mopeds


2 coolest builds you haven’t seen
October 24, 2009, 7:57 pm
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Well maybe you have, but whatever, these are probably the coolest 2 bikes, both built by Matt. He worked as a mechanic for Skip Barber racing school for a few years, then came back to cupertino to hang out with us losers.

His first build is this magnum. MB5 forks and wheels, Unported Gila’d e50 with HPI, custom simonini pipe, 17×36 gearing. He was clocked at about 68 in sac, but went even faster in LA. He was pulled over on our ride last night blasting a line of cars, but turns out one was a cop! She looked at the bike and gave him a warning. The bike is a tank, and has survived countless rallies, and has gone strong for almost 2 years now.


His other bike is the Gerbi. Garelli SSXL frame paired with a derbi flat reed motor. 75cc metrakit, zen pipe, lomat 4-petal, 24 mikuni, HPI, and some stiff polini clutch springs. This thing is finally done (conveniently after race season), but its rad. Its got a 17″ puch 5 star with the 16″ puch 5 star hub (derbi owners take note, a good rear wheel solution).


And here is the (grumpy) man, fixing yet another derbi.

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fucking magnum
August 13, 2009, 7:57 pm
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ok, so I’ve been building this pretty magnum:

I’ve been doing all the finishing touches this week (as I intend to sell the bike. In fact, I had just posted it and had already received emails), and just put cdi on, and I’m watching it rev up, and to my horror I see the nastiest thing ever. So if you know e50s, you know all that really holds the crank in place is that snap-ring on the clutch side main bearing. This past weekend a few of us were talking about e50s, and their inherent flaw is just this, and a big argument ensued between moped people about just how slop or movement you can actually get from your crank.

I am happy to report you can get almost a full centimeter or play upon hard acceleration. So if this was a za50, that would totally mean the bearing is popping out of the clutch cover. So yea, its pretty cool watching your flywheel move in and out, because seeing this means another motor rebuild is due.

So fuck this magnum. I’ve given it far far too much time and money, and now it shits on my face again and I have to pull it all apart, rebuild it, put it together, then hope for the best. This will be rebuild number 3. So yea, this is going into the depths of my shed, maybe one day returning to the moped world via a quick sale.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a stock bike more than I do now.



maxi 2
July 7, 2009, 8:00 am
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my friend john just got his maxi going a few weeks ago after a blown k-star 50 before that. He had it running great, new DMP kit, cdi and all that, but on the 1st ride we were in the hills and the little screw holding the brake lever in place came out. On the left he pulled the break and got nothing, freaked out, tried to hold it together, but hit the curb and flew between a tree and a rock. I don’t know how he didn’t hit, the slot was just as wide as his body (not wide) and if he hit it at any other angle it would have been bad. Somehow his maxi suffered a super bent swingarm and the forks got tweaked. Upon replacing the swingarm, more stuff was bent, either the frame of the swingarm mount. super bummer!

today we got a new maxi frame and basically complete bike. Its a beautiful red that was once murdered black, half sanded now and faded and really quite nice. we threw it together, and now it rips again! It may be one of the ugliest bikes ever, but that somehow makes it pretty. I took some pictures but my camera decided to spaz out and happily deleted them as I tried to import them. woo-hoo! So now john has a nice new maxi that matches his helmet.

I also had some sweet footy of PT getting some air on magnumX back at the polini cup, so hopefully that isn’t lost forever. Stupid nikon.

Derbi update tomorrow with much more sophisticated canon photo tech.



cuperteens race-prep

so while all the other teams seem to be doing all this crazy stuff, we’ve been keeping it pretty low key. I’m just going to accept derbi how it is. I know I could get a lot more out of it with a little porting, but I want to make sure it survives the weekend before I tear into it further. I also would like to mod the clutch more, but can’t afford another broken shoe, so that will also wait. The cdi and zen pipe paired with the disks already make it a fair amount faster than its last appearance in may (in which it earned the 3rd fastest lap time), so maybe it will be alright.

MagnumX is also going to be coming along and has received its own upgrades. 64cc of piston port magic make for some amazing torque. The pipe we made totally limits its top end, but its loud, and pulls pretty well throughout. I’ll probably ride it in at least one practice just for fun.

My brother is upgrading his tomos as I type, polini, 4 petal, etc. Again, won’t be the fastest bike, but it should rip pretty hard.

Justin (blasto) is riding the polini maxi which has a polini kit on it. I think its slow, and his pipe is going to scrape, but it has some amazing throttle response. Tom (broke dan’s arms) I think is just going to be riding speed racer again, but this time better tuned and a tad faster. He has some other builds in the works, but he’s all hush hush and I don’t know whats happening with them. Matt should just be riding his garelli/derbi monster. HPI, zen pipe, 75cc metrakit and a lomat 4 petal with a 24 mikuni makes a super blaster. My bike has more low end, but his mid-range/top end is insane. True blaster steez. No kinked fuel lines this time.

So thats it, no super hobbit/derbi/puch builds or whatever, although I kinda wish we were. I think Tommy and Jimmy should be ripping, but i know choke is working on some stuff too, so we’ll see. Everyone is upgrading and adapting very quickly. I do have leathers and plan to race as long as I’m healthy. I couldn’t walk yesterday, but spent most the day wrenching today, so I should be fine by friday. Either way, I’m super excited for the weekend. A long lost cuperteen returns!



good and bad
May 30, 2009, 5:53 pm
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derbi was running well, then I decided I wanted it to be better. This didn’t work as well as I imagined. It’ll be fine tomorrow, but its annoying today. Some sweet upgrades over racer version one.




this is the rest of the current running fleet. 2 will be gone soonish.



Airsal=Shitty Aluminum
May 6, 2009, 4:08 am
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Ok, so my white and blue magnum is done, well almost. Turns out airsal aluminum is extra crappy. I was setting the timing, thread the spark plug back in, and go to gently torque it, and boom, the plug keeps twisting. Wonderful, now the head is stripped. I then proceed to attach the exhaust and one of the bolts in on the verge of stripping out the stud. I don’t know how I keep doing it (2 polinis now), but this is annoying. Luckily tom has some sweet inserts for the head, and I’ll just get an m8/m6 stud for the exhaust, but everything else is all done and pretty, so I’m kinda bummed. Regardless, it will be running for the weekend.



AAnother magnum!
April 22, 2009, 4:35 am
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So about a week ago I had a wanted ad up on craigslist. This guys, who happens to be just around the corner emailed me saying he had a nice magnum II thats been apart under his workbench for the past 10+ years. Fast forward to today, my brother and I drive down the street, and he unveils a really nice magnum. Its silver with spokes and pooper forks, za50, perfect seat, mediocre paint, and a perfectly clean tank. This is going to be my brother’s moped, so he offers the dude $150, and he says no, he’ll take $100! He goes inside and pulls a stack of paper work, including the original receipt, and the original registration. It sold for $799 back in ’81, and came from a shop in Mountain View (from which a handful of my previous mopeds have originated). He said he was going to take it to the dump this week, and was super stoked for us to buy it off him.

So there you have it, magnums still exist in yards, garages and other misc. spots even in some of the most “plucked” moped areas. They are still out there hiding, waiting to be rescued.

Tentative plans call for a near replication of my setup. Polini za50, phbg, circuit, etc. Its a solid setup that does 55 and gets there quick, a real winner. Lucky for him I have tons of extra parts. Updates to come as the bike is reassembled and upgraded.