I’m the kind of guy that likes to take old things and spiff them up a bit. Restore them, but not usually to their historically accurate state of being. I’ve done this with several bikes, making what I consider to be improvements to their original design. And I’ve done this for a few friends as well, on their request, so I think that speaks well of my ideas. I’ve been thinking of building an electric bike/moped/scooter for a while but couldn’t decide on what to use for a base, and then one day, while perusing the lists of Craig, I came across this bike for less than I spent on my son’s last bicycle! Say hello to my little project.
What you are looking at is more than just your average beat up Chinese scooter. You are looking at a 2008, Zapino Electric scooter. And as you can tell by the logo on the bottom of the bike, it came from the infamous Zap electric. (I won’t link to them, because honestly, by looking at their website and lack of returned phone calls, I can’t tell if they are still in business or not.) While it is the average Chinese scooter body, what is underneath the generic plastic body is what is important. It is a 2000W electric drive motor electronically governed to 30mph (for now) and was good for a 30 mile range when new. The batteries that are in it are still the original so that range has dropped to about 10.. Which is just fine for my purposes at the moment.
I got this bike for a steal, partly because the body is pretty banged up cosmetically and partly because the guy selling it just wanted it to go to someone that would enjoy the bike…that and he lost the charger at some point along the way.
In the electric world, the charger turned out to be something of a rare bird. It is 60V 5A system. 24, 48 and 72 chargers of various amps are all over the place. 60’s… not so much. This one I had to end up looking deep within the vast stores of Alibaba to find. Rare, but there, so I got it and for much less than I thought it would cost. Even then, I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if it was going to hold charge or not, but as with everything else on the bike, I got lucky. I charged, and it holds the charge, so I will get to enjoy it a bit as I work on it.
COSMETICS: THE EASY FIX
As you can see by what you can’t see, you’ve probably already realized that this bike enjoyed the typical San Diego life, by the beach and in the sun. Neither of which are good for plastic covers. You can almost see the numbers on the speedometer, but not quite. What’s a man to do?
PRODUCT PLACEMENT! THAT’S WHAT!
Well, not really, because I’m not getting paid to mention this product, but I had a box of Fast Brite Lens Restorer I’m sure you’ve probably seen the it on TV late at night. It sells online for $9.99, but I picked mine up at Big Lots for around $5.00, and you can say what you want about as seen on TV stuff, but this stuff works. Here’s the evidence. You can’t argue with results. It does what it says and it took me all of two minutes to do it. I may go back for another coat, because I think I can make it a little more clear.
That was easy! Unfortunately, that’s all I have time for today. So, up next, de-janking the body panels!