Moped Restoration Checklist

This is a moped checklist that I got from the late, great Mopedlar. Mopedlar spent many hours helping us all out with our restorations and telling us about his own. I follow this checklist everytime I get a new bike in needing restoration.


  • Do not start moped until the mechanical restoration has been completed.
  • Clean the entire bike thoroughly. Clean all chrome parts.
  • Make a list of all the obvious parts that need to be repaired or replaced. Order parts as needed. See Shop links for parts suppliers.
  • Drain old gas from gas tank and check condition. Take necessary actions to remove rust and varnish and seal tank to prevent further rust.
  • Remove spark plug and fog the cylinder walls before turning over. This will insure the piston, rings, and cylinder wall to have proper lubrication and prevent scratches.
  • Check to see if moped has spark. If not, begin to troubleshoot no spark condition. Check wiring for disconnected or frayed wiring. Also, make sure that the horn leads are connected.
  • Replace broken or missing ignition and/or horn light/horn switches.
  • Replace shorted or missing brake light switches
  • Check condition of the headlight and taillight/brake bulbs and replace if needed.
  • Replace spark plug with correct part and gap to manufacturer’s specification.
  • Check the condition of the points and replace if needed. Gap to recommended specification.
  • Do a compression check with a compression gauge. Need at least 120psi for moped to run decently. If low compression, check condition of cylinder, piston and rings. Look for scoring of any of these parts. Also, check piston ring gap to see if within specification. If not, replace rings and have cylinder honed. If cylinder is badly scored, replace cylinder or have cylinder bored out and replace piston with next oversized piston. Low compression could also be caused by blown seals, bad engine case, cylinder or head gaskets.
  • Remove carburetor and clean out thoroughly. Blow out all passageways with compressed air.
  • Replace old fuel hoses and add an inline fuel filter
  • Check condition of wheel and fork/steering bearings. Disassemble axles, clean all parts thoroughly and replace any damaged bearings, races, cones, axles, etc. Grease all parts before reassembling.
  • Replace dry-rotted or worn out tires.
  • Replace tubes as needed.
  • Check tracking of wheel and tighten or replace spokes as needed to true up wheel
  • Check brake pads for excessive wear. Clean rust off wheel linings.
  • Check condition of brake, clutch and throttle cables and adjust or replace as needed.
  • Drain tranny fluid and replace with the correct type and amount.
  • Assess overall condition of engine and replace bearings, oil seals and gaskets if needed.
  • Remove chain and clean off all rust and grime. Use proper chain lube after reinstalling chain. Adjust chain tension.
  • Remove exhaust system, baffle and header pipe (if applicable) and perform a thorough decarbonization. Also remove carbon deposits from exhaust port on the jug being careful not to scratch the piston. Clean carbon off the crown of the piston.
  • Bent pedal arms can be straightened in a good vice with a breaker bar for leverage
  • If speedometer is not working, remove cable from the speedometer and see if it is turning when the wheel is rotated. If it turns, reconnect speedometer cable and disconnect at the drive unit and see if the speedometer needle moves when manually turning the cable by hand. If the speedometer is working properly, determine whether the speedometer cable is seized or if the speedometer drive unit at the wheel is not functioning properly. If problem lies with the speedometer drive unit, remove it and thoroughly clean and grease unit by pumping fresh grease through the grease fitting. If problem still exists, replace the drive unit.