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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As noted in my cold weather thread, I brought home a CF Moto Fashion 250.



I've been trying to get it running, however as northern Illinois has been repeatedly hit by freezing nights I've not been able to get much progress...

I got it for super duper cheap due to a lack of title and an unknown electrical issue. Title's a non-issue as I have two easy ways of obtaining one for cheap. The way the seller described the electrical issue (it makes "sizzling" noises, but no power) was kinda scary, however I was somewhat confident I'd fix it.

Tonight I finally tackled it.

First up, I checked the fuses...all good! Hmmm...

Opened up the main boot, and there's a box in there that appears to be an electrical box...Alas, I can't get the cover off

A quick Googling revealed that the starter solenoid has to be installed a certain way. The battery has to be installed on the "B" post and the starter cable on the "M" post. Wait a minute, my battery was installed to the M post. No way, it couldn't be that easy.

Let's flip the solenoid around...



Power it on..



Well I'll be. My battery is super dead, but it powers up!!

Heh, funny how such a minor oopsie led to me getting this thing for cheap.

I found the VIN plate. The scooter may have been sold brand new at the end of 2012, however the scooter is a 2009. That means it sat for three years at some powersports dealership in Wisconsin not being bought. Can’t say I’m surprised, the dealer invoice (which came with the scooter) says the original owner paid $3k for it. Most dealerships only charged $2k for them.

Anyway, at some point the starter solenoid went out and whoever replaced it installed it backwards. And with the scooter now with power I can see how many miles it has. Its only traveled 851 miles in 9 years before the solenoid went.

I’ll get myself a new battery, new carb (the thing takes the same $20 carb as all my other scooter projects did), then fill the tank with my gas/carb cleaner mix.
 

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Hopefully that sizzling didn't let any magic smoke escape. If it did you may run into mystery problems down the road. Fingers crossed for ya.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it's anything like that time I accidentally installed a battery backward on another scooter, that sizzling was most likely a pissed off fuse. This theory is somewhat supported by a new fuse having been installed on the solenoid (but with it still backward that would have been a futile effort). I suppose I'll find out for sure when I get myself a battery that isn't garbage. :)
 

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I was going to ask about the alternator / siren looking thing, on the front left of the CFMF 250. But it appears to be bolted to the small cage, with one on the other side.
Are they wind turbines that feed the induction system for more giddy up?
Hope you get your scooter thingy working. Everyone needs a scooter.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Muahahahaha! They're actually LED spotlights. My little cage is basically my pickup truck and I use those lights as work lights when I have to work on one of the other cars or bikes outside or offroad lights when I take the car on trails.



Assuming the electrics are okay, I'm basically a couple Amazon purchases away from having it road ready. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update!



Friday morning I installed the new battery and gave the electrics a try. Perfect, everything’s working.



Gave it a hit of the start button and nothing. Hmmm...

Up until this point I was searching Google for “CF Moto Fashion [problem].” However, this time around I kept striking out. I couldn’t figure out why the dash clicked but the scooter wouldn’t even bother to engage the starter.

Frustrated, I shorted the start solenoid and the starter came to life!

It was then I stepped back and looked at the scooter.



Wait, this thing is basically a near perfect clone of a Honda Helix, right? Well maybe we should be searching for “Honda Helix [problem].”

Sure enough, I looked up the Helix starting procedure and found my issue.

Myself and the most recent previous owner tried to start it like a Chinese bike: Lightly hold the rear brake then start.

However, this one starts like the Honda it copies: Kickstand up, rear brake fully down. Within seconds I heard the sweet sounds of a starter motor.

At this point all I have to do is see if I can convert the bad petrol into the tank into something useful then get the engine going. With only 850 miles on the clock it should be road ready with just an oil change.

I also finally figured out the radio.



In 2008s and older they had a cassette deck in the boot. Of course this made it impossible to change radio channels or cassettes on the road, so for my little 2009 and newer they tried something new.



This doohickey on the bars changes radio station and volume...of course no screen so LOL if you want to know what station you’re listening to. The USB port in the glovebox is actually for a USB drive filled with MP3s. Think I’ll end up replacing this sound system for something more functional.

To summarize, this scooter wasn’t actually dead, but everyone tasked with taking care of it sucked at that job. At 850 miles the starter solenoid failed on the original owner. The person who replaced it installed it backwards, creating a mysterious issue where there’s a faint sizzling sound but the scooter is otherwise dead. Since nobody could figure it out, OG owner sold it. The scooter passed through two subsequent owners who couldn’t solve the issue before it ended up in my hands. And now with like $40 invested I will have it running.

Later in the day, instead of draining the 2+ year old petrol, I decided to do my Chinese scooter “Gambler Mix” (premium + every fuel additive from the dollar store with the fire/explosion symbol on it) and fired it up.



After choking, stalling (so much stalling), and stumbling a bit the scooter began running normally. I then took it out on the backroads behind home and hit a top speed of 75 mph (speedometer indicated 80) in the high winds. After fully running the bad fuel out of the system, more tuning, and replacing the missing panels, I have no doubt I could get it to do a solid 80+.

Handling is pretty amazing. The scooter manages curves so well it frightens me. The ride comfort is basically like a lightweight Goldwing as well. The cooling system is also pretty impressive. After 50 miles of WOT it didn’t even move to the halfway point in the operating range.

I was going to celebrate my victory by riding to Green Bay, WI (160 miles) for my weekend stay with friends, however a winter storm warning for my return trip ruined that idea...

 

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Sweet. You are styling.
Once upon a time it was my turn to attend a boat convention. This time in Lake Geneva. Wonderful I thought, I am off to Europe. How was I to know there is a Lake Geneva down the road from Green Bay, or up the road from Chicago. There was also a factory that made outboard motors along the way. Forgot the brand name for the moment. Bayliner bought the factory and changed the name to Force Outboards.

UK
 

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Way to go Miss M. I like your never say can't attitude. You could join the ranks of farmers and ranchers. We simply have to get things working with what we have on hand all the time. You done good.
 

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Good Job, Miss M.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all!

Yeah, I have a thing for picking at an issue until I find a resolution. This is especially true with vehicles because I hate seeing them disabled and not able to be played with. I don't feel failure is an option with my goals and desires. :)

I'm already hot on the trail of the title, too. For now the scoot's running a Vermont license plate and registration (for bikes 300cc and fewer you send in a bill of sale, VIN check, and cash and they'll mail back a license plate/registration in your name) but I'll then take that and get a replacement title for it. It'll cost just a little more than had the scoot had a title, however because the scoot didn't have a title I already got a massive discount, so I still come out on top.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I posted a small update to this project in the "What did you do with..." thread, but here's it more in detail.

My idea of revitalizing the old fuel with basically anything that burns worked out well. It didn't like running at low RPM without stalling, so I set the mix for a high idle (enough to spin the wheel a decent rate). This thing is so good on fuel that it took forever to run out of fuel. But once it did I gave it a fresh tank with no additives and wow, it made a world of a difference. No more stalling and the engine sounded quieter. Haven't taken it for another top speed run (keeps being too windy) but it certainly pulls much harder.

After being convinced that the scooter is truly ready for primetime I adjusted the mix so that the rear wheel would stop spinning. It holds idle defined in the service manual perfectly.

With that out of the way, I had a new side skirt come in. Annoyingly, since CF Moto's model names are so close to one another and the fact that CF Moto stopped selling motorcycles in the USA (they got caught cheating the EPA) it's actually kinda hard to find body parts for this thing. But fear not, the Fashion 250 is a Honda Helix clone. So I gave a bloke on eBay $30 and less than a week later had a pretty mint condition side skirt at my door.

Before


After


Now what's left is to get new side visors (smoked ones are about $50), install a LED bulb up front (Helix scoots aren't fun to change a lightbulb), then rip out the garbage stereo and wire in a better one that I can connect to my phone. I've also researched with the IL DMV what it would take to translate my VT registration and no title into an IL registration with title. Surprisingly pretty easy and pretty cheap.

Outside of that it's been a fun winter ride. The large fairings and windscreen mean I can actually wear my open face helmet with a ski mask and still feel nice and warm. And since there are huge snowbanks at work, I basically have a reserved space near the door every morning! :D



I was able to work on my convertible smart car's restoration a little more, but that's for another thread. ;)

My motorcycle winter to do list now contains (aside from the above):

- Move the Goldwing to indoor parking, work on the turn signal relay problem there. (probably just needs an electronic relay)
- Give the GS 850 a new paint job or seal the patina'd one it has now. This one's super easy, I just need to turn a room in my condo into a paint booth. The clutch slipping problem went away after an oil change.
- I somehow haven't been able to get rid of that 150cc Ruckus clone, so my "N+1" count is unintentionally at 5. If I can't sell it, I may consider using it to do my first ever engine swap on a vehicle. I would source a 250 from a wrecked scooter. Alternatively, I've also had the hankering to give it a tiny supercharger or turbo. Either way, I have a hotrodding itch I really want to scratch. :D
 
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Very nice write up you are doing there Ms M glad to see you are doing well in diagnosis dept and keeping in good cheer about them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks so much! ♥

Truth be told, as I indicated in my other thread the bike sorta killed itself on a top speed run. I've since replaced all the fuel lines, the fuel filter, the carb, and discovered the air filter was disintegrating so badly that the engine was sucking up foam particulate from the air filter and oil from the crankcase that turned into a sort of milkshake.

This weekend I'll set the crankcase breather to always vent outside and also clean up the mess created in the airbox. Hopefully I'll have it running like a top by Monday. :)
 
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On The Road Again!
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This doohickey on the bars changes radio station and volume...of course no screen so LOL if you want to know what station you’re listening to.
I have to question you about one of your technical terms here.
A "doohickey".....
Is this the opposite of a "don'thickey"?
 

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I have to question you about one of your technical terms here.
A "doohickey".....
Is this the opposite of a "don'thickey"?

No not at all, it is a left-handed whachamacallit
 

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Glad you cleared that up Critter. I was sure it was the opposite of a thingamajig. But are you sure. Might I possibly be correct? I know I'm not too technical but I was sure I read that somewhere.
 
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