tempted by 200E set me straight

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by mslim, Aug 23, 2018.

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  1. mslim

    mslim Long timer

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    I see a clean looking Vespa 200E for sale in a nearby town. Is it just nostalgia (I'm 70 y/o) or might it be a useful little around town scooter? Will I get tired of mixing 2 stroke oil? Should I hold out (and spend another grand) for a modern day 250 or 300 gts or something?
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    If you want a reliable day in and day out commuter then get something modern. If you just want to have some fun and are willing to spend a little more time maintaining your scooter then get the old Vespa. Better yet, get one of each. Ride them for a year and then decide which to keep. You may find that you want to keep both.

    I ride modern scooters and have a blast on them. Whether you would prefer modern or vintage is pure personal preference and only you can answer that question.

    BTW, there are a lot of brands of scooters out there besides Vespa.
    #2
  3. egret

    egret noob

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    #3
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  4. bvardi

    bvardi Probably not Deciduous

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    My opinion of a P series Vespa: (I've owned several)

    • Most reliable/powerful (generally speaking, depends on condition of machine) of the manual shift Vespas.
    • Still has that "Vintage" feel, especially when you clunk into gear and slide that clutch out and feel that (roughly) 11hp of sheer italian two stroke goodness.
    • Not as pretty as the curvier, earlier models.
    • P200E engine can be put into several earlier scooters and is desirable for it's power compared to the earlier models and the P125 and P150 models.
    • Tons of parts availability and mods - though I'd advise keeping it stock for reliability. You really don't need more power than the P200E has on 10 inch tubed tires.
    • It'll probably snap a cable at some point or clog a carb jet and require some side of the road fixing - but that's easy enough to do for the most part.
    • They are pretty tough bikes generally - in 1980 a french team entered 4 P200's into the Paris-Dakar rally and 2 out of 4 finished.
    • They keep value pretty well - while the P series isn't as often seen as a real "classic" vespa by some, the engine is nonetheless very desirable and if you are going to go for a P series, you want the P200. They all look identical, but the P200 has the best engine.
    • If not autolube model, more hassle when filling up in terms of adding oil to gas - but you get used to it quickly enough and a premix cup can make it pretty easy to do on the fly.
    • Brakes less effective than newer machines - partly because the engine is hung off one side and the balance is a little asymmetrical, you may find the rear end coming around if your drum brakes lock on you.
    • There is a certain something about the buzzy, clunky, squeaky little machines that cannot be replicated by a modern scooter. But as a daily commuter, or if you don't have the ability to work on the little things yourself - may not be the best choice.
    • Lots of places to order regular and performance parts.
    • If you want it looking pristine, paintwork can be pricey.
    • Lots of knowledge resources on internet.
    My opinion of a "Modern"" scooter: (Have owned many, currently own a burgman 400, a Kymco People S200 and a Kymco Bet and Win 250)

    • Much more jump on and go. Good brands will have very little maintenance - but the maintenance can be more difficult to do in some cases. (Depending on model, brand.... oil changes will be simple for most but few will have as easy tire changes as the P series vespa for example.)
    • Plastics need to be removed for more maintenance items - adds time, can be tricky
    • In my case my machines are my daily commuters - and look it. I don't worry about dings, scratches and such.
    • Value plummets on used market much more than a Vespa - advantage when buying used, disadvantage when selling.
    • Internet and parts resources can vary according to make/model.
    • Generally (Depends on CC's of course) faster than the comparable shifty vespa. For example my Kymco People S200 is something like 163cc - but it'll do the same or slightly better top speed than the P200 (roughly 100-110kph if I recall correctly)

    I'm beyond the point where I would have a vintage vespa as a daily driver basically. But for a sunday driver if the budget allowed? Heck yes. In practical terms it is not as good of a ride as a modern scooter. In practical terms it is not as effcient as a modern scooter. In practical terms it is not as fast or as capable or as safe as a modern scooter. But they sure are fun, they will definitely get people talking to you on the side of the road, and the experience of riding it is something entirely different than a modern scooter.
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  5. mslim

    mslim Long timer

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    I loved and prefered Lambrettas back in the day. I didn't know they were still in business. Are they made in India or someplace other than Italy now?
    #5
  6. egret

    egret noob

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    They just came back, made in Italy. This Saturday will be the launch here, in Perth , Western Australia. Pics will follow.
    -zie egret.
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  7. bvardi

    bvardi Probably not Deciduous

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    They're not the same strictly speaking as I understand it - but the history post 1997 of the "Lambretta" badge is a bit of a muddy one. Here's an article that (to me at least) covers it pretty well. https://www.corazzo.net/lambretta-is-back-yeah-we-have-heard-that-before/
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  8. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    the only thing to really look for is it usa for all it's life or has someone import it back into usa from overseas? The ones from Asia tend look good by are peaces of shit under it all. Google how to tell if your vespa is an Asian import . 6 years ago I posted a thread here about that.
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  9. JerryH

    JerryH Proudly Powered By Internal Combustion Supporter

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    I'm 57, but in poor health for my age. I have a genuine Stella, a Vespa clone (right down to the last detail) made in India. I just passed 11,000 miles on it, with only 2 problems. A seized top end when it was new (covered under warranty) and a failed stator around 5,000 miles (Vespa P series parts fit) If you are in good health for your age, go for it. There is nothing like a manual shift, manual clutch 2 stroke scooter, made out of metal. The engine will fail at some point, and when it does, I'm going to replace it with a seriously built Vespa PX150 engine. Mine does have oil injection. But I have ridden many 2 stroke mopeds that didn't, and it wasn't a problem for me. If you do decide to get a twist and go scooter, I still recommend a Vespa, with a carburetor. Stella001_zpsc19fe5f7.jpg

    It's hard to beat the look, sound, feel, and riding experience of a vintage Vespa, Lambretta, or any other metal manual shift/clutch 2 stroke scooter.
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  10. Tarka

    Tarka Strangely strange. Oddly normal.

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    P200/PX200 is the ultimate Vespisti choice for rally going and distance work.

    Reliable as a blacksmith's anvil.

    Just enough real world performance.

    There's no issue or anything to get tired of about mixing oil if you get a premix model.
    Just buy yourself a calibrated jug and chuck 100ml per 5 litres of fuel (2% for Vespas).
    Oil in first, then petrol...no issue, no drama.
    #10
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  11. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    33047952-A329-4643-935F-2813566FFBEE.jpeg Everyone stresses the go part of the equation. Stopping is another story. Dismal brakes mean riding in modern traffic is...hairy. Suspension is okay but with wooden brakes anytime you get up to enough speed to make cornering interesting slowing down can be interesting. If you buy it make sure you have a spare plug, and bulbs if you ride at night.
    A two stroke Vespa is cool. A modern scooter is transportation.
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  12. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer Supporter

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    They aren't really back, name was bought but production has been sketchy.
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  13. JerryH

    JerryH Proudly Powered By Internal Combustion Supporter

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    "A two stroke Vespa is cool. A modern scooter is transportation" I agree completely. Out of my 3 scooters, the Stella, which has al the attributes of a P series Vespa, is by far the most fun to ride. It's sound, feel, look, and even the great smelling exhaust give it 10 times the character of any modern scooter. There is also a lot of interaction between the rider and machine. It has a manual shift and clutch. The shifter is a bit notchy, but you quickly become used to it. For an inexperience rider on such a machine, there are two ways to leave a traffic light. Either very slowly, or with the front wheel in the air. But again, it doesn't take long to get it right. With the engine, gas tank, and rider all at the rear, the front wheel comes up very easily if you rev it to much and/or let the clutch out too fast. And while the Stella has a disc front brake, it's brakes are barely adequate. Again you learn how to deal with that.

    However, the breadloaf seat and somewhat low bars can make long rides a little uncomfortable. If I were going on a 200-300 mile trip, and the important thing was the trip, and not the feel, sound, and interaction with the scooter, I'd take my Vespa GT200. An exact opposite of the Stella. Smooth, quiet, enough power for highway use, comfortable, no shifting, but still carbureted. Vintage 2 stroke manual shift scooters are machines. Modern scooters are more like appliances. They get you where you are going, But unless the trip itself is exciting, they are quite boring. They have been so refined that they have no character at all. They might as well be electric. Of course there are certain types that like those too. But if you want a visceral riding experience with a lot of rider/machine interaction, you can't beat a vintage Vespa. And if you decide you don't like it, you can likely get your money back out of it. Vintage Vespas don't really depreciate.
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  14. egret

    egret noob

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    Hi folks,
    Here are a few pics from today's event, the launch of Lambretta scooters in Western Australia.
    There was a good selection of body and seat colours, for today's event; white, red,orange and gray scooters on display. Light blue, moon blue, brown and black I guess to follow. I was in a rush, no ride but sat on one and ergonomics don't match my long legs unfortunately. Underbody is steel, mudguards, body panels are plastic. Good fit and finish, no gaps and generally a solid feel.
    -zie egret[/ATTACH] IMG_0009.JPG IMG_0005.JPG IMG_0007.JPG IMG_0006.JPG
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  15. egret

    egret noob

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    IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0002.JPG IMG_0001.JPG IMG_0003.JPG
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  16. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    SLUK makes a cogent argument these Lambrettas are rebadged 50/125/160 cc generic Asian scooters. Not that that is bad it means they aren’t really any different from PGO or Kymco. Note the forward slope of the floorboards. SLUK measured the dimensions and they match the Asian scoots.
    In my book Scomadi is the true heir to Lambretta.
    B70A3110-B1E5-44D8-A872-845DCADD3C4D.jpeg
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  17. egret

    egret noob

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    IMG_0011.JPG IMG_0008.JPG
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  18. egret

    egret noob

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    Hi conchscooter,
    It might be, I had a look at engine specs and indeed match the cc of Kymco's engines offering.
    -zie egret.
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  19. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    it’s all a bit academic in the US anyway land of the barely noticed scooter!
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  20. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    The Lambretta website shows a dealer in Chicago? Lambretta is kind of like Indian to the U.S., the brand has been passed around so many times that the next reiteration extracts yawns from the masses. I personally really love the look of the new Lambrettas and I hope they come to the U.S. That said, I would much rather have a Peugeot Django. I would buy one today if they were available and yes they have Asian roots as well.
    [​IMG]
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