Barn Fire Charred Chappy: 1975 Yamaha Chappy

This is more of a burned barn find, but it looks like a relatively easy restoration for those of you who are into small motorized bikes/scooters/motorcycles as much as I am. This little oddball is a scorched 1975 Yamaha Chappy, 50 cc of around-the-neighborhood fun. It can be found here on Craigslist in Valley Center, Kansas, just north of Wichita. The seller is asking $350 for this parched project. Thanks to Mtshootist for submitting this scorched scooter!

As if scooters and/or any small motorcycles aren’t unpopular enough with some folks, seeing a 50cc scooter that has been through a barn fire will seem like a total joke. This project won’t be as easy as a non-burnt-bike offering, but it looks like most of the melted parts are still available on eBay which should make for a somewhat straightforward restoration. Unbolt the burnt bits, restore the frame and engine and the rest of the moving parts, bolt on new parts and pretty soon you’re traveling on the shoulder of your neighborhood street at 31 mph on your way to have coffee with the rest of your Sturgis scooter squad. The Chappy was made from 1973 to 1996 and the seller’s entire listing is: “This was in barn fire motor kicks over and tires still hold air. Good builder or lots of parts. No title.” I recently went through the process of getting a title for one of my 1984 Honda Gyro scooters and if it wasn’t for the hosed-up new Minnesota DMV computer system I think it would have only taken a couple of months instead of eleven months.

The Yamaha Chappy is actually a nice scooter and those of us who love these little things don’t think that nice-scooter is an oxymoron. It’s not a hairy-knuckle grumbling and angry Harley decked out in all-black and skulls. “Hey, dude, check out these death-is-cool chrome skulls that I put on my black Harley!” “Sweet, man, I also have skulls on my black Harley!” The only skull on this Chappy will be the one that you preserve by only going 30 mph and by wearing a helmet. Yamaha also made an 80 cc version which would be much better for city streets. Like most scooters of this size, it’s best for college campuses or in the country, or maybe neighboorhood use. I’m not sure if this one will sell for $350 given that once you add in a few hundred dollars worth of new parts and a couple of months of tinkering you could have just bought one that wasn’t melted. Is this pyro project worth fixing?


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  1. Howebrad460 Member

    As the owner of one of these in the 50cc variety, this one looks to be an 80cc. Most of the 50s had footpegs that converted to pedals leading to a secondary bicycle type chain driving the rear wheel. In some areas to be considered a moped it must have functional pedals. My 50 has the pedals/footpegs.

    The 50s are slooow. The 80cc chappy is pretty fun and a decent ride.

    As to the writer that has a honda gyro, id like one of those too.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Hey, Howebrad460, thanks for the info! The ones that I’ve seen, the 80cc versions, seemed to have a foot brake on the right side but this one doesn’t appear to unless it melted off…

      I’ll be selling my red Honda Gyro in the next few weeks now that I have my fresh title and I don’t need two of them.

  2. mtshootist1

    Hey Guys, thanks for publishing this Chappy, I thought maybe it had been rejected for yet another 1980s GM junker. I liked the Barn Finds/Barn Fires play on words. Anyway, not really being a car guy, I prefer the oddball motorcycles. Never had a Yamaha Chappy, though. I’ll keep looking for more. Someplace in your pile, I submitted a midget half size racer which came from the Wichita area as well.

    Like 2
  3. LAB3

    There’s a good running fully functional 1982 Honda 50cc that looks a lot like this one for $300 on my local craigslist. I’d give $50 for it.

  4. Lion

    I’m not much on 2 wheeled stuff but the barn fire brought back a frghtening memory. Back in the 70s I had a 1938 Ford I was restoring but needed a winter spot to store it. A fellow offered his old long and narrow barn where he housed a few horses with a seperate clean storage area at the front. As I pulled into his yard he was in a frenzy. He had foolishly lit his burning barrel on a very windy day and it caught the eave of the low roof. within minutes the dry old structure was ablaze and he spent all his time keeping the horses away from their door. Apperantly when panicked they head for their safe place.
    Anyway, he lost a big Harley with a sidecar, a bunch of working stationary engines and a real nice original 1950 Ford sedan. I tried salvaging the car but the heat had boiled the oil out of the pan…seizing the engine and the headlights were melted out and hanging in long globs of glass. It smelled so bad Ileft it for the crusher. I was always thankful I had not arrived an hour sooner or my ’38 would have suffered the same fate.

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