Saturday, January 31, 2009

Magnum X3

I got my fairing painted up, as you could tell by the lats post and mounted it. I trimmed the wind screen with a bit of gold which helps it blend with the bike a little better. I don't think you can get a perfect match for the brown gloss metal flake of Puch, but it's pretty close and I think it looks quite rad. It really looks good with a Monza dash, and I love having two needles to watch move around, even though they are both quite pointless. Shay - I guess you can be the judge if it's worth it or not for a fairing, it's all asthetics and it fits well with the look I'm going for, but they do break quite easily, the first time you lay it down it will bust, so caution there.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apartment Living

So I don't have a garage anymore that I can set up a paint booth in, and it's too cold to paint outside (for the paints sake, not for mine!) so where does an apartment dweller paint? The perfect solution! Bathrooms make good paint booths for these reasons
  • Well ventilated, exhaust fan blows the smell out
  • Enclosed area keeps the fumes from spreading around the whole house
  • Well lit - Most modern bathrooms have nice heat lamps making it easy to see and help the paint cure
  • The bathtub is an easy place to mask off and any over spray dust will wash away
  • The shower curtain rod makes a great and easy place to hang parts between coats
So I'm shooting my magnum fairing at the moment, and it's turning out quite well. It's as close to stock brown as I can easily get and I'm going to trim it out with a matching gold paint. We will see how it looks, pictures soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So this guy got me a hook up on some of those fancy "new" "Leovinci" pipes that came in a Technigas bag. They apparently came from the same European source that Treats got them from, mintues before Benji called and ordered the rest of them. So I've got it installed on my Hobbit. It used to go 27mph, now it spins out to about 35 and accelerates like crazy. Unbeliveable that a pipe makes such a difference on a bike, such a popular bike at that, and manufactureres just wouldn't make them anymore. It mounts up very nicely, the welds look solid. I also went ahead and put in some Boysen reeds for stock cylinders and went on a belt finding mission tonight, I came very close to finding one exactly the same size, but ended up with one 1mm smaller. It seems to work fine so far, it fits and the bike starts much better than with my old stretched out belt. It is a Goodyear 17425 also called 13AV1080. I'm curious how long it will last. What are other hobbit owners using? The next mod to this bike will be opening up the variator just a tick, notching it for a little extra speed and perhaps jumping down a few g's on the weights. My reservation is to keep the bike at +80mpg, so I think I'll start keeping track for the next week or so and find out what I'm getting.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The maxi-taxi had a short stop the other day and played tag with another moped and went for a slide. Luckily the riders involved were okay, and the bikes came out relatively fine. The maxi, since it decided to do the snowplowing got it's front forks bent in, but after we removed the front fender for spark plug boot clearance, we were rolling again. I attempted to straiten the forks out today, and ended up making it worse (which is usually the case). I tried using ratchet straps to gently pull them into place, but that was no good. I strapped the bike down and then used a puch baffle for a cheater and bent the outer fork, which worked well, but the inner forks are still totally kinked. So I tried to get the forks all the way straight and ended up really tweaking the center plate of the triple tree, so I just decided I would go for a new set of forks. Luckily, Brad was nice enough to hook me up with a stock set of maxi forks on the cheap. So I need to pull them apart and mail them off to powdercoat by my favorite moped shop in the whole world, Motion Left Mopeds. I'm kind of tired of the Maxi-Taxi, and I'm curious if I should maybe just part it out, I think she's worth as much dead as alive. I could get a few hundred for the motor and some change for the wheels and frame, so who knows. I'm getting a Circuit pipe for my Hobbit, it should arrive any day. I want to go 80 on my Magnum, but I'm a little on the broke side right now, so that needs to wait until I sell my Vespa. All in all, it's kind of nice to have moped work to do again, as long as I have a running bike to ride in the meantime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hobbit !

So this is my first time cleaning a hobbit carb, and i found it to be not too difficult. I chose the method of removing the engine mount bolt and then raising the front wheel. This worked quite well and was very stable since the kickstand was still solidly planted. It isn't too bad at all. The carb was a little dirty, but also full of all kinds of tiny holes that are begging to be clogged and were.
A little bit of carb cleaner and some tiny wire later, it was all clean. Even with the broken throttle kill switch, I had nice blue spark, so I pedaled over to the gas station and dropped in nearly a gallon of gas in the tank. The tank doesn't hold a gallon, as you hobbit owners may know and I made a nice mess at the gas station. It fired right up and after adjusting the cable on the carb to idle correctly, it behaved quite nicely. The bike has crazy torque for a stock bike and winds out to about 28mph, which I assume is about right. I didn't notice if it had points or CDI, but there is a small CDI looking box so I'm curious. Maybe I'll pull the flywheel cover, or maybe someone more knowledgeable can tell me. I've also been fortunate enough to get one of those out-of-production Proma Circuit pipes in the mail on its way to the USA. I'm thinking pipe, upgraded reeds, and notch and lighten the variator and call it good for now. I'm going for 38mph with good acceleration and 80 mpg. I love this Hobbit, it reminds me a lot of my first 50cc, a yellow Honda Express.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Vdo Drehzahlmesser

Just a few things right quick. I got to use Naz's welder and removed the restrictor plate from my Estoril, and welded a new rear hanger bracket, since the last one broke, thanks to light gauge steel and rough Seattle streets. No pictures, however, of that. The restrictor came out with a medium amount of effort, some cutting disks and chisling. I need to repack the baffle, all my stuffing was destroyed and rotten. Anyway, I finally after 2 months of waiting received my Monza Cockpit from Germany, complete with 80kph speedo and tachometer. Not to be confusing, "Tacho" is the german word for Speedometer, and "Drehzhlmesser" means Tachometer. So I've got the tach hooked up and it works pretty well, although I'm not convinced it reads to the top of my RPM's, it seems to hit about 7k rpm and never climb any higher, although that could be about the stock limit for the ZA50, so who knows. I like the KPH, I feel very fast when I look down and see I'm going 58 KPH. So now all I need to do is re-paint the cockpit and my fairing, and once I get those on, I will declare this Magnum the first Brown Limited in existance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sticking it to the man

So you might recall my run in with Johnny Law a few weeks back, where I got two tickets in 6 days on my magnum. My court day was today at 8:45, and since it was raining I decided to take the bus downtown, so I rode, and we kept stopping and letting 20 people get on and off. The bus was supposed to arrive at 8:20, plenty of time for me to walk 5 blocks to the courthouse and get signed in. Well, it arrived at 8:34 after all was said and done, so I bolted off the bus and made a run for the courthouse, in the best guess I had for direction. I ended up finding it at 8:41, getting through security and hustling upstairs to take my seat with 2 minutes to go. After all that running in my coat, I got a nice sweat going and my exercise for the day. The magistrate judge called me into her office, and we sat down, she looked at my file, and asked what I had to say. I opened my bag and handed her a copy of this

RCW 46.04.304
"Moped" means a motorized device designed to travel with not more than three sixteen-inch or larger diameter wheels in contact with the ground, having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, and an electric or a liquid fuel motor with a cylinder displacement not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters which produces no more than two gross brake horsepower (developed by a prime mover, as measured by a brake applied to the driving shaft) that is capable of propelling the device at not more than thirty miles per hour on level ground.

The Washington state patrol may approve of and define as a "moped" a vehicle which fails to meet these specific criteria, but which is essentially similar in performance and application to motorized devices which do meet these specific criteria.

RCW 46.04.330
"Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver rides astride the motor unit or power train and is designed to be steered with a handle bar, but excluding a farm tractor, a power wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, and a moped.

The Washington state patrol may approve of and define as a "motorcycle" a motor vehicle that fails to meet these specific criteria, but that is essentially similar in performance and application to motor vehicles that do meet these specific criteria.
RCW 46.04.332

Motor-driven cycle.
"Motor-driven cycle" means every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor that produces not to exceed five brake horsepower (developed by a prime mover, as measured by a brake applied to the driving shaft). A motor-driven cycle does not include a moped, a power wheelchair, a motorized foot scooter, or an electric personal assistive mobility device.

SMC 11.57.100 Mirrors.

A. No person shall operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle not
equipped with mirrors on the left and right sides of the handlebars
which shall be so located as to give the operator a complete view of
the street or alley for a distance of at least two hundred (200) feet
to the rear of the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.
RCW 46.20.500

RCW 46.16.030
Nonresident exemption — Reciprocity.
Except as is herein provided for foreign businesses, the provisions relative to the licensing of vehicles and display of vehicle license number plates and license registration certificates shall not apply to any vehicles owned by nonresidents of this state if the owner thereof has complied with the law requiring the licensing of vehicles in the names of the owners thereof in force in the state, foreign country, territory or federal district of his or her residence; and the vehicle license number plate showing the initial or abbreviation of the name of such state, foreign country, territory or federal district, is displayed on such vehicle substantially as is provided therefor in this state. The provisions of this section shall be operative as to a vehicle owned by a nonresident of this state only to the extent that under the laws of the state, foreign country, territory or federal district of his or her residence, like exemptions and privileges are granted to vehicles duly licensed under the laws of and owned by residents of this state. If under the laws of such state, foreign country, territory or federal district, vehicles owned by residents of this state, operating upon the highways of such state, foreign country, territory or federal district, are required to pay the license fee and carry the vehicle license number plates of such state, foreign country, territory or federal district, the vehicles owned by residents of such state, foreign country, territory or federal district, and operating upon the highways of this state, shall comply with the provisions of this state relating to the licensing of vehicles. Foreign businesses owning, maintaining, or operating places of business in this state and using vehicles in connection with such places of business, shall comply with the provisions relating to the licensing of vehicles insofar as vehicles used in connection with such places of business are concerned. Under provisions of the international registration plan, the nonmotor vehicles of member and nonmember jurisdictions which are properly based and licensed in such jurisdictions are granted reciprocity in this state as provided in *RCW 46.87.070(2). The director is empowered to make and enforce rules and regulations for the licensing of nonresident vehicles upon a reciprocal basis and with respect to any character or class of operation.

RCW 46.16.028
"Resident" defined — Vehicle registration required.
(1) For the purposes of vehicle license registration, a resident is a person who manifests an intent to live or be located in this state on more than a temporary or transient basis. Evidence of residency includes but is not limited to:

(a) Becoming a registered voter in this state; or

(b) Receiving benefits under one of the Washington public assistance programs; or

(c) Declaring that he or she is a resident for the purpose of obtaining a state license or tuition fees at resident rates.

(2) The term "Washington public assistance programs" referred to in subsection (1)(b) of this section includes only public assistance programs for which more than fifty percent of the combined costs of benefits and administration are paid from state funds. Programs which are not included within the term "Washington public assistance programs" pursuant to the above criteria include, but are not limited to the food stamp program under the federal food stamp act of 1964; programs under the child nutrition act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 1771 through 1788; and temporary assistance for needy families.

(3) A resident of the state shall register under chapters 46.12 and 46.16 RCW a vehicle to be operated on the highways of the state. New Washington residents shall be allowed thirty days from the date they become residents as defined in this section to procure Washington registration for their vehicles. This thirty-day period shall not be combined with any other period of reciprocity provided for in this chapter or chapter 46.85 RCW.

So she looks at it, and I say, let me walk you through it. These are the legal definitions according to Washington state for Moped, Motorcycle and Motor-driven cycle. Please note that in the definition of Motorcycle and Motor-driven cycle, they both exclude Mopeds as being classified as either of them. On the next page you will see the law which I was cited for breaking, and I've highlighted where it says what is applicable to the law, being only Motorcycles and Motor-driven cycles, neither of which are mopeds. She looked at me a little puzzled why I would have received this ticket, and asked if I could prove what I was riding was a moped. I handed her my registration that shows vehicle class as "PED". She said, alright, what about the no-license plate? I responded, I am not a citizen of Washington state as defined for vehicle registration, as you will see on the following page, and therefore I'm not required to display a Washington license plate. Here is my Indiana Drivers license. Then she asked if I had my Indiana plate attached, to which I replied, here is the legal definition of a moped in Indiana, which is very similar to Washington, but in Indiana they are not required to be plated, so I was displaying all the required information according to the laws of my state of residence. She read all the information, and said "well, I'm going to clear both tickets this time, but you need to check with the DOL and find out about the reciprocity." I then told her not to worry, since I realize I will continue to be stopped for no plate, I went ahead and registered the bike and plated it in Washington state. She sat back in her desk, and asked me "What are you going to school for again? You aren't by chance studying law are you?" "No Judge, I just like to be prepared and know the law so I can obey it." For those of you keeping score at home, that would be Philip 2, Washington State 0.