60's with a stock cylinder, 13:13 high flow filter and the Sito exhaust. In case I didn't write about the Sito, I like it, it clears my pedals, kick stand, looks stock, sounds quiet, costs $50, bolted right up and gave me a 3mph top end boost and some low end grunt.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Something other than me getting in trouble with Johnny Law

I've decided that I'm not good at two things. Talking my way out of tickets, and taking up close in focus well lit photographs. So, I have a few things I've done recently. My magnum has been running at about 32mph, and the bing was starting to leak when the fuel was left on, so I decided to jump up in carb size like I've wanted. I took the cylinder off and opened up the intake from 15mm to 19mm to match the intake I got from Brian. I have not widened the port on the inside just yet, I want to see what I can get without porting before I jump into that. So with that matched, I reassembled it and my 19mm race carb clears the head just perfectly so that I can still change jets without messing with its location. That's a nice thing compared to my Maxi where jet changes are a big production. With the 19mm carb, I noticed a much better throttle response and power at all RPMs. It also starts nicely now, on the first kick. It probably went about 34mph after the carb upgrade, but I feel a little lean, as the top 1/4 of the throttle just seems to make the bike louder, not any faster. I've got a 93 main, my next smallest is a 105, but I might try to find some middle ground with jets on Tuesday when the shop is open. So I had a better running bike, but I'm still lacking power. Today, I took an extra magnum sized cylinder head I had and tried my hand at "milling" which could be more accurately described as "eyeballing it". I could turn it down by hand, but that takes a long time, and I've got two spares, so I might try the quick and dirty method, Bandit style. I took a thick piece of glass as my flat surface (which happened to be the end table in the apartment). Then I encouraged my wife to leave and go work out, since I doubt she would think kindly of me possibly destroying her end table. Once she was out of the house, I busted out the tools, taped some 80 grit to the glass, chucked a spark plug in my drill and began to spin that big old head. It looked really funny, and took a lot of skill to try and keep the drill steady. It turns out spark plug holes aren't exactly centered, they seem to wobble a little. I turned it down from nearly .9 inches to about .25. I didn't want to take it all the way to the fins just yet, I wanted to keep a little bit of squish band. I proceeded to tape some 150, 200 and then 600 grit sand paper down and ran it for a few minutes on each, ending up with a nice shine. You can see the finished product it in the background of this picture. The out of focus part is a stock head, and you can see the feeler gauge showing the difference between the stock head and what I've turned mine down to. I put it on the magnum and noticed no air leaks so far, as well as a huge increase in torque throughout the power band. I can actually accelerate up hills once I hit second gear which is a new feeling for this bike. I left my compression tester in Nebraska, so I have no way to get a reading, but I can feel it, and that's good enough. I also bought some spark plug wire and a boot, and made a new plug wire for this bike, since the old metal cap was starting to fail on me, working its way off and what not. The spark seems super perfect with the new wire and boot.

I would like to take one of my other magnum heads to someone with a lathe and actually turn it down "the real way" so I'll see what I can work out, but I feel good about my method since it worked well, and I didn't break the end table.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tickets Roudn 2

I went through some big hoops and spent nearly 2 days getting my bike registered and plated after last weeks $125 lesson. So I’m good and legit as far as plates are concerned now, and I’m riding down the street and pass a motorcycle cop shooting Radar. I feel solid, because I’m plated, not a single reason to stop me as far as I care. I look at him, he at me, and I realized I’m about to get pulled over. It’s got to be my Magnum, it just screams pull me over and hassle me.

Guess what my $124 ticket was for today?
No mirrors. I explained that law was only applicable to motorcycles and motor driven cycles, not mopeds, but he said a moped is a motor driven cycle, and wrote me up for SMC 11.57.100. He also claimed I needed a brake light in addition to a tail light, but didn’t write me up because he was “cutting me a break”. Anyway, after 5 minutes of searching after I got home, I find RCW 46.04.304 which clearly defines a moped as different than Motorcycle or Motor Driven Cycle, therefore not applicible to SMC 11.57.100 so I’m pretty sure my case is a slam dunk, but now I have to go to court twice. Lame!

Friday, November 14, 2008


So after visiting 3 DOLs today I finally got one to listen to me instead of just repeat a canned response requiring me to have my moped inspected by the state patrol. When I explained that I had a moped which I had purchased in Indiana, and presented them with an official Indiana state bill of sale state form 44237, they were a little unsure if they would cooperate, but after a little thinking and confirming with management, they decided it was appropriate documentation and issued me a plate with registration papers, and they said the title will come in the mail. It cost $96 all together because I had to pay sales tax on my Indiana moped, but over all I'm good for the next year when my tabs expire at which point it should only be about $30 per year. Now I just have to see if I can get my ticket reduced or removed. That would be sweet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I got a ticket!

Did you ever see those 3 wheeled police parking enforcement cars in Seattle and wonder if you could out run them? Well, you can’t. They are fast. Much faster than a kitted moped.

That doesn’t have anything to do with the ticket I got today, but the other day I saw one parked one stopped at a light and the light changed so I could keep my speed through it, and within a block I was blown past by that little 3 wheeled speed machine. So I know never to try and run away from one, though.

On to the matter at hand, the real ticket. I got a no plate ticket for $125 today. I tried explaining that I’m a student (I am!) and not a Washington resident (I’ve got Indiana Residency!) and that I was meeting all of Indiana’s requirements, but she wouldn’t have it, and gave me the ticket. I explained how the DOL wants me to get inspected by the state police in Bellview, which is at least a 3 hour moped ride, which also costs $75, and then take that info and then shell out more money for the plates. She said if I can get plates or get documented that I’m trying to get plates that I will likely have the fine reduced when I take it to court. So I’m going to a different DOL because the one in Ballard has a crazy lady who refuses to register mopeds without having them inspected. I’m going to give the one over in U-district a try tomorrow and get registered without having to get the inspection, which will hopefully get my ticket thrown out.

As for my other bikes, I’ve got a little plan hatching, I hope it works.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fairing Pt 2

I have this desire to bang things out as quick as possible when I get really excited, so I ended up painting last night and although it isn't totally satisfactory, I wanted to see what it would look like on the bike. When I mocked it up, I didn't like the high bars with the fairing, so I've ordered some clubmans, but I'm not sure if I will end up putting them on. Once I fabbed up some brackets real quick with some aluminum flat stock, they were pretty easy make, just a small bend to kick the fairing mount points out away from the headlight a little. I also got some dome head allen screws in black, which fit the look nicely I'm going for. Now that the fairing is on, I'm very pleased with how it looks. The paint, although it could use another coat, matches my powder coat quite nicely. The whole reason for this fairing, aside from aesthetics, is so my GPS can ride all nice and protected from the elements, which it fits quite nicely underneath.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


So I've been in touch with that dude who makes repro magnum LTD fairings, and I got to try out his first new batch from his new mold.
They are super thick, not flimsy at all, and they come decently finished, but it will take a lot of work to get them to be perfect. There are quite a few small pinhole pips, little air bubbles in the surface that need filled and sanded. I have a couple fairings, so I thought I would try just sanding, priming and painting to see how it turns out. I've put on the first of the finish coats, and it looks pretty good, but it isn't perfect, the primer didn't fill the little pips completely, so I'm undecided if I will sand it all down and prep it perfect, most likely I won't on this one, unless I make a run in the paint like I always seem to do. I'm stoked, they are top quality other than the finish work, but I doubt you can be picky when trying to get a hold of parts like these.
I'll put up some pictures of the finished product later, I'm supposed to be writing a paper at the moment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Repair forum can be hillarious

Puch - Bent Wheel Rear

  • Author: Gil (
  • Verified User: ganjar
  • Date Posted: 10-22-08 09:03

I looked at my Puch maxi the other day and i noticed the wheel was bent. You can definately see it when it spins and even when it’s not spinning. You can also slightely feel it while riding. I need to know if i can kinda hammer it back into shape or if i can get a cheap replacement somwhere else. Dont have cash to get a set of mags right now, so just looking for a fix or anoter stock rim. Any ideas, looks almsot liek hammering could get it almost back to normal.

Re: Puch - Bent Wheel Rear

  • Author: Craig (
  • Verified User: oldscoolvw
  • Date Posted: 10-22-08 09:13

is it bent or just needs to be trued up?

Re: Puch - Bent Wheel Rear

  • Author: Gil (
  • Verified User: ganjar
  • Date Posted: 10-22-08 09:40

Well im not positive what trued up means. but i can see the metal out of shape on the outside of the rim and you can see where teh wheel is not longer perfectly flat in about a 2-3 inch stretch of the inside of the rim. You can kinda feels it when riding, but not really, but you can see it . hope that helps. i kinda beat it wih a hammer and made it slightly better but still bugs the hell outta me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pictures that never went anywhere

I have this bad habit of thinking "Hey, I'll write this up on my moped blog, let me snap some pictures!", then I take one picture, finish the project and then realize that I don't have enough pictures to tell a decent moped story. At any rate, I'm uploading these lose pictures and I'll do the best I can. Use your imagination!

I replaced the wheel bearings in my Motobecane 6 star mags, they were quite shot and due to poor (non existent) spacers, there was quite a bit of metal flakes running around in those bearings, contributing to their desire to stay still rather than roll. After punching the old bearings out and hammering the new ones in, a few washers for good spacing and they were spinning quite nicely. So nicely that I felt compelled to let the front wheel grab my finger and smash it as I watched the wheel spin so quickly.

I also got some diodes from Naz to keep my tail light blowing problems to a minimum. My wife's mostly stock bike was really cranking out too much juice and popping bulbs, so I did hers first, 3 diodes dropped it by about a volt, which is enough, she hasn't popped any yet. I also put them in my tail light that I legally harassed and threatened Brendan for, although I had to use 5, dropping the current by nearly 2v because 3 didn't do the trick.

I'm thinking about going big on my Magnum, I'm tired of it being slow. By slow, I mean going 35. Seems slow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

3 2 1 Contact!

My problem here is that my coil is ugly, and busy and awkward. I decided to hook myself up with a new internal ignition coil. Here I have a new condenser and points, so I decided to set myself up with a nice fresh ignition for this bad boy. When you install new points, make sure to grease both sides of the pivot pin and also the cam. The internal coil is slick. I've removed my tail lighting coils, since I've been running a battery tail light. I may put the running light coil back in eventually if I decide to run some kind of a moped taillight on here, but for now, simple is good. The Yellow is headlight, and the blue wire screws onto my condenser so I can ground it out as a kill switch. After a little shaving of the spark plug wire to get it to thread into the coil, I put the flywheel back on, set the timing, hooked up my subtle kill switch and now look at the finished product. Nice hot spark and no unsightly mess!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I can't help myself. I purchased a 70cc Alukit for Tomos, and plan on building a budget E50 motor in an apartment. I'm excited about the project, and I should have most everything I need. I'm going to try and hook it all up with my stock Polini intake and a 14bing, but I might end up getting a Dialem intake and sticking a SHA onto it. I'm not sure what exhaust I'm going to use, but I might end up hacking my Estoril again, and finding a higher RPM pipe for the 50cc Parma. Needless to say, I still might have to bum access to a welder from one of my Seattle friends, and this seems more like a project for my down time in school, so not any time soon, but I've ordered the kit and have the largest joy in my life at the moment, the anticipation of a package.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Sticky Situation!

The first Puch I ever loved was a JCPenny Swinger2. Something about the lines just makes me love them. When I got my hands on a Swinger1, it was like meeting a younger, hotter sister of the Swinger2. Part of the appeal of these mopeds to me are the awesomely 70's name and boldly proclaimed so largely on the side of the tank. When I had the Swinger1 powder coated, that meant I had to say good bye to the decals. Well, I got a hold of a reproduction set and I'm stoked. They look awesome, and I took some pictures of the installation process, since I neglect my moped blog being in School again and also not doing that much moped stuff other than ride.

I had Polini decals on the tank because they match the colors nicely, and to hide a small dent. ;)
I removed them with a razor blade, and this was the sticky mess that was left. To prep the tank for the new decals, one should clean with denatured alcohol. I didn't have any, so I used brake part cleaner, which works just as well on a powder coat finish. It evaporates completely and leaves no residue. It took the goo off the side, and I let it dry while I prepped the decals, by trimming them down to minimum sticky backing, and then lightly applying Windex to the sticky side. That way, you can adjust the decal if it doesn't lay perfect on the first try. I got them lined up, and when satisfied, ran over them with a squeegee. Then all I had to do was wait about an hour for the windex to completely dry, and then I was able to pull the backing off gently. No problems, although one P in Penny did come off on the backing, but I was able to place it directly on the tank without it looking bad.

The finished product.
I may or may not throw another set of Polini decals on under the inger1 part of the decals, but feel free to voice an opinion on if I should or not.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Mopeds in the back of my truck
  • Puch Magnum MKII - Big 50cc
  • Puch Maxi - 65cc Metra
  • Puch Maxi - Weird 50cc Puch cylinder
  • JC Penny Swinger1 - 64cc Polini
  • Vespa Bravo - 13:13 - To be sold
  • Vespa Bravo - To be sold
Parts in my truck
  • Puch Snowflakes
  • Racks, bars, rails and pedals
  • 3 e50 cases
  • 1 and 3/4 e50 internals
  • 5 or so puch cylinders and some pistons
  • A few small carbs
  • Ninja G3 for motobecane
  • Ported AV7 with Vairoplus and 15:15
I spent half the day packing my truck and cleaning my garage out. I am leaving about 2/3 of my tools in storage. Some day I'll have a garage again. For now, let us drive this giant rig across the country for the love of mopeds.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pacific Time

So I've been in Seattle all weekend, and I've seen mopeds riding around and I am just wishing I had my bikes to be ripping around on at the time. I missed Blood Drive :( I didn't get a chance to head out to the mars bar tonight. Worst of all, I still don't have a place to live! So I'm leaving my wife in town while I go back to Nebraska to pack all my mopeds up and hopefully we will have a place to live by then so I can head back out. At any rate, let me know if you guys seen anything in the Ballard area that I should check out. I'm be ripping it up in the Emerald City before too long!


A place has been leased. Living on Nickerson a block or two from the Ballard bridge. I'll be at the Mars Bar monday on my own ped! Hooray!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mama Mio!

On my to-do list this summer was mount my GPS onto my maxi. Nate Bandit had a similar GPS unit to this one mounted on his hobbit, and I quickly fell in love with the idea and bought my own. I'm not innovative, what can I say. All sorts of ideas went into my head of how to mount it and were, and none of the ideas were any good, because I wanted to retain the factory dash mount because it is nice for the wife and myself to take in car trips. So that meant no grinding or cutting the original plastic parts. Then today as I realized it was my last day to do something about it other than dream, the idea came to me at lunch and I came home and knocked this thing out in literally 5 minutes. The original GPS mount with suction cup has two points of articulation, one side to side, and one up and down, both adjustable by thumb screw. I removed the thumb screw from the horizontal joint, and when you rotate it all the way to the side, makes a very nice straight up and down hole were the thumb screw had been. So I drilled and tapped the handle bar clamp and ran a screw right into the clamp. The GPS can clip into and out of the bracket easily, and the bracket can remain on the bike when not in use, but can come out with one screw if we need to use the GPS with the windshield mount in the car. It runs off internal lithium batteries, and lasts about 4 hours of solid use with the backlight. With the light off it last much longer, and charges from USB. I can do bike routes, non-highway routes, points of interest like gas stations and food, it gives me distance, ETA and speed as well. I love this thing, it is useful, but more importantly, a cool gadget.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Make Trails

I'm once again packing my garage. A box of cylinders, a box of engine cases, a whole box full of nuts, bolts and washers, plus all my tools. I have moped tools, car tools, saws, grinders, plumbing stuff and who knows what. I don't think I have room to bring everything to Seattle, and I've been thinking about what I'm going to do, since it's more than likely I won't have a garage. I had been thinking of buying an old full size van once I arrived in Seattle to keep tools and peds in, but then I ended up with a better solution. I have an enclosed trailer now, and I'm pretty stoked. Got it used, and in decent condition. It has a workbench in it and 12vDC lights, I think I will wire it for 120v AC as well so I can run my power tools in it. There will be room for my toolchest, welder (yay!), vice, bench grinder and air compressor, in addition to secure moped storage for the bikes I'm not riding at the moment. It is pretty good size, but I think it will fit in a full sized car parking space, and could be moved by hand with two guys. So now I have quite a few more options when it comes to looking for a place to rent. Basically any off-street parking or decent flat parking space ought to hold my trailer and provide me with a rent free place to work. So I'll be towing this bad boy with me through the mountains when I make the move next week, and then after I empty all my household junk out of it, turning it into a mobile moped workspace.

I also finished mounting the fenders on the Swinger1 today, they look pretty good. The seat I think could stand to come down a little lower, now that I look at it with fenders on. I will try to mail them off to Motion Left Mopeds to get powder coated on Monday and get them put on before I start riding that bike around Ballard. I'm excited to ride in packs again, I miss having a swarm of mopeds to take over the street with. What a great feeling!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aw nuts!

I picked up some 10mm x1.0 nuts on the cheap at the local Carquest, and they fit the motobecane axles nicely on my Puch. So I made some spacers and put a nut on the inside and outside of the swing arm, hopefully avoiding the whole wheel falling off thing. I only had one tensioner, so I made another out of an old cylinder stud and a washer. It's kind of ugly, but works pretty well. I think I'll just use it as is, it gives character to the bike. That's Bandit style right there.

As I was riding home on the wheel less trip, I naturally heard a lot of metal on metal noise, and it didn't all go away. I assumed it was coming from my clutch, so I took it all open and inspected it, nothing wonky there. I found that my flywheel was banging the case and wasn't snug up enough. I put the impact wrench on it and torqued it down and no problems. Runs really solid right now. I've got the 19mm PHBG on it and I'm running a "mystery" size jet. It was what was in the carb when I got it second hand, it has no markings on it at all, and looks to be somewhere between 75-85 based on the size of the hole. It runs real good, and this is the fastest Metra65 I've ever built (not that it means a whole lot!) so I'm going to continue to put miles on it, hoping for no more problems!

I also helped my friend Jay bore out his 10mm Minarelli intake to 12mm to match his 14:12, and we also acid cleaned his tank while we were doing the intake. His Motron is pulling about 35mmph (moped miles per hour) which means maybe 28-29, but he is ordering a 15:15 and I've got a Bullet pipe to put on there, so we are hoping for a real 35mph. That will be next weekend. Then the weekend after that, Seattle!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I guess it stops!

Here are some pictures I would like to pretend people would be impressed by! Another plain maxi! I got my Dellorto19 put on the 65 Metra with one of those right angle intakes that Treats sells because I wanted to run side covers and didn't feel like having a huge intake sticking out. I replaced the crank with a Rito job and new guts from another bottom end I had, and it seems to be great. The rear clearance problems are gone (for now) and the tire misses the swing arm by nearly 1 cm on each side! The chain is tensioned, I replaced the front brake pads with new ones, and so I can even slow down! The old shoes were so worn out the cable was extended as far as it goes top and bottom, with no brake pull. I had to go the other way completely with the new shoes, so I have more than all my adjustment, because I had to drop the top adjusting nut so I could get the cable stop into the brake arm. It seems to be a little rich in the low end but just about right up top, so I'm happy with that.

Still left to do

  • Lower the seat
  • Rear set pegs
  • Remove switches? I like a clean look, but I want a brake light too, so I have to leave those wires
  • Ride at least another tank of gas to see if it wants to give me any trouble.
  • Bend my left crank arm out a bit more
Alright, this one is almost put to bed. I need to do a bit more work on my Swinger1 to get it Seattle ready.

I am also going to be in town the weekend of Blood Drive house hunting, so no rallying for me, sadly, but I will at least show up at the shop on Friday night and say Hello, and if someone can find a loaner for me, I'd love to ride along on Moped Monday.

took the bike for a ride and the axle nuts fell off both sides of the back wheel. I guess they weren't quite snug, huh? I can't believe it didn't come apart and kill me! Now I need a new motobecane axle nut. I hope it isn't a super rare thread like Puch wheels.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Boy oh boy

Since I'm finished with the Green Maxi, I've turned my attention back to the Maxi Taxi and I'm having some troubles. I swapped out the spoke rims for Moby mags, but I can't seem to get the brakes to work. I need a new cable for the front because the adjuster is broken, but I also need to replace the shoes in my brake plate with new ones. I had heard that Leleu brake plates swap in, and they do, but they don't quite seem to engage the brakes, so it could be that my shoes are very worn (and they are) and the cables are very stretched (also true) so I've got a few more hurdles to go there including making sure everything lines up nicely. I haven't been able to quite get the spacers right for the rear wheel, and it could be that my 2.25 gazelle is too wide for a maxi swing arm, but it just barely clears. I have one of those lame chrome box arms, but I don't want to use it because it is so ugly, but I will if I have to, I suppose.

Not only have the wheels been acting up, but my engine is very tight and almost locked up. I can feel something binding, and it isn't the piston. I'm pretty sure the crank or some other internals not meshing. It has a stock puch roller crank, and I love those very much, but I think it's a bit wonky. At any rate, I have to drop the motor and open it up to take a look. I tried to piece together an e50 with left over parts I had, and that was a bad idea I think. I've got an E50 bottom end that I haven't touched, so I think I might just drop some cash on a DMP or Top crank and start over with that bottom end in the matched case I have all my guts in now. I'm hoping to have this as my daily commute machine in Seattle. It's got a Metra65 on it with a 19mm PHBG and Boss pipe, and I will be running side covers so I feel that I ought to do okay in the rain. It's been a while since I've dealt with the frustrating parts of moped building, my last few bikes have gone pretty painlessly. I'm spoiled I guess.

I also have my second Bravo to attend to. I've got a weak spark, but it won't pop with fuel in the cylinder, so I think it must need a good electrical overhaul. Sadly, you have to drop the engine to do this, unless someone can give me another method, that is what I'm going to have to do. I might just sell my second Bravo in Seattle for cheap, someone might want it, and it could be fixed and be a decent loaner, or donate its variator and nice forks to a ciao project.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A 1978 Pooch Maxi!

The car show was today, and I entered the Green Maxi. The registration table wanted to put my moped in "Special Interest" when I filled out my form, but I asked to be in Foreign Motorcycle class because I wanted to compete with other cycles, not just low rider bicycles and wagons. I was approached by at least 2 dozen people while I was cleaning it and told them all more information than they wanted to hear about the bike, and in 100% of each and every conversation the phrase "...with $4 dollar a gallon gas..." was said by the other party, including several times by one fellow. I hate hearing that. At any rate, the judges were quite impressed with my bike, they didn't think it was a 78, they thought it was an 08 until I pointed it out on the Vin tag. I took first place :) Very satisfied. Take that!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Maxi Taxi 2.0

I've finished the green bike, as you saw earlier, and now I'm putting my attention back to my Yellow Maxi. I cracked the case and swapped out the stock crank for a Puch Roller crank from an 86 maxi. As I was sealing the case back up, I noticed that the threads on the clutch side of the crank were slightly damaged and the nut wouldn't thread properly. For once in my life I did the right thing and didn't try to force it on, only making it worse. Instead, I found and ordered an odd Die size 10mm x 1.0 and it arrived today, with which I straighted the threads after about 10 minutes of work. So the engine should be solid by tonight, but I am waiting on a shim for my PHBG. I was tired of 15bing on my Metra, so I bought an intake from TreatsHQ (no relation) and now I need to replace a shot plastic intake bushing that was on the 19 PHBG that I salvaged off a scooter. It is on the way from Seattle mopeds, so that will be the final piece in this puzzle, I hope. I converted my Motobecane mags to the bike, and I think it has a very Euro look to it. I like it, but I think I will drop the long seat a bit like I did with the Red Maxi. I do want to leave room so I can still run my saddle bags, as I intend this to be my daily rider in Seattle.

Oh yeah, I got some good pedals for the bike too, I need to swap those on.

I'm also going to be working on my GPS mount, and I'd like it to be swappable between my bikes if easy, so a little bit of a puzzler there.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I had my friend Ryan take some pictures of my peds with a nice camera. Here are a few of my favorites. I also fixed the horn on the green maxi so it doesn't honk constantly.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spoke too soon

I had been trying to true up the rear wheel on my polished rims and I was not having any luck, I kept finding dead spokes, and as I would tighten them I would break the nipple's threads, so I realized that of course, I had all of them way too tight. I took them all lose and started over only to discover that I had cracked the rim. Wow. So I took it off, and replaced it with another that I had sitting around. I spent a good amount of time to today messing with the wheel, but I got it together and as true as I could ever make it, and promptly took the bike on a 30 mile ride. It runs great, that number 11 cylinder and single ring piston make for about 34mph with good acceleration. I'm quite pleased with this bike, and I'm willing to bet I can get a trophy for this at the car show. Thus ends the majority of the work on this bike, (I need to rewire the switch to fix the horn, waiting on a chrome boss pipe) and I've begun giving the Maxi Taxi a redo. V2.0 on it's way.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Puch #11

A stock 3 shoe clutch, but a bushing crank, and a single ring piston in a #11 High Torque cylinder. Odd?

Sunday, June 22, 2008


You might remember a few posts ago when I said I picked up a Bravo. Well, I have it, and haven't done anything with it, and wouldn't you know it, I soon found another one, so I just had to get it. It's been so long since I've had twinsies that I just needed to. So I'm back up to 7 mopeds after moving with only 4 and 1/2. :) I don't plan on keeping them, but bringing them to Seattle and letting them go. Although, I was looking at some of Benji's goodies for Vespa, and that 64cc kit seems to look pretty tempting, I do like the lines of a Bravo, and you just can't be a variator, so who knows. I'm sure I'll sell one, but I might have to keep the second one and kit it. It has 288 miles on it, and is in very very good shape. It's missing the left rear cover and the tool kit, but other than that, seems very complete. When I was in Seattle visiting, someone had a really nice red Bravo (I think, I'm not too learned on Vespa yet) and it was quick and had about half a dozen mirrors or so. It makes me want a nice quick little vespa, even though I do have the Maxi Taxi (which is undergoing some revisions shortly, as soon as I finish up the Green maxi). How many Puch's does a guy need, anyway? And since I've moved back home for the summer, one of my old high school friends (who has a nice two stroke RD400 that he has put a lot of work into) said to me "My cousin has a moped, I'll bet he would give it to me." He said he picked it up and it wouldn't start, that it had been setting for about 10 years, so I gave him a little Italian moped advice about wiring, and he came rolling up to my shop today on it. He says "How big of a cylinder can we put on here?" which was music to my ears. Looks like it's time for a fast Motron!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Passing Time

"What has this guy been doing" you ask? Why, he has been spending 5 minutes per spoke polishing his wheels. There isn't too much to do in Nebraska where I live at the moment. 36 spokes x 5 min per spoke x 2 wheels = way too much time, but the end result is I have a nice set of wheels! I've also learned how to true a wheel decently, and while I had them apart, decided to repack the bearings anyway. My wheels for my current project are nearly finished. Then it's time for the wiring harness, and then, rebuild that engine!
Oh, you know what else takes up time? Cutting the tits off of Michelin Gazelles. Only about 13 minutes per tire. It's all in the details, I guess. I want to win at the car show on July 12th. I think I have a chance, the bike is turning out very well.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Opie Machine

It's story time. When I bought my first Puch on ebay for $150 buy it now, I called the guy for directions and asked if he had any other mopeds. He said he had a few here and there, so I told him to find them and I would buy them all. I arrived to find my Brown & Gold Magnum MKII. I drove home with 3 peds for $400, and I was very excited about the Magnum. I fixed it, and rode it around quite a bit, but then I was in need of some money, so I sold it to my friend Opie for a small profit (having no idea what a UPS magnum is worth to some people, being I was a moped newbie). After many rides together, and about a year and a half of missing my Magnum, Opie says "hey, my chain came off" so I went to look and he had lost all his rear sprocket bolts, and stripped the threads. So I made my move, and offered to trade him a red XK, fixed up with a go-fast motor and help him paint it, and we traded back, and this is the result of his and my work. Way to go, Opie!