Is high speed, high rpm running “good” for the engine?
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Hooked
2016 GTS Nero; 2018 GTS Super Sport, matte yellow
Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 224
Location: Chicago
Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:41 am quote
I have a 2018 GTS Super 300 and on occasion like to take it on backroads with short bursts on highway at speeds of 55-70mph. I understand the engine is turning perhaps 9,000rpm at these speeds. Is this damaging to the engine, or conversely, good for it when compared to urban low speed running?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7225
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:08 am quote
Re: Is high speed, high rpm running “good” for the engine?
Mitleider wrote:
I have a 2018 GTS Super 300 and on occasion like to take it on backroads with short bursts on highway at speeds of 55-70mph. I understand the engine is turning perhaps 9,000rpm at these speeds. Is this damaging to the engine, or conversely, good for it when compared to urban low speed running?
Think rev limiter kicks in around 8500 rpm.
As long as you're not full throttle you can go all day at those speeds.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 2059
Location: Not really sure but I think somewhere down South, in the engineering dept at Starfleet's UK HQ
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:30 am quote
As WEB-Tech says, it's ok to go at those sorts of speeds, no problem. Just don't go full throttle all the time and also try to vary the throttle setting a little from time to time, even closing the throttle now and again. This sucks extra oil up around the piston, rings, cylinder, valve guides etc cooling the engine.

The Vespa engines are what are termed 'short stroke' engines, so although they rev high, the piston speeds are quite low compared to long stroke engines at the same engine revs. So although the Vespa engine may sound very 'busy' it's actually ok and quite happy at high revs. I find my bike is best at around 65mph all day on the UK highways. It's my bikes sweet spot.
Enthusiast
Sportcity 350ie
Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Zagreb/Croatia/EU
Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:25 am quote
This engine and scooter are constructed that could run during entire range of engine revs. Normally engine parts and transmission (belt mostly) would wear faster on heavy loads and higher RPM. by my opinion would not die for two week or months but for example if engine could run for average owner 100000 km, hard core usage could decrease this to 70000 and gently usage could make 130000. Normally I assume regular maintenance with recommended oil and oil filter change.
My advice- You could help to your engine with more frequent oil change- for example if you use it for short distance rides (city commuting), winter usage or highway rides on full throttle then you could shorten service interval for 20% with more frequent oil check and oil topping.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1782
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:35 am quote
My GTS250 just clocked 42,000 miles with plenty of high rev riding. No signs of engine issues yet. Only repairs have been maintenance and replacement of a fuel pump.

Seems to be quite at home regardless of what I'm doing with it. When I first got it years ago I worried about those high revs. Experience has shown the scooter engine to be fine with it.
Hooked
2016 GTS Nero; 2018 GTS Super Sport, matte yellow
Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 224
Location: Chicago
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:45 am quote
Awesome feedback....thanks to each of you!
Hooked
2009 GTS 250ie
Joined: 24 Mar 2018
Posts: 477
Location: south Texas
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:59 am quote
Not sure how the scoot feels about it, but it seems to be very good for the rider. The Vespa just keeps scootin' along.
Ossessionato
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 2702
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:21 am quote
Captain Jim wrote:
Not sure how the scoot feels about it, but it seems to be very good for the rider. The Vespa just keeps scootin' along.
'xactly. To paraphrase on old book: "The Vespa was made for man, not man for the Vespa."

Also, like the others, I have 30k on my GT200 and it's been run WOT most of its life.
Molto Verboso
Vespa GTS 250ie
Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1182
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:23 am quote
It's not a biological product, it's a machine. It doesn't need a "break" to cool off or regain energy.
Piston speed and acceleration or physical limits on cyclical loading. High RPM's = increased piston speed and acceleration and potential shortening of life. Pistons should be designed for significant stresses even to the point that they last "forever", which is a not-forever term used for very long life.
WOT = no problem for quality engines.
Hooked
BV 350
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 371
Location: Nebraska
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:31 am quote
Likely
I suspect the engineers that designed the powerplant took into account the possibility of full-throttle high speed running. Air-cooled engines might have had a problem with it, but liquid cooling removes most of the issues. Modern oils are tremendously helpful as well. I would be concerned with a worn engine with significant blowby, but an engine that is not consuming oil should be fine with it, for as long as you want to do it. Very possibly it may be beneficial, as the fuel system is flowing plenty of fuel to clean up any deposits (you are running top-tier gas, right), the oil is up to operating temp, boiling off any moisture.

The only caveat, perhaps, is to bring the engine up to temp gently before using full throttle. Good to have the oil flowing freely, and the various parts up to temp (and dimension) before hammering it.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 2059
Location: Not really sure but I think somewhere down South, in the engineering dept at Starfleet's UK HQ
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:45 pm quote
The other point to make about our Vespa short stroke engines.is the fact the piston & rings not only have reduced speed at high revs over a long stroke motor (measured in ft per min), but this also means the piston travels considerably less distance up and down the cylinder over the life of the engine when compared to a long stroke engine. It's a major reason engines last so long these days compared to engines designed 50 years ago.

I once strippped an XLH1200 Harley. Both barrels, particularly the rear cylinder were worn. That was due of course to the extra heat the rear cylinders suffers from on these engine configurations. Interestingly, and I've always remembered this, the bike had covered just over 80,000 miles. Not much I thought! This was before I had become an engine design engineer so I found this extremely interesting. The dealer who I had been helping out said it was not uncommon to find this situation due to the fact it was a long stroke motor. Pistons travel a long way in such a motor compared to a similar short stroke engine, & the engine is lumbered with very high piston speeds even at low revs. This causes considerable heat and stress over time leading to high wear rates compared to a short stroke engine. How a long stroke engine is used does have a more significant effect on the longevity of the engine. Not so much so on our Vespas but the type of oil used does.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 2059
Location: Not really sure but I think somewhere down South, in the engineering dept at Starfleet's UK HQ
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:21 pm quote
Re: Likely
Jimding wrote:
I suspect the engineers that designed the powerplant took into account the possibility of full-throttle high speed running. Air-cooled engines might have had a problem with it, but liquid cooling removes most of the issues. Modern oils are tremendously helpful as well. I would be concerned with a worn engine with significant blowby, but an engine that is not consuming oil should be fine with it, for as long as you want to do it. Very possibly it may be beneficial, as the fuel system is flowing plenty of fuel to clean up any deposits (you are running top-tier gas, right), the oil is up to operating temp, boiling off any moisture.

The only caveat, perhaps, is to bring the engine up to temp gently before using full throttle. Good to have the oil flowing freely, and the various parts up to temp (and dimension) before hammering it.
Hi Jim, yes the rule of thumb engineers work to is to design the engine to be capable of continuous use at 75-80% power. For this purpose engine revs are used to define power as is used for aircraft engines etc etc. This gives the engine good longevity. Throttle setting is disregarded as this is variable. As engineers we don't specifically design engines for continuous full throttle use on the road as that is difficult from several angles affecting several aspects of design & driveability. That would also be a little bit silly. Instead, owners should choose a bike or car suitable for their needs ie: if you want to cruise at 80mph get a bike that can do that using 75-80% engine revs. However, engines are designed to be robust and may be capable of going at full throttle. However there is a trade off in so much as this will shorten the life of the engine & risks a catastrophic failure as the engine ages.
Molto Verboso
2018 Vespa GTS 300 ABS- Bianco
Joined: 20 Apr 2013
Posts: 1799
Location: E. KY
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:36 am quote
Given your Chicago location, your scooter engine benefits from some "exercise" on those back roads you speak of. No engine "likes" being lugged around an urban area and your brakes and suspension take a beating in stop/go traffic too.
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