Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Scooter Electrics Saga

So, having installed not-quite-exact replacement tail/brake and rear turn signal bulbs, I took the scooter on a little 2-mile ride last night: the new bulbs (and low beam headlight) all survived! Hooray, at least so far.

The former importer (Bajaj doesn't make scooters any more) reports they haven't got any rectifier/regulator units in stock and didn't sound hopeful of getting more, so that could get interesting. Hoping a Stella (LML, another India-built scooter) or Vespa replacement will do if needed. Trying to reverse-engineer one could get interesting, despite it being a straightforward-looking four-terminal device: vehicular electrics tend to be very specifically engineered for the application and "generic electronics" approaches can run the unwary into some interesting gotchas.


RobertSlaughter said...

Sadly, many of the latest scooter manufacturers don't even provide supply repair parts, especially those in China. The mentality seems to be, "If it breaks, dump it and buy a new one."

Blackwing1 said...

When my buddy and I patched together a junked-out Triumph Bonneville, one of the first things we did was rip out every inch of wire. I'm not sure what they used for insulation, since all you had to do was touch a wire, and the stuff simply cracked and powdered off in a dusty haze. Mostl of the components were stuff from Lucas, "The Prince of Darkness".

We slapped a voltage regulator from a trashed Honda on it, and re-wired with salvaged applicance wire. It worked fine, even if it did go through points at a ferocious rate (had to re-gap them about every 100 miles).

Bike ran until I slid it underneath a stake-bed truck.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

I'm sure Lucas will be happy to solve your little problem by creating a bigger one to distract you.

WV: conitear

Which could be read

"Con! I tear up, then weep without restraint at the sight of Lucas."

John B said...

I'm trying to wire up a VW Trike, maximum mileage, minimal accessories. My instincts tell me that an early 60's mopar electrical system has the potential to be a real special contribution to trike history. Certainly better than Lucas, which everyone knows, is a totally petulant attempt at revenge for the loss of the Empire.

Billll said...

The Triumph rider had either the wrong coil on his bike, or left off a ballast resistor.
John B would be well advised to stick with the VW parts. They cause less trouble, and a trike (I've built 3) needs very little in the way of electrics.
As to your Bajaj, check the controllers they have here:

The things are pretty close to generic items.

Roberta X said...

A kindly thought, Billl, but this is an actual rectifier/voltage regulator, not a speed control: the Bajaj is fairly sophisticated and has a 4-stoke, 145cc engine; electrically, it's like a fairly plush (small) modern motorcycle. Gets plated like one, too. (Tops out at 55, which is a bit interesting on 10" wheels.)

Found a guy in Georgia who had all the unobtanium parts and can get the bulbs; with a little luck, I should be back on the road next week,

Billll said...

I suppose if I stopped by here more often, I'd have known that. My bad.