Goal: Provide general information to other Vespa riders on this suspension mod and seek others feedback on other suspension brands for the 300 GTS
Background: My 2012 Vespa 300 GTS bought new in 2013. Several months ago I installed front and rear Zelioni shocks purchased from SIP. I have examined and adjusted them extensively riding in an urban environment with semi-rough roads at speeds generally in the 0-55 mph region. In that context I am a very aggressive rider. For higher speeds I prefer my car or my Ducati.
Summary Opinion: As a 165 lb rider I find the Zelioni front shock to be too stiff in spite of its advertised adjustability, but the rear shocks are ideal. The construction quality and smoothness of the product is absolutely top notch. Zelioni itself does not respond to my communications. The SIP representative said that in their experience the product was perfect, that I should consult a suspension tuner, and to please refrain from asking them more than one question about an issue. According to SIP, there are no optional springs with lower rates than what is provided (90lbs/in).
My Setup: Regarding the rear shocks they are awesome. At my weight I seem to be in the mid-range of the adjustments. I can make them super plush or stiff. Super sweet! Currently I have them set a bit stiffer than I would like, in order to try to match the stiff front shock. Regarding the front shock I have the spring preloaded 5.5 turns (from the bottom collar) which I consider minimum preload since it is very near completely unloading the spring at "free sag". At this setting I can rotate the spring freely with very little effort. This setting gives about 28% "rider sag" which is a minimum recommended in my internet searches, although opinions on this may vary. Additionally, I have measured that the stock 2012 Vespa GTS 300 shock is less stiff than the Zelioni set at its minimal values. The stock Vespa shock actually felt smoother in normal driving situations, even though its action is not nearly as smooth.
Feedback Requested: I am currently searching for a softer spring to fix the Zelioni for my needs. It is not easy to find. I am curious what Malossi and Bitubo owners have experienced. As I mentioned my Zelioni shock spring is rated at 90lb/in, and this is relative to the rear combined 104-140lb/in (which takes most of the engine and rider weight). Can anyone tell me the spring rate of these alternate front shocks?