Celebrating my 30th anniversary owning Vespas (Dec 89')
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Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:26 pm quote
It took me a little bit of thinking, I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk about it but I made my mind and I am going to share my history. Well, I was born and raised in Spain and I moved out of the country when I was 23 but I have seen the whole array of vespas that you could ever imagine specially coming from one of the oldest town in Europe (Seville) and I am implying tiny streets on the old historical town and dozens of vespas parked on the side walk and between cars ANYTIME and EVERYWHERE! Even the military and postal serviced used the Vespas for mail delivery and errands.

I have seen lots of Vespa(piaggio) Apes because they could be parked anywhere and there were very maneuverable, I saw tons of T5s , primaveras, TX(200cc), P200s and the best selling PKs and also Spanish market COSA. Many lambrettas although the lambretta to vespa ratio on the streets were more like 30-1 but I have seen them. For God sake, even the priest from the jesuist catholic school which I attended also rode very old vespas with 3 speed and 8" wheels.. hahahaha.

It was 1989 and I could only ride mopeds or anything under 75 cc (because of my age,I was shy of eighteen), the traffic laws regarding riding motorcycles were divided by 3 classes (75 and under, up to 125cc and lastly 125cc to no limit.


When I grew up a 125cc 2 stroke was a true flying machine, they were everywhere(aprillas, gileras, Riejus, derbi, Cagivas,) and even the eastern 2 strokes cheap bikes were decently quick (Jawa , MZ, zundapp).

Because of my age(17) I could only technically ride a 75 cc. My father was very stubborn and will not agree to buy me a 125 cc Vespa PK125XL so I had to settle with a ridiculous 5.6hp vespa PK75XL elestart ( This decision later on will cost me big money). There were four Motovespa dealers in the city and a bunch of other vespa dealers on the sounding bigger little country towns.

My Vespa PK75XL Elestart cost me 215000 pesetas which at the time the exchange ratio with the US dollar was 114.8 pesetas to $1 so it was pretty much a dead on $2000. I did a terrible financing so most of my payments went towards the principal so it ended up costing $2700(financed in late 1989)

I went through 4 pistons on the first 2-3 years. After my third piston went bad I replaced it myself, I managed to replaced my first piston in a mere 70 minutes from start to finish and that was using cheap swap meet tools and the tool kit from vespa. I still remember the roads where I got stranded.

As an anecdotic history, I will tell you guys that my parents had an intimate family friend that was the manager of the largest car and motorcycle junkyard in Seville(desguaces gallegos which translates to gallegos junk Yard in English). I remember going there a few times and seen a mountain of 125cc vespa engines from correos (Spanish government mail yellow vespas), when I say a mountain I mean it. I got a 125cc engine and I made an attempt to put it on my PX75XL but I never got it to work at all so I abandoned the project.

This Vespa PX75XL was very slow and so limited in many ways, forget about riding with a passenger and forget about riding on a highway, it will not go pass 75 km/h (47MPH). Most of the 23000 kilometres that I put in were in town and at low speeds.

I sold the vespa to a friend and I moved to the US. I didn't see a vespa in many years until I accidentally bumped into a Ducati/vespa dealer. I saw the new 2005 PX150 (back then) but the prices were ridiculous, $6000 OTD after taxes, registration for a PX America series. I passed on the vespa but I scooped a new BMW bike(F650GS). I rode other bigger bikes but knowing how I love speed I started slowing down and shifting back to vespas again.


Craigslist was new to me about 12 years ago but it allowed me to start looking for a vespa again. I scooped a P200E (on January 2020 it would be 10 years), then I accidentally bumped into a local Stella dealer with a friendly staff and I scooped a used orange Stella. I modded both scooters and it was a lot of fun. Sold the Stella and I added very low mileage red 2005 PX150 (modded it as well) and kept it. Then I found the Lambretta and then a Sprint veloce which I also currently own.

I forgot to mention that in 2011 I went back to that Vespa dealer in Tucson and I purchased a GTS300 sport with the titanium gray paint. It was cool at first but too smooth and too quiet, I sold it. I also purchased a Stella 4T in 2012 but sold its with a few hundred miles, way too slow.

So the last 10 years changed my passion for vespas once again. I participated on various scooter rides but I didn't enjoy much, too long of a group stretching 300-400 yards and 50cc scooters on the rear of the group and had to wait a minute or two on each stop sign or intersection.

Now I am looking for people that likes to ride with me wide open throttle. I occasionally ride on Sundays for 50-100 mile rides. Anyways, I am very happy to be a member of this forum, I enjoy very much the journeys with pictures and videos of Vespa owners hauling ass in the alps or on the highway or doing continental north to south journeys.

That is it folks!! lets reset the clock with this post and see where were are 5 years down the road or maybe 10 or another 20, why not. Thanks for your time

*** Here is the only picture that I have of my PK75XL Elestart. It used to be black but I had an accident and I repainted her hospital light green.

IMG_5867.jpeg



Last edited by scooterist on Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:25 am; edited 8 times in total
Ossessionato
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 4993
Location: Latina (Italy)
Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:34 pm quote
A fascinating tale, a true supporter of the Vespa ... you have it in your blood and it shows. Good.
Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4682
Location: Santa Cruz California
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:31 am quote
Nice story and history. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down for us (and yourself).

Cheers
Miguel
Ossessionato
Triumph Street Scrambler 2018, Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
Joined: 12 Apr 2015
Posts: 2490
Location: Finland
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:47 am quote
Thanks for sharing this nice story!

Can't help reflecting a bit, you made me think my own relationship with 2-wheelers.

In my youth, up here North, scooters and Vespas were rare. If there was something that could be piled up, it was old Hondas, Suzukis and Kawasakis. And, surprise, surprise... I still have a soft spot for old Japanese bikes!

Our law had, and still has the lowest cc limit at 50cc....there were some 70cc bikes around, illegally ridden without the proper license, like Honda's 70cc CT70, or Dax as it was branded here. I was stuck with a 50cc, with which I rode ~13 000km if I remember correctly, so I feel you there.

Many good miles to you, ride safe!
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:21 am quote
Here is a picture of the full stable, the picture is 3-4 years old but I still have them (P200E, PX150, Lambretta LI 125 and Sprint Veloces).

**Only the first picture shows the current scooters.

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Last edited by scooterist on Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:23 pm; edited 6 times in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9636
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:09 am quote
scooterist wrote:
Here is a picture of the full stable, the picture is 3-4 years old but I still have them (P200E, PX150, Lambretta LI 125 and Sprint Veloces).

**Only the first picture shows the current scooters.
Nice!

Bit of patina on that second from the left...
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:11 am quote
fledermaus wrote:
scooterist wrote:
Here is a picture of the full stable, the picture is 3-4 years old but I still have them (P200E, PX150, Lambretta LI 125 and Sprint Veloces).

**Only the first picture shows the current scooters.
Nice!

Bit of patina on that second from the left...
Indeed, she is almost 60 years old. Starts on the first try, she has 27k miles but she has a 175cc top end, everything else is stock except for a deport phbs 25 and a knockout clubman exhaust.
Addicted
two Vespa GTSs (Dragon Red and Black). GT 200 - Kymco Yager 200i
Joined: 19 Oct 2009
Posts: 563
Location: Saratoga Springs, New York
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:45 am quote
Our first trip to Spain was in the same year, 1989, as your first scooter purchase. Seville is such a beautiful city, but one thing which still stands out to me was the horrible pollution that blanketed the city during our visit. It took a day or more before my wife and I could get used to it. I recall that Spain, unlike most other Western European nations, still had no emission controls on their cars; my new Seat rental car still employed a manual choke.
Once our lungs got used to the air, our time in Seville was memorable in a more positive way; the lovely people, the great food and wine, and the beautiful old architecture.
Iím so glad that thirty years later, the horrible smog is a thing of the past.

Last edited by Kayemtee on Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:08 am quote
^^^Thanks for the kind words. The emissions are very tight now with the standard Euro emissions laws. What they did have back then was a very strong ITV in Spain (TUV in Germany, MOT in England), very strict mechanical and structural standards. You would have to certify your vehicles every year unless they were new which they would have a 5 year grace period.

For instance, here in America you can weld a crane on the back of a car, you can go to auto zone and installed unregulated and uncertified LED lights as headlights or you can go and drop a car to the ground with no safety oversight from any local or federal agency. You can drive cars with no doors, hoods, bumpers, it blows my minds the contrast of safety regulations. One one hand you have the National Highway safety institute enforcing safety standards pretty hard but on the other hand you can buy a VW bettle and put a big engine and be exempt of emissions if the car is certain age. I live in Arizona and for the emissions they only plug the gas tank plugs and they scan for codes.


When you were there in Seville on your trip most cars didn't have catalytic converters, that wasn't enforced until the mid 90s. You were also there when the diesel cars where everywhere and the 2 strokes motorcycles flooded the streets, you history(tale) makes sense.

Last edited by scooterist on Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:34 am; edited 3 times in total
Banned
GTS 250, LX 50, and Falcon 200
Joined: 25 Sep 2019
Posts: 253
Location: Wichita
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:45 am quote
Congratulations on this auspicious occasion. Here is to another half a dozen Vespas!
Ossessionato
2012 Kymco Like 200i (Sold), 2018 FLSL
Joined: 04 Jun 2012
Posts: 2732
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:57 am quote
Thanks for deciding to share your history. What a great tale of your love affair with scooters.
Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4682
Location: Santa Cruz California
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:08 pm quote
Fabulous Scooterist. Thanks for posting pics of them. I'm sure they would be appreciated on the not-so-modern MV forum.


Best
Miguel
Member
2015 Vespa Primavera 150
Joined: 17 Oct 2019
Posts: 20
Location: Long Beach Island
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:38 pm quote
OFF TOPIC
I love your neighbors old Toyota pick up truck in the driveway.
Ossessionato
2021 Ducati Multistrada 950S
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 3448
Location: Columbia, MD
Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:31 am quote
Congratulations on 30 years of Vespa!!

That was great write up. Here's to another 30 years of scooting!
Ossessionato
2015 GTS300, 1974 Primavera, 04 Ninja 250
Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 4589
Location: San Diego, CA
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:26 am quote
Congratulations on 30 years! I visited Sevilla a few years back and it was wonderful. The food is to die for. Great story, thanks for sharing .
Veni, Vidi, Posti
300CC Italian scooter, 750CC Russian Sidecar,1650CC Bavarian ADV Tourer.
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7939
Location: The Six
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:49 am quote
Awesome post! Thanks for the pics and sharing.
Hooked
2018 Piaggio BV 350
Joined: 08 Jun 2019
Posts: 280
Location: NJ
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:09 am quote
scooterist wrote:
^^^Thanks for the kind words. The emissions are very tight now with the standard Euro emissions laws. What they did have back then was a very strong ITV in Spain (TUV in Germany, MOT in England), very strict mechanical and structural standards. You would have to certify your vehicles every year unless they were new which they would have a 5 year grace period.

For instance, here in America you can weld a crane on the back of a car, you can go to auto zone and installed unregulated and uncertified LED lights as headlights or you can go and drop a car to the ground with no safety oversight from any local or federal agency. You can drive cars with no doors, hoods, bumpers, it blows my minds the contrast of safety regulations. One one hand you have the National Highway safety institute enforcing safety standards pretty hard but on the other hand you can buy a VW bettle and put a big engine and be exempt of emissions if the car is certain age. I live in Arizona and for the emissions they only plug the gas tank plugs and they scan for codes.

When you were there in Seville on your trip most cars didn't have catalytic converters, that wasn't enforced until the mid 90s. You were also there when the diesel cars where everywhere and the 2 strokes motorcycles flooded the streets, you history(tale) makes sense.
Scooterist
Those pics are beautiful. All of them, gorgeous. And yes, a soft spot for the older, patina-ed 2 wheelers. You sold the BMW, Iím guessing? Gorgeous.
How is it riding in Spain??
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:22 pm quote
Karlsbadd wrote:
scooterist wrote:
^^^Thanks for the kind words. The emissions are very tight now with the standard Euro emissions laws. What they did have back then was a very strong ITV in Spain (TUV in Germany, MOT in England), very strict mechanical and structural standards. You would have to certify your vehicles every year unless they were new which they would have a 5 year grace period.

For instance, here in America you can weld a crane on the back of a car, you can go to auto zone and installed unregulated and uncertified LED lights as headlights or you can go and drop a car to the ground with no safety oversight from any local or federal agency. You can drive cars with no doors, hoods, bumpers, it blows my minds the contrast of safety regulations. One one hand you have the National Highway safety institute enforcing safety standards pretty hard but on the other hand you can buy a VW bettle and put a big engine and be exempt of emissions if the car is certain age. I live in Arizona and for the emissions they only plug the gas tank plugs and they scan for codes.

When you were there in Seville on your trip most cars didn't have catalytic converters, that wasn't enforced until the mid 90s. You were also there when the diesel cars where everywhere and the 2 strokes motorcycles flooded the streets, you history(tale) makes sense.
Scooterist
Those pics are beautiful. All of them, gorgeous. And yes, a soft spot for the older, patina-ed 2 wheelers. You sold the BMW, Iím guessing? Gorgeous.
How is it riding in Spain??
Yes, I sold the BMWs, the white BMW on the picture was a 1987 BMW K75C with added fairings. The F650GS is also gone (not shown on the picture), it was remarkably noisy and annoyingly shaky with the single cylinder. The tires didn't help either.

I haven't rode in Spain since 95'. I live in Arizona now.
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:35 pm quote
Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the support, I raised my eyebrow when I read that some of you visited my hometown. I was back in Europe last summer and I took the family to Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy and I saw a lot of older vespas in Germany and a bunch in Italy.

When I was in Italy I was dying to ride on a vespa but I was with the family and it was difficult to arrange renting the scooters. It is very hard not fall in love riding an older Vespa in one of the historical cities in Europe.

I wish people would share more histories like this, to me it it has been a special milestone. My son wants me to keep at least one of the vespas for him, he loves them and I use the scooters to pick him up from school. Vespas are such an icon!
Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4682
Location: Santa Cruz California
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:10 pm quote
I've also been to Seville. Apparently Christopher Columbus is buried in the Cathedral which is controversial because some believe he is buried in the Caribbean. While in Seville, someone told us that there is a guy who can trace his blood line back to CC and there was discussion of doing DNA testing. I say leave CC alone. It doesn't matter where he is buried and it's good for tourism in both countries.🙂

Miguel

Last edited by Miguel on Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
Banned
GTS 250, LX 50, and Falcon 200
Joined: 25 Sep 2019
Posts: 253
Location: Wichita
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:22 pm quote
scooterist wrote:
Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the support, I raised my eyebrow when I read that some of you visited my hometown. I was back in Europe last summer and I took the family to Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy and I saw a lot of older vespas in Germany and a bunch in Italy.

When I was in Italy I was dying to ride on a vespa but I was with the family and it was difficult to arrange renting the scooters. It is very hard not fall in love riding an older Vespa in one of the historical cities in Europe.

I wish people would share more histories like this, to me it it has been a special milestone. My son wants me to keep at least one of the vespas for him, he loves them and I use the scooters to pick him up from school. Vespas are such an icon!
An icon of fashion...
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:57 pm quote
I painted one of the scooters, my P200E. What do you guys think?

IMG_9782.jpeg

Molto Verboso
portofino green GTV 300
Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: w.ma. Northampton
Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:39 am quote
Nice job, looks new, was wondering what you used for paint?
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1965
Location: Minneapolis USA
Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:00 am quote
Good Original Story/Great Paint Job
You obviously are not a novice painter. Looks professionally done.

You seem to be attracted to the scooters of your youth.

Bob Copeland
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:59 pm quote
I sent it to a shop to get it painted. It cost me $700. They wanted $300 to fix the cowls and paint them but for $700 they would do the whole scooter so I did the whole scooter. They painted mainly the most superficial part, they only had to remove a few things. It is a budget paint job but it turned out well(I think)
Hooked
2020 Vespa GTS Yacht Club
Joined: 07 Oct 2007
Posts: 116
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:59 pm quote
It was good to be reminded of the graduated licensing in Europe. I know, in Italy, there's a 74hp limit for new car drivers, for instance. Where I live in California, a 16yo can take an easy 30-question test with zero riding experience and buy a 200hp motorcycle and drive it away, lol. I once sold a Kawasaki ZX-10R to an 18yo with zero riding experience. Yikes!
Addicted
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 889
Location: Tucson, AZ
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:13 am quote
kevinr wrote:
It was good to be reminded of the graduated licensing in Europe. I know, in Italy, there's a 74hp limit for new car drivers, for instance. Where I live in California, a 16yo can take an easy 30-question test with zero riding experience and buy a 200hp motorcycle and drive it away, lol. I once sold a Kawasaki ZX-10R to an 18yo with zero riding experience. Yikes!
I agree with you
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