how to make a PX200 an off road machine
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Molto Verboso
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1637

Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:32 pm quote
To see picture of raised headsets, google search images of "vespa raid marco". The two lime green T5 vespa headsets are the most obvious. If you study more of the pictures of the other scoots, you can see that many of the other riders performed the same mod. I have not gotten around just yet to raise mine. To raise it, it would mean you would have to have a handlebar gear shift setup similar to Rob H and use a modified MX dirtbike handlebar that has a higher rise, or you can just extend the top of the stock vespa steering stem (which means cutting and welding in a extension).
You'll have to also extend all the brake/gear cables and wires (simple stuff).
For more ground clearance i would weld in some drop bracket for the engine swingarm (somewhere around 3+'') as well as the upper shock mount. It would be better to get a different rear shock design than the vespa, since the upper shock stem snaps easy when pushed too hard. For the front i would extend the front fork the same amount at the rear (3"). It would be even better to go with a completely different fork design than the vespa. Get a fork that you can put a super wide front tire on so it doesn't sink so bad in the mud or sand, and that has a bit longer suspension travel.
Also look at how wide the front tires are on the green T5. The wider the better for being able to float over the soft sand.
HDPE sheet plastic make the best skid plate because it absorbs some of the shock load, and you can form it some with a head gun.
Of course, the standard high clearance exhaust, prefilter for the air airfilter, cross bracing from headset to seat are required as well if you want the scooter to last.
Someone should post up pics of the two green T5 vespas.

Last edited by whodatschrome on Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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180SS 1966 , VBC 150 Super 1969 , VBB 150 1965
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Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:12 pm quote
thanks for all the good info!
keep this discussion running...
i am know putting this project on the side because i just found a 1964 160 GS so i need the money for it.
i am still into the off-road Vespa but maybe the next project...
a GS 160 is not something i can miss
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
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Location: Victoria, Australia
Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:10 am quote
I looked through heaps of photos but these were the only ones I saw with raised headsets. It's probably not something I'll rush into yet but seems like a more comfortable riding position.



Interesting filter arrangement here -



I'd like to see your selector box guard as well.

One thing I've been wondering about - the flywheel fan sucks a lot of air. Do you think there's an issue sucking in dirt and filling up the fins on the cylinder & head?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 7007
Location: Victoria, Australia
Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:15 am quote
whodatschrome, this may be of help -
FAQ: How do I upload a photo?
Hooked
65 VNC Super, Series 1 50n (136), 50s, PX150, Douglas G, Ciao, Si, PX200E, PX vespacross project, Douglas Rod
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Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:36 pm quote
http://www.museopiaggio.it/en/modelli/vespa-racing-en/#7

What a set up! Never thought about a handle at the back. I wish Piaggio had the r&d budget to do things like this again.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 7007
Location: Victoria, Australia
Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:49 pm quote
Blank wrote:
http://www.museopiaggio.it/en/modelli/vespa-racing-en/#7

What a set up! Never thought about a handle at the back. I wish Piaggio had the r&d budget to do things like this again.
Is that really a handle?

The bracing bar is interesting, I wonder if it works? I do want a brace for mine but don't want to lose the step-through-ness.
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Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:12 pm quote
Blank wrote:
http://www.museopiaggio.it/en/modelli/vespa-racing-en/#7

What a set up! Never thought about a handle at the back. I wish Piaggio had the r&d budget to do things like this again.
I thought that was what the rear rack was for... Also great to get the wheel going when starting a burnout
Hooked
65 VNC Super, Series 1 50n (136), 50s, PX150, Douglas G, Ciao, Si, PX200E, PX vespacross project, Douglas Rod
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:10 pm quote
The Scrambling Bats!

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2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:39 pm quote
Track? Tick!
Yip, the track is pretty much done.
Drove around for a few hours in Disco towing harrows to flatten it, even managed to get some air!
Now ALL curves/corners can be ridden both directions, there are about 15 routes to take, very versitile.

image.jpeg
Slowly does it

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Possibly not so slow

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Getting there

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Testing, with gocart

Molto Verboso
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1637

Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:58 pm quote
It was "vintage days" at the local track some years ago. I installed Chen Shin 3.5x10 knobbies on the stock p200 and entered into the vintage "pit bike" class. LOTS and LOTS of trash talking about the vespa beforehand. I ended up getting the holeshot...WHILE, giving everyone else the "one fingered salute" ...until just before the second corner my trusty vespa mx bike got stopped cold when it got high centered in the deeper motorcycle ruts...then I got passed by everyone. It was a fun day!
Someone made a montage video, and a friend saw me in it and sent me a link.
I can be seen at :22 and 2:23 seconds wearing my super cool late '80 vintage motocross gear.

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Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:12 am quote
Vinduro
At Broadford we had a go on the Vintage-Enduro track, was challenging, the talcum powder dust made steering a waste of time, & the deep ruts also meant the cowls simply scooped us off the ground, but it was fun!
Cant wait to try it again.
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2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:15 am quote
Left-foot braking?
When turning right on dirt, its often required to put right foot down for balance/sliding, which means no chance if using rear brake... Has anyone ever extended the brake lever so it can be used with either foot?

Other observation, it is easier to go over rough ground standing up... How about an extended height seat?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:04 am quote
Ginch wrote:
I looked through heaps of photos but these were the only ones I saw with raised headsets. It's probably not something I'll rush into yet but seems like a more comfortable riding position.



Interesting filter arrangement here -



I'd like to see your selector box guard as well.

One thing I've been wondering about - the flywheel fan sucks a lot of air. Do you think there's an issue sucking in dirt and filling up the fins on the cylinder & head?
oh man really would like to build one like that


in ford blue though




no maybe just landcruiser beige like my t180 already is
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2012 Stella 4T
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:14 am quote
For the rear shock, you could use a longer, longer travel off the shelf one with eyelets at both ends. Weld up a U shaped mounting bracket in the frame through which you can bolt the shock. Then weld up an H shaped bracket, bolt one side to the rear shock mount on the engine case, the other side bolt the shock to. Just thought of this while looking at Super Cub shocks and got to thinking about how to adapt a performance shock for the Stella 4T, which uses a shock with an eyelet at the top and the standard U bracket to mount to the engine case.

Edit- Thought of a problem and then a solution. With an H bracket nothing but friction would keep it from rotating around the rear shock mount. Well those eyelets on shocks can be turned to face any direction, so simply weld the bracket so the bolt through the shock eyelet would be perpendicular to the bolt through the rear shock mount. Seems I didn't think of this first, since this is the solution already employed by rear shock spacers to solve this problem.

Last edited by Neurotic-Hapi-Snak on Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:33 am quote
Neurotic-Hapi-Snak wrote:
For the rear shock, you could use a longer, longer travel off the shelf one with eyelets at both ends. Weld up a U shaped mounting bracket in the frame through which you can bolt the shock. Then weld up an H shaped bracket, bolt one side to the rear shock mount on the engine case, the other side bolt the shock to. Just thought of this while looking at Super Cub shocks and got to thinking about how to adapt a performance shock for the Stella 4T, which uses a shock with an eyelet at the top and the standard U bracket to mount to the engine case.
Sounds good, Can you draw a pic?
That would likely change the angle of the pivot, therefore exhaust hits floor?

image.jpeg
Full extension of rear shock or longer shock makes exhaust front hit floor

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Full compression or lowering makes rear exhaust hit as rear/guard & front exhaust hit ground.

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2012 Stella 4T
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Posts: 903
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:35 am quote

Here's a 4T with the rear body work removed. That's just a U shaped piece of sheet steel with a weld nut on one side. I'll draw up a picture of what the bottom bracket would look like, but for now imagine two U's welded perpendicular to each other.

Exhaust might hit, but like someone suggested, a custom exhaust with a really long header and the box/expansion chamber where the spare is would give maximum ground clearence. A longer header might give your more low end grunt like on a 4T, different reasons but both are because of pressure waves in the exhaust gas. A larger volume exhaust on a 2T delays the reflection of the postive pressure wave, boosting low rpm power. This effect was and still is used on highend 2T bikes to tune the exhaust to the current RPM range by opening and closing a servo controlled valve into a large chamber in the head or exhaust. Could rig up a small tool box, extra tank, or battery compartment to run big spots in the rest of the space.

Regarding full compression of the shock and the exhaust hitting ground, you can control suspension travel with spacers and stops/buffers so it doesn't happen. Plus a very stiff shock, which will mean 'riding the pegs' so you don't hurt yourself, think broken back or neck.

I would suggest using a 4T frame as a base, it would give you lots of room and is supposedly stronger and stiffer than the monocoque.

I'm now imagining a rally/endurance bike based on the P. Rear rack with spare tire, supplies, gas, tools and spare parts in the glove, fuel tank atop the center tube, two floodlights mounted on the legshield, front rack with bivy/sleeping bag, long suspension travel in the rear to make up for the limited travel in the front. Exhaust and battery in the spare side cowl. I'd probably base it on the 4T, keeping the 4T engine but with extensive modification like Polini 165 kit, porting based on substansive building up of material around the ports, possibly adapting a 3 or 4 valve head, maybe even liquid cooled or just an oil cooler. Actaully maybe keep it air cooled for simplicity and reliability, less to go wrong. 4T might be a little more reliable in off country conditions and definitely more fuel efficient. Actualy with the 4T you could keep the spare as is and run a straight pipe with a small silencer/glass pack or even nothing. Skid plates and protectors all around. Fuck, time to find a totaled but useable 4T.

I could say I should build a trail/endurance bike based off the Cub but Bob Uhl already beat me to it by over half a century. To give you some motivation, back in the 60's, an American executive of Honda Motorsports America noticed one dealer in northern Idaho was selling more Cubs per month, basically an urban commuter bike, than all 4 dealers in LA combined. So he went to the dealership to see why. The owner, Bob Uhl, was fitting a second, higher tooth rear sprocket, a cheater sprocket, to lower the gear ratio and increase torque, knobby tires and other offroad mods, to create, with the Cub's low weight and auto clutch, a easy to handle and operate trailbike, basically the first dirtbike, and selling them to hunters, farmers, ranchers, and people just looking to ride trails and have fun. For comparison, trail bikes of the time were based on high powered, heavy roadbikes and took considerable skill and strength. The executive thought 'hell, Honda should build this.' Thus the Trail Cub was born and possibly the modern offroad bike and its sports.

Last edited by Neurotic-Hapi-Snak on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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2012 Stella 4T
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:42 am quote

Is it an illusion or does that P seem to be riding higher and sporting bigger tires? NVM, that's a smally.

Tell the truth, I've always kind of wanted to make an off road P. Long ago I saw pictures of urban assault style P's, thought it was kind of duchey, like a guy with raised, big tired, grill protectered F150 or Suburban who you know doesn't actaully do any off roading. But if you could make an actual offroad P... Thought it was a pipe dream. Plus where would I go? Guess I could go muddin' or crawlin' with my brother, if he could get his Wrangler working. Probably get some laughs at first but after trying, and proabably failing, maybe some respect. Actually think the P wouldin't do too bad in sand, mud, or snow, would be like the Kubelwagen and simply sled across things soft, the rear acting like a paddlewheel.

Give you props though to keep it as original a P as possible. It'd look sweet to keep the body work intact, same fork, maybe a little modified for more travel or bigger wheel/tire.

Actually, taliking about the fork/front, maybe try to fit a tire from the Honda Ape/Gorilla/Dax, pretty sure they had 8 or 10 rims with big, fat tires. Might make up for the limited suspension travel in front.

Sorry, a little drunk, it's the middle of the night here and I'm at a bar drinking. But you're in Auz, so probably the same.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
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Location: Victoria, Australia
Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:22 pm quote
Neurotic-Hapi-Snak wrote:
Exhaust might hit, but like someone suggested, a custom exhaust with a really long header and the box/expansion chamber where the spare is would give maximum ground clearence.
Like so?

clip.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 50s x2 78 P200 84 Cosa 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special + projects
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Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:10 am quote
Yeah Ginch, I like that but I'd wanna keep the cowl on to look 'right' even if it got bashed occasionally.
Here's similar on a widebody(tnx GLScoot), up and out of the way:




You could do it like this in a P frame and reposition the can to exit pointing to the rear.

You could also add a set of these 1/4 x 1 bars underneath both sides to a P or any scoot to protect the floor edges.
Funny corners at the rear because these are for a smallframe and you can go as high in front as you like.
2 big anchor bolts & longer poprivets for the outer floor rail replacing the stock rivets locate it just right.
Just found these pics.

Img_1131.jpg

Img_1133.jpg

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2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:46 am quote
Damage!
One consideration when building & riding is SAFETY GEAR, & what's gonna happen when you fall off.

I few off today, a bit of damage to Ginchis VespaCrosse scoot, & a bit to myself.

Note: Kevlar pants only have Kevlar in certain areas, & NOT on the inner thigh!
Note: Vespas have sharp edges on the leg shield, which are far stronger than an inner thigh!
Note: hard dry dirt/ground is HARD!
Note: Helmets are essential! I felt the ground thru it, & it hurt my dumb head!

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Inner thigh! Matching leg-shield.
Swelling nicely, can't wait for the colourful part to arrive

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Outer thigh, dunno how I got both sides?

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Sorry Ginchi

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It will buff out!

Hooked
65 VNC Super, Series 1 50n (136), 50s, PX150, Douglas G, Ciao, Si, PX200E, PX vespacross project, Douglas Rod
Joined: 02 Oct 2015
Posts: 291
Location: Victoria
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:45 pm quote
My frame is close to hitting the dirt. I'm rethinking legshields after seeing what SEB did to ginchi's bike
[img][/img]

IMG_3021.JPG

Molto Verboso
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1637

Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:44 am quote
Two year bump...

So i was waching youtube this morning, and found this video. It make for some good entertainment. The first song in the video sucked me in, so i had to google search the artist. Turns out she resides in Portland (about 45 minute from where i live)! Fast forward to 6:15 in the video, and you get a reality check on what it's like to ride in soft sand...
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PX200E
Joined: 09 Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne
Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:50 am quote
Standing up
Standing up in the dirt is all about lowering the centre of gravity to the feet. Make the ride a lot smoother and controllable when things soft. Not sure how much it would help on a vespa as they are low to the ground. Rode vespas to motorcycle rallys over 40km of dirt each way on road tires. The guy on a 800GS was horrified when he got overtaken by guys on scooters.

Really interesting article on the Paris dakar vespas. A team did in the 1980's and 50% of the vespa finished far better than the 37% of the total racers.

http://www.motorsportretro.com/2010/02/dakar-rally-on-a-vespa/
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Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:00 am quote
I move backwards and sit over the rear shock.
Soften up the front shock a bit
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