Thursday, March 31, 2011

First stop, Lousiville

Getting ready to leave for KY, where I will unload this big old monster and give it a real road test down to Nashville. The saddle bags and packing seems pretty good just around town, but nothing ever goes wrong until the road test anyway. These pictures are just for show, I've stripped the gear off for the road trip in the Brat, I'm sure it's good for 40mph, no reason to test it at 70. Have fun in LA all my west coast friends, and stop while you are dancing in a warehouse, and think of me, also dancing in a warehouse 2000 miles away, only more squarely.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New mopeds

Got this one today. Gems from the conversation include "When I saw JCPenny made a moped I didn't believe it, but it says right there, made in Australia." Apparently JCPenny and the land down under are a logical connection. "I've got another moped , the only one that was actually made by Harley Davidson." This was in reference to a $300 pep boys mini-bike with a plastic V-twin where the real motor would be and a Harley sticker on the front fender. This wonderful bike is of course, is a combination of those chopper bicycles, a Pinto, a second bicycle, galvanized conduit and plenty of diamond plate. "I didn't want to weld it together so I made it just bolt together."

Zoom in and enjoy the awesome chain tensioner for the drive train, and check out the front fork used to make a triangle in the rear.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is your piston

This is your piston run with poor quality oil for a long time, then run with no oil for about 2 miles.
Dummy. But since it is an old honda express, there is no reason to buy new parts for it. Let's just clean up the cylinder, remove the carbon, sand this bad boy down and run it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Derbi goes for an adventure

I've been itching to go off road recently since I got these new wonderful tires. Shinko Goldenboys knobby style. It was mid 40s today with sun, so I decided to go exploring. Riding down any road that starts with "old" is always a great idea. What once was a main drag has now been replaced with a more efficient 4 lane road just a short distance away, that routes traffic away from all the stopping and turning. Now this wonderful "old" main road is a mopeds paradise. Sometimes you will discover fun winding roads, with ups and downs, perhaps a bridge that is now closed to traffic, but you can still sneak your moped across anyway. I found this awesome mountain bike trail down by the river, and it was just too tempting, so I got off the road and went for it. These tires handle great in the lose sand and mud, although I could just a little tighter clutch springs as you need more down low power to really rip around on the trails. The moguls are the best part. Unlike supercross moguls which you just bounce around on, these were made to go up and down and up and down gently, which is loads of fun. I even took a jump, which was pretty mild, but it is always fun to get the ped into the air. I then poked around and found a road covered in water because of the flooding due to winter melting away. The only hiccup I had today was running out of fuel. Which I luckily discovered on a large up hill, because a Derbi's tank is behind the carb. So once I pushed to the top, I put it on reserve and drove a conservative 20mph most of the way back into town before I completely ran out of fuel. A nice afternoon for a mo-push as well, and once to the gas station, a spirited ride home.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sweet Baby James

Welcome to the world, sweet baby james. Your new owner might re-name you, but for now, you know who you are. I tried striping this like the original Newport, but I have the hands of Michael J Fox, so that didn't work out. Perhaps I could do it with tape, but I can't really pull good tape lines either. Oh well. It is quite blue. You should have seen it before all the black and chrome went back on. For now it will sit in my basement and wait a few more weeks for some friends to come visit and help me carry it and hopefully 3 more out. I'm starting on the teal one today. Kind of less exciting to put them together when you are just going to look at them instead of ride.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saddle Bags part Deux

Last post I had sewed up some saddle bags. This post, I show the finished product. I took a little bit of left over plywood paneling, made a shell for the cover, stretched it over, drilled some holes, mounted some j hooks and a spring, and now I've got a sweet custom made saddle bag that fits excellent on the Derbi and just doesn't want to fall off. With the sissy bar on back, I'm about ready for my trip to Nashville. I need to finish up the other side with the mounts, but just imagine something very similar but on the other side. I'm quite pleased with myself and how these turned out. They cost about $8 to make, and a few hours worth of time. Much better than ammo cans. Ugh.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saddle Bags & The moped culture of Lafayette

I met up with a few local riders this Thursday night. We were supposed to go for a moped ride, but as many moped rides turn out, it became a fit it party instead. In the light of an apartment parking lot, we watched as two guys tried to repair a tomos that had been converted from pedal start to kick start. "Think this washer is important?" "Nah, but we probably should put in a gasket." The evening ended with the starting of the moped and a cacophony of destruction from the bottom end. "Do you think that washer was important?" So no real riding to be had, although my Derbi preformed admirably on the way there and back. I do love the knobby tires, which you can just see peeking in the bottom right of the picture. More successful rides will occur I believe at a later point in the year. The overwhelmingly Tomos supply of mopeds from a mysterious character shall soon be rectified with Responsible Jon's DeLuxe Moped sales now a legitimate garage business of Lafayette Indiana.

In other news, I began to prepare for my road trip in a few weeks to Nashville, and thought I should get around to making some saddle bags for the Derbi. I got some remnant marine grade vinyl at the fabric store for 50% off, made some quick measurements, cuts and ran it all through my sewing machine. It turned out pretty good. The next one will be better, as I'll remember to hem the edges before it all goes together, making it eaiser, but it is going to work pretty well. I still need to make the frame for the inside to stiffen it up, but I think that shouldn't be too hard either. I also made square corners on this one, I think the next one will have rounded corners, it might help ease things up a bit. Over all, pretty pleased. Nicely fitting moped saddle bags are something that are hard to come by and I think under appreciated. Perhaps I'll make a few and try to sell them. I imagine if they came ready to drop in and go, they would sell pretty easily.

I made an order with 1977 Mopeds 2 days ago and it arrived today. Living in the midwest is much better for receiving packages quickly! I got the caliper and master cylinder disc brake set up to put on my race bike, as rumor has it a new Thunderdrome series is going to start up in April and I want to be ready to race. The caliper looks very heavy duty, and even has the sweet little "abs" module that helps keep from locking the disc. I strongly recommend this unit for your disc conversions! Pair it with those sweet hydraulic forks or the incredibly cheap and awesome general forks if your are real cheap, toss on a CR80 17" disc brake wheel easily had from ebay for cheap, and your moped is another league of comfort and safety.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maxi frames back from powder

Amish Ernie never fails to impress. These frames came out primo. There are a few flaws here and there, but having been in the powder coating business, I would say my eye is probably more attune than the lay-persons. The flaws are almost all in spots that won't be seen when assembled. I might complain if I had forked over big stacks of cash, but boy oh boy can you get a good deal if you do a few frames at once. I'm very excited to put these 4 frames back together. It's kind of interesting to try and build 4 "identical" bikes at the same time without them all looking the same except for the color. My goal is to have 4 very different looking and styled bikes. We will see how it turns out. The weather is turning nice again! Get ready for a busy summer of mopeds!