Need advice - Minarelli V1

I'm having issues getting my moped started and running. It's a Safari MT300 (1975 I think). All I know about it's history is that it supposedly needed a new head and piston.

So I tested compression twice and got readings of 125 and 135 PSI. Out of curiosity I took apart the engine and all looked fine. A couple of scratches here and there but nothing major or deep. The rings were nice and loose too.

I rebuilt the carb as well, didnt see much dirt in it though. I know I'm getting spark as well. Not sure if it makes any difference but I grounded the spark plug with a jumper cable to the metal foot rest to test for spark. The spark plug looks unused as well. The head is black but the tip look nice crisp and sharp. And I know I'm getting fuel to the spark plug since I saw it was wet when I removed it after trying to start the engine a few times.

The air box is hollow with no obtrusion's so I just cleaned it up. Cant imagine its an issue with air restriction.

At this point, I'm thinking it might be an issue with timing. My experience with motorcycles/mopeds/2 strokes is very limited so I'm not sure how to adjust timing. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

If you haven't cleaned the carburetor yet, do that first. Then, if you're sure you're getting spark (and you already tested compression), try a new spark plug first and it can't hurt to check the timing. If you don't have a timing light, find someone who does and borrow it

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

I had the same kind of issues when I first got my Concord (a different frame but still a V1 engine.) I had spark and fuel but it wouldn't start. Mine was a rust bucket when I got it so I ended up taking the exhaust off to see if it was clogged and tried to blow air through it with my compressor. Nothing was coming out the back end and then BOOM a shotgun blast of rust flakes hit my hand. Once it was cleaned out I put it back on and it started right up.

Also, a couple months ago it died because of a timing issue. There is a woodruff key on the crankshaft that lines up the flywheel to the correct stock timing. Mine sheared the key in half and the flywheel moved.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Good points everyone. Your compression is a lot better than mine. I worked as a small engine mechanic and we kept a spray bottle of gas on hand to test motors. This was out in the sticks where rules and safety are only suggestions. First was a compression check then spark. We simply removed the carb or spark plug and sprayed in a little gas. Might take a couple of pulls to get the air/fuel ratio close to 14.7/1 then the motor would run for 2 to 3 seconds. Easy way to diagnose fuel delivery issues. On my Sachs 504 motor I can remove the flywheel cover and spin the motor with my drill and a 3/8 adapter. Hope this helps...

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

There's two marks on the flywheel that line up with a mark on the case. Points should start to open at the first mark, and be fully open at the second.

Simple way to time it is to stick a small screwdriver into the plug hole, rotate the flywheel till it's at top dead center, and check where the marks are. Should be lined up with the second mark on the flywheel, and points should be fully opened.

Check point gap, make sure they're clean, and your condenser is good.

You may have spark now, but it might not be timed right, or weak. I've had bikes that look like a good spark with the plug out, but won't fire under compression. You can buy a cheap inline spark tester with a light from harbor freight. I use mine all the time.

And like above, check the exhaust. A clogged pipe will stop it from running.

And check your kill switch, and your brakelight. v1's have a brake light coil that if the brake bulb blows, it won't start.

Simple way to check is unplug the black and blue wires at the engine. Leave the black open and ground the blue. Leave the red one hooked to the coil. That's all you need to start it.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> Nick MBC Wrote:

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

> If you haven't cleaned the carburetor yet, do that first. Then, if

> you're sure you're getting spark (and you already tested compression),

> try a new spark plug first and it can't hurt to check the timing. If you

> don't have a timing light, find someone who does and borrow it

I rebuilt the entire carburetor with new parts, made sure everything was nice and clean when I was putting it back together. The float needle with the rebuild kit was shorter than the original though. I read that the float should be parallel to the carb body and it wasnt with the new float needle so I reused the original.

No stores in my area had a new spark plug in stock, so I'm waiting on a new one to arrive. Will try again once it arrives.

> Joe K Wrote:

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

> I had the same kind of issues when I first got my Concord (a different

> frame but still a V1 engine.) I had spark and fuel but it wouldn't

> start. Mine was a rust bucket when I got it so I ended up taking the

> exhaust off to see if it was clogged and tried to blow air through it

> with my compressor. Nothing was coming out the back end and then BOOM a

> shotgun blast of rust flakes hit my hand. Once it was cleaned out I put

> it back on and it started right up.

>

> Also, a couple months ago it died because of a timing issue. There is a

> woodruff key on the crankshaft that lines up the flywheel to the correct

> stock timing. Mine sheared the key in half and the flywheel moved.

I'll take a look at the exhaust and see if its clogged. The Safari doesnt have much rust thankfully but I havent thought to look at it so I'll give it a go.

And thanks for the tip about the woodruff key. First time I've hear of such a thing so I did a quick google search. Seems that it should be accessible after taking off just the timing/flywheel cover and easy to verify if its in tact. I think it's fine because I manually spun the flywheel by hand at one point to test the piston before doing a compression check but I'll take a closer look at it to verify.

> Ted Grant Wrote:

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

> Good points everyone. Your compression is a lot better than mine. I

> worked as a small engine mechanic and we kept a spray bottle of gas on

> hand to test motors. This was out in the sticks where rules and safety

> are only suggestions. First was a compression check then spark. We

> simply removed the carb or spark plug and sprayed in a little gas. Might

> take a couple of pulls to get the air/fuel ratio close to 14.7/1 then

> the motor would run for 2 to 3 seconds. Easy way to diagnose fuel

> delivery issues. On my Sachs 504 motor I can remove the flywheel cover

> and spin the motor with my drill and a 3/8 adapter. Hope this helps...

Thats a good suggestion. The Safari has gas in it but I'm not sure how old it is. It doesnt smell foul so I dont think its very old and it (and the tank) look clean so I'm assuming its relatively new-ish. I'll get some fresh gas though and spray some through the spark plug hole to make sure gas quality isnt an issue.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> baird co Wrote:

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

> There's two marks on the flywheel that line up with a mark on the case.

> Points should start to open at the first mark, and be fully open at the

> second.

>

> Simple way to time it is to stick a small screwdriver into the plug

> hole, rotate the flywheel till it's at top dead center, and check where

> the marks are. Should be lined up with the second mark on the flywheel,

> and points should be fully opened.

>

> Check point gap, make sure they're clean, and your condenser is good.

>

> You may have spark now, but it might not be timed right, or weak. I've

> had bikes that look like a good spark with the plug out, but won't fire

> under compression. You can buy a cheap inline spark tester with a light

> from harbor freight. I use mine all the time.

>

> And like above, check the exhaust. A clogged pipe will stop it from

> running.

>

> And check your kill switch, and your brakelight. v1's have a brake light

> coil that if the brake bulb blows, it won't start.

>

> Simple way to check is unplug the black and blue wires at the engine.

> Leave the black open and ground the blue. Leave the red one hooked to

> the coil. That's all you need to start it.

Thanks for the tips on timing. I'll take a look at the case and flywheel and see if I can find the marks, hopefully they are there. I'll go ahead and test the brake light bulb and the coil as you suggested.

Should I check the size of the points gap? If so, any idea what size it should be?

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

.014 to .018 (0.35 - 0.40 mm)

You'll need a flywheel puller to get the mag off, but you can get to the screws on the stator plate to move it, and you can get to the points screw through the holes.

You can download the V1 manual PDF from martysgarage. Search it .

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

What's the clutch doin? How are you trying to start it? Cable, lever, the arm mechanic that's on the right side under the foot floorboards and then inside that right side cover has a "spring" 2 actually, little pieces of what look like sheet metal but I guess it's some type of spring steel they're stacked on top of each other one is a little longer than the other and they have a bend in them and then there's also the clutch material itself and then the little ball in the center which minarelli s are notorious for having wear flat and then they dont engage.

Oh and also don't forget about the tail light thing. If the tail lights burned out the bike won't start I just took the bulb out and kind of hotwired my tail light take the red plastic cover off of the tail light and it's pretty simple but you'll see how the circuitry works It's little brass strips inside of there and also to do was take like a paper clip or a piece of tin foil or whatever and connect the one little zigzag strip to the next so I don't have a tail light anymore but the bike doesn't know that it thinks it works I just ended up spray painting my tail light cover black so you can't tell that it's burned out so the cops don't mess with me and it's been working fine ever since. Other than those things there from what you described I can't imagine what it might be It's got to be the timing or what I mentioned sadly I don't know s*** about the time and it's one of the few things on this bike I haven't messed with I've done points on my other bikes and stuff but never opened up that side of my minarelli

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Follow Fred's Guide!

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> nate basch Wrote:

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

> What's the clutch doin? How are you trying to start it? Cable, lever,

> the arm mechanic that's on the right side under the foot floorboards and

> then inside that right side cover has a "spring" 2 actually, little

> pieces of what look like sheet metal but I guess it's some type of

> spring steel they're stacked on top of each other one is a little longer

> than the other and they have a bend in them and then there's also the

> clutch material itself and then the little ball in the center which

> minarelli s are notorious for having wear flat and then they dont

> engage.

>

> Oh and also don't forget about the tail light thing. If the tail lights

> burned out the bike won't start I just took the bulb out and kind of

> hotwired my tail light take the red plastic cover off of the tail light

> and it's pretty simple but you'll see how the circuitry works It's

> little brass strips inside of there and also to do was take like a paper

> clip or a piece of tin foil or whatever and connect the one little

> zigzag strip to the next so I don't have a tail light anymore but the

> bike doesn't know that it thinks it works I just ended up spray painting

> my tail light cover black so you can't tell that it's burned out so the

> cops don't mess with me and it's been working fine ever since. Other

> than those things there from what you described I can't imagine what it

> might be It's got to be the timing or what I mentioned sadly I don't

> know s*** about the time and it's one of the few things on this bike I

> haven't messed with I've done points on my other bikes and stuff but

> never opened up that side of my minarelli

Not sure how to test the clutch to be honest. To start the engine, I engage the choke lever on the carb, hold the clutch lever on the left handlebar, give it some gas with the twist grip and then kick down on the pedal. And yes, I have the engine cut off switch set to the "off position".

If by the "right cover" you mean the one on the trans, opposite of the clutch then I havent popped that side open yet.

I actually have two bulbs on the back of my Safari. I inspected both earlier and the filament inside wasnt broken. But I might just bridge the two connections for the time being to eliminate the bulb being the issue. I might swing by the store to pick up a new bulb regardless though.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Best way to test if it's the brakelight cut off is unhook the blue wire at the engine connector and jumper it to ground.

This removes all wiring and bulb problems from the system.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

I have some good news! I was able to start the Safari the other night. I took off the exhaust and she started up without much of a fuss. I didnt run the engine long though since it was very late and I was in my small shed. I tapped the exhaust a few times with a spanner and blew compressed air through it and saw some material come out. Put it back on and she started up again.

But I think there is still an issue. When I went to try and start it today, it wouldnt crank over. I took the exhaust back off and it semi runs. Any ideas on how to better clean the exhaust? Without the exhaust, initially it would run and die on its own after about 20 or 30 seconds. I fiddled about with the choke and finally got it to run for longer but it seemed to be on high revs. The idle screw is screwed in all the way. When I try and back it out a little, I can hear the revs drop and the engine dies in a few short seconds. As I understand it, having the screw in all the way sets the engine to run on higher revs. Any ideas on why the engine cuts out when trying to back out this screw even a little?

Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference or not, but I have the throttle cable screwed down all the way onto the top of the carb.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

if it is oily, you can hang it up and try a torch,or poke somthing in the exhaust like a coat hanger .

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Chuck it on the BBQ or fire.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> kevy Piepkorn Wrote:

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

> if it is oily, you can hang it up and try a torch,or poke somthing in

> the exhaust like a coat hanger .

It's not oily, on the outside at least. The inside looks to be a bit rusty, particularly the filter element around the opening in the center.I have a piece of wire thats about a foot long that I used to break up what seemed to be blocking the exhaust. I'm assuming there must be some crud in the filter element thats preventing the exhaust gasses from freely flowing out.

> Ryan Graeme Wrote:

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

> Chuck it on the BBQ or fire.

I'm a bit hesitant to do that. After tapping a spanner on the exhaust to loosen up some of the build up, I gently tapped the exhaust against a small tree trunk by the shed. To my surprised, it put a few dents in the exhaust! It must either be really rusted from the inside or a super thin metal. I'm afraid chucking it on a fire will cause even more damage...

Either way, I think the bigger issue I think is why it seems to die when the idle screw is backed off even a little bit from its highest rpm setting.

Stupid question, but which direction should the pedal be pushed to start the engine? Does it matter? The manual I was able to download states that pedaling first and then pulling the clutch should start the moped, so I've been kicking down on the right hand side pedal in a clockwise direction.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Push forward like pedaling a bike. I usually trand put the pedal at about 11 o'clock ,squeeze the clutch and kick. If it starts to run let off the clutch. You should here the engine turn over the whole time. If it slips when kicking then tighten up the clutch cable.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> Satan 666 wrote:

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

> Push forward like pedaling a bike. I usually trand put the pedal at

> about 11 o'clock ,squeeze the clutch and kick. If it starts to run let

> off the clutch. You should here the engine turn over the whole time. If

> it slips when kicking then tighten up the clutch cable.

Hmmm, sounds like I'm doing it right then. How can I discern if the clutch is slipping? Would a slipping clutch by identified by not hearing much of the engine turning over when peddling?

On a separate note, I inspected the exhaust again. I've blown compressed air through it and can feel it coming out the other end. But when I shine my LED light into one end, I cant see any hint of light out the other. Considering the exhaust isnt that long, I would expect to see something from the other end. I've pushed a thick copper wire down both ends and havent encountered any resistance. It's only long enough to reach half way down from both ends though. The ports on the head dont look clogged either.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> Daniel M wrote:

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

> > Satan 666 wrote:

>

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

>

> > Push forward like pedaling a bike. I usually trand put the pedal at

>

> > about 11 o'clock ,squeeze the clutch and kick. If it starts to run let

>

> > off the clutch. You should here the engine turn over the whole time.

> If

>

> > it slips when kicking then tighten up the clutch cable.

>

> Hmmm, sounds like I'm doing it right then. How can I discern if the

> clutch is slipping? Would a slipping clutch by identified by not hearing

> much of the engine turning over when peddling?

>

>

Yes. If you have the clutch engaged and are pedaling the engine should be turning over. If not then cable needs to be tightened. Can do so by turning the adjuster screw on the engine side of the cable. Most of the the time the cable has stretched.

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

Hold on, are you putting oil in the gas?

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> pat splat wrote:

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

> Hold on, are you putting oil in the gas?

The tank was half full when I got the moped, so I was working under the assumption the previous owner knew what he was doing and had oil in the gas. It does look clean though and doesn't smell foul. Would it really have issues running without oil?

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> Daniel M wrote:

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

> > pat splat wrote:

>

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

>

> > Hold on, are you putting oil in the gas?

>

> The tank was half full when I got the moped, so I was working under the

> assumption the previous owner knew what he was doing and had oil in the

> gas. It does look clean though and doesn't smell foul. Would it really

> have issues running without oil?

Oil lubricates the engine. I would dump out the old fuel and put some fresh 50:1 mix in. 2.6 oz per gallon. Or just put 3 oz per gallon. Never trust anyone when it comes to used mopeds. Also does it have oil in the trans?

Re: Need advice - Minarelli V1

> Satan 666 wrote:

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

> > Daniel M wrote:

>

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

>

> > > pat splat wrote:

>

> >

>

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

>

> >

>

> > > Hold on, are you putting oil in the gas?

>

> >

>

> > The tank was half full when I got the moped, so I was working under

> the

>

> > assumption the previous owner knew what he was doing and had oil in

> the

>

> > gas. It does look clean though and doesn't smell foul. Would it really

>

> > have issues running without oil?

>

> Oil lubricates the engine. I would dump out the old fuel and put some

> fresh 50:1 mix in. 2.6 oz per gallon. Or just put 3 oz per gallon. Never

> trust anyone when it comes to used mopeds. Also does it have oil in the

> trans?

Yeah, it has oil in the trans. Per the manual, I tipped the bike over a few degrees with the drain screw removed and instantly saw oil come out so it looks to be full (and fresh too).

I think the fuel might be fine though. Instead of letting the thing idle for a while on the stand as I had been doing so far, I decided to get it started while peddling and see if I could ride it around the block a few times. It started without much of a fuss and I could indeed ride it around. But the idle issue still exists. If I let off the gas and try and coast, it just dies within a few seconds. And this seems to be the issue regardless of the position of the idle screw.

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