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Monday, September 14, 2009

Vespa Manuals and Classic Scooter

Vespa Manuals and Classic Scooter Books.

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There are three reasons a scooter will not start. They are fire, fuel and compression!
Take out the spark plug and ground it to the motor. You must kick over the engine and look for a crisp blue spark.If you do not have a crisp fire I would check the plug.

Check the spark plug wire and spark plug cap.

Check the points and condenser; usually replacing them; or the CDI units on the VSX and VSE models.

Check the wires on the stator plate.

Check the coils in the stator plate.

Check to see if you have a good magnet on the flywheel. Here is a hint: If you have a decent headlight your
flywheel is usually good.
Fuel system:
You can spray ether or carburetor cleaner such as Berryman B12 Chemtool Directly into the carb and see if it will start. Then loosen the fuel line and see if fuel enters the carb. If not, the problem is in the fuel line or fuel tap inside the
gas tank. If you have fuel at the carb, the carb is your problem and needs cleaning.
If you have both fire and fuel:
Then you must check for compression. You must have a compression checker. These are available at automotive parts stores. A scooter must have at least 90 pounds of compression to start. This is an uncommon problem. If compression
is low the rings may have collapsed or the piston is damaged.
Wiring problems for a novice can be a nightmare. Even for the experienced person they can be a headache. First of all the Haynes Shop manual is for British Vespas and of little value. We have most of the US wiring diagrams and will provide them to our customers free of charge. Some trouble area to check are the wires in back of your stator plate as many times they old and tatty.
A solder gun and wire from Radio Shack can fix them. Take your time here. With battery models be sure to check the connections around the battery and fuse. Later models have a voltage regulator behind the battery. These wires need checking as well. A real problem area is in the headset. All the wires come out of he steering column and often the Headsets turn thousands of times. This insulation can be rubbed bare to the wire. Make sure to check where the wiring housing turns down the steering column. Many times the previous owner is no electrical engineer and has decided to play inside the headset.
This can prove to be a challenge. You must on occasion chase the wires down one by one.

WD-40 and carbureator cleaner is a must if you ride a Vespa

Carry a tool kit plus few bits when you ride a Vespa. Include an inner clutch cable, inner gear cable, Pinch bolts, slit barrel nipples and a spark plug.

Keep quality tires on your scooter and occassionally check your tire pressure. The most inexpensive New tires are better than 20 year old rubber. Rubber gets hard and brittle with age and provides poor road contact especially on damp roads.

If you do not ride your scooter often put a gasoline stabilizer in your gas tank to keep gasoline fresh.
One product fairly well known is Stabil. There are others of course. Change your gear oil every 3000 miles or yearly.
People call and ask what kind of oil should they mix in your gasoline. First of all use a good two stroke Oil. Never use engine oil.
Personally I like good quality synthetic oil and use it exclusively. We sell Bel-Ray and will be glad to ship to you however there are a number of good oils.
Be sure to keep two stroke oil with you on long rides especially if you ride a non injection model.

Be safe wear a helmet. Watch the traffic when you ride you are smaller than a car and they just do not always see you. One Can not stress safety enough. I have ridden a scooter since l962 and in that time have seen a lot of Idiot drivers. Two things I personally do is look for eye contact and the front wheel of the car approaching at an intersection. It gives me an edge.

The older the scooter the more important it is to keep it original. It is all right to soup up a P-200 but not a 59 Allstate. Older Vespas are gaining in value all the time, and are of more value the nicer and more original they are.

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