Nippy engine

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Nippy engine

Post  dannyc7147 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:19 am

I'm looking at buying a cheap old Nippy on ebay... but it's missing the engine and handlebars. What are the chances of finding replacements?

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  mr.rabbit on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:17 am

Hello Danny.If you buy a Nippy without an engine make sure that you know sort of engine it had originally.There were 3 main types of engines fitted to the Nippy over the years.Villiers,Sachs and Mival.the very last Nippy's had the same engine as the Phillips Gadabout which was virtually the same as the Raliegh moped and I have even heard of a Nippy that was little more than a rebadged Mobylette.The Villiers engined Nippy would probably be the best bet because you can get spares easily and sometimes the 3K Villiers engines turn up on ebay.It is possible to fit different engines into a Nippy frame but you will find problems with odd mountings and wrong exhausts etc.Cheers Paul

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Scared...

Post  dannyc7147 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:42 pm

Okay, I have to admit I'm scared... I'm actually shaking... I've been an avid Norman bicycle collector, I've got 5, and I just bought my first Nippy... and I need HELP!

I admit, I don't know the first thing about them, but I paid £50 for this Nippy. Let me post a couple of photos...







Now, thankyou Mr Rabbit for your reply, and to answer your question(ish) all I know about it is that it's a Mk.V, which is the same as a Raleigh RM4, and a Motobecane. The only reason I went for it in the end is because from what I could gather if it was any other Mk it would have been tricky to source spares, but because of (as you said) this one being pretty much a rebadged Raleigh, I might have some luck!

So... from the photos I can see it needs an engine, exhaust and fuel tank. The saddle may be recoverable I guess, and it's missing the light. Any ideas exactly what I'm looking for? Typing in Raleigh engine into ebay does bring up results, but I need to make sure it's not from a later model... what's the verdict? Smile

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  mr.rabbit on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:44 am

Well now Danny,you have a PROJECT there don't you?Oddly enough some of the bits that can be most difficult to find are there,often I have been stuck for things like wheels,brakes and sprockets.Do you have any paperwork with it,old tax discs,log book or even old MOT certificates so that you might be able to reclaim the number.The clue to it's identity is in the picture of the manufacturers plate.Right at the end of British moped production Raliegh industries were importing Motobecane Mobelettes and calling them Normans,all this came to an end when Honda started to sell their mopeds here and when cars like the Mini became available.If you look on ebay under car and vehicles and type in motobecane mobelette you will find some parts for sale.The other place that might be helpful is the website 'icenicam'.If you down load the latest magazine they produce you will find adverts for just about anything you will need.If you go onto the internet you might find some dealers who stock or can make all sorts of parts for your machine,Holland seems to to be a good place for moped spares,I managed to get lots of bits from a Dutch dealer for a Velosolex that I rebuilt(I sold that cos it wasn't a patch on my Nippy,nowhere near as much fun to ride)You will have to identify which model of Mobelette your machine was based on.I think you are going to enjoy this restoration and you will be proud of it when you have it running and show it to us at the 'Windmill' one day.Keep in touch and keep the pictures coming,Paul

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  mr.rabbit on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:48 am

P.S.I was bidding on a Norman bicycle on ebay and went up to my limit and was out bid,next time maybe.

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  mr.rabbit on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:53 am

Another P.S.I have just remembered the name Mopedland spares,he is very knowledgeable and can supply all sorts of odd bits like speedo and brake cables etc.Paul

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  dannyc7147 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:59 am

That's a bit of a relief... from what I can gather it might be a Motobecane AV7 engine, but I'm going to register with a Mobylette forum as they do seem to know all the ins and outs of interchangability... As much as I'm looking forward to it, I am bloody nervous! Bicycles I can do with my eyes shut, it's become a routine now, strip, shot blast, powdercoat, find missing bits, put it together, but it's the little parts like the fuel tap that I wouldn't even know where it fits on Shocked I'm having it delivered in about two weeks time, so I can post more pictures when it arrives! The engine and fuel tank are causing me most concern though... The engine (once I find the correct model) shouldn't prove impossible, but I can see finding a fuel tank being more by luck than searching! We'll see, but it's a great relief knowing that it's at least got some tricky parts in place. It cost £50 with £50 shipping down to Dorset from Wales which is why I went for it, but I've seen complete Nippys selling for £200 recently so maybe it wasn't the bargain I had in mind depending on how much I can get an engine for...

As far as the bicycles go the gents do seem to be harder to find than the ladies for some reason, I've got a pair of them that you saw in my other thread, but I've got three ladies. Two of the ladies are ripe for restoration so it's a shame they don't suit your needs! As far as ebay goes I have two tricks that I'll let you in on though...

The first is charm! As soon as I see a Norman for sale I immediately contact the seller. I tell them that I'm a Norman collector, want to return it to its former glory etc... because the majority of the time it's being sold by someone who has a relative who died and would prefer to sell it knowing it will be restored rather than broken for parts. The last one I got was from a guy in Scotland, right in the sticks in Stranraer. It was his aunts bike, it was listed as "collection only" which the majority are, but I messaged him telling him my plans and asking him if he could deliver it to a bike shop. Most people will find a way of getting it to a bike shop for fuel money, and if they can then that's 99% of the battle over. Bike shops will usually always be able to pack a bike into a bike box, for a fee of course, which is usually around £20. Some offer to ship it as well, but I can usually get a cheaper deal myself. So, I offered him £40 for the bike and he took it to a bike shop 20 miles away for another £10. The bike shop I'd called packed it, and after searching the internet I found a courier who delivered it NEXT DAY for £13.50. Generally shipping works out around £35, but there are great deals to be had! The bike cost me £83.50, strictly speaking it's only worth half of that, but then as I said to him, it's a Norman Cool

Anyway, don't let "collection only" put you off, and at least half of sellers will take a bike off of sale for the right price...

The second trick I use all the time (if trick 1 fails) is I'll NEVER bid on an item through ebay. I find that if I put down £10, someone else will put down £10.50, and it will creep up, and up, and it'll sell for a silly price that I can't afford just as yours did. I use a website called Lotsnipe... Started by a group of American college kids a few years back, I swear by it! It's free to register and use their basic service, although you can pay extra for different options although I don't... You enter the ebay item number, how much you're prepared to pay for it, and it will submit your bid automatically with about 10 seconds left to go! This has two benefits, firstly it stops the little increments in bids that raise the prices up, and secondly it's VERY hard for the average person to beat because they then have ten seconds left to type frantically at the keyboard Laughing

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Re: Nippy engine

Post  dannyc7147 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:42 am

Guess what? Have a look at this on ebay... Click here!

I've never actually seen one of these for sale... but as a rule they never sell for under £100 so don't expect a bargain, but THIS would make a headturner of a project! Very Happy

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