Thursday, January 31, 2008


I took some pictures of these just to make myself feel better. The M1 is really dirty, but is cleaning up with just a push of steel wool. M48 is complete with carb and going on the HS50. The V1 and M1 both have no homes yet, but they will stay with me for a while, I do believe.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Strangely enough

Not much going on in moped land right now, I spent yesterday traveling, delivering and buying mopeds and parts. I have another 77 Newport, but I think this one is going to become the parts Newport. It would just need too much to put together. I bought it for the perfect clean wheels and the engine, and the forks turned out to be good, which is nice, but the rest is super rough. I guess I have another seat to practice recovering, but pretty much everything else looks kind of nasty.

The last two years I had a job working at a steel company, and I made big bucks, which was really a shame, because I spent a large amount of that money on moped goodies, but now that I'm not working there anymore, I can't spend hundreds of dollars on goodies each month. I have to pick and chose what I want. I think I want to try a build a fast 50cc bike. I've built 3 Polini engines, and I don't know why, I can't ride all of them at once, but I just had the money so I spent it. So I just sold one today, and I've been selling off some of my performance parts that I haven't got around to. I think I have weeded my personal bikes down to 5. A Maxi, Magnum, Swinger1, Motobecane 40 and 50. Kind of strange. The Magnum and 50 are mostly stock, but I think the Magnum is a good candidate for a 50cc engine.

To mourn the loss of my engine, I am playing a blues play list on Pandora.

The maxi will run soon, I need a new petcock for it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I've said it before, nothing quite like new hardware. Considering I have 4 more E50's sitting in my room awaiting rebuilds, I decided to spring for the boxes of new hardware instead of buying them piece by piece. So I replaced all those oh so hard to remove screws from the case with everyones favorite "CAP SCREWS!" hooray! I got two boxes of 100, one of the shorter ones, and one of the longer cap screws. I will have plenty of the long ones left when all is said and done, but it doesn't bug me considering the cap screws were about $.60 per piece, but when bought in a box of 100, they cost about $.22! Wow, what a savings! It contributes to my fantasy to some day have a home and a garage that I can set up how I like, and have it stocked with cases of NGK plugs, a nice little rack with drawers of new hardware, a shelf of Type F, 30W Non-detergent, a shelf of SKF and FAGs and everything that makes a mopeder's heart leap for joy like mine does at the sight of such items.

At any rate, the Maxi is coming along nicely, I finished the wiring harness today, chosing to exclude the brake light, opting to wire both bulbs constant on, omitting the headlight switch and removing the horn, although I did leave the speedometer light involved. I may rewire the horn in at a later date, but I hate wires on the handles, so the horn switch might sit next to the kill switch in the headlight. I polished the engine some more, and it looks pretty good, although there are still some scratches in it. Easily 238% better than when I started though. The new forks are being coated, but for the time being, these blue forks remind me of superman, and they are kind of growing on me. I ought to put the chains, cables and carb on tomorrow or the next day, and then take her for a spin. Oh, the Silver Fender doesn't go on these full rigid forks, so I guess we will just have to wait and see if it was a good color choice or not!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sitting Pretty

In spite of the beautiful seat I had upholstered recently, I still want to be able to upholster my own seats and what not. My wife-to-be does not sew, and that is fine with me. She wants to know how, but that is about as far as it goes. Fine by me, I've always helped my mother sew when I was a little lad, and I even made a sweet blanket once in Home Economics class. I got a Singer sewing machine as a late Christmas present, and so I put it to good use. I knocked out a new seat cover for my Maxisport seat, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Thats less than $4 worth of vinyl, and it looks and feels pretty good, although I can see a few spots I'm not happy with, it is much better than before, and I am very pleased with myself. Just waiting for the glue to dry now.

Still waiting on bearings in the mail. I used to get them through my old job at a steel company, the maintainence manager would order them in for me uber cheap and they would arrive next day, since he was always getting bearings for the slitters and roll to roll machines. Now I'm ordering them from some new place on line, and I was hoping they would come today. No luck, perhaps tomorrow. I've got 3 E50's sitting out all cleaned and ready to have the new bearings and seals put on and then reassembled.

Here is a picture of a moped, done in MS Paint by my MS Paint loving friend, and QT50 riding pal, Adam DeBolt.
I wish I were coming to the Latebird rally. I need to rally bad! I'm going through withdraw.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Double Hamburgers!

As Dane and I assembled his HS50 tonight we found the upper threads of the fork to be stripped. : ( What bad luck with forks on this last batch of bikes. 2 out of 3 bikes need new forks! I think this one is salvageable, however. I think we will cut the head tube off the maxi forks and then cut the head tube off the HS50 forks and weld the maxi tube in at the correct length. A red tube, but no one can see it. Just for fun, here is a picture of Dane's Pinto. I prefer Swingers myself.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Defying the Laws of Gravity

I wanted to see what kind of difference there was between stock "blue" springs and Paz's party poppers or what ever they may be called. So, I pulled out a stock 3 shoe clutch I had laying around, only to realize that it had been bent by the previous owner. I knew the engine was in rough shape, but I think it had something to do with one of the two holes for pulling the clutch being stripped. It looks like they stripped one hole, and tried to just pull it with one hole, bending the base plate. I had to re-tap the clutch hole and then I was able to pull it out, but found it was bent. So using the math formula B/V+H= Good enough, where B is Bent Clutch, V is Large Vice, and H = 5lb hammer, you can see how this works well.
And it did work well, much to my enjoyment! Always have to feel good when something finally goes the way you plan for once. I then shaved down the clutch arms down about 2oz of material just to get them to an even weight. I wasn't really going for a whole lot of weight reduction, just trying to even them all up. I put in the orange springs, but I have yet to test them with a bathroom scale to see what type of resistance I can get out of them. They feel a little bit softer than the stock blue springs, but I don't believe that to be true. I think it has more to do with the amount of turns, being that the blue springs are a touch longer than the orange boys.

Here is a picture of Dane, reassembling his HS50. What a pro! This guy put every screw, washer and grommet in a ziplock bag and labeled them all! That was my suggestion, but still, I never do that cause I'm too lazy! His reassembly is going well, he is replacing the front lower forks with Puch maxi lowers to drop the front of the bike down just a smidgen.

My poor moby sits in the corner, neglected, while I work on the Maxi. Sorry, Moby! I'll give you attention before spring, I promise!

I wont be attending the Latebirds rally, :( mega frown, I had hoped to fly out and ship a ped, but I realized not only is this uber expensive, but I am attending a moped / scooter / atv dealers convention in Indianapolis that weekend. A moped trade show! Tomos, Kymco, and a whole other slew of vendors, including all those cheap Chinese junk things. Everett is going to introduce me to all his vendors so that if I take over his business I'll have met these guys face to face. I'm excited for that, at least!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Late Christmas Present

My parents came to town to visit and brought me my Christmas present. What a beauty, a stainless steel tool chest. I am excited to use this cart, because it rolls real nice and easy. I want to organize my tools, moving them from my old chest to my new one. The old one was fine, but this new one is super cool and full of promise, but what I like is the flat top that is perfect height to work on things, and the E50 motors I love so much fit nicely on the top.
Also, just a shot of my new decals from Reproduction Decals, they look great. Even includes a "Do not use Unleaded Gasoline" sticker, which I won't be using much to the confusion of people wanting to put kerosene in it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I realized the suspension was not operating on my front right fork. I took a closer peek, and the triple tree was bent. : ( Big sadness. I tried to straighten it out in my vice which is bolted to a bench, but all I could do was tip the bench. I was impressed at how well the powder coat didn't chip, but I couldn't bend them straight. So I put the forks into the receiver hitch on my van, knowing that I couldn't possibly move it. I pulled with all my might, and bent the forks a wee bit straighter, but I couldn't get them all the way straight, and unfortunately the opening ended up getting kinked from the bending. So, I'm screwed there. I need a new set of forks, and then I have to get them powder coated to match. : ( I thought about going with a set of EBR's, but they won't fit my fender, and I don't think all the chrome up front would look good.
Anyone have some extra forks they can part with?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Saddle up!

I got a call today telling me my saddle was done. I went down and I couldn't be more pleased with it, it has turned out super nice. I've never had anything done like this before, but it is awesome, it looks great. I paid $35 for it, a price worth it! That included new foam and the material. I am going to have this old timer do this for a few more seats. I think the trick here is to find the oldest guys to do this stuff for you, because Joe Davis (this upholstery guy) has been doing seats for 60 years, he says, and it looks good.

Bracket Mods

I've never liked the ride height of the oh-so-popular Puch long seats. They just look too high, bolted on to the rack. So, I decided to drop my long seat. I cut the old welds with a recipricating saw and then broke it off, then cut a few inches out, leaving a height of 1 3/4 inches, which I determined to be the highest that looked good. I welded the bracket on to the seat about a 1/2 inch farther forward so that it would line up with the fender holes for the stock rack. I then drilled new holes, and notched the bracket so it would sit across the seam on the fender. I was afraid the notch was going to weaken the bracket, but it is nice and firm, no reinforcement necessary. I set the seat on fire just a little, but it just smelled bad for a bit, that glue must be toxic or something. Good thing my lungs are used to toxic smoke. Bolts right up and sits nice and firm. All and all, I like how it looks, compare it to the picture from the previous post to check the height yourself.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Big Red

Well, this moped is coming together pretty well. I cleaned the engine today, and it looks pretty decent. I used a Brillo pad and degreaser to clean the cylinder fins, it fit inside nice and snug and did a decent job. I'm going to polish the clutch cover tomorrow, I've never tried that before, I hope it turns out okay. The chrome polished up pretty good.

I'm going to chop and re-weld the rear seat bracket so it sits lower and lines up with the rear rack mount holes, so I can go without a rear rack. It look a little more like a fire truck than I anticipated, but the look always changes when the decals get put on. Which should be in sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hardware

I've always wanted to replace every nut and bolt on a moped with new, but it was too impractical, to take apart a moped for no reason that was working, and new hardware wasn't going to instantly make it nice. Since I already had this one apart, I took it upon myself to take every nut and bolt down to my local hardware store and pick up all new ones. If I do this again, I will not buy the engine mount bolts for 2 reasons.
  1. They are covered by the side covers
  2. They cost nearly 4$ once you have the nut to go with them.

Other than that, all the new hardware worth while price on a moped that should be as nice as this when done. I forgot to get my lower shock hardware and the upper shock "bullet" style nuts, I'll get them tomorrow, but the hardware store did not have any M7 x 1.0 hex cap screws, which means I have to use my old handlebar screws, or else tap the holes bigger, which I might consider.

Maxi, Swinger1, HS50

I got back from Elkhart last night, and I was very excited for two reasons. My moped frames were finished, and my finance just got back from Peru. So, I spent the evening with her, neglecting this blog update. Not too much to update though, just putting up pictures and going to blab for a little bit before I go outside to work.

The Swinger1 turned out the nicest of all the bikes. The blue color on it is darker and has more gloss to it than the pictures would make you believe. For some reason, it vaguely reminds me of children's playground equipment. I love the color, but once those fenders are put in there, it really looks great. The pearl white was a good choice. I may have trouble with the rear fender. I did not have a rear fender from a Swinger1, but a Swinger2, which mounts differently. So I'll see if I can't get it to mount up and look good, or else I might have to beg someone (freebird) for his rigid rear fender if he isn't using it. I need to get the Swinger1 decals reproduced, but it will be difficult, seeing that most vinyl shops around here aren't interested in my moped projects, and I have no good scans of any NOS originals. Can anyone recommend an online store that might make some simple Swinger1 text?

The red frame is what used to be the Newport from my first post. I replaced the top of the triple tree with a newer model that doesn't use the stem style handlebars. I don't care for the stem style, it isn't the look I'm going for. I'm going to put this bike back together first, as I want to see this one complete and ready to ride or sell. I'm trying to fix up extra bikes to pay for my other mopeds, and this is one I had planned on selling. It just depends on how nice it is in the end, I suppose. The front fender on this bike has a few tiny fish eyes on it, little coating flaws. I can live with them, they are not noticeable, and I'm not a perfectionist, so that works out just fine for me. The red is so bright that it catches your eye way before the flaw. I need to polish the E50 before I put it back on this bike, but I've never tried to do that, so again, any recommendations on a polish would be nice.

This is my friend Dane's HS50. It looks great, no flaws on this bike, the black is amazing. I'm trying to convince him to buy a NOS M48 30mph engine I have for this bike instead of tossing on his junky old crap M48, and I think that he will go for it. After all, this is going to be the nicest bike he has, and his old M48 needs a new piston, rings and cylinder, plus most likely bearings and seals, not to mention electrical. Hope to see him put this one together soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

MKII and the Muratic Acid Adventure

Possibly the most beautiful moped Puch ever made, the Brown and Gold MKII Magnum.

This particular model was the 2nd moped I ever purchased, I bought it in a lot of 3 mopeds, including a Columbia Commuter with a Sachs engine, and a 1980 Puch Maxi 2hp. I'm glad to still have it, but one of the few things that was wrong with it when I got it was the tank was rusty. I've used just about every method of tank cleaning known to cheap man. I've tried Vinegar, Coke, and other rinses, but I decided to give a real acid a chance. I bought a jug of muratic acid at Lowes and started my process.
I took the tank off the bike, and drained it. The petcock was so plugged with rust that the reserve didn't work at all, and the on was just a trickle. I rinsed out as much rust as I could with water, plugged the petcock with a rubber stopped, and it was time for the magic. Muratic acid is some nasty stuff, and it sure made the building reek. The fumes were super strong even in a giant shop, so I opened some vents, and left the building. I let the acid sit for 40 minutes and then came back. The tank still looked a bit rusty, but when I drained the acid, any trace of rust left with it. I then corked the tank again and filled it with baking soda and water. I hoped that would neutralize the acid. I shook it all around and got the whole tank coated. I then just put the whole deal in the sink and let water run through it for another 5 minutes. I didn't have any denatured alcohol, so I just sloshed some WD40 around inside, hopefully removing all the water, and then rinsed it with straight gas, followed by a quart of heavy weight oil, to hopefully coat the tank a bit. Finally, after draining the oil and rinsing with gas again, I declared it all clear, and put it all back together. The tank looks very clean, not brand new, but there is no rust at all.

To finish off this project, of course, I was only greeted by more problems, as the luck of my moped adventures usually go. The bike stalled out on the way home, felt like it was running out of gas. I cleaned the carb, assuming a little more rust had found its way past my inline filter, but it was clean. I wondered if the float was sticking, so I put on a new 15mm bing I had sitting around, and it ran with the same problem. It would rev out on the stand, but if the throttle was held open too far, after a few seconds it would stall out from lack of fuel. When I try to drive it, it stalls out at anything more than 1/4 throttle, and if I keep the choke on, I can get it up to about 20mph, but that's it. I'm running a 14mm intake on a ZA50, with a Boss exhaust. I've got a 66 jet in it. Shouldn't be too lean, considering when was all stock with 12mm intake and stock exhaust I was running a 52. It doesn't feel like too rich, so I'm confused. My main guess is that the fuel is contaminated, perhaps some water left over, or condensation from going cold again after being in the shop. I tanked it all the way up, naturally, after cleaning the tank, so I have to drain all that gas and dispose it, I suppose. What a waste. What I need is a small fuel tank that has a fuel valve that I could just put some known good fuel in and hook it up to the carb, so I don't have to waste all my gas, if that is not the problem. Does anyone have a small troubleshooting tank like I've described?

Oh, and for those of you bored with these bikes, I'm getting 3 wonderful frames back from the powder coaters on Tuesday. A Maxi, a Swinger1 and an HS50. Pictures to follow!

Oh, PS, I like comments, even if we have never met, or it is irrelevant to what has been posted. If you find this blog informative or amusing, please comment!