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Old 01-29-2013, 08:57 AM   #16
farmrjohn
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As has been mentioned changing the rear tire on the modern Vespa could be problematic due to the need to remove the exhaust. You might be able to stretch 8000 miles out of a rear, but there is always the possibility of non-repairable damage requiring a change vs. simply plugging. If you find a 250 that was produced after the bad fuel pump run or has had the pump replaced with the new version that should not be an issue. Before heading out I would do a full service to include valve adjustment, new belt, new rollers, new tires and of course oil. I would plan on at least one oil change during the trip, most likely in a larger city where you would have a better chance of finding the correct oil.

As others have mentioned, a scooter with larger wheels might be a better choice and Modernvespa.com would be a good source for detailed information/opinions. A P-200 would be pretty much bullet proof but would require shifting and require at least one tire change on the rear if not two over that distance. The P would also require sourcing 2 stroke oil thorughout the trip, but should be easy to find along the way.

Sounds like a great adventure.

(I have a 250 Super and Rally 200)
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #17
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Scooter-wise I'd recommend the Vespa P200 if you can find one. They are bullet proof, parts are pretty common all over the world. If you want something with a little larger wheel, I'd say an older Honda C70 Passport or the newer Sym Symba. Pretty much the came thing. Again a bullet proof design and common parts all over the world.

The Vespa would have a bit more maneuverability due to the smaller wheels. The Honda would have a probably have a smoother ride due to the larger wheels. I think with either bike you can't go wrong.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #18
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Preparation is the key to a trip like this. If you think a modern Vespa is best try removing the rear wheel on either a GT200 or a GTS... split the exhaust (spare bushing anyone?) and struggle with the monstrous rear bearing that is hard enough to remove in a workshop. Change gear oil? No access without removing the rear wheel! The engine oil change is easy enough but remember to bring spare filters. Spare belts? Know how to change them? The air filter?

On the road the P200 requires no spare parts, even the air filter is a mesh job that needs to be washed from time to time and the filter-free gearbox takes half a pint of common-or-garden 30 motor oil every 4,000 miles. all that needs is a turkey baster and 15 minutes. The wheels are interchangeable with the benefit of carrying a spare. the bike has gears so picking your way on rough roads is easier using the clutch than controlling CVT. Plus they can be bump started in a crisis. Old Vespas are everywhere and they really are simple and well known.

I think its important also to bear in mind qualities that are beneficial in the first world on a time restricted trip may have little bearing on an open ended trip off the beaten motorcycle tracks. To get from jacksonville to San Diego fast a GTS would be comfortable and easy. Go to Scooterwest on arrival and have the rear tire and fluids changed. Ride a thousand miles to Cabo and back and do the same again before riding home to Florida. Done. A journey of 4,000 linear miles to Panama could take 10,000 miles to cover. Better with fewer parts and less need for organized facilities.

HOWEVER an old Vespa will need to be prepared for a journey like this, in most instances. A dual sport would be a good idea but apparently the OP doesnt want to shift a scooter never mind a motorcycle. On the other hand, putting the cart before the horse we know nothing of her experience in Latin America. maybe she has friends in all major cities with modern vespa dealers. There are dealers in many countries, not in every city though, which can be a drawback.



I once had help decoking a P series vespa in a roadside taller and the owner knew my Vespa had no head gasket, a fact I learned with some surprise 30 years ago in Mexico.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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I'd take a P200E or PX200E. One of the advantages is that it has electric start, but also a kickstarter. They're ultra reliable, easy to maintain and repair, and carry their own spare wheel with tire. Changing tires doesn't need a jack, you can remove the front wheel and prop it under the engine to keep the rear up while you change tyres. Because the rim splits you don't need tire irons to change the tyre or fix a flat. Unlike most motorcycles, a Vespa front carrier can hold a lot of gear. Mileage is pretty decent and you can carry extra fuel.

One of the better modes of transportation if speed is not the issue. And the handlebar gear shift allows for more torque in rough terrain and you can keep your feet on the ground in slippery areas.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:36 PM   #20
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Which about sums it up, eh?
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
Which about sums it up, eh?
Neatly.

Plus Katla, from the Amsterdam Assassin Series, rides a Vespa.

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Old 02-01-2013, 08:30 AM   #22
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I am enjoying the story. Nice to have a new author to read. Good work.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:14 PM   #23
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If you can get the hang of changing gears the PX 200 would be the way to go
Sound like it will be a great trip wish I was coming with you
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:11 AM   #24
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I'm going to look at a Vespa 200 GT today. Low miles, pretty good price, unfortunately not red. I really like the way the 250 rides, but I keep hearing stories about people replacing the fuel pump more than once, even on the ones that Vespa did not recall. Marilyn has been super reliable, and that''s what I want in my next Vespa.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by farmrjohn View Post
If you find a 250 that was produced after the bad fuel pump run or has had the pump replaced with the new version that should not be an issue.
I've talked to people who have had to replace the fuel pump more than once on the 300, in addition to the 250, so I'm a little wary about that. A friend suggested I get a 300 and put on a carburetor and get rid of the immobilizer, but I can't find anyone who says that's possible, so I'm probably going to go with the 200, if I get a good deal on one.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola Rides View Post
I'm going to look at a Vespa 200 GT today. Low miles, pretty good price, unfortunately not red. I really like the way the 250 rides, but I keep hearing stories about people replacing the fuel pump more than once, even on the ones that Vespa did not recall. Marilyn has been super reliable, and that''s what I want in my next Vespa.
The GT 200 didnt come in red.

But my red 06 GTS250 has never had a fuel pump issue....19000+ miles. Other issues, but not a fuel pump issue and has never left me stranded even in 123 degrees in Death Valley, where my wife's GT200 locked-up with vapor lock. And again in Goldfield NV.

If you opt for a GT200, research removing the evaporaitive emissions device to prevent vapor-lock over on modernvespa.com.

Others have removed it from their fuel injected 250 and 300s but I don't believe its needed with an injected machine at least in my experience it hasnt been. YMMV
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #27
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Dumbest idea I see in this thread is to swap a 300 engine with a carbonated one.Add me to the list of those with a 2006 GTS that has never had a fuel pump issue. My 2007 Scarabeo had one but once the dealer swapped it out no problem. I've known a few folks who had a fuel pump issue but not one had a problem after a reputable dealer swapped it out after the recall. The only one I know of who had to replace his twice swapped it out before the recall and got his second one done under the recall and no further problems.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #28
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Dumbest idea I see in this thread is to swap a 300 engine with a carbonated one.Add me to the list of those with a 2006 GTS that has never had a fuel pump issue. My 2007 Scarabeo had one but once the dealer swapped it out no problem. I've known a few folks who had a fuel pump issue but not one had a problem after a reputable dealer swapped it out after the recall. The only one I know of who had to replace his twice swapped it out before the recall and got his second one done under the recall and no further problems.
So, swapped a defective unit with another defective unit then?
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:48 AM   #29
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My 2 Cents

Lola,

I have done a lot of riding in South America, and our shop works on Vespas quite a bit, so I will tell you what I think is the best way to go.
I think a GT200 is a lot better choice. Most shops will be able to work on it, the Leader motor is everywhere and pretty much any parts you need and can't find are only a week away. If the bike breaks down, the odds are you will be able to get it taken to a shop and repaired for less than a tire change costs at a Dealer in the US.
One thing you really want to protect is the radiator system. Protect radiators with wire mesh over Vespa plastic ducts, and install Cuppini crash protectors, and side crash protectors. These protect the bike from falls more than anything else. Install an OEM sidestand. It is hard to put a loaded bike on a Centerstand.
OEM shocks are fine, as long as they are in good condition. Get a Xena lock and cable and use them, even if you are only leaving the bike for 2 minutes.
For more lighting, mount a pair of driving lights, one fog, one driving, on the front fender. Better riding at night and in adverse conditions, and you don't use space you need for storage. Disconnect the charcoal canister and either make a secret storage compartment out of it or use the space for a first aid kit or something like that. Take two blue keys, and have another programmed with someone in the States who knows how to ship things to other countries. Leave the Red key home.
Save weight with softluggage, and carry valuables under the seat and in the glove box. Tape the glove box so it doesn't accidently open.
Carry variator and clutch tool, ratchet wrenches, necessary allen wrenches, socket set with necessary sockets only, pair of good screwdrivers, Loctite. Belt, Rollers, oil filter, tire irons, tire plug kit, inner tube, valve stem and co2 cartridge pump. Install a fuel filter big enouth to trap water. Use iridium plug, you shouldn't have to change it. Use 15-50 or 20-50 Amsoil or Mobile 1 and plan to change it around every 5000 miles. Lots of Motul in SA. Change out the rear end oil with a synthetic one and forget about it unless the bike goes underwater (happens).
Change out seat plate for GTS250 plate and use a GTS250 rear rack. Try to keep bike as narrow as possible, lots of lane splitting in SA. Tires are common, avoid the cheap chinese ones. They are hard as a rock and offer no traction in wet conditions.
Intstall a throttle locker, there are a lot of days of monotony and wide open spaces. Get a good touring seat, wider is better. I am partial to the Russell Daylong.
Tucano Urbano makes a great rider cover, and handcovers, and get a good electric vest. You want to keep your core warm, and it is possible to go from 80 degrees to subzero blizzard in a day in Tierra Del Fuego. At times you will need to carry extra gas. Get a 2.5 gallon metal jerry can. Modify your floorboard so you can strap it to the floor when full and carry it somewhere else when empty. Thanks to the EPA and CARB, they are hard to find, but you can buy them in green marked for water. Do not carry spare fuel containers in the saddlebags. If you go down on asphalt, the bike will throw off a lot of sparks while it slides down the road, and you don't want full fuel containers in the saddlebags adding to the excitement.
Small windscreen can be used as a mount point for cameras. Cameras can be mounted on rear rack, and side crash bars. Motobatt battery, make sure there is no way the cables can touch the frame. 6 feet of fuel line, 6 feet of radiator hose. zip ties, wire, good first aid kit with scalpel and sutures. and a few dozen strong pain killers. Get Medjet insurance. Vaccinations for everything known to man, and make sure to get a tetanus booster. Replace all hoses prior to trip.
For increased performance without sacrificing reliability, a Malossi 210cc kit, Leo Vince exhaust and KN air filter. go down a gram on weights, easier up hills and taking off. The CVK carburetor will adjust to altitudes pretty well, but if you are going very high, carry smaller jet for higher altitudes, but make sure to change back at 6000 feet. Sort out with at least 600 miles of travel before taking off, including shakeout trip of average day, and overnight. Don't get the bike serviced and then leave for the trip. Do a ride or two first to make sure it's really sorted out.
Take all your old clothes and throw them away before coming back to the US.
Have fun, and if there's anything you need on the road, send me a PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:36 AM   #30
Lola Rides OP
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Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
The GT 200 didnt come in red.
Isn't that illegal? I thought Vespas are required by law to come in red. lol.
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