Monday, June 29, 2009

Hobbit Broken Stud Removal

My right engine was leaking compression because I didn't torque the cylinder down after opening it up, so I went to torque it and snapped the stud. I was re-using the old ones against Travis' advice, and I had to pay. Luckily, I was able to remove it using a left handed drill bit type of extractor. One side makes a nice little conical hole in the snapped off stud, and then flip the bit around and it's a left handed drill bit that bites the stud and since it's spinning in reverse, gently backs the stud out. I had heli-coil's ready, but I was able to extract this puppy without even messing up the threads. Expect some video of the Trike after tonight's moped monday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Uh oh, somebody had a bad idea and went through with it. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Moto-Matic Adventure!

I'm back from my wonderful visit to MotoMatic Mopeds, and a good time was had by all. These guys have put together a low budget shop that cranks out the most unbelieveable custom bikes and super performance machines. A real winner in the moped scene, making money and having fun all day long, even if they have to sweat it out in the oven of a shop they have. Here you can see the "Mighty" Mike Rafter preparing to painstakingly apply a nice high temp coat of black powder to one of the famous MotoMatic pipes.

In his natural habitat, Tommy works on everyones favorite moped, the Vespa Ciao Puch model. It was difficult and I could only catch glimpses of Nate as his pipe wizzardy usually caused him to be semi-transparent during the pipe forming magic spells he casted.


I also got to meet Alan Squid. What a nice character that guy, with his McDonalds colored fixie bicycles. He even let me powder coat his frame. Sorry if it sucks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some Maxi's and the worlds most difficult tire

Here is a picture of my wife's Maxi and my good old Maxi Taxi. The Taxi has been sold off to finance my new secret project, and most of that is going to buy new inner tubes since I can't seem to install this one Gazelle tire for some reason. I've installed at least 8 of them in my life, and I've never had more trouble than this. None of my tricks work. Windex everywhere, put the tire in the oven and heat it up, half inflated tube, full inflated tube, nothing. I just get to the last 3 or 4 inches or lip to put over the rim and it pinches flat. Oh, it's incredibly frustrating. I've run out of patches now, as you can see I've had to patch this tube at least 5 times. I think it's time for a new tube, but I'm so financially invested in this one with patches I'm torn.

Expect some guest stars in my next blog post! See ya Sacramento!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PA50 II Hobbit Engine Rebuild

Travis was kind enough to sell me a gently used crank for use in my bottom end since mine would require some clever machining to be functional again. I heated my cases, pounded in the bearings, and then put the crank in there and pressed it shut, using the screws to help drive the last bearing fully home. I installed the seals, also making sure that the one seal sits flush while the other sits in 6.5mm per Honda's spec. I would love to be displaying pictures, but the camera hasn't been unpacked from the camping trip yet and I've no idea where it is, so I guess my small words will have to be enough to whet your tongue. The hobbit case re-assembled nicely with new gaskets and studs, new points and a stock variator cheek plate. I may go back to my notched job, but for the time being, I'll be content with non-notched job. I'm awaiting a few more parts in the mail, and then after a few hours of work, I will reveal perhaps the most creative moped I've ever made.

Also, next week, expect some guest appearances on my blog from those fine folks at Motomatic Mopeds. I'll be hanging out with them in Sacramento for a couple days. Woo - hooo!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh No! Honda Hobbit PA50 II Crank Problems!

I pulled my good hobbit apart because it was starting to get reaaaaaaaaly loud down in the bottom end. With the help of ol T-nasty, it came apart nice and simply, and everything was coming up roses. Even managed to heat the cases in the oven without getting caught by my wife. I went to drop on my new bearings, so I froze the crank all night, and this morning I set my bearings in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes at 350. I went to drop on the first one, and it went "clank" and fell right on. Boy, it shouldn't really be that easy, right? Oh, look at all this slop. It appears that the noise I was hearing would have been not a bad bearing, but a spun bearing, turning freely on the crank as the other side carries all the load. I literally made this face this morning out of sincerity rather than staged for the picture. I can't belive the bike ran so well with nearly 1mm of slop on the variator side bearing. So it's new crank time, folks. :( Operation TCT is getting more expensive by the minute. Maybe I'll just unicycle-ped around. I'm off to the real Pacific ocean, which is somehow different than the "Peugeot" sound.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Codename TCT

So I recently aquired Swamp Hobbit, a beautiful low mile gem (603) complete with all plastics and everything. No title, No key, looooooooooooots of spiders. So what's a fellow to do with swamp hobbit? I've got a craaaaaaaaazy idea... Stay tuned for more stupid fun with mopeds. This guy knows whats going on. Also, if you comment on his blog, tell him to tighten up his steering race and put all the ball bearings in.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Maxi Taxi 3.0

The Taxi has had a long life so far. It started out as a spare burgundy Newport frame that I decided to have "powder coated" to see what it would look like. It came back and instantly was so clean my girlfriend at the time claimed it as hers. She had been riding an orange Motobecane 40 with matching saddle bags, which were her favorite, of course. So I had to get some Yellow bags for this guy. It was quite a trooper, a fun machine for her, only running out of gas to leave her stranded. I built her another bike and the Taxi was mine again. It tried out a punk tough look for a while, with a Metra65 and 19 Dellorto, 6 star mags, long seat and fairing, plus new decals. It became a little too "busy" and then Dr. Voltron was kind enough to give a fellow Mosquito Fleet memeber a moped kiss while he was riding it, tweaking the forks and busting the fairing. I decided to get back to roots with the bike, sold the engine and the mags, and put it back closer to how I first built it. It's my plan to turn this bike loose to have a free and long life in the hands of a new owner, to travel the world and come to rest again in a barn, to one day be pulled out, dusted off and kindle a love of mopeds to someone else.

Also, Ian is very much like a pestering girlfriend, who can only think of the next love note you are going to send her even though she just got one yesterday. This guy thinks a blog needs updated as soon as he is finished reading the last post. And we still love him.