A bike for a 15yr old, where do we start? Obviously it has to be 50cc with or without gears, not tuned/modified, for the ITV they now do a max speed test to ensure compliance along with the usual noise limits, etc etc. New or second hand, well known brand or chinese import, these were all questions that had to be considered when the youngest member of the Bikers España team embarked on his journey towards motorised two wheeled freedom.
For me as the parent of said 15yr, old safety was also a priority.
The question of new or second hand was quickly dispensed with due to the costs involved, its a shame but new 50cc bikes are so expensive, especially when you start looking at the "cooler" end of the market. So the hunt was on for a second hand something.
After a bit of searching mainly on Motos.net and Millanuncios.com it became clear that for about 400€ - 700€ something suitable could be aquired. Unfortunately looking closely at some of the bikes on offer we started to realise that although you could get something for this amount you would have to be lucky to get a good one or spend a long time searching and viewing. Worn or perished tyres, faulty brakes, damaged bodywork and this on bikes described as good condition!
In stepped an old mate of mine who now lives in Costa Rica, but spends a few weeks a year in Spain, during a Skype chat he offered to donate an old Peugeot Trecker 50cc to the cause, which had been festering in the back of a garage for a few years. With condition unknown, I had seen it a few times previously and even knew the original owner, we went to pick it up. Languishing in the back of a relatives store room covered in a layer of dust, muc and diving stickers, the little Peugeot didn't look too bad.
Once home we blew up the tyres, gave it a quick wipe over and took some pictures, how bad was it you are asking? As with any bike of it's age 10yrs, running mostly original parts it would need a bit of TLC and replacements here and there, so a list was drawn up including:
- Tyres - perished
- Mirrors - Rusty and damaged
- Indicators - Not working and one hanging off
- Side panels - Duct taped together, broken bracket
- Exhaust - Rusty
- Brake disk - Rusty
- Battery - Flat
- Brake resevoir - Glass missing
- Number plate - Bent and faded
- Seat cover - Torn
- Handlebar switches - Paint missing and corroded
- Body panels - Covered in stickers, scratches and discoloured with age
But it was free after all.
The first job was to complete all of the official paperwork for the change of ownership, which in itself was not straightforward as the owner no longer lived in Spain. Once that hurdle was overcome and everything was sent off we then had to wait an extra month for its return as DGT, the equivalent of DVLA in the UK close for the whole of August and no paperwork is processed.
Finally after the paperwork was returned and the heat of the summer had dissipated a little, the work would begin. Stripping the stickers off and removing the bodywork so we could get to the engine and electrical components, this revealed a few additional issues but nothing too traumatic. The battery was charged and temporarily refitted, a splash of new 2stroke oil and fuel added and with a prod of the starter the little peugeot spluttered into life.
Over the next few months parts were stripped and painted, new parts were sourced and it all started to come together. That is until the indicator problem resurfaced. Replacing both rear indicator units, cleaning the front ones and replacing all the bulbs had no effect. A bit more research was done and the flasher unit was replaced, still no joy. Next a thorough diagnostic session and inspection of the wiring loom took place and all seemed well, apart from the switch itself. This was a bit of a suprise, as was the quote of nearly €100 for a new replacement.
Out with the tools again and after only a few minutes the switch was in bits on the bench at which point it became apparent that someone had stripped it before and misplaced two contacts. Obviously the parts are not available so we spent a day trying to manufacture some new contacts before giving in and ordering a second hand replacement. This was duly stripped, checked and painted before fitting and lo and behold we had indicators.
The bodywork was repaired where needed and doused with a liberal coating of plastic specific paint in a nice gunmetal for the runninig boards and a couple of different blacks for the matt and glossier areas. Painting has never been a favourite of mine, but its amazing what you can acheive with some rattle cans and patience.
The last two pieces to fit were the seat cover, which was a special order from a UK based leather manufacturer and a new number plate to finish the whole thing off.
Overall we are very happy with the bike as it now looks, and with the new front disk, master cylinder and new tyres it should stop and handle as well if not better than it looks. All in, the project cost about 350€ in parts and paint, a lot of spare time over a few months and it was fun to do.
Parts where sourced from a number of places for this project including:
Not forgetting Andy and Sally for the bike without which the project wouldn't have been possible.
- Project 15 Part 1 Introduction
- Project 15 Part 2 Driving Licence
- Project 15 Part 3 The Bike
- Project 15 Part 4 Insurance