I need advise on a Honda Metropolitan 50 please

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by The Virginian, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    I'm getting my nephew into scootering. He's 19 and NO drivers licence, think next generation wanting no responsibilities. I had a long chat about a 50cc scoot and not needing insurance, or a drivers license. tags and a walking VA ID and you're gtg.

    Here's the ad:
    2006 Honda Metropolitan CH50

    50 cc means you don’t need a motorcycle license or insurance, just a valid ID.
    100 mpg ! A fill-up at the pump is the cost of 1.2 gallons !

    You can zip along at 30-40+ mph, but why? You will soon find that the freedom of urban scooting doesn’t involve breakneck speeds.

    Yes, 2006 is somewhat vintage, but with an engine rebuild (Fredericksburg Motor Sports) with all new parts, new battery, a perfect body, and 600 original miles, you essentially have a new scooter. You’ll get your senior citizen discounts before you wear this puppy out. It purrs like a kitten and has all the giddy-up, pep and speed you’ll ever need.

    It comes with two helmets, owner’s manual, safety literature, and a shop manual. There’s a box full of extra parts like mirrors and such, just in case.

    The DMV charges a one time $17.65 fee for title transfer and $20.25 for yearly registration. Yes, the license plate is “So cute.”

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's his reply to me via email:

    Eric

    I purchased the scooter from a guy who said, "the engine is gone." He said the bike was laid up for an extended time with "bad" gas.

    When I bought the scooter home, I discovered hat the engine was partially disassembled/assembled, much of it put together with finger-tight torque. It also came with a box of new OEM parts including a new drive belt, head gasket, etc. all the standard parts for a rebuild.

    I suspect the original owner brought the scooter to some mechanic friend who took it apart and gave him a cost estimate that he wasn't willing to swallow.

    The valves and valve seats showed signs of corrosion, so maybe he was was correct about a long lay-up with bad gas. Fredericksburg Motor Sports re-cut the head and replaced the valves, seals, springs, cam shaft, etc. and assembled/adjusted the head. I have their receipt for $200.05 and I have the valve that showed signs of corrosion. The guys at FMS concur with my supposition about the bad gas layup and predicted my successful rebuild.



    I also have the original owner's paperwork and a hand written log of gas purchases which account for the odometer reading. I'm guessing his daughter (I see the name: "Rosie" scribbled on his folder of paperwork) graduated from college and the scooter sat for a very long time.

    Since the rebuild, I've put about 50 miles on the engine, The odometer now has 602 miles when I came back from the gym yesterday. At 69 years of age, I finally got enough balls to search for its top end. At 40 mph I still had throttle left in the twist grip when sanity returned and I had to brake for a traffic light. Remember, it's an urban scooter, 20-30 mph is plenty fast !

    Finally, you might ask, "Why is a 69 year old guy selling a scooter?" It's because: fixing things is my retirement hobby. I'm currently working on a 3 hp outboard engine to mate up to 8-ft sailing dinghy that I refinished. As my wife says, "He may not be handsome, put he sure is handy!"


    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Eric
    #1
  2. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    If it's relatively flat land where your nephew lives, and if he's actually interested in scooters (and not just humoring his screwy uncle) and if he isn't over 175 pounds, and if he's not afraid to look "unmanly", maybe it'll be a success. The scooter sounds fine as a local run around.
    #2
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  3. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    The question is about the sorted past and trauma this scoot has been through. Based on this info (assuming it's accurate) would it be a contender?
    #3
  4. Buster Grumpy

    Buster Grumpy Sucker for "great deals"

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    2006 Metros are good scooters but not fast. Parts should be plentiful and I have a fairly complete parts Ruckus (very similar to the Metro) if you need any parts.
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  5. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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    Lack of initiative? May NOT even grasp the concepts of checking engine oil and tire pressures?
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  6. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    What the scooter has been through is typical for American owned scooters. They get discarded like used tissues. In my experience the scooter can be rebuilt and will be good for a long time, but only if the person who did the work is someone who knows enough about mechanical work to do a careful and disciplined job. Does the guy own a torque wrench? Is his work shop well equipped and obviously used? Are his other projects done right? You should pay attention to how the whole place looks. Piles of used parts look bad but are often the sign of an active putterer.
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  7. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    True, but it's time to learn and I'll check every visit (twice a month).
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  8. fried okra

    fried okra Been here awhile

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    I've been riding motos since 1959. My wanted a scooter about 5 years ago. I kept putting her off, concerned it wouldn't work out. But she persisted.

    So, we got her a used 2006 Honda Metropolitan. She put 15,000 trouble free miles on it, mostly to the rec center and back. It never used any coolant or oil.

    The 2006 and later are the ones to get as I recall. The 2005 and earlier being much restricted. The 2006 will run 38-40 mph on flat ground easily.

    fried okra
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  9. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Thank you for your input, very much appreciated.
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  10. aguim

    aguim Been here awhile

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    First, I doubt 'bad gas' alone would cause lethal valve rust. 10 years under the weather would.

    I'd have a quick look at the bottom of the tank (use a little flash light). Any significant rust there
    will eventually end up ruining the electrical fuel pump, and/or carburator operation.

    Otherwise a very good little machine (I had one that just wouldn't give up running wfo all the time),
    but its (absence of) suspension will kill you.

    Note : there's a semi-transparent fuel filter somewhere in the fuel line from tank to carb. Could
    tell a lot if original.
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  11. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Hey Virginian, from what I've read the 2002-2005 Mets had a rather serious issue with crankcase ventilation that caused early crank bearing failures (due to contaminated oil), so this one being a 2006 should be OK. That fix - as well as some other improvements - were introduced in 2006, apparently. Pretty good Met article here, where they talk about the issue around halfway down the page;

    http://www.motorscooterguide.net/Honda/Metropolitan/Metropolitan.html

    If indeed this one you're looking at is the "updated" version, that would place it with the best of all the Met versions, and a great little bulletproof runabout (with that ultra-cool silent starter-alternator!). Aside from "meh" drum brakes, hard to go wrong I'd surmise.

    Bob
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  12. dedave

    dedave Gold in dem dare hills

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    My 2005 just rolled over and now has less than 100 miles on it. Starts and runs perfect.

    I guess there are a couple of schools on which model is better and I am under the impression the earlier ones are made in Japan and better quality.

    I did not see a price you would buy it at. for a couple hundred I'd say go ahead. If it is clean and garage kept, maybe a bit more. Other wise I would order a new scoot from one of them chinese scooter places.
    #12
  13. minimac

    minimac Been here awhile

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    The only reservation I would have is the no license required. Here (NY), it has to be less than 50cc and capable of going not over 30 mph.
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  14. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Thank you for all the replies, as it turned out I went to see this scooter and it was clear it had been sitting out in the elements for years. The vinyl on the seat was so brittle that it would crack if you pushed on it. It did start and run fine but the idle was set at like 4k so it was racing. I walked away from this one and found a fairly good condition '11 Honda Ruckus that I'm wrenching on here. Go to page 72 if you wish to read about it and please chime in if you have hands on expereice with Honda's GY6.

    Thank you,

    Eric
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  15. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Aguim,

    You were spot on on your assessment. Thank you!
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