Monday, 11 February 2013

I love mopeds, so I built my own...

Jerry putting his 'Coccinella' (ladybird) through her paces outside Wemoto
Here is a unique and cool rebuild story from Jerry, motorcycle and moped lover extraordinare - and what a beautiful machine he has built.  He came in to see us with it at Wemoto last week and here is the story in his own words...

"I love mopeds - but nobody has ever really made my dream moped - so I decided to build my own...

The tank and the 'lovely cream tyres'
The fantastic prices that certain classic mopeds are now fetching also heavily influenced my decision, as I couldn't afford to buy another of my first proper moped, a Fantic Ti50...which I sold for £75...but that's another story.

Big wheeled, retro and vintagey...


The story of this build started with my friend's beach cruiser pushbike which had lovely cream tyres, then I discovered and bought on ebay an amazing pair of alloy MTB girder forks.  Slowly a big wheeled vintagey retro moped plan started to hatch.

Half man - half bicycle 


Old Raleighs have pushbike front brakes and others use pushbike rims. So, I thought, why not go half bicycle? I should add that I am not a heavy man.

Initially designed with a Tomos A3 engine, I changed this to a Puch E50 type along the way, due to parts availability and the discovery that there is a whole world of tuning goodies out there.

Research revealed that the best engine was  the 70s kids scrambler, the Puch magnum x - 4hp, 17mm carb, kickstart.

I built the frame up from bicycle parts at the front, magnum x around the engine, and a homemade rear end and swing arm.

The steering head angle, wheelbase etc I just copied from my CG125, as I
know that it works.

California Dreamin'

After fabrication of all the little incidental bits, came the first start-up - which was rather underwhelming due to a clapped out small end and leaky carb and a general reluctance to rev cleanly.

So a new crank/con rod assembly (only £55!) went in, and while inside I matched the transfer ports and replaced the broken dykes top ring (the only place I found to stock these was in California, the excellent 1977 mopeds shop).

After some fettling it's all good

The biggest headaches of the build were the throttle cable and gearing - this was a matter of guesswork which finally involved the only outsourced bit of  work, a special rear sprocket carrier, allowing me to use regular Puch Maxi items on the magnum hub. This gave me a huge amount of options.

Time for tea

Keep it simple is a mantra I fully buy into, the bike having one wire to the coil, then an HT lead to the plug. Less to go wrong, and the kill switch is a hand over the air filter (coffee jar lid and tea strainer). I found that vintage tea strainers seem to have a finer mesh...

The most satsfying part was building the rear wheel, I had never done this before, and it was good fun.  Discovering that the bike weighs 35kg wet was brilliant....well that makes a 70kg Fs1e seem lardy!

Parts list:

  • tank - Italjet bambino
  • shocks - raleigh RM5, grips - Mobylette
  • engine and coil - Puch Magnum x

A big thanks to the guys at Wemoto for their knowledge and patience with all the cables bearings chain etc that had to be measured and referenced, I can't recommend them highly enough."

Thanks so much for this great story Jerry, glad we could help and good luck with the next project!

So fast he's blurry!


1 comment:

  1. Outstanding work from all of you guys !
    So when is the MOT and number-plates then ?