Riding the Vespa

Well, I got a chance to take the Vespa out this morning and put a couple of miles on the old girl.  I’d had her out a couple of weeks ago when we were watching Natalie for the day; Lisa wanted me to take her for a ride, which we did.  She liked it, and so did I – since it started up pretty easily and ran well.  I had to replace the fuel line after the first ride, it was hard as a rock and shook loose, but aside from that things were grand.

Today it started with a little encouragement, ran pretty well, and I rode all over the neighborhood.  The whole time I was enjoying the ride, I was also making a mental list of things I needed to do to get the scooter reliable enough for longer rides around town.

  • No taillight.  I need to look into that, not sure if my custom LED tail light is kaput or just not getting power.  Either way, I have a new repro of the larger assembly here.  It’s of horrible quality and needs to be completely re-done on the outside, but the guts seem serviceable. Update: The LED light was completely blown.  The new housing is fixed and ready for paint, and bulbs are on their way from Scooterworks.
  • It needs a new fuel line some time in the next year or so, before this one hardens up.  The stuff Scooterworks sells as fuel line…  well, it sucks.
  • A new gas cap gasket would be good.  Scooterworks strikes again.  Why the hell would you sell a gas cap gasket that’s not gasoline-proof?
  • I really need to look into the brakes.  I think one is dragging, which doesn’t help matters any.
  • A rear view mirror or two would be a very welcome addition.
  • Timing, yet again.  A couple degrees more advance will make it a LOT easier and faster to start!!!  If ScootRS ever has the VL1 CDI 12V conversion kit again, I’m buying one.  Period.
  • A couple of scratches need to be touched up, yet again.
  • I really do need to finish the last of the floor rails.  Of course NOW I can buy a complete set for the VL1, instead of cobbling something else up to make it work.  But I’ve already spent enough on the floor rails I’m not doing it again from scratch.
  • One of these days I would like to re-run the gear shift and clutch cables, and adjust the clutch.  I want to get rid of the CLUNK when shifting into first, and be able to turn the handlebars all the way to the right without the cables hitting the legshield.  The parts are cheap enough at a bike shop, and I think using heat-shrink tubing would be just the trick to get the old cables to drag the new jackets through.
  • I’m still not sure whether the odometer is registering miles or kilometers.  At some point I want to either ride a measured distance and figure it out, or take a GPS along for a ride and compare it to the odometer.
  • It needs current tags.  I think I’ll see about getting historical plates so I don’t have to hassle with it every year.