Friday, April 18, 2008

Scooter Trash?

Tam tells the tale (go read it now) but I'll add my two cents: by dint of inspired whining ("Awww, I'll get it running! It'll be fun!") along with our mutual wanting to check out an interesting barbecue joint, I persuaded her to ride the tiny, modern-looking Manco Matrex scooter. 49cc of, well, like a chainsaw with wheels. A small chainsaw. A small chainsaw that came out of the Winter not idling and only barely starting.

Much fiddling with carburettor* adjustments later, it sort of runs but still won't idle and we set off -- me in jeans, jump boots, my 1930s-lookin' riding jacket and open-faced helmet on the large-ish Bajaj Chetak, a very classic-Vespa-looking 150cc machine with a big windscreen and her on the teeny psuedo-speedster in racing-type leathers -- at the top speed on the Matrex, about 30. I barely had the Chetak out of third the whole way, but considering the amount of foot traffic in Broad Ripple, perhaps that was just as well.

We were quite a sight! I'm gonna either have to get Teh Matrex running properly or wait 'til Tam finds a motorcycle she likes before we try it again.
* Almost everything I know about engines, I learned from British Leyland


Standard Mischief said...

I'm kinda attracted to the 49 cc beasties, in a "less fscking laws and regulations" sort of way.

Anyway, do you know the "$1.98 tune-up" trick? It's where you get the thing running, take it up to about half throttle, spray in a bit of carb cleaner, and slap your hand over the air intake.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

What happens is that you generate a powerful vacuum that usually dislodges that little bit of crud that's keeping the beastie from idling properly. It will also help remove flat spots in the power band.

Depending on the engine configuration, you may need to use something besides your hand to block off the air intake. It's also a good idea to use something other than your hand with the large displacement engines. You almost always have to remove the air cleaner first, too.

Standard Mischief said...

Oh yea, I forgot to say that it's OK to take your hand off the air intake before the engine dies completely.

Turk Turon said...

A "carburettor" for a 49cc?

Hmmm... I'm visualizing a micro-SU, (that's "Skinner Union") with a dashpot the size of one of those airline liquor bottles, and a butterfly valve about the size of a dime.

Am I close?

rickn8or said...


We want photos!

phlegmfatale said...

I'll bet you two were a dazzling vision. I wish I coulda seen you!

HTRN said...

Hmm, 49cc?

Well, you do have by Stihl Woodboss beat.. by 2cc.. ;)

And oh, like I said in Tam's entry:
Pictures! We demand pictures!

Turk Turon said...

The next time you guys go out in formation, there had better be photos, or we're gonna have a problem.

mike said...

British Leyland? Weren't they also a major British refrigerator maker? Explains the warm beer I guess.

Old Grouch said...

"Almost everything I know about engines, I learned from British Leyland."

As in, "When in doubt, suspect the electrical system?"

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you got a shop manual with the scooter, if it helps:

The details on the carb are a bit sketchy, but it is a place to start. If the jet is clogged try soaking it, then gently work a small wire thru. The wire from a wire bush works well. Only drill the jet as a las resort.

Roberta X said...

Anon, the scooter did arrive with very complete docs and though there's a distinctly translated-from quality to the shop manual, it's helpful and comprehensive. Looks like carb cllaner is the way to go!

Turk, the little carb is very much SU-ish, overhead dashpoy and all. Tiny, of course.

Roberta X said...

Er, "dashpot."

red said...

Ever see the group riding rat-scooters around Indy? Pretty cool in a 49cc of MadMax way. There used to be a giant Vespa "gang", haven't seen them in years though.

My friend boiled his CB750's carbs in a lemon juice solution. It made them look almost new and got rid of all the varnish build up. I'll find out the specifics and send them your way.

red said...

Here's you go:

"All you need to do is break down your carbs and boil them in about a 2/3 water, 1/3 lemon juice solution for about 15 minutes per part.

Tend to the pot and keep stirring the mix the whole time. Also be sure to keep the windows open as it stinks like a mofo from all the old gas and such.

If you don't you'll end up stoned on the floor, or at least have a good headache for a day like I did. Once the part is done in the solution, be sure to rinse it immediately to wash off the lemon juice/acid solution and you should be good to go.

It'll be so clean it'll fool the guy at CRCII, yet it won't destroy your seals."

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it Roberta, There is nothing that bothers me more than not having, or not being able to find good reference material for maintenance.