Best moped with a variator for performance?

I'm looking to buy a moped that has a variator, and am wondering which one would be best with regard to performance parts. Which variated 'ped has the most performance parts available? (and/or the most potential?)

I live in a hilly area, hence the reason for wanting a moped with a variator setup. I'd like to be able to build one up that will do 40 MPH comfortably and still be able to deal with the hills.

If anyone with a variated 'ped that wants to post about their setup, that would be cool too.

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated!

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

vespa's are rad (as I'm biased), but I just saw the inner workings of a variated franco morini and was awestruck.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

A stock Derbi will do 40 and take you up hills. I mean a Derbi or a Honda Hobbit would be best, but any variated Motobecane or Peugeot is good too, and all have kits/pipes/etc available.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

hobbit is the way to go, a debri would be cool, but good luck finding one. IMO, its hobbit>all others

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

Motobecane, FTW!

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

Thanks for the responses so far!

As for everyone's suggestions...

Vespas - Nice machines, but kind of rare in my area (Central PA)

Derbi - These 'peds are really cool, but like Davey said, good luck finding one

Motobecane or Peugeot - Either of these would be easier to find in my area, but I am not sure which would be best. I know where there was a Peugeot 103 that may be for sale, but it was pretty rough, and I don't remember if it was variated or not. Which Motobecanes are variated?

Hobbit - One of these would be my first choice. Is there a difference between these and a PA50-II? Or is it just a "name" thing? I have come across a couple PA50-Is lately, but from what I have read, you need to swap to a PA50-II engine to get any performance...

Any other info or suggestions are appreciated!


Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

you dont need to swap the whole engine to make a PA-50I happy, you just need the reed block, carb (not even really a necessity), and variator ramp plate.

as far as hobbits go, you need an expansion chamber, first and foremost. that is the best performance upgrade you can do for a hobbit, but those are getting harder and harder to come by. you can always hack and weld though. kits are pretty readily available through treats and 77. so basically a kit, pipe, and a ramp plate, and you're in business. you can also get stiffer clutch springs from a dio or a gy6, but they arent necessary and you up your chances of snapping your crank on the variator side.

hobbits are fun, and easy to tune. dont let people tell you that they arent worth it because the carbs are hard to get at, they just dont know.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

Hobbit engine hung from a motobecane frame.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

Going _40mph_ up a long hill is going to take a lot of performance gear and tuning no matter what bike you get. Also, it's gonna help if you get a bike that's not really heavy, and if you're not really heavy.

That pretty much counts out the moby 50v. You can make a 50v rip of course, but they're the heaviest moped around. If you wanna fly up hills it's gonna take more gear. Definitely an entire new +$200 variator/clutch pulley set-up and a well-ported engine+exhaust. The currently available 70cc av7 kit+pipe is still gonna require a performance clutch pulley, because you're gonna need to tune your clutch or else you'll still have poor low end. People who have ripping 50v's seem to be real expert.

The 103 has a the widest variety of performance kits, rpm-range pipes, variators, etc all at a variety of _prices_ as well. They are also a more common bike, where as a derbi will cost you. I like the 103 better simply because as a stock bike, it's easier to make it rip than with a moby-- again because of the heaviness and difficulty in tuning the stock clutch/variator-- all you really have to do is go pipe+sha/reeds+remove three-balls from clutch and you're set (well if you're small like me. Maybe not _40_ up hills, but still pretty good.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

DERBI for speed and power if money means nothing

honda for speed and reliability some money needed

peugeot for speed and less money

motobecane for less money but a little less speed


Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

dur u guys are all derb and hobbit crazy right now. I'll break it down


your number one choice should be peugeot 103

why? cuz its easy to find, parts are plentiful, you don't need to swap many motor parts, and it responds very well to minimal upgrades .ect to make it fast, its easy to step up slowly and easy to work on. also there is a variator and a chain so lots of gearing. the only downside really is the swinging motor if its really a downside, anyone who tells ya a french bike can't match a derbi or hobbit 4 performance doesn't know what they are talking about its just a bit more work to get the uber power outta them.

that being said if you can hold out for a derbi if you are truly looking for the max and getting it with alot of bolt on tech. they are also easy to work on and respond very very well to minimal upgrades. all the models even piston port can go fast, also these bikes are by far the beefiest sturdiest of the choices. but are very rare and parts are also not as plentiful. also like the peugeot it has a variator and a chain, so there is more possibility for gearing. on the plus the motor does not move.

3rd choice hobbit, similar to derbi in many ways stationary motor counterclutch system, however there is no chain drive so all the gearing is internal, meaning more work to change if you desire. the shittiest part about hondas if you have to literally take the whole bike apart to get to the carb, not to hard if your used to it but really shitty if your tuning a super setup. these bikes are also quite rare but no as much as the derbi. Also unless its squeeky clean these bikes run crappy with stock carbs, really crappy cuz it clogs daily.

4th choice is motobecane, almost identical to peugeot in many ways except in the details, motor mounted by he head, crappier electrical that's harder to swap out, comes with a piston port motor and the real power in is the reed av10 euro version so that needs to be swapped for max power, the whole bike in general is much more delicate then the other options and should be treated such. its the easiest bike to access all the parts making it fast to work on once you know the ins and outs. I won't get into all the details that make it the 4th choice but there are alot of small hurdles and $$ to get over b4 you can make one epic fast. thus they don't respond well to minimal upgrades.

lastly the vespa is something you want to steer clear of unless your out looking for a challenge. these bikes have just as much (or more) potential as all the others but the amount of work involved to get there eclipses the other choice 5 times over. the main downside being the stock case intake is not a true rotary valve and has a stock intake port of 13mm that can't be increased really, and most kits (all sold by us moped distributors) have tiny little exhaust ports because the motor has a 3 stud cylinder design and the 3rd one is right where the exhaust port should be, so there is a tiny port even on kits. Meaning it responds poorly to minimal upgrades and super setups are also hard to achieve. the variators are also smaller then those on the derb and honda, and there is no chain drive so its also all internal gearing. There are many more details that make vespa super hard to sup up, but the last and most lame is the fact that you have to drop the motor and basically disassemble it to get to the ignition, hella hard to do if your trouble shooting a cdi or i said want a challenge go vespa otherwise don't touch it.

pug 103





all other variated bikes are too unsupported to really include in the list, but if you resourceful anything is possible.

Also as others have suggested like honda motors on moby etc. anything is a possibility, and any of the bikes can be made into the masterblaster no mattter what the make/model check it:


<div><object width="480" height="381"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src=""; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="381" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed></object><br /><b><a href="">DRAGMOB MOBYLETTE DRAGSTER 125cc et 350cc</a></b><br /><i>Uploaded by <a href="">pulsoreacteur</a>;. - </i></div>

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?


Just to clarify, I don't need/expect to go 40 mph UP hills, just on the flats. I'd just like to be able to cruise at 40, and not be at or near redline, but yet still have some hill climbing ability. (maybe 25 mph on hills...?)

Davey - thanks for the info on the PA50-I. I had thought that they were a lost cause as far as performance goes... What kind of speed would one expect from a setup like you mentioned?

Andy - the setup you mentioned for the 103, "all you really have to do is go pipe+sha/reeds+remove three-balls from clutch and you&#8217;re set", has me interested. What kind of performance could one expect from that?

ffreddie - I liked the basic summary!

Thanks again, guys!!

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

good thread! waiting for more.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

As usual, thanks to professor elliot for a sick breakdown of variated peds.

I'm glad I was on the money with recommending a 103 to you. I'll elaborate on those parts.

Replace the tiny gurtner carb with a phbg 16mm and larger reeds and intake. I say 16mm _phbg_ because an sha is no good if you ever decide to kit it and a 19mm is overcarbing on a stock, unported cylinder, whereas a 16mm carb is reasonable on a 70cc kit.

Buy an expansion exhaust. I'd recommend something like the simonini one that sits underneath the engine (treats had em) or the polini "top one"-- I have that one and it was great on both the stock cylinder and a 70cc kit with mild ports.

Deck your head. This means sanding down the underside of your cylinder head for more compression. do a search and read about it here.

finally, the stock clutch is easily tuned via six balls inside that serve as weights and two springs; these designate the rpm range the clutch will engage your drive train. Remove three balls, and adjust the springs to the outer-most setting so they're tighter. This will cause your engine to rev up much higher and GRAB your drive train to send you flying off, instead of grabbing it at a low rpm, leaving you to sputter off slowly. The higher it revs before grabbing the clutch the better, if you could go from 0--- right into your pipe's powerband, that is optimal.

Do the math, pipe+carb/intake/reeds=$230-ish... which is the only _money_ you'll be spending on these mods, the rest is cleverness. With these things done and tuned decently, the 103 will be very zippy and if you charge a hill you'll have no trouble at all getting up it at 25mph. Top speed should definitely reach the 35 range and with a little exhaust porting alone, you'll likely get toward 40 easy.

IF you know nothing about peds, it will take a while to get this done... it took me one year of being entirely on my own in a small town with no parts nearby. Reason being, you'll have to troubleshoot any additional problems that come with buying a 30-year-old used bike that you know nothing about (french bikes are notorious for driving novice tuners crazy); you're bound to have some electrical problems.

However, after having done all of this, I could probably accomplish it in a weekend if I had all the parts in front of me and nothing went too horribly wrong.

The 103 seems to be the best option.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

I agree with what is said above, but a lot comes down to what is available. 103s are rare in michigan. There are tons of Hondas and moby's

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

interesting, no 103's in MI?

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

103's arent too easy to come by in the south either, but i find hobbits hand over fist around here.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

A lack of french things in the south, I understand.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

if hondas are more available then pugs then go honda 4 sure. i generally find pugs easy to coem by at least in the west. if ur going for a super build and the most common thing is moby go for it cuz if u plan to swap out all (i stress all) the original moby parts with performance then its just like a pug, and pretty easy to build and tune.

yeah it all depends on availability of bikes/parts as well as the lvl u want to take the build.

personally i like the moby cuz its more elegant a design then the other bikes.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

yes, elliot is right. mobys are awesome. they can be extremely fast and are easily the nicest looking peds IMO. they also arent anywhere as hard to tune as people make them seem, dont believe the horror stories.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

Same goes for Florida...I know of a whopping 3 103's in existence!

Peugeot FT classic W, Honda's for the reliable and Derbi's for the insanely expensive...

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

you can buy a moby and throw a pipe,carb and 70cc parmakit on it and do 50.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

yeah true mobys don't have to be expensive to go fast but the piston port kits out there for mobys can't hold a candle to an av10 kitted bike and why spend all that $$ on piston upgrades if ultimatly u want super reed power

also neglecting the transmission and only going for kits carbs and pipes on a moby is a bad idea if u want power comparable to any of the other variated choices with the same mods (2 speeds will kill u too in accl). the stock equipment responds poorly to just motor upgrades (even kits). unlike pugs where the stock equipment can take u much further along the performance latter before it needs to be completely ditched....

man i could go all day on variated bike shit

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

I have owned a couple hobbits, a moby, a vespa bravo and a bike with a 103. If its your first bike, I would say stay away from the moby. Maybe mine is just a bastard, but as soon as I got the electrical sorted out the carb gets funny, once the carb is good, the timing gets off. They are super finicky, but running well they are sweet. If its your first bike, stay away. Vespas are pretty easy to work on and reliable, but they are SUPER hard to get going fast. Lots of time and money to tune them into the forties. As far as working on one, the 103 seems to be pretty straight forward, I guess thats the one that gave me the least problems, but its also the one I have the least experience on. Hobbits, and this is only my experience, are hard to get the variator itself working well. The plastic caps break and wear, the spring gets worn, the rear pulley stops variating because people don't oil it. A hobbit will run forever, and the engine is bullet proof, but those variators never want to work right, no matter how I try. Have you thought about an urban express? Great beginners bike in my humble opinion. Variated, comfortable seat, turn signals, and hobbit performance stuff translates but the carb is right in the open almost. No pedals is the only downside.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

pretty, pretty mobies.

Re: Best moped with a variator for performance?

) Cupermcnewbster ( /

a derbi with a slightly bigger carb, cheap expansion pipe, and a few simple variator mods will do 40 with ease and will be very peppy off the line.

I think elliot breaks it down best, but I'd still put a derbi over all others, just for overall quality. I've seen too many mobys/peugeots with holes in the tank or cracked frames. Derbis and Honda's are probably the best quality of all mopeds, with everything being very robust and durable. My buddy got a 78 derbi with 11k miles, looks better than basically all our other derbis with only a fraction of the mileage. Not only that, it responded better to the simple mods than our other bikes.

Overall you can't lose.

Wow, this turned into a great thread!

Hello all. I'll admit, the response to this thread was way better than I expected! Many thanks to everyone who took the time to type an informative response!

Now I just need to decide which machine would be best, and start looking for one! I will probably just keep my eyes peeled for any of the "top 4" and go with what I can find... Unfortunately, central PA isn't exactly the moped capital of the US, and they can be hard to find around here (Especially if its NOT a Puch!) Of course there is that 103 that was in the barn that I saw last fall... (If its still there AND its variated)

Thanks again for the responses!

Re: Wow, this turned into a great thread!

derbeez ryderz /

always keep an eye out. i have seen 2 derbi's in the last six months that sold for 300 bucks on craigslist in central PA. both were pretty nice and were titled. hobbits are fairly plentiful, but i think the easiest overall to work on is the 103, which isn't that hard to find around here.

Re: Wow, this turned into a great thread!

I will be selling a couple of my hondas and 103 bikes maybe a couple motobecane bikes also.. holding on to the derbis for now


Distance-The problem that always seems to happen..

Fred - Saw your last post...then checked your location...

You are quite far away... Isn't that the way it always happens?

I also just checked all the nearby craigslist sites, butr came up with nothing there. I'll just keep looking...

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