Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Tuesday I’m heading to Brooklyn to check out a running, nice condition Puch Maxi mk2. Seller asked 550, I offered 500 (there’s not a lot of running mopeds in nyc for that price).

While it looks good, and I’ll see it run, what should I look out for? Obviously things like oil/gas leaks, excessive rust both inside and out, and cosmetic damage etc...

But what should I ask about, what noises should be aware of, and last but not least, If I ask to start it how do I do it without looking like an idiot? I’ve never got my hands on a moped, but I’d imagine it’s similar to a motorcycle Kickstarter. On puchs is it pull in starting lever, put bike on stand, and kick? Which direction do you kick, forwards or backwards?

Thanks everyone, hope to be an official member of the army soon!

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Make sure the U-joints don’t have any play. It’ll make a knock sound.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Does it start? if so your half way there. get the repair manuals and owner manuals, you can download them free with a little searching on MA.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

As soon as you get a look at it, touch the motor with the back of your hand. If it is cold, get them to start it and you can see how it is done. Make sure it idles well after the choke is off. If it is hot, you might get a burn and an indication that they are trying to hide poor starting. Is it an E50 or ZA50?

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Ryan Graeme Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> As soon as you get a look at it, touch the motor with the back of your

> hand. If it is cold, get them to start it and you can see how it is

> done. Make sure it idles well after the choke is off. If it is hot, you

> might get a burn and an indication that they are trying to hide poor

> starting. Is it an E50 or ZA50?

Believe it’s a ZA50. May be wrong though, hard to tell from the photos.

I attached an image of the bike, and from a few seconds of googling it appears to be a ZA50.

315499F0-BCAC-4F4A-BB42-2817E12F8FC6.jpeg

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Yep ZA50. It looks good from the picture.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

How are your mechanical skills? The za50 is pretty complicated. If you’re not confident with shimming and setting end float on transmissions, you may want to opt for a simpler engine like the e50. But if you have good mechanical ability, by all means get it. It will need new shift dampeners, if they have not been replaced yet. It is critical, or you will explode the transmission.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Check tank for rust, see that all paperwork is present if your state requires it.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Captain Janeway /

https://www.mopedarmy.com/wiki/First_moped#Your_First_Moped

Look up First Moped in wiki. Tons of stuff

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> How are your mechanical skills? The za50 is pretty complicated. If

> you’re not confident with shimming and setting end float on

> transmissions, you may want to opt for a simpler engine like the e50.

> But if you have good mechanical ability, by all means get it. It will

> need new shift dampeners, if they have not been replaced yet. It is

> critical, or you will explode the transmission.

I’ve worked on small 4 stroke lawn mowers, and have done a top end on a 2 stroke pit bike engine, but I’ve never done a bottom end rebuild so it should be a fun project. I’m hoping to ride a bit before I have to tear everything apart, but I believe you that it’s a critical piece of maintenance. Do you know what exactly the symptoms of bad shift dampeners are? I’m happy to swap em if need be, but I want to avoid such drastic preventative maintenance if possible.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

The first symptom of bad shift pucks/dampers is missing teeth from your gears. They are just nylon discs that are forty years old, and they are always bad unless they have been replaced. They are old and crumbly, and when they crumble away, your tranny slams metal on metal when it shifts, shredding teeth off the gears. It might do it in five miles or five hundred, but it will happen. Read the tutorial on changing them in the wiki. It will give you a good idea if it is a job you’re comfortable taking on.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

SHIFT PUCKS!

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Fuck pucks, e-50 or Honda!

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

puck..puck..puck..puckahhh!!!

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Also, that rear rack and seat are bent to hell from too much weight or riding dubs.^^^

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Dirty30 Dillon /

How is it running without a petcock?

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Right!?!

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Dirty30 Dillon Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> How is it running without a petcock?

Good catch, didn’t spot that at first. Honestly I have no clue, I’m hoping those pictures were taken sometime before the bike was “finished.” I guess we’ll see on Tuesday, I’ll remember to ask about that and check it out. But hey, if it’s not there then it’s just another thing to talk him down with.

> live ɘvil Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Also, that rear rack and seat are bent to hell from too much weight or

> riding dubs.^^^

Another good catch, it’s crazy what you guys can see from a low resolution photo. Ill be sure to point that out to him, and it’ll probably be more obvious in person. Worst case scenario I’ll have to replace those metal bars, but I’m hoping I can just carefully persuade them back into position.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Probably Fred /

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> The first symptom of bad shift pucks/dampers is missing teeth from your

> gears. They are just nylon discs that are forty years old, and they are

> always bad unless they have been replaced. They are old and crumbly, and

> when they crumble away, your tranny slams metal on metal when it shifts,

> shredding teeth off the gears. It might do it in five miles or five

> hundred, but it will happen. Read the tutorial on changing them in the

> wiki. It will give you a good idea if it is a job you’re comfortable

> taking on.

Not exactly true, if bike left stock rarely will the gears be shredded as soon as you use it the first generation za50s had no shift dampeners at all, if bike was clean and taken care of with the correct tranny oil changes and if it shifts real smooth and quiet you could ride it and be OK but if you hear it banging into second do not run until fixed/changed,

Blip shifting/short shifting with throttle can lessen gear damage even if shift dampeners are completely gone,

I have a few 40 year old za50 bikes that never been opened, run great and shift smooth but they are clean Great condition bikes unlike the one you’re buying,

Performance builds any kind definitely need to be addressed but there’s nothing wrong with getting a bike running ok first and listening to it because it may need more than just shift dampeners it could need bearings too.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Overpriced Parts Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Seth B Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > The first symptom of bad shift pucks/dampers is missing teeth from

> your

>

> > gears. They are just nylon discs that are forty years old, and they

> are

>

> > always bad unless they have been replaced. They are old and crumbly,

> and

>

> > when they crumble away, your tranny slams metal on metal when it

> shifts,

>

> > shredding teeth off the gears. It might do it in five miles or five

>

> > hundred, but it will happen. Read the tutorial on changing them in the

>

> > wiki. It will give you a good idea if it is a job you’re comfortable

>

> > taking on.

>

> Not exactly true, if bike left stock rarely will the gears be shredded

> as soon as you use it the first generation za50s had no shift dampeners

> at all, if bike was clean and taken care of with the correct tranny oil

> changes and if it shifts real smooth and quiet you could ride it and be

> OK but if you hear it banging into second do not run until

> fixed/changed,

>

> Blip shifting/short shifting with throttle can lessen gear damage even

> if shift dampeners are completely gone,

>

> I have a few 40 year old za50 bikes that never been opened, run great

> and shift smooth but they are clean Great condition bikes unlike the one

> you’re buying,

>

> Performance builds any kind definitely need to be addressed but there’s

> nothing wrong with getting a bike running ok first and listening to it

> because it may need more than just shift dampeners it could need

> bearings too.

Could you explain a little more about shifting on ZA50’s? If it’s an automatic, around what RPM does it engage 2nd gear? Sorry if this is a dumb question, I’ve never ridden a multiple speed automatic bike before.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Dirty30 Dillon /

> Guthrie Mass Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Overpriced Parts Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > > Seth B Wrote:

>

> >

>

> > > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> >

>

> > > The first symptom of bad shift pucks/dampers is missing teeth from

>

> > your

>

> >

>

> > > gears. They are just nylon discs that are forty years old, and they

>

> > are

>

> >

>

> > > always bad unless they have been replaced. They are old and crumbly,

>

> > and

>

> >

>

> > > when they crumble away, your tranny slams metal on metal when it

>

> > shifts,

>

> >

>

> > > shredding teeth off the gears. It might do it in five miles or five

>

> >

>

> > > hundred, but it will happen. Read the tutorial on changing them in

> the

>

> >

>

> > > wiki. It will give you a good idea if it is a job you’re comfortable

>

> >

>

> > > taking on.

>

> >

>

> > Not exactly true, if bike left stock rarely will the gears be shredded

>

> > as soon as you use it the first generation za50s had no shift

> dampeners

>

> > at all, if bike was clean and taken care of with the correct tranny

> oil

>

> > changes and if it shifts real smooth and quiet you could ride it and

> be

>

> > OK but if you hear it banging into second do not run until

>

> > fixed/changed,

>

> >

>

> > Blip shifting/short shifting with throttle can lessen gear damage even

>

> > if shift dampeners are completely gone,

>

> >

>

> > I have a few 40 year old za50 bikes that never been opened, run great

>

> > and shift smooth but they are clean Great condition bikes unlike the

> one

>

> > you’re buying,

>

> >

>

> > Performance builds any kind definitely need to be addressed but

> there’s

>

> > nothing wrong with getting a bike running ok first and listening to it

>

> > because it may need more than just shift dampeners it could need

>

> > bearings too.

>

> Could you explain a little more about shifting on ZA50’s? If it’s an

> automatic, around what RPM does it engage 2nd gear? Sorry if this is a

> dumb question, I’ve never ridden a multiple speed automatic bike before.

I haven't ridden a stock ZA in a long time, but if I recall correctly it's around like 4.5k?

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Should I swap out the engine with an e50? Or if it runs and runs well should I just keep it?

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Dirty30 Dillon /

> Guthrie Mass Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Should I swap out the engine with an e50? Or if it runs and runs well

> should I just keep it?

If you're buying a first moped, it would definitely be easier to buy one that already had the motor you knew you wanted first.

That said, a stock ZA is very capable. Just not as easily repairable as the E50.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Dirty30 Dillon Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Guthrie Mass Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > Should I swap out the engine with an e50? Or if it runs and runs well

>

> > should I just keep it?

>

> If you're buying a first moped, it would definitely be easier to buy one

> that already had the motor you knew you wanted first.

>

> That said, a stock ZA is very capable. Just not as easily repairable as

> the E50.

Looking back on that you’re right, that would be a little crazy. I think if everything checks out and this guy isn’t running some magic high performance racing petcock eliminator kit, I may go for it. It’s winter anyway, so I don’t have any excuses for not giving it some love while it hibernates under my be— in my workshop...

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

I would be looking around and not get your heart set on this Puch too much. It may be nothing more than a good parts bike. That tank needs to be inspected carefully. Fuel petcock is missing for a reason. Be sure to insert finger onto fill hole and rub around the inside at the top to feel and check for rust. Majority of rust starts in top of tank because they are never full.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> live ɘvil Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> I would be looking around and not get your heart set on this Puch too

> much. It may be nothing more than a good parts bike. That tank needs to

> be inspected carefully. Fuel petcock is missing for a reason. Be sure to

> insert finger onto fill hole and rub around the inside at the top to

> feel and check for rust. Majority of rust starts in top of tank because

> they are never full.

Copy that. It's hard to not be invested in a certain bike because of the lack of options here in the city. I'll be sure to feel around and report back here with the news.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Its probably gonna need the usual chain, sprockets, tires, tubes, cables and brake shoes.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

Dirty30 Dillon /

For $500 in NYC you get a project that may start and move under it's own power.

That's the way it's been for awhile now and it's only going to get harder to find as the clean stock bikes are scooped up, modified, ridden, and eventually sold off/stolen/or impounded.

For $500 expect to need (like motorhead said) tires, tubes, all new cables, fluids, spark plug and boot, and a very thorough cleaning of the carb and brake system.

I have a handful of bikes for sale in NYC (as we chatted about) and most likely they will sit dormant until spring turns up. Most likely also have another load imported as well before than.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

> Dirty30 Dillon Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> For $500 in NYC you get a project that may start and move under it's own

> power.

>

> That's the way it's been for awhile now and it's only going to get

> harder to find as the clean stock bikes are scooped up, modified,

> ridden, and eventually sold off/stolen/or impounded.

>

> For $500 expect to need (like motorhead said) tires, tubes, all new

> cables, fluids, spark plug and boot, and a very thorough cleaning of the

> carb and brake system.

>

> I have a handful of bikes for sale in NYC (as we chatted about) and most

> likely they will sit dormant until spring turns up. Most likely also

> have another load imported as well before than.

I'd love to meet up at some point, but my original budget shrank as I get closer to college, and I don't want to lowball lol.

We'll see how it goes. I mainly just want a moped at this point, so I may make some rash decisions and I'm happy to suffer a little bit in my haste.

Re: Might buy my first moped, what are some things I should ask?

If you want something out of the ordinary (quality wise or make) then you need to prepared to perform out of the ordinary to get it. That usually means driving. 5 out of the 7 peds Ive brought back to the Midwest came from Jersey with only two belonging to me. Thats your back yard. Find a way.

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