Well, the Magnum is blasting again, and I couldn't be happier about it. It made me think that I should post a little about it's history. It's kind of an interesting one, maybe not. You tell me.
A while back, before the Latebirds messageboard was overrun with porn ads and subsequently abandoned, I posted about wanting a Puch Maxi in LA. At the time, I just had my Garelli Rally Sport, and was interested in getting a bike that I could tune and make faster. Colby, who I didn't know at the time, replied back that he had a Magnum for sale and if I knew what was up I should pounce on it. I drove down to Orange County to check it out and was greeted by Shaw zipping down the alley on the fastest moped I had ever seen at the time (BY FAR. It was his now infamous 65mph 50cc Arciero.) They walked me into their (gasp) cargo container full of mopeds and showed me the Magnum. They assured me this was the cleanest magnum in SoCal. It only had 449 miles on it when I got it to boot.
I later learned that it was a magnum from Santa Barbara. All the Latebirds had seen the ad on CL but the guy kept telling people it was sold to his neighbor. Tommy finally offered $50 over asking (like $400 total) and it was his. Meanwhile, Colby had gone on a cross country moped gathering mission, and had a rigid freespirit frame. Since Tommy had a couple magnums at the time, Colby somehow, convinced Tommy to trade the magnum for the freespirit frame. I still don't fully understand this trade, but oh well.
Once in my possession, I rode it stock for a good long time, maybe 7 months. (Time moves differently at stock speed though, so it felt like a lot longer.) Finally, after collecting parts and nagging Jeff to sup me up, I got an mk65, 19mm dell, and estoril pipe on the original Za50. I had read that this was a pretty standard, reliable set up to go with, and sure enough I liked it a lot. However, it didn't last me very long! Shortly after break in, it seized. I put in a new piston and within 50 miles it seized again. The saga had begun. Shaw later diagnosed that the big end bearing failed and the con rod bent. With the SF rally approaching I sent Benji an SOS.
To be Continued...