Added a Vespa PX200E to my stable...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Reprobate, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. kittty

    kittty ScooterGirl

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    I don't see the difference, a faulty part will be a faulty part whether it's installed on a new vehicle at a factory or on a 30 year old vehicle during a restoration. I would rather (clearly) go with the new option. Aren't a lot of "restored" Vespas getting LML motors anyway?

    I will admit I expected a little more speed, but I never planned on taking it on the highway anyway so it's fine for my needs anyway. Whether it tops out at 50 or 60 at this point is really irrelevant when I never need more than 45 on any surface streets, I think the highest speed limit is 35 or 40. It's not a race car, but it'll take any roads and hills that I require with the meek pick up of the standard econobox. I really want to put a Sito+ on it but I'm not ready to start screwing around with it. I think that would open it up nicely.

    My gas gauge works intermittently, it's finicky usually in the morning, I think it's the dampness that it doesn't like, must clean connector on sender. On mornings that it doesn't work, it usually works again by lunch. I know many might argue that a bike with 1000 miles shouldn't be showing signs like this, but it's a 35ish year old design. This is what I mean by restored vs new, this could happen on either one.
    #21
  2. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    That may be the issue Kitty- 35 year old Vespas didn't HAVE fuel gauges :D. As I said, there were a number of features that Stella have that old Vespas didn't- disk brake, fuel guage, electric start...I guess the other way to look at it is I've never had an electric starter issue, and my drum brakes are essentially zero maintenance except for a set of pads & a new cable every decade or so....There are always trade offs...

    FYI on the SITO+, I'm about to remove mine to replace it with a SIP Road (as I'm sure you've read the glowing reviews on MV too). If you want my SITO (which probably has 200 miles or less on it) let me know and I'll sell it to you cheap. I like it fine, but it's a bit too popcorn popper sounding. I understand the SIP has a bit mellower tone, and I'm trying to avoid making enemies with my neighbors since their bedroom is close to my driveway and I leave early for work....
    #22
  3. kittty

    kittty ScooterGirl

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    Oooh, that I did not know, haha. I know there's some upgrades to thinks like brakes and suspension, and electric start, but I didn't know they didn't have a gas gauge.

    Interested, but no shopping for me for a while! Week in Ocean City next month for Volkswagen show, that's sucking my wallet dry this month. If you happen to still have it in October I may jump on it.
    #23
  4. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Your electric start failed before 900 miles. The other vocal supporter of Stella had a total seizure at 300 miles. Mine seized at 2800 miles. I appreciate the novelty in your life of scooters, and i am certain I seem like a low grade nit picker but there is a difference. Indian products use inferior metallurgy and workers use poor quality control. The basis of their products is a low price and a good enough philosophy. Piaggio happened somehow on the right product in the right place at the perfect time. They have spent half a century perfecting their product through careful refinement and quality control. That was until they went four stroke to keep up with modern air quality regulations. Then they started again and they have had some pretty severe hiccoughs along the new path. Indeed I think their four strokes could use some refining still, even though they are powerful and fast. Performance comes at the price of complexity, and I well remember the broken exhaust bearing, the impossible rear wheel bearing removal and the constant eletrical overloads and the evaporative cannister nonsense. I found the complexity of modern vespas to be in direct rebuttal of the original philosophy. My wife's ET4 does still hold on to some of that essential simplicity but as you say, who wants an automatic?

    Looking at the old two stroke design the parts are still available thanks to enthusiasts, and truth be told most vintage fans prefer the pre-P series Vespas. When the "new line" came out in 1977 many Vespa lovers (me included) thought they were ugly and unworthy. Then we noticed their perfroamnce and suddenly they weren't so bad. They were built in Italy until 2008 so parts are abundant and cheap. And factory originals. You can rebuild a P series vespa with all factory parts even today and vintage shops that are worthy of your respect do that and charge up to an including $6,000, thus irritating impoverished students, and people like me, who want quality at a price.

    LML broke away from Piaggio years ago to answer the tightly controlled Indian market's need for transport. They built scooters for the home market until other companies put factories in India and Indians discovered the joys of reliable small capacity Japanese motorbikes, stylish, faster and good looking transportation for a burgeoning middle calss. LML decided to stop building step through scooters which they called Star (in Italian "Stella."). The uproar in the lucrative export market persuaded LML to build them once more and indeed to expand to a four stroke version.

    My irritation with Stellas is that they are sold as you say as new Italian vintage scooters. They aren't. Genuine says they do 60+ mph. They don't. They are not serious transportation in the modern world and I think that is a shame because they attract lots of attention. However most people don't treat motorcycles and certainly not scooters as real alternatives to cars and Stellas are just the icing on that unfortunate cake. Stella is a toy, it is not durable or well built and I worry when people, brimming with enthusiasm, praise the scooters as what they are not thus persuading the uneducated observer into thinking they can buy new and get classic Vintage. Stella is not a Vespa. I am not a member of the Stella cult. I, unlike most members, have owned Vespas two and four stroke, and a Stella and am very clear on the difference. You are entirely incorrect to imagine that a Stella thrown together in India is anywhere near the quality of a vintage Vespa carefully rebuilt by dedicated scooter shop owners in the US.

    I have caused you offense in your joyfull newness to the world of two stroke scooters and I am sorry but there are reasons why Vespas have been and are used for travel (Giorgio Bertinelli , Roberto Patrignani to name but two) but not Stella.

    http://www.twowheelsblog.com/post/748/giorgio-bettinelli-vespa-adventurer-and-writer-dies

    [​IMG]

    And my hero, Patrignani in Afghanistan, 1964.
    [​IMG]

    I challenge anyone to get a stock Stella to go "60+" mph because if your Stella did you might ride it more than 20 miles from home, not to race but to enjoy scootering as it was intended, a way to untether oneself from the tedium of routine. As it is the stock Stella is strangled and not at all the pleasure it is sold as. By all means enjoy the Stella for what it is but please don't make it out to be what it's not. If for no other reason than to spare some unsuspecting reader the shock of spending four grand on a scooter that barely goes instead of say, a $4,000 motorcycle that is a real transportation alternative (Wolf Classic, Cleveland 250, Ninja 250, TU 250, CBR 250, and so forth). And I write as one who has always viewed scooters and vespas particularly as valid alternatives to motorcycles.

    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. kittty

    kittty ScooterGirl

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    No, actually my battery is dead because it was sitting in a showroom for three years. I didn't read past the first line because I'm sure it'll be the same thing you keep saying.

    I'm sorry you're bitter and you had some bad luck, but there's plenty of people who love their Stella and have no issues.
    #25
  6. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Not bitter. Please re-read my words. I am not a fan of Stella the way it is marketed. The Stellas do not work as advertised and that is misleading. Indeed you too are looking for a motorcycle that offers the performance you have not found in the Stella. It's like saying a Stella came 27th in the cannonball but the Stella had another engine, Or after a seizure the Stella got new internals from Piaggio. Stellas seem to breed misleading statements because to speak the truth leads one to the inevitable conclusion that they are not as advertised.

    I lost four grand over the junk a long time ago. I lost more on the GTS because I bought a first year new product. Silly me! I am 54 and still learning.
    #26
  7. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Which is why I kick myself for trying, from time to time to educate on public internet fora. Sigh. Back to the pictures in the riding section. Caveat emptor.
    #27
  8. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Amen Brother, keep on drinking that Vespa Kool-Aid.:rofl
    My P200E remained an unreliable pos despite dozens of hours of mechanical attention lavished on it; older vintage Vespa 2T scooters are admittedly more svelte than the P-series but regardless of condition remain nothing but an expensive Italian Women's shopping bike. You could take a Vespa to the Moon with a Saturn V rocket and a Lunar Lander to get it there.:deal
    My Piaggio MP3 was but a brief fling, what a mechanically diabolical contraption that thing was. Oh it was fun to ride and at times seemed like a quality ride but shared a lot of major components (and component failures) with other Modern Vespa/Piaggio/Aprilia Scooters. The litany of mechanical failures on those Scooters is well documented in your prior posts and on Modernvespa. Allow me to add that Piaggio is AWOL on parts and service in the USA. Grab your ankles.
    And Caveat Emptor X2.
    My Stella has had very few and minor outright component failures, the paint finish is equal to my Clubmates 2005 PX150, with the Bitubo pattern shocks and front disc brake it handles and stops way better than my P200E ever could. The rubber bits on my Stella are not of equal quality compared to a Vespa PX.
    Spent hundreds of dollars and weeks of frustration waiting for parts to keep my Piaggio MP3 going, a few hundred dollars and dozens of hours of repairs and Maintenance on my P200E, and a couple of hundred dollars and not very many hours of repairs and Maintenance keeping the Stella going. Now at 6100 miles, if she blows I'll rebuild.
    Danced a jig cash in hand in my Garage when the MP3 was sold.
    I've learned that Piaggio products are like the clap, easy to get and more difficult to get rid of.
    #28
  9. kittty

    kittty ScooterGirl

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    You're not educating, you're whining and bothering and irritating at this point. Your posts serve no purpose other than trying to make me regret my purchase, which is not going to happen.
    #29
  10. Brooktown Geezer

    Brooktown Geezer scooter guy

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    Kitty, nobody is trying to get you to be disappointed in your scooter. If you ride it and it floats your boat, that's all that matters.

    On the other hand, there are people who have been riding and working on scooters for decades, and their experience shows that as Conch has stated, the Indian metallurgy and workmanship just isn't as robust at Piaggo's in the 60's and 70's. I've rebuilt a few vespa motors, and each time I am amazed at the quality and precision of the internals, such as the gears, shifting cross, christmas tree, crank, etc. They just don't make em like that anymore, anywhere (for scooters, anyway.) Even modern Vespa replacement parts for classic scooters aren't as high in quality.

    The Stella 2T was welcomed by scooterists, and was a good value for the money, and scooterists got what they paid for, no complaints.

    The Stella 4T, on the other hand....well, I've heard in private from 3 different scooter shops that they are completely underwhelmed by the quality control, and overwhelmed with warranty issues. Two of them have outright told me that they are "junk" (their words.) These are people who are Genuine fans and wanted to have a good classic-looking scooter to sell, and are still selling the Genuine product to this day.

    I know it doesn't sound like it, but I think Genuine is a good company and has been smart in their brand-building. The Buddy was a brilliant idea, and is still doing well for them. I'd like to see them shake out whatever problems they have with the 4T and improve it, because it's a very cool idea.

    And yup, over the years I have read countless threads about the Stella 2T not being quite as robust as the P125 or the P200, but that's easily remedied by swapping out OEM parts for better parts if and when they fail. One big difference between the Stella and the recent iterations of the P150 from Vespa: you didn't have to shell out $5,000 for the Vespa name. So even if you do have to make some parts replacements down the road, you're still in good shape.
    #30
  11. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

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    Well, this turned out to be a different discussion than I had in mind, but then, it often does.

    My opinion on 'vespa clones' is not that intimate - I once rode a Bajaj P200E that looked the part, but the quality and workmanship was shoddy. I'm a member of the Amsterdam Vespa Club and I talked with some members about the clones, and while they all admitted that the clones outwardly resembled the vintage vespas, they couldn't be compared to the Italians.

    I prefer the older P/PX Vespas over the 4T Vespas because I happen to like the older engines. Perhaps also an emotional tie - I had quite a lot of adventures on the P/PX Vespas.

    If someone loves their vespa clone, I won't detract from their enjoyment by drawing too many comparisons with the Vespas - they've become quite fashionable here, so they're incredibly expensive compared to their non-Italian counterparts, which are cheaper and probably worth their money.
    #31
  12. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
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    My solo ride:

    [​IMG]

    BMW R1100GS, bedlinered, 30 liter tank and customized to the hilt with Hyperpro compression shocks and a whole list of other goodies.

    I put over a 100,000 kilometers on the Black Brute, a lot of it on secondary and unpaved roads all over Europe. I can effortlessly ride 800 kilometers of backroads a day on this motorcycle. It never let me down.

    The Family Car:

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    Moto Guzzi Mille GT with EZS sidecar, modified with rally seat for the children. Doesn't need a parking permit, can be parked on the sidewalk. Plus it's really great to ride a hack.

    The Moped:

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    Vespa PX200E motor scooter, fitted with universal child seat, for urban transport, and taking our 6-year old son to soccer practice. Light, dependable, cheap, great mileage, basically a moped with a more powerful engine. Ideal for snow and sleet, can be ridden with two feet on the ground, can be picked up easily. Pre-dented. Transport racks both front and rear. Has electric starter, but can also be kickstarted if battery is low. Has spare tyre.

    Featured model on my book covers, since my protagonist rides one.
    #32
  13. 103sp

    103sp Adventurer

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    :clap
    #33
  14. MotoRandy123

    MotoRandy123 Been here awhile

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    I wish we had those "universal child seat's" over here. I think the lawyer's are
    keeping them out of the US...
    #34
  15. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    You can order them from Europe and for a while there was one US supplied who carried a scooter child seat. I don't know if they still is or not. My kids could reach the passenger pegs before they were passengers on my scooter. I did use one of the front mount bicycle seats you see in Europe on my bicycle when they were younger. I've never been a fan of the back mounted kid's bicycle seats. Harks back to my bad hip which is one reason I ride a scooter instead of a motorcycle, swinging that leg up and over can be an issue on occasion.
    #35
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    You can't beat a real vintage Vespa, but the prices of good ones were out of my range, and I would constantly worried about it. I have owned a bought new Genuine Stella for about 3 years now, and had a blast on it. With the stock engine (already blew one top end) it is NOT good for touring, they tend to be about the same quality as a Royal Enfield, and since fixing mine, I'm taking it a bit easier. I've already talked to the guys at a local vintage Vespa place (who had no problem with the Stella, but wouldn't touch a new TNG Vespa) about what I need to build a bulletproof engine. That will happen eventually. It will be built for reliability, not performance.

    The electrics are also pretty shabby, my starter switch failed in less than a week, I removed it and rewired the worthless kill switch to be a starter switch. It has worked fine ever since. But electrics can also be upgraded. The body/frame of a Stella is solid and should last forever, unless destroyed in a crash. Everything on it is Vespa, so there will always be parts available for it. It may need a little more work than the real thing, and a whole lot more than a new design TNG scooter, but it is fun to tinker with, and like I said, parts and accessories will always be there. I paid an even $3000 for mine OTD, put whitewall tires and a brown seat on it (it is that avacado color they had in '09) and it is gorgeous. And despite the difference in quality, it does have all the heart and soul of a vintage Vespa. It has that wonderful 2 stroke sound and smoke, the clunky shifting, the quirky handling, the buzzing, squeaks and rattles, it's all still there. Absolutely not refined at all. Just don't expect it to be reliable out of the box. It is made in India.
    #36