I'm finally a mopeder!!

Hello!

After a good amount of time lurking, a massive amount of internet research, and a bazillion years of saving my money coupled with a bit of good luck, I own my very own moped; a 2008 Tomos LX in that ridiculous "steal me," red color (it was the only color they had left). I bought it brand NEW and it's the only thing I've ever ever owned new besides maybe underpants... so I'm stoked!

I've got a joke of a helmet currently, but have a full-faced bid going on ebay, I've got a lock and an alarm on the way, and I've got a cover for it. I've also read the broken-English manual that came with it about 12 times now... I've printed out a maintenance schedule, and am considering making tiny labels for all of the parts since I am a virgin to moped repair (I've worked on cars, but this is a whole different ballgame). Did I mention that I'm stoked? The manual makes little to no sense, but I keep trying to read it and hoping it'll start to click.

Sooo, I have a few quick questions that I couldn't find answers to by googling or searching Moped Army:

1. Where do those of you who live in apartments keep your moped? I bought a ramp (it goes over 7 steps), but I'm apparently too puny to push the moped up it and I cant run it up it because we share the porch with our neighbor and the noise would no doubt be all up in her business. For now I have it just under the ledge of the bottom of the porch to protect it from rain. I've got it locked with a cable lock and the front wheel lock and covered with a motorcycle cover... but I still keep looking out the window every 6 seconds. I feel like even though I have wood down, the wood might sink into the mud causing the bike to tip.

2. The vibration is Gnarly. I've owned it for 5 days now and have lost the nuts and washers from the mirror 4 TIMES! I bought a giant pack of them, but shit... I can't just keep replacing them. Is this normal? My hands and feet are totally numb and I've got serious blisters on the palms of my hand.... Like I said, the vibration is gnarly.

Otherwise, I couldn't be happier. I used to drive a Toyota pick up truck, but it was part of the massive recall they have going on and I had to sell it back to them. I paid off a ton of student loans with the cash and bought the moped with the rest of the money... It will be my everyday commuter. It's an odd step going from a pickup with monster wheels to this little moped that buzzes like a mosquito, but I love it so far!

I'm living with my dude in swampy lovely Gainesville, Florida and if anyone lives in the area and feels like talking mopeds or taking a newbie under their wing, hit me up! My husband is going to get a moped soon, but he won't know shit about shit either, so it'd be great to have a connection. We're good peoples and I'm anxious to learn!

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

put some loctite on anything you don't want to rattle loose, sometimes getting a ped up stairs can be a two person job. If you want to leave it outside, I've seen these things for motorcycles that sense when the bike is being moved and they send a radio signal to a little beeper on your keychain.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Congrats. I have really pretty and sensitive hands, so I wear gloves when I ride. They soften the vibration and shield against blisters.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

yea loctite (you want blue, not red... sorry it wont match the bike) will keep everything from vibrating off.

i haven't ridden a tomos more recent than '95, but even that one didnt make my feet numb. i mean, shit mopeds vibrate everyone knows that.. but if that thing is new this year and its vibrating _that_ much, you might want to bring it back to the place you got it... hopefully they work on them there and can take a look at it for you.

otherwise, have fun with it.

-Steve

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Welcome!

I don't really have any good answers to your questions, but there are a few things that might help someday down the road. Moped Junkyard has some really great exploded diagrams of parts. These are a) fun to look at, and b) good for learning parts names. I don't think they've got all the Tomos stuff updated with the A55 parts, but there's some info there. Also, if you haven't looked through the wiki, the Moped parts category has articles on a lot of parts. Since you've worked on cars, you might already be familiar with a lot of the stuff, but what the heck, it's there if you feel the need to look. (The Moped Jargon category might also be of use). Last, on the loctite, use the blue if you ever think you'll want to take that part off. The red kind is really strong.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Welcome!

My tip for vibration and safety, wear decent leather gloves. No more sore hands and if when (not if) you crash, your hands are not instantly hamburger.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Fo realziez RJ speaks he truth. I'm still recovering from a gnarly case of hamburger hands. Open toe shoes aren't that great of an idea either.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Thanks for all of the advice. I think Home depot is closed for the day, but I'll run out tomorrow and pick up some loctite in blue. I think maybe it's numbing me because I'm just not used to how a moped rides (I'm hoping)... I got it from the magical internet, so there's no shop to take it to, so hopefully it's cool. I'm excited to learn about this tiny little engine and hope I don't puss out and try to take it to one of the zillion scooter repair places in town. As long as our internet connection is strong and I can get someone to help me haul it inside when it needs work (I'm still miffed about not being able to do it myself... I can totally lift that much at the gym or whatever... why not onto my porch!!), I should be able to work on it all on my own when it needs it.

Also, does anyone know a good place to buy riding gloves that are not leather but still protective? I'm funny about that. If so, let me know.

Thanks for all of the links! I'm bookmarking the hell out of them right now!

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

My name is Sara Jean too!

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

The gloves I have are Dickie's work gloves, and they seem to by some type of synthetic material. I got them at Walmart, although the kind of people who don't wear leather usually don't care too much for Walmart, so it's hard to say!

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Hi SarahJean! I had never met one before, but in the last year I've now met 2 others! We're amazing.

I'll go to walmart and check for those dickies gloves... I'm not too pretentious to sacrifice the skin on my own hands, leather just creeps me out for some reason. When I'm 77 and I can afford a therapist from all the money I saved riding @ 100+ mpg, I'll figure it out.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

are your engine bolts on tight (tighten the nut it makes it go on tighter) i have heard that being lose can cause a vibrating moped or it could just be normal and your not use to it my fa 50 is pretty bad i lost my headlight at last ride (my dad keeps all the spare bolts he ever gets so i found a spare)

o and congratz on the purchase have fun riding it

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

You've been bitten by the moped bug. Oh yeah. For sure. It shines through everything you've wrote.

-- Joe (oldcodger) Metz

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/sub_cat.cfm?subcategory_id=1141, I know this store has nothing to do with mopeds or anything that has a motor but as a biker i swear by the 10 dollar gloves to not have your hands turned to hamburger. I got a pair for 10 bucks that are padded but dont know if there still on there. Just anything that is more than just something to keep your hands warm

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Is it not the most amazing thing anyone can ever buy?

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

MIke applewhite /

You got a good start.Keep a record of everything you spend on it :)

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

I bought https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HX1HSO/

">these gloves. I don't think they've got leather on them, although I can't say I took samples of each material and scientifically analyzed them. I don't know if they're the absolute best choice for on road (since they're made for off-road) but I still feel a lot better about them than having nothing. They're out of stock now, but if you really like them, I'm sure you could find them or a similar equivalent somewhere else.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Dustin L. Plattner /

Hey Sarah Jean,

That is rad that you got a brand new ped!

I love Tomos!

The Gnarly vibration thing is common for Tomos. This is not a good thing. I have the same problem with my Arrow R. I have spend a better of a month doing research on it and it has been a huge task and one the is quite frustrating. BUT, I have found some solutions.

1. Well, your engine has not been broken in yet, so it might get better.

2. It could be you air/flue mixture, but it is more likely that it is not

3. It probably is the transmission. Yes the transmission. it seems Tomos has done a poor job with their transmissions lately. Some of the most expert moped repair people have found that replacing the clutch segments (1st and 2nd) have solved the problem completely and/or tightening the clutch nuts and gear nuts. It seems that the clutch shoes break off and/or the nuts that hold the gears and clutches come lose.

This totally sucks because it is a brand new ped, but I guess that is how life goes.

Hope this helps and let me know if you need anything else.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

I went to the Home Depot amd bought mechanics gloves they come in small, medium, large, and X+large they stretch and give to fit your hands . they have velcro to adjust to your rist size I choose to cut off the velcro and wear them without.

Hey and good luck

I'm finally a mopeder!!

I have an '08 LX too. Mine had a lot of vibration initially, but it got better after it was broken in. It still has intermittent episodes of vibration, which I'm sure are due to imbalance of the rotating parts assembled onto the crankshaft. Sometimes when the clutches lock in, the sources of imbalance are oriented in such a way as to balance the whole works, and the engine runs very smooth (and faster). And sometimes, they end up oriented such that all the sources of imbalance are aligned, and the vibration is enough to snap the exhaust studs off the cylinder. When an A55 is well-balanced, it is quite smooth. Most of them that I've seen have varying degrees of vibration.

Besides unbalanced rotating parts, the tuning of the engine is also a factor. If you experience four-stroking, it adds a little more to the vibration, but nowhere as much as unbalance.

There are some things you can do. Vibration will make the side panels and the headlight fairing vibrate, rattle, and eventually crack the plastic. Get some fender washers and put them on either side of the 6mm bolts (with the acorn nuts) that mount the headlight fairing. Get some small fender washers and put them on the phillips screws that secure the bottom of the headlight fairing. If any of the plastic parts are rattling against the bike frame or the headlight lens, get some adhesive-backed felt from the hardware store and put little cushions where it hits. Make better rubber washers out of softer rubber and put them on both sides of the plastic side panels where they are screwed to the bike. You'll need slightly longer screws. Put tiny fender washers on the screws.

If the bike is vibrating severely, slow down to the point where the second gear clutch would kick in, then speed up again. This will let the clutch drums re-orient and often results in a smoother ride.

Usually, when the vibration is moderate, you can find a speed somewhat below 30 mph that minimizes the vibration. But if you speed up just a little, the vibration intensifies greatly.

You should probably find a Tomos dealer if you continue to have so much vibration that it's shaking all the parts off. Eventually, it will cause other problems: breaking the headlight filament, breaking the bulb glass itself, cracking the plastic trim panels on the bike, breaking the exhaust studs.

I hope Tomos clears up this problem. They will have a wonderful product when they do.

I'm finally a mopeder!!

Thanks for all of the advice everyone! After speaking to my husband who has also been riding it, I think the nuts were coming loose from us moving the mirror so much--to put the cover on, to take it off, etc. etc. and we just weren't tightening it enough with our little pliers.. I'm not sure what tool we need to get into that little space. I'll allow the break-in period and then evaluate the vibration to see if I should take it in somewhere to have it looked at. It kinda just feels like mowing the lawn.

I've also apparently entered some kind of moped rider hazing where if I go to the store 3 miles away I'll have 7 people yell random shit at me and be mean for no reason... Wonderful. "Nice helmet you piece of shit!,".... What?

I've also realized that I do not fully understand the workings or necessity of my choke lever and my book doesn't English it out very well for me.

Will changing out bolts and adding washers mess with the little warranty I've got going on the Tomos?

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Yes welcome to being the subject of harassment.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

If anyone yells anything, they're just jealous. Blow them a kiss, or, if you're feeling crafty, you can do something like what I did. (See attached.) Full face double bonus: It's really easy to pretend that you can't hear the things people yell at you when your head is encapsulated by a foam and plastic shield.

I've never touched the kind of carb you've got, but generally the choke lever "chokes" the moped by blocking some of the airflow. This makes your fuel/air mixture richer (the ratio has more fuel and less air than normal), and cold mopeds are easier to start with a richer mixture.

1220245026_helmet_sticker.jpg

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

i wear my hockey gloves and an old hansen brothers jersey and that pretty much protects me from anything from a fly to a grizzly.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Sarah Jean,

I don't know why people are so unhappy they have to pour thier misery out onto the world. I love your positive enthusiasm for your moped. You are among the happy people of the world, hold on to that.

Regarding vibration, you may be gripping to tightly to the handle bars, relax a little.

There is a product (or used to be), called the bar snake, a dense rubber core that is pulled thru the inside of your handlebars by a wire and lots of silicone lubrication, it dampens the vibration in the bars, they were marketed to motorcycle peeps but would be good on a moped as well if they make them in a small enough diameter.

Enjoy!

Rusty

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

yeah gloves, jeans, closed-toed shoes and a full face are all good ideas. even if you are just going around the block. most accidents happen within five miles of your house anyway. have fun, but be safe and ride defensively. congrats on the new bike!

preventative maintenance

General Jackson /

seeing as how you have a nike the mixes the oil itself with an oil pump. if the oil pump fails in anyway your engine can seize with no warning signs.

One of the main causes of this in new tomos's is the faulty oil cap. it has to let air in or else there is a vacuum that keeps the oil from going into the engine. since the caps are plastic sometimes the airhole seals close when they melt it into shape. you can either try and make sure you have airflow in, or you can buy a metal oil cap for it so that you know you are getting enough airflow to keep it from becoming a vacuum.

and as far as gloves go, the bad ass wayto do it is to get a comfy padded non leather glove liner and then put some fish fileting chain mail gloves over top of them.

You look cool and if you crash you send up sparks when you hit the ground!

just an idea.

good luck, and welcome to the club!

also, gainseville is almost as redneck as nashville so sorry about the ridicule. usually it stops when you tell them what your MPG is ;)

I'm finally a mopeder!!

No, doing cosmetic things like that will not affect your warranty. Putting aftermarket performance parts on the engine (like low resistance air filters, bigger displacement cylinders, and tuned exhausts) will -- because it puts more strain on the rest of the parts.

Re: I'm finally a mopeder!!

Regarding the choke on this engine you engage it by pulling the little lever up (the opposite of what you may think after using a bing carb or even the older Tomos chokes). You shouldn't need to use it very much, but once in a while when starting it up first time for the day it may need that little fuel boost. Change the settings back to normal by putting the lever back to the lower flatter position soon after it starts so you don't flood your engine.

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