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Two Wheeled Lament (or – Scootin’ it!)

June 18, 2011

Motorcycle withdrawal.

That’s the only way to explain it.

We arrived on-island, and one of the first things I did was to go out and buy a pair of scooters.  49cc’s of pure, unbridled…anemia.

Yeah, I know – it looks fast, but lemmetellya…it ain’t.

You see, we’ve but one car here – and the island isn’t exactly pedestrian-friendly. This was to be our second vehicle.  I’d bought two, as the guy selling them was being redeployed to Nevada – and had no need for them.  Neither ran, so I was able to buy two for considerably less than the price of one.  They had a combined mileage of less than 500 when I got ’em.  When I first got this one lit off – it would roll up to the eyeball-drying speed of 31 MPH given enough level road and time.

If you know me – that ain’t good enough.

I’ve been a tinkerer since I was a kid; I recall with great clarity pulling apart my first motor at age 6 just to see where the ‘bang’ came from.  It’s been downhill from there.  I’m not afraid of tearing into anything mechanical – especially a cheap chinese scooter.

So – modifications were the order of the day.

A custom air intake;

free-flow stainless exhaust, and;

Removal of everything that doesn’t make the little snot go fast.

After the first round of modifications, I had a scooter that would roll out at about 43 MPH – on the level.

Problem is – only about 10% of Guam is level.  On a hill with my 220 lb butt on board, this thing would chug down to 20 MPH.

The solution?  Modify the bugger to within an inch of its life.

Displacement?  Double.

Head?  big valves, ported and polished.

Cylinder head and piston were carved upon for proper clearance and airflow.

While it’s not easy doing these things out of an apartment – the Pheebs is understanding of the mania associated with things-with-motors.

A carburetor on a coffee table.  Takes a special kind of woman to tolerate such tomfoolery.  I’m a lucky guy.

While it’s still being sorted out – the result is a scoot which flat flies up to 40 MPH.  For some reason I’ve yet to determine, the scoot does not seem to want to go much past 45 MPH, seemingly running out of power.  Not that I *need* to be doing 60 MPH on ten inch wheels – but the engineering exercise is worth the effort.

I’ll be modifying the transmission and final drive next – I think the belt’s slipping.  The Pheebs claims my belt is slipping – the motorhead equivalent of my cheese sliding off the cracker.


I miss shifting.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2011 5:39 pm

    Too much truth in one essay. Miss shifting? Me too but I get the reconditioned Bonneville back on Monday. 60 mph on ten inch wheels is a rush. believe me…but I don’t ride on snot masquerading as asphalt (see previous post).
    In two weeks I will be renting a 100 hp r1200st. Show you a guamanian hill and raise you an Umbrian hilltop village? One last look at medieval italy before we descend into our retro economy? I will make it a good visit I hope.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      June 18, 2011 6:44 pm

      I put it down once already – in a gas station. Yes, ten inch wheels are tricky. I’ll get a larger machine if my stint here grow longer than the next few months.

      A bike in Umbria? If you were to do it properly, it’s would be Italian and of small displacement. I am jealous.

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