tomos craftsmanship

frank stellagh /

Maybe someone can tell me why most of the Moped Army thinks Tomos are such "good" bikes after this little dittty:

I got my Targa on Monday last. So we're talking 5 days at this point. The schlep that put the damn thing together left the rear wheel loose so shifting was quite difficult on the way home. Hey...we're all human. Tightened up the wheel and it started to shift like it was a Mack truck on Pike's Peak OR... like every other Tomos I've seen.

By Thursday it was a hard starter despite sitting in a 76 F comfort zone (known as my living room) overnight. But I did get it started. Rides great for about 10 minutes then winds out and bucks like crazy with some difficulty downshifting. It's fine, however, if I'm going uphill and pedalling.

If the world was a 10 degree climb, I'd have a Rolls-Royce.

MEANWHILE...I've been noticing that my mileage is being significantly inflated...about 35% inflated. I check it against the odometer in my car and against a map of my town. The map and my car match but the Tomos is way off. IT'S ABOUT AS OFF AS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MILE AND A KILOMETER !! What a coincidence. Couldn't have been a mistake at the factory, right?

Today (Saturday) I want to change the gearbox oil because of the hard downshifting and my increasing suspicion that the dealer put some crap in it (I think it's "B&M Trick Shift" that's supposed to be "universal") to start with.

10 minute job, right? I drain the gearbox and screw the oil plug in BY HAND and it strips the threads in the aperture ! Never done that with an oil plug in my life ! Now this sounds really STUPID, of course. But wait a minute. This is an 8.8 mm hex plug -- which is supposed to be equivalent to a 5/16" hex. But in reality it's not. It has metric threads. Now are all those former Bolsheviks at the factory on the same page when they make the inlet and drain plug AND the engine cover? Maybe the threading machines are about as off as my odometer.

Personally, I think the engine cover was made from a bad batch of metal. To use a tap to re-thread the opening was nothing but a waste of time. The metal just crumbled. And we're not talking about replacing a bolt on a boiler on the USS Enterprise. All it has to do is hold oil not steam. I've never seen anything so fucking cheap in my life. While I was wiping out the inside of the engine cover with a soft damp cloth the paint started to come off onto the cloth.

And, of course, I'm using the same pidjun English shop manual that the rest of Tomos America is using so I shouldn't be surprised if anything is JUST a little off! And I'm only talking about a little in-house engineering job -- making something metric into something in the English system for the American market -- and they can't even do that.

And with a little luck I'll find a used right engine cover in the next few WEEKS! Between the odometer and the wait for parts my warranty will be gone.

This whole fucking mess reminds me of THE All-Time Monument of Reverse Engineering. The Russians copying "bolt for bolt" the B-29 Superfortress. Stalin ordered them to do it in metric, probably so he could have a few engineers shot when they took too long.

Why not just make the tools to match the plane as it was designed in the US, instead of the plane to match the tools?

That way, every time they shot one down one of OUR planes, they'd have all those spare parts that'd actually fit!

Re: tomos craftsmanship

shut up man, your just another stupid idiot who does not know what he is doing and talking our of your ass

Re: tomos craftsmanship

right on oli, just another cry baby in this great country of ours, he probally drives the biggest sort ute he can find

Give him a break ppl

Peashooter /

Actuatually I have heard many accounts of Tomos stuff sucking. Which is why I am very worried about getting one. Supposedely it sells only by the name brand. And from what I have seen from my friends bikes, they havnt held together too well.

I still probably will get one. But only because i think they look sweet! And iff it starts falling apart, I'll sell it on ebay and get a real good bike.

And for some reason i think oli and fuji are just ppl who own Tomos's and cant bear for their "pretty little baby" to be badmouthed.

I am not saying Tomos's are bad, but i hear a lot more crap about them than any other moped company ever... Nuff said.

Re: Give him a break ppl

yea, ive heard crap about them too, but my 1990 A3 held together alright, sure it leaked tranny fluid, but thats because i was too lazy to replace the gasket. ive also heard tons of crap about Avanti's, i just bought a super sport and i LOVE the thing, sure it has a few weird problems, like the brake light switch flickering on & off, but i can deal with that, its such a fast & smooth riding bike, really well built too. if your gonna get a brand new moped, id have to reccomend the Cosmo Stinger (same as avanti supersport, just different decals, its what i have) from it arrives semi assembled, but assembly isnt hard, and they give good assembly instructions with the bike.


p.s. the cost is $895, with shipping (atleast to where i live) it came out to about $1000, which is crazy for that bike, thats like a new tomos sprint BEFORE shipping's included. its also a much bigger, more stable bike.

Re: tomos craftsmanship

hehehe... funny report Frank... (don't know if you think its funny.. but your review was to me)

Most mopeds are pretty cheaply made.. but I generally prefer the Jap stuff for quality and engineering myself.

(but then they don't make mopeds anymore either)

.. by the way... I thought it was common knowledge that the Odo was in kilometers.. (?)

... I don't see that as a big deal at all... its just a number.. (to be converted or not .. as you wish)

Re: tomos craftsmanship

my puch is in miles. I checked with my mom's car.

Re: tomos craftsmanship

... yeah mine are in miles also... I was referring to the Tomos that was the topic of this thread.

Re: tomos craftsmanship

oh. sorry :)

Re: tomos craftsmanship

frank stellagh /

I want to thank ali and fuji for...well...getting fucked. Thumbs up Ali!! Learned that one in the Persian Gulf. Oh...I'm's O-L-I!! Just move that over two fingers, my boy.

Anyway thanks Fred. My odo probably is in miles. But my dealer insists its in mph and Tomos USA remains mute on the issue. They probably hope no one notices so the warranties on their bikes will appear to lapse sooner. That's pretty low down if you ask me, even for a Recovering Bolshevik.

[Somebody around these parts said that the odo is in neither miles nor kilometers. It's in money.]

This bike will rise again. It'll get it fixed and probably get it sold. And I'll probably buy that Honda Metropolitan I PASSED ON to buy my crappy Tomos. And the learning experience has been great. I'll be that much better off when I buy a good Japanese bike. That's right...the Metropolitan is still Made In Japan!

Re: tomos craftsmanship

david f martin /

I rode an '85 Tomos for a few weeks last year.

I went over it and tightened all the loose rattley parts, replace the brake shoes, changed the gear oil, but it always felt flimsy, and I didn't like the way the brakes or the shifting felt.

It just didn't seem as "solid" as my Yamaha QT, though it was faster. The clutch finally locked up on it, and I gave it away.

I've put about 2000 miles on my '87 Honda Elite since March, and except for some "catch-up" maintenence and a siezed piston (caused by the last owner not properly mounting the oil injector cable), it has been fast, quiet and trouble free, as a Honda should be.

I'm with Fred. I'll take a Japanese bike over a Tomos any day.


Re: tomos craftsmanship

Jamie Leonard /

Just to give my experience - I've had my tomos since new (2000) and put almost 4k km on it so far, and it's been quite the solid machine for me. So far I've had to replace bulbs and some parts of the wiring (metal fatigue on some of the connectors and such, I decided to go with an entirely new front harness just for reliabilities sake) - aside from these (and these didn't show up until after 2500km) it's been a rock solid machine for me.

It wouldn't surprise me however to find the odometer being off - I've ridden a puch, a tomos, and a jawa... and I don't believe any of them were exactly spot on for that (moped odometers aren't usually precise so far as I'm aware.

I think part of things can be the dealer you get (how well they put together the machine makes a big difference, and I have heard horror stories about putting the wrong oil in, hooking up things incorrectly, etc) And like anything else, you occasionally get bad parts - but again if you have a decent dealer it isn't a hassle. In my case they did a recall on a brake issue - just because SOME machines in a batch had slightly longer braking distances - and the dealer came to my house, did all the work, all under the recall so no charge (and I ended up with brand new brakes and cables)

And I've never even noticed a braking issue whatsover.

For the shifting issue - do you have a biturbo or performance exhaust on your machine? They tend to throw off the shifting a bit because they're altering the power of your machine. That isn't bad design, the performance exhaust is changing the stock design from what is intended.

Mind you it's entirely possible you got a crap machine and I got lucky and got a solid one - but I thought I'd give my experience just to balance out the viewpoints (Few too many people saying "I heard this about Tomos" without saying they actually OWN one :)


Re: tomos craftsmanship

david f martin /

Jamie, you're comparing a 2 year old Tomos (one owner) against a 15 year old Honda, which has gone through at least 6 different owners.

Not to rag on yer bike, but it sounds like you've had more little problems than I've had.


Re: tomos craftsmanship

Jamie Leonard /

Actually I wasn't comparing it to the honda at all (never even mentioned it) - I simply was saying my experience with the machine. (in which the only problem I ever had was the wiring needing to be fixed... but after 3 years of steady rain and sun riding through summer/spring/fall and a part of the winter... something is bound to break. Toronto weather isn't always moped friendly.

Besides - isn't the elite a scooter and not a moped? Major difference in design and usually quality (Scooters tend to be better built than mopeds, and have generally newer designs for engines and such)

Re: tomos craftsmanship

david f martin /

Sorry Jamie, I guess I'm the one comparing a 2 year old Tomos to a 15 year old Honda, which is a scooter. The mechanicals on a scooter are protected from the elements much better than on a moped.

My '84 QT was more like a traditional moped. 17 years old, unknown history, had been repainted... I bought it from a motorcycle mechanic, who tuned it up and got all the lights working.

The only problem I ever had out of that bike was a clogged up exhaust port, which should've been expected, as old as it was. I probably put around 3000 miles on it, before it was stolen.

Have you ever ridden a Japanese bike? I can tell a difference just in the way they ride.


Re: tomos craftsmanship

Jamie Leonard /

Nope - heard good things about them certainly (depending on the make and model, some models had well known issues from what I have been reading) I have a few friends with japanese scooters as well which have been ultra solid machines for them - but as you mentioned, different beast in terms of reliability (all mopeds are going to break if you ride them - sooner or later. Cheaper construction than most scooters. :)

For personal experience however I just have ridden the Tomos, Puch, and Jawa brands - all of which I've found to be good for mopeds. (The tomos, despite the wiring issue has never failed to start and never failed to move... the only thing the wiring problem affected was the headlight went out on me - and considering I use it to get up to work which is 42km away reliability is a fairly major thing for me :)

Besides the wiring fault could be partially due to being overstressed - I've gone down on the bike twice (in both cases car drivers did rather illegal things and basically gave me a choice of eating pavement or eating fender... I choose pavement, it was moving a bit more slowly) Still, after sliding around for a fair distance at 30kph, the bike still ran fine - only some plastic body bits cracked and scratched, mechanically it was still working just fine.

Still, if I ever get a chance to buy one I can afford (since I don't actually NEED it I'll admit) I'd love to add a japanese moped to the collection and give it a try. But I'm happy enough with the Tomos as my daily ride. :)

Re: tomos craftsmanship?

Reeperette /

Well, your inherent problems with Tomos are, of course, the screwed up bolt sizes, where the carb is located, and the fact that most dealers just slap them together.

Moped speedometer/odometers are more often than not, junk...why put a good speedo on something that really doesn't even need one - is the attitude there.

As for the hard shifting, seems the Tomos A5 system is notorious for this, probably cause they applied as little as possible clutch material on the clutches, three SMALL strips of some pretty wimpy stuff, and they cut the gears straight and cheaper than they did in the A3 Transmission.

The A5(A35) Trans was billed as an upgrade to the masses, but the truth is that it's a cheap, shoddy knockoff of the A3, which is why it is so problematic...they took a good, solid design, and rebuilt it so cheaply that it barely works.

The Transmission Casing is made of some pretty soft aluminum, and yeah, you get some strippage problems, not just there, but the head bolts you have to be REALLY careful tightening down cause of that.

What drives me nuts is those cursed off-size bolts, and some are metric and some ain' the allen screws holding the trans casing together are 4.2mm and as you said, the drain plug is odd sized as more or less wind up having to find a close sized tool and file it - or you will strip something in a hurry.

SOP for a Tomos straight from the dealer is to tear it completely down, and put it back the way it should be, since most of em get it wrong, and while yer at it, replace those messed-up size bolts and screws with something more useful.

Work on an old A3 Bullet once, and you'll see where the "Quality" reputation of Tomos came from, but as far as these A5(A35) systems go, I am not impressed, and the Revival just doesn't do it for me.

Give me the old 1980's Tomos A3 Golden Bullet TTLX, imop the best 'ped ever made.


Re: tomos craftsmanship

Frank, I'm sure you don't need the advise but just ignore the little snot noses like oli and fuji, who probably had to take time off the tit to write their little nasty notes. I'm sure there are more than enough lemons put out by all the moped makers and you just had the bad luck to get one of the worst. I hope you can get things worked out and start enjoying the bike. By the way, my Avanti reads both speed and distance in miles and has proven to be quite accurate. The Avanti has taken it's share of hits here for some quality problems, but mine has proven to be rock solid, not one thing coming loose or failing, and it is a very nice bike to ride. Best of luck to you, and keep us posted on your problems and solutions....Ken D

have you called the dealer?


If you just bought the thing, have you called the dealer to let them know what you're going through? Maybe try getting a hold of someone at Tomos USA.

Just a thought. Let us know how it turns out.

Re: tomos craftsmanship?

Hello, A bike you can buy cheap, why, I can`t understand is the Trac, dont laugh! Take a look, the rear swingarm is heavy tubealar steal and the forks are hydraulic, as is the shocks, they are a great bike, atleast the 86 Olympic w/ Daelim engine.. Ouality Korean workmanship! The list goes on, look one over. I do like the Tomos, only because you can throw it togeather rather quickly, like the factory..... and they are money in the bank for me...he..he! I also like the Puch MK2, like I sold Chuck... Doug D.

Re: tomos craftsmanship?

Matt Wilson /


The 8.8 you read on the bolt is the metric strenght not the size. (Its probably a 8 or 10mm)

I don't know about your other problems as I've never owned a tomos.


solution: buy a used bike

Peashooter /

I think a good solution is:

Just buy a used bike! Not only does it cost less. But if your buying it from someone close, and they sell you a shit bike. Take it back to them! Hopefully they will be honost and you will know its a good bike. Instead of buying a new one and then finding out that it is a lemon. You can buy one that has already been used, and the (hopefully honost person) will know if it sucks or not. Plus if it does suck... YOU KNOW WHERE THEY SLEEP! hehehe :-)

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