moped in winter

Hi... I was wondering if it's ok to ride a moped if it's snowing... I live in Canada and want to take it out. I'm not worried about sliding because the streets are plowed and sanded, but I'm worried about the moped getting wet. Is this ok?

Thanks in advance.

Re: moped in winter

Ataristyle /

The streets are sanded you say? The biggest worry about winter riding is the salt on the roads. It will eat your bike away. If you plan to take it out...make sure you have a couple good coats of wax on your bike. Always wash your bike after riding in salty weather. Wax is the most important thing in your situation. I dont like taking my '98 Tomos out in winter because of the salt. I need it to last 20+ years. Good luck and be careful.

Swarm and Destroy!

Re: moped in winter

Riding in winter is awesome, believe me. But Ataristyle is right, be careful of the salt. My 77 Bianchi was getting quite rusted ... but some good cleaning fixed her right up (it was all just surface rust, nothing major, it seems).

Safety is an issue, too. Don't ride too fast and be sure to be ready to use your feet for balance over ice. Try to avoid congested roads if you can right after or during a snow storm/flurry. The water itself is no big deal (unless it freezes inside your engine or other parts).

Ride whenever you can! Rock on! Swarm and Destroy!! ;-)

Re: moped in winter

Thanks for the info! What sort of wax should I buy, and how is it applied?

Also, is there anything other than rust that could be a threat to the moped? to the engine? Will the cold temperatures hurt? I don't ride during horrible weather or anything... just when it's relatively clear outside and not too messy. It's just so much easier than walking to the university, and out transit system is incredibly bad.


Re: moped in winter

by the way, it's a 1974 Batavus Bronco, if this makes any difference...

Re: moped in winter

Ataristyle /

Just use a good Automotive wax. I use carnuba wax(from palm trees I believe) and it works great on my Moped and Truck. Its easy to apply. Ever see Karate Kid? Wax ON! Wax OFF! heh. I wouldn't ride the moped in deep snow. If a bunch of snow comes in contact w/ your Heatsink that could cause harm. Just worry about waxing and washing, maintaining the bike and it should last a long time to come for you.

No problem

You can ride in very cold weather with no damage to the bike.

People race motorcycles on ice all the time in winter.

The cold temperatures do lean the fuel/air mixture out a little.. so look at your spark plug once you ride it hard for a while to make sure it is not too lean (white spark plug)... but in most cases you will be fine.

Even the rust is not that much of a problem... damaging rust occurs when a vehicle is left to sit and rust for a long time.. a little surface rust causes no real damage and can be prevented with proper prep and paint.

rust prevention

If you have surface rust, I recommend this stuff I found called "Never Dull" (at Meijer). It comes in a tin and looks actually like futon stuffing. Just tear some wadding out and start rubbing the metal. It works awesome on chrome ... i was so happy. My muffler and rims look almost new, better than when I bought it even. Over that, you can put Turtle Wax car wax. I found one that was designed specifically to protect against salt.

I found that it's best to give the engine some time to warm up, about a full two minutes or so. That helps a lot, too. Overall, I'd listen to the advice on keeping the bike clean. I followed it and am very pleased w/ the results.

Ride often! Ride hard!

Re: moped in winter

kevin bertroelli /


Maybe you could help me out. I've got a Bianchi also but I can't get it over 5 mph, down hill. I've cleaned the carb,jets, changed out the coil assembly, plug, point and condenser. I've changed out the base and head gaskets. I've verified that the cylinder, piston and ring are good. I've got fresh gas and main crankcase oil. I've played with the timing and verified that the exhaust pipe is clear. I even sent the whole engine in to Steve's moped and had the worthless mechanics work on it. They charged my $185 and when I put it back on the bike it did the exact same thing it did the day I got it. Nothing seems to make any difference. The engine starts and reves but doesn't have any balls. Could this be a crankcase seat problem? If so, do you know where I could send the engine to get the work done?

slow bianchi tips

My Bianchi was also VERY slow when I first got it. But it was a set of different problems that were all (most of them), rather minor. I think perhaps Bianchi (is it a Snark model?) were made to go slow for some legal purpose. I don't know. But here's what I did (w/ lots of help!) learn to do to get it faster.

Check your carburator a bit more carefully. Chances are, you have a Dellorto 14.9 carburator. You need to get yourself a Dellorto 14.12 carburator. You will also need a slightly larger manifold (the whole in mine wasn't even the width of a pencil at first!). Even if your piston and cylinder are fine (mine were), you will probably need some larger ones. I took the piston and cylinder off the moped and replaced them w/ a used piston/cylinder set that was a bit larger. You'd probably get even better performance with a new piston/cylinder set. Finally, make sure that you have the right size jet in your carburator. I was running my bike w/ a 62.5 (!!) and it slowed me down. You should have a low-mid 50s jet. I have a 55, but a 52 seems to be the preferred size. Oh, w/ your carburator, also make sure the float bowl is set properly so that fuel is actually getting into the engine.

All these changes raised my speed to about 30 mph. And I haven't even timed the bike yet. I've also never taken the engine apart or anything like that.

Let me know if this helps any. I'd bet that this is the problem w/ your Bianchi. Everything's fine, it's just small and needs to gain some more HP. But I'm sure you'll also find that the Bianchi is a tough little spirit, even if they may never be the fastest bikes out there.


It seems like you've done about everything possible

Cept maybe the clutch isn't hooking up?

Or the brakes are stuck on?

5mph?...Something is WRONG.

But I don't know what.

But I tell you... mopeds are simple... and a good mechanic (I think I'm one)

could figure out what the problem is within a half an hour.

I would have to guess that the guys at the dealer did right?

and the problem lies elsewhere.... just a guess.

You (or somebody else) must have overlooked something.

Re: 5mph?

Oh, another possible thing. I recently almost had a heart attack when my Bianchi only went about 5mph the other night. Turned out ... I had forgotten to take the choke off after starting it. After that, she shot right back up to speed. So check that. Sometimes it's the simple things we overlook.

But ... take my other ideas seriously, too. The engine and everything might be fine, but if they're small, you will have very limited HP. I bet my previous piston combined w/ a 14.9 carburator and straw-thin manifold probably gave me well under 1 horse power. Now I'm close to 2HP.

Also check on Fred's tips. Check your throttle and such just in case. It might be that you can turn the handle, but not increase fuel flow.

But I think it's the small piston/cyliner and carburator problem. I'd bet anything on it. Be sure you have a good working Dellorto 14.12, not a 14.9. And check the size of your manifold intake. It should be about the width of your thumb (or a bit less).

Re: 5mph?

Kevin Bertorellli /


The mechanic I was working with at Steve's Moped sucked, to put it bluntly. Steve, the owner, is a desent guy and very knowledgable. The mechanic he had at the time kept my motor there for close to 2 months, summer months. I sent Steve 2 emails during that time trying to find out what was taking so long. I finally got a hold of the mechanic and he said he had fixed it by changed out the condenser, points, and then set everything back up. When I got the motor back the oil fill plug was missing and the plastic carb inlet peice was broken. After an additional week for them to arrive, a $185 bill, and all of the labor to put everything back together, the engine ran eactly the same! They had the entire engine, including the carborator there to work with. There's no excuse for this kind of BS. I went to American Express and stopped payment but I'm still sitting here with a moped that doesn't run worth a damn.

You're right, I've overlooked something but I'm not giving up.

Re: 5mph?

Kevin Bertorelli /

I think you may be underestimating my mechanical abilities. This is my 3rd moped, my 1st being a 1977 Garelli that was a complete basket case. I agree, most of the time these guys are simple to fix but this one's got me baffled. Are you saying that this engine was manufactured to be so under powered that you have to pushing off to get the moped to move? The throttle cable and carb slide can be opened fully, there's plenty of gas in the bowel and the jet looks clear. I'll take your advice and check the jet size. Who knows, maybe somebody threw in the wrong size. I really appreciate all of your advise will let you know what I find

Re: 5mph?

kevin bertorelli /

OK, I took your advice and checked out my carb and main jet. I've attached the pictures to my reply for you to view. My jet is a 45 and my carb is a 14.9. Would that account for the zero power I have? If your sure then where do I get what I need?


Re: 5mph?

Ron Brown /


Get the $185.00 in used bills before answering this!


Seriously, you are not going to get this ped fixed on the forum unless you work on defining the symptoms better and not getting caught up in a particular theory without some good reason.

Lets try to get the original problem in perspective first.

Any 50cc ped, even with US restrictions will do about 25 mph on level ground with no wind, even if you weigh 300 lbs! You do not need modifications to make this happen, you just need to make the ped run correctly.

To run correctly, you have to get an adequate supply of a reasonably correct gas/air mixture into the crankcase, transfer it to the combustion chamber, compress it and fire it at the correct time, then exhaust the spent gasses.

Your ped only does 5mph, so at least one of these things is not happening correctly.

You say you disassembled the cylinder so I am assuming this is ok. Do you know if this motor has reed valves and if so, are they good?

Question time:

Try to describe how the ped runs. Does it idle ok? As you accellerate, does it seem to pull ok up to 5 mph then seem to be gasping for fuel? Do the revs go way up without the ped going faster or do they seem about right for the speed?

Assuming the engine is not over reving:

When running at maximum speed, if you apply some choke, what happens? Do you speed up, slow down or no change?

You say you "played with" the timing. Did this make any difference at all to the way the engine ran. If so, what?

Will the engine rev up quickly to a good speed with the rear wheel off the ground?

Have you tried running without the muffler? What happened?

Have you tried running without the air cleaner and box? What happened?

Try to give answers as specifically as you can. Something like "When I start to apply choke at 5mph, the ped speeds up to 10 mph but if I apply more, I slow down again" or "As I approach 5mph, the engine seems to misfire."

Give us some good questions, I bet we can give you some good answers.

Good luck,


Re: 5mph?

kevin bertorelli /

OK Ron, here's the scoop:

- The bike idles good and it will slowly rev up into high rpm on the stand. If you place the bike on flat pavement you can barely move without pushing off. Once moving, 5 mph is all she wrote. I've tried playing with the choke while moving but no real improvement. Bluntly but, no balls at any speed or mixture.

- When I experimented with the timming & point gap I didn't really see any positive changes, some degradation at times.

- Running without the mufflier didn't improve anything either.

- Running without the airbox obviously caused the bike to run leaner and hotter but not any better. Maybe a little worse. I also tried to cover and uncovering the carb intake with my hand while rolling, no improvement.

- Since I swapped the coil, plug wire, plug cap and associated wiring with my buddies JC Pennies Pinto I feel pretty confident that I have a good spark. No improvement on mine and his still ran good like before.

Now you can see why I started out being concerned with the crank shaft seals since the base/head gaskets have been changed and the piston/cylinder/ring appears to be good. My thought was that a leak in the crankcase was causing weak compression. That's where I feel the problem lies. What do you think?

Thanks for your reply. Very good questions.

Re: 5mph?

Ron Brown /


If you have bad crank seals, a good idle is hard to achieve because with the throttle slide closed, the crank case has to really suck to get enough mixture and any air leak will have a greater effect. Additionally, leaky crank seals will blow large quantities of oily mixture out of the crank case and you do not mention this.

You say that removing the air box makes it leaner and hotter. With as little air flow as you would get at rpm = 5mph, I would expect no obvious change.

Other than saying "no obvious improvement", you do not say exactly what happens when you use the choke or cover the intake. Full choke, or a mostly covered intake should flood a warm engine and kill it. Does this happen?

Do you have the needed stuff to set the timing to spec. and have you done this?

I have no idea what the drive train looks like on this ped, but have you made absolutely sure that there is no excessive drag anywhere?


Re: 5mph?

kevin bertorelli /

Ron, again good points and questions. Since I've had the engine off the bike for 2 few months now I have to try and more acurately recall my responses to your questions. One thing I don't recall was any excessive oil near the cranks shaft exit points. You're right,if there was a leak there it should be pretty obvious.

My response to the removal of the airbox should have read "no change". Due to the restrictive nature of the airbox I anticipated the engine would lead out somewhat but no noticable change occured.

Regarding partial and full choke situations, I didn't leave the choke on to the point of killing the engine. I was simply trying to get an improvement which I didn't. If I had left it on the engine would have flooded and quit running.

No, I don't have the tools to set the timing up or even the specs. I was experimenting with the initial setting of the point gap. I not sure what it was originally set at, maybe 23 thousands. I made many small changes, say + - 5, no noticable improvement. I also moved the stator several time after marking it's original position, again no noticable improvement.

Concerning the drive train, all I can say is that it seems to be free. In other words when I have it on the stand and get it reved up and release the throttle the wheel spins down in a normal manner.

In conclusion, when experimenting I didn't discern that at any time the engine was running strong but was bogged down because of load. That's my best guess. Does that help?

Re: 5mph?

Ron Brown /


Lets try the timing. Rotate the motor by hand with a pencil or other feeler in the spark plug hole and if there is a TDC mark on the flywheel, make sure it lines up. If it does not line up, try to figure out why. If there is no timing mark, make one at TDC.

If you can lay your hands on a timing light, check that way. If not, per Fred's method, put a piece of celophane from a cigarette pack between the points and rotate the motor. You should be able to pull it out easily, just as the points open. This should be just before TDC.


Re: 5mph?

kevin bertorelli /

Sorry Ron,

I do have access to a dial indicator and feeler gauge if you can give me the specs. I didn't correlate that when you 1st asked the question. I've used it on my ultralight 2 stoke engine when tuning it. If you can let me know how many degrees before TDC and the point gap I can make that happen. Accurate timing is something that I didn't actively pursue before and later was told by Steve's mechanic that all that was gone over. Might as well start with the basics 1st.

Another thing, what about my jet size? I've got a 45 and Meguel's running a 52. I don't want to run in tangents but I need some facts too.

Re: 5mph?

Ron Brown /


I don't have exact specs on your ped, maybe someone else will jump in if we are living right.

Meanwhile, my Motobecane fires at 2 mm before tdc and my point gap is .012"-.016". If you get close to this you should be running close to optimal. What we are looking for is to get it close enough that it is eliminated from being a cause of the 5mph problem.

As for the jet. A 45 is smaller than a 52. Miguel may have a bigger carb and /or performance exhaust. If this were a problem, adding a little choke would immediately restore the power. Ultimately, you may find you need a different jet, but you should be able to get much better than 5mph with this one and trying to select the correct jet when things are this wrong is impossible.

As long as you have the engine on the bench, put your finger over the carb and spin the engine to verify that you have some "suck". Then put a finger over the plug hole and verify that you have some compression that does not bleed down too fast if you hold the piston before tdc.

After these basics are covered and the engine is installed, we need to do some more running tests.


Re: 5mph?

kevin bertorelli /


Where is Miguel when you need him. I just took a look and my engine is a Motori Morini. Not sure if that the same as his. Maybe he could supply the specs.

Meanwhile I can set everyting up like yours and do the tests you mentioned. Got to get with my friend this weekend to get the tools though. I understand what your talking about concerning the jet. That's kind of what I based my original tests on, change the basic thinks around a little and look for an improvement, then attack that item. I guess we're down to being more methodical since none of that worked. I'm looking forward to making this motor run right.

Re: 5mph?

Sorry, I recently moved and my email/phone was not connected for nearly two weeks!!!!! I hate Ameritech ...

Anyhow, I already emailed Kevin about his Bianchi situation. I've been re-reading all the posts and find that Ron, et al, have failed to consider a simple thing that is wrong w/ (from the emails I've received from other owners) Bianchi mopeds in general ...

They were designed to go very very very very slow.

My Bianchi moved barely faster than people walking. Seriously! The problem? Everything in the machine worked fine. Nothing mechanical. The bike was in near-perfect condition, so nothing doing w/ missing parts or anything like that. But it had a Dellorto 14.9 carburator, a 49.5 jet, and an intake hole in the cylinder where the manifold is attached that was thinner than a pencil. The manifold was also too small, so almost no fuel was going into the engine.

Once all these things were replaced, a slightly larger piston/cylinder set (one w/ a normal-sized intake whole), a larger manifold, a 55 jet, and a 14.12 carburator, my bike now reaches 30mph on a flat surface.

So Bianchi owners beware ... your moped needs some adjustment to go fast. But ... once it gets there ... you will truly be the ENVY of the neighborhood. Man, these mopeds are built tough!

Re: 5mph?

Ron Brown /


I am having a really hard time believing that Bianchi designed a 50cc ped to only run at walking speed in stock trim.

Was your ped new when you bought it?

Does anyone else out there have anything to offer on this?


Re: 5mph?

Yeah, I'm not sure why Bianchi would do that. But all the Bianchi owners that I know (granted, only three so far who emailed me) have had the same problems. And they all have 14.9 carburators and really, really small jets. The bike was pretty much stock when I got it and in near-new condition. It only had 400 miles on it! And after the change of pre-engine parts (bigger carb, bigger manifold, bigger jet, bigger piston/cylinder) it ran just as fast as anyone else's moped. It's uncanny. I've never opened up the engine or even timed the thing. I think they built in these regulators to keep their speed down. Why? I have NO idea.

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