Sunday, November 30, 2008

Close-up Shots & Counter-tops

Yeah, so Liz has been able to get out on the P200 to practice since my last post, but isn't completely ready for the road yet. It doesn't really help that shes been really busy with school. We went to 'moped monday' last week and her and some classmates shot some footage of the the members and the meet-up for a school project. We were supposed to follow the Fleet on scoot, with Camera, but when it was time to leave the throttle cable promptly disconnected. Curses! Anyway, so interested parties should expect some video in the near future.

So, because my unemployment has freezed up my work on new projects, I decided to put my Newport's engine back together as it was a long while back. A few changes have been made since last time, largely in the effort of building up the motor my custom cylinder was planned for. They include:

-Upgraded connecting rod with caged bearing instead of the brass journal of the original (Thanks to Motion Mopeds on that)
-New 2nd speed shift pucks, again MLM
-Lightening of the 2nd speed clutch and secondary gear of about 120 grams
-Tensioning of the 2nd speed clutch
-Tomos 12V lighting coil
-Optimized header & (hopefully) improved tuned length
-Del'lorto 21mm PHBG

I'm planning on installing the motor today. I'm still not sure if the 21mm carb will jive with the Tomos cylinder, as the 19mm I used to run seemed big enough. I'm also not sure what if any changes need to be made to the wiring to accommodate the Tomos coil. The goal here is to show up at a Mosquito Fleet meeting with an actual running moped. How Novel!

Its quite a difference going from a semi-functional 'shop' to working on a kitchen counter. oh well...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Upon moving here to Seattle, it took me about three weeks to get a job going. (late September) Today, along with several dozen other people, I have been laid off from that job. Obviously that's going to slow down my progress on projects as I look for a job and pinch my pennies. Boo! I suppose this has more to do with the company being brand new with a loose business plan than with the current U.S. macro-economic plight. The place I used to work at: Eagleview Technologies

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Game ON!

Radical. After exhausting some other possibilities, I decided to re-check the ignition timing on Liz's P200. Sure enough, the ignition timing mark on the stator plate and engine case didn't mean anything. After retiming the ignition, the bike ran Much better. That was a few days ago. The jetting is still off, maybe from elevation or the temperature or something, but the bike runs well enough. After some tinkering Liz and I took the bike down to Husky Stadium and I gave Liz her first riding lesson. Woot! I'm happy this project has reached some significant level of completion. Theres plenty of work remaining, but the scooter is actually 'useful' for Liz.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Step by Step

Finishing Liz's P200 is my first priority, and work continues to show progress. I believe I have remedied the fuel starvation issue, I also adjusted the ignition timing and used valve-grinding compound to correct a blow-by concern on the cylinder head. The bore and piston are in rough, but I believe usable, condition. If compression persists as a concern, we'll probably chip in the buck-oh-five for another cylinder and piston. The bike runs briefly then when throttle reduces to idle, stalls out. At this point, I believe the sparkplug is fouled from the excessive 2-stroke oil I used when refitting the cylinder after lapping the cylinder head. I'm hoping a good long ride will tidy things up, and produce Liz a runner. I still have doubts about fuel flow, though.

Even though I haven't been working on the furnace and custom cylinder, I'm thinking about it quite a bit. The furnace I plan on building will be a good bit better than my previous rigs, which were good for about 2-3 burns and then needed to be disposed and replaced. The set-up I used was a lot like This one, but I was using larger cans and a shop-vac for the blower. Here's an image of one of test test molds I did earlier this year in Ohio at a Cutters Shop Night. It's rough, but I'm fairly pleased how well it turned out, considering the casual way I made the model and the casual "eye-ball'd" method I used it melting and pouring the aluminum. It probably would have cast better, if I had used a larger crucible and coated the model with wax before investing it into plaster. You can tell from the picture the inconsistent surface texture, and shape isn't 'full'. Because I'm going to build up a more durable furnace for the custom cylinder pour, and because of everything I've learned up to this point, I'm considering attempting a short run of cylinders for machine that have none available. Or maybe manifolds?? Just a thought.

I thought I'd also share a sprocket I bodged together. I bought a 15T Puch sprocket, and a 22T Tomos sprocket. I chopped off the teeth of the puch sprocket and had Dave Force weld it up. Obviously this is a retardedly tall gear ratio. I worked on this earlier this year when I was hot to trot for the Decepticons' 'Race to End All Races' -essentially a 35 mile highway run from Kalamazoo to the Lake Superior coast. I figured I would want the longest legs I could possibly get, racing against a bunch of 80cc & variated bikes. I don't think I'll ever use it out here, as Seattle has these things called: 'Hills'. I never ran the race, due to not having a operable machine and not really being that pumped to go because of my lack of operable machine. Its a pretty common afflicition for me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Brick by brick

So work on Liz's P200 has nearly produced a running machine. I still struggle to route the fuel line properly, and the Vespa fuel starves quickly. Hopefully by this time tomorrow, Liz's wait for her running scooter will be over. It still needs work, but the essentials are all there. I'm still surprised at the luck her bike has had, and feel somewhat ashamed that I couldn't produce similar results with Ellen's P200. Replacing the missing and damaged body parts given Liz's P200 a 'quilted' look.

In other news, in the near future I hope acquire the remaining elements to put together a new furnace for my custom cylinder project. In the meantime I've done some peripheral work with the Puch newport. Here's the shift pucks, courtesy of Devin at Motion Left.
Also, awhile back I acquired a used 2-stroke tachometer, then made by Daytona. It's still being made under the different marque of Koso. I was going to use it on my Vespa ET3 Racer, until I noticed how well it dropped into the stock speedometer housing of the Newport, with only a little modification necessary.

Finally, here's a video of me (losing) in a moped race a few years back in Dayton. Apparently I missed turn. Forsooth!