Posts Tagged 'vespa'

halloweener update – the rally part of the update (part 3)

so yes! la rally! my east coast lover, doug, flew over and we tossed the ciao and sparkle butt in the back of the truck and headed to sf. as it turns out, sf is a couple hours out of the way when heading from sac to la, but i didn’t really take that into consideration when i promised bay area peoples i would take their bikes for them. oh well, i had to go get ciao anyway.

i didn’t really take any pictures since i was driving, but doug took this pretty one.

other than burning a bunch of oil (THIRTY QUARTS by the end of the trip! THIRTY QUARTS!), the truck did pretty alright. it’s totally new engine time. i should be able to pick up a good engine for $200-300, which will make the truck a $700-800 truck, which is perfectly fine by me.

the rally was awesome. i didn’t get any pictures or anything because i was too busy being awesome on my awesome ciao.
ok, it’s more because i pretty much forgot about my camera, but yeah.
on the saturday ride i managed to lose a bolt from my rear wheel (i need to make sure i tighten bolts when putting things together, i guess?), which caused my wheel to jack sideways when i hit the rear brake, which made the tire bite into the frame and lock the rear wheel up.

i was probably cruising around 50mph when all of this went down, but i rode out the skid for a while so i was probably doing more like 20 or so when i high sided onto my left side. still did plenty of damage, though. ciao bounced down highway 1 shooting sparks and i tumbled after. you couldn’t even tell the ciao had wrecked, it was fine. i got away with some road rash on my already sunburned arm and a pretty nasty bruise on my hip. two weeks after all of this and the bruise was twice as big and twice as purple and there was like a fluid sack or something under it. it was a pretty good tumble!

it was a pretty scenic spot to wait for the breakdown truck, though.

i could have kept riding had i another bolt to replace the one that went missing, and it wasn’t until i was sitting there on the beach for a while after everyone left that i realized there was six of those bolts holding the engine in doug’s bike. womp womp.

the rest of the rally went awesome. i was able to get a bolt and made the sunday ride without a hitch. i even won a moped at the raffle!

monday morning doug and i went and collected everyone’s mopeds and put them in the truck and headed back. this was doug’s first west coast rally where he didn’t have moped troubles! he was pretty stoked, i think.

next time i’ll post about the raffle bike i won! and then after that i’ll post about the 2013 dirtbag challenge and the bike ryan and i built! you can’t wait!

halloweener update – more of the same from before (part 2)

alright, continuing from yesterday.

another thing i decided to take care of was my clutch bell. at a creature rally forever ago i had to weld the nut on the back of my clutch because it had stripped out and left me kinda screwed. that fixed me up good enough and, other than the pulley being a little warped from the heat, it ran great forever.

then at a polini cup race i blew a belt and it had flipped out of the rear pulley onto my yellow malossi contra spring, collapsing most of the spring and leaving only one coil still functioning. this made the yellow spring much weaker than a stock spring. i tried to adjust my variator weights to make up for it, but i could never get it to perform very well, and since i welded the thing together i couldn’t swap the spring.

so yeah, i get myself a second clutch pack and put my malossi red spring in it. this works out, except the clutch is a non-reinforced 2-tier clutch bell version, and my reinforced 3-tier bell won’t fit over the clutch for whatever reason. i was getting it ready for the reno rally at the time and didn’t have time to sort it out, so i just put the 2-tier bell on it.

i decided to do something about that finally. i pulled the 2-tier bell and compared it to the 3-tier reinforced bell. you can kinda see here that the 2-tier bell (left) has a ditch that runs around the outside of it whereas the 3-tier does not. i colored the 3-tier bell with a blue sharpie in that area to verify that it was infact dragging here, and it was.
you can also see the thickness difference between the two bells in this photo.

here are a couple closeups in case the picture above doesn’t show it well enough.


i ended cutting a bunch off the end of the starting clutch bell, coloring it blue, installing the bell to check where it rubs and then pulling the bell back off and doing it again.
took like 5 tries before i got it to clear.

ok, so got all of THAT sorted. next, my rear hub has been leaking oil ever since the nut stripped out on the back of my rear variator and kinda lathed the seal and hub case down all those years ago. all that oil saturated my rear brake shoe and ruined it, so i changed the shoe and replaced the seals.

apparently i didn’t get a picture of the seal in the hub, but here it was after i pulled i out.

and here’s the hub itself.
i was worried there wasn’t enough sealing area left for the outside of the seal, but there was nothing to do but put in the new seal and hope it was ok. it totally wasn’t ok, it ended up leaking oil everywhere at the la rally, even with the new seal. anyone have a spare vestap rear hub? haaah.

seal looks oily here only cos i good and lubed it up before putting it in.

rear seal looked fine, but i replaced it anyway. M! for malossi gears! really though, i had a couple of transmissions at one point that i was swapping out and kept forgetting which had the gears in them.

i tried sanding my brake shoe to see if it would work alright, but it was no use. it’s too bad, i had a kinetic shoe in there, which is the widest shoe available for vespa mopeds. here you can see the different sizes lined up. left to right – kinetic shoe, ebc shoe and stock ciao shoe.

while i had the wheel off i noticed the bearing in the carrier thingy on the right side (what do you even call that thing) was super notchey and in bad shape. figured i ought to take care of that too while i was at it.

i ground the heads off the stock rivets and pried the two pieces apart. with a little banging, the bearing came right out.

the new bearing (double shielded 6202) pressed in pretty easily.

pop-riveted the two halves back together and it was good as new.

i buttoned everything up and was pretty well ready to go.


i had a couple more things to do – the decomp didn’t return as quickly as i would like and i needed to figure out what i was going to do about lights.

the decomp thing is due to the cable being kinda sticky. i lubed it up as best as i could, but i felt like the little spring on the head wasn’t going to be enough to ensure it closing all the way, so i rigged up a lever return spring.
it works perfect to give the cable an extra push. i’ll replace the cable someday, but this is working great for now, so it’s good enough!

as for the lights, i ran out of time. i entertained the idea of a bicycle friction generator light, but those things are expensive for the nice ones and the cheapies are way too crappy.
in the end i just ran without lights. i stuck a derbi light on it so that it looked like i had a headlight, but there isn’t any wires running to it or anything.

and that was it! i think. that was a lot of typing, i hope i didn’t miss anything.
i took some pre-la rally pictures in the sf moto elevator.




alright! part 3 tomorrow!

halloweener update – ain’t got nothing else to do (part 1)

i have totally slacked on updating this thing for reasons that are many and more and because of that i have a huge backlog of things to post about, which is daunting and becomes another reason for not updating this thing. makes perfect sense, right?

i suppose i’ll pick up where i left off and go from there.
last i visited this thing, i was getting the truck and the ciao ready for the la rally that happened a couple months ago.this is going to be a three parter, i think. pretty sure not many people read this thing, and it would be asking a lot of those who do to have them read this post as one whole thing, so yeah. i’ll split it up for you guys. first i’ll start with the ciao, since i had to dig into that a bit to make it rally ready.

i threw it on my lift and pulled the head to install the decomp valve. it had been removed a couple years ago for a customer’s bike, which is the main reason ciao’s been parked for so long. i lapped the new valve into the head real good, decked the head on some glass real quick to make sure it was still flat. i sprayed on some copper spray gasket and torqued the head back on. went to start it and, surprisingly, it fired right up! it’s been sitting pretty much since september of 2010, so i was expeciting it to need at least a carb clean, but nope! fired up on that old gas and idled no problemo. i decided to clean the carb anyway.



inside of the frame’s kinda a mess. i end up cleaning that up a bit. not like remove dirt, but more like cut metal out and stuff. you’ll see.

21mm straight throuuuugh

ever since i built this bike, i’ve had issues with the float bowl hitting the frame. i cut a bunch of the frame out and switched the race bowl for a plastic bowl so that i could wittle some of it away to get as much clearance as possible, but i’ve still managed to crack a bowl or two from frame flex and stuff. not to mention it has always kept me from having the belt properly set on the rear variator due to the engine not being able to slide back far enough. i never fixed it because i was always too lazy, but i decided that it was time.

it’s down in here where the float bowl hits the frame.

i know it’s not super clear, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

and here you can see how my belt sits like a whole millimeter down into the rear pulley. it’s been this way for like 8 years now! so silly i haven’t fixed it sooner.

so out comes the engine and in goes the angle grinder.

i didn’t really get a before picture (other than the one above), but here’s what it looked like after.

i put the engine and carb back in and yay! i finally have full travel at the rear variator!

i also took care of my idle screw issue. when i built this thing i realized there was no way i was going to be able to get to the idle adjustment screw on the left hand side of the carb, so i just removed it and capped it off. then i tapped the other side thinking i would have room to get to it there. turned out i totally didn’t, so i just capped that side too.

well, i was tired of adjusting my idle with the throttle cable adjustment and having no slack at all in the cable, so i took a phbg idle screw and ground most of the head off. then i cut a new screwdriver slot in it. it finally fit in the frame, but other than getting to it with some long pliers, i couldn’t adjust it really. at this point i decided i was spending way too much time on something so silly, so i cut a window in the frame.


that did it!

stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!

coming out of retirement

i dragged this thing out from under a bunch of other projects and knocked the dust off of it.
i pulled the head to install a new decomp, bolted it back on and fired it up on the 2 year old gas that’s still sitting in it. didn’t even bother cleaning the carb! ciaociao is back!
gotta replace the thrashed belt and oil-soaked rear brake shoe and maybe figure out some lights for it and it should be just about la rally ready.

i’ve been crazy busy lately and doing a bad job of keeping this thing up to date. i have some fun stuff to post about. i’ll get on that.

ongoing vespa rally 200 restoration

other than a little more cleaning up of some embarrassing welds and a little more straightening out of bodywork, the rally’s about ready to go to paint.

i welded up all of the holes a previous owner put in the thing to add crash bars and what not, as well as filled all of the cowl mounting holes for the left side cowl as it’s getting a glovebox cowl from an old super. this is pretty much my first time filling holes in sheet metal like this, so it wasn’t a pretty process. it came out alright in the end, though. besides, the paint shop will be adding some body filler here and there, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. i could have gotten it perfect eventually, but time and budget won’t allow it.

goober welds on the leg shield

back of leg shield and top of floorboard

rear fender, plus the start of me flattening/filling the cowl pivot pin hole. also, you can see here that the stock location of the battery box has it hanging down in front of the cut out along the bottom of the frame. that cutout is there to aid in the removal of the rear wheel for changing tires and what not.

the “new” cowl. it bolts to the side of the scooter with six bolts with a rubber gasket going around the edge between cowl and frame. it’s pretty much water tight once all together, so i had to fill any and all holes behind the cowl that are no longer being used.

here you can see the tabs that hold the cowl to the side of the scooter. also, notice the cowl has a simular cutout as the frame for the rear tire. on a super the frame has a kind of bubble skirt rather than a cut out, to seal against the cowl. this was the biggest bummer about doing this as i had to fabricate a ‘bubble skirt’ to fill that gap and try to keep tire changes as hassle free as possible.

before i could try to work out a solution to that gap i had to do something about the battery box hanging down in the way. that wasn’t a big deal, though. i just cut the bottom of the box out of the the bike, cut a couple inches out of sides of it so that the bottom of the box would clear the skirt and then weld it back together.

the only issue here is that the battery kind of sits back in a hole a little bit, raising the bottom of the box meant that the top of the battery would no longer fit neatly into the recess, so i just move the bottom of the box out so the top of the battery would clear the frame. this worked great and when i mocked everything up there was plenty of room to get into the glove box.

then i spent some time trying to make my plugged up holes disappear. there are a few pin holes in a couple of the spots still, i would normally weld those up and grind some more to get rid of them, but time doesn’t allow for that and they will be easy enough to fill with a little body filler.


here you can see some of the holes i added for the cowl mounting bolts. also, the ugly welded up cowl pivot hole is a good example of where the body filler will come in handy.

for filling the gap between the cowl and frame i had to get tricky. i don’t have the tools to make my own curved sheet metal bits, but the front fender from this bike is getting replaced anyway, so i eyeballed some curves i thought would work out and cut them out.

i hammered the bits into slightly different shapes and did my best to weld them in there so that it didn’t look too horrible. since i didn’t measure anything when i cut the parts out, i had a lot of gaps to fill in some spots with a lot of overlapping material in other parts. after a while i was able to get it looking ok and called it good. a little more grinding on some of those super ugly welds and body filler at the paint shop should have it looking pretty good for a part no one will ever see.

so that’s how it sits. i’m going to do a test run installation of the leg shield beading to try and make sure the leg shield is as close to the original shape as i can make it, clean up a couple of those welds a bit more and off to paint it goes.

scooter city!

erm, not the scoot shop in sac. i just mean i’ve been working on a bunch of old vespas lately. i don’t have internet at the new place in sac yet and our server at the shop took a dump so i haven’t had a chance to update this thing in a few days.

first was this super clean 1964 GL150. i didn’t need to do much to get it running, just a basic service and it was good to go. my boss picked it up to sell, so it’s sitting in a window on the upstairs showroom waiting for it’s next owner.



then was a P200E tear down for paint. this one’s not getting as thorough of a job as the rally, just a quick re-spray.

and last is the rally from previous posts. boss is out right now as i type this picking up our new welding rig, so i spent the last hour or so going over the bike and stripping the paint from around the holes i need to fill and cracks i need to fix, hammering out dents and cutting off parts that gotta go. IMG_0124

i am putting a GL style glove box left rear cowl on this rally, so i trimmed off a bunch of tabs that are no longer needed, namely the upper cowl support/spring seat thing and spare tire mounting brackets.

there was a huge dent in the rear fender under the taillight that i had to hammer out. i’m a total noob with body sheet metal work, but i’m totally stoked to get to do some. it’s not perfect, but there’s a crack around a couple of those holes i have to fix and then i’ll try and do a better job. blurry picture.

i’m also going to be installing a GL style spare tire mount behind the leg shield since i’ve gotten rid of the stock mounts.

that’s about all i’ve got at the moment. i should have internet at the new house on sat, and welder access here at the shop finally, so hopefully that means i’ll get to finally dig into that sr250, dirty and a few other projects that have been taking up space.

rally torn down + dirty’s dirty shock

not too exciting i suppose, but that rally from the last post is just about ready to go to paint. gotta stuff the cables and wires into the frame, remove a few more little things and it’s off.



also, the yamaha yz80 rear shock finally showed up. it was $10 shipped, though i’m wishing i had spent a bit more and got a nicer one.

the seller said it was in good shape and ready to bolt on and go, but i’m not so sure. i can’t compress it at all with just my weight. not sure if i should be able to or not, but i fell like i should be able to.

i guess i’ll just clean it up and see how it works? i won’t be too bummed about tossing $10 if it ends up being trash.

that’s pretty much the last piece of the suspension puzzle, now to get to cutting and welding!
erm, once the welder arrives, that is. haaa

1975 vespa rally 200 restoration

well i’m not doing a full restoration, more like a freshening up. stripping it down, doing a little body work, installing a left side trunk cowl from a 150 sprint, sending it out to paint. should be a fun project! i’m doing this one for a first kick customer, figured i might as well post about it since it’ll be on my lift a bit.




i also finally got myself a camera! picked up a canon s100. still trying to figure it out, but photo quality should be a bit better from here on out!

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