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Old 10-04-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
bobfab OP
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Swap Lifan 50cc into Trail 90 (CT90)

Hey guys,

I am new to this whole scooter thing, but i am looking for some input on this. My girl and I are taking on refurbishing a early 70's CT90 with a siezed motor for the winter. I am debating what motor we are going to be swapping in there, but for a while now i have had the hankering to put in a Lifan motor with electric start and 12v . My question is, what size motor should i put in there?

My initial reaction was to swap in the most powerful plentiful motor via 150,140 or 110cc but lately i have been thinking about a 50cc motor, however it seems counter intuitive to swap in a less powerful or smaller motor.

We are in CO and here scoots under 50cc do not need insurance, registration, can ride bike trails and can park on sidewalk. So there are some inherent governmental advantages to having a 50cc mill. I, for one, am skeptical that any LEO's would take the time to read the cc's on the motor.

What would you swap in?

Sidenote: i have a myriad of other 2 wheeled machines in higher displacements, i am looking to build this little bike as a learning experience for my girlfriend and a good Boulder knock around.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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50cc is going to be really gutless but if that's all she needs then why not? My preference would be for the electric start 125 auto clutch.

BTW the only place on the engine that indicates displacement is a little raised part on one of the cylinder fins. This could easily ground off with an angle grinder then painted over with BBQ paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfab View Post
Hey guys,

I am new to this whole scooter thing, but i am looking for some input on this. My girl and I are taking on refurbishing a early 70's CT90 with a siezed motor for the winter. I am debating what motor we are going to be swapping in there, but for a while now i have had the hankering to put in a Lifan motor with electric start and 12v . My question is, what size motor should i put in there?

My initial reaction was to swap in the most powerful plentiful motor via 150,140 or 110cc but lately i have been thinking about a 50cc motor, however it seems counter intuitive to swap in a less powerful or smaller motor.

We are in CO and here scoots under 50cc do not need insurance, registration, can ride bike trails and can park on sidewalk. So there are some inherent governmental advantages to having a 50cc mill. I, for one, am skeptical that any LEO's would take the time to read the cc's on the motor.

What would you swap in?

Sidenote: i have a myriad of other 2 wheeled machines in higher displacements, i am looking to build this little bike as a learning experience for my girlfriend and a good Boulder knock around.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
bobfab OP
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Yeah, that is kind of what i am wondering:

a. How gutless would it be? I am finding online that the original honda 90cc had about 7HP, while the lifan 50cc has 2.7HP

b. Since the CC is often so small and cryptic, can you really shrink the bike to make it a non-registration-required scooter? Or will it always be titled as a 90cc and thats that.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
50cc is going to be really gutless but if that's all she needs then why not? My preference would be for the electric start 125 auto clutch.

BTW the only place on the engine that indicates displacement is a little raised part on one of the cylinder fins. This could easily ground off with an angle grinder then painted over with BBQ paint.
Buy a 150 and just grind off the one.

Rod
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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They might have the engine displacement associated with the VIN. I forget the exact laws regarding scooters since the time I was living in Colorado (and had four of em), but in Hawaii, scooters have to have 50cc or less AND have no manual gear change mechanism. It may be similar there. What I *do* recall, is that Colorado law *does* require registration (its cheap though, maybe something like $15 for 3 years, I forget exactly) and insurance. Registration gets you a small sticker, slightly larger than a postal stamp. All of the scoots I ever bought had expired registration (so I'm guessing most people buy the bike, dealer registers it, and let it lapse. I've also never gotten pulled over though, so I couldn't tell you what they do to people who don't register/insure their scoots. I would put the biggest motor in there and register it as a motorcycle. Being so old, registration will probably cost next to nothing anyway. My '91 CBR600F2 was under $50/yr, if I recall correctly. Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Lifan rates their engines conservatively compared to Honda and Lifan engines tend to make power at lower RPMs. Still with a 50cc on a bike that is bigger and heavier with wider tires than the original Honda Cub 50 it's going to be really slow. My guess would be about 35 mph max at sea level, less at 5000'.

I've put 2 Lifan 110s in CT90s. They turned out to be excellent, and just a bit faster than the stock engine. I currently have a Lifan 140cc engine in a CT90 and it's great but hard to kick over which could be a problem for a smaller person.

You'll have to check the Colorado laws on registration. Here in Oregon even 50cc scooters have to be registered and insured.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfab View Post
Yeah, that is kind of what i am wondering:

a. How gutless would it be? I am finding online that the original honda 90cc had about 7HP, while the lifan 50cc has 2.7HP

b. Since the CC is often so small and cryptic, can you really shrink the bike to make it a non-registration-required scooter? Or will it always be titled as a 90cc and thats that.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
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Here are some links i found:

http://www.dmv.org/co-colorado/other-types.php

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true

So it has to be under 50cc's, but still carry insurance. You have to complete this affidavit verifying that it is under 50cc's to get the scooter regstration sticker.

To me this means i can probably do either, get a 50cc lifan or just go with the 150cc and scratch the 1. in any case, i am not concerned about it being super slow with a 50cc mill in there. I ride 1 mile to work and 2 miles to town. It doesnt need to be a rocketship (i have a VFR800 )
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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One thing about the 50cc is you'll get super gas mileage, especially if you put on some skinny street tires. You'll probably have to siphon some gas out out of the tank now and then to keep it from overflowing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfab View Post
Here are some links i found:

http://www.dmv.org/co-colorado/other-types.php

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true

So it has to be under 50cc's, but still carry insurance. You have to complete this affidavit verifying that it is under 50cc's to get the scooter regstration sticker.

To me this means i can probably do either, get a 50cc lifan or just go with the 150cc and scratch the 1. in any case, i am not concerned about it being super slow with a 50cc mill in there. I ride 1 mile to work and 2 miles to town. It doesnt need to be a rocketship (i have a VFR800 )
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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The fully automatic motors that come in kiddie ATV's might be a good place to start. They're an e-start unit and if you buy a new one you can steal all the things from it that make noise and then sell what's left over.

Some of these motors are 47cc (weird because most are 49) although I've seen them in 90cc. The shop in Milwaukee was putting 88cc big-bore kits into the fully automatic 49cc Madasses and this might be another way to go motor-wise.

A buddy and I bought a pair of those Kikker 5150 bobber bikes and had a friend CNC machine "49cc" into the 110cc cylinder and then filled it with paint for easy viewing. Despite the fact that Indiana requires fully automatic trannies my buddy survived a traffic stop by pointing out the "49cc" and twisting the gas and making it move without using a clutch and the officer told him to have a nice day. If it had been me I'd have gotten a ticket...
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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A couple of thoughts. First a 50cc 4 stroke will not make 2.5 hp in high altitude. Probably more like 1.5. Second, your
CT90 will be questioned simply because is was a 90cc to start with. I had a Lifan 140 in a CT90 for a while and it was a blast to ride but hard to kick start. An auto clutch 110 or 125 would be a nice useful small bike and other than parking on sidewalks, it isn't expensive to insure or tag making a 50cc turd a waste of time.
A common motor swap that is a bolt in, but hard to find, is an ATC125 motor. Everything bolts up and eliminates the battery, yet powers the lights.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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.....A common motor swap that is a bolt in, but hard to find, is an ATC125 motor. Everything bolts up and eliminates the battery, yet powers the lights.
Its true that the engine bolts in but you also need to do a bit of wire slicing or swap in the wireing harness. Not too big of a problem but some good wrench turners are intemidated by electrical. Also those 125m motors are not cheap and often pretty thrashed.

Most of the time the top end on the ct's sieze from lack of oil, either from low oil level or from a cloged oil screen. what that means is that usually on a siezed motor the bottom end will be fine. A new piston, rings, and gasket set will run you a C note with shipping. Your cylinder could then be bored out and if you go with a 54mm piston you would end up with a 104cc mill, an nice . This would likely be your cheapest route if you are ok with the 6v electrics and the kick start only of the stock CT.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
Buy a 150 and just grind off the one.

Rod

You can buy bigger cylinders 70cc.90cc,110cc that are stamped 49cc. Couple of places have them . Firepowerminis.com is one place that has them. Just don't get caught doing 65mph on a 35mph bike.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #13
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Lots of info here www.dratv.com
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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http://dratv.com/85cyl.html
cheater cylinder, comes in different flavors depending on the engine you have.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topless View Post
A couple of thoughts. First a 50cc 4 stroke will not make 2.5 hp in high altitude. Probably more like 1.5. Second, your
CT90 will be questioned simply because is was a 90cc to start with.
Thats what i was wondering! Thanks!
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