Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

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Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby The-Original-T » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:11 am

Well... What can I say.
After 3.5 years of being a forum member and countless hours of fantasising about building my own diesel bike I have finally pushed the proverbial button for launch!

I feel I have learnt a lot from all of you guys on the forum through reading your posts and answering mine so first of all thanks for been such a great bunch!
I also feel I should thank one of you that was at "The Big Knock" this year, I came just to spectate for an hour or two and got to chat to a few of you, no idea who was who as I wasn't there all that long but one of you gave me some great advice, something along the lines of (and I paraphrase):
"Just buy something and start building something, don't plan out every last detail and theorise about everything or you will be here next year still talking about it"
Thanks for that, and now here we are!!

Was originally thinking about using a 10hp Yanclone geared up 1:3 so I could get up to 10,800 RPM and then use a Scooter CVT, I wrote a post at the time in the CVT section of the forum "Cheap CVTs under our Noses" or something like that but that idea involved quite a lot of machining when I went into details and a lot of gearing at the back end too so decided this wasn't viable.
Then I wanted a V-Twin with a CVTech transmission, after many horror stories on the winsun/punsun/kingpoo ect... I decided to steer clear of this idea too.

So... Due to this being my first build I finally decided not to reinvent the wheel and instead source a complete Aixam so I pretty much had my complete power/drivetrain. I have being looking for a good deal on one since "The Big Knock 2017" and finally this weekend I found an absolute beauty!!!

2003 Aixam 500.5 with the Kubota Z482-E engine in full working order but with a bust gearbox (good job I wont be needing that!).
It was located 0.7 miles away from my house, has full service history, 4 new tyres, and recent belt change and only 40,000 miles on the clock and I manage to acquire it for a mere £275!!!!!! :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen:

Needless to say I am thrilled, by the time I have sold off the parts and weighed in the aluminium chassis I will have had the engine and transmission for free and hopefully it will give me a few fun tokens left over to put towards a donor bike!! 8) (not meaning to be too smug about it obviously :roll: :mrgreen: :roll: )

Aixam Ellie.JPG
My girlfriend looking thrilled after been towed... (could be the prospect that she has permanently lost me to the garage now)

(Quote SpongeBob) 10 hours later....

Engine Pulled.JPG
Sub-frame with engine pulled out ready for a clean up, clean out and general heath check! just trying to find a engine crane I can borrow, don't much fancy wrecking my back in the interest of haste.

Progress from here will be a little slow for a while, I need to get Christmas out of the way before I can save any money again unfortunately and then i'll be on the look out for a donor bike.
I am wanting to put it into one of the AJS 125 cruiser/chopper/bobber style bike frames as they are light, have disk brakes all the way around and are very minimalist, they also all have wheel driven speedo's. I want to avoid the SVA test if possible and you can get these bikes at a reasonable price.
I the mean time I will be cleaning up the engine and rigging up a temporary starting system and wooden frame to mount it so I can work on it.
The engines suffering from a lumpy idle when cold (I suspect tickover is too low, air filter was also in a disgusting state due to exhaust leak from the flex under the bonnet) and also got quite a bit of sludge in it so needs a good flush, will also check clearances and that all components are working as they should (glowplugs, oil pressure switch ect...)
Will also be cleaning/prepping the CVT, although its had a new belt recently its missing some wear blocks and is bloody filthy!

Info/advice that I am currently searching for if any off you can help???
- The maximum ratio of the Aixam CVT so I can work out gearing?? (Think its a Powerblock 50, unfortunatly the markings just say "powerblock" and serial numbers don't pull much up on google)
- What speed should I be aiming for from my engine/trans combo?? 60, 65, 70, 75mph - I know Mouse gets 70mph from his Z482 and reckons he's limited by gearing but he isn't using a CVT so I think I will have additional losses to consider anybody with experience on this combo??? (he's asked me to ask your lots opinion on the matter)
- Any tips/dimensions on CVTech mounting/installation?? web information, (useful) user guides/manuals for CVTech seems to be like trying to find rocking horse sh*t.
- How to fit a Tacho to the alternator (or where to go to have one fitted & approx. cost)
- Any usefully links to information you may think will be of value to me is always appreciated, even though I've combed this site we all miss things.

I imagine progress will be slow on this build so please be patient, not going to jack it all in though, been wanting to do this for years and I'm a precision engineer by trade (although been working in the sales department for the last 2 years so my matching is slightly out of practice but I still have access to the equipment 8) already looking forward to crashing that lathe! :lol: ) I want to get it right and not just plow through to get it done ASAP although it would be great to be able to ride down to "The Big Knock 2018" and join in properly - that's my aim anyways, whether or not this will happen time will tell, I just hope my finances and time will allow it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my so far lengthy thread and I look forward to your comments/Idea's and feedback!!

All the best,
Tristan :D
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby gilburton » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:36 pm

I would get something more substantial than the AJS type frame. By all means get a 125 cruiser type bike but go for Honda/Suzuki etc. or you might pick up a Chinese clone cheaply. You might consider a larger chop with a v5
That engine is very heavy compared to small 125 bike engines also the aixam cvt sticks out quite a long way.
A cruiser/chop style frame will allow enough space as the cvt takes up quite a lot of room as it is dictated by the distance between the 2 pulleys.
Providing you get receipts for the car/engine (or register it in your name) and the v5 for the bike there should be no problem getting it registered.
These days any engine change has to be verified or proof supplied. The DVLA will ask for proof or an inspection by a recognised engineer. My local MOT place wrote out the details on headed paper. If you send in receipts when you apply to change the engine on the v5 chances are it will be granted otherwise it's an inspection.
It's not a mechanical check it's just to verify the engine/bike details are correct. It's not an MSVA.
As for mountings before you get a donor bike measure the dimensions of the engine and cvt keeping the correct distance/tension of the belt.
Allow enough room for the INNER half of the rear pulley to move INWARDS as it can foul the frame. Once you have the measurements you can then start looking for a donor.
Basically a flat plate will mount the engine and if you extend it rearwards with a 90 degree bend upward so that you can put a couple of pillow block bearings to take a 19mm shaft for the rear pulley that is it. Depending on donor bike you might have to mount the bearings separately from the engine plate.
You should find the engine will mount fairly quickly where the time goes is all the smaller brackets etc. and finding ways round problems that suddenly crop up.
Plenty of info/pics on the forum so happy hammering/cutting/welding lol
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby sbrumby » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:11 pm

On the question of a tacho, why you would want to take the drive off the alternator is a bit of a mystery. There has been a load of rubbish talked about fitting a tacho, it is really so simple, all you need is a tacho off anything car or motorcycle that is electric not mechanical, fit a prox switch maybe £3, signal off woodruff key or anything steel and you are done. My big bike has original tacho that was fitted to the bike and the small bike has one that was off a triumph.
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby mark_in_manchester » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm

I don't think my mate's Guzzi V50 / Z482 does more that 60mph. That's through the guzzi gearbox / final (shaft) drive - he's used the best set of ratios he can find, but maybe you'll have more flexibility. It's not the fastest bike, but good on fuel, and very reliable. Engine spares are easy to find, compared to my Daihatsu. Good luck. If I were building another this is the engine I would go for.
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby coachgeo » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 pm

Am partial to adventure bikes myself. Id get a shaft drive smaller 3cyl Adventure bike or a big version of a 2cyl shaft bike (does that exist?) and build yourself your own version of a Track Bike. Only thing would do different is stack chain drive and CVT. CVT married to the universal Joint that drives the shaft.

Basically do what you proposed earlier with the Scooter CVT but too a lesser degree.
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby klwinter2 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:50 pm

Welcome Tristan,
It looks like we are the freshman class here.

I am beginning my long awaited build too..

The aixam engine was one of my top engine choices.. But we dont get them here in the US..

Are you in England?
I would love to visit there for a diesel bike rally..

Kenneth Winter
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby pietenpol2002 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:15 am


The slickest and quickest tach would indeed be as Sam has suggested. However, if your preference is for a mechanical tach, there are Kubota OEM options available that couple to the front of the IP cam and bolt to the timing cover. You'd need to drill and tap your timing cover or swap it out for a D722 one that is, as in the pic below. Unless you can secure one from Fleabay, the price from Kubota for tach, drive and cable will be snuggling up to $200. The bonus of the little oval Kubota tach is that is comes with an hour meter and idiot lights for oil pressure and charging. That said, Sam's option is still the quickest and least expensive.

Kubota Tach.jpg ... Swcj1Z9IY3

D722 Tach Drive.jpg

D722 Front Cover.jpg
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Re: Finally I can start! Aixam+CVT based build

Postby gearhead1951 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:28 am

bicycle speedo works great , is easy to install , and is the least expensive option !
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