I’m all out of self-motivation today. Time to play road rash.
In post-WW2 Communist East-Germany, if you wanted a moped, you got a Schwalbe.
This is taken from Wikipedia:
Simson motorcycle manufacture ceased in the early 1960s when the GDR government decided that from then on all new private cars and motorcycles would be two-strokes. The GDR already had a two stroke motorcycle factory: the former MZ works at Zschopau. The Simson factory was therefore given a new task of building two stroke mopeds. From the 1960s moped production grew steadily in Suhl; up to 200,000 mopeds per year came off the assembly lines.
Series manufacture of the scooter KR51 “Schwalbe”, fitted with a 3.4 hp engine, began in 1964. The year 1968 saw the merger of Simson and VEB Ernst-Thälmann-Werk Suhl to VEB Fahrzeug- und Jagdwaffenwerk Ernst Thälmann Suhl. Subsequently, the Schwalbe helped the company to worldwide fame, and in the GDR the scooter stood for the success of East German two-wheeler motor manufacturing.
To us, this looks a lot like a scooter. It’s a 50cc Two-Stroke with leg shields, a manual lever clutch, and a 3-speed foot shift. It has a right-side foot brake.
If this is not the only one of these things in the states, it’s one of a handful. I’m honored to have worked on it.
Karen from Bumpstart mag picked this thing up a couple years ago. When I first moved here, changing the tires on it was one of my first tasks working at P Town Scooters. It was covered in ugly metallic blue spray paint. The rims, controls, switches, everything covered in ugly blue metallic spray paint.
When she asked me about restoring it, it had started to backfire and randomly lose power.
JJ painted everything the closest blue that I could match from the non-spray painted portions.
I disassembled everything, cleaned it, and put it all back together. Lots of bits were missing from the carburetor, the head gasket was beyond blown, and the points were shattered.
I built this bike for/with a lot of help from JJ Herzog. You’ll hear a lot about this guy if you read my blog.
This bike was purchased almost entirely off of the Buy/Sell forum piece by piece. Frame, swing arm, tank, side covers, seat, tail pod.
JJ said he wanted it to look like an orange RD he had years ago.
Miguel Rivera did the chrome stickers, and JJ did the paint.
I built up a kickstart E-50 Motor ported and bored to match the 75cc Gilardoni reed-valve kit. It has a 24mm Flat slide Mikuni carb and a Motomatic destroyer pipe. It runs a standard CDI ignition for street riding, and an internal rotor ignition on the track. It has a new crank, but I honestly can’t remember what one I put in it. Also a 3 shoe clutch with wicked heavy springs.
All of the wiring is hiding in the side cover. This thing is not really a moped, but a twist-and-go motorcycle based on a moped.
The front end is made for a new Tomos, so the tube is way too long to fit in a magnum fork tube. The threads don’t even come close to making it down. We had to cut and weld the tube with a metal spacer inside for reinforcement. If I had been making a blog back then, I would have some cool pictures to go with these words.
Anyways, we ended up with a real hydraulic front end with a real disc brake… and spoked wheels. Nice.
JJ came up with the recessed tail light, and the final design for the foot pegs. He really deserves a ton of credit for this build.
I want to focus on some old builds today.
Bruno bought this 103 from a local scooter shop. The engine was all stock, but expertly rebuilt.
Unfortunately the frame was almost completely rusted through. It has been patched on the bottom with JB weld,
and had a dellorto sticker covering rust holes by the gas cap.
Also, Bruno is a big old dude. A stock 103 didn’t carry him around very well.
To deal with the power issue, it got a Gila kit, malossi reed intake, 19mm PHBG carb, Malossi Variator, and Ninja G3 Exhaust.
I landed two free ovens, which I will weld together and make into one incredibly scary powder coating oven.
Now I have to see if the Datsun can carry two ovens.
Today I built a Peugeot 103 engine for Shawn Kilmer’s project bike.
It came to the shop in a box, fully disassembled. Spray painted brown. Engine rusted to death, gas tank full of chunks. Crank Case cracked on the clutch side.
New engine will have nos stock crank inside of new 3-port cases with a gila kit. A tomos reed block with the metal petals replaced with carbon ones, and a sha carb with a mixture screw.
Exhaust will be a Gianelli.
This should be a moderately powered and semi-reliable build.
The chunks have been cleaned from the tank with some loose nuts and bolts and a jug of Muriatic acid.
Hopefully, I will be updating this blog often with projects and things happening involving the moped shop.