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Old 04-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #31
gogogordy
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Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
I just got a line on an 07 for around 3300 bucks. Nor sure of any other details yet but will in a day or so.

Is there any significant difference between the 07 GTS 250 and the 09?

Thanks,

Rick G
No significant difference (other than a different battery post configuration) so post a picture if/when.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:41 PM   #32
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Being in a yakking mood, I will make a couple of points about the GTS250.
One, a general waffle : the other, a comment on the long-term maintenance costs.

Gogogordy is spot on, in saying that Vespa has hit a certain sweet spot with the 250. It is no ultra-lightweight 200-pounder, but is still highly steerable through heavy CBD traffic, yet has effortless performance in the 30 - 50 mph range required in outer metropolitan regions. Yes, it is no highway-blitzing powerhouse ~ adding the new Beverley 350 cc engine would be great for such 50 - 70 sort of usage, though that would mean a swing arm mass at the upper limit of acceptability, and the power might also rather overwhelm the 130/70-12 rear wheel.

The styling is superb, I think : an excellent blend of traditional & modern Italian, with an added spoonful of steroids. (Even the backward tilt of the round headlight is a superb styling touch. As engineers say : "If God had meant headlights to be other than round, He would have made the circle a different shape.")
The Vespa GT series 200/250/300 makes so many small-medium scooters [SportCity excepted] look like child's toys or Ugly-Stick victims. [Hoping to stir up a bit of controversy, here.]
Larger Italian scooters [Beverley, Scarabeo] are nice enough in their own way ~ but have a slightly-melted-wedding-cake styling.
The maxi-scooters [such as T-Max] are bulky and perhaps too futuristic & "Jetsons" plasticky . . . though nice for the highway, of course.

Reality : the nitty-gritty. Expensive long-term maintenance of the CVT belt-drive system.
As with all CVT scooters, the belts & rollers need regular replacement . . . but how often?
Drive-belts can break at under 5,000 miles or well over 15,000 miles, depending on throttle usage, operating temperature, and the condition of the pulley faces.

No fun to experience a sudden loss of all drive, and find yourself coasting to a stop mid-traffic on a very busy road. Nor on a deserted road.
Because belt life is somewhat unpredictable, I reckon it is always desirable to carry a spare belt under the seat, and [for touring, at least] also carry the tools for belt replacement (including the home-made widget that can immobilise the pulleys).
You can fudge a bit on the rollers, but frequent belt renewal is worthwhile as insurance against major inconvenience . . . and as a time & money saver, it is worth practising in your own garage [better than on the roadside]. You can inspect the belt for signs of wear and signs of cracking . . . or worse, the sign of little wisps of light brown "wool" from breaking Kevlar strands.
It is unfortunate that even the most expensive belts are very heat sensitive, and can quickly deteriorate and break when running in hot conditions ~ as the designers often have not allowed for sufficient ventilation of the drive-belt chamber.

The Italian drive-pulleys are quite expensive. They do last quite well if usage is mostly faster/slower stop/start city running. But for prolonged "top gear" cruising in the country, the [aluminium] pulley faces develop a localised wear groove . . . which also shortens belt life.
For country running, figure maybe 15,000 miles for pulleys?
Parts are one thing, but DIY there will save you considerable workshop charges.
Fortunately, the 250 [water-cooled] has good reputation for engine longevity.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:02 AM   #33
cdwise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnullarbor View Post
Top speed of 82 mph is amazing.
Slim rider with no luggage; tires at 45 psi; cool air temp; other factors?
Even a slight [unnoticeable] tailwind can have a huge positive effect.
I have kept my ear open in all directions, but have never heard of (or experienced) a top speed much over 72 mph in flat "unassisted " conditions ~ and hot weather or higher altitudes would give a lesser figure.

Even the Vespa company itself claims only 122 kph [75.8 mph] as the 250's top speed . . . and you know how generously optimistic the claims of manufacturers usually are.
I am not aiming to be especially disputatious here ~ but I think it is important for potential buyers to be under no illusions about what they would be buying into.

The Vespa-250 can make a pleasant long distance tourer, provided you are happy to cruise comfortably at 60 mph (65 feels a bit strained : and is almost full throttle anyway). Sure, you can hum along at 65 - 70 with a good tailwind. But all it needs is a gentle long hill, or a mild-to-moderate headwind, and you are slogging along WOT at 55 mph. And that is one of the shortcomings of CVT belt-drive : in adverse conditions the transmission holds the engine lugging at peak torque, rather than let it zing up to higher revs to get more power (as you would get by dropping down a gear or two in a conventional motorbike gearbox).
And ain't it amazing how, when you are out on a long ride, the gods have usually ordained a 3/4 or full headwind?

If you are a determined highway rider, then the Honda-300, Kymco People GTi-300, or perhaps the new Beveley-350, are better choices because their extra 5 or so rear wheel horsepower give you a comfortable 70 mph cruise. The other 250/300's in general don't quite cut it. (Here I am ignoring the big-fairing maxi-scooters, which are usually 400+ cc anyway. More barge than scooter, some say.)

The Vespa-250 would make a fine & reliable Coast-to-Coast tourer, at a relaxed pace . . . which is what you want for really enjoying the scenery. Just start out with a new belt and new rear rubber.
The only picky criticism to be made : the position of the fuel cap . . . you have to unload your luggage to lift the seat and get access. With just a 9L fuel tank, that becomes an annoying chore. Oh for a better position!
No slim rider here (unfortunatley) Givi topcase - big enough for two full face helmets and cut down OEM tall screen. Flat terrain riding back from Galveston to Houston in May so 80-84f, all the vehicles were going that speed so there was perhaps a drafting effect but I routinely go mid 70s just a tick off full throttle. Only modification to the scoot is an upgraded front shock and adding the windshield. In my experience a good windscreen improves both top end and gas mileage.

FWIW, Vespa GTS speed record is held by Jess who is currently running the cannonball but his isn't stock. As for touring on it I use saddlebags that go under the seat and a topcase so I don't have anything other than my camelback (when I choose not to wear it) on the seat. I recently added a front rack and have on occasion used a tank bag as a tunnel bag. Which takes care of my storage needs.

I never felt my GTS was straining at 65, above 72 is where I start feeling a little strain. My husband rode our Sports City - same engine for over 200 miles on I-15 maintaining 80-85 by GPS using the same engine but bigger wheels. My favorite long distance touring scooter is the Scarabeo 500ie which is shaped very much like my GTS just a few inches bigger with the most comfortable stock seat. I find it far more comfortable than the Burgman we used to own.

As far as scooter manufacturer's claims every scoot we've owned I've exceeded the "top speed" the manufacturers have listed on their website. Piaggo says 99 for the BV 500 and I've passed cars at 106 by GPS. (I really don't like hanging out on the wrong side of the road any longer than necessary.) That was fully loaded with saddlebags and Piaggio topcase.

I got a chance to sit on the new BV 350 a couple of days ago. It has amazing amount of storage for an Italian style scoot instead of the asian maxiscoot style provided you removed the California evap system. In size/looks it reminds me of the older Scarabeo GT style. Reports from everyone who has ridden is that it is an amazing highway tourer but still good around town. That combined with the longer service intervals means that if the 350 had been available last year when we bought our last BV 500 I'd have bought it instead. However note of them will replace my GTS which if I could only have one scoot would be the one.

cdwise screwed with this post 04-27-2012 at 08:11 AM
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #34
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My experience is limited to a Piaggio MP3 250ie (now sold), but some of my Clubmates and friends either have owned a Vespa GTS 250ie or still have one, including the Vespa GTS 300ie. For that matter, there are some with the Piaggio BV250 and Aprilia Sport City Cube which are closely related mechanical cousins of the Vespa GTS 250ie. I've test ridden a new GTS 250ie and came away impressed with the power and smoothness of the engine, good handling, good brakes, and quality overall feel and finish of the Scooter. I miss my MP3 and some day hope to have another.
Vespa Scooters are marketed as a premium product (at a premium price) but some owners might disagree after reading this.
Our local Piaggio/Vespa/Aprilia Dealer (like dozens of others) went out of business last year and the nearest one is now 150 miles away. Supposedly someone came and picked up all the unsold inventory and proprietary equipment to service the Scooters so if the ECU or Immobilizer quits not even Smokey Yunick (if he were alive) could fix it. Say Smokey would have said "you're screwed" without that proprietary diagnostic equipment. If you are not close to a Dealer (check the Vespa USA website) or are unable to do basic maintenance and repair, think hard before you buy.
That would assume your Dealer has a Mechanic that is familiar with Piaggio repair and the use of their diagnostic equipment. Most Dealers have to sell other powersports and/or lawn equipment to make a go of it and it is possible the Mechanic may be more experienced with fixing a Lawn Boy mower than he is with fixing your expensive Italian Motorscooter. If your local Dealer has a Mechanic with Piaggio training and certification, thank them! Tell the owner to give the guy a raise. Even offer him Beer.
If you can't service and repair it yourself, prepare for $100+ oil changes at the Dealer. Hopefully, for $100 they won't beat on/off your Oil bung with a framing hammer. That is a shoddy practice and I still believe it is a joke.
On the plus side, most maintenance operations can be done by a semi-motivated owner with modest tools and determination; if you are mechanically clueless look elsewhere or go to the Dealer. Truly there are a great number of helpful and clever owners/enthusiasts willing to offer online help and good advice. I would even suggest that belonging to a local Club could net you someone with Vespa maintenance/repair experience that would help you out. I've met lots of people that way.
Piaggio has taken their ball and left the North American market in the past, not a problem if you roll a Vespa P200E but a potential big problem if you have a modern. If they bail again and take the proprietary software and diagnostic equipment with them you already know what Smokey would have said.
Heaven help you if that brown "service" key for your Scooter is ever lost.
Piaggio has shafted present owners with the resale of unsold inventory gathered from all of the failed Dealers.
http://www.piaggiousa.com/promotions...les-event.html An MP3 250ie that you bought new for $7199 can now be had new with warranty for $4999, and an MP3 400 that cost you $8699 new can be had for $5899 brand new. Similar savings on "other" models. How's that for protecting resale value? Thank you Piaggio!
Piaggio/Vespa/Aprilia parts availablilty absolutely stinks. When something breaks, prepare to grip your ankles when you find out how much it costs and if/when it will be in stock. Even the most common parts like a replacement Regulator/Rectifier can take weeks to arrive.
On the subject of that Regulator/Rectifier, Piaggio products use a Ducati unit which is a sorry pos that seems prone to failure. My options were to pay a stocking Dealer 50% more than it cost from another Dealer who would order it for me. My replacement came from the non-stocking Dealer, 5 weeks later and at significantly less cost. Too cold to ride at the time anyway. Summer bummer if that would have happened in riding season. That happens a lot.
Leaky water pumps are a known issue with the GTS and all of it's Cousins, just sayin'. That ceramic bearing/seal arrangement is another sorry pos. Price out a repair/replacement water pump from your Dealer, take Xanax first. Ceramic seals/bearings used in a water pumps are not a new idea, keep an eye on that weep hole. Be aware there are some special tools necessary to replace the water pump and that it is probably not a diy job for most home mechanics without those special tools and considerable experience.
Exhaust systems are another known weak point on the Vespa GTS and it's cousins. Exhaust studs break off more often than you might like, the pipe where the O2 sensor is located is known to crack, and the graphite collar where the exhaust flexes has been known to fail allowing hot exhaust gases to burn a hole through the rear brake line. Yamaha has a workable replacement part for that graphite collar at 30% of the Vespa replacement price and it is probably in stock or can be quickly obtained.
After what must have been hundreds of complaints from disappointed owners, the dodgy fuel pumps were finally recalled. Unknown what happens if you are the 2nd or 3rd owner or if you would be reimbursed for a previous replacement. Piaggio did the right thing and it only took a few years for them to do it!
The unexplained front end wobble some GTS owners have experienced is troubling. Next time you look at a newer Vespa GTS front wheel, check out how many (and in what increment) wheel weights it took to balance.
Overall, the Vespa GTS is a well made Scooter of advanced design with some nice features and some known problem areas. If you can maintain and repair it yourself, you'll definitely save some money versus having a Dealer do the work. If you are unable to maintain/repair it yourself but have money and a nearby competent Dealer, good to go.
If Piaggio leaves North America with their ball (again) and you have trouble with the ECU or Immobilizer, good luck with that.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #35
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I'm in no way disregarding the write up of the Piaggio customer above, but I can offer a few suggestions to most of the above. Some of them have been done here locally, some are just generic fixes, but all of them require a bit of mechanical nous and common sense and/or experience.

To fix the O2 sensor, exhaust gasket and cracking exhaust pipe:
Replace the standard muffler. 5kg swinging around might do the job in a porno, but for something hanging off the suspension, a generic 1kg aftermarket muffler from (insert manufacturer of choice) will fix 90% of those issues.

Regulator/Rectifier:
If it's a Ducketty part, do what all the Ducketty guys around the world do, and fit one found on Ebay that's made in Taiwan or Japan (Google cross references and pin-outs).

Water Pump:
Electric water pump for use in a race car of some sort. They draw less than 2A and last for years, cost under $200 including adaptor pipes and a few hoses. An option for IF the Quasar one goes pop. No, it's not a cheap and nasty fix, 1000's of race cars have used them forever. Davies Craig (Google...) makes a good one.

ECU and Immobiliser:
There are 3 options that I am aware of, unfortunately all of them require bike electrics knowledge, but they are a viable alternative to the standard unit. Ignitech from Czech make a ripper custom-tuneable ECU for single cylinders, the Immobiliser will have to be either left out or another generic version adapted fairly readily. If all else fails, do what I have done in the past (as a matter of necessity when you live 200miles from the nearest traffic light, let alone UN-civilisation), and "phone-a-friend". You would be amazed how many people around the world are willing to help out a fellow biker in need, ESPECIALLY when they are stuck. Try Modern Vespa for leads on people to phone/email/write for advice.

If the Vespa is the bike for you, and I can get that, they're very cool, then sometimes it's worth the perceived future risks. Generally, the reliability of these things is pretty good. Ride safe!
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:59 AM   #36
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MODNROD View Post
I'm in no way disregarding the write up of the Piaggio customer above, but I can offer a few suggestions to most of the above. Some of them have been done here locally, some are just generic fixes, but all of them require a bit of mechanical nous and common sense and/or experience.

To fix the O2 sensor, exhaust gasket and cracking exhaust pipe:
Replace the standard muffler. 5kg swinging around might do the job in a porno, but for something hanging off the suspension, a generic 1kg aftermarket muffler from (insert manufacturer of choice) will fix 90% of those issues.

Regulator/Rectifier:
If it's a Ducketty part, do what all the Ducketty guys around the world do, and fit one found on Ebay that's made in Taiwan or Japan (Google cross references and pin-outs).

Water Pump:
Electric water pump for use in a race car of some sort. They draw less than 2A and last for years, cost under $200 including adaptor pipes and a few hoses. An option for IF the Quasar one goes pop. No, it's not a cheap and nasty fix, 1000's of race cars have used them forever. Davies Craig (Google...) makes a good one.

ECU and Immobiliser:
There are 3 options that I am aware of, unfortunately all of them require bike electrics knowledge, but they are a viable alternative to the standard unit. Ignitech from Czech make a ripper custom-tuneable ECU for single cylinders, the Immobiliser will have to be either left out or another generic version adapted fairly readily. If all else fails, do what I have done in the past (as a matter of necessity when you live 200miles from the nearest traffic light, let alone UN-civilisation), and "phone-a-friend". You would be amazed how many people around the world are willing to help out a fellow biker in need, ESPECIALLY when they are stuck. Try Modern Vespa for leads on people to phone/email/write for advice.

If the Vespa is the bike for you, and I can get that, they're very cool, then sometimes it's worth the perceived future risks. Generally, the reliability of these things is pretty good. Ride safe!
Your "advice" on matters of water pumps, ECU/immobilisers, and exhaust systems are wishful thinking and fantasy.

You can NOT have actually successfully done any of that to a Vespa GTS and in practical application your suggestions are as viable as pixie dust.

Sorry to say, the poster from Omaha NE has it right, your rebuttal has no bearing on what can really be....
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #37
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I put 10,000 miles on a 2007 GTS 250 in ten months and gave up on the most comfortable enjoyable machine I had owned in years. When it ran it was fabulous and I regularly rode it flat out on the freeway and indicated speeds of 90mph ( I don't use GPS and don't much care what the real speed was, I passed most cars and had the freeway much to myself).

BUT it kept breaking down and the dealer, Miami Vespa was next to useless. They blamed me for riding it too much and too fast and eventually replaced some electrics under warranty and I sold it. It was expensive to maintain as a daily rider thanks to expensive tires with frequent replacements, and the rear wheel is very hard to remove. The oil change was easy, the transmission fluid not so much so I had that changed by the dealer every other rear tire replacement. The belt had to be replaced every six thousand miles, now ten thousand I beleive but still, a $200 cost... I fixed the exhaust issue more or less with a metal gasket from a Vespa shop in California (Vespa Amore I think they were called).

In the end when it kept stalling I gave up on it. My replacement 2007 Bonneville has been flawless and utterly reliable and fun for 60,000 miles. It cruises easily at 80 mph and with bags carries as much crap as the Vespa. It's air cooled, simple and dependable and used or new costs THE SAME roughly as the Vespa (new or used). Its not a scooter but it is a solid daily rider. Your choice etc...
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
Your "advice" on matters of water pumps, ECU/immobilisers, and exhaust systems are wishful thinking and fantasy.

You can NOT have actually successfully done any of that to a Vespa GTS and in practical application your suggestions are as viable as pixie dust.

Sorry to say, the poster from Omaha NE has it right, your rebuttal has no bearing on what can really be....
Oh.
Okay.
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