here we gooo
August 15, 2009, 3:54 pm
Filed under: cdi, fork, kit, motor, pinasco, port timing

i’ve started pulling ciaociao apart to get it ready for the next polini race.
apparently i’ve been running around with a huge head leak and i had no idea. i guess i should have looked under my bike, the motor is covered in oil! the nuts holding the head on were like hand tight? no idea how that happened. oh wait! i just realized i bet it’s because my triple layer of base gaskets compressed! doi. that’s why you use metal to make thick base gaskets, kids.
everything’s looking good inside the motor. the 3rd mount on the case snapped off again. it broke right along the weld ray did for me. nate says he can do a better job, so hopefully it’ll be fine after that.

also, the aluminum spacer i was using to keep my fan rivets from dragging on my ktm50 coils wore itself out and i have some wear showing. it’s because, even when super tight, my fan will slip a tiny bit when i really get on the gas. the torque is just too much for it. rather than replacing the spacer with a steel one, i just took a big punch and hammered the back of all the rivets flat. it clears nicely. lucky for me, the rivets didn’t do any serious damage to the coils. just some grooves in the plastic.

you can see the flattened rivets there.
sorry for the dark photos, i’m at motomatic using their camera and the light is low.

tony will be around next week and he’s going to help me figure out the best plan of action for this kit and then i’ll get started cutting stuff up.
also, i’m going to try and get some forks on the way for the ciao before next race. i do want to eventually finish my mod to the stock forks and run those, but i don’t have the time right now.. i still gotta get magnomos back on the road by september 11th!
anyway, in the meantime, i plan to run the vespa ebrs. they are pretty stiff and should work well for the track, at least better than these pogo stick bravo forks i’ve been running.

that’s it for now. more posts and pictures soon to come! and maybe a video? who knows!


ciaociao v2.0
October 25, 2008, 12:07 am
Filed under: cdi, fail!, frame, motor

i have a frame on the way!
i have the motor back in my hands, all welded up and ready to go!
i have also broken the display on my digital camera! NOOO!
i am watching a few auctions on ebay of broken cameras that are the same as mine to use as parts, hopefully i’ll be able to pick one up cheap and fix mine.
i did manage to get some photos of the case that my friend ray welded up for me!
here it was before, broken in the frame.

here it is after ray was done with it.

he did a great job! i’ll bet that chunk is stronger now than it was before i broke it!
anyway, the frame should show up soon. expect things to pick up around here once it does!

r.i.p. ciaociao v1.0
October 2, 2008, 10:28 pm
Filed under: cdi, clutch, fail!, frame, kit, pinasco

at the creature rally ciaociao was taken down by a rental van. more about that later. let me get you up to speed before that story.

last update was after i destroyed my fan (again) at moped monday, which actually lead to a pretty good soft seize. the piston was smeared over the rings!
i was able to pick the dike ring out of the top grove with no issues, the ring was perfectly fine.
the second ring, however, was a bit more buried. after probably fortyfive minutes of picking at the thing, the ring was finally starting to wiggle and come out.. in my excitement i broke the damn thing. bummer.
with the rings out, i was able to clean up the piston with some 400 grit sandpaper and clean up the ring grooves as good as new.
problem was, i was down one ring.. and no pinasco kits in the country.
so i went through all the polini kits i had at the shop and find one with a ring of the same width and height! only it was a bit bigger around. after probably 40 more minutes of filing with a tiny pencil file, checking every now and again with the cylinder and feeler gauges, i was able to whittle the ring down to proper size, and even hand filed some notches in it to clear the stop peg!
the cylinder cleaned up with hardly any work and i was ready to go.
i really wish i had taken pictures of all of that, but i had left my camera at home some how, and didn’t want to wait.. it’s too bad, i was actually quite proud of myself for finding a close enough ring and hand filing it to fit. it’s been running perfect with that ring ever since!

as mentioned before, that moped monday ride destroyed my plastic tfr fan.

lucky for me, i had an extra one found on moped army, so i went back to mikemike’s to once again lathe out the back of the fan and figure out a better way to attach it.
what i came up with is so simple, i hate myself for not going this rout to begin with.

pop rivets!
i used a lot of them to make sure they had enough grab to keep from tearing out of that plastic. i used 1/8″ alum rivets to clear the coils underneath, so the heads were pretty small. so far it’s holding strong, and i’ve got a lot of miles on it!

i forgot to re-time the motor before throwing it back together. i didn’t think it would have untimed it’s self, but i was going to do it anyway. too bad i didn’t, it was running like ass the night before leaving to sf and i didn’t have time to mess with it. first thing i did when i got to cali was pull the motor and time it. ran awesome once it was back together!

so ciaociao did most of day one without a hitch, it was blasting pretty freaking hard for never being open more than 1/2 throttle.
then came the night city ride. i probably got about 6 miles before the inside nut on my clutch decided to spin off, taking most of the threads with it.
i didn’t notice until i felt a loss of power. i looked behind me to make sure i wouldn’t be cutting anyone off as i merged to the right, and that’s when i noticed all the smoke..
when i looked at the clutch, it was BILLOWING a TON of smoke out of the bell! way more than at blood drive when this exact thing happened! it was also shooting a ton of sparks, what with the inner pulley cheek now resting against the frame..
so i pulled over and waited for the rescue truck.
the next day, i went to rufu’s work shop and he welded the fucker up!

i won’t be getting that yellow malossi spring back, but it won’t be falling apart on me anymore, either!

so now that i have that all taken care of, ciaociao was ready for the long, awesome sunday ride.
other than a few little hiccups (clutch bell nut nearly fell off, belt stretching making it hard to start), the bike was running awesome.
i flew across the golden gate bridge at half throttle (wanted to open up all the way, but decided i would wait for the trip home, didn’t want to blow up before the awesome ride!), was ripping up every hill, passing bikes left and right.. so much fun!
until i went into a semi-steep, super sharp right hand blind corner, hit a patch of pine needles/dirt/something and had the bike slide out from under me, into the oncoming lane and under a van.
CRUNCH!, the bike stopped running..
i rushed over, dragged it out of the street and up the inside wall as best as i could and waited for all the other mopeds to go by. once they had, i dragged it to the next driveway a little way up the street and waited for the pick up truck again. fuck.

the frame is toast.
it could have been a lot worse, i could have been ran over with the bike, but some how i lucked out.
poor ciaociao did not! sad.
the pipe now has a few dents in it, i snapped the 3rd mounting point off the malossi case and broke another float bowl, but other than that everything seems fine.. there is some oil on my tranny, but that might be from the over-flow hole from when it was on it’s side. i need to tear into it and inspect it better.

so the ciao’s off the road again. lamecity. i’ve been trying super hard to not cut up green ciao to make ciaociao v2.0, but it’s sooo tempting.. currently i’m searching for a new frame so that i don’t have to destroy a beautiful stock ciao to satisfy my burn-out-wheelie cravings!

ciaociao will be back, and soon. so keep watching this space!

pre-rally update!
September 19, 2008, 12:03 am
Filed under: brakes, carb, cdi, dellorto, electronics, fail!, intake, new parts!, port timing

since my last update i’ve gotten a few things taken care of. firstly, i took care of the rear brake.
i have never had a moped with crappy brakes, especially the rear. i know the front does most of the stopping, but all of my bikes have always had awesome rear brakes, like skid worthy. i was a little disappointed in ciaociao’s rear brake hardly slowing me down even.
i pulled the rear end apart to sand the pad and see if there was anything i could do to make it work better, when i remembered i had a kinetic rear hub floating around. i dug it out and discovered the brake pad on it was over twice as wide as the stock ciao pad!
here you can see the stock pad compared to the kinetic pad, which i had already mounted in this picture;

the kinetic one is probably a third bigger than my “large” vespa pad from my si that got saturated in gear oil. totally found another good thing about kinetics! can you believe it?
after mounting it, i got it all sanded and ready to use, and threw a new pedal sprocket on with fewer teeth for good measure.

it works awesome now! skid city!

i also fixed my flywheel fan for the last time, i hope!
i made a new spacer on the lathe, only this time i gave it a cheek for the fan to rest on. i pretty much re-created the same spacer from last time, but left it a super thin shelf for the back of the fan.

then i chucked the fan itself up in the lathe and turned out a step for the spacer’s shelf to fit into.

here they are side by side;

and put together;

poured on the 4000lb test glue and it works perfectly! no more fan falling into my expensive coils!

speaking of expensive coils, after installing the new set and putting the bike back together, i wasn’t getting any spark at all. took the bike all the way apart again to discover my coils were faulty. either they came that way, or i some how broke them while installing them.. at any rate, i thought i was up a creek.
after calling around to literally 20+ ktm dealers in my area, i finally found on that had one in stock! it ended up costing me a good deal more than the other coils, but the ones i got are true made-in-italy ktm50 coils, not after market knock-offs like the last two sets i had and broke. the actual ktm coils are way better quality and totally worth the extra money.

i put the new new coils in last night, cut and bent up a lever choke for my phbg so it would fit, and it fired right up. it was about 11p and i got yelled at by the neighbor, so i put it away for the night. i started in on tuning today and discovered i have an air leak at the intake plate i made, but i have a few ideas to fix that pretty easy. for the meanwhile, i’m going to be slapping on the black rtv and get to tuning!
she’s almost ready to rip!!

blue up my cdi
September 9, 2008, 10:58 am
Filed under: cdi, clutch, electronics, fail!, frame

so, if you’ll remember from last time, i mentioned my clutch smoking a bunch and my fan falling apart again.
well, the clutch thing ended up being the nut on the very back spinning loose. i sheered the lock washer that was to hold it in place and it spun off. once that happened, everything was all loosey goosey and caused all the smoke and heat. it’s all better now, new lock washer installed with a dab or two of red loctite, and i should be good to go back there. i hope..

however, the fan falling off ended up being a real problem. it took out my cdi!

the fan fell into the coils and melted away at them till i broke some wires. melted the back of the fan a bit, too.

not a big deal. besides, when you’re trying something new for the first time, you’re bound to run into problems like this. i picked up some new coils pretty cheap on ebay and am working on a new adapter/spacer plate for the fan. it will be stepped as such so that the fan cannot fall backwards into the coils again, and it will provide me with more surface area for gluing it together.

i really hope to have the fan thing sorted out this weekend some time. it’s all most rally time again and i haven’t gotten to even begin the actual tuning part of this moped. 😦

oh! and here’s a photo to show you how much cutting i had to do to the frame to get the carb to work. i also had to take a razor blade to the plastic float bowl! it’s a tight fit!

power hour
August 13, 2008, 12:49 pm
Filed under: carb, cdi, clutch, electronics, fail!, intake, motor, performance, variator, video

so early last week we had a 90+ deg. day here in seattle, which means it probably got up to 3000+ deg. in my bed room. my computer melted down. 😦
i haven’t had a chance to assess the damage, i’m hoping it was only the video card.
this has made it difficult for me to keep you guys up to date. sorry!

ciaociao’s first start! sorry so dark, austin took that at 3am last thursday, the first day of the rally.
it made the first day! i was stoked.

however, i was plagued with problems. haha
about half way through the ride the clutch bell was billowing smoke. i have yet to tear into it to figure out why. my guess is that one of those malossi springs broke and i was dragging a pad the whole time.
also, i noticed the fan was ungluing itself from the spacer mikemike and i made for it.
the fan was just kind of pressed onto the spacer, and then glued.

the concept was perfect, just the execution was a little off. it fit perfectly.

and it worked great! but the glue was failing, so it’s time for something new. i think we will build another spacer like this one, but give it teeth around the out side, heat it up and press it into the fan. THEN i’ll go over it with some epoxy.

the plastic fan with the tiny rotor reaaaally made this thing rip.
you can kind of tell in the video above that the throttle response is amazing. with no weight on the crank, it would speed up and slow down super fast.. and the whole thing was super simple! well, again, the concept was simple, actually making it happen took some work.
first we made the stator plate and got the coil and everything bolted up. we used a timing light to time it.

then the fan/spacer combo slides down the shaft and rests on the rotor.

then the fan shroud gets bolted on and it’s ready to be put in the frame.

once in the frame, the variator is installed and the big nut smashes everything together.

also, as you can see, the carb fit right in there! it took some manipulation of the frame, and a razor blade to shave down a plastic phbg bowl in just the right spots, but it fits perfect.

so anyway, riding it. i had it jetted waaay too rich. anything past quarter throttle sounded like i was riding under water, it was four stroking so bad.
but it was fast.
man, when i found the sweet spot at 1/4 throttle, the fork would unload and off it went.. it was a little scary. i can’t wait to see what full throttle is like.. oh man.

after the smoky clutch and fan coming apart on me, i decided to put it away for the rest of the rally and to ride a less intense bike.
creature rally is in a month and a half. i was hoping to have this thing painted and finished by then, but i have some serious tuning to do before then, so we’ll see.
i need to jet it proper, need to drill out or find new weights for the variator (it was variating before the clutch would grab, yet would ride wheelies on command), make sure this clutch doesn’t blow up on me and get the fan issue tamed.
and hopefully get the fork finished and loose the heavy bravo forks.
and get the frame braced and welded up.
yay, mopeds are fun again!

rally read?
July 16, 2008, 1:35 am
Filed under: bars, carb, cdi, dellorto, electronics, fork, intake, motor

well, it’s crunch time again. i decided it was time to prioritize what i had left to do for ciaocioa to finish her. i decided the most important, at the top of the list thing that needs to happen, is to get the electronic system and the intake finished. these are things that absolutely need to happen before she’s on the road.
last sunday i went down to mikemike’s and did some work on the mill to make the stator plate we are using fit. all i really had to do was drill some holes in it, and mill it down to be half as thick as it was. then we had to turn the inner hole out a bit larger to clear the bearing seal and it was golden.
here it is sitting in the motor.

notice all the extra holes everywhere. this plate originally went to something else, we used it because it took little to make it fit proper. we’ll only be using the three holes that bolt the plate to the motor, the rest will go unused.
here it is with the rotor and coil set on it something like it will be when it’s all mounted up proper.

you can see how small the rotor is. the little holes in it will be drilled out a bit more and tapped for the alum fan adapter plate to bolt on, which will allow use of the plastic fan i stole from a parted out kinetic.
i hope this weekend to go in and bust out the intake for it. i’ll be using the dellorto si carb to start with.

it uses crazy car-carb-like press-in jets, but they are readily available at pretty much any serious scooter shop. i can also order up what ever i need at the shop, so that’s good.
these carbs are found stock on the old, bigger vespa scooters, so there’s a bit of novelty using it on my vespa ciao.
i chose it for a few reasons; flat slide, down draft (makes building an intake much easier), novelty, availability of jets and parts, and best of all, it was free! thanks jeb!
ok, so those are the things i am going to focus on until they are done.
however, a running engine is no good if you don’t have a bike to put it in..
since my time at mikemike’s shop is reserved for those two bits for now, i’m going to put off the fork swing arms until i get them done.
even if i had the swing arms done, i’d still have to lathe out the stem adapter before i could use that for.. so for now i am going to just use the heavier bravo forks that i was rocking on the orange ciao for so long. i’m also using orange ciao’s handle bars, controls and grips.
tonight i bolted the fork on and threw a too-small axle in the front wheel just to put everything together to see how it looked, and it’s going to be awesome. i forgot my camera here today, so no pictures. i’ll get some tomorrow.