LX 50, long distance tour
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Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:27 am quote
SO I have my daughters 2012 LX 50 4V sitting in my garage as she's moved overseas. Its 100% stock with a top case and I'm thinking of a slow roll to Florida. ABout 3000 miles return. (first thought of bikepacking, then saw the LX just sitting there)

I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs. With gear, probably 250 lbs.

I'm open for any and all suggestions on what modifications would make a noticeable improvement for hills and general comfort. Don't want to get into a 80 cc kit. And yes, it would be better with a 150, but I have a 50 cc and modest budget.

I'd appreciate any insights and recommendations.
Addicted
GTS 300 Super
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 901
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:36 am quote
Get a bigger bike!
Addicted
GTS 300 Super
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 901
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:39 am quote
A larger engine, I think there's a 70cc kit...from Malossi.

A performance pipe...might help.

You won't be freeway legal as your top end is currently barely above 40mph with your weight. The larger engine might get you up to 45-50mph.

Other than that. I'm interested to see what others say
Enthusiast
ET2 2004
Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 70
Location: UK
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:20 am quote
Re: LX 50, long distance tour
DBinROC wrote:
SO I have my daughters 2012 LX 50 4V sitting in my garage as she's moved overseas. Its 100% stock with a top case and I'm thinking of a slow roll to Florida. ABout 3000 miles return. (first thought of bikepacking, then saw the LX just sitting there)

I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs. With gear, probably 250 lbs.

I'm open for any and all suggestions on what modifications would make a noticeable improvement for hills and general comfort. Don't want to get into a 80 cc kit. And yes, it would be better with a 150, but I have a 50 cc and modest budget.

I'd appreciate any insights and recommendations.
I'll try not to be negative and say people travel long distances on lots of different forms of transport and I used to do a lot of long distance cycling in British weather...but I have an ET2 50cc(older scooter, different engine I know) I love it with just me on, nipping round town but on anything over a 30mph speed limit your going to find yourself at full throttle 95% of the time. Me and my girlfriend weight about the same as you and your luggage and it struggles uphill. With just me 150lb / 5ft 5 it can get to 45mph on the speedo if I tuck myself out of the wind but I'm not sure how happy it would be with sitting at those revs for a long time. I could only recommend taking it for a day out and seeing how you feel on a long trip travelling at that speed. Personally bikepacking sounds more fun to me

Cheers

Rich
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:20 am quote
Not helpful. You should slow down and read my post before wise cracking and speculating.

Iím looking for mods that were actually done and potential merit for my conditions and trip.

BTW itís a 4V USA specíd scoot.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Modded Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2017 C650GT, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 5631
Location: Downtown Toronto
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:37 am quote
No disrespect intended but that is not the scoot for a 3000 mile trip or 1500 one way for that matter. If you are prepared to get stuck and hop on a Greyhound maybe then go for it.

I hope I'm wrong and others will prove me that way but no way I'd do it. The risk of breakdown and running out of gas etc would be enough to stop me. You WILL have to take backroads and there is not a lot of room to strap a jerrycan to the scoot. Even on a 300 if using avoid highways I'd like to have some spare gas strapped to the floorboard just in case.
Enthusiast
ET2 2004
Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 70
Location: UK
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:38 am quote
DBinROC wrote:
Not helpful. You should slow down and read my post before wise cracking and speculating.

Iím looking for mods that were actually done and potential merit for my conditions and trip.

BTW itís a 4V USA specíd scoot.
OK, was trying to be helpful...but in my opinion you aren't going to find a way to drastically improve the performance of any 50cc scooter, whilst keeping it 50cc, to 'comfortably' complete a 3000 mile trip. Just my opinion. If you find anything that does, I'm happy to stand corrected and will probably fit it to my scooter.

Cheers
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2843
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:42 am quote
Since you mentioned bikepacking I'll assume you have experience or a plan for that, whether it's all camping -- or includes hotels & restaurants. I would use that as a starting point. With a bike you would be taking back roads. If a bike can do it, so can a 50cc scooter! See this, just for fun: https://www.wanderingtyson.com/ Tyson did it!

Some people carry all the tools and spare parts to fix any possible breakdown on the road; I would rather bring tools to plug and inflate a flat, and a few small tools that are usually found in the tool kit. I'd use AMA or AAA roadside assistance for anything else. Maybe I'd bring a bottle of fuel if the route had any long distances between gas stations.

Replace the belt before you go, and the tires if they have less than 3000 miles left on them.

Add an AirHawk seat cushion for comfort, and a towel.

Have fun!
Hooked
Joined: 18 Jan 2019
Posts: 124
Location: I'm outa here!
Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:30 am quote
Re: LX 50, long distance tour
DBinROC wrote:
SO I have my daughters 2012 LX 50 4V sitting in my garage as she's moved overseas. Its 100% stock with a top case and I'm thinking of a slow roll to Florida. ABout 3000 miles return. (first thought of bikepacking, then saw the LX just sitting there)

I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs. With gear, probably 250 lbs.

I'm open for any and all suggestions on what modifications would make a noticeable improvement for hills and general comfort. Don't want to get into a 80 cc kit. And yes, it would be better with a 150, but I have a 50 cc and modest budget.

I'd appreciate any insights and recommendations.
Cruising at 35 mph is fine locally, but on a 3000 miles trip. You're looking for trouble. It reminds me of the old guy that drove his lawn tractor across states.
he made it but had a few close calls. . 49cc is not big enough dragging 500 lbs
Good luck
'You're gonna need a bigger boat.'" Roy Scheider
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:58 am quote
Ned81 wrote:
DBinROC wrote:
Not helpful. You should slow down and read my post before wise cracking and speculating.

Iím looking for mods that were actually done and potential merit for my conditions and trip.

BTW itís a 4V USA specíd scoot.
OK, was trying to be helpful...but in my opinion you aren't going to find a way to drastically improve the performance of any 50cc scooter, whilst keeping it 50cc, to 'comfortably' complete a 3000 mile trip. Just my opinion. If you find anything that does, I'm happy to stand corrected and will probably fit it to my scooter.

Cheers
Sorry mate, My note was not intended to you. It was the Sacto guy who flipped me off. I think you're right about small improvements wont help much. I'm OK with slow speed, but wonder about overheating, especially after long hills. I did see that ScooterWest has a vented panel that allows more airflow to the motor. Cheap upgrade, might help. Cheers
Addicted
GTS 300 Super
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 901
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:03 am quote
While I DID leave that stand alone comment, I also DID contribute an answer in a following post sir. I DID suggest looking into a larger CC kit for the bike.

As mentioned with your height and weight, the top end on a stock 50 is about 40mph.

If you kit it up, you should be able to reach 45-50mph.

I didn't do the research but I'm sure it's been discussed on here previously about possibly even getting a 90cc engine put into it. Use the Search feature and see.

I'm not sure how much a performance pipe would help. To add to my suggestion of not only getting a bigger engine. I'd look into performance parts like:
Rollers
Variator
Belt (though there is strong debate on performance/aftermarket versus stock belts. Again use the Search feature for more on that)
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 am quote
JKJ-FZ6 wrote:
Since you mentioned bikepacking I'll assume you have experience or a plan for that, whether it's all camping -- or includes hotels & restaurants. I would use that as a starting point. With a bike you would be taking back roads. If a bike can do it, so can a 50cc scooter! See this, just for fun: https://www.wanderingtyson.com/ Tyson did it!

Some people carry all the tools and spare parts to fix any possible breakdown on the road; I would rather bring tools to plug and inflate a flat, and a few small tools that are usually found in the tool kit. I'd use AMA or AAA roadside assistance for anything else. Maybe I'd bring a bottle of fuel if the route had any long distances between gas stations.

Replace the belt before you go, and the tires if they have less than 3000 miles left on them.

Add an AirHawk seat cushion for comfort, and a towel.

Have fun!
Great advice. THanks. I am familiar with camping and was planning a mix of tents, motels, and friends along the way. THere's a new Big Agnes Copper Spur bikepacking tent that I'm lusting for, under three pounds and packs to 12 inches x 7 inches round. It's well thought out and high quality ($$$).

That web link was both helpful and confidence boosting. It can be done, even on a cheap Chinese Scoot. Although he did have a two year unlimited warranty that replaced his blown engine. Nice. It also made me realize that I don't need a lot of kit, he used a back pack and a milk crate. I may ditch the fancy Vespa top case and just use the rack with a waterproof duffle bag. It could also act a lumbar support perhaps.

The one liter yard tool fuel cans (not pre-mixed) are small, tightly sealed and would be a good insurance plan. I could change my backpack camp stove to a universal fuel type and give the fuel double duty. Probably AAA vs AMA, but I'll look into both.

I think the other question will be buying a medium size wind screen vs a full face helmet. Currently I have an open face and wonder about bugs. Does the small windscreen even do anything or cosmetic only?

Other thoughts are more safety related. Slow moving tractor sign, reflector tape, some bicycle rear lights, new tires (do scooter tires have wear bars?), maybe a nerdy flag. Hmm larger tires might help comfort too.

I have a battery tender connector installed. I see that AMazon offers a BT accessory for USB connection. my iPhone with Komoot App and RidewithGPS for biking will provide more suitable GPS than Google Maps. So the power port will be helpful and maybe charge a back up power pack.

The planning stage is quite fun. Keep those ideas coming. Thanks
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Modded Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2017 C650GT, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 5631
Location: Downtown Toronto
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am quote
TBH upgrading a 50CC scoot for a 3000 mile return run is putting lipstick on a pig. The real smallies are meant for tooling around town not ambitious road trips. Some of the upgrades available are fun, for sure. BUT spending the money on them and then breaking in a new top end or whatever on a long road trip? Not to mention any real performance upgrade will suck down more fuel not something a 50 can afford when using backroads.

I understand someone that does not really understand scoots or bikes looking at it and thinking "hey that's faster than doing it on a bicycle and I have the time" . BUT they understandably may not realize the limitations of the vehicle. Face it guys, we all know a 50CC is not meant for this kind of trip especially if the rider does not have a lot of time under their butt on a bike. So, so much can go wrong.

Apologies if the OP is an experienced rider. However I'm pretty sure if they are they do not have experience with 50CC scoots. I'd prefer we do not send them on what could be one hell of a journey without sufficient warning.
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2843
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:04 am quote
DBinROC wrote:
Great advice. THanks. I am familiar with camping and was planning a mix of tents, motels, and friends along the way. THere's a new Big Agnes Copper Spur bikepacking tent that I'm lusting for, under three pounds and packs to 12 inches x 7 inches round. It's well thought out and high quality ($$$).

Sounds to me like a good enough excuse to buy a new tent!

I think the other question will be buying a medium size wind screen vs a full face helmet. Currently I have an open face and wonder about bugs. Does the small windscreen even do anything or cosmetic only?

Windscreens actually help for speed (streamlining) and they stop bugs. Worthwhile in my opinion.

Other thoughts are more safety related. Slow moving tractor sign, reflector tape, some bicycle rear lights, new tires (do scooter tires have wear bars?), maybe a nerdy flag. Hmm larger tires might help comfort too.

A mesh hi-viz vest worn over your jacket works very well. I'd skip the tractor triangle and the nerd flag.

Scooter tires do have wear bars.

I don't think larger tires alone would make a lot of difference in the ride. You'd have to get larger wheels...if they fit. And maybe other mods that wouldn't be worth the extra cost.


I have a battery tender connector installed. I see that AMazon offers a BT accessory for USB connection. my iPhone with Komoot App and RidewithGPS for biking will provide more suitable GPS than Google Maps. So the power port will be helpful and maybe charge a back up power pack.

The planning stage is quite fun. Keep those ideas coming. Thanks
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Ossessionato
73 Rally, 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 63 Li125, 65 Li225 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3283
Location: Oceanside/ SF
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:07 pm quote
People have mentioned kits and variator parts but to really make that scooter decent youíll need an upgear kit. Itís only geared to go 35-40, regardless of how the power delivery is adjusted with the variator.

Rest of it you can fake it till you make it.
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LXS 150
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 972
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:12 pm quote
Sure, it's possible with extreme patience and time
Treat it as though it were a bicycle trip rather than a motorcycle trip, since your speed on a 50cc is pretty much "fast bicycle". This means backroads and byways -- set Google Maps to "avoid highways" and see what route it makes for you. If you've got the time and patience, why not? This isn't what most of us here on this site think of when discussing "scooter touring" so our feedback will be slightly skewed.

A medium windscreen will make riding more comfortable. A small one might even help you go slightly faster (less drag). Neither of them will keep bugs out of your face. A tall windscreen will do that, but will slow you down (and you don't have much speed to spare)! Prudence suggests at least a 3/4 helmet with a full-face visor (if not full-face/modular -- but I'm not gonna preach, here) to keep your smile bug-free.

Do the full set of preventative/scheduled maintenance first (oil change, belt, tires) and the bike ought to hold up for the whole trip. Get AAA or its equivalent, and pack a tire plug kit and some way to reinflate a flat tire. Carry the OEM took kit and a few extra tools that might be helpful (and zip ties, and duct tape, a flashlight, fuses, and whatnot.)* Maybe bring a small fuel bottle.

As for the rest, pack as you see fit. But try a two or three day "dry run" road trip first to see what you actually use and don't use -- and make sure that one of those days includes rain so you know whether your gear is suitable.



* Basically, tools for any side-of-the-road repair you're comfortable with. For me, that's limited to patching a tire, re-attaching anything that works loose (mirrors, luggage), and securing body panels etc. damaged in a mishap that leaves the bike otherwise rideable.
Foiled
Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 1240
Location: Naples
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:14 am quote
Many trips have been done on 50cc scoots/mopeds. You do you.

https://m.facebook.com/thevespaadventure/
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5461
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:55 am quote
Sounds like a fun trip, I say go for it.

If it was me, I'd avoid the Himalayas, I mean Appalachians, as much as possible. Hit the coastal plains as soon as you can.

Before the trip, clearly, your scooter should be in the best shape it can be. I believe tires that size, at least the rear, only last about 3000 miles so I'd go ahead and replace both (ESPECIALLY if they are originals). Replace fluids and probably the spark plug too. And the belt. Overall I'd stick with OEM as far as replacement parts.

Bring a spare spark plug and plug wire, extra oil, and as noted at least a small tool kit to allow changing the plug or tightening stuff that tends to wiggle loose over many miles. And bring a spare belt even if you don't have the tools or knowledge to change it. Maybe rollers and sliding blocks too.

If, when you arrive to Florida, your tire looks about a third worn or more, replace it. The last half of tire tread goes a lot faster than the first half. Besides which, given the rigors of the trip, I suspect that tire won't last a normal life in terms of mileage. Same might go for the belt too but I tend to be a bit over-do-it in terms of maintenance. Though, I don't recall ever breaking down either, so there's that.
Hooked
Joined: 18 Jan 2019
Posts: 124
Location: I'm outa here!
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:18 am quote
You think you can do it, then do it.
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Riding a 49.9cc cross country will be hard but can be done. Have a good trip.
Hooked
BV 350 ABS/ASR
Joined: 10 Apr 2015
Posts: 167
Location: Planet X
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:25 pm quote
Quit piss'n in this scooteristi wheaties.
My view on this post: Look an unused scooter! It's got 50cc of raw unused power! I'm going on a 3000 mile trip!

Asks forum what do I need? Can ya help?

Some did, some tried, some did not. Some answered as if you were asked along with your own 50cc beast.

I'll answer with this: Lost with Mike. 69,000 miles on a Ruckus!

http://lostwithmike.weebly.com/scoot

The beginning 2014: http://lostwithmike.weebly.com/scoot/archives/04-2014

Addicted
2016 LXV 150 ie, 1978 Vespa P125, 2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 531
Location: central Illinois USA
Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:19 am quote
There are people who have taken Vintage Honda Passports on some very long trips, and even long trips in foreign(to them) countries and kept on line journals of their trips. Yes, they are a bit bigger, have had a couple and they can go a bit faster. . . But when you are talking highway legal stuff, those are Ďbackroadí rides too, and being crowded or almost run off roads.
Most taking that sort of trip have a lot of people along the way who will help with a breakdown, with shelter, a place to take a few days down time with someone who wonít or canít make that kind of trip but who really support those that do.
I am not going to say itís not doable, but I am going to hope you have a long support line all along that way, even if you donít end up needing it, you can really meet people in person that you might have been on line contacts for years. A long list of places you can get needed parts, a shorter list of places for medical assistance, not wanting you to need it, but Murphy leaves people alone who do a LOT of planning...
Keep us in the loop, and great travels.
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:46 am quote
Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I originally thought that mechanical upgrades were the basis for my post. But in retrospect, the pragmatic advice proved more valuable. Especially the links to others who are a bit more ambitious with their tours. These sites which included what they packed was most informative. So filtering stuff down, here's where I'm at with a de-risking approach:

Mechanical:
New tires, new belt, Molossi variator kit with clutch spring. I'll try 5.5 gm weights before heading out. Oil change and new plug (plus a spare). The original battery (always on a Tender) still shows good power, but I may replace it nonetheless.

Mods:
Rather than replacing the front engine panel with the louvered version, I think I'll just temporarily remove it altogether. More airflow for cooling. Adding a throttle lock to give the wrist a break. Front carrier and medium windscreen. Two red bike lights for rear flashing. Need a mirror arm mount for GPS/iPhone/GoPro I'm researching some sort of highway foot pegs that can clamp on. Maybe fabricate something from a broken carbon fiber hockey stick. Pegs would need to fold for cornering.

Packing:
I'll test with the current Vespa tail box and use my semi rigid boating cooler. This is watertight, fits on the passenger seat and provides a backrest. Instead of food, it will carry sleeping bag, some clothes, and most cooking stuff. OK, maybe a beer or two. The front rack will carry tent and some gas and tool kit.

Tech:
Komoot App will be my preferred GPS, but I'll have regular GPS for back up. I need to spend a lot more time mapping before I go. Komoot set to touring bicycle gives you elevation maps which can help plan around major hills. I'll have my iphone, but I'm finding my recent move to T-Mobile has impacted network range. I need to install a 5V 2A USB port to run the Garmin GPS. regular USB ports are too low in power for Garmin. Portable power packs and a USB power bar for hotels to simultaneously charge everything overnight.

Other:
Will sign up for roadside assistance. Probably AAA for backroads. Looking into adventurer health insurance. Its actually pretty reasonable for a few months in USA. www.worldnomads.com

The weather is starting to warm up in Rochester NY. I hope to do an overnight (hotel) shake down test later this month. Maybe 300 miles return.

Questions:
1. Are Yuasa lead acid batteries that much better than other brands? Isn't chemistry, well chemistry?
2. Anyone know of a front foot peg kit to stretch the legs?
3. Recommendations for mirror mounting kit? (approx 3/8 diameter arm on a 45 degree angle).


Other ideas are most welcome.

Cheers
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2843
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:01 am quote
DBinROC wrote:
Packing:
I'll test with the current Vespa tail box and use my semi rigid boating cooler. This is watertight, fits on the passenger seat and provides a backrest. Instead of food, it will carry sleeping bag, some clothes, and most cooking stuff. OK, maybe a beer or two. The front rack will carry tent and some gas and tool kit.
The front rack should carry only lightweight stuff. Put the extra gas and the tool kit in back or on the floorboard, tent or sleeping bag up front. Make sure anything on the front rack doesn't interfere with the headlight.
DBinROC wrote:
Questions:
1. Are Yuasa lead acid batteries that much better than other brands? Isn't chemistry, well chemistry?
There are differences in batteries. YUASA is good; some other AGM batteries are good too. Lots of people here like Motobatt.
DBinROC wrote:
3. Recommendations for mirror mounting kit? (approx 3/8 diameter arm on a 45 degree angle).
RAM Mount system with what they call a "Torque" base, size small for .375" to .625" round stems. RAM Mounts are so versatile. You can all all kinds of attachments.

Have a safe trip & have fun!
Hooked
lml 2t Vespa lx50 2t
Joined: 21 Jan 2018
Posts: 142
Location: wales
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:51 pm quote
How about throw over Panniers under the semi rigid boating cooler. I have done long distance in the UK and Europe on small cc bikes including the French Alps and my mate just recently did UK to Moroco and back with him and his girlfriend on a old 1976 Honda C70cc.
Good luck with it all
Graham
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:32 am quote
grahamlml wrote:
How about throw over Panniers under the semi rigid boating cooler. I have done long distance in the UK and Europe on small cc bikes including the French Alps and my mate just recently did UK to Moroco and back with him and his girlfriend on a old 1976 Honda C70cc.
Good luck with it all
Graham
Thanks Graham.

I've put a lot of thought into getting panniers. There is a very nice kit from Piaggio. They will lower center of gravity so I'm not so top heavy. However there's that entropy law that concerns me since I'd probably fill them up. Plus I'm trying to keep to a $500 upgrade budget. A few cheaper options available on Amazon, and a new site I found called www.LightInTheBox.com

Once I do the shake down ride I'll have a better idea of need vs want in gear and determine if panniers are necessary. All the YouTube videos on lightweight backpacking (and bike touring) are helpful in keeping things to a minimum.

Two people on a CT70 in the Alps is very inspirational!

Cheers
Banned
'01 ET4; '65 VBB Restomod with P200E engine, '67 VW Type 1, '80 Airstream
Joined: 05 Jun 2018
Posts: 289
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:13 am quote
I did 1000 miles in a week on a 150 a few years ago...went down to the outer banks of NC

I thought if I went through the country it would be safer. It was TERRIFYING. The first day on the way from Raleigh to Benson it was fall so it was windy and the big rigs were on my ass constantly. Choose your route carefully!! a 150 was barely enough for the route I chose however I have a better route now and have done my new route on a 50 several times. I can go from Raleigh almost all the way to Wilmington now and hardly ever see a car and when I do they just go around me...and few trucks.

It can be done on a 50 just choose your route carefully.
Lurker
LX 50
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:12 pm quote
As a guy who's done several long-distance bicycling tours that were self-sustained, I'll throw my two cents in here. I believe there's some valuable practices that apply to both the human powered and gas powered world of touring.

1. Electronics are great, but always have a paper map backup. Always. Trust me on this. When you're stuck out in East Jabib with no cell service and your phone is dead, a print out of your route with a cue sheet is gold.
2. Look into some bicycling panniers for storage options. Arkel makes great waterproof panniers, but I've seen a lot of folks make their own out of kitty litter buckets. You don't have to spend top dollar for some solid, waterproof storage for your gear.
3. Fire stations and churches are almost always a sure bet to fill up a water bottle and get some directions.
4. ENJOY. THE. RIDE. I've found myself on so many tours just trying to make time and get to my destination. Stop and smell the roses, take a picture, meet interesting people. It's so easy to get wrapped up in covering ground that you forget to enjoy yourself.

You might find some routing advice on this site: www.crazyguyonabike.com. It's for cycle touring, but there's a lot of knowledge there that would be useful. Be safe and have fun!
Member
s 300 , s150 'taxi' , 1964' 90 s
Joined: 18 Apr 2019
Posts: 9
Location: new york
Sun May 12, 2019 8:25 pm quote
Re: LX 50, long distance tour
DBinROC wrote:
SO I have my daughters 2012 LX 50 4V sitting in my garage as she's moved overseas. Its 100% stock with a top case and I'm thinking of a slow roll to Florida. ABout 3000 miles return. (first thought of bikepacking, then saw the LX just sitting there)

I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs. With gear, probably 250 lbs.

I'm open for any and all suggestions on what modifications would make a noticeable improvement for hills and general comfort. Don't want to get into a 80 cc kit. And yes, it would be better with a 150, but I have a 50 cc and modest budget.

I'd appreciate any insights and recommendations.
Hey there..y
I will looking for a 150cc crashed and switch engine with wiring harness in yours.
No modifications need it. only patient to put it together.
Lurker
Lx 50
Joined: 08 May 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Denver
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:35 pm quote
Anything is possible, right? You can walk/jog/run/scooter/bike/unicycle across the country or the world.

I own an lx 50 and drove it stock as well as with the big bore kit. As far as the scooter goes - these things work . . . and if they don't they're relatively easy tor work on. Mine's got 4000 miles on it and haven't had to do a thing except tires.

I did put an in line fuel filter and clear racing fuel lines in. In CO we have ethanol and those black lines get eaten and black fuel line bits end up in the carb and they clog.

Learn how to take apart your carb and clean it with spray. Replace those stock float screws with some flatheads and lock washers. My variator is in great shape and all it gets is stop and go city traffic.

Cyclists going cross country use flags and lots of reflectors. On a 50cc you are basically a cyclist. My wife and I together are 330 lbs . . . if we're going up a hill we're using the bike lane.

So as is 50cc, taking side roads, you're rocking the shoulder, no way around that. IF you put in the malossi big bore 80cc - which is around $500 if you do it yourself (cam/big bore/re-jet/filter/variator) you are now riding in the traffic lane on side roads and maybe have to peel off to shoulder when there's a steep road.

This is all about your route. The 50cc will limit you to secondary and tertiary roads and the big bore 80cc will give you some more freedom.

As far as packing an luggage goes - you're so slow it really doesn't matter where you put it, really . . . your main focus on gear, in my opinion is profile.

If you keep it stock then you're going to be rocking the shoulder a lot. My advice is to get a front rack and a rear rack and then use some dry bags bungeed down - cheap, doesn't widen you out and you can get just about everything on there.

Now - with all extra weight, an upgraded rear suspension might be a must. The lx 50 rear spring is horrible.

As far as packing and gear - most folks start off with too much shit and then pare down as necessary, throwing things out. You'll be traveling across populated areas - anything you forget, just go to a walmart.

Safetly wise, a pole with a flag - vest, reflector tape and a big yellow helmet will help.

If/when you do this, please share with us or on advrider.com.


I have to say, as someone who is new hear, the scooter community is not very inviting and more snobby than the adventure motorcycle community. I've even noticed this with scooter shops. You tell them you're putting in the big bore yourself and they act like you're building a rocket to go to the moon. These things are lawn mower engines connected to a wheel. The Vespa Lx 50 is a tank. These are not complicated - spark and fuel and you go! If you have an issue along the way you're never more than a day away from any part and you can just thumb down a pick up truck and they'll get you to the next city.

Keep in mind then when you set out to do something like this and trouble strikes, there is never a lack of people who want to help you complete your goal - whether it be an online scooter shop who'll next day you a part or a local mechanic who stops what they're doing to try and help you.

Have a blast and DM me if you'd like any more help with anything.
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:12 am quote
Thanks Harley. Great insights and I agree that the route matters most. Here in upstate NY, Iíve learned to only buy ethanol free for the LX and all my yard tools. The dealer was also a BMW shop and they recommended also using an additive called Supercharger 2. Itís getting harder to find since they retired and closed the shop (sign of the times for adv bikes) but I swear by this stuff. Probably same as those who swear by Sea Foam et al.

Itís good to know you have faith in the reliability of Vespa. Iíve ordered new tires and a front rack for now. Iíll look into the rear shock.

I tried using the Vespa Top Case and a cooler bag on the passenger seat. The cooler bag was a great concept but limited my own seat space (Iím 6í2Ē). I think the top case is coming off and a 75 liter water proof duffle will extend over rear seat and rack. Iím trying to avoid saddle bags, your profile comment makes sense.

Still trying to configure a GPS set up without drilling the frame or tapping the headlight power cable. Hoping to find a mount small enough to attach to half inch mirror arm.

Anyhow I appreciate your input and confidence. Iím planning a small shakedown trip (400 miles) later this month.

Cheers.
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2843
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:09 am quote
DBinROC wrote:
...Still trying to configure a GPS set up without drilling the frame or tapping the headlight power cable. Hoping to find a mount small enough to attach to half inch mirror arm.
See the RAM Mount solutions here: Show me your phone mount! With the right RAM Mount hardware you could adapt this to your GPS.

Here's how I attached a bicycle water bottle cage to my Vespa. There's a piece of washing machine hose under the clamp to make it fit the small diameter rail. The whole thing is very solid.

IMG_1684.JPG

Lurker
Lx 50
Joined: 08 May 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Denver
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:44 am quote
Instead of a cooler - try a dry bag for stuff you don't need instant access to. You can have dry bags on front and back of scoot and then put stuff you need a lot in some sort of compartment between your legs.

https://tinyurl.com/y56gqfjz


For the mount - I use the RAM iphone mount. You can attach to mirrors and you're in good shape. And then when you're done, buy the suction adapter and use it in your car to attach to the windshield.

https://tinyurl.com/yxtq7ffd

You can have dry bags on front and back of scoot and then put stuff you need a lot in some sort of compartment between your legs.

Try and find a 12v usb plug - you'll need to wire this directly into the battery - do not go off the device that generates power off the generator or whatever the vespa uses. Run the line from the batt directly or chase down a power source near the gauge cluster that only supplies power when the ignition is on, but the engine isn't running. Or make it real simple and get a decent USB power pack and just put it in the front glove box and power the phone with that. Charge it up at night or when you stop for lunch.

No need for additives - just change up the fuel like to the clear racing stuff and throw an inline filter in there. The fuel goes a very short distance and with the racing lines it won't degrade with ethanol. I'm against almost all additives - unnecessary. But - you do you

Practice removing your carb and partially disassembling to clean out - the top screws so you can access the needle/slider and the bottom float bowl. Carry extra zip ties and the tools you'll need to do this. Also - remove and replace the exhaust - it takes finagling to line up and you'll need some allen keys. (You have to remove the exhaust to get the rear tire on and off)

Also - practice taking the plug in and out. This is a PIA on these bikes. My system utilizes a spark plug socket 1/2" used along with a 1/4" adapter and a 1/4' small ratchet. The tool they give you is really hard to use in my opinion. Have a $3 spare with you - these take an odd spec you might not be able to source so quickly.

These things are tanks, but you never know what might happen on the road, so be prepared - if you do all these things in your garage you'll know how to do them on the side of the road. You can pare down your tools appropriately.

Might want to invest in a louvered engine access panel for cooling (or just remove it) . . . it gets pretty hot in there. The CDI's (coil is included) are known to fail, especially with a lot of heat. You are going to be stressing this engine - summer temps, high weight and long miles - keep it cool as best you can.

Go on ebay and buy a used CDI for $34. Install and make sure it works and if yours fails, you have a cheap backup and when you're done you can ebay it back.

keep us posted and send pics!
Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 1213
Location: UK (South East)
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:31 pm quote
It's been done before!!
Remember these guys? This little bike may not even have been as big as 50cc, bur it went to Aspen.

dandd.jpg

Enthusiast
Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: 17 Jan 2019
Posts: 65
Location: Portland OR
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:50 am quote
I'll second the drybag vs ridged cooler idea. I recently did a long weekend trip with a GianLoop RevelStoke ( https://www.giantloopmoto.com/product/revelstoke-tunnel-bag-for-snow-bikes-snowmobiles/ ). Kept everything dry and fit in the space between my feet with lots of extra lashing points. Also seems they are on sale as they're technically out of season but a dry bag is a dry bag no matter the color of the logo.
Member
2008 Vespa S150 Dragon Red
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 9
Location: Toronto
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:39 am quote
This is a really inspiring thread!
Ideas:
- public libraries are typically well equipped with wifi, computers, printers. Might be a good place to stop in to refresh your route planning paper backups.
- Stephanie Yueís blog has a lot about gear and tools for travelling. Bigger bike, yes, but might give you some good ideas. https://250superhero.com/category/geartalk/
Member
2012 Vespa LX 50 4V
Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 10
Location: Upstate NY
Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:53 am quote
OP UPDATE
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I havenít done the trip yet but have made some improvements.
On a short ride in hot weather I experienced engine bogging under load and it needed to be sorted. Iíd had this before and it was a split in a vacuum hose ( original). I didnít see anything this time and moved on to the carb. I had a local mc shop (local Vespa dealer closed) clean the carb and they claimed it was indeed dirty. But they gave the LX back without attaching a vac hose. I fixed this and all seems good for now. But I am concerned about the CDI and heat. Since this model is the 4V, there arenít many $35 ones on eBay. Best Iíve seen is used for $110. Maybe Iíll pull the trigger.

Secondly, I ordered a Malossi Multivar kit for the LX50. It will go on in October when I return from a bicycle tour in Europe this month. Hoping for a little better hill climbing power. Weíll see.

I did test the cooler bag idea on the passenger seat and it was too big. It pushed me too far forward for comfort. Iíll look into a dry bag as recently suggested. That snowmobile style might even strap onto the front eliminating a front rack. Hmm

RAM mount now installed on mirror arm and it holds both Garmin and iPhone. Not at same time. RAM is pretty good kit. Thanks for this tip.

I bought two battery tender adapters, USB and cigarette. The Garmin wonít power by USB Cconnection, it goes into computer mode, even with 5V 3A USB. Hence the cigarette adapter. I may just revert to using Google maps on iPhone only and get a 6 ft braided Lightning cable. Saw 10 footers in a truck stop once. Crazy. Since Iím trying to stay close to stock the cable will be externally routed from battery to mirror mount.

I tried changing the spark plug on this Vespa. No kidding a real PIA. Plus the plug is very unique on the 4V and runs about $15 -$20- a plug! The Vespa tool is missing but I saw another thread where someone jerry rigged a universal socket adapter with a deep socket to get access to the plug. Iíll check out my local Harbor Frt store and see if it works. Otherwise others have suggested detaching the rear shock to get better access to the cylinder head and plug.

Iíve changed out both tires with new Michelins. Noticeably better than stock tires.

So itís been a slow project, with no fixed trip deadline. Plus the pending bike tour and a great summer has delayed this quest. Iím still thinking of a 300-400 mile weekend shakedown trip in October. I want to get a front rack , windshield and louvered vent panel installed next. Costs are adding up, hmm.

Thanks again for everyones suggestions and encouragement. More updates later.
Member
Vespa LX50 4t
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Location: The Netherlands
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:29 am quote
Great read, OP!

i'm currently in the process of seriously servicing my 2007 LX50, replacing all wear parts: engine oil, hub oil, tyres, all lights, spark plug, belt, rollers, brake pads front, brake shoes rear, brake fluid front, air filter. I'll also remove the rust from the exhaust and re-paint it, and finally fix the floorboard from rust and re-paint it.

All this to get her in perfect trustworthy shape again... because I'm not planning to do a 3000 mile trip, but I AM planning to do a weekend get-away with a small tent.

Actually just BECAUSE of the challenge of doing it with such a small scoot. I've done many travels on my 1000cc Kawasaki with panniers, a top box etc. But that's easy, anyone can do it. On a 50cc Vespa though, there are whole new challenges.

And that's exactly what makes it great. Keep the adventure spirit and enjoy your ride, whenever you're ready!
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