Saturday October 20th 2012 at Grange’ race track Apple Valley, California.
Come beat Tomahawk’s ass at the next moped race October 20th 2012 at Grange’ Race Track. It’s a motorized bicycle event but mopeds are invited and may have their own class. My 50cc race mopeds don’t have pedals so I’m already disqualified according to rules and can’t win any trophy, but I’ll come to play with my fellow moped racers from Los Angeles.
I always get up too late, then load my 2 bikes + equipment, get a cup of a coffee + french croissant, stop at 7-eleven to buy my lunch turkey sandwich + orange juice . I often miss the practice session setting up my canopy and tools, but I’ll be there to support moped racing. See you around 10 AM!
Track fees: Spectators $10, Racers $35
If you plan on participating can you please email Tomahawk with a pic of your moped + engine size, stock or unfinished race project, so I can post them in this article. That’d be really cool thx. Knowing in advance how many mopeds are coming could help organizing the classes and make a trophy. The race is coming soon so get your bike ready!
Here are the 2 race mopeds 50cc I’m bringing to the track (no pedals):
1- Motobecane av10 50cc air cooled Bidalot. Total budget $1200 including used/new/free engine parts, used rolling chassis ($150 bought in LA), custom paint.
Before (1978 stock av7) After (race moped Bidalot av10)
2- Peugeot 103 Rcx 50cc h20 Bidalot. Total budget $4000 including complete bike’s expensive shipping cost from France in 2009 for the first air cooled version + latest chassis and h20 engine upgrade 2010/2011.
Before (2009 French fairing version) After (2012 US no faring version)
Motobecane av10 50cc first start June 2011:
BACK FROM THE RACE:
Thank you all the racers and volunteers for supporting motor bicycle/moped racing and making it another great successful event!
For more pics and stories from the bicycle racers check the motor bicycle official forum at motorbicycling.com
- FAST CLASS bicycle/moped:
1st: Christophe with Tomahawk Peugeot 103 RCX 50cc h20 moped 13/14 hp (estimated)
2nd: Ryan with Tomahawk Motobecane av10 50cc air cooled moped 11 hp (estimated)
3rd: Morini 50cc h20 bicycle 11.5 hp (dyno)
4th: 200cc 4 stroke bicycle 16+ hp (estimated)
- MID RANGE CLASS bicycle/moped:
1st: Puch Maxi moped from Ventura
2nd and 3rd: bicycles
Another fun day on the track! I want to thank Neil the organizer and the bicycle racers for letting us compete in their event, and all the moped racers who came, all the “knuckleheads” racers from Long Beach ( South LA), Puch racers from Ventura County (West LA), Ryan and Curtis local racers (Apple Valley desert) who brought a home made dyno and an umbrella girl!
Next year 2013 we need more umbrella girls and moped racers from Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County and even San Diego! If we have enough racers and room in the bicycle schedule it would be great to create and fit 2 moped classes 80cc limit: 1) Non-variated Puch-Tomos… 2) Variated Motobecane , Derbi, Peugeot, Honda… If not we will still play in the bicycles slow, mid range and fast class.
- Tyler “Knucklehead” Derbi 70cc racer in the Tomahawk pit early morning, local racers Curtis,umbrella girl and Ryan loading the bikes late afternoon:
- Knuckleheads race mopeds from Long Beach:
The Puch maxi on the right is FOR SALE $500. I rode it on the track and it feels really good.
- Amazing Puch moped racer from Ventura County who won 1st place in the bicycle mid range class. He rides his moped so much in his neighborhood that he’s super comfortable and very quick on the track.
- Sophorn Sin with his red chopper Chinese bicycle who also owns a Puch maxi moped and goes to every single bicycle or moped event driving miles across California and other states with his Suzuki mini truck. He’ll be at the San Francisco moped rally next month November 2012. Super rad dude! Plus photos of other race motor bicycles slow/mid range class:
- David retired boat racer and 2 stroke tuner from Arrow Motorized Cycles watching one of his Chinese bikes 66cc class on Ryan’s dyno (9.5 HP) + the 2 young racers 16 and 21 years old on his team:
- Morning qualifying heat races. Mid range class: Ventura Puch racer single speed. Fast class: Tyler riding his white Derbi dual variated 70cc air cooled, Ryan riding Tomahawk Motobecane single variated 50cc air cooled, bicycle racer riding a fast Morini 50cc h20 with new racing clutch:
Early morning in the pit, Ryan’s dyno, qualifying heat race #1 mid range and fast class. I only completed one lap in the fast class heat race #1 due to a new belt and variator tuning problems. I went back to the pit to adjust the variator weights and grabbed my camera to get some footage off the track. Ryan won the heat race #1 with the Tomahawk Motobecane 50cc air cooled 11 hp in front of a bicycle Morini 50cc h20 11.5 hp and another bicycle 4 stroke 200cc about 16 hp.
At the end of the video 7:50 min watch Ryan excellent rider ripping with the Motobecane av10 between 11,500 and 12,000 rpms with the cheap motobecane cdi $75 from Treats that a lot of people complain about because of a rev limiter, coil screws coming off or failure after few miles. I never had any problem with it. Make sure to ground it good like for any cdi, Loctite all the coil and pick up screws before assembly, don’t use a plastic cover or drill it to keep the cdi temperature down, silicone the 2 stator plate screws into the cases to avoid air leaks. As far as the cdi box with rev limiter I never had that problem so far after installing more than a dozen on street or race bikes.
If you can’t see all the videos because the blog page is too heavy for your computer to download, go to the Tomahawktuning YouTube channel.
On board videos fast class qualifying heat race #2 and final official races.
It was a battle between the 2 Tomahawk 50cc mopeds and the 2 bicycles 50cc morini and 200cc 4T. The bicycles racers stepped up their game and the Tomahawk mopeds are no longer winning races as easily as the beginning of the season. But there’s still room for improvement on the engine (compression ratio + race fuel, transmission, etc…) and chassis (lighter parts, better front suspension, etc…) that we haven’t really worked on, dominating the events so far. Now that we know where the competition stands we can make the right adjustments during the winter to regain a slight advantage one race at time. The top bicycle racers are already planning on upgrading their tires with better grip. We’ve got a race now, it’s very exciting and motivating for next year!
We’re gonna stick with 50cc max engine in true French moped racing tradition but we might upgrade the motobecane bike with a slightly more powerful and consistent polini 50cc h20 kit stock cases 21mm carb. If we build a fast motobecane single variated 70cc h20 28mm carb we’re going to be around 20 hp so even with a fairly small cc engine we would have too much power for the current fast class. The problem is, because of all the different types of engine and transmission, the fast class is limited by horse power to 11 hp max which is hard to really control (unless each bike passes a dyno test) and not by the cc. With an 11 hp limit regardless of the cc or engine type the playing field is definitely more “leveled up” and prevents builders from using bigger and bigger engines in search for more power. It’s a really good thing but it becomes more a riders race and not so much a competition between tuners trying to get the most power out of the same engine cc, which is also a big part of motor racing.
There are just not enough bikes on the track with the same engine type and cc to create a” fair” fast class. Even during this recent race event the 4 fastest bikes competing in the fast class were above the 11 hp limit. The only class that seems to work with specific rules and enough bikes is the 2 stroke bicycle Chinese engine class 66cc max. So it’s all fun for now with a good atmosphere and it seems very flexible with the fast class rules as long as everybody agrees and monster mopeds with powerful 2 stroke 20+ hp or electric bicycles 30+ hp stay out of the competition.
The top 4 bikes in the fast class this weekend:
Mopeds Motobecane av10 BIDALOT 50cc air 11 hp (Ryan 2nd place) and Peugeot 103 Rcx BIDALOT 50cc h20 13/14 hp (Christophe 1st place).
VS Motor bicycle MORINI FRANCO Italian 50cc h20 11.5/12 hp S6-C kit discontinued I think (3rd place) and Honda or Harbor Freight 200cc 4 stroke, about 16+hp (4th place).
Morning heat race #2.
I adjusted my Peugeot RCX variator and haven’t had time to brake in the new belt but can at least participate in the fast class 2nd qualifying race and start in the back to get some footage of the other racers. The Morini 50cc bicycle is the quickest off the line and controls the first laps. I feel a little rusty on the track and don’t like my tire pressure but I’m able to pass thanks to my Peugeot faster top speed. Ryan better rider and more fearless getting off the track a few times is right behind me with the motobecane waiting for an opening. He finally passes me in the slippery hairpin where he’s quick with better lines and takes the lead for the final lap on his way to win the qualifying race. But at the 9:00 min mark he falls in the second left turn and almost gets castrated by my front disc or spinning variator but avoids it with a nice MATRIX move . I regain control of my bike but loose momentum and get passed by the Morinini 50cc and 4T 200cc bicycles and finish 3rd place. Ryan is fine with just a scratch in his lower back and will be able to compete in the final race, what a true racer! The crowd loved the action!
Final official race.
50cc Bidalot vs 50cc Morini Franco.
The 50cc Morini bicycle quicker off the line takes the lead again. I try to keep with him but can’t find a way to pass him. My front fork feels very soft and bottoms out when I brake hard. My clutch with soft springs is sticky and grabs a little too early. I can hear the 200cc 4T bicycle and Ryan’s motobecane close behind me. I give up the chase and let Ryan pass me, he’s a quicker rider knowing the track well and may have a better chance to pass the Morini bicycle. I can now relax and follow his lines. Ryan finally takes the lead and I’m also able to pass the Morini bicycle after he makes a mistake or slows down in a turn maybe due to fatigue and loss of concentration.
It’s now me and Ryan. I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable on my bike with better lines following Ryan and quicker off the turn pressing harder on my launch lever. The disadvantage as a mechanic is that when I race I think about the engine parts and doesn’t always give 100% afraid to make the engine scream too much and blow up something. A pure racer doesn’t have that problem and opens full throttle not listening to the engine or worrying about mechanic failure, he can fully concentrate on riding and winning the race.
The last 3 laps were my best moment since I started moped racing for the very 1st time in 2010 at the Polini Cup USA. Being neck and neck with Ryan and listening to those two 50cc French variated mopeds with launch lever made me feel what I would have probably felt if I had a chance to compete in French moped racing as a kid growing up in France but it never happened. My childhood’s dream finally came to reality. Thanks for the treat Ryan! I can’t imagine what it would feel in a pack of 6 or 7 bikes like that. I never felt that even at the 2010 polini cup against monster Derbi mopeds 75cc dual variated. There’s something very special about 50cc single variated bikes with launch lever. It’s right in the middle between a dual variated and 6 speed bike. It’s an automatic variated transmission but you can control it with the launch lever which requires skills to master and specific ankle position in the right turns to avoid rubbing your foot.
Back to the race… I’m putting a little bit of pressure on Ryan but don’t want to make us both crash again like in the qualifying race, this time we’ve got to secure 1st and 2nd place against the Morini bicycle. I’m happy for Ryan if we wins the race but I’ll take advantage of any opportunity. Right before the final lap Ryan loses focus and makes mistakes going wide twice leaving an open door in the slippery hairpin usually not my strongest part of the track but I take the inside using a move that Ryan himself taught me in the pit… I secure my lead in the straight with my better top speed and controls the final lap trying to close the doors and avoid any mistake. I pass the finish line in 1st position. A well deserved win against strong competition this time. I’m very happy!
After this amazing weekend I found some new motivation for moped racing next year. I’ll race if we need more bikes on the track but I want to spend more time in the pit now helping moped racers fix their bikes or even built them a bike off season.
I really encourage any moped rider from Los Angeles area to come play with us next year. The adrenaline is way higher racing on the track than in the streets. Bring your fast or stock mopeds to the track and test your skills against other racers in a way safer environment. It is so much fun and there’s so much to learn as a rider or a mechanic.
Bob Turkman, flagger and timer extraordinaire! + Neil the organizer cleaning up oil spill.
Back from the motorized bicycle/moped race June 16th 2012 at the Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside, California.
I was the only moped racer there but what a blast!
Peugeot 103 Rcx 49.9cc h20 moped 15 hp.
I had some mechanical problems in the afternoon practice. My old belt flipped and shredded, 2 engine cases bolts holding the launch lever rubber bracket broke. I though it was over. But luckily I had a new belt and was able to buy 6mm Allen screws on the track at the go kart shop and was helped by a bicycle racer. The brand new belt not broken in yet through off my variator weights + launch lever setting and I didn’t have enough time to fine tune them. So I kept the variator a little heavy to be safe but lost some acceleration off the turns. Listening to my engine on the videos I could have used a 2 teeth bigger rear sprocket on that short track to make the engine saturate earlier at 3/4 in the straight instead of almost the end. There was also room to lean out the carburetor main jet for better throttle response and rpms but once again I decided to keep the engine safe and reliable. Finishing a race is more important.
Overall, a fun race day with good action. I had more time to connect and make friends with the bicycles racers. Some people came all the way from San Francisco. I finished 2nd in the unlimited class behind a fast electric bike 30-40hp? with insane acceleration and in front of a dual variated 200cc 4t 20hp. I test rode the e-bike and I never felt anything like it! The torque is nuts and everything so quite you feel like flying. I couldn’t even open full throttle because of the short go kart track and the bike’s front end lifting off the ground like crazy! To compete in the bicycle races they had to stretch the frame otherwise the bike flips over! I wasn’t allowed to take up close photos of the bike cause the prototype motor is kinda secret, gotta respect that. I retouched the photo to hide the motor. But using side covers would have been a good idea to keep it top secret
What an experience and a rush, I’m hooked. It made me want to build a super fast e-moped with a similar set-up. The motor temperature was only 55 degree Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) and you could touch it right after the race which is rare for any engine. They finally got reed of overheating problems thanks to their custom aluminum housing with fins. Their next step is to upgrade the chassis with an Aprilia 250 RS to exploit the full potential of the electric motor. For now, they’re keeping the bicycle frame for the electric motorcycle race event July 1st at the big Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas, CA (1h north of San Francisco).
Steve on the left with his 2t 50cc morini 12hp bicycle with ebr moped fork and mag wheels (bought at treatland.tv) + Dave on the right, a 2 stroke guru and legend from Orange County (Arrow Racing) who’s been racing for 20+ years with his brother Jimmy flat track motorcycles, boats, etc… they were in the 1971 motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday” starring Steve McQueen. They’re retired now and race bicycles for fun, making and selling custom performance parts for Chinese 2t engines.
More photos of the other bicycle racers, Harbor Freight 4t 200cc , Chinese stock 2t 50cc and 65cc modified, etc…
If you can’t see the videos cause the blog page is too heavy for your computer, subscribe to the “tomahawktuning” YouTube channel.
1- The afternoon qualifying race unlimited class 8 laps. At the 3:35 min mark fast e-bike pedal chain gets stock, I take the lead. I slow down later to video tape the following racer and let him pass. At the 8:55 min mark watch that 200cc 4t 20hp bicycle ridden by a new 15 year old racer loosing the drive chain. I pass and take the lead again to finish 1st.
2- The official night race unlimited class 12 laps. My 50cc moped is slow off the start lane because I have a sticky clutch that I didn’t have time to service between race events. The monster e-bike is way faster in the straights but slower in the twisties. I can catch up but can’t pass due to its long frame, too dangerous and I’d be blasted again in the long straight anyway.
3- Prize Ceremony: “Once you go e-bike, you don’t go back”
4- Fast electric bike on board video:
> Photo of the last race June 2nd 2012 at Grange’ race track in Victorville, CA. Me on my 11hp motobecane 50cc air cooled battling against Ryan (left) riding “Le monster” 74cc air cooled. The next race will be back at the same track October 20th 2012. Please, please, please… come and join us with whatever moped you have, fast or super slow it doesn’t matter. Lets make it a fun and epic event. It will be cooler than the summer races. But for safety please make sure to bring full helmet, gloves, elbow and knee pads, shoes covering the ankles, lots of water too.
$35 for racers – $10 for spectators. Here’s the track info. www.grangeracetrack.com
Hopefully some footage of the event by Scoot Tv moped division coming soon in this post.
> NEMA (North East Moped Racing Association)
That same Saturday 16th 2012 was taking place the official 1st race of the moped racing season in the North East, Tomahawk happy to be one of the sponsors. Well done guys. Check out their website for racers bio, events, results, etc…
Photos stolen from Alexander Johnson’s Facebook who seems to have won the 4th class, Pro 60-80cc piston port/reed valve with wet/dry clutch with unlimited carb and pipe.
I see pegs… Are we assisting at a shift in US moped racing with no pedals? Humm…. I don’t feel so isolated now. Unless you’re an Italian racer I find pegs more efficient and safer on the track, you can lean way more. Pedaling can’t really help make your monster 80cc moped go any faster, at that speed it’s all engine powered. Mopeg racing yeah!
> Plus, Scooter racing Italian style.
Remember that bike?
Phillipe Danh from Team “No Gear” located in Torrance California (south Los Angeles) and David Tiger the French pastry chef from San Francisco are getting ready to make an other attempt at new speed record at Bonneville salt lake in July with their motobecane av10 50cc. They’ve just received their 4th generation engine ported and assembled in France by a master tuner. No pics sorry, just the 2nd generation was na av10 Bidalot 50cc h20 kit and the 3rd a 50cc variated minarelli Am6 transmission chopped, the first engine was a stock av10 50cc h20 kick start. If the new engine is ready they’ll do a first test Sunday June 10th at El Mirage Dry Lake in North Los Angeles desert recreational parks. I’m gonna try to make it or wait until July for Bonneville. I’m also planning on checking out their amazing projects at their motorcycle shop in Torrance, CA www.frogspecialties.com
You can follow their adventures at www.nogearracing.com
Didier, Phillipe, David: David:
1st generation stock av10 h20 engine kick start 47 mph + rider and pastry chef David Tiger (pronounced Teejay):
2nd engine with av10 Bidalot 50cc kit 74 mph and 3rd 50cc AM6 motorcycle engine chopped to adapt a Conti aluminum variator 120mm (blew up I believe):
They’re also starting a new project to compete in the 50cc motorcycle category. Custom frame with 6 speed AM6 engine Bidalot 50cc h2o kit. Photo taken in France with the very popular Peugeot 205 car in the background (80′s generation right and modern 206 model left).
Video of the 2008 world speed record with a 50cc at 145 mph / 235 kmh:
A turbocharged 2 stroke AM6 50cc engine from a 2002 Aprilia RS motorcycle:
New 2012 Aprilia RS4 50cc:
If I have time, I might bring my monster Peugeot 50cc h20 to another motorized bicycle race June 16th at ADAMS race track in Riverside, CA to support the other racing organization and my new friends bicycle racers. It’s only 1h from LA. Mopeds racers are invited to race in their own category. So if you missed the last race at Grange’ here’s a second chance to come play with your moped. Fees are $35. The event starts at 1pm with heat races then lunch break at 4pm then official races til 10pm.
Here’s the website and map: contact
Edison’s “Psst…BBQ” hitting the streets of LA soon + Rockstar Moby updates + Melvin’s moby new damper.
Plus, TOMAHAWK stabilizer brace for hydraulic EBR fork hand made by Mel-Mar, soon available at Treats!
Successful hunt in France, 4 peugeot 103 frames 80′s flat side tank ready to be shipped.
Merci Christian Mouchet!
Latest project by custom builder Jewel Dream (France):
Derbi Variant 20hp 220 yards in 9.7 second at 67 mph
Moped racing in Africa:
Stock Peugeot 103 50cc ported – fastest bikes top speed over 60 mph – 150 racers – 12 miles twice at full throttle – No rules, no helmet or gloves – Open riding style – knowing how to negotiate the turns is key to win the race – The winner gets a brand new $1200 moped.
Back from the 2nd motorized bicycle/moped race of the SoCal 2012 season. “Le Monster” wins the fast class.
First I want to thank everybody again for coming to the event. It was smaller turn out this time for the bicycles racers (no e-bikes either) but a good turn out for mopeds racers. Thx Honest Mike from Scoot TV who rode 200+ miles to the desert on a Zuma 125cc scooter with his buddy on a Honda Elite 125cc. They couldn’t make it to the track in time cause their GPS took them on a wrong route to Lake Arrowhead . But we hung out after the race at some local moped racers house and I gave some of my footage to Mike. Scoot Tv Moped Division video coming soon…
- I won the slow class with my stock Tomos, 2nd Curtis on a Garelli + pipe, 3rd was a other stock Tomos I think, 4th Chris Hernandez on stock Tomos + pipe. It took me some time to adjust racing with pedals. I crashed and damaged my left pedal.
- Ryan (local racer) won the fast class with the legendary “le monster” 74cc Metrakit peugeot malossi cases variated moped built by the Orange County moped guru Shaw, I finished 2nd with my Motobecane av10 50cc (good battle), 3rd place was a 200cc 4 stroke motorized bicycle I think. I was so stoked to see Shaw’s monster moped on the track. That bike was built heavy for the street and hasn’t been running for almost 2 years but blasted on the track thanks to Ryan’s amazing riding skills. Well done guys! Next time in October I need to bring the big guns and race my fast Peugeot to be able to beat that bike. Or just upgrade my Motobecane av10 50cc with h20 kit + 21mm carb but same chassis setup for exciting close battles. (Bonus pics of Ryan’s moped garage and backyard where they repair people’s moped).
“Le monster” bike:
More race moped pics:
Chinese bikes modified with performance parts, custom malossi reed intake welded (piston port plugged), custom crankshaft, custom air and h20 cylinder head, etc…, 2 stroke 50cc h20 morini engine, 200cc 4 stroke Harbor Freight engine.
Edison building a custom Tomahawk BBQ.
My race bikes are ready for the track tomorrow. I did a full checkup on my Motobecane Av10 50cc. I overfilled the transmission on my new stock 50cc Tomos 35mph and installed a fairing for better aerodynamic in the straight away
I won’t bring my Peugeot 103 RCX 50cc h20. The bike is too fast and doesn’t really qualify in any class right now.
Only 1 day before the 2nd race of the SoCal Motorized Bicycle racing 2012 season.
Saturday June 2nd from 9am to 5pm at:
The morning heat races start at 10 am, they determine your position on the start lane in the afternoon. It’s also a good time to pratice if it’s your first time o the track. So if you decide to race your moped I recommend to come early but if you can’t you’ll still be able to race in the afternoon starting in the back. Driving early from LA might be a good idea to avoid traffic too.
There are 3 motorized bicycles classes based on power and speed in which you can race your moped, slow/medium/fast. The morning heat races also help finding out in which class you belong. The stock Tomos and other mopeds will probably belong in the slow class and kitted bikes in the medium or fast class.
Last minute Tomahawk motivation boost for undecided moped racers:
The moped winner of each class will get a Tomahawk prize and a $50 gift certificate at Treats!
All mopeds are invited to come play with the bicycles racers! Let’s make it bigger and even more fun than last time. I didn’t have time to build a race bicycle but I’ll bring at least one race moped + my new stock Tomos ST that I’ll be racing against Chris Hernandez from the Woolly Bullies. Well I gotta make it start first, it broke down after few days. So bummed… I thought a stock Tomos would be super reliable. Learning lesson… never brag about how good your bike runs
We’re planning on doing another BBQ. Come with your family and friends to taste Edison’s amazing burgers and spend a fun moped afternoon. Chihuahua racers are welcome too!
I got up at 4:30am Saturday morning. I fixed my Tomos yeah! I’m ready for the Knuckleheads Moped ride tonight in Long Beach and the race in June. Can’t wait to be back on the track with all those guys.
It was a problem with that damn oil pump injecting too much oil in the carburetor. I got rid of it without any hesitation and filled up the tank with synthetic premix fuel. I also changed the rear sprocket down to 22T for better top speed. The bike feels much better now.
There’s nothing like a rewarding early morning ride, “a la fraiche” (crispy morning).
Hand made av10 kick start plate + hydraulic EBR fork braces:
Back in business at the new Tomashop: Working on a front disc brake and custom swing arm.
Tomahawk and Mel-Mar working the magic. Watch the shocks dude!
Hunting for peugeot 103 sp frames in France (old 70′s style and new 80′s style flat side tank).
In 2013 we should organize one big rally/race event in Sacramento area with all the West Coast moped racers from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, etc… and from other states for those who want to make the drive.
Tomahawk race moped peugeot 103 RCX 50cc single variator photographed by Hilary Andrew (The Gaskettes moped gang).
Woolly Bullies moped gang represented!
First I want thank Neil the organizer, the motorized bicycles racers, all the moped riders and spectators (locals or from LA) who came to support the race event April 7th 2012 at Grange’ tack in Victorville. Thanks to Melvin and Edison for cooking those delicious hotdogs and burgers. It was a good turn out and everybody had a blast, on and off the track.
Lots of people are already talking about bringing their fast or stock moped for the next race or just hang out on the track June 2nd. Tommy Erst fast moped racer retired after the polini cup might even come next time to race one of my bikes, stoked if his schedule allows it! Brian Warrington moped racer (Latebirds gang) wants to bring his fast peugeot 103. Some moped riders from Orange County are pumped and already working on their kitted mopeds to be ready in 2 months. We might also see more female moped racers.
STOCK TOMOS CLASS WHY NOT?
Also, I was talking to people in the pit and it’d be nice one day to have a stock parts only tomos class, no performance parts, to compete not with your bank account but your riding skills and maybe just a little bit of porting allowed and stock pipe modification to please the tuners. I guess every model would allowed even with A35 engine with reed may have a slight advantage. A55 racers could prove them wrong Maybe it could already happen in June if enough people show up and get it the mix with the slow class or mid range class (to be determined in the morning practice session). We could make a special prize for the Tomos sub category winner. It would be so much fun elbow to elbow with at least 10 Tomos on the track. I’ve heard the Tomos chassis handles pretty good too. The problem is most Tomos on the streets already swapped their stock pipe for a performance pipe right away. Because of that my buddy Melvin recuperated lots of stock pipe brand new, so we could try to provide some missing pipes for the race. So Tomos onwers and racers, get your bike ready and come play with us next June 2nd at the same track!
What a fun day! I haven’t felt that kind of energy on a track since the moped 2010 polini cup (Northern California). I think it’s important to keep moped racing alive for our community and the moped culture in general. If it’s in good spirit, it brings people together, creates some excitement, helps develop better moped parts, and attracts new people.
It felt good meeting new moped people and catching up with old friends I haven’t seen for while, being too busy building bikes and no time to go on moped rides anymore. Special thanks to Honest Mike from “Scoot TV Show” (youtube channel) who drove from Los Angeles 1h30 with his Honda 250cc h20 scooter (75mph) to get some coverage. Check out his 2nd episode on youtube soon, wait the end of his videos for the moped division.
Mike just posted a video on his other “2Digit Riderz” channel. Looks awesome man… Thx!
Special thanks to my buddy Shaw a moped guru with 20 years of experience and legend in the community. I hope he comes back in June with a racer riding one of his fast bikes. He showed up to watch the races with his stock Mbk BMX av10 50cc engine 45mph, the only one in the US. Motobecane only made less than 30 in the 80′s, organized one race with a couple of those bikes in the US and that bike stayed in the country as a prize for the American kid who won the race at the time. Shaw got it years later trading a bike with the kid’s dad. Cool story uhh! That bike is for sale by the way but only for collectors ready to spend $3000, with Shaw’s signature for free
The lesson I’ve learned from this weekend is that racing is not just about winning or building the fastest moped with the biggest crazy monster engine that’s going to beat every bikes, discouraging people, and probably blow up before the end of the race. Plus riding up front alone is not fun at all.
The most important is to have fun with your friends on the track elbow to elbow with somehow mopeds equal in power and chassis equipment, but also fun in the pit sharing your passion for mopeds. The key is to build a fast but safe bike with a reliable engine to compete all day and the rest of the season with your friends. Stockish bikes were doing fine too compensating with really good riding skills. Practice on the track is the key to become a better racer. If you have a monster engine but spend most of your time repairing in the pit, you never progress and end up quitting not enjoying racing.
More photos, videos and details coming soon… but here are the first videos:
This is a morning heat race in the mid range class. I’m riding my peugeot 103 RCX (fast class) just to have fun with my moped buddies and bring some on board footage. Chris Hernandez from Woolly Bullies is riding my moby av10 50cc, Tyler is riding a Honda Hobbit, rider from Riverside with a Puch maxi, local riders Ryan on a Honda Urban Express and Curtis on a Garelli. I got off the track early to save my engine for the fast class heat and afternoon races. I’m taking off the start lane slow due to clutch shoes that need to be serviced or a spark plug ignition problem at low rpm.
I won the morning heat race motorized bicycle/moped fast class. The fastest e-bikes in the straight weren’t there yet. I knew my bike was fast so I didn’t give 100%. I wanted to check out my competition first, other bikes strengths and weaknesses. That’s usually more what you do in the practice sessions. Some high level moped racers even skip practice to save their engine’s full power for the race. Some even turn off their engine soon after the race and push the bike back to the pit. The heat races are actually important and determine your position on the start lane for the official race in the afternoon. You can also put a little bit a psychological pressure on the other racers and make them doubt in the afternoon. In racing, every little thing counts
I’m competing here with my peugeot 103 rcx 50cc h20 moped single variator + launch lever against motorized bicycles Harbor Freight 200cc 4t dual variated and e-bikes. No Morini 50cc h20 12 hp engines this time.
55 degrees Celsius = 130 degrees Fahrenheit ideal water temperature reading at full power.
This is it! Afternoon official race mid range class. Neil let me participate with my Peugeot 103 rcx (fast class) to play with the other mopeds and get some good on boar footage. I think Chris Hernandez (LA) finished 3rd with my white motobecane av10 50cc #191 behind the winner an old green “piston bike” and 2nd e-bike I think. Tyler (Orange County) yellow hobbit #199 was doing good but had some carburetor float problem in the straight and couldn’t finish the race. Ryan Mayer a local moped and dirt bike rider with the Honda Urban Express #167 showed amazing riding skills sliding with his skinny tires. Rider from Riverside rocked a white puch maxi with license plate and even lights on sometimes! Jake Martinez (Orange County) had some mechanical problem all day with his awesome blue Puch magnum top tank, bike a little heavy and with bad weight distribution for the race track, he’ll be back with a better moped next time. I gotta say, there’s something special about moped/bicycle racing in America, the bikes, the racers, the outfits, the riding style. It looks like a fun video game. Enjoy the race!
VIDEO 4 (Short video because my camera went out of battery)
I won the fast class moped/motorized bicycle official race. I’m racing with peugeot 103 RCX 50cc h20 single variator against the fastest bicycles 200cc 4T dual variated (they didn’t seem as fast as last race in Nov 2011), and the electric bikes even faster than the last time. The orange e-bike rider with 2 cameras on the helmet was the fastest top speed bike of the day and blasted me easy in the straight. I was getting 55 mph top speed vs the e-bike 65+ mhp. But I would catch up at the end of the straight with less weight, better brakes and engine braking power. I was also a little faster in the twisty, e-bikes seem to be very heavy and need to adjust the power with electronic controllers for smoother acceleration off the turns. They seem to brake slower due to their weight and no braking engine forces.
No excuse but it was my second race in a roll coming off the mid range class and I was getting a little tired and my engine too. At mid race, I was starting to feel the pressure. The fast orange e-bike was getting better in the twisty and slowly catching up on me 4 turns behind but his super boosted electric motor heated up and burnt. Once they become reliable with a better cooling system and adjust the crazy torque in the turns those e-bikes are going to be hard to beat and fun to compete against for any fast moped.
The same weekend across the Atlantic the 1st moped race of the 2012 season was taking place in northern France. My friend Remi master tuner brought 2 race bikes. One of his pilote 50 years old Chi King broke his leg last year. He recruted a new young pilote Antoine who comes from the 50cc motorcycle racing world. That was more a test race and his first time on a moped 50cc single variator + launch lever. Thanks to his good riding experience and the power of Remi’s bike he was able to win a round and placed 3rd overall. Well done guys! He’s shooting for the 2012 season title, good luck to him and Remi’s team. This is the highest level of moped racing and it’s become tougher every year with people coming with big guns. Believe or not Remi’s has the smallest budget and recuperates old vintage parts here and there that he brings back to life. Other racers kinda make fun of him cause his bikes don’t use modern high tech parts or don’t look shiny but he wins races with his skills and experience, haha…
He’s riding a Bidalot RS prototype moped with 50cc G3 Bidalot engine 28mm carb 18hp restricted on purpose at 14,500 rpm for reliability. 14,500 rpm (some reach 15 to 16,000 rpm). Those “fast class” bikes don’t look much like mopeds anymore because they evolved over 30 years of racing. Most of them use Bidalot custom aluminum frames, real adjustable 32mm hydraulic forks, wide magnesium wheels, front and rear brakes, and full motorcycle fairing. But they use motobecane 50cc moped engine technology with single variator + launch lever, with huge intake cases like Bidalot G3 or custom made, some use small stock motobecane Av10 cases + 50cc h20 kits + 19 carb and still get 15hp out of it.
Here are some pics of Remi the mechanic and his 2 race bikes, left Relica tubular light steel frame, right Bidalot RS aluminum frame:
The vintage 20 years old Bidalot 50cc G3 engine he rebuilt for the Bidalot RS bike just before the race:
Here’s Antoine the new pilote in the middle with 3rd place trophy and his RS bike #48.
Bidalot RS on board footage of the 4th round, it’s fast. Notice at the end of the video Antoine following Remi’s instruction to turn off the engine soon after he exists the track to push the bike back to the pit and save the engine parts. The less the engine runs the better the performance, his bikes only run on the track and for the races, I don’t think they even do the practice sessions. His rebuilt engines after each race start for the first time only once they get to the race event.
From outside the track:
Just quick a reminder to moped, scooter and motorized bicycle riders living in Southern California, that the race is coming this Saturday April 7th at Grange’ race track in Victorville desert just 1h30 away from Los Angeles.
My crew and I will bring a portable BBQ and drinks. I’ve been told spectators can drink beer as long as they keep it low key. So bring bring your moped and have fun with us on the track or just come with your friends and Chihuahuas to watch the race or enjoy a hot dog or burger cooked by sushi master Edison.
Some motorized bicycle racers will be there Friday night for a BBQ party and moonlight ride on the track. If you’re planning on racing it’s recommended to come early Saturday morning. The track opens at 7am for practice until 9:45am. The heat races start at 10am, lunch break around noon, the official races around 1pm.
Track fees: Racers $45 – Spectators $10
Message from Neil Senior the race event organizer: “Only 5 days to the first 2012 SoCal Motor Bicycle Racing event at Grange Motor Circuit. The weather forecast is clear and calm with temperatures in the 70′s.
Going to be a really great turnout for this race with mopeds ranging from slow to fast to very fast! Please reserve a moped race # by choosing one between 150 to 199 then emailing me at MotorBicycleRacing@gmail.com. Thanks”
Here ‘s the mopedarmy link for more details.
Video of the last race Nov 11, 2011 I attended with my 2 race mopeds. You can see my motobecane av10 50cc air cooled 11hp with fairings at the time on the pause image at 9:15 min.
NHK adjustable steering damper:
Just in time before the race, I installed a steering damper on my motobecane av10 50cc race moped:
Peugeot 103 rcx 50cc race moped.
Custom mounts for GoPro HD Hereo2.
Damn that thing is bad dude!
Peugeot 103 rcx 50cc race moped/show bike with a new paint getting ready to compete in the West Coast motorized bicycle/moped 1st race event April 7th in Southern California.
Frame semi gloss black with very light metal flakes by Master Mario.
Powder coating: wheels and seat clear reflective, swing arm and frame brace frosty black, official monster green parts + black exhaust high temp ceramic coating:
The monster is track ready. It looks mean and hungry for some 18 hp 200cc 4T go kart and 12 hp 50cc h20 Morini engines. The fairings have to come back in style, plus they’re so much more efficient on the track.
The main jet is rich to protect the engine. It four-strokes and only revs at 13,000 rpm for now. At this level of tuning those small 50cc engines pushed to their limit are very sensitive to any wrong setting or weather changes . I’ll jet it on the track and will use a velocity stack or an air box for better air flow. But in general I tend to keep the carburetion rich to protect my race engines even if they lose a little bit of power. The races are just for fun in California, we’re not running a championship and it’s not worth blowing up an engine.
High tech catch bowl from 99c store . It prevents the fuel overflow from leaking on the race track and create dangerous slippery spots.
The gas tank leak repair with POR15 looks great.
- My motobecane Av10 50cc air cooled 19mm carb single variated with launch lever is track ready. The only thing left is to install the much needed Kawasaki NHK adjustable steering damper I got for cheap on ebay. Unlike on a big motorcycle, it has to be mounted as close to the frame as possible so that it doesn’t feel too stiff, guru’s word. No more test runs before the race to save the brand new piston ring for maximum power on track day.
Doppler clutch trick by Tomahawk race team:
I’m using the Tomahawk pulley Xtreme kit + push start bearing upgrade HFL 3030.
The stock Doppler clutch pulley often shutters during the shoes break in period creating vibrations resulting in broken stock 6mm posts or broken stock one way bearing. A good trick is to deglaze the cluth bell and the clutch shoes after the first couple of miles just on the edges where they make uneven contact. We did it quickly for the video but you can spend more time for a better finish. The clutch will engage smoother and later at higher rpms for super fast takeoffs. You may have to repeat the process a second time if the pulley start shuttering again. The shoes might wear out a little bit faster but when you ride a race bike or fast street bike you have to change engine parts very often, what matters for speed addicts is performance over long term durability.
My 50cc single vairated bike takes off as fast or faster than most dual variated mopeds like derbi or hobbit and pulls harder because dual variated transmissions absorb some of the power and need a lot of rpms when most of those kitted bikes use low rpm 70cc air cooled kits, or if they pop wheelies they don’t have the pull and top speed like a single variator with launch lever. I remember being faster off the line than 75cc derbis (maybe geared for top speed) on the race track with my peugeot RCX giraudo clutch pulley, 50cc air cooled stock cases single flat reed at the time and not tuned.
But a high rpm dual variated engine with a launch lever system is very effective on the track. It has been tested a long time ago in the late 80′s in 50cc french moped racing. It was at the time when the organizations were still deciding on banning or not the launch lever from “fully automatic rules”. The single variator + launch lever became legal and dominated the track for 20 years (still today in 2012, 18hp h20 50cc single variator launch lever prototype mopeds are faster than 80cc scooters on the track), but the dual variator + a launch lever was considered too powerful and banned from the rules by some organizations. It was one transmission system or the other, not both. We can’t see the engine but here’s a pic of a 1987 50cc dual variated launch lever prototype with fairings by master tuner Pascal Fraget and same year 50cc single variated parallelogram prototype by “Willy Hubert” one of the two last companies in France who still makes the vintage fairings we can now buy in the US thanks to Treats, fairing-full-race-conti.htm
Man… the motorized bicycles with 200cc 4 stroke dual variated go kart Chinese engines ($100) are gonna have to pedal hard to match the moby av10 or peugeot 103 rcx take offs on the start lane… lol. It’s gonna be interesting to see how the light and torquy electric bikes will compare. Even though I don’t like the expensive price or trust the reliability, I might try for one race the internal rotor MVT variable advance cdi strong spark for way better low end power and higher rpm. Available at http://www.treatland.tv motobecane-mvt-cdi-mbk-premium.htm
Thx Melvin for the demo… and the music.
- NEW 90cc cylinder kit by MXS (French/German company):
33 hp on the dyno, for AM6, Derbi euro2/euro3 and Yamaha Zuma engine cases hitting the European market soon! With the scootracing89 cases you can rip this kit on your monster moped with a Bidalot variator + special scootracing89 shaft adapter like the variated race bike below.
- French moped racing updates:
“Continental Vario” the northern organization for the french championship 50cc single variated moped is working on new official logos for 2012. Back in the old days small 50cc engine race bikes nicknames were “cup of coffee” (Italian size) or “pissing fire”. They gave those themes to their designer to draw the first sketches. The season starts this weekend with the first race Sunday March 25th. Here are some of the 50cc single variated mopeds with fairings competing in the north. They will also add young scooter and 6 speeds racers to the mix and maybe drag racing to bring new blood and keep the event alive in the long term.
Check out that new moped racing organization starting on the East Coast which Tomahawk is excited to be one of the sponsors. Good luck guys!
Here’s the facebook page: 185520991554569
Jesse’s race bikes: Honda Hobbit 50cc + Puch free spirit 70cc
Puch race moped project for the OPEN class 49cc to 80cc:
60 days left before the 1st SoCal moped/motrized bicycle race April 7th 2012 at Grange Track, Victorville.
I should have enough time to paint and reassemble my 50cc race moped with no fairings this year to blend in. I’m the only dedicated moped racer left in Southern California and I’m starting to lose the motivation to compete. But I’ll try to attend and support the event organized by Neil and race against the motorized bicycles.
We don’t really have any motivated racers or fast mopeds left in Los Angeles, but if you want to come and play with your moped or just watch the race, mark that date on your calendar. The track is only 1h30 min away from LA and 60 days should be plenty of time to get your bike ready.
There should be 3 or 4 events this season with scooter, moped, bicycle classes and maybe some drag racing. This year I’m not looking to win or prove anything but just have fun on Saturday afternoon with other racers on the track. It’s always a good experience to share and learn new riding or tuning skills. The fast electric bikes are fun to watch too.
For more details, check out Neil’s post on http://www.mopedarmy.com forum moped general discussion:
The world fastest mobility scooter 70 mph (normal speed 4-8 mph)
Puch moped rally in PARIS:
” Breda-Paris Rally on 50cc vintage Puch mopeds. It shows friend fuckers, hardship, the odd biker love, karma & harmony/discrepancy. Rules? What is the final rule? Money: to spend it on a thrilling party. Why Paris? Solely to ride. In Paris.”
That video says it all. No matter what country or type of vehicle, it’s always been about speed.
One day, I should register my 50cc peugeot 103 race bike, remove all the yellow fairings, install a long moped seat + a round headlight and blast it on a moped ride.
I had a lot of fun last Sat Oct 22nd racing against motorized bicycles in Victorville desert outside Los Angeles. I want to thank Neil the organizer who let me race and all the bicycle racers who welcomed my 50cc variated race mopeds. A lot of them came from far like San Diego, San Francisco, Arizona, Oregon, etc… one guy even came from Florida! Now that’s dedication, I wish it could be the same with moped racing. I was the only moped racer there but out of nowhere in mid-afternoon I saw a woman going up and down the pit with a stock Puch Maxi, maybe a local who knows.
I competed in the 11hp class with my peugeot 103 50cc h20 Bidalot against 2 stroke Morini 50cc h20 Italian engines, 2 stroke 50cc-65cc one speed and 4 stroke 200cc dual variated Chinese engines. I didn’t score any points but won the race lapping everybody once (15 to 20 bikes) and some bikes twice. Saving the bike for the unlimited class (which got canceled at the last minute) I unfortunately didn’t get to compete in the ultimate class (with a bicycle part prize) against a fast 200cc 20hp bike and a 67mph 9hp super light electric bike but I think I would have had a good chance to win that race too.
I was impressed by 3 or 4 gas bikes faster than the average 70cc kitted moped but even more by some of the electric bikes super light and really fast. They actually placed 1st and 2nd in the ultimate class after the faster 200cc 20hp 4 stroke bike experienced some technical problems at the end of the race. In conclusion, even though my moped had a smaller engine than most of those bicycles, none of them could match the power and acceleration of my single variated 50cc bidalot engine 14hp 14,000 rpm with a heavier but better chassis with upgraded suspensions for the track.
With no serious competition for the peugeot bike, I tested the motobecane av10 50cc air cooled in morning heat races but ran into some problems with slow acceleration response due to an air leak or carb jetting but even then I was able to keep up with the top 11hp bicycles.
Overall it was fun and good practice on the track which is always a safer place than the streets to test fast moped builds. I want to come back in April next year and maybe build a bicycle with a cheap motobecane av10 50cc air cooled engine to compete in all the classes and against those monster 200cc engines or e-bikes. Since moped racing is dead it could motivate me again with the same feel of riding a variated motobecane bike but even lighter therefore faster.
That might also inspire some of those bicycle racers to use a peugeot or motobecane moped engine instead of the Chinese 50cc, 65cc or 200cc engines. A lot of those guys are already using some moped parts from Treats (www.treatland.tv) like Puch high comp heads, Tomos biturbo exhausts, ebr forks, etc… After seeing the performance of high rpm french 50cc variated engines few racers came to me to learn more about them and where to get parts. There might be a chance to revive 50cc peugeot or motobecane moped racing through motorized bicycle racing if I can prove to be fast within the rules on a bicycle frame with functioning pedals. The only problem is that I saw small crashes in the turns because of the limits of bicycles chassis and tires, they’re just not really designed for such power and speed.
I don’t have the on board footage of my race, the camera didn’t work. The Contour HD camera sucks get a GO PRO.
Here’s a video of the ultimate race which I didn’t participate in by respect and keep it a pure bicycle race since the winner prize was a bicycle part. I’m taking photos on the side of the track next to the VROOM yellow sign. At the 1:12 min mark check out the fastest 20hp 200cc gas bike in the straight away and the second fastest super light e-bike passing the gas bikes at the 1:38 min mark. Unlike the other quiet e-bikes it actually makes a high pitch sound coming from a small belt + machined pulley out of the motor shaft to drive a reduction gear. All those top bikes are faster than they appear on the video.
It’s hard to be a racer, a mechanic and a reporter at the same time but here’s a video I shot of that same race (1st lap). You can clearly see in 1st position the fastest bike 20hp with a Chinese 4 stroke 200cc go kart engine modified with bigger piston, in 2nd and 3rd the 2 fastest electric bikes, in 4th an other 4 stroke 200cc, and in 5th the fastest 2 stroke 50cc h20 morini 11hp engine that I competed against and lapped once.
Updates on the 50cc variated french moped racing championship.
Here’s a video of the last race of the 2011 season in Northern France. My friend and tuner Remi Cusso tested his vintage motobecane 50cc variated Bidalot Replica tubular frame 18hp 15,000 rpm for the 2nd time on the track. Mick the pilot is starting to feel comfortable with his new bike and held back in the 3rd round after the leading the race because of a belt problem. The season is over and it’s time for the racers to rest and the tuners to spend the winter trying to build faster engines for the 2012 season.
Also, Jeff “oldskool” finally upgraded his motobceane av10 with vintage Bidalot Gr3 cases + 50cc Gr3 kit and 28mm carb rebuilt by Remi. It’s amazing that the 25 years old Bidalot technology stills performs better or as good as some high tech 2012 machined cases with bridge exhaust cylinders from modern scooters or 6 speeds 50cc bikes used by some moped racers.
Early morning in the pit before the race. At the end of the video, Remi the master tuner not happy under pressure having to quickly rebuild the Replica engine to repair a water leak due to a burnt Viton O ring before the second round starts. Not fun…
I’m planning on going to the motorized bicycle race in 2 weeks Saturday October 22nd at Grange’ race track.
Saturday Oct 22nd, 2011. Gate open at 6 am
Free camping Friday and Saturday night.
Practice on the track 7am to 9.45am
heats start at 10 am
$10 for spectators pre pay or at the gate.
$35 to ride on the track which includes all the days Pro Photography of the event.
+$5 to pay at the track on Fri 21st or Sat 22nd
+$10 to race in a second class.
Can pre register by emailing Neil at email@example.com
Pay by check or Money Order
20455 Central Ave.
Apple Valley, CA 92307
It seems like it. At least for now in California.
So far, half way into the 2011 moped racing season I’m starting to have doubts that moped racing will make a come back to California this year. It’s a little disappointing. There’s no moped racers to compete against. I was planning on going to the race #6 at Buttonwillow August 20th for the SoCal vs NoCal event but I have little hope to see a lot of moped racers there. I can always race in the mini gp motorcycles class again but it’s not as fun. If I skipped race #6 I might go to the race #8 October 15th at Grange’ just for practice with few friends.
After reading Will’s comment on my blog, I’m starting to turn my eyes on motorized bicycle racing (2 stroke, 4 stroke and electric) that seems to be taking off. The organization will be at Grange’ for their next race October 22nd. I don’t think that any of my fast 50cc race mopeds would blend with those guys on the track but I might bring my motobecane av10 and just check out the event. It seems like they’re having fun rubbing elbows with at least 15 bikes on the track. Why not getting one of those 2 stroke motorized bicycles and bring my moped tuning skills to the game? They seem to care about aesthetic too with a best in show award. That could be a fun, cheap and revive my motivation for 2 stroke racing.
Will’s electric powered race bicycle
My white Motobecane Av10 49.9cc race moped (stock cases + 19 carb) at 66 mph uphill with a 56T rear sprocket.
I finally bought a GPS to find out the real top speed of my race mopeds. In the video, I don’t know what happened at the end of the ride but I focused the camera on the wrong reading maybe because the sun was blinding my eyes.
I made another video of the ride downhill but I ran out of battery and gasoline so I wasn’t able to read the top speed either. It felt like a solid 70 mph though and got a little scary with such small tires and no steering damper, plus I was worried about the traffic, radars, turns, etc…
I’m now confident that the bike will reach 75 mph with smaller rear sprockets. Next time I’ll try a 54T then 52T and probably a 45T. I’ll have to drive up north in the Valley outside LA and find some long straight roads with no traffic this time to be safer. I already know a sweet area.
I can’t wait to test my other faster race moped, the yellow Peugeot 103 Rcx 49.9cc Bidalot H2O 14,000 rpms (malossi cases + 21 carb) with a small 53T rear sprocket instead of my 74T sprocket currently 65 mph. I’m hoping to reach 80 mph with that bike.
It’s time to adjust the chain! Loose is good though, less friction, less resistance, more speed… Not recommended on puch or tomos bikes with small sprockets. Keep it a secret and switch to french variated bikes
Like my buddy Shaw the moped guru would say as a joke: ” That’s some race shit! “
66 mph uphill with an old beat up Bidalot 49.9cc replica cylinder with modified port duration.
Transmission 11 x 56
Estimated 70+ mph downhill:
Updates after the test ride:
I installed a smaller 52T rear sprocket for faster 70+ top speed on flat road + a clutch pulley for fast take off and idling. I’m using a modified heavy duty doppler clutch pulley with 8mm custom made pins and a custom triangle shoe brace. In the future I’ll probably replace the doppler er3 variator with my better Bidalot junior variator. The next test ride should be really fun and scary! Now I wish I had better mag wheels and bigger tires. It was a side project built within strict 50cc race class rules using cheap old parts to show that it was possible to build a race variated moped with a small budget and no French high tech racing parts.
I’m tempted to remove the fairings and the air box, mount a regular seat and a round head light to make it look more like a street bike since I’ll be riding the streets more than the track. It could look cool.
I just came back from the 4th minigp race at Adams motorsports park in Riverside, CA 06/05/2011.
What a blast… It felt good to be back on the track with my variated peugeot 103 RCX 50cc H20. I didn’t have a chance to test the new motobecane av10 G1 50cc since we arrived late and missed the 2hr practice session. I jumped straight into the race with the RCX probably the safest choice to keep up with the other motorcycle racers.
It was a small turn out because of back to back races. I was the only moped racer but they let me compete in the minigp vet/youth class with 3 other motorcycles. I placed second behind the experienced racer Saul with his Kawasaki 60cc 2 stroke engine and front of Rod with his Aprilia RS 125 frame + honda 100cc 4 stroke engine.
There was a great energy and I can’t wait to come back to the exact same track in July for the night race.
I found a Tomahawk made out of two wooden sticks in the dirt right in front of my canopy. What a strange coincidence…
Thanks Freddie for those awesome pics!
So we’re back from Grange’, 1st moped race March 12 – 2010. We had a lot of fun even though it ended up being just me against Tracy who won the first race of the season he’s now the man to beat. Good, that takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders
Here’s how the race went down:
- 1st round: I take 1st place and Tracy 2nd (obviously). The Rcx being faster than the moby without the launch lever it wasn’t really fare so I had to slow down a little to make it more fun and competitive. (quick note: The Rcx reached 14,000 rpms on the stand with new jetting, it screams!)
- 2nd round: Tracy takes 1st place and I can’t finish the race running out of gas! We rushed to get on the track for the second round and I didn’t check my gas tank. What’s ironic is that prior to that round I was making fun of Tracy refilling his moby’s tank which was adding more weight to his bike and make it even easier for me to win that 2nd race.
Final result, Tracy wins the race placing 2nd and 1st. I lose by placing only 1st in the first round. We still have to figure out the point system but Tracy has the lead now.
The lesson is that in moped racing you never know what’s going to happen until the checkered flag goes down. Well done Tracy, you won fair and square! Although I suspect that you sipped some gas out of my tank between rounds.
I want to thank all the mopeders who showed up to support the event and I hope that you guys can bring your moped next time for the 2nd race in May 28 at the same track Grange’. I know that we’ll see more Gr1 bikes finished and ready to race this time. I hope to see more open fast mopeds too. Come on guys, bring your fast street bike and lets race!
Also, I met with Josiah the SoCal minigp organizer and we’re talking about doing a big moped race event with camping and BBQ party to have the NoCal, SoCal moped racers compete against each other all at once. The event would be in August 20th at Buttonwillow. You may want to mark that date on your calendar.
Check out Ryan’s rusty motobecane with a 2 speed Solo pulley on it… rad!
Photo: Polini Cup 2009
Moped racing is trying to make a come back in California with the 2011 season officially open. No sponsors, just a race organized by the hardcore moped racers welcoming anybody who wants to try moped racing.
I just got confirmation that the NoCal and SoCal minigp series (running under YRRUSA association) will welcome moped racers to compete unofficially either on Saturday practice ($45) and/or Sunday race day. (Up north, The Tom Dash Speedway in Atwater even has an open track day at $25 starting Jan 29). So far, there is no official moped class added to their schedule but they will update their website with the moped class rules. In SoCal, for practicality and to keep it affordable we will probably decide to race on Saturday evening only after practice session.
I’ve also been recently informed that Gary from ASRA http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162615725885 (a 1989 scooter association) is trying to bring back scooter racing and is talking to Mike at NoCal minGP to try to create an official OPEN scooter class that could include moped racers. That would probably mean signing for a membership though. The scooter association is in the same position we are, they’ve got very few racers left and are trying to bring some interest back into racing with better rules. We might join our forces to make scooter and moped racing happen this year.
Check those websites for schedule and tracks:
http://www.youthroadracing.com/ (YRR USA)
Mike runs the NoCal series (541) 292-3943
Josiah runs the SoCal series (626) 673-0145
1- NoCal miniGP schedule:
Race 1 – Stockton Motorplex – March 19/20
Race 2 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Apr 23
Race 3 – Infineon Kart Track – May 13/15
Race 4 – Prairie City Kart Track – June 11/12
Race 5 – Tom Dash Speedway – July 9/10
Race 6 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Aug 20/21
Race 7 – TBD – Sep (not set yet)
Race 8 – Stockton Motorplex – Oct 15/16
My suggestion for NoCal racers, 5 races a year – $45 x 5 = $225 max yearly budget:
March 19 Stockton (1h30 from SF)
May 14 Infineon, Sonoma (1h10 from SF)
July 9 Tom Dash, Atwater (2h15 from SF)
Aug 20 Buttonwillow “NoCal vs SoCal” summer event (4h30 from SF)
Oct 15 Stockton (1h30 from SF)
2- SoCal miniGP schedule:
Race 1 – Grange Motorcircuit – March 12/13
Race 2 – Buttonwillow Raceway – April 23 (NCminiGP Round)
Race 3 – Grange Motorcircuit – May 28/29
Race 4 – Adams Motorsports Park – June 5
Race 5 – Adams Motorsports Park – July 9 (night race)
Race 6 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Aug 20/21 (NCminiGP round)
Race 7 – TBD – Sep (not set yet)
Race 8 – Grange Motorcircuit – Oct 15/16
Race 9 – Adams Motorsports Park – Nov 6
My suggestion for SoCal racers, 5 races a year - $45 x 5 = $225 max yearly budget:
March 12 Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)
May 28 Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)
June 5 Adams, Riverside (1h15 from LA) or July 9 (night race)
Aug 20 Buttonwillow “Nocal vs Socal” summer event (2h from LA)
Oct 15 Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)
After a couple of months talking to the moped community and moped racers we decided to run an OPEN class to let ANY type of moped compete from a stock 50cc to whatever monster engine you want to build limited to 80cc moped kits maybe.
Now, within that same class we’re adding a Gr1 class with more restricted rules for those who want to compete at a more “leveled playing field” but with room for tuning and decent performance. For a slightly bigger budget, we’ve chosen the 50cc variated french bikes over the 50cc one speed puch bikes because their single variated engine offers more options and is more competitive on a race track. To keep it cheap and more reliable, we are not allowing any clutch system which means that your Gr1 bike won’t idle. Every moped racer (probably including open bikes) will have to bump start the race like the old school “Le Mans” style.
Remember: You can always re install your lights, your stock variator with clutch function (or rear clutch pulley) after each race to be able to ride your Gr1 bike on the street.
A second class for stock mopeds has been requested but we have nothing set yet. We’re going to wait until the first couple of races to see how many stock moped racers show some interest. We can adapt quickly and build a last minute class with the rules you want to set.
There are no rules ! Just bring your fast kitted moped.
French variated Motobecane or Peugeot
50cc air cooled
19mm carb limit
Stock cases (Polini and Malossi cases will be allowed for now)
Any crank with a stock stroke
Open variator (no clutch function)
Standard pulley (no clutch function)
Open engine spring
Launch lever ok
Stock Motobecane or Peugeot frame (brace modifications ok)
Any stock moped frame that can fit a french variated engine
Front disc brake ok
Rear drum brake only
No slick tires
- Quick Note:
To be able to know what moped you’re racing against, we’ve chosen 2 different color combination for the sticker/plate numbers placed in front and on both sides of your bike to separate the Open bikes from GR1 bikes. It might change but so far here’s what we agreed on:
OPEN moped: BLACK background + WHITE numbers
GR1 moped: WHITE background + BLACK numbers
Make sure to build your race moped with a minimum of safety to protect yourself and the other young kids racing in the MiniGP organization. Stuff happens on a race track but let’s try to avoid any potential accidents due to mechanical failure, like loose suspensions or wheels, weak frame, any type of oil or coolant spilling, etc… That organization is very loose with the safety rules and bike inspection but let’s give a good impression so that we can build a long lasting relationship.
I hope to see few moped racers on the track this year and build some momentum for season 2012. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Man, I love that track in the middle of the desert !
Extra photos from Saturday practice at Grange’.
It was fun returning to Grange’ Track last Saturday for an awesome practice session with the Daggrs bikes.
Special thanks to some of the Daggers members Jamisin, Tracey, Casey and also to Rachel ( from NoHo scooter ). We all had a blast on the open track. I hope we can do it again before the end of the year.
It was good meeting Young Lee the owner of the M1gp series. I’d love to participate at his 8h or 24h Le Mans race next year.
It was probably my last time on a track with the old Bidalot 50cc air set up. Unless we start a Gr1 class next year. It’s time for retirement ! Next time I ride the rcx on a track it will be with the new 50cc H20 engine.
Thanks to Jamisin from Daggrs we have a video of the first round. He was standing on a stick with his camera in one hand and his dog in the other hand.
Story of the race:
After a close start I take the lead in the 1st corner. My stinger breaks in the 1st lap with the baffle hanging, I almost got flagged. I lose the baffle somewhere at the end of the lap before the straight away. The only thing I notice was the loud sound and a loss of power, I thought the header or the ball joint broke and I kept checking the front of the engine.
An official jumps on his bike to pick the baffle and points it at me in the 2nd lap. At that point, I know that I have no back pressure and slows down to protect my engine but decide to continue racing.
Brian can’t really reach full speed because of his variator not getting full range. He catches up with me and with battle in the last few laps.
Carson is somewhere behind jumping on his Tomos after each corner to make it down shift in 1st gear. It was fun riding behind him and watch him in action during the second race.
Awesome racing weekend !
It was a very short notice but we were able to race with 3 mopeds thanks to the Latebirds guys. There was me with my peugeot 103 rcx, Carson with his Tomos A55 and Brian with his peugeot 103.
Also thanks to the spectators from Apple Valley Ryan and Curtis, Colby from Orange county and a group of Latebirds members, Jamisin representing the Daggrs who video taped the first race ( we’re still working on it ).
The good thing about joining a racing club is that they already rent the track, organize the race, have insurance, officials, medical assistance…. I’m realizing that it’d be hard to start our own moped league by ourselves and make it a successful event.
First race: 1st Christophe – 2nd Brian – 3rd Carson
Second race: 1st Brian – 2nd Christophe – 3rd Carson
We spoke with Josiah the owner of SCminigp race club about starting a moped class next season 2011. They host 9 races a year every month and have room for 2 or 3 moped classes. He wants to meet with the moped community at Choke next month to work on the schedule ( # of races ), the fees ( between $ 40 and $ 60 race day ), classes and rules, etc…
If the race becomes a success in Southern California he would create a moped race in Northern California and have us meet twice a year half way at the Buttonwillow track.
After talking with our group this weekend it sounds like people want 2 separate classes.
People like the idea of having a non variated cheap class so that anybody could race their stock Tomos or puch with stock 50cc cylinder (the cheapest) or maybe a 50cc kit, with a 15 carb max, and a pipe ( choose your gearing, suspensions, breaks…). That way, new Tomos owner wouldn’t feel left out, they could still have fun on the track competing with each others and afford to race.
The second class would be for the variated bikes but it’s a little complicated.
I personally want to keep it “cheap” and fair with the french bikes Group 1 class but I also realize that not everybody has a moby of peugeot frame to build a 50cc bike from scratch and would rather show up with their 70cc street bike already built. I also don’t want the monster derbis and honda hobbit left out of the competition either. We also have Jeff’s derbi from Choke ready to race in LA. And if the race starts in February would we have enough people able to build a 50cc Group 1 bike in 3 months ? The bottom line is that we need bikes on the track to make it a race.
So it seems like people want to keep it open like at the Polini cup with 70cc max and have 2 races within the race. In other words, let the big guys battle up front with their monster mopeds and big budget, and the other ones with their cheaper 50cc french bikes Gr1. I was able to keep up with Brian’s 103 70cc this weekend, so unless Tony shows up with his 2 monster Derbis from Northern California, the race should be “fair” and exciting.
I also talked to Keith from Polini spi-parts.com and they would love to carry more of the Doppler moped parts for us if we decided to build mbk and peugeot Gr1 bikes. They love the brand.
I’m planning on going back to Grange’ track next weekend…. so come and race me !
There’s an other GP series owned by Young Lee who wanted to host a moped class a while ago. I want to go check it out and see what he would have to offer us. I’ve heard there are more adults and less kids. But I need to call him first today. I’ll keep you posted on the blog or moped army if it happens or not so that you can get your bikes ready.
Pics of race track, riders meeting, pocket bikes, 50cc – 65c – 100cc 2 stroke – 150cc 4 stroke GP bikes, our mopeds, and some great pics showing an example of the wire and catch bowl safety rules thanks to Rod’ and his Aprilia RS 50cc.
It looks like it is still processing but should be available on vimeo soon. Christophe (on a 50cc bike) placed third behind Jimmy and Terry Dean.
Final Polini Cup Standings: 1st Jimmy 2nd Dean 3rd our very own Christophe!
Oil painting in working progress. My dad in France started it in May 2011, it should be finished in September.
Race bike brought back to life by Christophe. Practice laps at Polini Cup this weekend. Racing May 1st, 2010. Get there.
photo courtesy of Cuperteens