Photo from the last race event in October 2012. Tomahawk 50cc mopeds won 1st and 2nd place in the fast class.
Getting ready for the SoCal motorbicycle race event at Grange’ race track April 13th in Victorville, Apple Valley.
Je me prepare pour la course velo motorise’ au sud de la Californie au circuit Grange’ Avril 13 a Victorville, Apple Valley.
Mopeds are invited to the Saturday April 13th SoCal Motor Bicycle Racing extravaganza. Please have your safety gear, DOT helmet, knee and elbow pads, gloves, ankle protecting footwear.
Areal video of Grange’ raceway… rad!
- Moby 50cc air cooled:
I sold my bidalot engine and rebuilt quickly a 50cc doppler engine for the Arpil race. I’m using a cheap Teknix crank $75 to put it to the test and a stock cdi “Le partie” $75 from Treatland.tv with a new high quality coil.
J’ai vendu mon moteur G1 bidalot et rapidement remonte’ un moteur 50cc doppler pour la course d’Avril. J’utilise un vilo Teknix $75 que je veux tester et un allumage origine $75 a Treatland.tv avec une nouvelle bobine interne de meilleure qualite’.
Cheap Motobecane Teknix crank and cdi from Treatland.tv
Moby 50cc video test run:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ZJOdLB8_8&list=UUpmRXys5jX0-1m51Xh0Ixew&index=2
The transmission 11×59 is tuned for quick acceleration at the short go kart track with top speed 55-60 mph max at the end of the straight away.
La transmission est regle’ a 11×59 pour favoriser les accelerations sur le petit circuit de kart avec vitesse de pointe max 90-95 kmh au bout de la ligne droite.
- Peugeot RCX 50cc h2o Bidalot:
Since the last race fall 2012, I stiffened the EBR fork, cut off some of the clutch pulley shoes for better take offs and accelerations, also went up 2 teeth from 72 to 74 rear sprocket to be quicker off the turn since the bike couldn’t hit top speed on the short straight away.
Depuis la derniere course automne 2012, j’ai durci la fourche EBR, couper la gomme des machoires de poulie pour des meilleurs departs et accelerations, aussi monte’ de 2 dents de 72 a 74 sur la couronne pour des sortie de virage plus rapide vu que la machine n’atteignait pas sa vitesse de pointe dans la ligne droite assez courte.
“Corrida super moby interlagos”
Motobecane moped race in Brazil March 31, 2013. Photos by Thiago Pinheiro.
Electric scooter E-Speed concept by KTM Austrian brand revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Electric motor: power 11 kW- torque 36 Nm – speed 53 mph
Lithium-ion battery 4.36 KWh
40 mile range
Regenerative braking system to recycling some electricity to the battery
Electric scooter XO2 by XOR Motors:
100% developed and manufactured by a young south of France company. The scooter should hit the market very soon in 2013 in France, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Germany, after a lot of interest shown at the 2012 ECMA biggest international motorcycle show in Milan. There’s also a lot of interest from buyers in Asia, Singapore, Japan.
Price: 3,100 euros ($4,000)
100% approved by the European safety regulations.
Long lasting motor 100,000 miles, zero friction, zero engine parts ware.
Electric motor brush less 8 KW – 75 mph top speed with some of the fastest acceleration for a scooter
50 mile range
Battery fully charged in 2 hours
The scooter can be folded in 20 seconds and legally carried on trains or subways.
Video: Electric XO2 scooter vs Yamaha Xmax 125cc #1 sold scooter in France
Here are some photos I stole from moped racer Julien Dore’, MIR35 racing team and moped parts store owner (leaning on the peugeot 103 race moped photo above). The first race of the 2012 South of France organization (TGO) took place in March at Chatillon sur Indre race track.
Check out those amazing vintage motobecane and peugeot race mopeds 50cc single variator with launch lever:
Air cooled 50cc peugeot 103, Gr1 19mm class (left) and Motobecane Av10 50cc, stock-ish 15mm carb class (right):
Liquid cooled 50cc Motobecane Av10 with standard pivot engine mount, Open carb class:
Liquid cooled 50cc Motobecane Bidalot RS prototype frame with parallelogram engine mount, Open carb class:
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:
I just found some cool photos of two moped builders latest projects in France.
- Custom mopeds by Tazrider:
Peugeot 103 and Motobecane Av88
“Meugeotbecane” twin Av7 h20 head dual variated!
- Custom mopeds by the French Monkeys:
- Cafe’ Peugeot 103 dual variated project by Tomahawk:
I got inspired tonight and started working on a side project. I haven’t built a Peugeot 103 for a while and missed it, that bike got me excited again. Even though it’s going to be hard to let go that rare dual variated swing arm, I’m thinking about selling the bike for a reasonable price. So if anybody is interested in commissioning the project, email me before I finish it. I’ll try to keep the cost down using used spoked wheels, used ebr puch magnum fork and adapt an affordable front disc brake (safer) or used stock peugeot fork with drum brake, stock shocks or affordable upgraded ones, decent tires, used Tomahawk clipons, work on the seat, etc… I haven’t decided about the paint yet, I might keep it as is for now.
The best set-up with that dual variated swing arm is a high rpm 50cc kit. I might also include that rare vintage race track Bidalot 50cc kit (ported) with special cooling fins. I raced that engine at the 2010 polini cup and once tuned perfectly it’s very powerful, faster than most 70cc. I’ll replace the the thick 103 spx Giraudo racing crank with a standard 103 racing crank to adapt any standard small taper variators on the market. My second option is the small polini or 1977 cases with a polini or doppler 50cc kit from Treats. The bike should have fast take offs with decent top speed and fun to ride on the weekends, intriguing friends and neighbors.
Peugeot vintage race track Bidalot Radial 50cc kit:
Disassembly of my first generation Bidalot race engine, old school, imported from France in 2009. Bidalot 50cc kit air cooled, Giraudo 103 spx crank, high rpm FAG celeron riveted bearings, stock 2 port cases with creation of 3rd port, polini single flat reed, Bidalot intake manifold, 19mm carb. The port matching was done poorly and the cases wrongly assembled with gasket + silicone but the kit still blasted. Before heating the cases, I noticed a thin crack in the left half case, it might have affected the engine’s power causing air leaks during my last few races. I’m not sure what happened, it could have been caused by the front wheel hitting the engine and knocking the cylinder head off center, during my first crash when I bent the front fork doing a full spin with my bike. Or the thin ported cases may just have had a weak spot. Now I definitely need new engine cases
Head gasket after my crash. Bidalot racing gaskets have multiple aluminum layers to modify your squish.
Since everything is bigger in America, I could also use one of my 70cc kits in stock (malossi and polini W port) with air cooled or h20 head. It wouldn’t be as fast as with the 50cc kit but more like a low rpm torquy cruiser bike, still with fast take offs.
I’ve got most of the parts in stock, pedals, controls and cables, mvt cdi, bearings and seals, 19mm carb, stock clutch + rad vintage GIRAUDO racing variator. All I need to complete the bike is new shocks, maybe a disc brake assembly, headlight, tubes, engine cases + crank.
Peugeot race cases by 1977mopeds + Polini 50cc kit by Treats :
You can follow that build on moped army:
French punk rock band, LES ANIMALS – “Chevauchee Fantastique”
Video: Peugeot 103 Giraudo 70cc
This is what I made with a friend and my son of a 2005 Ramzey Comfort (which is a Turkish Peugeot 103 clone with kick start as you might know).
We’ve built the moped for my girlfriends son’s birthday next week. Today was the first time on the streets of Amsterdam and it attracted a lot of attention from passers by.
We bought the original bike for €50 and managed to keep the total cost at about €250, by using a lot of second hand stuff from adds on the internet.
We visited the tomahawk website often after my son discovered it last year when he got an old Peugeot 103 for his eleventh birthday from my father as a learning project.
Through this email I’d like to thank you for the inspiration.
Keep up the good work!
2011 has been a great year for mopeds. Best wishes for 2012 and happy mopeding.
Some random videos to celebrate the new year.
Peugeot 103 vogue made in France, actually made in China since 2006:
Tomos club in Japan:
Peugeot 103 recent build by Gregoire Blachon, Nashville Tennessee:
Motobecane av10 chopper home made kick start:
Puch maxi 80cc eurokit drag racer:
1976 OW! strian Puch maxi 2hp back to life:
Rebuilt engine after full checkup:
Engine rubber mounting conversion Phase 1 + a peek at the Mykitech cases/minarelli scooter 86cc on the peugeot 103 frame for the big bore fans. Why not? My race bike with a modified chassis would be a good candidate to test that kind of power + launch lever. But with 25hp I would probably install my better Paioli 30mm adjustable hydraulic fork + steering damper.
Here’s an exclusive look inside the engine of my Peugeot 103 RCX 50cc race moped 14hp converted back to a street moped without the race fairings. Before riding the bike on the streets I need to do a complete engine checkup after 5 races on the track.
The engine is a 49.9cc Bidalot h20 kit replica (with transfer ports smaller than a real vintage Bidalot racing kit) + graphite AGP piston + Malossi cases + Bidalot crank 16mm, Pvl analog cdi, Dell’orto 21 carb, Giannelli pipe, steel Bidalot variator and Giraudo clutch pulley. The engine was built by Remi Cusso french master tuner with 20+ years experience in moped racing. As you can see nothing crazy there just a very nice job on the exhaust porting and the malossi cases barely ported with minimal aluminum removed to match the Bidalot cylinder ports. Special crank lubricating holes added to the cases and guides inside each half for a perfect alignment. Guide also added to the h20 head for perfect alignment with the cylinder. Some good “race shit”… you do it right or you don’t do it.
QUICK TIP: The real power of 2 stroke small moped engines doesn’t come from porting the shit out of the cylinder and cases or using gigantic bore, carb or intake, but from properly assembling the engine very slowly, using metrology (the science of measurement) and paying attention to every single detail like a surgeon. Also knowing for each cylinder kit what swept volume and transfers + exhaust port duration works best with what cases volume, intake size, carb size, pipe size, rpms, ignition timing, spark plug, combustion chamber volume, squish with fuel octane rating, final transmission. Some extra horsepower on mopeds can be gained or at least not lost with a light chassis, zero resistance for spinning parts or brakes, good lubrication and alignment, tire pressure, engine proper cooling system, aerodynamic fairings, vegetarian diet plan… lol, etc…
Once I got the motor back in the US, I built a custom rubber mounted engine spring, laser cut some guides for the vintage Bidalot variator 100mm, completed the engine with all the h20 system and spent a lot of time in 2011 tuning it with the right timing + carb settings + pipe length + launch lever + variator weights + transmission for the race track in Southern California but no moped racer 50cc or even 75cc showed up to challenge me. I’ll wait next April 2012 to race against 200cc motorized bicycles. I wonder what’s next, Harley 1200cc engines? I’m really curious to see where it’s gonna stop with bigger bore engines in the quest for power? Isn’t 49.9cc the real limit to call it moped racing, and tuning skills to make the engine faster the real fun challenge? Or functioning pedals makes anything a legit moped no matter what the engine size?
5am in the morning, let’s do this:
Engine dismount, taking note of all the settings before taking it apart, timing, squish, checking the compression, piston ring gap, nikasil at top deck, crank bearings + seals, rod, needle cage bearing, piston pin, viton O-ring, variator full checkup with new guide allen screws for every race, weights arms pins, carbon petals reeds, engine spring, water hoses, etc, etc…
If I’m not too lazy and have enough time I should weld and install some motobecane rubber bushings. The engine is half way rubber mounted with the custom engine spring but I need to finish the job to get rid of all the vibrations causing the exhaust springs to break at high rpms. It’s a little complicated because I need to make sure that the variator stays perfectly aligned with the pulley to avoid any problem with the belt, there’s no room for error when you’re dealing with a race engine.
The piston’s head shows a perfect gas flow and no overheating as a result of a good exhaust porting job. The Bidalot high quality needle cage bearing is recognizable by its blueish color. The multiple new base gaskets worked fine instead of an aluminum raiser not available at the time. The crank shifted a little off center inside the cases probably due to the heat at high rpms on the track but no worries there everything feels tight. To protect the engine I kept the carburetion rich and like all the moped racers in France I’ve been using some (hard to buy) airplane leaded Avgas 100LL fuel rich compared to the dry unleaded 91 or even 93 octane fuel that we normally get at a gas station. Next year I’ll try to get some leaded VP C12 racing fuel octane 108 with appropriate cylinder head squish.
Disassembling an engine after few races is important to prevent any mechanic failure or horsepower loss, and gives a good reference point on the parts wear after a certain amount of miles or time spent on the track, it helps with scheduling the next checkup.
Time to change the piston ring to regain between 1 to 2 hp. After measuring the ring gap I can now evaluate how fast a new ring wears and know that it won’t last more than 2 or 3 races with full power before replacing it. I measured the transfers and exhaust port duration in degrees set with pretty high numbers based on Gr2 specs but close to Gr3.
That engine looks really clean after 5 races and stayed reliable because of a conservative porting and restricted rpms taking no chance to break the 16mm peugeot crankshaft also very thin on the variator side. A 2 stroke race engine performs at its BEST when pushed to the very limits (high rpms, small squish, compression ratio, leanest fuel mixture, etc…) but then can fail at anytime and make you lose the race, it’s like a “catch 22″. To win races, you have to compromise but also adjust after each race and make changes according to your competition on the track. Sometimes it takes an entire season and if your fellow racers are not 100% dedicated or don’t show up the following season then you’ve almost tuned your bike and pushed the engine limits for nothing.
So… you still want to be a moped racer?
Peugeot Malossi cases and Bidalot 50cc h20 kit available at http://www.treatland.tv
Hmmm… Check out that vintage full Bidalot kit party 50cc air cooled 15 carb 11hp bolt on, for 80′s 90′s Peugeot Gr1 class entry level moped racing. I wish they’d still make those racing parts instead of those street replica parts we’re only getting now.
Moped racing in Oregon. I got the photos from facebook Lara Burke’s album thanks to Jeffrey Jay Herzog moped racer with the polini 70cc black motobecane av10 #22. Why doesn’t this happen in California anymore? I’m sooooo jealous. It seems like they get 6 to 7 consistent riders and 10+ on a good weekend. I may have to save money and drive all the way up north once or twice a year to have fun with those fellow racers. Jeffrey is building a new engine for his black moby next year based on my Gr1 50cc setup and also building 2 or 3 extra loaner bikes for anybody who would want to try moped racing in 2012.
France, Team Remi Cusso vintage Bidalot RS 50cc race moped in action beating the modern Japanese, Italian, Spanish 50cc 6 speeds race bikes during an open practice round in the south of France Championship 1st race of the 2011 season last April. I was actually at the race and witnessed the power of those 50cc 18hp mopeds, it was so impressive. The “old pops” technology stunned the new kids and proved that 50cc variated race mopeds are not dead and still kicking ass.
On board video with a rare camera angle mounted on the swing arm at the bottom of the shock. Old school Moto GP style:
ALSO… from the early 90′s in the peak of french moped racing era, vintage photos of a variated 50cc race moped prototype chassis GR3 (no carb size limit class) built by an independent french team that later became the official bike of the Ninja exhaust company team:
PLUS… Peugeot 103 race moped winner of the 2011 South of France championship season in the entry level “stockish factory” class, stock 50cc air cooled (ported), stock cases, 15 carb max, performance exhaust, stock variator.
AND… treasures of G3 Raptor’s cave (french builder and racer) hidden somewhere outside Paris. Bidalot Gr3 clutch pulleys, engine springs, intake manifolds, cdis.
So it looks like in January 2012 Tomahawk is finally leaving the underground “James Bond room” for a bigger shop at Overkill high end baja buggy parts in Anaheim, Orange County. Perfect location in an industrial zone to build and test screaming mopeds all day long.
I’ll keep an antenna in Hollywood for small projects and moped repairs but I’ll use the new shop to build all the future custom bikes. With our new fast mopeds we’re gonna show the Ruckus scooter people of OC what’s up. I’m also working on fabricating future Tomahawk moped parts:
Some aluminum clipons with steel chromed tubes for 28mm moped fork like the EBR and maybe later 30mm for Tomos fork, with future options like anodizing, powder coating, tubes stainless steel, titanium, etc… Also an aluminum launch lever with bearing that mount on the pedal shaft for pegs or pedals use + a bracket ready to bolt on motobecane or peugeot engine cases. The launch lever is a must-have part on those variated french bikes to get the most out of your engine by pressing down on it with your foot. It’s like downshifting on your variated transmission, it gives you that extra power that no other moped offers (even with a dual variated transmission), launching the engine into high rpms for quicker accelerations to reach top speed or be the fastest climbing hills.
I’m also going to design and test a new engine spring for peugeot and motobecane since none of the polini or doppler works perfectly. I’m trying to work on a new Tomahawk clutch pulley or a heavy duty kit to upgrade your doppler clutch pulley ER2. And a bunch of other parts needed for french bikes and later think about good parts for Puch and Tomos.
We’ve got a couple of projects lined up, another fast 50cc Doppler motobecane av10 project, the “Motomos” a Tomos A55 with custom extended swing arm top quality welds and streetmate front end disc brake with maybe a motobecane variated engine, my Tomos ST Harley top tank and my Minarelli 77cc h20 drag moped. There’s gonna be some long nights but let’s do this thing!
More frames waiting for a Tomahawk extreme makeover:
Black Peugeot 103 vogue short swing arm 50cc h20/air cooled, Green peugeot 103 RCX short square swing arm 70cc polini h20, White peugeot 103 mvl dual variated swing arm with high rpm vintage Bidalot racing 50cc air cooled and wide 2.5 inch mag wheels with stock threaded holes for disc brake, Yellow old new stock motobecane av10 frame zero miles not even a single drop of gasoline in the tank. How do you like that moby frame drg7? I know know you want it bad.
For a man of means, a future 25hp 86cc h20 monster peugeot or motobecane moped using the CNC machined Mykitech cases from http://www.treatland.tv to adapt all the powerful high tech minarelli scooter parts imported from Europe + the Mykitech clutch pulley.
France, custom scooter minarelli engine + peugeot 103 monster scooter:
New Vespa Quarantasei Concept and BMW Concept C (with cameras replacing the mirrors) in 2012:
BONUS PICS and VIDEOS:
The US moped scene is just the best and probably the biggest. If you don’t own a moped yet watch that video and go get one!
A 1979 film about moped safety.
Great art work and T-shirts by Tyler Conway “Bright mind designs” in Denver, inspired by the Tomahawk custom mopeds:
New game plan. I’m going to use a peugeot seat with maybe upholstery, an ebr frame brace, a round headlight, a peugeot 103 spx kick stand, I will paint the wheels black and probably keep the bumble bee spirit by adding some yellow accents. Now it’s starting to look like a cool ped. I’ll try to update the article later with new pics.
Peugeot 103 RXC 49.9cc moped, 14 hp 14,000 rpm.
I don’t want my 50cc race moped to rust in my shop until the next race April 7th 2012 at Grange’, so I decided to remove the fairings and register the bike to blast it once in a while on moped rides. Before that I’ll do a complete engine checkup and will change the transmission for street riding top speed. The negative side is that the more miles you put on a race engine the less it performs at its full potential on the track for race day.
I installed a long seat and a Tomos square headlight for now to make it look more like a street moped american style. I’ll probably paint the wheels black, re-weld a straight frame brace, get a round headlight and modify the seat cafe’ style later. The purist french racers and bloggers are going to tease me for removing those awesome vintage Bidalot fairings but we can’t please everybody and since nobody races in California I have to take that bike to the streets. Plus the bike will also blend much better next year on the track racing against other mopeds or 50cc to 200cc and electric motorized bicycles.
The only thing missing is the license plate and the pedals but there were no pedals on the stock peugeot 103 RCX 90′s version with pegs and kick start like many other mopeds, Honda, Vespa, Motobecane, Tomos, etc… It’s almost impossible to install pedals on that bike, there’s no thread for a rear bicycle freewheel, no front sprocket on the shaft or even room to weld one. I’m still keeping the moped spirit by using a 49.9cc limit engine and after market Peugeot moped parts only, except for the auto electric water pump. Even the vintage Fournales ole0-pneumatic shocks were made for the 103 RCX frame.
Bonus video : Another fast Tomahawk 50cc motobecane.
Melvin’s motobecane Av10 polini 50cc kit with stock cases is almost done. He built the bike and I taught him how to properly assemble the engine and slightly port the cylinder W exhaust port. He custom made a swing arm, clip-ons handle bars, dual launch lever, exhaust ball joint springs system, cut and re-welded the frame’s tail to adapt new shocks (gave up the mono shock project), installed a disc brake and custom fork brace, etc… He always find new ideas using cheap parts available at his auto body shop.
I stopped by Friday night for his birthday and first start of his new moby. I reassembled the 19 carb with all the right settings, timed the ignition, tuned the doppler variator + launch lever. I did a full session breaking in the engine on the stand before doing some test runs. WOW… the 50cc polini kit rips! Good torque and some serious power even with the small 52T rear sprocket. That bike might be faster than any of our other mobys and Melvin is light too. Once completely done the bike will get a new paint.
Somebody’s gonna have a big smile on his face blasting through the streets of LA at 70 mph.
As you probably already know, you can find all those performance parts at http://www.treatland.tv the best moped parts store in the universe and build your own fast motobecane engine or have all the parts shipped to Tomahawk for complete assembly, tuning, testing, shipped back to you and experience the real 50cc power.
Who said Motobecane av10 variated mopeds can’t go as fast as one speed puch mopeds and hold top speed for miles?
I think those Turkish Kamikazes use a stock av10 bottom end + 70cc kit + modify stock pipe + small rear sprocket. Ok, they ride downhill on a light frame and small tires with an aerodynamic position but still that’s not bad… I read 80 mph on the speedometer. Those bikes don’t have good acceleration in the city though and are built to break records on the freeway.
Time to enjoy cruising the streets of LA.
Peugeot 103 70cc malossi h20 custom built:
Stock 1978 Peugeot 103 lvs 50cc before the transformation:
Los Angeles River:
I’m going to start using my motobecane race frame to build, tune, test and ship complete engines. So if you’re interested in replacing your av7 cylinder inducted engine or building a fast av10 case inducted engine, just contact me for more details. I will also build a Peugeot 103 test bike for kitted engines or solid 45 mph 50cc sotckish engine. Whatever fits your needs and budget. Moving to a new shop next year, I may start doing it with other mopeds like Puch and Tomos. I’ll continue to take special orders for custom moped builds.
I just received a set of 2 way regular bearings to replace the push start one way bearing on the Doppler clutch pulley and use a kick start unit to start the engine.
Here’s a test run with the HK 3020 bearing.
The stock Doppler clutch pulley is available at Treats moped super store http://www.treatland.tv
I’m rebuilding the bike with slow precision like a meticulous surgeon.
Back up LED bicycle lights by Knog made in Australia:
I don’t know all the details but I’ve learned through Neil the organizer of motorized bicycle racing in Southern California that a group of people drag race old mini bikes in the streets of Long Beach (south Los Angeles). It started just as a ride and BBQ event but now it got really serious with bikes going 90 mph and racers talking trash. Check out the Oldminibikes.com forum for more info.
It’s the final phase, time to rebuild the ultimate Peugeot 103 street moped.
Frame + headlight + fender 70′s Ford Mustang grabber blue painted by Melvin’s Mel-Mar auto body shop in Los Angeles Filipino town.
Aluminum mag wheels + seat + steel parts silver reflective clear powder coated (light mirror effect) by Embee Performance (exhaust & piston ceramic coating, aluminum anodizing, nickel plating) in Santa Ana, Orange County.
Small steel parts flat black powder coated by Pyramid Powder Coating in Sun Valley.
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…
Here’s my next project.
Today, after running into one of the top Ruckus builders in LA at a racing hardware store, I decided to start my cafe scooter project and get it ready for the next big Ruckus ride March 2012.
I’ve stored the parts for over a year and it’s time to build the bike. I like anything fast on 2 wheels but I prefer to build small bikes. I won’t consider this bike a moped or a scooter but more like a prototype 2 stroke motorcycle 77cc dual variated. I’m gonna try to mix the look of old cafe racers with modern euro 2 str0ke scooter technology. It should be a fun project. My engine setup is actually outdated now compared to what the drag scooter racers are using in Italy, France, Germany, UK, etc…
I’ve seen pics of old cafe racers with Lambretta engines but this bike should be pretty unique in the States, especially with a fast 2 stroke scooter engine. Everything is 4 stroke now in the scooter and motorcycle world in the US since the big Japanese manufacturers like Honda have started pushing and imposing their 4 stroke engines for financial reasons on the streets and race tracks.
I’m using a 23 hp 2 stroke minarelli horizontal scooter engine imported from France (Mbk nitro/Yamaha Zuma) with malossi 77cc h20 kit, malossi crank 85mm, stage 6 digital cdi, dell’orto 28mm carb flat slide, stage 6 R1400 exhaust, malossi over range transmission kit, stage 6 clutch pulley, stage 6 gears.
I’m using a vintage Honda 2 stroke motorcycle frame. I will probably cut the frame to rethink the lines and weld the scooter engine mounts. I was originally going to use a step-through motobecane av10 frame but I changed my mind and got a top tank frame. I hope it’s not a crime to chop that vintage bike. I’m using a scooter aprilia RS 13″ rear wheel with disc brake and a motobecane moped 17″ front grimeca mag wheel with stage 6 rotor and brembo caliper. I haven’t decided about the fork yet.
I might also change my mind and decide to stick with the original plan using a super light motobecane av10 moped frame to get the most out of the 23 hp engine and be able to ride the bike “legally” as a registered 50cc moped, I just wont be able to carry much fuel. The motorcycle Honda frame has no VIN number and feels super heavy, I might still build that cafe bike but strip down my registered TGB scooter and mount the 4 stroke 150cc GY6 engine to use it as a rad and reliable daily commuter.
Some photos of the parts + the 1st motobecane prototype that inspired me 2 years ago and one of my old sketch exploring different frame + seat options.
Here’s the sound and acceleration of a minarelli engine with the malossi 77cc big bore kit on a 50cc scooter Yamaha Aerox/Mbk Nitro. The 50cc Yamaha Zuma in the US also called Yamaha BWs or Mbk booster in France, uses the same engine type but there are many versions of kits depending on the year model, before 99′, after 99′, after 03′.
Don’t we love the power of 2 stroke engines? It’s only a 95cc. Try to match that with a same size 4 stroke engine.
Here’s a drag scooter with a 2Fast cylinder kit + Nitrous fuel built by http://www.maxiscoot.com a young french company that sells high end performance parts and is actually located outside France since the laws there don’t allow to sell kits above 50cc. They also own MXS custom that builds some of the sickest and fastest scooters and competes all year long.
32 hp at the rear wheel by MXS Custom, 2Fast 86cc kit + Cristofolini 80cc exhaust.
Here’s another drag scooter 2 stroke twin cylinder engine (probably 2x 86cc, one of the latest hot engine setup in Europe right now) by ALP design sponsored by http://www.maxiscoot.com
Today was the last day before the very first start of my Peugeot 103 streetfighter. I finished all the electrical wiring but I’ll make it look cleaner once I reassemble the bike with a new paint. It’s hard to hide all the wires with so many electrical components. I decided to keep the mini fuses protecting the electric pump and battery circuits exposed though, for a quick and easy access.
To save time I decided not to test ride the bike, I’ll do the final tuning once the bike is painted and reassembled. I will also have some stainless brake lines custom made for the front and rear disc brakes.
Tomorrow is the big day. Hopefully I’ll be able to start the bike and post another video. I took my time and double checked everything but you never know with mopeds, anything can go wrong. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
The bike is 90% done and ready for a paint job. I can’t wait to blaaaaaaast the streets of downtown LA late at night, sitting far back on the saddle with a tight grip on the handle bars.
Yeah! T-hawk is finally born and took its very first breath of oxygen in Hollywood Griffith Park. The bike is so sexy that it already got harassed by people jumping out of the bushes.
The engine fired up right away, it’s not tuned yet but has an awesome sound. The bike feels really solid with no resistance in the wheels, chain or rotor discs. It’s a little heavy with all the equipment but that will increase the stability at top speed and keep it safer on the bad roads of LA. It actually feels and looks more like a small variated 70cc motorcycle and not much like a moped anymore, kinda like top tank mopeds.
It’s now time to disassemble and paint all the parts. Once the bike is done I’ll post some photos and videos of the test runs.
Engine setup available at http://www.treatland.tv
Malossi cases, doppler crank, malossi 70cc h20 kit, mvt millenium cdi, dell’orto 21mm carb, giannelli pipe.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay by check or Money Order
20455 Central Ave.
Apple Valley, CA 92307
I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and should be able to fire up my street bike project very soon. I’ve been waiting 2 years for this moment.
Today was important, I hooked up all the water hoses to the motobecane stock radiator, the temperature sensor and the electric water pump. I just need to wire the pump to a regulator/rectifier or a small separate 12V battery.
Here’s what’s left on the list before finally starting the engine and do a bunch of test runs before painting the bike:
Finish all the electrical wiring (cdi, regulator,battery, fuse, water pump, vapor tachometer + temp gauge, lights, kill switch), lock the pedal shaft so the pegs don’t spin, custom make heavy weights for the malossi variator + the doppler spring way too strong, install the chain, the disc brake lines, the throttle + cables, mount the motobecane engine mount rubber bushings (rare on a kitted peugeot frame but recommend to absorb the vibrations and prevent breaking parts like the exhaust, etc…) Now I wish I would have bought a 50cc h20 engine for less vibrations and overheating problems but at the time I had the “small piston complex” and wanted the biggest bore available like everybody else. That being said, the bike is so heavy that I might need the torque for a more comfortable ride and forget about a screaming engine or top speed.
Few hours away…
I just have to finish all the electrical wiring, install the throttle + choke cables, the fuel line, brake lines and I’m ready to fire up this bad boy!
We learn everyday. I just found out on Facebook that the peugeot 103 RCX/SPX engine is actually rubber mounted and the mount comes in 2 brackets connected together with a thick square piece of rubber between them. It seems like you take the engine down by just removing the bolt on the lower bushing and leave the black bracket on the frame. The more popular 103 SP version in the US doesn’t come with rubber bushings, the bike vibrates a lot with a powerful kitted engine often braking the exhaust. The answer might be to modify that engine mount by welding a rubber bushing just like on the 103 spx (left photo). The big polini cases with aluminum arms vibrate and sometime a powerful engine set up brakes the arms. The best cases are the malossi ones with 70cc kits and 21 mm carb minimum or the smaller polini cases (but expansive) using the stock peugeot mount steel bracket (maybe reinforced or rubber mounted would be the best) with a 50cc kits 19 mm carb max.
Bonus pics from french blogs:
A peugeot 103 spx prototype project with malossi cases, peugeot malossi crank 42,1 mm stroke (instead of 39,1 mm stock stroke) + new 85 mm rod (instead of 75 mm) adapted from an AM6 Minarelli scooter crank, Piaggio/minarelli scooter malossi MHR 70cc h20 kit (try to find the studs…), PVL digital ignition, Stage 6 exhaust modified, Conti power jet 28 mm carb, Conti CRX 4 petal reed block, RGD peugeot 103 variator, Giraudo clutch pulley, Giraudo engine spring. Rad…!
A new electric drag scooter prototype by MXS Custom. Check out that cool white Teflon 3D mold of the Zuma scooter cylinder ports.
Let the good times roll!
Here are some photos of the last 50cc variated french moped race in Ancenis Sep 18 2011 (2nd round). The pics were shot by Mikael “Lemim” and sent to me by my friend Ludo (above pic) who works for the M.C. Amorce 50cc racing club and co-organized the event for the TGO south of France championship. I met him during my last trip in France for the 1st round in April 2011, super nice guy who shares the same passion for peugeot mopeds and has been building street bikes for years. He’ll be attending the Peugeot 103 40 years anniversary celebration in October. I wish I could be there.
Ludo started moped racing this year and built a peugeot 103 spx to compete in the Production class, entry level “factory” class for sotck-ish peugeot and motobecane 50cc variated mopeds. Check out his race bike:
I’ve heard that it was a rainy afternoon with lots of crashes. My friend Remi Cusso and his team weren’t able to attend the race because of conflict with scheduling.
If you want to see more pics of the race check the photo galleries on the MC Amorce 50cc club website:
The TGO championship includes many 50cc categories like scooters, pocket bikes, 6 speed bikes, solex, sidecar… but roughly, here are the 3 classes and rules for 50cc variated mopeds:
1- PRODUCTION: (Factory, stock-ish)
Step through moped frame, no racing frame, no reinforcement other than mandatory frame brace cross bar, 305 euros max. No parallelogram engine mounts.Fork open 30 mm max. Rear shocks open. Wheels 17″ max. Rear drum brake. Front disc brake 220 mm max. Seat and fairings open.
Stock cases only, factory or after market. Crank open with stock stroke and 155 euros max. Stock cylinder type air cooled only, one exhaust port only (no bridge or auxiliary port), 2 rings piston. Cylinder head 46 euros max. Cylinder porting and cylinder base raiser allowed. After market reeds allowed 44 euros max but no petal reed block. Intake manifold 19 mm max. Carburetor 15 mm max. After market performance exhaust allowed 170 euros max. External cdi ignition only stock or 185 euros max. Stock variator only. No launch lever. Stock engine spring. The race will start with the engine running.
2- PROMOTION: (old Gr1 class)
Same as Production class + reinforcement allowed + fork open 32 mm max.
Same as Production + crank 185 euros max, air cooled 50cc racing kit + head 260 euros max, carb 15 mm max but venturi allowed, manifold 19 mm max but custom made allowed, reeds after market allowed 40 euros max but no petal reed block, performance exhaust open, external cdi ignition 245 euros max, variator open 106 mm max no clutch function, launch lever allowed, engine spring open. Racers will push start the race.
Frame open. Wheels, tires, fork, shocks, brakes open. Steering damper allowed.
Cooling system open, engine parts open, variator size open, carb size open, 2 stroke and 4 stroke engine allowed, exhaust open. The race will start with the engine running.
I couldn’t find any videos of the moped races but here’s some 50cc pocket bike and scooter action on the wet race track:
Team KRH2 sponsored by La Becanerie, Artek, Mvt, Yanusi.
Some of those 80′s vintage french moped fairings are available in the US, check out the full selection at http://www.treatland.tv
There’s nothing like the sound and smell of a brand new engine.
The bike started right away which is always a relief and a good sign. Today was a very hot day with triple digit temperatures. I’ll wait for cooler temperatures to tune and test ride the bike. I kept the idle high because there’s no clutch. With a big main jet for safety and break in, the bike is a little rich at low rpm. The engine feels good though with lots of power and should make that light bike for a motobecane an other 50cc ripper. We’ll tell people it’s a 70cc, shhh… The chain makes a weird sound because of those new after market front sprockets with teeth that don’t always line up perfectly. I need to work on that or just let it wear itself down.
I still need to hook up the lights, tune the carburetor and variator + launch lever. Then we’ll send the bike to the body shop for a new paint and seat upholstery. This is probably the last time you see the original orange paint. Once the bike is completely done, I’ll probably post some photos and videos of test runs with the lucky owner.
Engine Set Up:
Stock cases, doppler crankshaft, 50cc doppler kit, doppler head, doppler stock 2 petal reed block, doppler intake manifold, 19mm dell’orto carb, stock cdi, doppler exhaust, doppler er3 variator, stock engine spring, doppler belt, doppler pulley, transmission 11×56 for now.
Carters origine, vilebrequin doppler, kit 50cc doppler, culasse doppler, clapets 2 lamelles origine doppler, pipe admission doppler, carbu 19mm dell’orto, allumage origine, pot doppler, variateur doppler er3, ressort moteur origine, courroie doppler, poulie doppler, transmission 11×56 pour l’instant.
The electrical wiring is done with headlight, tail light, brake light, regulator and kill switch. I’ll use some heat shrink tubing to hide and protect the wires. The bike is now ready for a strip-down and paint job.
Exclusive photos of the freshly painted frame at Melvin’s body shop, 2 more coats to go.
Videos of 1st start and test runs:
Morning break in session 1/2 throttle up and down the hill with cool down period between each round. The bike will get a final tuning after the paint job.
After 2 years of honing my tuning skills I’m finally having fun blasting with those 50cc variated french mopeds. I think that once you’ve learned the fundamentals of 2 stroke tuning and that you have a good formula to build fast engines using cheap stock 50cc moped parts as much as possible, it’s time to stick with the basics and stop searching spending time experimenting with crazy 70cc or even scooter parts. Why try to reinvent the wheel, riding is more fun. “Gonflage des cyclomoteurs” is a good vintage book out there that brings you back to the basics of 50cc moped tuning wrote by the 80′s master tuner Didier Thomas who now works for Doppler but unfortunately it’s in French.
I modified the Er3 variator and replaced the doppler belt 13.2 mm with the wider malossi belt 14.3 mm. The bike should have better low end + better top speed using the variator’s full 100 mm range. By pressing on the launch lever we’ll be able to push start the bike and compensate for a more slippery belt sitting all the way down flush against the variator shaft. Once we’re able to get a real heavy duty clutch pulley on the market, nothing’s gonna touch those fast motobecane 50cc stock cases or be more fun and fuel efficient, especially if we start using 50cc h20 kits.
I recommend to always disassemble a brand new Doppler Er3 variator before installation to check and lubricate the weights arm pins, grease the arms head and damper yellow plates, tighten the 2 guide pins with a drop of blue Loctite (or they’ll fly off at high rpms) and grease them.
50cc engine set-up tested on the video above available at http://www.treatland.tv
BONUS PICS and VIDEO:
I’m doing the monthly ride tonight with the motobecane av10 50cc Bidalot to test the malossi belt with the modified Dopller Er3 variator and 11 x 54 transmission.
When you don’t ride your fast moped very often, it’s important before each ride to always check your brakes, tire pressure, chain tension and maybe grease the pulley’s bearings and the 2 variator guide pins + check for loose bolts due to vibrations on those french variated bikes. As a general rule, use regular thick grease for slow moving parts like variator guide pins and liquid grease for fast moving parts like pulley bearings. Also, always carry a tool kit, extra spark plug, belt, exhaust springs or emergency wire.
Back from a night ride with the Latebirds moped gang and awesome views of LA city lights from Mulholland Drive.
Before the ride I tested the malossi belt. Compared to the doppler belt, the variator felt heavier and harder to control with the launch lever. It feels like I’ve lost some snap and 10% of the acceleration probably because of the different cross-section shape of the belt, I may test that belt again with smaller weights. I couldn’t push the bike to full speed because of the traffic but it feels like the malossi belt pulls a little more than the doppler belt and would increase the top speed. At that point with 65+ mph top speed, the bike is fast enough to ride in the streets of LA and I would probably choose the best belt for quick acceleration over 70+ mph top speed.
The good thing about those 50cc Gr1 stock cases engine 19 mm carb @ 12,000 rpm max is that you could almost race an entire season without having to disassemble the engine for a check-up. That’s not the case with a faster 50cc Gr2 or Gr3 engine bigger cases + bigger carb @ 15,000 rpm like my yellow peugeot 103 RCX malossi cases 21 mm carb 14,000 rpm. After 3 or 4 race weekends that bike is way overdue for an engine disassembly and full check-up, looking for signs of detonation in the combustion chamber, wear of top cylinder nikasil, piston + ring + wrist pin bearing, rod and crankshaft bearings, seals, variator guide pins + weight arm dampers, etc… to prevent an engine failure. I really need to do it before any future race or monthly test run but I’ve been lazy and not looking forward to it since everything fits so tight on that bike and makes the engine dismount a little more difficult.
It’s always funny to see people’s reaction in their cars when I tell them it’s a 50cc moped. They should make a gta moped game version of this. That’d be so rad.
Last time Freddie test rode my 50cc motobecane race bike he really liked the riding position better than on his peugeot 103 with 80′s style twisted handle bars and high seat position, so he brought his bike back to make the conversion. It feels like a new bike much safer to ride.
I lowered and pushed the seat back just like we used to do it as kids in France. Instead of using cheap clip-ons that never get tight enough, I bent, cut and welded clubman handle bars just like on my race bike. I installed a new Lusito throttle n grip, my favorite, and upgraded the ignition with the MVT Millenium cdi from http://www.treatland.tv
The bike’s previous riding position:
The bike’s new riding position and Freddie’s warm up routine before blasting the streets of LA.
Photographie’ par Freddie.
Casey (Toecutter peugeot 103 owner) just dropped his Peugeot TSM 70cc polini. I’m excited, this is my first Peugeot top tank project. I’ll try to get it ready before the Sacramento ride but I won’t rush the project. Here’s what’s on the list so far:
First, correctly reassemble the engine with a new polini head and get it running. Upgrade the stock variator with a Doppler er3, fabricate a launch lever and a polini spring bracket, install new rear gas shocks or a mono shock , an hydraulic EBR fork with disc brake, mag wheels, new handle bars and controls, new seat, new tail light, lose the fenders.
Once that TSM and my 103 streetfighter are done, my next project is to chop and convert a Tomos Sprint into a tubular frame top tank bike but shhh….. it’s a secret.
1h engine dissasembly for a full check up:
The engine reassembled with few Tomahawk tricks and ready to blast:
Polini W exhaust ported + custom ball joint ring, rear boost transfer ported, piston ported, cylinder+head decomp valve plugged, doppler variator modified to fit the malossi belt, stock clutch modified, ignition timing and points set, carb tuned (needle, slide, main jet, idle jet, starter jet).
Heavy duty custom launch lever made out of a peugeot pedal + cases bracket (2 hours).
Plus, Johnson’s Peugeot 103:
Another “nobody can fix it” Peugeot 103 sp polini 70cc fun challenge for Tomahawk.
The stock cases were over ported with JB weld to fill up the holes so there’s no guarantied reliability. I reassembled the top end plugging up the cylinder decomp hole and head decomp valve, set the timing with new points, installled a kill switch, used some silicone on the polini reed block (not my 1st choice block known for air leaks sometimes), slightly cut off the stock engine spring top plate to clear the polini reed block that was hitting and stopping the engine from reaching full variation (Tomahawk free tip), tuned the 4 stroke 19 carb AN atomizer (make sure to get a 2 stroke carb with the AU atomizer, it’s easier to tune and consumes less fuel), installed the doppler exhaust low to clear the pedals, I had to loose the center kickstand.
Two days later, the bike runs like a clock. No special porting, just the 70cc polini stock power. It really feels good to bring all those vintage peugeot mopeds back to life one by one.
Engine set up available at http://www.treatland.tv
Stock cases vs Polini cases: