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Old 06-17-2009, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
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Arrow In the market for a cheap, reliable, efficient scooter!

Ever since I sold the Protege, I've found myself feeling lonesome for a beater project vehicle. I've been looking at Metros for a long time, but parking here in Champaign is expensive, and I'd rather not pay for a second parking spot. Then it hit me--I want a scooter, not a car.

I want something for scenic backroad weekend drives, where I can relax, enjoy the summer wind in my face, and do some hypermiling. (You know you're an ecomodder if you think this is a good way to spend a day.) I want something that's easy to work on, which I can take apart and put back together for fun. I'd like great MPG and a top speed of at least 45.
I'm ready to fall in love with a scooter and to fix everything that goes wrong with it for the next 10 years. I'd like to get 50,000 miles out of it.

Questions I'm trying to answer:

How much displacement will I need to do 45mph? Illinois has flat terrain, and I weigh 140lbs.

Can I swap in a taller ratio centrifugal clutch?

Can anyone make some suggestions for a cheap, efficient, comfortable scooter?

Are there any scooters that really suck, which I should be sure to avoid?

I've had my eye on a few Honda Elites that I've seen on Craigslist.

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Old 06-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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50cc max out at 45 after you derestrict them. A 150cc scooter will do 45 all day and they max out around 60, in stock form.

The Chinese scoots are almost on par, at least the engines are, with the Japanese stuff. The cheapness about them comes from the crappy plastics that they use. That being said, I have a 2008 Lifan built scooter and it's one of my favorite vehicles. Maintenance is a breeze and it didn't even cost me $1000.

If you really want to strech out and be comfy on long backroad rides, I would go for the "touring" style scooter of the "sport" style. They have the same engine, so the touring scoots get slightly worse mileage due to the extra weight and other accesories, but you won't feel as cramped on long rides.

I'm 5'11" and daily jaunts are comfortable for on the sport frame, but I wouldn't try riding for hours at a time until I after I've finished modding my saddle. I'm planning on shaving out the rear section so that I can sit farther away from the controls. The stock curveature of the seat isn't a natural position for my rear end.

but I digress...
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
90 day: 35.93 mpg (US)

Basic Miata - '06 Mazda Miata Touring
90 day: 30.93 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan150cc View Post
50cc max out at 45 after you derestrict them. A 150cc scooter will do 45 all day and they max out around 60, in stock form.

The Chinese scoots are almost on par, at least the engines are, with the Japanese stuff. The cheapness about them comes from the crappy plastics that they use. That being said, I have a 2008 Lifan built scooter and it's one of my favorite vehicles. Maintenance is a breeze and it didn't even cost me $1000.

If you really want to strech out and be comfy on long backroad rides, I would go for the "touring" style scooter of the "sport" style. They have the same engine, so the touring scoots get slightly worse mileage due to the extra weight and other accesories, but you won't feel as cramped on long rides.

I'm 5'11" and daily jaunts are comfortable for on the sport frame, but I wouldn't try riding for hours at a time until I after I've finished modding my saddle. I'm planning on shaving out the rear section so that I can sit farther away from the controls. The stock curveature of the seat isn't a natural position for my rear end.

but I digress...
Thanks for the advice

I've seen a few Honda Metropolitans for less than half of blue book price on Craigslist...pretty tempting. Do you know what's involved in "destricting" the engine? Do you need to swap the carb?
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Usually, there are 3 main points of restriction.

On the variator bearing, they install a little metal washer that won't allow the variator to slide all the way into top gear. This, of course, limits your attainable top speed. They do this because most 50cc scoots are supposed to be limited to 35mph. Once you slide the variator off, this ring will just come off with a little force.

Also, the stock CDI is programmed to limit revs. Most of them can easily be tricked into simply not limiting revs by unclipping one of the wires. Or, you can simply replace the CDI with a non rev-limiting kind. Those aren't very expensive, if you go that route.

Finally, they have two ways of restricting the exhaust. They either tap weld a small diameter washer inside the exhaust right up near the head. These washers, or plugs, can simply be drilled out. I've also seen these strange pig tail devices which look like a second head pipe coming off the main pipe except that they are closed off. You saw those pig tails off but you'll have to find someway to seal off the place where it was attached. Most people just weld over the hole.

You don't have to change carbs. They are pretty spunky in stock forum. My sister-in-law just got one a couple of weeks ago. I've been pretty impressed with it. Total cost, shipped, was $854. I do plan on removing the autochoke. These are nothing more than a big black plastic fuel waster. They enrich the circuit when the engine is "cold" and they sometimes don't turn off, causing you to run way too rich for way too long. The autochoke on my 150 was removed and I've never had a problem starting my bike, warm or cold. Removing that will undoubtedly save fuel. And, combined with the other things I've mentioned, you can get a pretty good top speed right out of the box. She's on 87 miles right now and it looks like she still has a 1/4 tank. These things only hold like 1.1 gallons. So her mileage is looking pretty good.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Where did you get it from, what kind is it, and how was shipping? I'm in an apartment, so shipping is an issue for me.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
In hypermiler central
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
90 day: 35.93 mpg (US)

Basic Miata - '06 Mazda Miata Touring
90 day: 30.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 55
Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Send a message via AIM to 1337
Update on my scooter hunt:

I found a Honda Elite 250 about an hour drive from here. I'm renting a truck tomorrow and driving out there to look at it. Chances are, I'll be a proud scooter owner within 24 hours!
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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99Lecouch, Sorry for the delay. I don'tt have the link on hand as I'm on vacation and not using the internet all that oftern. Once I get back in town tomorrow, I'll post that link here.

It was an ebay dealer named gold887 or something along those lines. I'm not sure. The brand is SSR "yadda yadda yadda." It was shipped to a gas station across the street from my neighborhood. Lift gater service is $50 extra but in your case I think it's worth is.

Like I said, I'll send you the seller's link in a day or two.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
Driving the TurboWeasel
 
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Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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FREE SHIP~ 49CC EURO CLASSIC MOPED SCOOTER < 50cc -PINK:eBay Motors (item 120420782125 end time May-21-09 13:00:27 PDT)

There you go.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
Driving the TurboWeasel
 
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Awesome!

Those are some cheap scoots. I'm kinda worried about parts and whatnot when they break. Yeah, I'd have the car, but rather not have the scoot down for a week.

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