scooter setback[s]

Two setbacks in this little adventure that have pushed my inspection/registration back another week.


This machine uses HS1 35/35w bulbs (same wattage lowbeam/highbeam) but the more-common H4 bulbs are backwards compatible if they are 35/35w. I couldn’t find any HS1 or any low-wattage H4 at auto parts stores or Wally World. The HS1 and apprpriate H4 are available online from Amazon and elsewhere but won’t arrive until tomorrow when my 4×10 workweek has started again.


I hadn’t ordered them before because I didn’t know if the bulbs were blown or if Continue reading


a longer test run

Today I put fresh gas in the Chinascoot (gas gauge works, yay!) and took it out for a backroad run of a few miles.  Some smooth oiltop, some rougher oiltop, some dirt, some gravel.  The gravel wasn’t as much fun.

It was a good ride.  The odometer worked.  When I was trundling around slowly with neutral throttle at 15-20mph the revs dropped down to around 2500.  Under max load it it was 4500-5000.  I liked the CVT’s adjustments and may just leave it there.

I got it up to an indicated 55mph.  The variator must have been topped out because rpm finally climbed to 6000 at that top speed.  I could get a little more in that straight but just after 55mph the chassis started to feel unsettled/squirrely so I backed down.  It could have been the uneven road surface but I didn’t want to go any faster.

The tires on this thing are kind of a sporty low-profile look.  It makes for odd feedback on cambered surfaces.  When I replace the tires I might go for a more traditional round tire profile.  I had a similar issue on my street bike;  the OEM rear had a shape that made the bike want to “fall in” on cambers/turns.  When I replaced the rear with a Continental Motion that tendency went away completely.

Working on headlights tomorrow. Bulbs just cheap and blown?  Voltage too high due to failing R/R?  I think headlights are the only thing left before inspection and registration.

first test ride of the gy6

I was sick today and came home early.  The sliders (variator weights) had come in the mail but I was in no condition to mess with it.  Drank a boatload of water, slept several hours  and started feeling human again around 11pm.

So where are those CVT parts?  🙂

I got the sliders in 13g because the stock rollers were 13g. Since I hear you are supposed to go up +1g with sliders I figured it would be an incremental net lightening.

I dropped the generic eBay weights (“ForExtreme”, $14 shipped) into the cleaned-up variator.

Put some air in the tires, cranked it up on whatever gas was still in the tank from god-knows-when the P.O. put it there. 🙂 and took it for the first test ride.

Motor seems seems strong and willing. I’ve never ridden a 150cc scoot before and the acceration was surprising. Idle is too low. Ran it up to indicated 50mph which I figured was a reasonable cruising speed.  Turned it around and parked for the night.

CVT is smooth and holds a steady indicated 4k rpm on the dash tach under load and readjusts appropriately at neutral throttle and decel. The wikipedia page suggests the max HP is at 7k so if the tach is correct there is plenty of headroom. I’ll leave slider weight where it is while I learn how the rescued beast likes to run. After that it sounds like I could lighten them up. I’m not chasing performance though.  It’s for around the village and bopping around.


GY6 project out of the house

Recent progress: EGR delete, exhaust header nuts came in and got installed, exhaust hangers secured with generic bolts from Hooten’s hardware.

Hardwired the SAE quick-connect for the Battery Tender Jr charger.  It’s a .75A charger that works well on the 7A scooter cell.  I use a bigger BT model on the larger equipment.

At this point it was time to start running the engine for more than second-long tests so I moved it outside.

I installed the new Gates PowerLink kevlar belt;  this requires removing the variator (forward pulley) which can be a biotch since it’s on tight (40 ft/lbs) and spins on the engine output shaft. There is a spanner tool to help hold the variator while you wrench on it but I’d been putting off buying it.  Finally did and it works pretty well.  The fingers were a little too thick and required grinding but after that all was well.

Got the CVT put back together.   Engine started fine but didn’t want to rev, seemed out of balance, and rear clutch engaged at low engine RPM. Wha-a-a-a-a-t?

I hadn’t taken the inner variator plate off (the one with the rollers and ramp) to see if any belt chunks had ended up in there. . I spun the variator around and looked in the holes; one of the rollers was stuck in a weird/outward position. I think this was pushing the belt outward as if the engine were revved, increasing the belt RPM and engaging the rear (centrifugal) clutch. Since only one was out this could also explain the increased vibration.

The variator rollers (OEM 18×14 13g each) had flattened considerably and were in need of replacement:
 photo 20160331_212855_zpsqbri3vzm.jpg

That’s how they wear so it wasn’t unexpected.  The dings on the side of the roller are not a function of normal wear.  One of them had shed some of the “shell” material;  I wonder if this caused the dings and/or the original belt failure.

I ordered a set of 18×14 13g sliders off eBay and some of those little v-shaped “variator slide” pieces that fit on the ramp to help it move in/out as the rollers push the ramp out. One was missing, or I dropped it, or it turned to dust with the belt.

Sliders replace rollers but they are polygonal and slide (surprise!) up the ramp rather than rolling.  They are generally a bit more expensive but 1) are said to wear better; and 2) widen the gear ratio a bit by moving both deeper (low gear) and shallower (high gear) in the variator pulley.  It’s not a huge difference but wear patterns on the variator walls are wider with sliders so the v-belt must be traveling a greater range.

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 Continue reading