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Old 08-04-2010, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Picked up a Scooter - awesome CL score

My mother recently decided that she could use a little scooter to make logistics easier when I am borrowing her truck either to pick up parts, or drop daughter off at preschool. She lives in an RV park on the lake a few miles down the road, and can get all the way to town without ever seeing a 45mph+ speed limit sign.

I decided it made sense, and that I'd help. After putting suspension, wheels, exhaust and brakes (all stock) back on the Miata Sunday, I was able to back it out of the garage and now have room for projects. I can do the wiring and other engine bay work left on the car in the driveway, and there was no reason left to keep it on jackstands. I now have space in garage to work on my race bike project, a cylinder head rebuild, and now a scooter.


I wanted to see one really cheap scoot, and one good newer model at the low end of the price point that made a difference, and compare the options. It seemed that right at $1K was where you could find a lot of 2002 or newer name brand scoots with decent mileage like the Yamaha Zuma and Honda Ruckus, as well as a few Aprilias.

I narrowed it down to a $999 Zuma (2002), and a $500 Honda Spree (1985). The Spree was a chance find, and these are classics. They were the ubiquitous scooter worldwide in the late 80s, and probably still clog the streets of Rome.

So naturally, being the cheap bastard I am and a glutton for projects, I had to go check it out:

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We show up, and I start noting the small things it needs: horn, dry-rotted tires, and a small leak from carb. The younger guy manages to get it started, but it keeps falling on it's face, and the battery eventually dies. So add a carb rebuild kit to the list, and a battery as a possibility. I'm sure a few others had looked at it and he kept draining it down. Either way, all easy fixes.

I wasn't able to test drive it, but it started easily with jumper cables. Would simply die when you went to twist throttle and drive off.


Seller's dad had shown up a little before, when I'd already talked him down to $350. Dad could tell I was trying to bargain when he arrived, and asked the son in Spanish if I had $250. The son knew I understood because my wife just called to check on me and he heard me carrying on a conversation in Spanish.

So of course I hemmed and hawed until I got them down to the $250 I knew they'd take.

The look he gave his dad was priceless. But I really felt bad as we were loading it up and getting ready to drive off...I could tell he was mad.

Either way, we went from a $500 project, to a steal with an overall budget of $500...said and done.

Goal is to first get it running, then modify it to get performance on par with the modern scooters.

This thing will hit 30mph flat-out in good running condition, and most newer 50cc bikes will do at least 45mph, enough to keep up with traffic. The success of this build will be measured in MPH, not WHP...lol.

ORDERED:
-carb rebuild ($10 kit)
-new chinese tires ($18 chinese rubber)
-air filter ($6)
-fuel filter ($5)

PLANNED:
-replace plug
-shave head .020" to up compression (better acceleration, possibly +5mph)
-reduce fixed spacing or front belt drive pulleys, effectively decreasing final drive ratio (+15mph)
-repaint wheels when replacing tires/tubes

LATER:
-port intake runner for smoother bend and transition to reed valves (?)
-Big Bore Kit...7mm overbore jug and piston...totally transforms bike....heard of guys edging 75mph after all the mods.
-will need to do some jetting work



I can't believe how excited I am over 49cc. Probably because I'm not paying for it, and just get to do the fun part, and it's something neat to do for my mom since I know she'll enjoy it.

My mother wants to use it, and gradually step up to a real bike. It will likely then go to my wife to get more comfortable riding, as we plan on going two up, with her possibly getting her own bike later.

I'll probably treat this as a build thread. Tear-down pics to come, but I've got one project on workbench I NEED to finish this week before I get into this mess.

Last edited by gospeed81; 08-04-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #2
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Oh yeah...forgot to mention the whole reason I didn't want to walk away from it:

It's got 649 original miles!


Also, the Spree community is as good if not better than the miata/turbomiata one.

Their wiki page is awesome, called the WIKISPREEDIA lol.

http://hondaspree.net/wiki/index.php5?title=Main_Page

Good write-ups all around. Took me less than two hours to find out what to look for, how to work on it, and how to do the major mods.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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So for 300 and some time, you got a sweet little Honda scooter that's barely past break-in..... nice score!!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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In college I had a 1987 Honda Elite S 50cc. It is the same exact thing as your with just a different speedo and no resitrictor in the exhaust. Flat out it would do 42 and that's the fastest I have any business going on two wheels. I would love to have that thing back again.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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The look he gave his dad was priceless. But I really felt bad as we were loading it up and getting ready to drive off...I could tell he was mad.
I bought an S13 a while back (mainly because it was a steal of a deal, I turned around and sold it). But it was under the same circumstances. They didn't know I spoke Spanish so I just kept working it until I got to the price that they mentioned to each other

I didn't feel too badly about it, way too many people in the states speak Spanish so it's not exactly a safe way to communicate. I did **** off a couple guys in the grocery store a while back though when I told them to quit talking about my wife :P
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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it's called "upper hand". there's nothing wrong, you both agreed on a price that you both mutually agreed was fair. in this case an s13 for a lump sum of cash. doesn't matter if you were the better negotiator.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
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I bought an S13 a while back (mainly because it was a steal of a deal, I turned around and sold it). But it was under the same circumstances. They didn't know I spoke Spanish so I just kept working it until I got to the price that they mentioned to each other

I didn't feel too badly about it, way too many people in the states speak Spanish so it's not exactly a safe way to communicate. I did **** off a couple guys in the grocery store a while back though when I told them to quit talking about my wife :P
Haha, I won't guilt myself then. Honestly it was a decent deal at $400, but in this market, with that much work needed, they couldn't expect too much. I think they had it just barely in shape for one good test drive, hoping someone unsuspecting would see a running scooter at $500 as a deal...so I probably saved some non-mechanically inclined soul a lot of grief.

The kid said he'd cleaned the carb and tank. He probably pinched a seal upon reassembly causing the leak, and these will notoriously clog the carb several times after cleaning the tank.


Funny story on the wife...I've never had to do that. Being built like a young Arnold probably helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rharris19 View Post
In college I had a 1987 Honda Elite S 50cc. It is the same exact thing as your with just a different speedo and no resitrictor in the exhaust. Flat out it would do 42 and that's the fastest I have any business going on two wheels. I would love to have that thing back again.
You know, this somehow doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I could totally see you rocking one of these, and I know the list of motorized vehicles you haven't owned at one point in time has to be getting pretty short.

If it ends up not being what my Mom was looking for, or she graduates to a UJM soon, you'll be the first person I call.

Now I need to look into de-restricting the exhaust.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
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This reminds me, I have a Spree too lol. I need to locate and repair it.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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This reminds me, I have a Spree too lol. I need to locate and repair it.
This made me LOL.

Even if I hadn't taken the Miata out of the garage I could have set this thing on top of something.


The major selling point for this particular model for me was the 86lb weight. I literally grabbed the luggage rack and one handlebar and threw it into the back of the truck.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:05 PM   #10
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very cool. you should megasquirt it!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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very cool. you should megasquirt it!
Yeah, if you didn't think the thought of turbocharging and real engine management didn't cross my mind then you don't know me too well...lol.


Actually, I had seen a cheap Kawi 250R motor for sale yesterday as well...and some really crazy thoughts crossed my mind.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
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This made me LOL.

Even if I hadn't taken the Miata out of the garage I could have set this thing on top of something.


The major selling point for this particular model for me was the 86lb weight. I literally grabbed the luggage rack and one handlebar and threw it into the back of the truck.
I believe it is in a friends garage, I used to ride it when I was a wee big kiddie.

Damon will have the 57cc stroked, turbo'd, EFI conversion with megasquirt Spree with NOSSS!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #13
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I have no idea why, but I would love to have a scooter.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:49 PM   #14
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You know, this somehow doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I could totally see you rocking one of these, and I know the list of motorized vehicles you haven't owned at one point in time has to be getting pretty short.

If it ends up not being what my Mom was looking for, or she graduates to a UJM soon, you'll be the first person I call.
Hell yeah man. I'd be down for it. BTW just got a 1973 Mini Cooper that runs with a 1275cc motor for $1500. You should come check it out when I get back with it.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:52 PM   #15
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #16
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Scooters are awesome. If there weren't so many god damned 45mph+ limits everywhere, I'd rock one. I rode one around France for 10 days a couple summers ago, it was fun. They're just so damn simple and fun. No shifting, easy to get on, light, I could go on. They do get a little boring at full speed for anything over 30 seconds, but that's not what they're made for anyways.

Watch Top Gear's scooter special in Vietnam, tell me that doesn't look like fun.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #17
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Hell yeah man. I'd be down for it. BTW just got a 1973 Mini Cooper that runs with a 1275cc motor for $1500. You should come check it out when I get back with it.

I have a feeling I'll be hanging out down there in the not-too-distant future for various reasons, and I'd love to drool over your mini. Saw a red convertible one for sale at the euro dealer next to the Spring post office while leaving work the other day. I'd prefer a coupe, but it was still awesome. I told my wife that I was going to buy it for her and she punched me harder than she ever has in 5yrs of marriage, my arm still hurts.


I think a lot of why I'm so excited is that this build, even going nutso with a big bore, upgraded rear shock, head shave and all, is just stupid cheap and easy. I would still be grinnin' ear to ear even if it was my money going into this chic little rocket.


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Scooters are awesome. If there weren't so many god damned 45mph+ limits everywhere, I'd rock one. I rode one around France for 10 days a couple summers ago, it was fun. They're just so damn simple and fun. No shifting, easy to get on, light, I could go on. They do get a little boring at full speed for anything over 30 seconds, but that's not what they're made for anyways.

Watch Top Gear's scooter special in Vietnam, tell me that doesn't look like fun.

This thing is AWESOME. I messed around a little bit yesterday and got it to fire right up and made a few laps around the block. It's just plain scary how fast you can corner sitting on a barstool. It's going with me as a pit bike for the next TWS trackday, and I'll ask if I can take it out on the parade lap.


I'll have to catch that episode.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:31 PM   #18
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New jets and exhaust ought to get you 10mph, I had two Elites in Key West that we used as bar cruisers.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:43 PM   #19
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nice scooter, currently have a Yamaha Vino 49cc classic and a Honda Elite 110 with Fuel Injection
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #20
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New jets and exhaust ought to get you 10mph, I had two Elites in Key West that we used as bar cruisers.
What kind of exhaust do I need to look for? Maybe the aftermarket has died down, but I did an exhaustive search and didn't see anything.
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