New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Hi everyone! A friend recommended I reach out to you folks for this, as you might be able to offer guidance. My wife and I bought our son a 1985 Honda Spree for a grad present, and he loves it. Well...so do we. Her and I found ourselves wanting our very own moped or scooter so after our first ride on the Spree. Combine that with our love of collecting and restoring vintage stuff (everything from clothing to valve radios) and you might see where I'm going with this.

We are on the hunt for some project mopeds, preferably something pre-1990's, but it will come down to price and whether or not compatible parts are still available. So far, I am gathering that Honda, Tomos and Puch seem to be favored and have lots of parts available on various sites, but I am looking for suggestions on what sort of project mopeds to target since we have relatively little experience diagnosing engine issues, and want to learn.

What did you folks start with? Do you have any recommendations for new folks who are looking to learn?

Side note, I almost bought a pair of matching 78 AMF Roadmasters for $600, both non-working, but I could not find a selection of parts available for the life of me, so I walked away from it. The listing is still available in my area, so if anyone knows where to get compatible parts, I might reapproach the seller. As far as I can tell, though, the AMFs aren't really a repair favorite.

Edit: Apologies, I meant for this to be in General Discussion. (edited)

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

If the AMF mopeds look like cheap bicycles and have the motors mounted above their rear wheels, run, don’t walk away from them. If they look like conventional mopeds and have Italian Minarelli V1 motors, that would be a good deal. Except for the AMF body plastics and panels, Minarelli V1 motor parts are plentiful. (edited)

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

> Nick Manciero Wrote:

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

> Side note, I almost bought a pair of matching 78 AMF Roadmasters for

> $600, both non-working, but I could not find a selection of parts

> available for the life of me, so I walked away from it. The listing is

> still available in my area, so if anyone knows where to get compatible

> parts, I might reapproach the seller. As far as I can tell, though, the

> AMFs aren't really a repair favorite.

>

> Edit: Apologies, I meant for this to be in General Discussion.

I'm giving away a pair of Roadmasters, you made the right choice lol

The correct choice is to buy a scooter if you were happy with the Spree. Mopeds are a different beast. A better looking and more rewarding, easier to work on beast, but a different beast.

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Nick Manciero /

Let's put it this way; the scooter made me realize I like to ride. I'd take either, to be honest, so long as it's 50cc. I figure that's a good place to start, and grow from there.

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

If you like to tinker, get a vintage moped. If you want something more reliable, find yourself a Genuine Buddy 50 scooter. If you plan on eventually getting a motorcycle endorsement, get a Genuine Buddy 125. It’s capable of speeds up to 60mph. Same body as the 50cc Buddy, but bigger motor. I own a Buddy 125 and a Buddy 170i. As long as you change the oil and filter every few thousand miles, they are virtually bulletproof, (edited)

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Emil Kniemel /

Start with a complete bike. I was lucky i started with a honda hobbit pa50-ii and it started and ran with just a carb clean and auxiliary gas tank. easy/quick reliable 30+ mph. i knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when i started.

people will deter you from getting a hobbit because of how "hard" the carb is to get to but thats compared to all other bikes which are easy. if its your first time itll make hobbits "normal" and others REALLY easy.

hobbits are the best of both worlds. scooter tech (dual variated transmission) on a vintage moped. lots of aftermarket support and... theyre hondas!

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

First. Thanks for the refreshing newbie post…this tends to be kinda rare. Seems like you’ve done you’re research and are willing to find what fits you best. And so far you’re doing it right. Cheers. What it comes down to most is how much you’re willing to learn about and work on a vehicle. Do you have experience mechanically, even a little? Are you ACTUALLY willing to learn a platform? / have time to do that? If the answer is no to all of those. Then I would say a good running happy scooter + a place that is willing to work on it is the easier path. BUT. If you like working on stuff. Figuring out a puzzle. Enjoy the vintage aesthetics of a moped. Like the idea of 2 stroke motors. Like fixing things. Understanding things. Riding super fun dumb things…Then mopeds is a great choice. If you’re new to wrenching and working on vehicles. I’d say an already running riding Tomos is your best bet. Parts are cheap and easy to find and they tend to be reliable. If you want the cool vintage aspect the first “go to” is Puch. Very easy and the parts are always available. But any vintage moped you’re going to be working through problems of age. This also applies to newer bikes like Tomos, but a lot less “this is bad because it’s old” going on with that. If you have a fat bank and want to play with the cooler bikes, then you want to look into Honda Hobbits. Stock and happy they will run forever. But parts are not as cheap. And they are not as easy to work on. If you want full challenge mode…but they look soooo good. You’re gonna want to find a French bike. Motobecane or Peugeot. The style is probably going to peak your interest, as they are amazing in style. Like Art Deco meets a 1950s piece of kitchen equipment. But…they are very complex and annoying to work on for a newbie. They require very proprietary tools and are belt driven with complex external transmission parts. They also can be made to go VERY fast (Honda Hobbit also falls in this category) , So if you want speed and fun and are willing to learn. This is what you want. Also if you want stock 50cc. These are good choices too, but a LOT to work on for a newbie. My favorite stock bike is a 50cc Motobecane. I’ve owned a few. Don’t own one now. But have vowed to make this my “retirement moped”. Runs smooth. Fast enough. Feel like a couch on wheels. Looks like the Empire State Building…….sorry this post kind of got away from me. But if you give us more details about you/ what you want/ what you can do, or be willing to do. Then I think we can point you in a direction that will be the right one…that being said AMF road master is SOOO not what you want (unless it’s the V1 regular moped model, those are cool) if the motor is on the rear tire, and it looks like a bicycle. Run you do not want it.

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Since you're in MI, and if you decide on the vintage moped rabbit hole, see if you can buy one from a known entity in the moped community up where you live. Adds a degree of accountability since no solid member of this community wants a bad deal to mess up their reputation. Cool also to build your network--1000% worth the effort to have a buddy who (or a shop that) knows how to help you fix the bike. Just sayin'

Re: New folks looking for project moped suggestons

Nick Manciero /

Thanks for all the great replies! And this site is really well organized with info, so I've been trying to catch up on the reading.

@christophers - I do have some mechanical aptitude but no real experience with engines. However, I'm definitely capable of learning, and have the time. Tbh, it's something I've wanted to do for awhile, but years of apartment living left it on the back burner since I had nowhere to work, or store a vehicle. My wife and I are both definitely drawn to a lot of vintage things, some of which we collect and try to restore (I work on radios and old computer/game systems, and she likes more decorative and fashion stuff). We are absolutely in love with Honda Hobbits and that style of bike. While Hobbits might be out of our budget for now (although I would like to get one later), I've considered a Tomos or Honda (Urban Express or something similar) to start with. To be honest, I wouldn't mind two more Sprees (or similar) to work on either, but it seems like folks don't want to let those go when they have them, and I can understand why.

@Steven - definitely would love to buy from someone local, but since we just moved to the Port Huron area, our only window to the local market is FB Marketplace and Craigslist. So far, the few listings that have popped up aren't really ticking our boxes, but I definitely see folks using scooters and mopeds in town, so there's bound to be some folks we can connect with if we are patient.

It's hard to not want every vintage moped or scooter we see that's in decent shape, which makes it doubly hard to pin down what we want, but I do know these are some bullet points:

- looking for something from the late 70's to late 80's

- 50cc, 2 stroke, step-through design

- parts should be available (original or aftermarket kits)

- should need some work, although not necessarily looking to do complete rebuild.

As I do more reading (thanks for pointing at that article, Brian!), the hunt will get much more specific, I imagine. You folks have helped a ton, so far!

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