Find out How to Pimp Your Old Scooter Into a Cool Futuristic Version
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If you are in need of a mode of transport that is handier for zipping around busy city streets, you might be on the market for a new scooter. However, most existing models are not the coolest looking things.
Have you considered making a stretched and more, well, futuristic-looking one? Follow this guide to find out how.
Like any project of this nature, you are going to need some stuff first.
Tools and equipment needed
- 125cc scooter
- Tubular steel
- Perspex sheet
- Car seat
- Car door windows
- Steel tubing
- Diamond steel plate
- Scrap car pieces (door locks, seat belt, wing mirrors, etc)
- Various workshop tools like a lathe, belt sander, etc
- Paint spray gun and paint
- Welding gear and safety equipment
- Various nuts and bolts
- Materials for making a workbench (scrap wood, etc.)
With all your tools and materials in hand, it is time to get on with this epic build.
Step 1: Dismantle the old scooter
The first step is to give your scooter a once-over. If an older scooter, test the engine and battery and make the necessary maintenance/fixes needed to get the scooter into working order.
If you've bought one in good condition, then you can obviously skip this step.
With that done, if you don't already have a suitably sized workbench, you can jerry-rig one to rest the scooter on while you work on it. In this case, some old flat-pack furniture was used, but you can build yours however you like.
With the scooter in position, you can now begin to completely dismantle the scooter's main bodywork. Also, ensure you disconnect the battery.
Also, disconnect and remove headlights and other fixtures and fittings. You basically want to strip the scooter down to its bare skeleton ready for modification.
Ensure you keep all the parts (especially nuts and bolts, etc.) as you'll need these later when we come to reassemble the scooter.
Step 2: Mockup the future scooter
With the scooter stripped down, you can now mock up the final piece to your liking. Site the car seat in the middle of the unit and mock-up where you want the side windows to go.
In this case, the main chassis of the scooter needs to be extended, so some short lengths of steel tubing were cut, bent, and prepared for welding to the main chassis.
Once happy, weld any new parts of the chassis into place. With that done, you can now make a frame to fit attach the car seat too.
This will need to tie into the main chassis of the scooter so make connecting points accordingly. Weld the frame together as needed. In this case, the seat also has a mechanism built to adjust the horizontal position of the seat. You can either replicate this or keep the seat in a fixed position.
With that done, you can now create the mainframe for the bodywork of the new scooter. In this case, the sides of the scooter will have car door windows, so a curved frame needs to be constructed to match the curvature of the glass.
Measure our and plan the frame as needed, and bend some tubular steel to match. Cut down to size, and weld the pieces together, as needed.
If you removed the front portion of the old scooter, you will also need to design the frame so that it can be reattached at the right distance from the rear.
Measure and cut crossbars and other reinforcement pieces to the frame as needed. Keep adding pieces to the frame as needed, especially to the top of the body frame to accommodate the roof.
Step 3: Reattach the front steering and handlebar assembly
With the frame for the main part of the future scooter now complete, we can move on to adding back in the front steering column of the original scooter.
Liberate the assembly from the old scooter frame and place it in position on your new scooter. Make notes of what modifications need to be made, and do so.
This will probably require you to trim down the old frame or make new attachment pieces to weld the steering assembly to the frame of the new scooter.
With that done, modify any of the internal plastic housing for the front of the scooter, and install it into your new scooter as needed.
At this point, the basic shape of the modified scooter frame should be complete. If needed, separate the frame from the other parts of the scooter and strengthen/clean up the welds.
Once happy, we can move on to adding the glazed "roof" and windscreen to the new scooter.
Take your sheet of perspex and place it into position over the top of the new scooter frame. Cut down to size and mark out where it needs to be fixed to the frame. In this case, the roof and windscreen will be a single piece, but you can design however you like.
Add some inner flanges to the top of the frame so that the perspex can be attached to it.
With that done, take the handlebar assembly from the original scooter. Mockup where you want it to be with respect to the seat and take notes of what modifications, if any, need to be made.
You may need to fashion extension pieces and adaptation parts to ensure the handlebar assembly fits the main steering column of the new scooter. It is likely you'll also need to make some additional parts to attach the handlebar assembly in place on the frame.
You may also need to resite the actual handgrips and controls of the handlebars. But this is completely dependent on the design of your new scooter.
Step 4: Make the doors
Next, take some more of your tubular steel pieces, design, cut, bend, and weld the basic door shapes as needed. Remember to leave space to add the car windows in the door's design.
You will likely need to adjust and constantly refine the door's design as you go to ensure it fits snuggly to the frame while also accomodating the window piece.
Once you are happy, use some suitable door hinges or make your own and secure the doors to the frame of the scooter as required.
With that done, you can now source from old door locking mechanisms from a scrap yard or source new ones and rig these to your DIY doors and main scooter frame. You will likely need to do some more modification of the frame and welding to do this effectively.
Step 5: Make some retractable "kickstands" for the scooter
With the doors now basically complete, we can move on to add some other awesome features to our future scooter. In this case, the creator has decided to add a pair of electrically retractable "kickstand" wheels to the rear of the scooter.
Using an old actuator, he was able to use some threaded bolts, lengths of tubular steel, and other parts to create the kickstands. When the actuator motor is activated the legs deploy from the sides of the rear of the scooter.
When the motor is reversed, the kickstands are able to retract back into the bodywork. The process is a little complicated, but you can watch the video for more details on the process.
With the basic mechanical parts of the kickstand wheels complete, the electrical components were then added including a toggle switch for the cabin, and additional controls and wiring to activate and reverse the actuator.
Step 6: Build out the shell of the scooter
Next, take some sheets of diamond steel plate. Decide which parts of the body shell you want to have this texture, and mark out the shape of each piece on the steel as needed.
With that done, cut the plate pieces out, clean off any burrs and other sharp edges, drill holes through the plate and frame, and install the plates as needed. In this case, the steel sheet was used to add bulkheads to the frame behind and under the main seating area.
You can make this process easier by mocking up the plate shapes needed using cardboard or paper.
Where needed, as in this case, you may also need to modify the steel plate to include maintenance access panels and areas to hold some parts of the scooter — like its battery. This will depend entirely on the design of your scooter of course.
More diamond steel sheets will likely need to be cut, shaped, and modified for other areas of the interior of the scooter like, for example, the footplate of the cabin. In this case, housing pieces were also made for some of the projecting parts of the main gubbins of the scooter underneath the seat too.
Using some more steel plates, you will also need to make some belly plating to cover the bottom of the scooter and protect its delicate parts when taking the scooter out on the road.
With that done, you can now add, or reuse, a rear baggage compartment from a scooter to the rear of your scooter. Like other parts of this build, it is likely you'll need to make a custom mounting frame to the main bodywork of the scooter.
Weld and install the pieces as needed.
With that done, continue to cut out and shape parts of more steel sheets to act as body panels inside and out of the scooter as needed. You'll likely need to make some more panels for the doors themselves too.
Make other smaller parts for the sides of the scooter including closer plates for around the hinges, around the door frame, etc.
Step 7: Add in suspension and safety features
With the main bodywork more or less now complete, you can start to think about and design other features of your scooter. For example, in this case, the suspension from the original scooter was not really designed for the much heavier newer scooter.
In this case, you'll need to either source more heavy-duty shock absorbers for the main wheels or fashion your own.
With that done, we can add in some other features like, for example, a working seat belt. You can either use a reclaimed one from a scrap yard or buy a new one (whichever is easier).
Once in hand, install inside the scooter as needed. As with other parts of this build, you'll likely need to make some custom attachments and weld parts into place to install properly.
Next, take some reclaimed basic wing mirrors and install them on your scooter body too.
Step 8: Prepare the frame and parts for painting
At this point, the basic design of the scooter is complete. Now we can finish some minor details to start to make it look nice.
Partially dismantle the scooter and fill any, and all, gaps in the frame with filler. Then sand down flush with the metal. Fix any extra buttons to the steering wheel, and reposition the ignition key where needed.
With that, take some outdoor-proof paint, like Hammerite, and paint all the exposed metal of the scooter's frame.
Next, prime all the main body panels and then add the final layer of paint as needed. Add any decals or laser etch other details to some of the body parts too if you want.
With the main parts now all complete, we can now wire up all of the electrical parts of the scooter. Once done, clean up the wheels and tires is needed.
You can also give the engine a good clean too using soapy water. With that complete, you can now completely reassemble the scooter.
Once you have installed and completed the electrical circuits, test all the lights and other electrical functions. If needed, change bulbs for new ones.
Connect up any pneumatic parts of the scooter, fill with fluid, and bleed lines as needed. For glazed areas, you can add a layer of UV tinting and then install the pieces to the main body as required.
Once done, fill up the petrol tank, get comfortable, and take your new stretched-scooter for a test ride! Just make sure it is on an empty road in case something goes wrong.
Well done you!
If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy making your own electrical bike next?