Piaggio/Aprilia/Vespa 200cc question please?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by MODNROD, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    OK.
    I want a scoot to get to work. For me that involves 100km one-way, stay for 4 days, ride 100km home. The road is all highway stuff, a bit bumpy, rolling hills (little bubby ones, this is Australia!). Just to make it interesting, one of the trips is at night with the roos and sheep, and I have 10km of gravel. I still want a scoot, so there!
    The sensible thing to do would be to buy a maxiscoot (if you read this Farquar, no I still haven't got one yet........dammit!), but the thing is I like the smaller scoots. I reckon I've had more fun trying to hang onto a Vespa 250 at 100kph through sweeping really tight bumpy highway bends in amongst mates on sportsbikes than anything else I've ridden, hooooge fun. :clap
    Anyway, a friend at work has offered me his 2009 Aprilia Sportcity One, nearly new at a good price, and I'm inches away from pulling the pin and getting the thing. It's a 125 air-cooled Leader motor, but a 200cc kit is genuine Piaggio bolt on piston/cylinder, and a Polini upgear will let it sit on 100kph for hours on end. I'd get a Vespa GTS, but they run to $5000 2nd-hand with 30K on them. This Sportcity with a 200cc kit and an upgear will come out under $2500, and has 800km on the clock. Only thing I'm not sure about is highway manners, and real-world economy. It only has 6L before reserve, so I would need to get 30km/L (70.5 mpg US) otherwise I need a jerrycan extra, no fuel stops on the way. I know they handle well, but at 100kph are they really nervous and skittish?
    Secretly I hope so, to make the weekly trip more interesting......

    So, all you Vespa LX150 owners, Beverly 200 owners, Sportcity 200 owners (all the older carb models), do you get this sort of economy at these speeds from this Leader motor? If you only get 25km/L or so (under 60mpg US), I might have to keep looking, I'm trying to avoid carrying extra fuel.

    If I was sensible I'd get a X-Evo 400 or Burgie 400, but I'm not.
    I drive my twin-turbo Supra on the gravel.
    I dragrace a Vmax, even though I know it will break.......again.
    I have been known to stay out at night past 9:00pm.
    I have been pulled over for dragracing my daughters 50cc Hyosung scoot in the city (well. me and 4 other 50cc riders :rofl).
    I'm also old enough to not care! :lol3

    Let the flaming and experience begin.......
    #1
  2. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    MODN, I got no hard experience for you but wish to thank you for some interesting, if speculative, cogitation time. Found myself wondering as a gloomy and worried actuary might: If I hit a kangaroo at 100kph at night on a rural road, would I rather be on 12-inch wheels or fifteens? :evil Luck wif it, Mate.
    #2
  3. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Happy to be of service man!
    Hitting a roo isn't necessarily a given at any time. I think even if you worried at it, stressed on it, and practically willed it into action by constant thought, it still isn't a fait accompli......
    I reckon if I rode by and run over the toes of a boomer on either 12" or 15" wheels he would be pissed equally.

    Another thing on this particular Sportcity choice........it's air-cooled and carby. That is a HUGE plus for me.
    Being an electronics tech, stone-age simple is highly valued, I much prefer stone-age to space-age.:deal
    #3
  4. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    :lol3
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  5. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    I've got a ET4 with the 150 Leader engine and a Malossi 190 top end. I also have the taller Polini gears, and a Malossi variator. If I accept the stock odometer as accurate, I am getting under 50 mpg, so yes, you would need to carry gas.
    #5
  6. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Bugger.
    Still, thanks for your feedback mate, it sorta confirms what I'd heard. I might have to get creative with heads and intake/exhaust to get the efficiency up if I picked it then.
    Not that is necessarily a bad thing.........:lol3

    It's hard to find an air-cooled scoot around 200-250cc and 15-20HP nowadays isn't it?
    #6
  7. bman

    bman Been here awhile

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    Something like this might work for you.
    Never mind, liquid cooled.
    #7
  8. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Im starting to think liquid-cooled may be the only option, if I'm strict with my 25km/L at least @ 100kph up light hills. If I lived in the city the decision would be intantaneous.

    I could probably make the 200cc AC Leader that efficient, or even a different brand (Yamaha/Kymco etc) but not without a fair bit of application to heads/cam/carb etc, which while fun, is a bit of a pain. I haven't had much luck with liquid-cooling on bikes out here in the past, I guess the 50*C temps we sometimes have may not be helping!

    Interestingly, an air-cooled motor can run perfectly well in these temps (like my VW Bug), as long as you have a short quick shot of water through a reticulation nozzle aimed at the forced-air cooling entry point every few minutes (I use a cylinder head temp guage and a push-button for a washer bottle motor), while water-cooled seems to reach thermal overload eventually, even with big radiators and extra fans.

    Mostly I just like the air-cooled simplicity, but I guess liquid-cooling may have to do the job.

    Hell, any scoot is better than a tin-top.
    #8
  9. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    Do it. I'll hold your coat.

    Plenty of photos, then, please.

    And wow! A periodic spritz of cold water into the cooling air intake: that, you gotta love.
    #9
  10. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Hey man, good to see you again!
    I have to admit, the perverse side of me would enjoy sucking the mirrors off a really nice Vespa 250 with a little aircooled scoot!

    Hope you didn't have too much damage? I only saw what was on our local news, but it had top billing so must have been a bit harsh.
    Hope everyone over there got through OK.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot. I don't actually have to do it, because someone else has had the same idea, and is 1/2way through it here......
    http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic105949
    #10
  11. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    Holy Mackeral. That guy is using science, has charts and page-wide graphs with numbers to three decimal positions and stuff...when I first got into little bikes, I understood there would be no math...

    Please carry on - ain't nobody else doing it in west Oz

    And all ok here - storm-wise, we dodged the bullet.
    #11
  12. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Probably a few I guess, but no-one I know. Although, a really good mate of mine who works for the in-laws family farm here (actually, he's more like a brother really!) has about 10 old Vespas back home in Germany, ranging in horsepower from a mild 20HP, up to 35HP with liquid cooling.........all on small frame 50s and 60s Vespas that weigh in under 100kg.

    We delivered farm stuff to the city 300km away last week, so sat there next to each other discussing/plotting/scheming hotrod scooters for the 3 hours it took to get us there in the truck. He's going home to Germany for a month's holiday soon. Germay is THE home for all things scoot racing. They make lots of stuff. Really cool stuff. Only thing is I don't know how big his suitcase is! :lol3

    The thread in MV is more about outright power, whereas I'm more along the lines of just enough extra torque at reduced revs to maintain economy at slightly higher speeds, but it is indeed what started me thinking that maybe this little Sportcity could be made to work OK.

    Good to hear everythings sweet over there.:freaky
    #12
  13. Tuonized

    Tuonized n00b

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    I have the old 2005 Sportcity 200cc with 120000 kilometers on the clocks. I have done most of them on highways (or equivalent). The consumption is about 4-4.3 liters per 100km. So it is close to 25km/l you mentioned above.

    I would not advise you to get smaller scooters or scooters with smaller wheels to be riding on the highway. Sportcity is very steady and has good brakes.

    For my job I do 44 km round trip. I have done it at times with Gillera runner 125cc, Vespa gts 300cc, Piagio liberty 150cc and of course my own Sportcity. Sporcity was the best of them all.
    #13
  14. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Thanks mate, that's very good experience!
    Much appreciated. :clap
    #14
  15. Kubla

    Kubla Long timer

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    I would suggest a Honda helix, but I do not know if they sold them in Australia
    250cc liquid cooled, indestructible, holds a little over 2.2 gallons (8 liters) and I get 60 mpg with my tall windshield and my 400 pound fat but on it

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    No we don't get them, only started with the later model Forza's. We did get the Elite 250, but rare as rocking-horse-poo.
    #16
  17. Phipsd

    Phipsd Been here awhile

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    I would take the SYM HD 200 over those choices. It's a proven reliable long distance bike without the high price.
    #17
  18. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    We've all been discussing the relative merits of these different bikes, and I thank everyone for their input. In the end I knew I shouldn't have test-ridden the thing, or I'd come home with it..........

    :D

    :clap

    About bloody time I got a new scoot. I never realised how much I missed the stoooopid little things until I got another one. There were a few check-items I wanted in a new ride though, and this scoot ticks NEARLY all of them.

    Aircooled, for it's simplicity and ability to take high heat loads (oh yeah, and no radiator to chuck rocks through, like my last 3 bikes)......
    [​IMG]

    Low km's, so I don't have to spend 3 or 4 hours between watch cycles getting it ready for another 100km trip next week (I work 4 on, 4 off). Old bikes are REALLY starting to shit me......
    [​IMG]
    (963km when I first sat on it).

    Reasonable capacity.....
    [​IMG]
    Oh. Poop. I spose nothing I can't fix easy enough.

    A halfway decent brand for halfway decent suspension and brakes.....
    [​IMG]

    Gravel capable (as much as anything with road tyres anyway).......
    [​IMG]
    So it would seem!

    Halfway decent headlights, I do the trip up to work leaving home at 1:30am in amongst the roos and sheep......
    [​IMG]

    Minimum range of 200km so I don't need to refuel?
    Aaahhhh, uuhhmmmm, oh yeah. I knew I'd forgotten something...... :lol3

    2010 Aprilia Sportcity One 125, and I'm bloody happy!

    I rode it home this afternoon, a workmate I bought it off trailered it in for me (we work in the sticks.......). The first 10km was good old West Oz "ball-bearing" gravel, not too badly corrugated though mostly, and it was very stable. I've had heaps of road bikes down through this crap, and this little Sportcity is actually very good, right up there with the old '70s UJMs (they were great......heavy, long, weight down low, skinny tyres for grip on the gravel). That was followed by another 15km of really bumpy and potholed single-lane bitumen, and up-and-down. Then after another 75km of narrow two-lane backroads highway, complete with Iron Ore road trains, a few 4m wide grain Harvesters, numerous white tray-back utes.........and one solitary little scooter! :lol3

    It's quite stable on the gravel, very composed on the bumpy highway, is surprisingly unaffected by 3-dog road trains blasting by at 110kph the other way, and a pretty comfy ride. I didn't wring it's neck by a long way, the bike hasn't been over about 70kph in it's short life I reckon, so I just wound it in to about 2/3 - 3/4 throttle, then let it find it's own happy speed. There was no way I was getting a speeding ticket, HAHA! It quite happily rolled along with about 95kph showing on the speedo on the flats, 85kph up hills, and 100 downhill, and all of it with me leaning back into the gearsack like an Easyrider. :rofl The fuel economy in these conditions, all of it into a blustery 20-30kph headwind with no screen, was 21km/L. Overall average speed for the trip was 85kph.

    I need I reckon about 15-16HP (which is 45% more than stock) and a 20% upgear kit, and together with a windscreen (I have already ordered a Puig City Touring), it should sit happily on 90-100kph true speed all day, up hill and down dale, even into a bit of a headwind, and return better than 22 or 23km/L on a bad day. That extra grunt is a really quick genuine Piaggio 200cc barrel and piston away (everything else on these things are the same, even the carb/head/exhaust).

    If I get RROOOOOOLLLLLYYY SSTTOOOOOPPIID (which is quite possible......) I can take it out to 278cc like those German madmen do. Oh yeah,that's right, my German mate goes home for a month tomorrow........

    Hey RHM, hold my coat man! :deal
    #18
  19. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    Oh, by all means, M'Lord: bring the jug, the piston, the upgear!

    But if it please Your Grace, may I beg that you then take care, whilst rocketing down the long nightime gravel thus amped, to never, ever, idly think or imagine or visualize or speculate or wonder at all about what 278cc might mean on that commute, or how trivial a thing it would be to strap-on a little supplemental fuel cell, or how asking one's mate, heading as he is out to SIP-land anyhow, to leave socks, underwear, toiletries, passport out of his luggage on the way home, and maybe squeeze-in a forged connecting rod and crank and big stator, and how it would be a damned shame not to use, to unthinkingly throw away this fortuitous and karmic opportunity to cheat SIP out of their notoriously savage, even rapacious shipping charges.

    For having spoken aloud the Name of Foreign Gods - 278cc! - one cannot unspeak them, must sooner-or-later propitiate them, lest they poison the mind and soul with disaffection for a mere 200.

    Just sayin'... :evil
    #19
  20. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    I hear ya man!
    Once enunciated the form cannot be undone.......

    The freight charges favoured by SIP is one reason I mentioned the mate going home on holidays for a month, but freight in general out of Euro-zone is a bit harsh.

    278cc is definately an option, but I'm probably going to put my Captain Sensible hat on, and probably keep it down to 185cc. Captain Chaos can wait till later.

    First things first though, the really important things to look for.........the cup holder goes on this morning. :deal

    Have a good one man.
    #20