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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Aloha!
My name is Alika, I live in Hawai'i and grew up in France.

I built another bike posted here although I think most pics are dead. It was a Z50 with a 140cc Lifan engine with a well executed frame mod to fit the carb straight under the gas tank though the frame , that set the thread on fire :ROFLMAO: Well after 8 years, the frame still hasn't split and I'm still alive ...
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Let me count you a story about my SS50 :geek:Last year I ran into an SS50 into my friend's garage, his landlord's bike buried under some shit. I had never seen one so I took a picture.
A day later I met up with a very good friend who was a lot into old Honda's and Vespa's back in the days, showed him the picture and he named the model.
He said, oh that's funny, I know of the exact same bike at my Japanese friend's scooter shop sitting there for years, maybe you can have it. I will speak to him as he doesn't speak much English and see what's up.

Well, a couple days later, I got the bike with a lot of convincing and prolly an over paid sum of $500.
The bike was missing a few little things but mostly complete.
It had been abandoned by a customer half way through the work, garage never got paid. So I convinced them they were protected by garage lienholder law especially after 5 years.
All I knew about the previous owner was his first name ( Mr G.) and that he had 2 of them imported from Vietnam, he fell with mine and was having issues with it, never ran right etc...
I immediately started researching about the bike as I had no idea what year it was or what. Engine number S50E-301925 and frame 322734.

Looking up for parts and info to tackle this up, I was more and more confused as it seems there were many different markets for these with each their own hair pulling specs and no solid one source info for all.
I ran across a business in Vietnam specialized in the Honda 67, as it is popularly called over there bc of the year it came out.
Who better than a Vietnamese can help me out about a Vietnamese bike? Perfect!! 🕺
I find their Facebook page and contact them seeing if they could date my bike with the engine and frame numbers, as I only found a few European numbers on pictures that were way off yearwise with my bike style, confusing!
Right away I get in touch with the owner, super friendly guy who said he's been riding them in the 70's.
Well it turns out it's a 1973 bike, but I guess they didn't use the 70´s style European tank out there, so ok, let's go with that.
We start speaking about 5 gear transmissions which he advised me against and it's better to use the one out of a Honda Dream 100CC 4 speed transmission .
He then asks me where I lived and he said oh, I sent 2 SS50 to Honolulu 7 years ago, send me a picture?
Non-conclusive as he said they were mint and not plagued with Chinese parts, since mine stayed 5 years off the road, he said no way they could have turned to shit and modified that bad with all Chinese parts in 2 years.
I mean the more I started to try to fix this bike the more I realized this was a big pile of Chinese crap bodged like 3rd world country style....🤦‍♂️

What are the odds, eh? Well, read on my friend ;)

I was then looking for a gas tank as it turns out the SS50 NOS Honda cap I got didn't quite fit the smaller opening. I thought, maybe it's a Chinese tank retrofitted on a newer frame?
Lost more than ever... Pinched and welded seams on the top as I saw other tanks with flat seams. What the hell ?? Original tank or not? But I found both style while browsing pics from 4strokebarn... I finally found a Chinese cap that fit looking by size. Went to the dark side on Aliexpress and spent days searching high and low for compatible parts. Learnt about Chaly's, Benly's CD, Jialing JH, E22 heads , Lifan parts, Tao-Tao and al, the Brazilian bikes to find me lost on Honda Atlas Pakistan where I realized I lost it completely. Obsessed !!o_O
Alright, let's try to at least put good quality parts on this , I discover CMSNL.com . Sick but pricey with shipping costs ...

Got a couple things to fix up cables and small trim stuff.
Got the bike started after a good carburetor clean up and a shut off valve rebuild, but impossible to ride as the clutch engages abruptly.

And that's when I opened the Pandora box. O-M-G!!
Clutch parts worn out to death weld-recharged and grinded. Clutch housing welded up , clutch arm actuator mounted on needle bearings in a destroyed bore. Some of the parts were from unknown source and heavily modified beyond identification. I see that the cylinder is 97cc markings too.
At this point I realize I lost a battle trying to get this shit be all stock . Fnck it, I need Aliexpress to save me from a big mistake and have this thing a least rideable to enjoy it a bit. I still hadn't ridden it!

I ordered a bunch more parts like a reinforced clutch on Aliexpress after comparing pics of what I could find from regular vendors and determined most of the same shit is sold at a fraction of the cost out there. At least if it breaks, I can only blame myself. Very hard to navigate Aliexpress, keywords, description and all, if you're not smart with details and cross referencing pics and other info out there, it will be your demise!!

In the meantime, I go back to my friend's house to take more pics and to look at how this other SS50 is made. No shit, same electrical tape around the headlight too.
Well, wait, What?? The speedo/ odometer is fake !! Who manufactures stuff like that? What the hell? Now I have a speedo cable on the way but no speedo. Great. I tried to find a fake one online , impossible. I have no idea if it's still produced in unknown markets but I fascinated by it! And mad too...
Back to the other bike, I also noticed the stator cover has the exact same bodged disc grinder type of job cut out for the rear control arm pivot. That's way too much of a coincidence, don't you think?
Well while I'm leaning on the bike like a thief, here comes the landlord's wife. We chat a little bit. She says hubby imported 2 from Thailand, he doesn't do shit with it bla-bla-bla . ( where is the other one?...) :censored:
Hubby shows up and interrupts the conversion from afar, no it comes from VIETNAM, not THAILAND :rolleyes:
He comes closer and introduces himself, Hi I'm Mr G. 🤝
Could you hear the gears spinning in my head? ⚙
Small fncking world eh? Turns out he lost all paperwork, he eluded the part of what happened to the other bike he imported and I surely didn't insist as I felt something fishy. Told him I had "almost" the same one and that I would love to have a copy of some paperwork to help me register mine.

That was a crazy coincidence , in no time I found the previous owner out of thin air.... now I needed some more proof about my gut feeling these 2 SS50 were actually the ones exported from Vietnam by Honda 67 Factory for some gullible collector.
I went through years of pictures on his albums online, and bam, found it! Different seat on some pics but the same odd looking red shocks!
Ok done with the story, now let's see some pictures!

Mr G's bike.
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My bike as I went to see it the first time.
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And the bike from Honda 67 Factory, even the rubber handle grips match, just not the seat, it got switched out later on prolly to look more vintage for selling.Same black electrical tape around the headlight lens, same rear foot pegs. Coincidences at too big to be ignored lol!
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So I guess I own one out of 2 SS50 here and probably in the entire state 🏍

More horror and mechanic pics to follow as I have to get them on my device to load them on the forum.

Aloha!
 

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I remember watching one of your videos of you riding the trails in paradise. Very cool!

Incredible story sir. Keep us posted the details.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hey!

Good memory indeed :)!
I will, tons of detailed pics coming.

Here a couple more from Mr G's bike:

Fake speedo:
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Different reservoir petcock than mine.
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My fake ass speedometer which I noticed was fake only til I got to it
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This tape I noticed as soon as I unloaded the bike, and I knew it was a bad sign. I didn't inspect the bike carefully in my excitement of getting something rare here, I should have offered less than $500....
IMG_3084.JPG
 

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Some things you can’t put a price on. If it provides entertainment, and keeps you busy it’s worth every dollar.
 

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In the netherlands all alarms go off if you mention ss50's or cub's imported from vietnam. And unfortunately not in a good way.

By the way, that style ignition cover is for a 12V cdi ignition... Those were not yet designed in '73 (or '83).
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Oh yeah man I believe you, you're gonna see some horror stories soon!!

Yes I quickly figured out about the cover, for the CDI pick up, hence the bodged retrofit with the cutout using a disc grinder.... I retrofitted on mine a C50 stator cover from 1984 to have the old look , very minor modification needed.
Aloha and Thanks for chiming in!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, let's go down the rabbit hole together, shall we?

Here the first disappointment I encountered....
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So I started to look up gas tank pics to understand what was missing as far as the rear mount, style and all, not trusting anything said to fit a SS50 since mine seemed to clearly be a hodgepodge of parts.
Notice how this tank isn't a screw type rear mount as mine is a rubber holder type of mount.
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LOL, look at the front mount, a simple bolt cut with rubber pieces from a kickstart lever. Clever ...
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I didn't like the look of the CDI bodged stator cover, so since I didn't know what to look for ( again, remember as I had zero knowledge about these Honda bikes to star with) I searched for Google images and from one click to the other one I ended up buying a stator cover from a 1984 C50 in UK on eBay.
I had to clearance it a bit with a hole saw and a disc grinder for the rear control arm pivot.
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And voilà, like factory :cool:

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Discussion Starter #8
Next I needed to address the non functioning clutch. Holy mother of dog!!
Look at the work that went into this! Speechless. I mean I'm not mad, ressources and means are probably scarce in Vietnam for the daily owner driver, but doing this shit for export is pure scam...
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This line looks more like a defect , I just couldn't tell for sure. Doesn't matter at this point lol!!
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Searching for a good cover with the vintage inscriptions at a decent price seemed rather disappointing...
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Being knee deep in this, I decided to go for a Chinese cover from Aliexpress. The price of a few cups of coffee later, I got this CD50 Pakistanese Honda Atlas knock off. I was very pleased with the quality, not much the look but I needed this SS50 rolling finally!
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Very rare are the aftermarket covers with the 2 internal baffles , and it came with a decent gasket too.
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It took me a while to find this damn clutch lever too. I didn't want to buy a Honda part for the simple reason I didn't trust it to fit the Chinese housing. Nobody was selling them, so I asked a parts seller on Aliexpress who had a bunch of Jialing JH70 parts for sale to source it for me. Great communication with the guy, I wasn't expecting much results ! The seals quality is crap, it's hard molded plastic but it fit well and zero leak, I was expecting some major issue with that. I'm pretty sure I fit an o'ring in there too, can't remember.
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Both these clutch parts are genuine Honda. One from the USA and from Europe. Interesting eh?
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Discussion Starter #9
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Comparing the old clutch pin thingy with oil guides. I got a new set with th clutch which was a appreciable surprise, they were bigger than what I had on the old set up, but they fit in the new clutch housing. I have no idea from what model the old parts came from. Notice the coils on the new spring on the right.
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Notice the ID of the new bearing is now smaller, so it's prolly beefier bc of bigger balls.
I got a reinforced clutch from Aliexpress again, a 3rd of the price...
Machining is not perfect, center hole seemed off but it's in the center of the bore, so all is ok.
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Have you test-fitted the new clutch cover on the engine with the big primary gear in place? To me, it looks like one of the internal baffles may not allow you to fully seat the cover in place
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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For comparison, here's the old clutch assembly :

That nut has seen better days. Years of chiseling, metal deposits... yikes

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These doubles washers don't feel right....
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One of the springs is some homemade modification shit, look at how the end got cut.
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Oil screen looks all buss up, full of metal shavings and I find the holes pretty big, crappy shape too. Don't you? 🤦‍♂️
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Discussion Starter #12
Have you test-fitted the new clutch cover on the engine with the big primary gear in place? To me, it looks like that one of the internal baffles may not allow you to fully seat the cover in place
Oh yeah no problem, like a glove. All these pics are pretty much from last year ;)
More to come :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
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Engine case prolly had a hole from the selector fork somehow and got rewelded. The selector shaft seems to have been rewelded as well.
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⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰ ALERT! This washer on my shift drum to seemingly secure the pins is the biggest mystery of this entire SS50. I cannot find anything similar on any Honda bike, I must have gone through every parts catalog on CMSNL.com. Does anybody know??

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Top left is the washer I reproduced, top right is the chewed up old one.
Middle is the stuff I had laying round to make it. I first hammered it then used the cup and the rivnut as a guide. I used the old M6 countersink bolt to have the correct result.
The bottom version is version number 1 but I wasn't satisfied with it, so I came up with the rivnut and cup spacer to center it. The whole assembly tightened, was then dropped into the hole of that thick metal plate. Then I banged on the M6 bolt head with a drift and a BFH.


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Pretty pleased with the result!
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I was also missing the air filter. It is very hard to find pictures of one installed online, I contacted a few owners on Instagram and one kindly helped me by taking pics of his while it was behind restored.
Very few used listings. Again I found one from a CD70 thanks to Google images ( if I remember correctly ). Later on I found them on Aliexpress buried in there under the most fncked up description. I didn't buy it bc the used one was a genuine Honda at the same price and didn't seem all collapsed ( I thought they were hard plastic housings when in fact it's a rubber housing.) I still haven't found out how to shove this thing into my frame , dimension wise it just can't fit somehow. I also found out the air filter was a pita to source but found an equivalent, the Chinese seemed to have stopped producing them. Anyway some users then told me they don't even use it bc it's too restrictive. Dammit, I didn't think of that. So, off it stays for now. Especially since the intake boot varies from one model to the other bc of the carburetor intake manifold angle, which didn't occur to me. Noob...
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This is the shorter rubber intake part that was on my bike :
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The weld by the gear selector arm on the case is a repair normally done by a footpeg bolt that was too long and punctured the case from underneath.

The shift drum configuration is quite common with the many Chinese engines, I've never seen that style in any Honda engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Strangely, the Honda oil screen 15421-035-010 is of better quality... :unsure:
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I also got an original under seat plastic cover thingy that I still can't figure out how it is supposed to be secure in place. Here is the aftermarket seat bolt that came out, if I needed more proof that the bike came from Vietnam... the sticker is written in Vietnamese !
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Since I received my grey accelerator and speedo cables from CMSNL, and an old speedometer from eBay for a 1968 S90, I tackled this task that turned into another mission! At this point, I still haven't ridden the bike, but at least it started.
The worm gear drive was a bear to extract !
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Well, it's seems like it's not today I'm gonna test drive this bike again... does it ever end? Literally EVERY SINGLE PARTS is beyond fncked on this bike! And I will spare you from paint details over dirt on the drum...
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I decided to order a new gear drive set from an SS50, well, again, I'm not sure what this drum set is from but the parts I got had had 11 teeth on the speedo worm gear drive versus 19 teeth on mine.
So I got a complete drum from a 1968 S90 as well. Thanks eBay.
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Notice the tiny oil groove on the tip of the old Honda part. Devil is in the details...
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Tiniest brass set screw!!
This poor bike must have been found drown in a rice field judging by the rust pitting on the speedo worm drive gear!! :eek:
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Going from onthe deception to another here. The speedo doesn't drop in the headlight unless I pop the chrome trim. I got a new gasket for it but I can't use it... Turns out the headlight bucket is made out of stamped steel??? Another mystery as I never found any mention of steel headlight housings made of steel for these Honda!! What is this part from?? The shape is not even correct for the speedo hole and th light lens... that's why the cheap lens that was in it was held by black electrical tape... Everything comes together....
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Discussion Starter #16
The weld by the gear selector arm on the case is a repair normally done by a footpeg bolt that was too long and punctured the case from underneath.

The shift drum configuration is quite common with the many Chinese engines, I've never seen that style in any Honda engine.
Oh yes, that's right, now it comes back to mind, I did notice some repair on the case with brass inserts when I later took the engine apart!

Could you explain what's Chinese about the shift drum arrangement? I would love to know more. The internals and case seemed all original to me, old crusty stuff.

Thank you for your interest :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
New parts! 6300 SKF wheel bearings, Honda seals.
I ended up using the complete worm gear assembly from the S90 ( not pictured) bc somehow the SS50 set I got didn't match the offset in the S90 hub drum cast, nothing was being driven... Talk about a frustrating experience !! At least I didn't die on my test ride bc of a bad front wheel hub!!
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I upgraded the shoes with grooved shoes. Notice how the cast on the new shoes got made by molding a set of probably original Honda shoes including the now missing metal tip set at the cam. You can clearly see the line of what would be these metal tips for the cam protection into the aluminum. Saying I'm disappointed with the brake performance would be an understatement ! It does literally nothing!
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The Honda shift drum usually has a removable shift star that actually holds the shift pins in place on the drum, with a philips screw holding it to the drum. Below is a pic of a Z50 setup, with slight variations to the design over the years on different models.

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Discussion Starter #19
The Honda shift drum usually has a removable shift star that actually holds the shift pins in place on the drum, with a philips screw holding it to the drum. Below is a pic of a Z50 setup, with slight variations to the design over the years on different models.
Interesting, thank you for the detailed tech info! I have never seen other like mine when searching for parts indeed but all the Chinese parts look copied after the Honda parts. Maybe it’s very ancient mechanism they had laying around and tossed in there?

It looks like my set up has the roller arm or whatever its name is original with a bigger wheel with a different offset for the roller, the large wheel doing the locking job between 2 pins rather than on the outer cam star washer.
Also the metal really looks similar to the other old parts. Another mystery. To me it’s old stuff. Maybe early obscure copies?

I couldn’t deal with the rotary shift pattern with the heal to toe shifter.
i drove for a few weeks with a similar shifter on bikes in Bali back in 2006 but at least it wasn’t rotary.
I bought a Western world shift pattern drum ( 1N234) on AliExpress. It was a ballsy purchase as it was entirely based off pictures. The dimensions seem to match . It was cheap anyway. I also got a transmission but the shaft lengths and collars don’t match. Some gears do though. I might stick with my old worn out transmission, it looks like it went to the moon and back but still in one piece!!
Aloha :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I worked on the rear lights and swapping out a bunch of ugly hardware that was used, like stacks of a dozen washers etc stuff like that. Mostly with stainless steel parts, button head Allen bolts , plastic plugs etc...I can't seem to locate the pictures .

Funny looking holes for the tail light... another great detail....
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I replaced the chain tensioners that were stripped
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I took the forks apart as I had rusty water skirting out of them...
The front axle bolt is the perfect tool for pulling parts back in line.
The tubes are pitted, and cherry on the cake it must be a Chinese fork as the lip seals have dimensions that do not exist on planet Earth. I'm baffled!! All complete new fork replacements are thicker. I forgot what mine is but it's a few mm thinner, something like officially 24 instead of 27 for the tubes, and the Chinese entry level ones are like 25mm. I gave up for now. I would love to put hydraulic braking while keeping it stock looking. Maybe there's a kit out there I could fit from a vintage bike? I know the CB125 twin had a cable disc brake like some U.K. SS50 5 speed, but I had one on a CG125 that I retrofitted back in France and they suck.
I also got the real steel chrome collars for the fork boots but of course they don't fit great...
I bought a plastic headlight housing too, a good quality copy for stock looking Honda's. It wasn't easy finding a black one somehow !
I also installed Honda mirrors sourced NOS in Australia.

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Alright! I drives but it sucks! 97CC feels like 37cc. Borderline dangerous, no front brake efficiency, no pick up from a stop, chokes up a full throttle. I adjusted a bit the carb but it's just another super Chinese POS.
Oh, funny story btw, the packaging from the carb was used as a spacer for the gas tank, so now I know who manufactures them lol. I can't seem to find all these pics, it's crazy!
I also got stock looking shocks to not draw attention from the previous owner with the red shocks. It's a small word out there, it's too bad bc they seemed to be good for once but the style doesn't fit.
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Went to play pétanque. That was the last time I rode it out of 2 lol!
Cylinder started to piss oil, and on my way back home I was loosing the exhaust! Luckily I wasn't too far from a friend who never answers his damn phone, I showed up to borrow tools but nobody was home. I went into the garage and borrowed a wrench , that saved the day!
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Alright, I'm pulling the plug on this crap, I'm done being nice. Tear down time! :poop::poop:

What the hell?? A plug reducer adapter? Why? A bigger plug could fit... Lol!! C5HSA.
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I think we're in for a goooood time folks! 😲
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