aaand we’re back! well kinda..
July 8, 2010, 9:42 pm
Filed under: electronics, lighting, malossi, new parts!, variator

hello everyone, did you miss me? no? oh.

anyway! ciao is sitting at the shop and i’ve started converting it back to street use. that pretty much just means i’m putting lights on it.

i’m using magnomos’ old headlight because that’s what i happen to have laying around. besides, the terry dean edition mf headlight sticker suits ciaociao.

if you’ll remember, i’ve got some dinky little cdi system from a kids dirt bike powering the bike, so no lights. once i get my battery back from alan, i’m going to build a little battery box and mount it back by the rear wheel.. i’ll take pictures that better explain it as i’m doing it.
not sure what i’m going to use as a tail light just yet.

also, here’s a better picture of the damage done last time ciaociao ran..

i’ll never use malossi variator bits again! well, except weights and rear springs i suppose..

anyway, that’s all i’ve got for the moment. now that ciaociao’s going to be my daily rider, i’ll be changing a lot about it, so there should be more fun times ahead. new pipes, new bars, maybe new paint.. watch and see!


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.

bearing bears! swing those swing arms! wtf shut up.
July 9, 2008, 12:13 pm
Filed under: carb, electronics, fork, wheels

ok, so here are the pictures of my sealed bearing conversion for the front wheel all ready to go. i thought i got some photos of the bearing cups and knocking them out, and making the spacer for between the sealed bearings, but i can’t find them.. 😦 lame. oh well, if enough people want to see it, i’ll find another wheel to convert and make a walk through for it.
here are pics of it ready to go on the bike!

you can see the spacer in the last pic, showing the bearing inside the brake hub. it’s just a piece of chromoly tubing cut just long enough to support the lateral load of being bolted into the fork. if you do this conversion, make sure you use good steel tubing of a high grade, cut the ends SQUARE, and make sure they only touch the inner race of the bearing.

i’ve also started on the new swing arms for the front fork. originally i was going to make a bracket that bolted to the axle to hold my shock dampeners, but then i realized i needed to mill out the axle slots to fit the larger axle that goes along with the sealed bearing conversion, and that there is no good way to build those brackets to begin with, so i decided custom swing arms were the way to go.

first, i took a block of aluminum billet and cut out two chunks large enough to whittle down to size.

once i had those, i had to take them to the mill and mill them down to the proper width. then i started to shape the inside bottom corner of the arms so that they could pivot in the fork like the originals.

corners shaped, it was time to mill the hole for the bolt that they will pivot on. i made them the same diameter as the holes in the original arms so that i could use the bushings and spacer from them.

the bushings press in nice and tight, and everything fits the fork.
next is to drill the hole for the axle (it will be in the same place as the original, just larger for the bigger axle) and to mill in the slots for the dampeners. once i have that done, i can figure out where i want to drill the holes for the bottom of the dampener and mill off excess aluminum from the arms to reduce weight.
then it’s just a matter of building the upper brackets and picking up some pins to hook everything together! i’m hoping for three different shock mounts at the bottom, maybe two up top. or, to keep it simple, i might just go with one up top and two down below. that would give me a “hard” and “soft” setting.
if i were real fancy, i could do the math, figure out the angles and everything, and know exactly how stiff the front end will be in each mode. but i’m not fancy, i’m just going to wing it. if it’s too stiff, i’ll pick up some 60lb dampeners from the same people i got the 80lb ones from and try again.

so yeah, that’s where i stand. i still don’t know for sure which carb i’m going to use (i have three to choose from), and don’t have the electronic system all ready to go.. and rally time is like a month away! jeez.

can’t discount intuition
March 17, 2008, 11:18 am
Filed under: cdi, electronics

yesterday i spent some hours with mikemike and friends at ye ole nazaroff’s machine shope, working on fitting the flywheel rotor to the crank shaft. it’s totally going to work! after mike made a couple different shims for the rotor, he discovered it’s actually the exact same shim needed for a puch motor! so he pretty much made two or three shims for the hell of it.
we didn’t have the rest of the cdi bits on hand, so building the stator plate and fitting everything in will be dealt with on another day. we also need to pick up some 1/16 or so alum sheeting to make the adapter plate to fit the plastic fan to the flywheel.
it looks like it’s going to work out to be a neat little bundle.. but not something mikemike can probably bust out a bunch of to sell off, like the puch version.
more to come! stay tuned!