Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

Brandon Bakke /

I've got a '79 PA50II, and while I'm waiting for the exhaust gasket I forgot to order and staring irritatedly at my proma pipe laying on my living room floor, I had a question:

I know that in general the more you mod a bike for peformance, the harder it is on the components. Is adding a new pipe and intake, and possibly dual stage reeds (but leaving the cylinder/porting, displacement, compression, etc. stock) going to number the days of my hobbit?

This bike is my transportation, I put about 50 miles a week if not more on it during riding season, so I need to consider wear and tear before I destroy my bike for the sake of a 10mph gain.

As usual, thanks!


Re: Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

If you jet it right, and you treat it well it should be pretty reliable.

A stock engine with a fast pipe + intake is the best combo to get if you want some extra speed but want to keep it reliable.

Nice bike BTW.

Re: Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

The reliability factor of these little engines generally follows how high of sustained RPM's your running them. The factory usually designs the motors to stay around 8,000rpm. When you modify them (air cleaner, carb, reeds, pipe) you are basically allowing them to breath more freely. Raising the rpm's gets you that extra 5-10 MPH @ say, 10,000 rpm. There are not a lot of gains to be had in the low-end of the power band which is why everyone is always asking about a good low-end pipe around here. It's easier to open them up.

While an engine can be designed & built for sustained higher rpm's, most of these little guys aren't and only have a 10mm wrist pin bearing, where a 12mm would be the preferred size.

The other way to get higher speeds is to gear them differently (taller ratio). Even at that, you have to have the HP to pull the higher gear range or have a long distance to get there and the low-end fun factor suffers. You have to find the compromise that fits your riding style and excitement expectations.

Use a good quality oil, keep them jetted properly, the ignition timed correctly and that's the best you can hope for. Some brands may also be inherently better than others.

Re: Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

Yep, even a tweaked 50cc which yours won't be will be much more reliable than a kitted bike. A good auto parts store will have sheets of exhaust gasket material to cut your own. Make sure it is made speciffically for exhaust use and you can cut a new one anytime for any bike. The stuff can be of better quality than what we usually use for mopeds too

Re: Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

I think the exhaust gasket he is talking about is the little copper ring. Simple answer to your question is, honda makes quality machines, has forever, and as long as you keep it lubricated, you should be all good. Most of the dramatic failures come from dudes pushing these machines way beyond there design specs, and even then they last a while in most cases. Besides, what does a good working hobbit engine go for? Like a hundy shipped?

Like I said though, just make sure everything is over lubricated. There is a manual on moped riders . org that has all the scheduled maintenance for a hobbit, including lube points and the correct oil. Some of them aren't so obvious, like the cables and the rear hub.


Re: Balance: Performance vs. Longevity?

this is one reason why i'm runnign a higher oil ratio. to save the bottom end.

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