2001 Elite performance questions

Does your Spree/Elite already run great, and you're trying to make it quicker/faster? Need a monster motor swap? Discuss your ideas here.

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2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Sevyndaze » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:07 pm

Hello everyone!

This forum has been immensely helpful for me, so I decided to create an account so I could ask a few questions of my own.

Here's my situation. I currently am in possession of a 2001 Elite S. I realize this is the SA50P version and is restricted. I say "in possession of" as it technically belongs to my father in law. My brother in law used to live with my wife and I while he was going to school and would use it for transportation before he had a car, but has since graduated and moved out and doesn't have a place for it in his apartment, so he's left it here. My father in law is sort of a "Tim Allen" type when it comes to modifications/performance engine stuff, in that he will sometimes do things without fully understanding the repercussions. So, I have a few questions about the bike and the work I intend to do to it. I myself am pretty mechanically savvy (prior automotive work experience, worked in machine shops and did industrial machine repair for about a decade, etc), but 2-strokes are a new animal to me. Anyway, my questions:

1) The exhaust has been de-restricted (washer drilled out), and the plastic tab in the airbox has been taken out as well. As I was taking the thing apart the other day, I noticed that the wires for the auto bystarter had been cut. It looks intentional. I am guessing perhaps my father in law did this in an attempt to enrich the fuel mixture without having to up-jet the carb. Does this make sense and would it work?

2) My intention is to replace the stock airbox with a cone-type filter, repair the bystarter wires, remove/clean the carb and install an 88 jet. Does this seem sensible? I also intend to remove the restriction from the variator.

3)I have read posts on this forum about removing the oil pump and simply running pre-mix. I do not intend to increase the overall displacement of the engine. Should I consider removing the pump, and is there a performance benefit associated with this?

Thank you all in advance for helping to educate me!

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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by eclark5483 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:55 pm

Leave it as close to stock as possible, it will run best. Any "trick" you want to use to try and squeeze a little extra out of an engine, is going to cost you somewhere else. Leave the airbox alone, make sure it is in proper working order with a proper filter. Drilling the muffler won't change much, if there was in fact a restriction to begin with, but than I am not versed in SA50 so I couldn't say either way. No need to try and guess why the bystarter was clipped or what the actual results were with it. Put it back the way it should be, perhaps it will run and start much better with some tuning. As for jet, see what you have, compare it to what was available in the parts fiche and go with the highest that is offered. Any more then that is probably gonna gurgle out and 4 stroke on ya, so I guess, what I am saying is.. first put it back in proper working condition, then try SENSIBLE upgrades. CVT tuning is always an excellent place to start.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Sevyndaze » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Thank you for the response. I do realize that any extra performance gained from an engine is going to come at a cost. My aim is to properly modify the engine such that the cost is mitigated and that the engine remains mechanically sound, with proper lubrication and air/fuel ratio, etc. The modifications I am considering making are based on other posts I have read on this forum. The SA50P in the elite S differs from the SA50 (sold in the Elite SR) in that there is a thick washer welded into the exhaust that restricts the flow, that one of the two internal openings in the airbox is blocked off, a smaller jet, and a restriction in the variator to limit top speed.

I intend to repair the wiring for the bystarter, as well as thoroughly clean the carb when I install the larger jet. I believe the factory jet is a 68 for the Elite S, and 78 for the SR. My selection of the 88 was based on another post I had read on this forum. I have a tachometer so I am able to tune the idle speed and mix per the service manual (which I also found on these forums, very helpful!).

While I appreciate the response, I am not especially interested in returning the scooter to stock. If so I would not bother posting! :-)
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by eclark5483 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:22 pm

Like I said, not versed in the SA50, apologize if I can offer no valuable input. I'm sure one of the other guys, probably Meatball, can give you some advice.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by vintagegarage » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:50 pm

I have two Elite S scooters.. one a 1996, the other a 2000, and two 2001 Elite SRs. It is my belief that all four came from the factory with a single opening in their air boxes. When I de-restricted the 2000, I followed the advice on this forum to cut the second square out in the airbox, remove the plate on the back of the variator, open up the exhaust, and I even went so far as to install a brand new Elite SR oil pump and split throttle cable because I was worried about oiling and I didn't want to premix the gasoline/oil. On the 1996, I simply removed the plate on the back of the variator, and left the main jet stock, the airbox stock, and the oil pump stock, and I didn't even wire the oil pump open. Removing the plate on the back of the variator and doing nothing else, boosted the speed from 25 mph to 32 mph on level ground. Both scooters now have over 3,000 miles since the modifications and are continuing to start and run fine, with no oiling problems. The biggest difference in the two is that the one with the larger mainjet, SR oil pump and two openings in the airbox is louder by quite a bit. There really isn't much difference in top speed or acceleration. The two dead stock SR's are still quite a bit faster off the line, as their clutches seem to engage at a higher RPM than the clutches in the S's. Top speed on the level for the stock SRs is about 37 mph. Note that the part numbers for the S variator and the SR variator are different, and perhaps installing a SR variator may boost the top speed of the S.. not sure about that as I haven't tried it.

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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Meatball » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:12 am

I have de-restricted these before and here is my input for doing so with your intentions of keeping the stock displacement...these recommendations stem from my own personal experience and findings when toying with both Sa50ÔÇÖs and Sa50pÔÇÖs.

The extra tab being opened on the stock airbox had no noticable difference in performance, reliability or anything else. Some folks say to open it while others say leave it be. Theoretically, the extra puff of airflow would net SOME gain but it never reflected on my speedo or my accelerometer. (Me)
Keep the stock airbox with a new/oiled filter and it will run itÔÇÖs best. It was designed specifically for this motor for optimal stock performance.

The carbs on Sa50PÔÇÖs come equipped with a #67 jet and you should up it to #78...an #88 will also work but it will add zero additional performace than the #78 and youÔÇÖll just be running rich and have lower gas mileage for no positive gain.

The bystarter should be re-connected and used as it was intended. It only functions for the first 30 seconds on cold starts by adding more FUEL to the mixture. Without it, cold starts will be a bear much like starting a chainsaw where you pull the cord 50 times until your shoulder is on fire. The bystarter is your friend and bypassng it will result in zero gain.

The plate on the variator holds back the belt from traveling to the top of the drive face at itÔÇÖs highest rpm limit. Essentially like keeping your 5-speed car from ever reaching 5th gear. I suggest getting fresh stock weight rollers (9g i think) since yours are likely flat spotted from use. Clean the roller ramps and ramp plate completely. There should no grease, oil or lube in the roller area. They are rollers...not sliders.

The oil pump should definitely be used. When you increase size of the main jet in the carb, you need to also increase the flow of oil. Pull the spring loaded swing arm on the oil pump to its fully open position. Affix it open with a basic zip tie or other permanent-ish method that wont fail mid ride.

Sounds like youve already drilled out the exhast ring. Use a fresh exhaust gasket to ensure a positive seal. An exhaust leak will cause running issues and/or deminished performance. Be sure the carb is spotless and shoot compressed air through every crevice, port and hole. Refer to the Service Manual for mixture screw setiing for your model year and follow it precisely.

Dont bother with cheap generic replacement parts, CDIÔÇÖs or coils from Ebay. If you want your Honda to run like a HONDA, only use Honda parts. Always ask here for recommendations on what/where to buy before you purchase.

Welcome to the forum and hope to see you on the road.
Last edited by Meatball on Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Meatball » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:20 am

I was recently accused of giving short, uninformative answers to questions as an attempt to increase my post count. I realize my above post was excessive and entirely intentional. :smile:
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Sevyndaze » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:39 am

Not excessive, informative! Thank you for the information, I will order the proper jet. I have a new exhaust gasket on hand and am waiting for the carburetor gasket set to come in (Honda OEM) from a local powersport shop. It should be in this week so hopefully I will be back on the road this weekend!
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by motormike » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:10 pm

Meatball wrote:
The bystarter should be re-connected and used as it was intended.
It only functions for the first 30 seconds on cold starts by adding more air to the mixture.
Truth is: the bystarter facilitates cold-starts by enrichening the FUEL,
and does so by opening an air by-pass to provide a vacuum source to pull that fuel from the bystarter bowl.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Meatball » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:08 pm

motormike wrote: Truth is: the bystarter facilitates cold-starts by enrichening the FUEL,
and does so by opening an air by-pass to provide a vacuum source to pull that fuel from the bystarter bowl.
Oops, it was late when I composed the ramblings. Thx Mike for the accurate correction. Edited..
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Sevyndaze » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:32 am

One more (possibly stupid) question regarding jet size: is it possible to adjust the air/fuel via the mix screw so that it would not run too rich on an 88 jet? I had read on another thread that lighter rollers would make the engine rev higher and thus would warrant a larger jet. Since I am probably going to get new rollers, are lighter ones advisable?
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Meatball » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:51 am

JUST For example:... with a #78 jet, you may have your mix screw at 1 turn out..then with an #88 jet youd need to unscrew a bit more to compensate the additional fuel. This practice is done to achieve the proper air/fuel mixture to which jet youve chosen. To answer your question...yes, your stock carb CAN be adjusted to compensate for an #88 jet and acheive close to a 12 stoich but it would offer no performance benefit. It would only be using more fuel than needed for stock displacement.

Rollers...Imagine you drive your 5-spd manual vehicle and typically shift gears at 3000 rpmÔÇÖs under normal driving conditions (stock weight rollers). If you lighten the rollers, its like revving past 3k before the next gear. However, there are many more factors at play with a CVT. The center spring in your rear pully/clutch needs to be tuned to the roller weights you choose. Clutch springs also need to be changed for engagement rpm. Aslo, if you choose rollers TOO light your stock motor may not spin high enough rpmÔÇÖs to fully open (or close) the variator.

Bottom line: if you change roller weight, you open a can-o-worms. The rest of the components would need to be tuned to accommodate the change in shift rpm... the stock motor can only adjust so far in this area. Your max rpm is in the 7k-8k range.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by bonesv » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:38 pm

Main jet is only in operation when the slide needle is raised (throttle) and fuel is drawn into the carburetor's venturi (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/venturi) thus when the throttle is at closed to about 1/8th open, the pilot jet is pretty much the only fuel drawn into the carburetor. So the air/fuel mixture screw is only effective to adjust the pilot jet circuit, but as the throttle is opened further the pilot jet is still working thru the whole range and could have some affect on overall jetting. I just don't think it's very much.
The lighter rollers have nothing to do with the jetting.
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Sevyndaze » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:56 pm

Thank you, I am still learning about the intricacies of carburetor operations. I think what the other post was getting at was that because with lighter weights the engine would rev higher, a bigger jet might be necessary to supply the necessary fuel/oil at the higher rev.

So, as I understand it, the mix screw only affects the pilot jet, so at WOT it would just end up running rich regardless with an 88.

I apologize as I'm sure this has been asked and answered many times, but is there a "go-to" parts retailer that many of you use? I've found a few sources but it seems hit or miss about what parts they carry (individual jets vs only kits, may or may not have oem stuff like gasket kits, etc.).

Thank you again everyone for the feedback, it is very much appreciated!
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Re: 2001 Elite performance questions

Post by Meatball » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:19 am

I was simply answering your two questions separately. Jets/Roller Weight. They do not work together in any way. Rollers only affect the CVT. Lighter roller weights will not make your motor revv beyond itÔÇÖs stock maximun. Roller weight (any) will not require bigger jets....bigger displacement does. Lighter rollers WILL make your variator shift at a higher RPM. Problem is, the stock motor hits the rev ceiling quickly and you find yourself shifting TOO late. YouÔÇÖll run out of RPMÔÇÖs (stock is about 8k) before you hit top gear.
Bottom line: Lighter Rollers will make it pull harder from 0-25...then it will fall on its face at 30mph. You gain low end and lose top speed.

Jets: put in a #78. It will give you the best performance and fuel consumption with your stock motor. Its the size that Honda provides in their non-restricted versions of your motor and theyÔÇÖve done their homework on it.

Parts: there is no all purpose ÔÇ£go-toÔÇØ place for every part. Some OEM parts are still available direct from Honda dealers but many are not. People in these forums have tried/tested nearly every non-OEM part available and have declared them to be quality replacements or absolute junk. Let us know exactly what youre looking for and someone can point you in the right direction. There are many pitfalls when buying parts for these....dont fall into one.
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