Let’s try this again

So, I think I may fire up the ol blog again. Why?

Well, I still have a ton of projects going – some of which were started all those years ago when this thing was still active – and having a place to talk about them, post pictures, maybe generate some discussion, would really help with motivation. I think. I’ve always had motivation issues, not cool when you also have a lot of unfinished projects.

Instagram has pretty much taken over the blog thing. Why spend time typing a bunch of words and documenting procedures or a build when you can just snap a quick picture of the finished project, throw on a filter, add some hashtags and get a bunch of likes? I’m guilty too, but I miss how fun these blogs used to be in their heyday.

I figured heck, if it’s still fun for me, why not?

As for the projects –

In the two wheel department I still have a pile of mopeds, an old Harley, a pink and purple glittery KZ750b, and a fuckin Honda Gold Wing bobber thing that I’d love to get to work on.

Also getting super nerdy about bicycles again and I feel like that would be fun to post about.

There’s also my 4 wheeled projects; my little Datsun truck, my Jeep XJ, the A100 van, and the first car I ever bought myself that’ll become what I feel like will one day be my magnum opus – my 73 BMW 2002 that’s getting engine swapped a Nissan VQ350de with a manual 6 speed.

There’s also plenty of non-mechanic life stuff going on that I’d like to post about somewhere sometimes. I know if you’re reading this you’re probably here for the nuts and bolts, but maybe I’ll bust this thing up into different pages for different topics to control the noise a bit or something.

I’m being pretty ambitious here – making a commitment to posting to a dead blog regularly – but right now, in the moment, I feel like it’s something I can do, something that will be fun to do. Hopefully I can, hopefully it will be!

anyone look at these anymore?

eeeh here’s sparklebutt, just in case.





1968 Dodge A100 van

Last post I was super vague about my new ride because I wasn’t sure I was getting it. I did get it though, so here it is.
1968 Dodge A100 van.





It started out as a Pacific Bell service van, then in 78 was painted white by Pac Bell and sold off to the crazy old man I got it from.
I’m keeping this short, but I’ll be posting a lot more about this van later for sure.


I haven’t updated in a while because things got crazy and weird here for a while. They are still pretty weird, but I think it’ll end up ok.
I am moving again, and so am selling pretty much all of my current projects. Moving the shop last time was the biggest pain in the ass ever, and I really don’t want to go through that again.
As big of a bummer as it was, I sold ciaociao to a fellow Los Dorados member who, very kindly, offered to sell it back to me should I ever want it back. Glad you got it, Spoo.
The GPR Laguna project and the Magnum are going to one of my PNW lovers, Shannon, who will treat them right. He’s a professional bad ass car builder dude, and builds awesome bikes too, so it should be fun to see what he does with them.
Trotter went to Chris of the Land Squids because he loves those weirdo bikes.
The Virago is going to Portland, it should fit right in up there I think.
That Yamaha Trailmaster enduro thing I have is going to David Ciao in SF to replace his dumb Bajaj
The rest of my projects still need a home, though.
DR350 and parts bike
SR250 project
Dirty the dirt bike general
50cc Moby VLX racer thing
Puch A.D. H2O Hobbit mashup Bully raffle bike (I wish I could keep this one, but it needs an engine rebuild and I don’t have the time or energy to deal with it)
KTM Foxi rolling frame with a rusty gas tank
and the 68 Ford F250 longbed

I might keep one or two of those, it depends on the moving situation. I am for sure keeping Amsy, I’m still building Austin’s AMS so I figure I should just build them both side by side, which means I’ll also be keeping my Sachs parts.

I was going to keep the truck, but finding an engine for it has been difficult (V8s everywhere, but I wanted to keep it the I6). I have been watching craigslist like a hawk for a donor truck or van with no luck. An engine did come up, but it was gone already when I called about it. It’s been tough.
However, in my cl searching, it would seem I have found a replacement for the truck. I don’t want to go into it too much right now as I haven’t even seen it in person yet, but I may be picking up a vehicle I’ve wanted all my life but never really thought I’d get to own. I’m going to check it out tomorrow, cash in hand.
If that works out, I’ll be posting all sorts of fun four wheeled stuff here.

Anyway, sorry for the long, pictureless rant. I’m not sure where I’ll be moving to, it very well could be the Oregon coast, at least for a while. Once I get moved and settled, I’m going to build the shit out of a couple Sachs, a motorcycle or two, and hopefully my new ________!

Little A3 Ripper Tomos

My buddy Luke dropped his A3 Tomos by the other day for me to have a look at. The symptoms he was describing sounded like a bad condenser, though it was obvious that he had wired in an external one.
Today I threw it up on my lift and had a look-see.

A3 Tomoses are my favorite. The engine covers and overall styling is so classic.



It turned out that none of the wiring on the bike was very well connected, and the old condenser was still on the stator wired in. I pulled the flywheel and took out the old condenser, replaced a couple twisted together jumper wires with new, proper length wire and soldered it all up.

I took the bike for a good 20min ride and it rips! The Airsal / Proma Circuit combo with the two speed makes for a zippy little guy, and it should be fairly reliable! For a moped anyway.
While out on my ride I ran into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in ages. He’s got a couple Maxis rotting away somewhere and might be down to unload one on me. I would love to get my hands on a complete bike to build my Tomahawk Cup bike from, so hopefully that works out!

I also played with some Sachs stuff a little bit. I’m excited to finally have some time to get rolling with Austin’s AMS.

I’m converting his 2 speed manual to a 1 speed manual, doing some fun clutch stuff and putting a big boy kit on it. It should be a fun bike, if I ever get it finished.

More later!

Tomahawk Cup race bike

Don’t know what the Tomahawk Cup is? read this! – http://www.mopedarmy.com/forums/read.php?1,3527560,page=1

These are the classes as they were hashed out and as they currently stand –

Stockish Class
– No custom frames
– Pedals or Kickstart
– Stock Cylinder ONLY
– 15 mm carb limit
– Aftermarket pipe allowed
– Variated bikes allowed with no launch lever
– Any factory chassis or engine parts can be swapped to build a stock frankenbike.

Non-Variated Class
– < 75cc Kits air cooled
– No carb limit
– 1 and 2 speeds
– Moped H20 < 50cc kits

Variated Class
– < 75cc kits air cooled
– Bo carb limit
– Moped H20 < 50cc kits

Unlimited Class
– < 99cc kits

While I have a billion projects, a few of which might be fun in some of those classes, I decided to do a Puch E50 build for the non-variated class. I have already done the crazy, complicated, weirdo concept super race bike thing for the Polini Cup all those years ago and was totally burned when no one showed up to race and the series got canceled, so I decided I would build something simple, easy and, most importantly, CHEAP to go racing with. Worst case scenario – this race circuit bombs like the Polini Cup and I have a super rad Maxi to rip around on that didn’t cost a bunch of money and end up too much a headache to put on the street (ala VX4).

Chris Paz hooked me up with a frame. Well, most of a frame. It’s going to need some stuff welded back on, namely some shock mounts, but it’s free and a rad platform to build on!
I may take his work further and cut the seatpost part of the frame off and just build something out of tube steel to sit on, I’m not sure yet.

Other parts I already have laying around are a set of E50 cases, a 17″ disk brake front wheel, a couple different french bike pipes to choose from (Doppler and Doppler clones, I think? Not much of a choice really.), and this thingy-
KTM 50 CDI, same setup I’ve been running on ciaociao for yeeeears. Mr. Naz up in Seattle built this for someone forever ago and I ended up with it.
It’ll be perfect!

My plan for the engine build is going to be a heavily ported Gila on that 77 stuffy crank with the 77 Super Clutch. I’m going to use a pull start, so I’ll ditch the stock starting bits and cut the starting plate off the clutch to lighten it up some. I’ve also got some clutch bell mods in store, as well as lightening the main gear. I’m going to balance all those bits too while I’m at it.
I’ll probably run one of the 24mm carbs I have laying around.

The new Garage will be out soon and I’ll be documenting the build over there, but I’ll link it up over here too when ever I have updates.

This should be a fun build! I can’t wait to get back on the track!

DR350 tear down





I was going to tear it down all the way, but I figured I’d leave it on wheels for now. Makes it easier to move around.

General tank vs knockoff General tank

Some time ago a customer had one of those super expensive General knockoff tanks shipped to the shop for a project I was going to build for him. The project fell through and I ended up with the tank at a steeply discounted rate.
Since I have a bunch of legit General tanks kicking around at the moment, I figured I would do a side-by-side comparison of the two, as well as some detail pictures of the knockoff tank.

The OG General tank is from Dirty, my 81 AMS Tahoe. Many companies rebadged General mopeds, AMS was the house brand of Moped Factory out of Reno Nevada back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I kept these pictures super big, that way you can click them and see in high detail the rough finish on the knockoff tank.

I started off by weighing them both on a shipping scale.

As you can see, the knock-off tank weighs in just under a pound and a half MORE than the OG tank. That might not seem like a lot, but when you’re holding the tanks in your hand it sure feels like a lot. Also, take into consideration that Dirty’s tank has probably a quarter pound of varnish in it currently.

The OG tank is your typical stamped sheet metal, seam welded fuel tank, whereas the knockoff tank appears to be made from many pieces of thick sheet metal, cut into shapes and welded together. The welds are then poorly “smoothed” in what seems to be a half-assed attempt at making the tank resemble the original.

Click on these pictures and zoom in on the knockoff and you’ll see little pinholes in the welds at the corners, lots of grind marks and lumpy edges.


The knockoff has balancing tubes which is rad! I think some General tanks have them too, though the three I currently have do not. Not sure I’ve ever seen one in person that does either. Hmm, maybe they don’t? I thought I read somewhere some do. Whatever.

Rather than stamping the tank locating thingies out of a single piece of sheet metal, these guys cut out two different pieces, bent one into a C shape and welded it all together.

That KINDA looks like stamped metal, but it’s actually multiple pieces of metal welded together and grinded into shape. I’ll try and show you the welds inside the tank in a bit.

Another look at one of the balancing tubes. Looks like it shouldn’t leak! I hope! Also, this tank does not use the same petcock as the OG tank, which is too bad – those are cheap.

Grind weld grind weld grind weld

It’s pretty hard to get good pictures of the inside of a gas tank, but I did my best! Here you can kinda see on of the welds that makes up the “bump” on the side of the general tank.

The welds are pretty hard to see in this picture, but they are there. Eventually I’ll get better pictures with a better flashlight.

Or hell, maybe I’ll cut this thing down the middle and get a good look at the inside. I’m planning on putting it on the SR250 and it’s going to need some modification to fit anyway, maybe I might as well.


It looks like a big lump of clay!


It’s pretty rad that someone reproduced this tank, but for $300 or whatever it costs* it’s totally not worth it in my opinion. I mean, the amount of man labor that went into each of these tanks is crazy, but I’m pretty sure the guy who built this tank got nowhere near that amount. Probably more like $30. I hope it wasn’t $3. :/

I’m glad I ended up with one, I wanted to check one out pretty bad and it’ll be awesome on the SR eventually.

*Edit – I decided to look up the price, these tanks are now half as much on ebay as they used to be!
Still, at $160 (or best offer) and another $85 for shipping, I don’t think I could ever justify picking one up unless I got them to take a lowball offer.
It’s rad they offer them in aluminum and chrome steel, but dang.. those prices. All in all, I think if I ever have a need for another General tank, I’ll just hit up MA.


Finally got everything from SF. Now to get organized and get busy!








This isn’t all of them, there’s still the Motobecane VLX, Critical Miss, HobBAD Sparkle Butt, Ciao Ciao and the other DR350. But now everything’s more or less in one place and I’ve got my tools. I’m stoked!

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