Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New stuff, and the same old thing

Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post I think, "this is going to be stupid. The progress I've made is too incremental for anyone else to care about. Does this little bit of work really warrant a whole blog update?" But then I hear Travis' voice saying, "Blog posts should just be like your own journal, don't worry about an 'audience'. It's not for them." Wise words indeed.

So I got the hobbit or "Fright Night" as I like to call it, running with the tillotson carburetor. I had got everything buttoned up earlier this week, but a series of dumb mishaps foiled my plans. First I drilled and tapped the pulse plate and threaded in the pulse fitting. When I attempted to torque down the fitting my man hands, (ok, AND a wrench) sheared it right off in the plate. Wow, what an annoying feeling.

After a long drive to the nearest hobby store, I managed to get another pulse fitting and I put everything together on the subframe. It was at this point that I realized I hadn't put a gasket under the pulse spacer, and then when I fixed that and dropped the frame down on to the subframe I pinched the fuel line between the intake and the frame causing a major gash in my fuel line. After fixing the fuel line in a janky manner, I pushed the hobbit all around my neighborhood attempting to bump start it and actually got it to fire up and putt a little bit but ultimately decided that I needed to put some more time into the installation before pronouncing it a success.
Well, this weekend I took some time and decided to do it right. I procured some actual motion pro fuel line, which I have to say works a lot better than the vinyl crap I usually have laying around. The motion pro stuff has a lot thicker sidewalls so I feel like it is much less prone to kinking. Here is the pulse line all hooked up to the carb.

I also decided that my beer-box gasket left a little to be desired so I re-cut another one out of some thick gasket material. Here is the whole carb-intake sandwich right before going into the bike.

I shot video documenting the whole process but when I sat down to edit it I thought, "wow, replacing a carb on a moped, quite possibly the most boring subject possible." So rather than a riveting narrative, I just put it to music and called it good.

18 with a bullet from Joel Kvernmo on Vimeo.

And what do you know, it runs! It started right up and goes like a banshee. Well, it goes like a slow banshee with a stock cylinder, stock pipe, and overly large carb. It's a bit gluggy. So now begins Fright Night Stage 2: The Search for a Malossi Ring and Pipe. I can get a ring for the malossi kit very easily but before I put that kit on I should probably have a pipe.

It's a very satisfying feeling to spend months on a project and finally be able to ride it around, but it's an even better feeling when that project can carry your butt up hills and to and from locations dependably for the same length of time it took you to build it. So what I'm saying is, it's all well and good to get this thing running, but the real success will be when I've ridden it for a while and can confidently say that I built it right.


  1. 18 with a bullet. nice choice. i dig the vid.

  2. glad you're getting this all sorted, I'm going to need to have someone help me out when I get back

  3. moped? that there is a healthy collect of type good sir.