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Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Now that I'm very quickly cementing my crazy love for two-wheeled conveyances, I think it's about time I made my first ever build thread! I bought three bikes all within the span of a month. I bought a Buell Blast a couple days after I signed up for the MSF course I'd take three weeks later. The week before my MSF course, a friend wanted to give me my first ever powered two wheeling experience on his Honda Elite 80. It was absolutely amazing. Not long after my MSF course, I just had to get a Honda Rebel, so I got one of those, too!

That night we rode the scooters, my friend suggested that we take part in the Gambler 500. However, instead of the standard fare sub-$500 cheap cars, we'd do it on scooters!

I couldn't pass on the idea. I may not have had storage for another car, but I do for many bikes! So not even 24 hours later, I hit Craigslist looking for 150cc scooters for $300 or less.

A couple days later, I found a generic Chinese 150cc scooter. Normally I would have passed on it because it didn't run, but this one had an interesting origin story: It's brand new. This 2008 Bashan scooter has only traveled 3 miles in 10 years...why?



I arranged a meet with the seller and learned that he bought it ten years ago, rode it home, took out the carb, then let it sit there ever since. There's 10 year old petrol in the tank, ten year old oil in the engine, and the VIN plate is still wrapped in plastic. It's like I unearthed a poorly engineered time capsule.

His original price was $500, but he dropped it down to $200 after I got cold feet on a project of unknown proportions. Ah what the heck, if I get this thing running, it would make one nice story! I then made my purse $200 lighter and signed my name on the certificate of origin...Oh, turns out he never titled it, so I'll be the first titled and registered owner of a 10 year old scooter, nice!

Not long later, I had the bounty all secured on a trailer and ready to come home. I decided I will strip it to the frame and make my own Honda Grom clone with a "Mad Max" theme.





First thing's first, an AGM battery and some petrol. Well, everything works. It just doesn't start and it appears the starter motor doesn't work.

I later also found out that the carb wasn't broken like I thought it was, it just wasn't there at all!



**A Team Theme**

After I bought a cheap carb from Amazon, I raced to my storage unit to rip the little thing apart and try to get it running.



I was able to keep the floorboards! These will be useful for mounting spotlights for the Mad Max theme and keeping some of the mud from splashing on me.



An hour of cursing later, I got the carb in. I also tore the grille off this fan thing because I got bored, or something. I'll get a pic of the carb when I go back for round two.



I discovered a thick red lead in the scooter's engine area. I later found out that such is the lead for the starter motor. Whoops! That's why the starter motor didn't work. Gave it a lot of good cranks. Engine turns but doesn't start. Well, that's good. That means it can be revived. Next step will be to change the spark plug (if needed) then maybe see if I can convince fuel flow through the carb? I'll replace the oil once I at least get the engine to fire. I'm not entirely sure why it won't start, but more research shall be completed!

I destroyed my storage unit ripping the scooter apart and I didn't even break a nail. :nerd:



Round 2 will see me removing the rear panels, the spark plug, and maybe seeing if I can get it to start with a shot of carb cleaner? I'm not sure.

Once I get it started, I'll work on making it look better than the "wet dog" state it'll be in once all the panels are off.

Stay tuned!
 

Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thankfully it has a brand new carb! :) I'm going to give it another look to make sure I hooked it up correctly. Knowing me, I totally could have mixed the vacuum and fuel lines.

Then there's the fuel itself. I took the lazy way out and filled the tank with new fuel on top of the quarter-ish tank of the ten year old fuel that was already in there. I may have to drain it then start over.

So, I have some work ahead of me! I'm up to the task!

BTW - Two of my smarts fit in the unit!
 

Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Yeap you should have gotten ride of that 10 year old fuel. You may have already clogged up that brand new carb.
 

Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oof...well that's only a $20 lesson I'll have to learn if such ends up being the case.
 

Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Does that tank come off? If so take it off, empty it, add a couple of quarts of clean gasoline and seal it up. The shake the heck out of it. Drain and repeat, do this several times until the gas coming out looks the same as it went in.
 
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Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm pretty sure it can come out, if not, I have an extractor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Alright, so I'm going to return to this on Sunday to check for spark, then flush the fuel and change the spark plug, if needed. Of course, if I clogged the carb with the old fuel, that would be a problem as well, but I'll have to see when I get there. Can't be too much keeping this thing from starting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update on this project: I sold Imperator Slowiosa while on the homerun stretch. I got the engine to fire on starting fluid but it would die as soon as it ran out. The last item on the list was the petrol tank. And since that scoot sat for ten years without running, I imagine it looked really nasty inside. Somehow it completely didn't cross my mind that I could just replace the tank with a $20 one from Amazon, so I listed it on Facebook and had it out of my hands in less than 7 days. Sold it for the price I bought it for.

The scoot that replaced it is this 2012 Jinlun Ruckus clone. Going with a brand that isn't huge like Icebear was a decent gamble, but I know that these scoots are basically the same across all brands. This cute little 150cc thing has been stored outside since purchased new and has only covered 800 miles on its short time on its planet.



To preface the ahead post (and future updates), I've never worked on a motorcycle before the red scooter. I'm decently versed in car maintenance and I can do car repairs if given the correct tools, but bikes are uncharted waters.

First thing's first, I got a new battery and put it in. Engine fired on starting fluid but died as soon as it ran out of fluid. I checked the petrol tank and discovered it to have a tiny puddle. Sweet, the PO didn't leave it sitting for two years with much petrol in the tank.

Filled it up then gave it another firing. This time it ran, however it only continued to run at half to full throttle. If you went any lower, the poor little engine quit as soon as you stopped moving..

I figured one of the jets in the carb must have been restricted and did the logical thing: Overnighted a new carb from Amazon. I mean, with carbs only being $20, why bother cleaning it! lol

Install new carb, insert key, aaaaand...IT RUNS!

I rode it around the neighbourhood for about 30 min. The engine is smooth, accelerates pretty hard, and there isn't a bit of hesitation anywhere. However, it's not perfect. The front tyre is uneven from what I assume was a pothole impact. Coupled to the fact that the bars are a little loose, the handling is best described as "scary". Mechanically, all is well save for a grinding noise from the gearbox. Looks like a bearing in the clutch is a common part to fail with these scoots, so another $20 will be sent off to Amazon for another clutch.

I'll be replacing the tyres with knobby ones and the handlebars with a cafe style bar, so neither really concerned me.

This scooter's theme is a blend of adventure bike and cafe racer. Along with the cafe bars it'll have cafe taillights and a seat, then bar end mirrors (but functional ones). On the adventure side we'll have the knobby tyres, a jerry can (necessary for the Gambler), and spotlights. Just for fun I'll also give it some RGB.

I kickstarted the next step in my project by trimming some excess plastic.

Before





After







Last night I tried to take it on a top speed run. I hit 40 before the tube in the front tyre decided to take a smoke break. The tyre was already pretty beat up from those Madison WI potholes, so I'm not surprised it broke. A new tyre and fixing the grinding noise should get me to easily hit top speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This project has gotten a bizarre revival! The Chinese scooter never actually got to go on the Gambler. It is Gambler 500 season once again so I'm giving this another shot.

The China Ruckus is getting sold, in its place, meet Imperator Slowiosa II!



This scooter is a 1986 Honda Elite 150 Deluxe. While my intended use for this scooter will make it look worse, I saved it from getting scrapped.

It runs and rides but needs a new front tyre and right rear turn indicator.

That is until I tried using the handlebar lock.



The key is so worn out that once I locked the bars, I couldn't get the steering unlocked again. Then I snapped the weathered key while trying to get it to work. Thankfully I was smart enough to make sure the seat and the storage compartment were already unlocked, so a simple ignition replacement is all I need.

From there I'll replace the tyres, remove the decals, add offroad lighting, a hand winch, a massive extra fuel tank, and a mount for my tent. Finally, I'll give it a "racing" CDI to get a little more speed out of it.

Hold onto your butts, I'm about to go insane!
 
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Administrator - American Legion Rider - KA5LRS
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Okay, but why wasn't China connection a better choice. Seemed like you had that puppy conquered. Was you already over the $500 thing?
 

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I just had to pass this on to you since you have one these little puffed up roller skates. Just hope you don't get politically correct or whatever offended. I just thought it was cute as heck.

 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
10/10 on the General Wee! :D

There's some background info that's missing.

The little white scooter was supposed to be my ride for last year. I got it running and riding, but couldn't get my new tyres installed in time, so I took my car instead. Considering the accelerated wear on the car, it's not something I'll do again with a daily driver.

Once I finally did get the tyres installed (after the rally) I took it on a test run. Flat out, it'll do 55 on flat ground and it'll take forever to get there. Up a hill? Ha, you're looking at 40 at best. These little GY6 engines aren't as powerful as the real Honda engines they're based on. That's a problem considering the roads we'll travel on this year will often have a speed limit of 60 or 65. Not sure if the little GY6 can survive running flat out like that for extended periods of time. You can get to those higher speeds out of a GY6, but it's really not worth the cash for this application.

I shelved the scooter idea and resolved to taking a car again. That idea was to buy a salvage smart car and put the lift kit I have laying around on it.

A few months later I figured out I have no room for another car, so taking a two wheeled vehicle was back on! This time I'm dumping the whole Mad Max look.

I thought about doing something silly like taking a Ninja 250 or a Honda Rebel. But...eh, with jumps and mudding I'm sure to fall. I did a little experiment in grass with intentionally breaking traction on the white scooter and with breaking traction on a dirt bike. When the scooter fell, the step through design effectively allowed me to push myself away from the impact area and the scooter never landed on me. With the dirt bike it was much harder to dismount before it hit the ground, resulting in a leg or a foot getting a dirt bike on it. That ups the potential to get hurt. I can't imagine a street bike offroad would be any better.

So, back to scooters! I decided that if the scooter is Chinese, it has to be at least a 250. Japanese scooters can be at least a 150.

I fixed that big black Chinese scooter from that other thread. Easy top speed of 80 and it can even climb hills. I dunno, I fell in love with the stupid thing and I don't want to torture it. I promised to sell two bikes and it dodged a bullet by being so fun! I ended up selling that GSX1100G project instead.

For the Gambler, I got this Elite and am meeting my "sell two bikes" quota by offing the Chinese Ruckus (white scooter). I don't want to have any more than one China bike in my inventory. This Elite has a top speed of 60-65 and you can get more out of it with a CDI. This thing cost me $300 and I'll actually make some money from the sale of the Ruckus clone.
 

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I'm glad you cleared that up, I was confused.
 

Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some progress!

With two weeks until the Gambler 500, I better get started on this thing!



Thankfully it doesn鈥檛 need much to roll, by my count, here鈥檚 the minimum it needs to ride for the Gambler:

- Ignition switch. It must have been years since the last time the fork lock was used, so once I locked the scoot that was it, there was no getting it unlocked. I basically bathed it in lubricants and even rust dissolving stuff. No luck. In fact, the key snapped in half while I was trying to get it to move.

- New front tire. I discovered the front is a bit dry rotted. Interestingly enough, it鈥檚 cheaper to buy a used wheel with a tire already mounted than it is to buy a tire and have it mounted. Win win so far as I care! I鈥檇 do it myself, but the last time I tried mounting a tire myself I ended up driving a car for the Gambler. So, nope! Thankfully the rear tire is brand new.

- New CDI. Because I don鈥檛 really expect this thing to survive, I鈥檓 going to put in a 鈥渞acing鈥 CDI that unlocks the rev limiter. Should add a few mph onto the top end.

- Carb clean. It runs and rides, but it idles like **** and the top end could be better. The scoot allegedly sat all winter without being drained or winterized, so that鈥檚 where I鈥檓 going to look first!



Last night I tackled the ignition switch. The front panel opens up like the bonnet on a car.





Amusingly, it鈥檚 even sort of setup like a car up front. you have the headlight motor and adjustment, coolant, and even fuses.

Next, remove the two screws holding in the ignition, unplug it, then yank it out of there.



This is the end result of all my trying to fix this thing. I even tried to drill out the insides in the hope that maybe I could get it to work with a screwdriver.



With those failures in mind, I gave up and bought a new ignition and lock set...$16 and will be here on Monday.

Once I get the big things out of the way, I can set up my offroading fun stuff:

- Extra fuel (I have a 3 gal jerry can sitting on my deck?).
- Offroad lights.
- Bluetooth speaker.
- Basic tools (screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pliers that can strip/cut wires, and some metric sockets).
- Fix-a-flat.
- Tent.
- Backpack of Alcohol (for the offroad parks we鈥檒l be camping at that allow it).
- Duct tape.
- Zip ties.
- Starting fluid.
- Spare drive belt (maybe).

As for the tow vehicle, I need to title the trailer and do the front brakes. I鈥檓 already loosening up the bolt that holds on the rotors (removing said bolt takes the bulk of the time doing brakes) so it鈥檒l be a nice and quick job.



I鈥檓 so going to send this thing in a couple weeks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The scooter lives again! With a week to go things are getting close.



After Imperator Slowiosa III鈥檚 maiden voyage I snapped the key off in the ignition, rendering it dead. Finally, it鈥檚 back and better than ever!

Using a cheap eBay ignition with a little customization (swapping over the connector), I was able to revive the cute little thing.





I then decided to run carb cleaner through the carb and take it for another top speed run. I gave it a full on send. This thing goes 65 mph with the stock CDI! :D Just...holy **** are the original Honda engines much faster than the equivalent GY6 clones.



It definitely has a bit of a death wobble at high speed, but the new front wheel/brake/mounted tyre/bearing combo coming in on Monday ought to fix that. I also can鈥檛 reliably lock the bars, which may indicate the stem may be damaged or my cheap ignition is too ****e. But that鈥檚 okay, I just won鈥檛 lock the bars! The new wheel also has an offroad tire mounted to it. Since these are easily disassembled two piece wheels, that tyre will go in back and the more street rubber will go up front.



Now I just gotta add external fuel, a racing CDI, some sort of beer implement, floodlights, and speakers for tunes to troll the trails with! Born to Be Mild!!! For the time being it鈥檚 my work commuter. I want to make sure it鈥檚 nice and broken in for next week.

If I have enough time, I鈥檒l also try to figure out the headlight motor. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bigger update!

My janky Honda Elite has gotten even more janky! I was up until 2am Sunday night wiring up my electrical mods and doing some maintenance.

First up, the spotlights. I figured I will drop this thing on the Gambler at least once, so I mounted them far enough away from the edges that they won鈥檛 get sheared off. I had to do some creative MacGyvering with the mounting bolts because these really weren鈥檛 made to mount into plastic. And clearance wasn鈥檛 so great because you know, there鈥檚 a coolant line directly under those lights. But it works and those lights are on tiiiiiight.



At first I wanted to do my normal fire hazard janky wiring, but since this is a scooter and not a smart car, I needed a manual switch...so I bought the cheapest wiring harness from Amazon that wasn鈥檛 spaghetti madness.

Unfortunately...uh...yeah...it鈥檚 pretty long. Enter my bad cable management! Clearly I went for a DeLorean time machine look.







Surprisingly, this is the most proper vehicle wiring job I鈥檝e ever done. Everything is fused, there are relays, and there aren鈥檛 any wires connected by twisting and sealing with duct tape. I also added a USB hub to charge and power my electronics on the move.



The battery seems to only top out at 10v even before I installed these mods (SO MANY ZIP TIES), so I鈥檒l swap it out with the CF Moto鈥檚 battery. I鈥檇 like it to have enough starting power to start without starting fluid.

My new wheel came in yesterday and it's perfect. New bearings, new brakes, newer tire. The tire isn't as offroad-y as I thought, so I'll just mount it up front and save myself the headache of swapping the wheels and tires around.

I did take it on another top speed run last night and learned that the thermo switch for the radiator fan is broken. This means that at slow speeds the temperature gauge flirts with the red line. I can't get a new one in time, so what I'll instead do is get a second fan (bigger) then wire both fans into the offroad light's harness.

From there, all I have left to do is install the new derestricted CDI when it arrives and fashion up a snorkel of some kind. Maybe RGB for flair? Idk, I just want to get the core stuff done.

For the home run, I鈥檒l then have to title the trailer and do the smart鈥檚 front brakes. Whew! It鈥檚 already a busy week! :D
 
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