Flea F71 Competition by Bug

#1
I've been talking to a few members and other friends via emails and PM's and some of them suggested I post this. Not a lot of these around, and Bug Engineering was there in the beginning of the mini bike craze with it's "Flea" that beat Go Kart Mini Cycle to the sales floor by a week, reportedly.

This is one of the later models. I picked it up locally with some other bikes, and Markus was quick to identify it for me.



The jack shaft incorporates a small brake rotor and caliper. The entire jack shaft had been turned into a scrub brake by welding an arm to the disc to rotate the jack shaft to which a chunk of metal had been welded to engage the rear tire.





I don't have a lathe, so I set the rotor up in my drill press with a bearing and clamps and got it true enough to work. It was completely bent over with the welded on brake lever.



Replaced the right hand bearing retainer, replaced the sprockets, and got a Chinese caliper on there after heavy modification.







One of the two front suspension "plungers" was rusted solid inside of the fork leg. I ended up having to cut it off, then split the tube to retrieve the plunger. It is 1" DOM .120 wall.



Couldn't find any Coke and aluminum foil, so I cleaned up the fenders with chrome polish and a rag.





We all know these old frames develop extra holes over time.





I have yet to send a bike in for sand blasting. I am cheap, and I have time, so I chemical strip and sand. Had I sent this in for blasting, I never would have seen the remnants of the original blue paint on the rear fender bracket. This was beneath the orange, the yellow, and the primer before that.



I've got some original Azusa Hex Star wheels on order from our OMB friend Ace, and a few other things, but will need to find an example of a seat, and clamp on bars, and of course match the paint and try to keep it as original as possible.
 

Hounddog

Active Member
#3
Very nice work! I have a frozen fork leg too on one of my Bugs. So the set screw on the outside of the upper fork leg sits in the recessed portion of the lower interior fork leg? Is that correct? Thanks
 
#4
Very nice work! I have a frozen fork leg too on one of my Bugs. So the set screw on the outside of the upper fork leg sits in the recessed portion of the lower interior fork leg? Is that correct? Thanks
Thank you for your comments. Yes, the set screws work as you describe.

I am looking for photos of correct seats for these bikes and any other information like years produced.
 
#9
I am not familiar with the flea F-71, never seen one in person. They look cool! Have to wonder if the original designer of the Minibike was also a musician. Perhaps a guitar player and was a fan of the flying V. Nice project and looks like you’re going to do a great restore.
 

delray

Well-Known Member
#11
hey dave, I pickup a flea awhile back.


the only info I found at the time I pick it up was this break down photo showing both front lower forks and the bike.
nice to find the rest of the pages.
 
#14
not inexpensive unfortunately, but heres a source for the correct tire size/pattern they used if your going all out resto :thumbsup:
Markus, I was getting ready to PM you on that tread! I skipped right over the Monkey tires on ebay because of the price, but yes, they are the ones. Good eye! I found them cheaper on Web Bike, and ordered a couple for about $90.
 

markus

Well-Known Member
#15
Markus, I was getting ready to PM you on that tread! I skipped right over the Monkey tires on ebay because of the price, but yes, they are the ones. Good eye! I found them cheaper on Web Bike, and ordered a couple for about $90.
Nice! Couple years ago about the cheapest you could get them was about $200 a pair shipped in, great deal :thumbsup:
 
#17
Earlier, I'd mentioned how one of the fork plungers was stuck and how I had to split the fork tube to retrieve it from it's bed of rust. I found some 1" DOM advertised at .120 wall, same as the other side on ebay and ordered it. By the time I drive my truck to our local metal supply, stand around waiting, then drive back, I would have spent more than what I paid to sit on my ass and click on an ebay sale.

The downside to that is the tubing I received was actually more like a .130 wall, which meant the plunger did not fit!

Despite not having a lot of tools, I like doing my own stuff. After several experiments, I ended up turning a 5/8" old Rupp kart steering shaft in my drill press to get a 1/2" end on it to fit my 1/2" drill. With 3M spray adhesive, I applied a few sanding discs, and kept going with the drill until the plunger slid in. Also used some course valve grinding compound. Once I welded it up, I had to do it all over again. But it's a solid front end now.

More original blue on the neck. I cant see this stuff with my naked eye.


Threaded the plunger retainers at 1/4-28. I might weld on some nuts for more bite on them.
 

SAT

Active Member
#18
Seat of the pants rule: Thread depth needed is equal to the thread diameter of the bolt.
Nice job honing the I.D. of the fork tubes!
 

delray

Well-Known Member
#19
dave,something else I need to show you that's on my bike and I believe you would of had it too and it shows it in the brochure you posted.


it looks like it would of had a decal on the front fork plate.
it kind of looks like a silver foil backing with black lettering.
 
#20
Yes sir, thanks. I'm going to have to get that sticker replicated. I'm hoping [MENTION=9950]slow greg[/MENTION] is going to part with one. If not, I'll have to engage a professional.

I'm also torn between a vintage H35 and a Clinton 404. Either were used. IMO, this bike would have benefited from a big block, or a Briggs 130202. It has the room, and is built rather heavy.
 

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