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Thread: SR50 broken reed mystery

  1. #1
    apriliaforum newb
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Savannah, Georgia, USA

    SR50 broken reed mystery

    OK, bear with me for a minute, this one takes some explanation.

    So, About a month ago I started noticing an occasional "fluttering" sound when I throttled down on my 2014 SR50 Factory R Ditech (details in signature). Since it was running fine I didn't think too much of it, but I was puzzled. It should be said that I was about to go on vacation, so I was distracted too. So, the night before I go on said vacation I'm running a quick errand and the bike just stalls out on me. Won't start again, nada ... nothing. Since I was leaving in the morning I couldn't do much about it and got it towed home. When I got back from vacation a week later I went to get it running again. I hoped it would be something as simple as the spark plug, but no luck there. Of course, even changing a plug on this bike is a pain (I have big hands). So, I get some of my guys over and we brainstorm on what the problem might be; no luck. So finally, I get an idea that it's not a fuel problem, or a spark problem, but an air problem. After going to the hardware store to get the "tamper proof" T30 Torx bit needed, I pulled the reed block. So, there's the problem. One of the stock (fiberglass?) reed petals is broken! Not only that, but apparently there's a restrictor plate there too! So of course, that goes in the parts drawer never to be seen again. I happened to have a spare set of Malossi reeds that came with my BBK, so I put those in and she started right up like nothing happened. In fact, not only does it start up, but even the idle sounds better and smoother without the restrictor plate. I get the impression that the bike was being starved for air ever since I installed the BBK.

    For a couple of weeks the bike ran just fine, although I did still notice that "fluttering" sound. Then one morning, The bike was hesitant to start up. Then the next time trying to start it later that morning, it was seriously stubborn. 5 minutes after that, it stalled out, would not start back up. Because it felt the same, I went straight to the reed block and sure enough, one of the Malossi reeds was broken. When I installed those reeds. I did notice that one of them was not completely flush. Like it had warped a bit, or been bent. After talking to my local scooter guys, we all decided that the bend must be the issue and it wouldn't happen again. So, I got another pair of reeds and reinstalled the block. In doing so, I screwed up and broke the entire reed block. Yeah, that was stupid, but if you've worked on one of these you know that you're working by "feel" half the time.

    To get a new reed block, I drove two hours to Charleston S.C. to the only Malossi dealer I know of on the east coast. Since I have a 70cc BBK on the bike, we decided a Malossi VL13 reed block is the way to go. After installing it, of course she starts right up and purrs like a kitten and runs fine. All the while, that original "fluttering" sound is still happening and I can't figure out what's causing it. Towards the end of a long ride yesterday, I notice that the bike seemed to be losing a little power and I fear that that I'm going to break another reed, without figuring out what the root cause is. The "fluttering" sound is still very noticeable, yet I can't figure out where it's coming from. I don't trust the bike right now, and I won't have a spare set of reeds on hand for another week, so I'm kind of at a loss as to what to try next.

    Realistically I can't think of what could possibly be contacting the reed directly to cause the problem. I've checked the intake manifold, and there's nothing there. It can't be the removal of the restrictor plate, since the sound started before i took that out. If anyone has any insight to this I would really appreciate it. I've learned a lot about these bikes in a year and a half since I got the Ditech, but I'm still pretty green as a mechanic.

    Thanks in advance!
    2014 Aprilia SR50 Factory Ditech. C361M "Purejet" Piaggio engine.

    Malossi Fly clutch, black Malossi springs, white Malossi contra spring
    Malossi VL13 reed assembly
    Malossi Multivar 2000, 7.0g Dr. Pulley slider weights.
    Malossi 70cc Big Bore Kit
    Malossi MHR Primary Gears 15/38
    Malossi RS3 rear shock
    Malossi "red sponge" filter
    Arrow Extreme Carbon exhaust
    Opticparts Df stainless floor plates
    Malossi Signature grips

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    the reed petals can be an backwards leaving the petal tips raised up slightly. in that case flip the petal over. otherwise they only need to be checked maybe once a year.

    good luck!
    --- diploma for engine repair in 2012
    --- custom parts and machining --- porting and polishing
    ---derbi bullet 2006 - piaggio AC - TPR 70CC - giannelli shotV4
    ---1992 lt250r suzuki quadracer - new and improved
    --- complete 2012 wethepeople volta bmx - full sanko seamless chromoly frame/fork/handlebars

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