Thursday, November 3, 2011

The end of 2011 (as far as mopeds go)

2011 has been an interesting year for mopeds. I left Seattle and my daily moped commuting, and returned to Indiana to find my old friends still wonderful and interesting. The distance has been overcome many times this summer, to Louisville 4 times, Nashville via moped, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit, Goshen 3 times and Seattle for a great weekend. The Brat has been my steadfast transport, racking up about 6,000 moped related miles, carrying a personal best of 6 mopeds at once. My long running blog seems to be dying out as it heads toward the inevitable fate of all moped blogs, but the moped adventures keep happening. The forming of the LafaYetis has been great and exciting, and while our Moped Mondays don't really hold a candle to Mosquito Fleet's, a regularly scheduled moped event is always a good idea and gives you a great way to start your week. I've purchased and sold close to two dozen mopeds this year, bringing my career long total to somewhere in the low one hundreds. I acquired two German imported only bikes at separate occasions, and put over 2,800 miles on my Derbi this summer, riding it at every rally. I fixed a moped for my Grandpa with which he promptly rode my Grandma doubles on. My new garage is a great space in which to work year round, and with the prospect of next years rally goings, the Yetis are starry eyed dreaming at the tales I tell of the glory of Awful Hen. Saturday is BombBourbonRun, a great end to rally season and a chance to see everyone one last time until the next last time a few weeks after that, and so forth and so on until before you know it, somehow it's rally season again in California so off we go for another year. The cycle of cycles.

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. ... And one fine morning ---- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. "

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomos come in twos

My grandpa called me the other day and told me a nice long story about how he found two "Tow Mas" mopeds, and that the guy wanted $35 for the pair. I told him to go pick them up, and he said "I think I can get them for $25". I told him I'd take them regardless, and he said "we'll see." Anyway, he dropped them off yesterday at my place and let me know he did get them for $25 like he though. I've got a 94 Sprint, and an A3 whatever blue bike. Both frames and rolling stock are all in good shape. Both motors are stuck, but I've got the A35 taken apart so far without breaking anything. Cylinder and piston look good, no pits or gouges, it was just stuck from rust, which is confusing, because the motor was sealed up nice and tight. At some point it must have got some water in the spark plug hole, but the plug was in and tight. A bit of rust inside, and some under the coils, but once I removed the flywheel the bottom end turns over nice and smooth, which means to bottom end rebuild for this bad boy. The wrist pin was stuck real good in the piston, so I thought about how to make a puller real quick and pulled the pin right out. I used a spark plug socket and two cap screws. If I had one real long cap screw that would have worked easier, but I used two cap screws and a coupler nut. Then I was able to hold one cap screw in place and then tighten the nut on the other side, drawing the cap screw and the wrist pin with it. It worked quite well, so I set the cap screws aside for future use. I should be able to use this to press pins as well, but they usually go in without too much effort.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Whisky Business 4

A much overdue post. The Lafayettis went to Whisky Business 4, and a good time was had by all. 6 of us convoyed, with the Brat leading the way, followed by an ElCamino and a ford ranger. The destination was awesome. A sweet rocky quarry. Swimming in a quarry is awesome, and I didn't die like my mother was worried about, so everyone should try it. I love moped camping, and even though I could have tossed my gear in the SAG wagon, I thought I'd just load it all up. Then on the way home Sunday, I happened to spot a Dodge Rampage. Nate and I quickly drove his Rabbit and my Brat over to the Rampage and took many pictures, as these are possibly the 3 best trucks ever made. This Rampage happened to have a for sale sign in it, so while waiting for the owner to come having called him, I proceeded to test the truck out. Katelyn of the Bropeds had come along and then she was like "I've always wanted an ElCamino, but this is way cooler" and boom, she bought it. What a deal! How exciting. It matches my UPS magnum so nicely, it makes me want to get a Magnum LTD to match my Brat. Looking forwards to GRKZOO rally, and I hope to see you all there!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lafayette Indiana's got a new moped gang

Meet Travis, one of the Lafayetis who has finally been converted from those silly tomos mopeds to the simplicity of the Puch E50. He kept bugging me about the black maxi frame in my basement, so I finally let him start to assemble it. He has been coming over and working for a few hours every couple days for the last week or two.

After a bit of guidance from me, some hard work, a bit of time, a lot of looking at his phone and staring off into space, he has finally rolled this bike out of the basement. A clean bike is all about cable management. It's got new bearings and seals on the stock crank, with a good #2 Aluminum cylinder & 14mm bing with a Jammy pipe.
The plan is to mill the head later and lighten the clutch a bit, but for now the idea is to just ride the bike around and enjoy it. Perhaps now he can finish a ride, or spend some real time trying to fix one of those Tomos mopeds that he has.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicago & Flat Tires

Chicago rally was this weekend, and I hate to say it, but if you were not in attendance, than you missed out. The HNR compound is perhaps the coolest clubhouse I've ever seen. It really does feel like a castle, with a courtyard and parapet wall. Garage space located away from living space, secret and secure alley access and more secret rooms than you can shake a stick at. I had a rally break down of sorts. P@ and I were riding doubles on the Derbi and suddenly I heard the tube pop and felt the tire get loose. So I pulled it over, to discover the cause. A 2 inch self tapping screw decided to stand right up as I ran it over and punctured my 2.5" Shinko knobbies, the tube, AND THE RIM! The tire was nailed to the rim! I had to hammer the bolt out. If you have to get a flat tire, I suppose this is the way to get it. The screw missed both spokes perfectly, centered in the rim, thankfully, so it is still useable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I went from 0 to 2 Tomos in 3 days. My wife dragged the silver one home on Friday after I had left for the rally in Indy. This gave me a good chuckle, as who else is fortunate enough to have a spouse who not only understands my addiction but actually feeds it. The A35 Targa I picked up today after work, missing a back tire, brake lever and exhaust after the header. It runs quite well though. They came from two different sellers, but I'm guessing I should write a letter to Tomos telling them that the front fender of their Tomos mopeds are too difficult to install correctly, as the front fenders of each of these mopeds were on backwards. lolWhy were they off in the first place? How hard is it to remember which way it goes? Does this tiger sticker provide any magic?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Michigan Moped Racing League

Well, this Sunday was supposed to be the first race, but it would appear that the events at the Jackson track have been canceled by the organizers, which was 3/4 of our race season. So while we are still welcome to come out and race on the other track dates at Palmyra and East Lansing, there won't be any racing in Jackson. Bummer :(

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blanco & Free Spirit

Got a V1 Gloria Intermotor Blanco. It is the "ciao"ist looking v1 powered moped I've ever seen. I also picked up a very mint red free spirit. I like auctions, sometimes you can find deals, and I didn't strike out today.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good.

As you may recall, long time blog readers, I had a wonderful AD a while back in Seattle, and it ran so well that I sold it. At that point, I was moped cursed, and all my personal mopeds and even mopeds I borrowed broke. I realized that if I ever had a chance at another AD, I should take it, what ever the cost. One was discovered here in Lafayette and I traded two mopeds for it, a deal I would make again. It is 98% complete. Sadly, it is missing the kickstand, but I suppose I could make something work. It's a gem, and I won't let it go. Future upgrades include cylinder porting, circuit pipe, perhaps an upgraded carb, and certainly many many miles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cables & Wires

On the new BFW moped coming up, I decided to simplify the wiring. It still has a horn, brake ligh, speedometer light and a kill switch, but it is much cleaner and all accomplished with one beautiful CEV switch. New cables look good, and if you spend a few minutes routing them correctly, they can look quite nice. To hide the wires for the switch, I drilled a hole in the handle bars and ran the wires down and out into the top plate of the forks. First time trying that, I think it really keeps the bars nice and clean while preserving all the function of a good switch.
I should be pulling this beauty out of the basement this weekend for its first road test to Sno Castle, the finest Sno Cones in all of Indiana. Yee haw.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Well there's your problem right there

It's always nice when the problem presents itself in a very obvious fashion. Take for instance, this bearing, the cause of the nasty crunching sounds and refusal to turn over smoothly. A wirebrush to the crank to clean off the gunk, a new set of bearings and fresh seals make this bike pop to life. I love the feel of kicking over a bike with new seals, it just wants to run so badly you can feel it in the pedals.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Moped Hauler

"Custom-made truck for delivering mopeds to Flandria dealers. Probably made for the world-expo Brussels in 1958."

Do you ever look at all the wonderful things that were made in the glorious years of the middle century, and then ponder "what ever happened to that?" Is this still in operable condition? Sitting in a warehouse somewhere, forgotten? Disassembled for scrap? Used as a bus in some weird poor country?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recumbent Magnum w/ Harley style ride

I'd like to get this fabricator together with the Chopper guy and see what happens.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Garelli Rally SL

I do love white wall tires. I would be lying to saymy motivation to acquire more Italian bikes didn't revolve around how good they look shod in 16" Sava whitewalls. On a side note, I live in Lafayette, home of Purdue University, and arch rival of Indiana University, who's colors are Crimson and Cream. I think I'm going to get hassled more than usual riding this around. I should also mention, having learned the proper method from Nate Bandit, I've successfully installed my first set of tires using only my hands. Savas were pretty easy, I'm sure I'll get a chance at some tougher ones.