First and foremost
- If your bike has small (10”) wheels, an “ergonomic” seating position (you sit on it like a chair) and lots of plastic fairings – Congratulations, you have a scooter. Please proceed to a scooter enthusiast web site.
- Ifyour bike has large (16”-17”) wheels, you sit astride the frame and engine (like a bike or motorcycle), and pedals (with a few exceptions) – Congratulations, you have a moped. Please continue reading…
So, you’ve decided to become a small engine mechanic? (betcha didn’t know that!) Well, in truth that is what you did when you laid down your hard earned cash and purchased a 30 year old moped. So get ready to get greasy and bloody, oh joy!
First, here’s a few links that you will need.
- Want to give that rusty old barn find the once over to get it running? Fred's Guide is Moped Maintenance 101, here you will find the basic info on getting started.
- Got compression, spark, and fuel, but still no luck? Consult the Troubleshooting guide for more useful info.
- Repair Tutorials: Lots of stuff is covered here, from adjusting your idle to changing a tire to getting rust out of yer tank…
- Service Manuals: the MRA has a comprehensive collection of moped service manuals, except for Franco Morini M01 & M02 which can be found here. Most of these manuals can be downloaded in .pdf format and printed for reference, which will help keep grease off your mouse, if you know what I mean…
- The Wiki is the collective knowledge base of MA, read it, learn it, love it.
A Little Advanced
So now that your moped is running within factory specs, you’ve decided that 25 or 30 mph just isn’t enough, and you are ready to start monkeying around to make it faster? Just can’t leave well enough alone can you? Yeah, neither can we. Performance tuning is a strange combination of exact science, fine art, alchemy, black magic and pure luck.
- Here you will find the performance tuning section, a good place to start with most of the basics.
- The Performance Tuning Spreadsheet: Lots of set-ups are listed here so you can get an idea of what other people are doing. Check down at the bottom for tabs for different moped brands.
There are other suppliers, but I have listed the ones that I have repeatedly had excellent experiences with.
Of course there is also always Ebay & the MA Buy/Sell forum. Caveat Emptor!
A Little Retarded or a few FAQ’s
(A Little Advanced and A Little Retarded, see what I did there? It’s a timing joke people! On with the show…)
I’m new to mopeds, and I wants a reliable/easy to fix moped with good parts availability. Wat I get?
For you, my friend, I (and many others) would suggest a Puch Maxi or a Tomos of some sort. The Puch Maxi is one of the most common mopeds on the road, the E50 engine is practically bullet proof and one of the simplest designs ever. Parts, both original and aftermarket, are easy to find. Tomos also makes a decent bike, with the added assurance that they are still in production, so again parts, both original and aftermarket, are easy to find. Either of these are great for beginners. A lot of the other brands are much harder to find, or to find parts for. Don’t believe me? Go google “Franco Morini Parts”, no really, go do it, we’ll wait…see what I mean? BTW “reliable moped” is an oxymoron…
See also: Moped reviews
Oh noes! Why this sticker say no unleaded? Wat I do?
Back in the Before Times, “Unleaded Gas” generally meant white stove fuel or kerosene. Ignore this decal and use regular old unleaded gasoline.
See also: NOTE: DO NOT USE UNLEADED GASOLINE
Regular unleaded? But I wants performance! I’s usein’ PREMIUM!!1!1!
Well, if you feel you must, go for it. But it will not give you any enhanced performance. What you have there is a 2 stroke engine, and you don’t get near enough compression to benefit from higher octane fuels. But it won’t hurt anything so if it makes you feel better, knock yourself out.
How much oil do I use?
Generally 50:1 (that’s 50 parts gasoline to 1 part oil) is the formula, which is about 2.6 oz. oil to 1 gallon of gas. But, as with everything here, there are variables, for instance, during the break in period for a Polini kit, they say to use less oil. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true… Check your manual if you aren't sure.
See also: Gas to oil mixture ratio calculator
No problem, my ped has oil injection!
This is a subject of some debate. Some people swear by their oil injectors and have never had any problems with them. But the majority of people swear at them, hate them and would not trust them with the well being of their engine. They do seem to have a pretty consistent failure rate, so use at your own risk…
I just added a bigger carb/performance pipe and/or high flow air filter. So wat jet I need?
Whew, well let’s see, um…yeah, ah, well… you see, it’s like this, no one on this site can answer that question accurately. There are many, many factors that affect jetting: altitude, humidity, air temperature, cylinder size, intake/carb size, etc, etc… What you will need is a range of jets, of which you can be advised, or you can also get an idea of what you need by consulting the performance tuning spreadsheet, or trial & error. Plug chops are the only real way to “dial it in”.
See also: Performance FAQ
This article is a wikified version of this post on the forums. Thanks to Pete G. for writing all this info down!