Project Cars

Doodlebug of Doom: Saving a Superpowered Minibike

by David Zipf

If you’re already planning to skip this article because it includes the word “Doodlebug” in the title, then I implore you to read on.  What we stumbled onto is no kid’s toy: some deranged individual took a cheap, Walmart bike and then strapped an actual go-kart racing engine to it, lost interest, and put it on Craigslist.  And then we picked it up because if it’s one thing a man needs in his life, it’s an interesting story to have told at his funeral.


Wrench Tips #31: Cardboard Aided Design

C.A.D. - Cardboard Aided Design

by Dan Barnes

It was an epiphany when I walked into a race shop and saw the interior tin work of an under-construction Rolex GT car mocked up entirely in white illustration board, clecos and blue tape. I made a mental note: I can do that! I can even afford that! Now my projects turn out better with the use of old cereal boxes, scissors and tape.

Pocket Size Terror - Building a CRG ICC Shifter Kart

by Mike Kojima

If you are a long term reader of MotoIQ you have probably seen some of our stories on karting. We think that karting provides excellent low cost training for racing cars and for some of us it's actually harder than driving a car.

So we have several karts in our palatial shop, everything ranging from 100cc air cooled HPV karts to 125cc senior Tag karts.  These karts are all pretty good and the 125's are really fast.  So of course we had to do something even more extreme by building a shifter kart.  Not just any shifter kart but an open class ICC kart.


Project Honda Ruckus - Part One

by Jeff Naeyaert

Enjoy a Throwback Thursday to one of our very first projects!  In typical MotoIQ fashion we decided that our Ruck was going to need some help in the suspension, handling and brakes department before we increased the power to help keep things safe.  We had almost rear ended cars due to weak brakes and ended up doing a flying W by hitting a water dip at 35 mph on the street. Although this sounds somewhat comical, it was not safe and had to be addressed.


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 7: Baja Designs Racelight with Boatman H4 Conversion

Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 7: Baja Designs Racelight with Boatman H4 Conversion

By Dan Barnes

The TE610's stock 25/30W enduro light makes the bike legal for an enduro event and road use in all 50 states. At night, it helps other drivers see you. However, it does little to help you see anything else. Baja Designs is the leader in lighting technology for off-road racing, with a full range of LED, HID and halogen technology solutions. They can help the TE610.


Christa's 2013 Ride- 2013 Top Kart Twister

By Mike Kojima

Karting is perhaps one of the best training aids for racing.  Karts are much cheaper to operate than cars and it's usually a simple deal to get your kart ready for a weekend of fun compared to your race car.  Most of us agree that Karting is probably harder than cars as well, more akin to a formula car than a sedan. The MotoIQ crew goes karting frequently to get a speed fix without spending a lot of money.

Karts are also good training for future drivers that are too young or small to drive a full sized car!  Christa Kojima has been karting ever since she was about 8 years old, starting in a 50cc kids kart, then moving up to a 100cc clutch kart at the mandatory age of 9.  Now as she approaches 12 she will have to move up again from her current class of HPV-1 to Jr's.


DROWsports Grand Axis Two Stroke Powered Ruckus

By Mike Kojima

The Honda Ruckus is a small 50cc scooter that has for some reason become the darling of the modified car crowd.  You would never think that car people would have become enamored of a 100 mpg, 35mph small scooter but nevertheless the Ruckus is huge.  MotoIQ has a project 50cc Ruckus that is probably the fastest stock engined Ruckus built so far.  

Of course in our circle, if some is good, too much is always better.  Andrew Horn, owner of DROWsports in Signal Hill is part of the MotoIQ crew and has helped us with many of our small powersports projects.  We helped him with the construction in his quest to build the ultimate Ruckus, check it out!


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 6: Horsepower and Handlebars

Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 6: Horsepower and Handlebars

By Dan Barnes

This might be a record among MotoIQ projects for number of articles before engine work to improve performance. Reliability and durability were higher priorities, but the TE610's stock silencer is big, a bit heavy and leaves some performance on the table without being really quiet. Plus, we wanted to clean up some rideability issues. 


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 5: Dual Sport Adventure Bike Day Trips


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 5: Dual Sport Adventure Bike Day Trips

by Dan Barnes

The Husky has been getting more miles on it and has received a little love to make day trips safer, more comfortable and more convenient. A fresh battery, a new and improved seat and just a little bit of carrying capacity make the bike all-day capable, as long as there's gas in it. 


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 4: Dual Sport Adventure Bike Ergos and Armor

By Dan Barnes

Finally, we're going to start the fun stuff: upgrades! Having a bike fit you properly makes everything work better and is safer, especially in the dirt. In spite of its overall bigness, the TE610's cockpit is only of average size, and some details are more cramped than typical, so there was work to be done to make it fit this 6'4" guy.


Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 3: Nut and Bolt Check
Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 3: Nut and Bolt Check

By Dan Barnes

More so than with any other vehicle I've experienced, it's proven necessary to strip all the covers off the Husqvarna TE610 and inspect everything, top to bottom. Every detail is an opportunity for a problem, and buying a brand-new bike would only have gotten us off the hook for a few parts and maybe an oil change. No one part of it took much time or money, but it all needed to be done.

Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 2: Fundamental Fixes
Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 2: Dual Sport Adventure Bike Fundamental Fixes

By Dan Barnes

As outlined in Part 1, if a Husqvarna TE610 matches the description of the bike you want, then there really isn't any other bike that does. Things didn't go the way I expected when I got the Husky home to my garage and started going over it. The plan was to get the bike home, change the oil, clean the air filter and chain, and go ride. But with the grease and dirt removed, I could actually see the chain guide. There was work to do.

Husqvarna TE610 Dual Sport Bike
Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 1: Dual Sport Adventure Bike Options

By Dan Barnes

Buying a semi-obscure Italian motorcycle and riding it out to the middle of nowhere may not seem to be a well-thought-out plan, but really, there was some thought. I swear. An off-road bike is ridiculous fun, but it's also kind of like having a track car that needs a trailer. The goal of this project is a go anywhere, do anything bike.

Project Ducati Hypermotard: Part VI, Saving Weight

Project Ducati Hypermotard: Part IV, Saving Weight

By Jeff Naeyaert

Although the Ducati Hypermotard S is a pretty light bike from the factory at 390 lbs. we figured that we could always make a good thing better by getting rid of some of the weight.  For 2010 Ducati freshened up the Hypermotard model with the Evo SP which weighs only 379 lbs.  This is mostly due to lighter engine cases, flywheel, alternator and crank.


100 MPG Madness: Project Aprilia RS50

100 MPG Madness: Project Aprilia RS50

By Mike Kojima

With the specter of high prices once again looming over our heads, we bring you yet another fuel sipping project; Project Aprilia RS50.  You might wonder what an RS50 is; it is really a very unusual machine.  It is a street legal, two stroke 50cc GP replica bike. 


Project Ducati Hypermotoard

Project Ducati Hypermotard Part III: Protection

By Jeff Naeyaert

It was bound to happen sooner or later, while riding Project Ducati Hypermotard; we had the unfortunate opportunity to crash the bike.  Although it was a very minor low side while going slow, our bike got off really lightly thanks to some crash protection we had the foresight to install and what got damaged allowed us to put a few more cool new bits on the bike.



Project CRG Go Kart: From Basket Case to Bitchin

By Mike Kojima

Lately the MotoIQ staff has been Karting a lot to get our speed fix for few bucks.  Running MotoIQ is an expensive endeavor and we have had to mostly give up racing cars for now to keep MotoIQ growing and strong. Looking for cheap used Kart parts on Craigslist one day, we happened upon an ad for what seemed like a lost cause.


Project Aprilia SR50 more power!

100 MPG Madness, Project Aprilia SR50 Part 5- More Power!

By Mike Kojima

We have brought our high tech Aprilia SR50 scooter from a fairly low powered urban runabout,  whose direct injection stratified charge 50cc two stroke was designed as much for greenness as for performance to a practical suburban commuter whose acceleration and 55 mph top speed are fast enough for serious riding in cut and thrust morning commuter traffic.


karting cheap track day alternative

Karting: Cheap Track Day Alternative

By Mike Kojima

What do guys like Billy Johnson, Dai Yoshihara, Joon Maeng, Tyler McQuarrie and other Pro Drivers do to keep sharp in between events and during the off season?  Karting. We know that most of you like track time, however track time is a precious commodity that is getting harder to come by in this sluggish economy.  As we get older, family and career commitments take away more and more time that used to go to race car maintenance and prep.  Some of us move out of family garage space and have less room in apartments and condos. All of these factors make owning a race car more and more difficult.


Project Aprilia SR50

100 MPG Madness, Project Aprilia SR50- Brakes, Bling and Suspension

By Mike Kojima

In the last edition of Project Aprillia SR50, we had upgraded our little 50cc high tech scooter from an in-town runabout to a serious 60 mph capable commuter capable of handling rides on the fastest crowded main streets and parkways without cowering in the slow lane. Now to build a balanced bike, since we upped the speed and acceleration, it was time to address the brakes and suspension.  The SR50 is blessed with some excellent Grimeca hydraulic disc brakes from the factory but we set out to improve them.

To see the other segments of this project click here!


Project Ducati Hypermotard

Project Ducati Hypermotard Part 2

By Jeff Naeyaert

To give our Ducati Hypermotard more power, we had AMS Performance once again help us out with the mechanical aspects by installing a set of Ducati Performance cams.  Since the Engine uses Ducati's famous Desmodromic valve control system where one cam lobe opens the valves and another closes them, cam design is very difficult, beyond what the aftermarket can typically come up with.  Due to the complexity of the valvetrain we made the easy decision to stick with factory engineered parts.

To read part one click here!


Aprillia SR50 Dr Pulley racing clutch

100 MPG Madness, Project Aprilia SR50- Modding the driveline

By Jeff Naeyaert

In our last installment, we had greatly improved the power of our Aprilia SR50 by installing a Malossi big bore kit ported by AF1.  The big bore kit brought our displacement up to 68cc and improved our acceleration by a bunch.  However our top speed didn’t change a whole lot, despite our gains in hp and torque as our redline was only increased by a few hundred rpm.  Our top speed was a disappointing 55-56 mph and we were hoping to see 60.  We were also annoyed by a distracting check engine light on our digital dash due to compatibility issues between the Malossi ECU designed for Euro versions of this scooter and our USA spec dash.

To read more about our project click here!


Project Honda Ruckus modified high performance big bore racing engine

Project Honda Ruckus Part 7: Building the Engine

By Jeff Naeyaert

In our efforts to build the ultimate Honda GET 50cc engine for our Honda Ruckus, we have learned a few things with our first iteration of our modded engine, lessons to make our second one better we hope.  In our quest to get even more power out of our little Honda we are going to build another engine, this one is going into another Ruckus in our stable. Our goal for engine number 2 is to surpass the 58 mph of our first engine and reach 60 mph with the Honda engine that came with the Ruckus.

To read about our previous engine build click here for part one and here for part two.  To see all of our Honda Ruckus stuff click here.


Christa Kojima's Top Kart

Christa's first Racer

By Mike Kojima

What does a 9 year old girl want, a pony? An all-you-can-carry gift certificate from Hello Kitty?  No, apparently she likes carbon fiber.  OOOH! Carbon fiber!  My daughter Christa squealed when she saw the Noonan Racing foot box that I got so she could reach the pedals on her Top Kart, racing go kart.


MotoIQ Project Ducati Hypermotard

Project Ducati Hypermotard Part 1

By Jeff Naeyaert

 We would like to introduce our first motorcycle project, Project Ducati Hypermotard. The Hypermotard is the opposite of a Supermoto bike.  Where the Supermoto bike is a Motocross bike modified for the pavement, the Ducati Hypermotard is more like an ultra high performance street-touring bike modified for dirt use with some full on road racing technology thrown in.  Its like the parts from a Honda CRF 450, a Ducati Monster naked street performance bike, a Ducati Multistrada sports touring bike and a Ducati 1098 sports bike were thrown in a pot to create a very unique bike that doesn’t really fit into any category other than its own.


MotoIQ Project Aprilia SR50

Project Aprilia SR50: 100 MPG Madness Part 2, Engine Internals

By Mike Kojima

In our last edition of Project SR50, we had reached the limits of simple bolt on modifications which left us with a nicely running Scooter, capable of just over 50 mph with acceleration good enough to keep up with traffic and 115 mpg. With more time, we are really taking a liking to the refined Aprilia SR50, which rides, handles and brakes better than any scooter in this displacement category. We also like its sporty looks. The SR50 is the king of urban commuter scooters and we are going to take it to the next level.

See Part 1 Here!


MotoIQ Project Honda Ruckus

Project Honda Ruckus Part 6: The Final Option, Tuning the Transmission

By Jeff Naeyaert

In our last installment of Project Ruckus we got our super motor tuned and running well, however although our acceleration was vastly improved, we did not see much of an improvement in top speed, only gaining about 3 mph before hitting the 10.500 rpm rev limit. To make matters worse, our Ruckus is now always topped out on the rev limiter. Doubling our power has enabled our bike to zoom right on up to its top speed but once that speed is reached, the engine is screaming at 10,500 rpm continuously. This probably is not the best bet for long life!

Read the Series Here!


Project Honda Ruckus

Ask Sarah-Hey Sarah, what did the cost of all the Phase 3 mods on project Ruckus cost?

By Sarah Forst

If bling isn’t your thing, you can skip some of the pretty stuff and save about $600 but to get to the 50mph, open your wallet. READ ON...

Got a Tech Question?  Email Sarah at


Project Aprilia SR50: 100 mpg Madness Part 1, Basic Bolt on Stuff

By Mike Kojima

Our new two wheel project is a very unique machine; it is an Aprilia SR50, perhaps the highest tech scooter on the market. It uses a full of tech, Orbital engine to combine the compactness and power of a two stroke engine with the fuel economy and low emissions of a tiny four stroke. The Aprilia engine uses licensed Orbital technology which is basically An ECU controlled, directly injected, stratified charge two stroke. Two strokes by nature produce pretty low NOX emissions due to their low operating cylinder pressures but are terrible for hydrocarbons as they tend to blow raw fuel out the exhaust port on overlap.


Project Honda Ruckus built GET engine

Project Honda Ruckus Part 5, Engine Bottom End

by Jeff Naeyaert

In the previous installment of Project Honda Ruckus, we worked with Dan Paramore of DPR racing to go where no one else had gone before by carefully porting the head of the Honda GET engine to maximize flow, improve combustion and raise the compression ratio.  To follow the progress of Project Ruckus, click here!


Project Ruckus part 4, Building the Ultimate Honda GET Engine

by Jeff Naeyaert

In part 3 of Project Ruckus we applied a bunch of bolt on mods to our bike to reach our goal of 50 mph with decent acceleration.  Now that we have hit 50, we still have some shortcomings to our project.  We feel that 50 MPH is the minimal top speed any street driven machine should have, any less and you end up being a hazard, cars tailgate and road rage may ensue.  At the least, you might get cars tailgating and cutting you off, giving you the finger.


Project Honda Ruckus part 3, 50 mph or bust!

by Jeff Naeyaert

When we last left Project Honda Ruckus, our first performance mods which included a Yoshimura pipe and a Bowls PC20 big bore carburetor kit had increased the top speed of our Ruckus from a pathetic 37 mph stock to a more reasonable 45 mph. However this was not fast enough to safely cruise on the fast streets of Orange County. The acceleration to reach this top speed was pretty lame as well. We had to get more speed, for safety and to be able to smoke the snobby Vespa riders in our area that would turn up their noses at our little Honda.


Project Honda Ruckus Part 2 - More Stuff, the Next Stage

by Jeff Naeyaert

In our Last edition of Project Ruckus, we worked mainly on getting the handling and braking of our bike up to a standard of reasonable safety, safe enough to handle the mean streets and venture beyond the safety of suburban neighborhoods and the pits at the track. Our bike is still far from our goal of it being able to handle itself on main streets though. For one it’s pitifully slow being barely able to creep up to 37 mph. At this speed the poor Ruck will get run over on the crowded, fast main streets of the South Bay where our office is located. It is also not as cool looking as we would like. So in this edition of Project Ruckus we are going to spiff up the looks of our ride and start working on the issue of power.


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