Dec 31, 2009

Year's End

It's the time of year people look back at the year ending, and talk of hopes for the coming year. This year I rode the scooter only about 100 miles. I did purchase a Honda Elite 250, capable of highway speeds. As for 2010, I hope to do a lot more scootering!

Jun 13, 2009


Spring is almost over and this is my first update to the blog this year. There is a reason. The scooter runs great, no problems have arisen. But I have changed jobs due to my employer closing. So instead of a 1.5 mile commute, I now travel 23 miles one way to work. The speed limits on the roads I travel are between 50 and 60 mph. So the 150 is just not up too it. I have taken the scooter out on a few weekend rides, but it's job as a commuter is over. I miss the enjoyment of riding every day & with the price of gas creaping up I'd really like to be riding. Somthing's gonna have to change.

Nov 2, 2008

Cool Weather

The weather has turned. Morning temps have been in the mid 30's. The scooter starts fine. The first turn of the engine seems a bit slow (thickening of the oil I suppose), then fires right up. I ride with a Cordura jacket with a zip-in lining, leather gloves and full face helmet, so the cold is tolerable for my short ride to work. Riding a motorcycle would be less bearable because of legs being out, exposed more to the wind. The only part of me that is exposed and therefore suffers, is my neck. If my ride were any longer I'd have to wear something to cover it. So for those of you who have not ridden in such cold weather, I highly recommend it.

Oct 9, 2008

Early Autumn

The weather is warm for this time of year in Central Ohio. Temps in the 50's in the mornings & low 70's in the afternoon - ideal for scooter riding. The scooter is continuing to be reliable. In fact I am going 3 - 5 days at a time without even starting the cage. I wish this would keep up for months, but I know the weather is going to change for the worse soon. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Sep 19, 2008


The quality of these cheap Chinese scooters is a topic of continuous discussion. I have mentioned a few quality related issues a few times, but now may be a good time to address this more thoroughly.

Probably the most common issue on these bikes is just parts coming loose. New owners of these scooters are always advised to check every nut & bolt on the bike for tightness. And use Loctite. This is good advise. I have had a few things get loose and this can be a safety concern. New owners are also advised to change rubber - fuel lines, vacuum lines, CVT belt. This may be good advice on some bikes, but I have had no problems with these items. I have had issues with the quality of plastic body panels. This is not a safety issue, but it is worth considering when weighing the pros & cons of paying more for a scooter.

Another concern occasionally raised is the question of the dreaded Chinese metallurgy. I participate in a number of scooter forums. The biggest & best is Based on the experience of hundreds of owners on these forums, it's my conclusion that criticism of Chinese metallurgy is unfounded. In point of fact I believe that it's just fear-mongering initiated by people who (for what ever reason) just hate Chinese scooters. There may be plenty of issues with electrical gremlins, bad carbs, loose items, and cooling issues on liquid-cooled bikes, but there appear to be no issues relating to the quality of Chinese metals. No folks, these things just don't break in half going down the road.

So the ultimate question is: are they a good purchase? Well the answer is yes and no. For someone with no mechanical skills - no. For someone who has to depend on the scooter as their only means of transportation - no (unless you buy 2). For someone who can do repairs - yes. Definitely yes. If you like the style of these bikes, you like tinkering with them and you like the idea of paying half of what a Honda or Yamaha would cost, then they are a great value.

Another related point that I have to state clearly is that part of the problem with these cheap scooters is owner expectations. A few people buy these things and expect to drive them like their cars. Stick the key in and go. No repairs, no maintenance, no problems. Then they get furious and bitter when anything goes wrong. They want to complain all over the Internet about a brand or dealer, when they are just as much at fault because their expectations are so unrealistic. Don't get me wrong - there are rip-off artists peddling scooters on the internet. But being realistic and doing your homework BEFORE buying a scooter can save a lot of headaches.

Lastly, I want to point out a new link I've added. A very helpful web page that will get new owners off to good start. BTW if you can't do the things outlined on this page, think twice about making a Chinese scooter purchase.

Sep 5, 2008


Several weeks have gone by and the scooter has continued to deliver reliable service. I usually ride it to work 3 or 4 days a week and run errands on weekends. Starts and runs great every time. I have made a couple small changes to the bike. First, as I mentioned in an early post, the rear fender has been broken. Secondly, the scooter came equipped with a carpet floor mat. Pretty silly idea. It was obvious from the outset that the carpet would not hold up long, so I have always intended to replace it. It's looking pretty bad now so I ordered both these parts from Parts For Scooters. They arrived in less than a week. The fender fit perfectly. The rubber mat I purchased to replace the carpet fits pretty well, but it has little rubber nubs on the underside that fit into holes in the floor of the scooter. Not all the nubs line up perfectly with the holes, so the mat does not lay perfectly flat. But it's darn close. And it's a nice heavy rubber. Should be very durable.

Discussions of the pros and cons of buying a Chinese scooter often center around parts availablity. And rightly so. It's one thing to buy a cheap scooter and know you are going to have to repair it. But if you can't get parts to make the repairs, it doesn't matter how good a mechanic you are. As you may have noticed, I have not bought any parts form the vendor who sold me the scooter. In fairnesss to them, I only tried to call them one day. But after placing a few calls and not getting an answer, I gave up. I don't need them since I own such a generic design. There are several companies who sell all the parts I'll probably every need. Still, it seems like a missed opportunity for Rakatak.

Jul 22, 2008

No News

You know the old saying: no news is good news. Three weeks since I got the scooter back on the road and no further problems. I've ridden it almost daily with no new issues. And just in case you are wondering, I'm still feeling that this scooter was a good investment.

Jul 7, 2008

Fuel Filters and Such

In response to Scott's comment on my previous post, yes this scooter does have a fuel filter and a vacuum fuel valve. Some of these cheap scooters do not come with fuel filters. Many people have experienced problems with cheap fuel lines and vacuum lines. Buyers of these scooters are often advised to replace these lines as part of the assembly process. I intentionally left the factory parts on this bike to see how they would hold up. Apparently mine has better quality lines than some scooters because I have had no failures of these items yet. Also just for the record, it came with good Kenda brand tires.

Jun 29, 2008

Back in the Saddle

First off, I want to thank those of you who have kept an eye on this blog even though it has not been updated in quite a while. Rest assured if/when the scooter dies or I dispose of it, I will post an epilogue.

In October, shortly after my last post, I was riding with my brother. About a mile from his house, the scooter suddenly died. I pulled over & found that I could restart it, but the engine stalled when given any throttle at all. So I pushed the bike to my brother's house and went over there a few evenings to try to diagnose the problem. Being unsuccessful and a little frustrated. I put the scooter in the back of a pick-up and brought it home. At first I thought perhaps the CVT belt broke or the clutch seized up, so I removed the CVT cover to inspect things. Everything looked fine. My brother suggested it was an ignition problem, but I didn't think it was. But the only way I could be sure was to replaced the suspect parts with new ones. And since these parts are relatively in expensive, I placed my order for a new coil & new CDI with Oregon Vintage Scooters. After promptly receiving my order (thanks Stan!), I installed the new components and voila... nothin'. No change. So I continued to look for a cause. At this point I have been suspecting the carburetor, but I can't prove it. The carb is also one of the most expensive parts to replace.

Meanwhile, I had been thinking about getting a new motorcycle. In November I stumbled across a great deal on a very slightly used, one year old Sportster. It was a deal I couldn't refuse, so I didn't. What little nice weather was left in November I spent riding the Sporty. Then I put all bikes away for the winter.

When spring returned I was itching to put some miles on the Sportster, so I did. To be honest, any time the weather was nice I chose to ride rather than spend time in the garage. I worked on diagnosing the scooters problem a little bit here and there. I tried to eliminate any possibility (except the carb). I inspected the throttle, fuel filters, fuel lines, fuel petcock, vacuum lines, nuts, bolts, fittings. Nothing looked wrong. Finally spring had drawn to a close and summer was upon me and I was getting darn tired of not ridding the scooter to work like I had last year. So I broke down and ordered a new carb (from Oregon Vintage of course). It arrived in only four days (some dealers claim THEY can't get parts that fast). I installed the new carb and... the scooter now runs perfectly.

So, I am back on the scooter again. And just in time with gas at $4.00 a gallon. I will keep this blog updated, even if nothing interesting happens.

Oct 6, 2007


The starting issue I mentioned in my Sept 6 post got much worse. So the scooter has only been on the road a couple of times in the last 2 weeks. I spent some time going over everything - checking fuel lines, vacuum line, carburetor, electrical connections, even readjusted the valves. Nothing seemed wrong. Everything seemed to point back to the battery. So just replaced it. That turned out to be the problem all along. It now starts and runs great. I got a high quality sealed battery that cost $45. This is the first repair money I've spent on the bike. Not too bad.

However, the extra loud rattle from the front end appears to be caused by a broken tab that holds the front cowl in place. I have not taken it apart yet to see if it's repairable but that is my next project.

Sep 21, 2007

An Issue Resolved

Monday I had a recurrence of issue #3 in Sept 6 post. The engine would not run when it got a little warmed up. After work I got to poking around the engine and discovered that the nut that holds the throttle cable to the carburetor was loose. Very loose. I tightened up both screws (on both sides of the plate) and started the scooter. Seemed OK. I then rode it to work the next three days and everything is fine. So I think this issue is resolved.

However, this cheap bike has always had some squeaks and rattle, but this week the rattles coming from the front end are a little louder...

Sep 15, 2007

Turn Signals

The turn signal problem is finally resolved. I suspected the switch, so I removed the fairing to gain access to it. Here is a link that illustrates the proceedure:

After the plastic was removed I was looking hard at the switch, trying to figure out how to remove it. As I'm looking for what holds the switch in and how to work around the handle bar, I noticed a white electric connector just dangling. So I looked at the switch for wires, and guess what? No wires were connected to it. So I put the connector up to the switch and pushed till I heard the click. Now I'm thinking, there is no way the problem is this easy to fix (and I still have not had to order any replacement parts for the scooter). I test the signals and they work.

Someone who works on these for a living probably could have figured this out faster. But the scooter still has not stranded me and has cost me nothing to repair.

Sep 6, 2007


A few issues have cropped up in the past few weeks that I should make note of.

1) A couple of weeks ago the turn signals quit working. I replaced the fuse and they worked - for a couple of days. Then they quit again. This time I replaced the fuse and the signals still did not work. I checked both fuses with my multimeter and they are good. I suspect a faulty turn signal switch, but as of now this issue is unresolved.

2) One day last week the scooter would not start. There was a click but the engine would not turn over. I checked the battery and it was a good 12.5 volts. So I hit the electric start button and kicked it at the same time and it fired right up. This problem has not recurred.

3) Today the engine started and ran fine until it warmed up. Then the idle was low and it died with the application of throttle. So I drove the car to work. At lunch I came home, fired up the scooter and it seemed fine. So I rode it to and from work and it still seems OK.

These are not major problems (at least not yet), but it's important that I document them so everyone is aware of all issues in this project.

Sep 4, 2007

Labor Day Ride

I got the scooter out for the longest ride yet; 102 miles! We rode some in the city and a lot in the countyside east of Columbus. I rode with my brother and he knows all the back roads, so most roads we traveled had speed limits of 45, but some were 55. On the way back we even ended up on one road that is limited access for a few miles with a limit of 65. I had the throttle pinned for a few miles and the speedo reading was about 62 (my best guess is still about a 5 mph optomistic reading on the speedometer). Not bad! This road was level, but there was one road we rode for a couple miles that had a few very step hills. Going down was great (one time when I was not held up by someone in front of me, I saw an indicated 70mph). But going back up I slowed to about 50 and may have slowed a little more if the incline would have been longer. Many of those back roads are very twisty; on motorcycles those are our favorites. The scooter handles very well. Steering was precise and stable. Transitions were smooth and predictable. The front end has a little vibration between 50 and 55 mph, but above that it smooths out. And it wasn't until I got home and reflected on the ride that I realized that the wind never bothered me. Not once did it occur to me to wish for a windshield. Fuel economy for the trip was 78 mpg. That may not impress some people, but considering how hard I was riding, I think that's pretty darn good.

Aug 21, 2007

Valve Adjustment

Did the first valve adjustment tonight. As with everything else I've done to this bike, it was amazingly easy. Both valves were very tight, so a minor adjustment was needed. For those of you who need some how-to tips, take a look at this discussion at SccotDawg:

The only additional tip I can give is remove the vent hose from the valve cover before removing the valve cover. It's easier.

Aug 18, 2007

Two Wheeled Yeoman

A couple more weeks of dependable service from the scooter. No loose parts or other disasters. She is due for her first valve adjustment, so I'll have a post on that soon. Just for the record gas mileage seems to be improving, but I can't give precise numbers because I'm refueling from a 5 gal can. 5 gallons will last a looong time.

Jul 31, 2007

Disaster Averted

I got a new nut for the head pipe. Amazingly the scooter is fine now.

Jul 30, 2007


It finally happened. As some of you predicted, the scooter has failed. I was warned that these Chinese scooters are junk. That they will fall apart underneath you. That they are death traps. So I guess it was just a matter of time. On a long ride this weekend, with just over 800km on the scooter, catastrophe struck. A bolt that holds the head pipe to the cylinder fell off, rendering the bike loud. What is to become of it now?!

Jul 13, 2007

We Don't Need No Stinkin' SUV's

Thanks, Scott, for asking about the scooter. We have had some much-needed rain here and I was out of town last weekend. I have put less that 100km on the scoot since my last post. It is running fine, no problems to report. So I thought it's about time for another post to enlighten my American readers about how much more efficient transportation is in other countries. If this guy lived in the US he'd be hauling his goods in a Suburban.

Jun 24, 2007


As promised, here is the scooter with no decals. A real stealth look. No problems this week. And just for the record, 82 mpg.

Jun 16, 2007

Nothing Exciting

Another week has gone by, another 167 miles on the scooter. Another fillup yielding 84mpg this time! I took the scooter on a measured route to verify the odometer accuracy. It is right on the money except for one small issue. The odometer is labeled miles but it is actually reading kilomters. No leaks, loose parts, or any other problems to report. 2nd oil change (much faster this time) and 1st gear box oil change(probably should have done this sooner). I did strip all the decals off, and when I get the glue reside off, I'll post pictures.

Jun 10, 2007

Assembly Instructions

I recently noticed that the folks at Rakatak have updated their assembly instruction. The have the best online guide that I have seen from a distributor. Take a look:

Jun 7, 2007

More Observations

I noticed a couple of things on my long ride last weekend. I have suspected the speedometer of being very optomistic, but Saturday I was in a lot of traffic. Most places the speed limit was 35mph. Several times I was behind cars that were maintaining a constant speed, as though they were obeying the speed limit. Each time my speedometer read about 41mph. So maybe it's not as inaccurate as I suspected. Also there was one place the speed limit was 45mph (I don't know how fast I was going but it was faster than that) and I was approaching a light as it turned red. I had to get on the brakes pretty hard. The road nearing the intersection was a rough washboard. It was pretty exciting when those bumps had me and the tires bouncing around under hard deceleration. This bike has good tires. On smooth roads this thing handles really well. I have not yet scraped any hard parts while leaning (but I'm trying), but rough roads are not it's friend.

Jun 3, 2007

Long Ride

Yesterday I finally got that long ride I've wanted. 47 miles in town. As hard as this is to admit, after this experience I am convinced that if you ride in town, scooters are a much better choice than motorcycles. There is no thrill like that of a long ride across the countryside on a motorcycle, leanin' low in the curves and running through the gears. But in the city, dealing with constant traffic and stop signs and traffic lights, the scooter is the only way to go. I've ridden for 2 hours on a motorcycle in the city; it's exhausting. But after nearly 4 hours on the scooter (including a couple of stops) I felt great. Not having to shift constantly is the biggest advantage for the scooter, but the ability to change seating positions helps a lot too. And the superior maneuverability is just a bonus. On this scooter you can sit in a standard upright position with feet flat. Or you can put your feet forward and slouch, like you’re on a cruiser. Or (my favorite) bend your elbows, lean forward and put your feet at the rear of the floorboard, giving you a sporty position. The downfall on this model of scooter is the seat. It’s sloped forward and is too narrow. You can offset this somewhat by sitting way back as far as you can. Also the closer your knees are together the better (I don’t know why). And as I mentioned before, it would be great to be able to store my helmet under the seat. As for fuel economy, well, the gauge says I used half a tank (tank is about 1.5 gal) I can not attest to the accuracy of the gauge, but from what other Chinese clone bike owners say, mine seems much more accurate that most. And by the way, I got caught in the rain for the second time on this scooter. I didn’t like it, but the bike didn’t seem to mind a bit.

May 31, 2007


One of the big advantages of a scooter over a motorcycle is the built in storage. Scooters generally have a compartment built into the leg shield and another under the seat. Of course, the more storage the better. The more space available, the more useful the vehicle. When comparing one scooter to another, it can be a little difficult to figure out which has more. Some manufacturers give storage volume in liters. But this measure does not really give the prospective buyer a feel for how usable the storage actually is. A standard of measure has become the full-face helmet. It is very convenient to be able to store your helmet inside the scooter while you're in a store (or where ever), and helmets are of a fairly uniform shape and size. So helmets make a good measuring device. One of the biggest drawbacks to my scooter (or any of the various clones of this type) is that a helmet will not fit under the seat. The storage is adequate for boxes of cereal, a couple of half gallon milk or juice jugs, so it is not really small. But helmet storage would be nice. And will be a deciding factor in my next scooter purchase.

May 22, 2007


People are always asking how fast these small engine Chinese scooters are. Thinking of it in a real world sense, mine is fast enough. It won't win any drag races, but we all know how city traffic moves. People can't seem to find the accelerator, or they are on their cell phones, not paying attention to their driving. So the scooter is easily fast enough from a stand still at a traffic light to out run the vast majority of traffic. Some one needs to be paying attention and intentionally trying in order to out run me at a light. As for top speed, I would like to be able to give definitive information, but I don't think the speedometer can be relied on at all. Sunday I was on a stretch of road where the speed limit is 50mph for about half a mile. I took this oportunity to open her up. With the throttle pegged I saw an indicated 63mph. Real speed? Who knows; I'd guess low 50's. The bike felt stable at that speed, but the cheap front suspension felt jittery. I did not buy the bike to operate at these speeds regularly, so I am satisfied with it's performance.

May 20, 2007

Oil Change

I've done the first oil change now. Much earlier than the recommended 300km, but I beleive in taking care of my engines. First off, I found that my oil drain pan is to big; it's so big around the it doesn't fit between the kickstand and the rear wheel. So off to the store I go to find something smaller. It didn't need to be very big because the engine holds less than a quart of oil. So I unscrew the drain plug and as I get to the end of the threads, the plug suddenly shoots accross the floor and the spring fires itself into the drain pan. Now, I knew there was a spring involved in this (I don't know WHY) but I didn't expect it to be this strong. When I change the oil in an engine for the first time, I like to do it slowly and carefully to make sure I see exactly how all the parts fit together. Not this time. The screen was still in the engine. Luckly the whole contraption was not hard to figure out. I carefully cleaned the parts. There were quite a few very small metal shavings in the bottom of the plug, but this is to be expected at the first oil change (the reason I do the first change much earlier than manufacturers recommend). The only trick to reinstalling everything was threading a slippery plug without cross threading while pressing against the spring. When I went to add the new oil I noticed another small problem. The big fat muffler will not allow the oil bottle to pour directly into the engine; a funnel is needed. The only funnel I had was too short and straight. So off to the store again for a flexible funnel. The whole proccess will go much faster nest time.

May 13, 2007


The weather has been ideal for the last couple of weeks. I've had the scooter on the road almost every day. My commute to work is just over a mile and a half, so I don't have a lot of miles racked up. I hope to have the time soon to devote a whole day to one long ride. So far there have been no mechanical problems. Turn the key to on, hold the rear brake lever, and press start. It never fails to start instantly. So as far as reliably getting me from point A to pont B, it couldn't be better. I have noticed some areas where there are some obviously cheap components. One is the rear shocks. I am not heavy (about 170lbs) but the suspension bottom harshly over large bumps. Another annoyance is the mirrors. They are cheap and do not stay where they are aimed. Wind and bumps keep the mirrors moving, so the mirrors have to be readjusted at least once on every trip. These are items that probably could be upgraded with aftermarket components.

May 3, 2007

Scooter Museum

Well, not just a scooter museum. Barber Vintage Motorsports museum claims to be the largest motorcycle museum in the country. I just got back from my vacation including a visit here. I highly recommend a visit. They say there are 500 motorscooters and motorcycles on display and I don't doubt it. Take a look at their website:

Apr 5, 2007


I've gotten a few short rides in the last couple of weeks, but illness, rain and my schedule have conspired to keep me from getting any long rides. Scooter is still alive and quite well. Now the weather has taken a severe turn for the cold. But I'm sure lots of great rides are just around the corner, so stay tuned folks.

Mar 17, 2007


After several weeks of brutally cold & unseasonable weather, we finally got a warmup. Since the temps last week got into the 60's it was obviuously time to get the scooter out. While it was sitting I did keep the battery charged, added Sta-bil to the gas and started it and warmed it only once. I wondered how well it would start after sitting all these weeks. Well, it fired up easily. I let it idle for a couple of minutes while it put on my gloves and helmet, then took off for a short ride. Took her out again a couple of days latter. This time I stayed out a little longer and found a deserted road so I couple open her up a little. I saw an indicated 62 mph, but I know the speedo is very optomistic. I am pleased with the acceration. I did sense a little shake in the steering by the time I got home. I have been warned about the importance of checking nuts and bolts for tightness on these Chinese scooters, so I decided to take that advice. I checked everything I could without removing any plastic body pieces. Everything was fine except for the bolt that holds the handle bars on. It was pretty loose and I concluded that I must not have tightened it fully when I assembled it.

Feb 1, 2007

More with Less

In keeping with my pondering that perhaps we can do "more with less", this post is the first in what will be a continuing series I call "We don't need no stinkin' SUVs". It would be wise for Americans to learn more about how people in the rest of the world live. Our way may not always be the best way.

Jan 23, 2007


I received the title to the scooter yesterday. When you buy a scooter on the internet you don't get a title with it. About two weeks ago I received a Application for Title form and an Odometer statement form. I returned them with payment for sales tax and fees. Sometimes scooter sellers only give you a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, which you then must take to the BMV to get a title made. I think Rakatak sent me the title because it was an in-state sale. I would judge this as a positive experience because I have heard of people waiting 3 or 4 weeks just to get an MCO.

Winter has (unfortunatley) finally arrived. Three inches of snow Sunday with temperatures forecast in the low 30's with high winds the rest of the week. So I doubt the scooter will be out for a while. My posts here will be scooter related, but I may not have any updates regarding mine for a while. I hope y'all keep reading anyway.

Jan 17, 2007


Today I am just going to answer a comment on my previous post.

The scooter idles very quietly. It does get somewhat louder when the throttle is opened up, but it sounds good. It is, however, queiter than just about any motorcycle you have ever heard. No, it does not sound like a vacuum cleaner (electric motors sound nothing like gas engines) and it does not sound like a weed whacker. Weed wackers (or chain saws) are 2-stroke engines and sound very different from a 4-stroke.

Thanks for asking.

Jan 11, 2007

Brief Break

The weather has been cold & wet the last few days, but today it was a little nicer. At least this afternoon. No rain and over 40 degrees! So I rode the scooter the short ride to work. Very fun but also a tease. I want to ride a lot more soon, but the 10 day forcast does not look good. My only observations on this ride: the engine starts quickly and easily but for the first 30 seconds or so it sounds as though it may not stay running. Then the fast idle kicks in and all is well. On my return trip I did not wait for it to warm up enough for the idle to return to normal before riding off, but it ran great anyway.

Jan 6, 2007

Rain in January

As forecast, it has rained for 2 days. So I have not had the scooter out again. I should just be glad that it's so unusually warm. I did do some further inspection and found that I have a broken rear fender. I am not sure how it happened, but I am guessing that when I took the bike off the center stand to attach the rear shocks, the weight of the bike coming down fast and hard forced the rear wheel up into the fender. So this is repair number one and it's my fault. I guess I am going to find out what ordering parts from Rakatak is like.

Inspection revealed no other defects. The bike starts immediatly and runs well. The headlight brightness varies with engine RPM, so it obviously has a whimpy electrical system. No fluid leaks. So far I am pleased with what I got.

The next step is waiting for paperwork to get the title. For some reason most online retailers do not send the paperwork with the bike; it comes seperatly. I have heard a few people complain that it took weeks for the paper work to arrive. We'll see how good Rakatak is.

Jan 4, 2007


Got 'er all put together today and rode home. Finally assembly went fairly smoothly and included the handle bars, horn bracket, front cowl or "fairing", mirrors, attaching rear shocks, and installing battery. One mounting tab on the cowl was broken off and the rear fender was broken. I don't think the fender was broken during assemly but I can't be sure. I know we didn't break the tab. It started easily, but stalled every time. After checking the choke and fuel filter, we adjusted the idle. Then it ran great. On the maiden voyage I found that the ride and handling are great. Biggest surprise yet is acceleration was much better than I expected from 150cc's. It quickly reached an indicated 50mph but I suspect the speedomoter is very optomistic. I did get a jolt one time going over a very large bump. The rear brake works great but the front needs work. I forgot to check the fluid level so maybe that's the problem, otherwise the brake will need to be bled. I hope to get some more riding in over the next day or two, but it is supposed to rain. If the weather does not permit more riding, I will just post some commentary.

Jan 3, 2007


Just yesterday my post hinted at how eager I am getting for the scooter to arrive. Surprise! This morning it arrived via Fed Ex. As usual for a Chinese bike, the cardboard container was damaged, but thanks to the steal framing inside and the very secure way the scooter was fasten to it, there was no damage to the scooter. Removing the bike from the crate was easy but time consuming (lots of nuts and bolts to remove). The scooter looks exactly like the pictures on EBay (I've heard several stories about people not even receiving the right color!). The quality of the bike appears to be good. The body has a nice high gloss finish. From what I've read about other peoples Chinese bikes, mine seems to require more assembly than most. Attaching the front wheel was more difficult than I was lead to believe; the holes in the forks, the hole in the wheel, the spacer, and the speedometer housing all have to be aligned WHILE you move the wheel so the disc goes between the pads, which is complicated by the tire hitting the caliper if the wheel is not at just the right angle. Not a one person job. I ran out of time tonight, so hopefully I'll get it finished tomorrow.

Jan 2, 2007

The Wait

The Ebay seller I'm buying my scooter from wrote to me last week to acknowledge receipt of my payment. So now I'm waiting for the scooter to arrive. They told me that the shipping company would contract me, so I'm waiting on that too. When I placed my bid on Ebay, my bid was so low I did not think I'd win. So when I found out that I did win I was not feeling impatient about the scooters arrival. But including the Holidays, it's now been two weeks since I won the auction and I am now getting very eager for it to get here. As Homer said "the waiting game sucks".

Dec 25, 2006


While considering the purchase of a motor scooter I was struck by the great price advantage of Chinese scooters over those from other countries. I read everything I could find about them for about a year and noted that consensus was not to buy one on Ebay. Obviously they are not up to the design or quality standards of the Italians or even the Japanese, but, I wondered, how bad can they be? So in the interest of hard, objective information I bought one on Ebay. The main reasons that people are advised not to buy them on Ebay is that if there are problems with it, there is not a local dealer to repair it for you and there is the possibility of not being able to get parts in a timely way, or even at all. I believe I can make whatever repairs may be necessary. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about the parts. A major factor in my decision to purchase a scooter on Ebay was price. Chinese scooters on Ebay sell for half (or less) of what a clone Chinese scooter sells for at a dealer. The basic engine design in these scooters (known as a GY6) is the same, and the external appearance is the same. The purveyors of the “brand name” Chinese scooters insist theirs are higher quality even though they appear to be identical. Considering the price difference I find it hard to believe that the quality differences (if any) could justify paying an extra $1000. Hopefully my saga will prove that either: a) paying the extra money to buy a “name brand” Chinese clone scooter is worth the money spent, or b) the quality difference is nonexistant or very small and it’s better to save the money and do a little work yourself.

Dec 23, 2006

It begins

Well the check is in the mail, as they say. The shipping company will contact me when the check clears, so that's what I'm waiting on. The pic at right shows what the bike is supposed to look like. We've all heard stories about these things not looking quite the same when they arrive. Of course I will post pics of the actual bike when it arrives.