Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Popular Mechanics - Honda Express Moped article

Honda Express is an ideal short-distance commuter. It's light (about 120 lbs. with a tank of gas and oil), and very easy to ride. Unlike a moped, it has no pedals. A unique system allows easy starting. You simply press down the start lever with your foot two or three times to "wind the starter up." Then you pull a lever and the engine starts. The 49-cc two-stroke engine will propel the Express at a maximum speed of about 30 mph. The clutch is automatic, and there are no gears to shift. It has turn signals, lights, horn, and is licensable for the street (if licenses are required). Gas mileage is over 100 mpg. Ideal for short trips, the Honda Express NA 50 costs $455 (back in 1980). A less expensive version is also available.

Using online calculators... I estimated a brand-new Honda Express NA 50 would cost approximately $1,161.62 today! (using a 155.31% inflation rate)

To view this archived ad for Popular Mechanics, click here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Honda Express Skateboarding Video

Ha! Gotta love the fact they're using an early 77-78 Honda express moped to pull the skateboarders around with. I wouldn't recommend taking the nc50 scooter off any jumps.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drain Bolt Honda Express Moped - Where Is it?

I recently have seen the question, "Where is the transmission drain-bolt for my Honda Express moped located?"

Well, here it is (click picture to enlarge):

It is recommended that you drain your transmission oil and replace with new oil every 24 months or 2,000 miles - regular service period - change at month or mileage, whichever occurs first.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1977 Honda Express Moped Scooter For Sale

I will be occasionally featuring Honda Express nc scooters for sale in the United States in this blog. I will only post it if has the potential of being a good deal. Also, I will do my best to pull down this post if I see the honda scooter moped for sale is sold.

This NC50 moped is located in Henderson, NC ( and is a vintage 1977 Honda Express nc 50 moped. Here is the craigslist posting information:

asking $625
(could probably talk him down to $450)
"I am selling this 1977 honda express moped scooter. It is legal to drive on the road. It will get up to 28 miles per hour. It is in great condition. I also have the hauler that was made to haul this behind a car or something. It has a little over 800 miles. I also have a Motobacne scooter but it is not running it needs a petcock and a tire. I am asking $300 for it. It is the blue scooter in the picture. Cash Only and serious inquires only please. The price is negotiable. If you have any questions you can email or call 252-572-4416 and ask for Mickey THanks"
You can find the craigslist posting here:

My take on this moped for sale is that he's asking too much. But, the mileage is REALLY low for being a 1977 honda express moped. If you are a real moped enthusiast, you could probably get a nice deal and take both off his hands. Good luck hunting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How To Clean Honda Express Moped Carburetor - nc50 scooter carb clean air filter check oil

Here is a video of how to clean a 1978 Honda Express moped carburetor and air filter. The video give step by step instructions on the best practice of removing, cleaning, and reinstalling the Honda scooter carburetor. You will also find a picture and text step by step of how to clean a Honda Express nc50 carburetor on this website. Check back often for more "How To" videos on many aspects of the Honda Express moped like tips and tricks, performance tuning, top moped speed, honda express manuals, what type of oil to use, and much more.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Honda Express Top Speed - NC50 Max MPH Speed Limit

So, what is a Honda Express moped's top speed? Well, they don't have a governor built-in like you can have on cars or other motorized vehicles. The stock engine on an Express nc50 moped is 49cc. Here are some common factors that will determine the TOP SPEED of your express scooter:

  • Grade of gasoline/petrol fuel - If you use the cheap stuff... you will get lower performance. We all know Honda mopeds are not built as a stock performance bike, but the fuel grade really does make a difference. As with many types of engines, the better the fuel... the better the speed, acceleration, performance. The premium grades of gasoline have additional additives an higher octane (which burns faster). So, try using a high grade gasoline (octane greater than 90) to increase your Honda Express moped top speed.
  • Type of oil your moped uses - Again, the lower quality oil... the decreased chance of performance. You want to use a honda moped oil that will increase the moped's performance like Lucas semi-synthetic 2-cycle engine oil. Don't just use any type of oil (like regular car motor oil), because it could literally cause your engine to "melt-down."
  • Gear oil in the crank case - Is the gear-oil in the nc50's transmission case is low or old this could slow the chain and gears down from turning at their maximum rate of speed. The older the oil gets and the more it is used, the lower the oil's viscosity potential becomes.
  • Air in your tires - This is a simple one, but easily missed. Inflate your 1978 Honda Express nc 50 tires to the correct PSI labeled on the moped's rear fender. Or, consult your Honda express moped manual. Cold tire pressure: psi(kg/cm2) : FRONT 21(1.5) REAR 28(2.0)
  • Wheel ball bearings - If you moped scooter has been neglected or someone has reassembled the wheels incorrectly you could be loosing precious moped top speed due to this. You can repack your wheel bearings using wheel bearing grease at any performance bike shop.

    New spark plug - Make sure your spark plug is clean. If there is oil or corrosion then this will hinder your honda scooter's top speed.

  • Clean air cleaner - Your honda moped's carburetor needs to receive the proper amount of air/oil mix to operate properly. If the honda air filter/cleaner does not get enough air you can find you honda express motor lacks power.
  • Too much weight - No offense... but do you weight too much? The lighter load on the moped... the faster it goes. The 1978 Honda NC 50 scooter has a "vehicle capacity load" of 180lbs OPERATOR ONLY. Front 7lbs (with optional carrier fitted) Rear 11lbs.
  • Muffler no holes - Check to make sure your muffler is free from major holes or rust spots. If exhaust comes out any other part of the muffler than the tail-pipe, you could be loosing engine compress and top speed too.

So, if you have inspected the things listed above you should find that your 1978 Honda Express nc 50 moped's top speed is 25-30 MPH. Under optimal conditions you should be crusing at 30 mph with good fuel and oil. Although, the 1978 nc50 was designed for a normal max speed of 25 mph (according to manual documentation).

You can always INCREASE your Honda Express moped's top speed by "Performance Tuning" it. I will go into further detail in the weeks to come about how to and where to buy parts for performance turning your Honda Express II, Honda Express SR and Honda Urban Express moped.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honda Express Advertisement - Follow The Leader...

Just had to post this 1980 Honda Express Moped Scooter Motorcycle 2-Page Ad, I found online today. You can actually purchase a copy of the ad for $14.99 if you have money to burn on vintage Honda NC 50 moped memorabilia. Look how happy they are riding their Honda Mopeds! The lady is even loading her groceries onto the express moped's baskets.

'100 mpg and Air Conditioning' - classic.

You can view the original ad here:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honda Express Scooter or Moped 1978 nc 50???

What’s the difference between a gas scooter and gas moped? I am sure you have asked yourself this question at one point or another. What do I call my Honda Express? Moped, Scooter, or both? I hope to draw a distinction between the two terminologies and introduce some new ones to you.

To the moped novice these two terms could be used interchangeable. You will find that many moped for sale online websites that will say they have cheap mopeds for sale, but in all actuality… they are all 2000 and up models of scooters. That kinda’ ticks me off. When I think moped, I think vintage 1970’s or 1980 Honda, Puch, Motobecane, Peugeot, etc. I don’t think of 2009 i-scooters like Baja, Speedster, Ezip, etc. For many, just looking at a picture will tell you immediately if it is a moped or scooter.


The source of the term “moped” is motor-pedal. Fundamentally it can be described as a combination of a bicycle and motor, thus making a powered bicycle. Traditionally they are a step-through design where the rider doesn’t have to step over a cross-bar to get on the moped. On almost all vintage model mopeds, like the Honda Hobbit PA50I and PA50II, you would start the moped by peddling and using the choke. Also, like the Honda Hobbit model there is a transmission switch on the rear gear box that allows transferring motor power from the moped engine to the moped’s pedals. This allows the rider to pedal the moped just like a one-speed bicycle. Most mopeds are designed with two-wheels; although, many have been designed with three or four wheels and classified as mopeds. The normal engine displacement of a moped is 49cc’s and are restricted to 30 miles per hour (mpg), with a few variations. The “legal” classification can vary state-by-state. Many government organizations like your local Department of Motor vehicles will label mopeds and scooters as both mopeds. It makes since in many ways, otherwise they would have to require two separate registration plates and forms.


A scooter is a smaller (less powerful) version of a motorcycle with the rider rests their feet on peds or footrests that are supported by the bodywork. Again, scooter many times provide step-through ability for the rider and don’t require rider to step-over a cross bar like a bicycle. Scooter is more of a newer term that can be used for classifications of 1990’s and 2000’s models. They are created for low-power short distance and duration travel with engines between 250cc and 50cc. There are exceptions like the Maxi scooters with engines from 250cc to 800cc.


This is a relatively newer term I have heard to classify the gray area of mopeds and scooters. For instance, the vintage 1978 Honda Express nc50 moped does not have moving pedals to start the ignition. Instead, the express has pegs for the rider to place their feet on during travel and ignition is performed by a ratchet pedal that stores tension and is release to turn-over the engine.

Term PED:

This term is used as a general moped and scooter term among moped rider clubs, groups and owners. This term is nice because is general use and bridges the gap between mopeds with and without peddles.

I hope this sheds some light on the classification and terminology you use to communicate you favorite moped, scooter, noped, ped, etc. You will find lots more information on Honda Mopeds and Scooters on this site.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1977,1978,1979+ Honda Express Moped Parts...

So, I thought it was about time to let the cat-out-of-the-bag and let you in on some good moped parts websites. These are some of the best. You get can just about everything from express alternators, carburetors, nc 50 clutch, moped drive-train, final gears, honda express crank case, oil pump, express reed valve, crank shaft, moped piston, 1978 express air cleaner to frame, seat, front fender, honda rear fender, fuel tank, nc carrier, muffler, and much much more.

So, without further adieu (not in any particular order)...

  • CMSNL - Netherland company - CMSNL specializes in Honda Motorcycle Parts, Kawasaki Motorcycle Parts, Yamaha and Suzuki OEM and Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts for Classic Bikes, Dirt Bikes, ATV's, Snowmobiles and more. Here is their current list of 1978 Honda Express Moped Parts for Sale Online.
  • TreatLandTV - United States, San Francisco - FAST SHIPPING - VERY FRIENDLY. Moped discount parts superstore. They don't have a tremendous inventory of Honda Expess exclusive parts, but they do have "largest, most bizarre and disturbing collection of aftermarket moped parts in these fair lands."
  • 1977Mopeds - West Coast USA - The best place for new and vintage moped parts, accessories, and high performance pipes, kits, and carbs. Here is a list of their exclusive Honda moped Express parts.

  • Handy Bikes USA - Columbus, Ohio - The largest distributor or vintage moped parts in the USA! They don't have a wide selection of only Honda Express parts, but they do have a handy list of general moped parts for sale.
  • The Scooter Guys - Gardena, California - Some used parts and information on Honda Express mopeds.

  • Cheap Cycle Parts - Started over 30 years ago as a motorcycle sales and service shop, has since grown into the premiere one-stop source for motorcycle & ATV parts, accessories and apparel.
  • Moped Shop - Saddle Brook, NJ - Moped Warehouse is THE source for new and used moped parts. We carry thousands of obsolete and NOS moped parts. also has high performance moped parts for moped racing. Tomos, Puch, Avanti, Batavus, Bianchi, Cosmo, Derbi, Garelli, General, Honda, Indian, Jawa, Kinetic, Kreidler, Kromag, Lazer, Minarelli, Morini, Motobecane, Motomarina, Negrini, Pacer, Peugeot, Sachs, Scorpion, Snark, Suzuki, Trac, Vespa and others!

  • Bike Bandit - Motorcycle Parts at The Web's most trusted source for Motorcycle Parts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How To Clean a 1978 Honda Express Moped NC50 Carburetor...

I am going to outline some suggested steps in order to remove and clean a 1978 Honda Express nc moped carburetor, and they reinstall it. I hopefully will include photos I have taken to document the process. I find the photos are good demonstration tools to help others follow along or correctly put things back together if you forgot how you took it apart on a '78 Express motor bike.

  1. Shut Off Fuel - Turn the fuel value to OFF that is attached to the moped's petcock.

  2. Put Container Under Moped - I happened to have a large plastic sheet that I put under my express moped to protect and collect any fuel that spilled when doing maintenance. You could use card board, plastic tub, newspapers, whatever to catch any spills.

  3. Stay Away From Flames - Do do your honda moped maintenance near flames or anything that could ignite the gasoline fumes. Don't DIE working on your moped.

  4. Remove Air Cleaner Covering, Foam Air Filter, Filter Unit - See pictures below. Also, note that there is no foam 1978 nc50 Honda Express Air Filter/Cleaner on the table. That was because the previous owner never put it back on!

  5. Remove Throttle, Choke Attachment, and Fuel Line - Carefully unwind the plastic honda express throttle cord attachment. The nc50 choke cord attachment to carburetor will require a adjustable wrench to remove. Finally uncrimp the little tensioner ring around the rubber fuel line that is attached to the moped carburetor. You will find out quickly if you forgot to shut off the fuel, because gasoline will come spilling out everywhere. Granted, you will get some gasoline spilling out because there is still fuel in rubber line.

  6. Remove Carburetor Itself - There are three bolts holding the Express Honda carburetor in place. Once the bolts are removed, it should freely be taken out. Gasoline fuel will continue to spill out that is left in carburetor.

  7. Clean The Carburetor - BE CAREFUL NOT TO LOOSE YOUR HONDA EXPRESS NC 50 FLOAT PIN. The part is very small and will cost you if you loose it! I used "STP Carburetor Cleaner" to clean the moped carb. You can find the product at many local PepBoys or AutoZone.

  8. Inspect The Components - Take care to inspect the moped's plastic float, rubber honda moped gasket ring, express float pin, and honda express carb main jet. Take care to use a can of compressed air and blow out the valves and make sure they are not obstructed. When the carburetor is put back together you don't want any water left in it. Get it dry as a bone. You could remove and clean the throttle stop screw and/or the moped air screw, but I didn't. I figured they were set properly before and I didn't need the hassle of re-calibrating it.

  9. Reassemble Carb Components - Should only take a few minutes once they are cleaned and dried. Just reverse the steps taken to remove it. Once I reinstalled the carburetor onto the Honda moped express frame and connected the fuel line, I opened the drain screw in the float bowl. When I turned the fuel lever to ON this allowed the fuel to fill the float blow and "bleed" out the air. Probably didn't need to do that, but I did and it worked.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where's My 1978 Honda NC 50 Air Filter?

I finished cleaning my 1978 Honda Express nc50 carburator on my moped and began to reinstall it. As I started to replace the air cleaner on my Express Moped, I noticed I couldn't find where I had set it down. I searched for a few minutes and then realized... I NEVER TOOK IT OFF!

The moped foam air filter is labeled #7 in the following diagram:

The previous owner had failed to re-install it. Yikes! That might contribute to why I have been having back-firing problems with the moped at top speeds. I realize the 1978 Honda nc 50 foam air filter needs to be soaked and then lightly rung before being place on the moped. The saturation of the oil in the foam air cleaner helps to provide the proper mixture of oil/air.

So, began my search online to find new cheap Honda Express Moped parts that would list the foam air filter part. I shortly discovered the Honda part #:

OEM#: 17205-147-000

Found picture of part on

Was able to find the part on part shows up on search result page for Honda Express Element Air Cleaner. It looks like I would pay $11.78 for part with shipping.

I first called local PepBoys Automotive to see if they had some performance foam filter material I could make my own filter from. The guy wasn't very helpful and just said... "No." I also tried calling a local motor bike shop and they told me they could get honda express nc50 foam performance air filter material by the sheet. They didn't have any in stock but they could order it for $10.

I went with Bike Bandit's moped parts and paid the $11.78 for part w/ shipping.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do you own a 1977, 1978, 1979, or newer Honda Express nc 50 Moped?

Hello all! Just wanted to give everyone a chance to tell the world they own a Honda NC 50 (Express) moped. So, I'm asking you to post a comment with your year and model Honda Express below along with your general location. Example:

-=JFK=- 1978 Honda Express NC50, New Hampshire United States

Please feel free to post any different models of the Honda Express moped like the Honda Express II, Honda Express SR, Honda Urban Express.

Hopefully this site can become a resource for fellow Express Noped owners to share tips/tricks, information on where to buy Honda Express moped parts, buying and selling cheap Honda Express mopeds, get honda express manuals, how to replace Honda Express headlight, and much much more.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Honda Moped Express NC 50 is LEAKING GAS!

What the heck? I have been riding my Honda moped to and from work (20 miles) for a number of days now. Granted my '78 Honda Express is 31 years old and problems are to be expected, but things were going so well.

Here is the deal. As soon as I had the Express in my yard and it was parked, I noticed that gasoline was litterally pouring out of a hose that connects to the Honda Express carborator and snakes down to below the engine. This tube serves as an "over-flow" for the bowl in the carb. So, if too much fuel is in the carb it has somewhere to go.

Well, I rotated the switch on the petcock from ON to OFF and the fuel stopped flowing out the rubber tube. It was going to completely drain my tank of fuel had I not done that. That took care of the immediate problem, and now I had to find a solution.

So, off to "Honda Express NC50 and Express II NA50 Mopeds > Honda Express NC50" on "Honda Express NC50 and Express II NA50 Mopeds - Message Board - Yuku" I went. Low and behold... I find a recent post for "1981 NC50 Leaking Gas". Someone described their problem as such:

"Just bought a 1981 NC50 about a week ago. It starts right up and runs great. However, gas keeps running out of a small tube underneath the engine, in front of the kickstand. I first noticed it when I turned off the engine after riding it. It stops if I turn off the fuel valve. Is this normal? If not, how do I fix it?"
After reading several of the posts, it seems that I might need a new express carburetor float, float pin, or mounting screw. I will have to open up the Honda NC50 carb to tell. I also need to find out where to purchase these parts... cheaply! You can get a set of all these for the rip-off price of $60 with shipping on Ebay... OUCH!

Here is service manual for Honda Express nc50 carburetor diagram:

One person posted the following as their solution that fixed the problem:
"So, I was dumb and didn't know that the cylinder thingy had grooves on it so your advice helped me, I just pulled it out, I was lucky I didn't damage it. The original problem was that I was leaking gas out of the carb. The needle wasn't closing off the seat. The pin that holds the float was bent so when it would sit one way it wouldn't push the float up to close the seat. We fixed it for a day because we just happened to put the pin in so that it laid well enough to close off the seat. We straightened out the pin and now it closes off that seat. It was frustrating taking that carb apart 10 times. Each time we thought we fixed it then wed get it all back together, turn her on and it would just pour gas out. Glad its fixed."

I am hoping once I get the carb open I will have a better understanding of what is actually malfunctioning. I will be sure to post photos of the process for others. Wish me luck!

You can find my next post of repairing/cleaning my 1978 Honda nc 50 Express carburetor here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What type of OIL should I use in my Honda Express Moped?

Good question. I have read and have been told that any 2 stroke (2 cycle) U.S. TC-W3® certified oil should work fine. I have also heard a synethic or semi-synetic oil will improve your Honda Express ped performance. I have used Lucas Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Racing Oil with very good results. It has the following description:

"Lucas Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Racing Oil's high performance, low ash formulation is made especially to meet the needs of high performance racing engines. It's suitable for use in air-cooled or water-cooled or water-cooled two-stroke engines. It's clean burning "smokeless" and helps to reduce carbon build-up. Prevents piston burning, spark plug fouling, ring sticking and corrosion caused by combustion residues."

It comes in a variety of sizes and can be purchase at your local Auto-Zone or PepBoys.

I need a Headlight / Bulb for my Honda Express nc50!

Don't worry... even though your Honda Express NC50 could be 31 years old, you can still get a replacement headlight for it. You have many options to choose from. I will list some suggestions below to get you started. If you do choose to purchase a new headlight, you should know it will also fit the following Honda Moped models:

NC50 - Honda Express - 1977-1983 Yrs.
NA50 - Honda Express - 1979-1981 Yrs.
PA50 - Honda Hobbit - PA50 I & PA50 II Model's - 1978-1983 Yrs.

Purchase a "converted" headlight - cost $27.99 (+shipping). This is where you get the most BANG for your buck. If you purchase a converted one it looks just like the stock sealed beam except you can replace just a $2.99 bulb if the bulb burns out. It comes with one 6v 15w 15w bulb included:

Purchase an over-priced headlight - cost $64.99 (+$15 shipping) OUCH!. You can seach it on Ebay: CLICK HERE.

"Convert" the headlight yourself - cost $2.99 for bulb (+time spent soddering). Some people have had success and others have said it's too much work. You decide, but it is the cheapest option.

Quote from person who had tried to convert:

"I have tried the honda express headlight repair and i don't recommend it. while it is true that you can swap bulbs, you must first remove the old bulb, cut out some of the sheet metal so the new bulb will fit through, and then put in the new bulb the problem i have found is that the original bulb is much taller than any replacement bulbs i have have found, and that severely affects the focus of the light. the original bulb is tall so that the light source sits and the "focal point" of the convex reflective surface, which means that the headlight beam is in the proper focus. when you put in a shorter aftermarlet bulb, it does not sit a the correct position (the focal point) and thus the headlight beam is not at all focussed and you get this very wide beam that spreads out all over the place but is not very bright. you don't need a large, spread out beam - you need a small focussed one that is bright. for that reason, i have decided to cough up the $ and buy the factory headlight."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What does a Honda Express Moped look like?

In case you are interested in restoring an older model Honda Express, you might want to see some pictures of what they should look like. Or, perhaps you want to see if others have done some modding (modification) from their stock look and feel. Either way...

You can find lots of 1978 model pictures here:

Moped Army:

Here are a few floating around on Google Images:

Need a Honda Express NC 50 Manual?

File is LARGE (28.2 MB)
May Take Several Minutes To Download

This is the official 1977 to 1983 Honda NA/NC 50 Express Factory Service Manual. It provides service, repair and maintenance information for 1977 to 1983 Honda NC50 Express moped/scooters, 1979 to 1981 na 50 Express II models as well. Contains complete information on servicing your motorbike machine including wiring diagram, special tools, and troubleshooting information.

NOTE: This original book is out of print and available as a high quality reproduction only.

Other types of Honda Express Shop Manual can also be found here:

Honda Express NC50 and Express II NA50 Mopeds Forum

Expressly Honda Forum - It is FREE to register and has BOAT... I mean BOAT loads of information on Honda Express models. This website has everything from Honda Express repair to sales. The content is user driven with comments and postings. The moderators are good and people post lots of great pictures.

When I first got my ped, I posted to someone whom I thought had a similar problem. It turned out the problem was with my moped's carburetor and not fuel line or air filter. They responded same day!