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.