Continuing the scooter rescue, I had picked up this 1984 Honda Spree for free from Nanaimo. It was in severely rough shape, having not followed the recommened “Not for offroad use” sticker posted below the gauge cluster. Another sticker posted on these scooters is the tune of “Don’t modify, you’ll just make it slower.” And it’s the truth, for those of you just getting into scooters or other 2 stroke engines, there is a difference in your approach to modifying a 2 stroke versus a 4 stroke. Yes, it’s true, the more an engine breathes, the better the performance, however 4 stroke engines have valves controlling the timing and volume of air entering and exiting the cylinder. That’s a nifty piece of engineering as 2 strokes generally do not have this luxury. Instead, 2 strokes have open holes in the sides of the cylinder, and depending on the position of the piston in the height of it’s stroke, will determine whether air is entering or exiting the cylinder. At one point in the stroke, both intake an exhaust ports are open! What this means is, depending on the pressures on either side of the cylinder, intake and exhaust pressures, air will naturally move to the side with lower pressure. What does this all mean? It means, unlike your 4 stroke car, you can’t just open the exhaust and intake volumes, with mufflers and intake systems, freely without consideration. Both must compliment each other, so that when the piston drops down to exhale and inhale, it’s not just going back and forth through the same/wrong port!
Like many of the scooters I’ve collected for free/cheap someone had the awesome idea of adjusting the intake or exhaust system. This had both, a muffler welded to it, and missing the original air box, which is calculated from the factory to match the factory exhaust. The scooter, bubbled and barked to even idle and was dead with any increase in throttle position. I needed a stock air box and exhaust, pronto, even just to see if the scooter was broken in other ways.
Pictured above is the first day I acquired the Spree. It was disassembled and a mess of panels everywhere. With some assemble required it was pieced back together with what I thought was only a few small gremlins. If you look closely you’ll notice a few important things:
- It’s blue, which according to Motor Scooter Guide was a Canadian only 1984 only color.
- There is no kick start! Electric start only, which I hate. I can’t stand batteries if you don’t need them. I had gotten another swing arm with the scooter, another no-kick start version. Bummer.
- You can see a slim hint (or look below) of the terrible chrome exhaust melted onto the original outlet pipe. Yack. Far too oversized for the little 50cc motor, and mouse sized carb.
So it was time to find some parts! I put up an ad looking for an original air box and stock muffler. I posted it a few places and was hoping to find one, the other or both. A friends dad replied to the ad, saying he had what I needed. Kahla and I hopped in her voluptuous Volvo and headed up island on Canada Day to go meet him.
Yes, that’s a Volvo 240 wagon, STACKED with 3 Honda Spree’s and boxes of parts. $100 is a steal! I wasn’t expecting so many damn Spree scooters! I think this brought my scooter count from 5 to 8 now. lol A huge jump in percentage.
Joel from BC works happened to wander into the yard, amazed by all the Spree’s littered all over the lawn, and all I wanted was an Exhaust and Intake! Joel immediately got roped in and began tinkering with me. One of the best perks of these parts were that the new scooters were all post 1986, meaning they were all equipped with kickstarts!!!! That was the first modification to the ’84, not the installation of a kickstart, rather I’d like to word it as the deletion of a battery. Next came up changing throttle cables, gas tanks, carbs, exhausts, and installing an airbox. With some tweaks the scooter fired up, idled, and runs! A little rip up the street reminded me of the spree’s reputation of being a ‘gentle’ scooter. lol
Tada. The 1984 Honda Murder Spree!
I even managed to pick up a helmet to go along with the ‘beaten to death’ feel and look of the scooter. Free sitting in someones trash was this old injection molded Nolan helmet, dope.
While Joel and I were tinkering with assembling the best junk of the worst junk, Kahla scooted home and finished her test screens for some new Speed Hero clothing. Rad!