Taotao Evo: 150cc scooter project


Last year (?) I picked up a beat-to-hell 50cc Chinese scooter off Craigslist for $100.  I figured it would be fun (and cheap) to mess with.  It was, and is.

I received the physical title for that one but the crackhead “owner” had mutilated the title by folding it into a matchbook-sized square and carrying it in a sweaty pocket.  And he hadn’t registered it in his own name after taking possession.  I’ve been in contact with the registered owner who seems cooperative but unmotivated.

Upshot:  50cc is fun and increasingly functional but not currently legal on the road.  I stopped putting much effort into it and started looking for another, preferably larger and clean-titled Chinese project scoot.


Flash-forward to the present

I found a good candidate on Craigslist after a few months of searching and asking “do you have the title in your name?” about a thousand times.

This one is a Taotao Evo, the near-identical successor to the ATM-150.  Basic chinascoot tech:  150cc GY6 (honda clone), force aircooled, rear drum, belt-driven CVT.

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As with the 50cc before, I rolled it out of the truck directly into the house.  It takes up a bit more space in the living room than the 50cc did 🙂
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It’s got road rash and a broken mirror from the P.O.’s banzai piloting skills.  The engine turns over by hand but not by electric starter.  The OEM batteries are bad to begin with and worse after they’ve sat drained for a while. I put a charger on it so I could check the electronics.  The electrics seem to work other than the headlights.  When I pull off the bodywork I’ll look for a fuse for those.  It’s also possible the voltage regulator is allowing too high vDC to smoke the bulb filaments.


Owners of chinascoots do a PDI (pre-delivery inspection) even when acquiring one new.  Basically it’s checking /loctiting fasteners and making some critical replacements: valve lash, fuel and vacuum lines, spark plug/wire/coil, tire valve stems, engine and gear oil, etc.

I’ll start the teardown this “weekend” and will post what I find.


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