I’ve been missing for a bit, but am still around. The frevolution has been kicking it, and I finally pulled the custom built pipe from my derbi race bike off so it doesn’t get destroyed by the streets (and fog) of SF. I got one of those fasmem pipes from treats and had to add a little bracket and trim my transmission cover a tad to get the fit. I had a little electrical issue (read: custom construction = melted headlight) and got a replacement that was creating some gremlins. Some crafty work and now all systems are a go. It doesn’t run nearly as well as it did with the simoni pipe, but a little tuning ought to help out. It does fit on nicely though.

Next up might be a throwback: decking out my clean newport with a gila/phbg ripper setup and mobbing that around town. The details are unclear, but I have a few kits sitting and I want something a little different for the city. I love the start 3 derbi motor but I don’t want to go all crazy with it and unfortunately am limited on gearing by preserving the puch swingarm/wheels. So I’m thinking simple e50 build on a nice base. Should be simple and fun to ride around. With some luck I’ll have a post or two about it.

Oh yeah, got another toy, but it still needs a little work. More on that later.


A Frevolution is Coming
August 15, 2011, 8:02 pm
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A work in progress. Plans are for a 50cc ripper. All brackets built, pedals will be functional, ripping pipe clears all, together maybe the best moped ever Next up is some cosmetics, welding and assembly. If the 50 doesn’t deliver, maybe a 20+ hp scooter cylinder. Coming soon to a rally near you.

’tis the season

hello fellow readers, sorry for the lack of updates the past few weeks. Well I am back from Hawaii (1st trip there, so much fun!), and that moped rally in reno is happening this weekend. There should be 6 of us superteens there, so get ready for some crazy fun times.

yesterday we had a little fix-it bbq at my house, and in typical fashion we didn’t get all that much done. Well that’s a lie, Bret got his maxi running after some silly wiring snafu, and Tom got his sweet new variant sport going but it is really really loud and I don’t think my neighbors were all that excited about it.

My green derbi is still being a turd, and after 2 different carburetors and some cleaning I think its time for a 3rd. Hopefully I can get one from Tom tonight, then I can throw that on with the sweet ninja pipe I am borrowing, then it should be able to rip for prolonged periods. When it was running (for exactly 1 float bowl before dying), it was fast. The bored out cylinder, ninja and clutch springs (+TJT) along with a 20t front and super small 32t rear make this bike quick off the line with a predicted top speed over 45 (maybe more downhills!). So yea, I’m excited but not in that its not running now. If I can’t get it dialed I’ll just bring my boring old magnum

Sean is building what may qualify as the ugliest maxi ever. He got an old newport frame out of Matt’s yard (rusty, faded, ugly), is reusing his grungy 5-stars with custom (crusty) white-walled vm100s, some faded old red freespirit forks, some rad bicycle bars, and some random pug shocks. Power wise its solid, with his old athena kit, 21 phbg (he was gonna build an intake, but why do more work when you can just trade parts with Tom?), and a really really chromed out biturbo. All in all practical, ugly, and probably structurally questionable.

Sorry, no photos were taken because we were working super hard, or maybe we were just drinking beer. I’m not sure, but the sausages sure were tasty. See ya’ll in reno.

pinto madness
June 9, 2010, 10:04 pm
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Today was fix the pinto day, and I didn’t finish cause it was my brother’s b-day and we had to eat ribs and eat cheesecake.


The bike was actually in great shape, well besides the ugly paint. Its not actually that bad, just faded and rusted and ugly. Someone thought it’d be cool to just paint everything, bolts, cables and wires included. At least they took the tank off and taped off the chrome. Good job! It’s kinda funny they went from nice orange to yellow.

Regardless, the thing had great spark, solid wiring, good compression and just the typical varnished carb. So I just attacked this the easy way: soaked the carb, checked the points, refilled the tranny, rinsed out the tank, replaced the petcock, cleaned up the wiring, and replaced the throttle cable. I hate throttle cables.

Finally got everything together and started 2nd kick with the choke on. It idles nice, and revs up really well. It sounds like its going to be kinda quick too! All the lights, switches and horn even work.

Tomorrow I’ll get some finished pictures after I pull the wheels off, clean the brakes, replace the tubes and put in new rim strips, and replace the drive chain. Maybe I’ll even polish it up a bit, but probably not. Then its time to blast! Oh, I HATE how high the stock seat sits over the tank. UGLY.


ok, first midterm done, so I’ve got some time. So yes, as stated the polini cup was awesome. I should have studied all weekend, but instead I went to atwater and tried to race.

Cuperteens broken race team: the story of the year. (Check out my rad c5 in the background. Thanks Colby!)

It was a tough morning. I got my bike all together last week and was basically hoping it would survive the races. I went out in qualifying and my bike was a turd. It wouldn’t rev through the pipe on the straight, so I was just cruising. I tried to make a few adjustments before twist and go qualifying, but it just got worse, with my bike even slower on the straight and the variator binding and making for horrid power. So after re-timing the bike, down jetting, replacing the rear pulley, switched back to a stock spring, changing the variator weights, and re-adjusting tire pressure it was time for the moped race.

I didn’t ride very well, I think I got 6th in the first moped race. I somehow managed to get out in front of everyone but tommy and jeff, but poor lines through the twisties quickly yielded lost spots to first jimmy, then elliot (on the e5, so sick!), then ultimately terry dean when I went super wide on the hairpin. I then proceded to suck even more, almost falling at least twice (2 wheel drifts!), the actually having a decent rematch vs. Latebird Nik. Unfortunately he fell on the last lap but was ok. I managed to get then 3rd or 4th in twist and go (tommy broke), but my bike was super janky.

I then proceeded to replace my shocks (tom lent everything to me, a real trooper after his crank twisted up saturday), but missed the dash for cash. I had WestCoast Ben (or Ben Jammin) ride his sick derbi, but it was a bit out of tune. Terry Dean ripped it up out there and won like $120. So awesome!

I got back out there for moped 2, but on after the 1st lap I had some crazy vibrations and turns out my crank twisted just like tom’s. Bummer! I guess this was the 10th crank i’ve destroyed, dunno. So someone had to get out there for twist and go, and luckily the mosquito bus brought mr. travis and his rad hobbit, so he put on the boots and ripped it up out there, getting 4th in the most entertaining race ever (with tommy on the jog).

So yea, racing was awesome. Jeff managed to hang on to the win in mopeds, with elliot on the e5 just narrowly behind (with another lap or 2, who knows!). He took home the metro rider for 1st overall on the season. Jimmy was second and got a rad helmet, which he earned after nearly knocking himself out in the dash for cash, and tommy rounded up the podium in 3rd.

The puch polini racing was also epic. The first race had Round, Jimmy and Alan all neck and neck right up to the last lap. Alan managed to pass jimmy on the last turn of the last lap and took it home. The 2nd race was slightly less intense because alan fell, but still awesome with jimmy and round battling hard. I’m super excited about this class next season.

Somehow I managed to get 3rd overall in twist and go for the season, so I won a big box full of oil and cleaners, some posters, and a sweet key chain! Tommy got 2nd and got some rad racing slicks for his pitbike! (he has one, right?) Mr. Scooter Rumple got 1st. We will get him next year.

Ok, so thats it. The Polini Cup was rad. Polini USA did an amazing job all year making this happen. Big thanks to them, 1977Mopeds, and everyone else who made racing this year a reality. Atwater has been great, and I’m super stoked about next season. More parties (that bus better be back down), more racing, and more fun overall. I’ll post some pictures of my new builds as they happen over the winter.

September 29, 2009, 6:00 am
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So yea, Chappy’s are amazing. There were several different versions sold back in the day with 2 motors and different transmission arrangements. Most common are the LB50’s, which usually have foot pegs, and a 2 speed transmission that has 2 gear ratios (so that means 2 gears of Hi, or 2 gears of Low for hills). There is also the LB50PE which is the same, except it has pedals that are pathetic, but pedals nonetheless. The right pedal arm is also adjustable and can be locked in the forward position to act as footpegs. Yamaha also sold the LB80 (which is actually 72cc’s) with either the 2 gear dual ratio transmission or in very rare cases a 4 speed manual. The 72cc top end apparently isn’t swappable between bottom ends, but I’ve never had one, and I’d guess its like the 75cc puch kits where the skirt is too big for the case.

Stock the 50s are pretty slow. Chappy’s weigh an obscene amount, and the stock carb is tiny, so it really offer much performance wise. When I first got mine it did about 23 mph. Later on before kitting I got it up to a whole 28mph. To do this I did my first pathetic attempt at porting, got new piston rings and cleaned the exhaust.

Internally these are pretty intimidating motors, so beware when you take that transmission cover off. I’ll take a photo next oil change. Luckily everything is awesome yamaha quality, so it is very durable and over-engineered. My bottom end has thus far survived several hundred miles with the polini setup.

Performance wise, there isn’t a ton of stuff available, but at least there is some stuff. Polini makes a 70cc cylinder (45mm, rated at 6 hp), larger intake (for clamp on dellorto PHBG carbs); Ninja makes an exhaust, and Gianelli also makes a pipe. Thats it. If I were to do it again, I’d get some other pipe, maybe an 8p, motobecane ninja, or something else and weld it onto the stock (and MASSIVE) header. The chappy ninja exhaust is pretty, but it has a non-removable restriction and thats a huge bummer. You could cut off the header flange and graft on the one from your stock pipe, but that’s probably more work than most people are going to undertake. The gianelli also has a restrictor washer welded in, but it pops out easy. A derbi Big Muff might be good (too long though). Either Chappy pipe will necessitate the removal of pedals.

My bike has the polini (case matched), the intake, a puch 50cc high-comp head, gilardoni 4 petal reed block (some filing required to make it fit), gianelli exhaust and a 21mm phbg. My oil injection is disabled and I premix in the tank. The NOS and oil injection nipples on the intake are also blocked off.

Unfortunately to make the polini or ninja exhaust work, you need to lose the pedals. To make matters worse, you pretty much need a non-pedal chappy swingarm (narrower to account for smaller rear wheel hub). These are easy to find on ebay, and go on easy, but its just an added hassle. If you have the pedal version, the extra pedal sprocket simply unbolts from the rear wheel hub, narrowing the whole rear wheel so it can fit inside the non-pedal swingarm.

When first kitted I got it up to nearly 50 miles an hour. This is scary for such a small bike that is super squishy. It currently cruises about 40 and can get up to 45 if I want, maybe more, but thats just because the Gianelli has an obscenely long header so its all low end.

As I look back on this all, I now see I omitted discussing the electrical system. Yamaha points are solid, but the biggest issue is non-adjustable timing besides adjusting the point gap itself. The stator just has 2 holes holding it to the case with no room for adjusting. This can likely be fixed with some careful dremel or milling action, but I have no idea what the results would be (well probably faster, but I cannot say for sure without trying). Additionally, no other moped ignition system will fit due to the obscenely large diameter of the crankshaft.

Chappy Resources:
Treatland – Performance Parts
Bike Bandit – NOS replacement parts (select year, then model: e.g. 1978 LB50PE) Most parts cross over between years and models
eBay – any obscure part you may need

If you can’t find it here, France actually has a large number of Chappy’s, so french ebay is a last resort.

I’ll add a photo of the wiring diagram later on.

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.