Thursday, September 24, 2009

moped: the rpg


Plus this:

Plus this:

Should equal a good way to waste time with friends this rainy winter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Malossi kit RIP

Ciao was running so well last night. With the new Polini clutch spring I was hitting higher RPMs than I ever had before. The entire RPM range was spot on. Until, after a couple of miles of blasting, I took off from a stop. The bike ku-chunked and the belt squealed as the crank completely locked up.

Alas, my first seize ever.

Also, note the double circlips. The imbedded clip is from the other side of the piston. My guess is that it came loose, shot through the cut outs in the piston and got stuck when it hit the cylinder wall. Rad.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Manventure 09

210 miles to Portland with near and dear friends. I'm currently 29 hours away from departure. Tomorrow 4 of us will hit the road, traveling light, on mopeds headed to P-town.
Wednesday, we'll ride 100 miles to Centralia, WA, and stay overnight at a vintage hotel with old hostel-style rooms, a brewery, and movie theater.
Thursday, we'll finish the last 110 and ride into Portland for the sure-to-be-epic Puddle Cutter rally.
Can't wait...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Any Sunday

There are films that I've been meaning to get around to seeing. On The Waterfront, Citizen Kane, Roadhouse. Also on that list was On Any Sunday a film about motorcycle racing in 1970.

Last night, with nothing better to do, I sat down with a few beers and watched it. I can't believe how good it was. These are some of the most awesome you'll ever see. If you thought you were a half-decent rider, you may as well forget that. Watching these guys rip will either make you never want to ride again or begin riding even harder. It's just that bad ass.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mini Bearing Press

I've been meaning to do a write up on this for a while. I've tried explaing this to people on the Moped Army repair forum before and it hasn't translated very well, so here goes in detail with pictures.

A bearing puller is a must have for any moped workshop. A lot of people swear by the freezing the crank/heating the bearing method, but this works a lot easier and is way quicker.

So, bearing puller. Sure, it pulls bearings. But swap a few things around and it'll work as a mini bearing press, too.

Here's what you need:

Two piece bearing puller, several different lengths of bolts, a few sockets, and a couple of spacers (lengths of handlebar tubing or exhaust pipe work great.

Place the bearing puller flatside against the underside of the crank, wide enough that it's resting on the crank cheeks, not the bearing itself.

Rub a little bit of grease on the bearing's inner race. Place the bearing onto the shaft and make sure it's level.

Place a socket over the shaft against the bearing. Make sure that the socket's only contact is with the inner race of the bearing. Ensure that you've got plenty of distance between the inside end of the socket and the threads on the shaft. Otherwise, as you torque down the bearing, eventually, the socket will come in contact with the threads and your expensive race crank is now hosed.

Thread on the top half with appropriately length of bolts and it'll look like this.

It doesn't take too much force to press the bearing on. You should be able to hold the wrench in one hand and the puller in the other. Again, as you torque it down keep an eye on where your crank threads are at. If need be, switch out the socket for a spacer and shorter socket halfway through. All in all, it should only take a couple of minutes, tops, to swap out a set of bearings. Super easy, and it doesn't require an over, freezer, flat head screwdriver, and hammer. My bearing puller is from Grainger and ran about $60. Cheaper ones can be had from Harbor Freight. Definitely one of the most handy tools I own.


This is not what you want to see when you pull your clutch.

Damage from the freshly built Metra 65 engine.

The clutch pads themselves are showing some minor wear from only about 6 miles of use. Obviously way too much slip. I knew the clutch was engaging super late. It was revving out like a chainsaw engine and grabbing hard. The low end was fantastic, but I knew they springs needed to be adjusted. The arm that sheared was probably engaging first and taking the full strain of the clutch which caused it to break free.

Prior to the clutch exploding, it wasn't fully disengaging causing the bike to insta-die at idle and pushing the bike forward, not running, would cause the clutch to chug-chug-chug without even pulling the starter clutch.

I suspect something else is the culprit here as this is the second clutch that's given me problems in the past couple of days. Possibly some issue with the main gear which seems to be making more noise than it should, although no teeth are missing and it seems to be in good shape. Or possibly a spun bearing on the crank since I'm using the crapped out Rito that spun a bearing previously (stator side). I used some bearing compound which is designed for that sort of thing, but it may not have been enough or the crank is just too far gone.

I'm going to install another stock 2-shoe with stock springs and see what happens. If that doesn't work, I'll be time to crack the case again, and replace the crank.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moped Garage Sale

Matt Coles threw a moped garage sale Saturday morning, getting rid of new and old parts he'd had stashed for years.

My purchases:

Vespa engine top and bottom end (turns over freely) $4
Complete 14mm Bing w/ intake $5
Various Puch & Vespa sales pamphlets $10
Ciao top cover bracket $0.25
2 sets of handlebars $3
Sito Vespa pipe $1
Bing Hi flow filter $5

Pretty sweet score for less than $30.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Snordly's Interceptor

Snordly always blows me away with his perverse creations. This one is no exception. It started out life as one of these:

And became this:

Purchased from Dean for the price of a burrito, and after quite a bit of freakish work is now a ripping little pike bike-looking thing. Complete with non-functional pedals, top tank, and 14mm Bing carb. Genius stuff there, Steve.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moped Rally by Colin Clary

Here's a cool little song I found about riding mopeds with friends on a Sunday afternoon. Hadn't heard this one before.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

Yeah...I probably still won't find anything good. another man's moped treasure.

This unspeakably heinous mess quite literally (okay not literally) dropped into my lap on Saturday. An abandoned Kinetic moped.

Steph and I were walking to the park the other day and saw this hobo-ped parked on the street with the seat laying on the ground next to it. I though nothing of it, other than to comment on the Mosquito Fleet sticker on the headlight bucket.

Jump forward to Saturday with Tiffany posting a message, from a friend, on Moped Army that the bike was abandoned and that the "M.F. President" should come get it. I walked down the street, grabbed the bike (which was now halfway in a bush, leaned up against a telephone pole), and walked it back to the garage.

Maybe I'll find the owner (it looks stolen), if not I'll strip it for parts (CDI, carb, handlebars, fenders, wheels, etc), and sell/give away the frame.


Let's be honest here, I really hope I don't find the owner. The Kinetic CDI is the only thing holding me back from getting the Ciao (aka Drunker Ciao aka Big Yellow Joint) up and running again, and I could use some of those parts to get the Bravo running to sell for big summer dollars. I'm hoping that by grudgingly trying to locate the owner that karma will smile upon me and let me keep the heap guilt free.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I need to get to work...

In more ways than one.

I've been staring at this pile of parts on the bench for a couple of weeks now. The plan is to build it up, swap out engines on the Puch, and ride it in Reno. Then swap out the stock engine on the Murray, and have it ready for MoSTP/Portland Rally in August.

Specs are:

Metra 65 kit
70cc high comp head
Rito crank
Original mid-80s three shoe clutch with Paz springs
20mm PHBG with 21mm Intake
Some sort of air filter that will fit in the frame that is yet to be determined.
Stock gearing (probably)
I'm still undecided between another Boss pipe or another Estoril pipe.

And if the the bugs get worked out with the cheap Treats/1977 CDI boxes, I'll throw one of those on, too.

Here's the case match:

Shooting for Saturday to get it done.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Big Fat welcomes Bill Murray to the clan

This is Bill Murray in 1982. 

This is Bill Murray in 2009.

Got him off of Craigslist for $150. The bike is complete, except for a rear brake cable and the left side cover. And it included a title, which was worth the $150 alone.

I was the first of about 20 phone calls, and, thankfully, the guy didn't try to jack the price once he realized that it was worth more than he was selling it for. He was selling it for his dad and I think just wanted to be rid of it.

The moped was located in the middle of nowhere, luckily I work with people that live in the middle of nowhere and I gave one of my co-workers $50 to go pick it up and deliver it to work the next day.

The bike was filthy after having spent the entire Bush administration hiding out in a barn. It looked like a basket case, but I pulled off the flywheel cover and turned the flywheel and it sounded and felt perfect. The stator was super clean, and the odometer had 1300 miles on it. The gas tank is clean, with absolutely no rust. Once the bike is cleaned up I don't think it will look bad at all.

It's a 1.5 HP, but some simple work should fix that. It has a really restrictive air box, a plug in the 14mm intake reducing it down to about 7 or 8mms, one of the tiniest bing jets i've ever seen, a 13 tooth sprocket, probably restrictors in the pipe, and probably also a really thick head gasket.

An hour's worth of work and I had it running. Drained the old gas, threaded in a fresh spark plug, adjusted the clutch cable, cleaned the carb and adjusted the float. Adjusting the float, and troubleshooting a bad spark plug boot took the longest.

The bike is still here at work. This morning I put air in the tires (we'll see if it holds). Later today I'll install some brake cables that I hobo'ed together from spare parts in the garage. After that it should be ready for it's maiden (albeit slow) voyage home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009