Monday, September 2, 2013

Buddy Modifications

It's been a bit of a drama with the scooter lately.  I thought I'd post my stupidity and lessons learned with the hope someone else out there might not make the same mistakes.

Details: 2009 Genuine Buddy Scooter 125
  • NCY No Rev CDI (no RPM limiter which gives me about 2-3 MPH more on the top end then stock)
  • Deadlight replacement with 3watt LED's
  • Electronic flasher relay ELFR-1 (so I can run LED's in the turn signals)
  • Replacement amber LED's for the turn signals
  • Red LED strips from Autozone installed under the tank for more visibility
The Story:

I initially read about the now defunct and their bob combo conversion.  I liked the idea of using the dead lights up front but wanted more than amber turn signals. I found some people who had put white lights up front and stole some of their suggestions. 

Superbright LED's has 1156 LED Bulb - Single Intensity 1 x 3 Watt High Power LED w/ Reflector Lens that fit perfectly in the dead light location. I ordered two and installed them with some junk wire and quick splice adapters.  I found the positive wire running to the turn signal that is activated with the key and crimped on with a quick splice.  It's amazing what damage a little knowledge can do.

Of course I killed the battery by leaving my keys in the ignition in the garage right away.  That foolish choice was only the start.  Everything seemed to work just fine for over a thousand miles. Around the time I was about 800 miles past the second oil change, I took the scoot for a run to Eugene and back.  The next day the scooter wouldn't start.  Assuming it was just time to replace the plug or maybe the fuel filter, I took it in for maintenance.  I was right about the oil change, plug, fuel filter, battery...sigh.  It still wouldn't go more than a block from the mechanics.  

Turns out my crappy quick splicers and the low grade wire were shorting out the whole system. Only took my mechanic at a couple hours to shock himself and yank my crappy wiring out.

Lesson: Use the right gauge wiring with good insulation.  Don't use the quick splice adapters to tap into a secondary power source.  Sure it might work but these scooters are pretty sensitive.  One short and you'll lose power to the plug which will flood the engine and cause it to backfire (or die).

Now everything is 14 gauge, all splices are soldered and heat shrunk.  I've used connectors at all key points so I can disconnect the whole thing as needed.  It's run through a switch hidden just inside the storage compartment.  Power is directly from the battery (for now) with a 3 amp fuse on the whole thing.

In the end I think it worked out.  Much higher visibility at night from the front and the rear.  Might add a racing stripe out of retroreflective tape next. Then on to messing with weights and maybe add a 161cc conversion kit.  :)

BTW - My friend and I took both scooters on that Eugene trip.  I drove Nicole's red buddy and rolled over 1000 on the odometer.  The black one's got over 4000 now.  Wonder who rides more?

Happy Scooting!

Monday, February 11, 2013

XOXO Valentine's Cupcakes

As usual, I found inspiration on Pinterest this week.  Check out these cute XOXO cupcakes!

I was racing to prepare donations for the youth group's Valentine Dessert Auction, and decided these would be quick and easy.  I even took a short-cut by ditching the piping bag and opting for frosting in a can.

I think the frosting would have looked a little nicer if I hadn't taken the shortcut, but not bad for a quick treat!

Oreo Truffle Pops for Valentine's Day

I was enlisted to help a friend make truffle pops for a wedding shower.  When I figured out that they were easy, cute AND delicious I decided I'd better find a reason to make another batch.  Thank goodness the youth group needed donations for their Valentine Dessert Auction!  You might need this "fancy" trick up your sleeve, too.

To make truffle pops, you'll need:

  • One regular size bag of Oreos
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • One bag of chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Cake pop sticks (from Michael's)
  • Clear treat sacks (from Michael's)
  • Cupcake papers
  • Decorative wire garland or ribbon
1.  Place cream cheese and all the Oreos in a food processor.  Pulse until combined and lump free.

2.  Shape dough into balls about 1 1/2" in diameter.  Place truffles on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Insert a stick into the top of each truffle.  Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. 

3.  Using a double-boiler (or your microwave), melt the chocolate chips to a consistency that will be good for dipping.  Dip each truffle into the chocolate until uniformly covered.  

4.  Shake on some sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet.  Return truffle to the baking sheet.  When all the truffles have been dipped, refrigerate for another 15-20 minutes.

5.  Slip a cupcake liner into the bottom of a treat sack.  Add your truffle pop (stick side up) and secure with a piece of wire garland.  You can twist the ends of your garland around a pencil if you want them to have some curl.

Happy Valentine's Truffle Pop Day!