The Automator Puch Magnum
As I'm sure anyone who has built a custom motorcycle would concur, things don't always turn out as originally planned. Whether it's a part that wasn't compatible, a performance modification that did the opposite to what it was supposed to or a body piece that just wouldn't fit, these hurdles are intrinsic…
“The concept for my most recent completed commission, The Automator, began when a gentleman from NYC commissioned me to build a moped as a surprise gift for his brother. After chatting for a while and discussing some sketches we agreed upon a classic-turned-modern theme, including mag wheels and grinder forks. I suppose this is as good a time as any to confirm that what you read above, “build a moped” is just that – from scratch and an exercise in faith. I devote my building efforts strictly to these discarded 50cc artefacts of the past that no one has given any real thought to since the 70s. I don’t expect everyone to already know the importance and potential value of the ideals behind these machines and what they might hold for the future of urban travel, but with every new build, I hope the true potential is made more clear. (Imagine Al Gore arguing to convey the latent benefits of the Internet to your parents in 1976..!). Rogue Builds supports the movement to strive for a balance among individual convenience, responsible use of resources, and appropriate human-scale for human needs, all within a thoughtfully crafted machine.
When this commission was first on the table, I had recently acquired a ’78 MkII Puch Magnum from a friend who had decided that he no longer had the time or interest in maintaining a vintage bike. It had been stored in a parking garage for a few years before finding refuge in my shop, and although it was complete, it was in definite need of restoration, and I thought it would be perfect for this project.
The cylinder was upgraded using an aftermarket kit with a more aggressive port map while retaining the same 50cc displacement. The automatic clutch was braced and tuned for later engagement —a must for that NYC hustle n bustle. The trusty 12mm Bing carburettor and intake were increased to 15mm and topped with a velocity stack. Original points were turned into Christmas tree ornaments, and in their place, an auto retarding CDI was installed…we all love a nice ignition curve at 9,500 RPMs! Finally, a nice expansion chamber was added to collectively double if not triple the horsepower. Do they even make dynos for under 5 hp?
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