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.