A Very Hurt '65 VBB
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Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:38 pm quote
I've been a long time moped/moto rider and builder and just happened upon a '65 VBB that was previously owned by an NYC scooter enthusiast who passed away.

While I've been told this bike used to be a real gem, in its period of disuse its gathered some serious rot along the floor boards and center frame channel.

Now, the bike's floor has been reinforced so that its stable, but i just can't have rusty holes through the floor without worry. The bikes is fully functional, so I'm hoping to get some ideas whether this is something I should look into repairing or if I should just focus on grabbing a replacement frame. I'm fairly comfortable welding body and frames, but we all know the hours body work can wrack up.

I'll work on keeping up with my progress here, and welcome y'all's thoughts.

IMG_20200423_181425.jpg
From 20 feet, it's fairly nice looking.

IMG_20200423_175744.jpg

IMG_20200423_175902.jpg
The rot is quite bad, despite this it was still too good to pass up.

IMG_20200423_175751.jpg
The RUST

Addicted
1974VLB 1979VSX 1974V9A
Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 676

Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:54 pm quote
Cut it up and add a bar?

P1010064.JPG

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: 8058
Location: Victoria, Australia
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:02 pm quote
If it was a Lambretta, I'd say it was a Framebreather...

Anything is possible to fix but time taken would really add up. And of course that's only the rust you can see at a glance.
Ossessionato
62 VBB1T Round Tail W/ leaner sidecar
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 2036
Location: california
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:59 pm quote
Dillon - my $.02.
Think you are on the right path with find a chassis with out rot and use your parts to build it up.
I'm a VBB fan but...
That is some really serious rot.
Save your skills for other nice work.
Perhaps someone on here in your area has a chassis that would be a starting point.

The area where it is rotted is also the area where they break when crashed.
That thing could fold on you in a heart beat as is...

-CM
Ossessionato
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 2923

Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:02 pm quote
Id do Voodoos floor reinforcement mod. I dont think Id even spend any time whatsoever to remove any of that rust...because the scooter might fall in half.
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 4006
Location: That bushfire place
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:40 am quote
What happens when the paint comes off a bodge...
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:48 am quote
SubEtherBASS wrote:
What happens when the paint comes off a bodge...
It's more like "What happens when your Vespa sits outside under cover for 6 years while you fight cancer."

While this definitely is messed up, it was once taken care of very properly. Sadly, the PO just couldn't keep up with it.
Ossessionato
1980 P200E , 2005 Stella 177
Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 2660
Location: Staten Island, NY
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:59 am quote
There are donor frames around NYC if you are patient. If you've got a truck or something to get out of the city a bit and drive to get one you can find one even cheaper. That thing is definitely gonna split in half on NYC potholes. I just picked up a p125 in brooklyn that I thought was a bad rustbox. I just wanted the engine and figured the frame was ok enough to use casually for a little while while I look for a donor frame. This one makes mine look like a spring chicken, but only cause you can't see through to ground. It's definitely well on its way to yours!









Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:09 am quote
swiss1939 wrote:
There are donor frames around NYC if you are patient. If you've got a truck or something to get out of the city a bit and drive to get one you can find one even cheaper. That thing is definitely gonna split in half on NYC potholes. I just picked up a p125 in brooklyn that I thought was a bad rustbox. I just wanted the engine and figured the frame was ok enough to use casually for a little while while I look for a donor frame. This one makes mine look like a spring chicken, but only cause you can't see through to ground. It's definitely well on its way to yours!
Have vehicle and will definitely be willing to travel as needed. I also make trips to Atlanta twice a year to grab another trailer of bikes, so I have been keeping my eyes open there.

Also have the importers I work with keeping an eye out for a clean VBB chassis from Netherlands/Spain, but I don't necessarily trust the frame to get across the pond without damage.
Ossessionato
1980 P200E , 2005 Stella 177
Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 2660
Location: Staten Island, NY
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:13 am quote
You are set then... I also look down the 95 corridor to florida as I drive down there at least once a year. You will most likely find something affordable in Georgia as there is a bigger vintage vespa community down there near Scooter Mercato and Lee from youtube thatscooterthing just moved there and opened a shop down there.
Molto Verboso
Vespa
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 1261
Location: California
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:26 am quote
I am interested in the rear rack
Moderator
VNB VSC VBC VSX
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 4698
Location: Hustletown, TX
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:42 am quote
Looks pretty roached but I guess until you strip it down a little you don't know exactly how bad the rust is... Could be worth day of taking off the floor rails and grinding off the paint and filler to determine if frame is worth saving.
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:21 am quote
Birdsnest wrote:
Looks pretty roached but I guess until you strip it down a little you don't know exactly how bad the rust is... Could be worth day of taking off the floor rails and grinding off the paint and filler to determine if frame is worth saving.
Very true. If it were just the boards that were rotted through, I would simply replace the floorboards, Sadly, the center frame channel seems to have some structural damage as well which is why I was leaning towards a frame replacement.

I wouldn't be opposed to using this shit frame as a cutdown with a cross bar, but the work in taking off all the good usable parts that I don't want to get fucked up as a cutdown beater and storing them in my small NYC shop, is not worth the ride.

I'm still at the tail-end of my Lambretta Cento rustoration, as well as getting my Cagiva Elefantre and Vespa Ciao finished (along with a number of other import bikes). I really invested in this bike for a project, but I wanted to start the process of getting my ducks in a row with you guys who really know your stuff.


At the recommendation of a few people, I reached out to Scooter Mercato to see if they have a frame for sale, but I haven't heard back.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86, a not so normal pts100 '82 and a red lipstick '74 sprint
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5731
Location: Indo
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:35 am quote
I will fix the frame if i were you, its in the same condition or even better then my sprint project frame
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:44 pm quote
I just went through your thread, glad to see someone saving a bike in a similar condition.

I'm looking to move a few bikes out of my space this week, so i'll start pulling some of the gear off.
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: 8058
Location: Victoria, Australia
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:28 pm quote
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
...I'm still at the tail-end of my Lambretta Cento rustoration...
DD, are you writing that up somewhere? I was gifted a bare Cento frame, know zilch about them and would like to see one in bits...
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86, a not so normal pts100 '82 and a red lipstick '74 sprint
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5731
Location: Indo
Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:15 am quote
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
I just went through your thread, glad to see someone saving a bike in a similar condition.

I'm looking to move a few bikes out of my space this week, so i'll start pulling some of the gear off.
keep us update and good luck Mate
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:08 am quote
Ginch wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
...I'm still at the tail-end of my Lambretta Cento rustoration...
DD, are you writing that up somewhere? I was gifted a bare Cento frame, know zilch about them and would like to see one in bits...
Hey Ginch, haven't really been documenting that process as there really isn't a good Lambretta Forum that I could find at the time. The few I could find were VERY infrequently updated and posted too, so I decided just to keep it hardcopy notes.

If you have any Q's, let me know. I have had the chance to stumble through a lot of things solo and would be happy to help you avoid them. That said, it's a great time to own a Lambretta J series, CasaLambretta is killing it with hq aftermarket and repro parts.
Hooked
Too damn many
Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 297
Location: Seattle, WA
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:01 am quote
SubEtherBASS wrote:
What happens when the paint comes off a bodge...
Just adding my opinion to this line of thinking. No disrespect to you or the PO, it's just that the provenance of this bike looks pretty suspect to me. I would have it checked over thoroughly for a second opinion before going too deep into it. I've seen a few bikes that have been left outside and they just don't rot like that in that short of time unless there are serious underlying issues to begin with. And it's not the only sign.
Addicted
Too Many piles of Junk that need too much work and too much money
Joined: 06 May 2019
Posts: 532
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:47 am quote
My 1.5 cents... that frame is roached toast. The center tunnel is rotted through in numerous places so bad you can see the ground through the floor. Thats just the parts that are visible because the metal has literally rusted away. Given the parts that you can see now, I'd be very suspect that there is any solid metal good enough to be worth fixing. Its definitely extremely unsafe to ride as is.

You're best bet is to find a donor frame and turn that one into some yard art. This is probably your cheapest and/or easiest option. Definitley the safest. If you're set on fixing your existing frame, then it needs to be completely stripped down and blasted inside and out to remove all rust, then see how much good metal is actually there to build upon. Who ever does the metal work should be a very good welder. Even then, you're walking a find line between restoration----bodge.

As others have said, it looks very suspect to have rotted away so extensivley... It look like there was water sitting in the tunnel for a decade or it was pieced together from suspect parts. Have a look in the tunnel for bodgy welds. I hope my opinion doesn't come across as harsh, just keepin it real man. Whatever you decide to do. Good luck!
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:59 pm quote
No offence taken by anyone.

There was 100% intrusion into the frame from holes in floorboard area, but there is no booger welds or odd seams anywhere. It's definitely an original frame, but I have a feeling the PO cut corners in mitigating rust on the past, which let it rot from the inside.

I am working on seeking a frame out, which isn't returning leads. I had someone reach out here via PM, but I've got no response, and seeing as they have no posts and a recent join date, I'm guessing they're a bot/scam.

If anyone has any leads, feel free to reach out. I am glad to travel between Maine and Georgia to pick something up.
Ossessionato
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 2923

Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:02 pm quote
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
but there is no booger welds or odd seams anywhere. It's definitely an original frame,
said every every person who unknowingly bought a bodge (or dooped into buying a reconstructed vehicle)...

Just sayin'.
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:12 pm quote
whodatschrome wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
but there is no booger welds or odd seams anywhere. It's definitely an original frame,
said every every person who unknowingly bought a bodge (or dooped into buying a reconstructed vehicle)...

Just sayin'.
I've spent enough time restoring bikes and cars to understand when something has been muckled with by an amateur.

I appreciate your input, but being a bodge or poor resto is really irrelevant to the process of turning this into proper running and riding scoot. Whether the frame is a mash-up bodge, or just factory rotten, either way it needs repair or replace. Either repair or replace is fine with me, but I'd rather pursue the option which will offer a safer and more economical result.
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: 8058
Location: Victoria, Australia
Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:33 pm quote
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
Ginch wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
...I'm still at the tail-end of my Lambretta Cento rustoration...
DD, are you writing that up somewhere? I was gifted a bare Cento frame, know zilch about them and would like to see one in bits...
Hey Ginch, haven't really been documenting that process as there really isn't a good Lambretta Forum that I could find at the time. The few I could find were VERY infrequently updated and posted too, so I decided just to keep it hardcopy notes.

If you have any Q's, let me know. I have had the chance to stumble through a lot of things solo and would be happy to help you avoid them. That said, it's a great time to own a Lambretta J series, CasaLambretta is killing it with hq aftermarket and repro parts.
Cheers DD, as I get further into it (it's in the queue ) I'll come back with some informed questions!
Addicted
Too Many piles of Junk that need too much work and too much money
Joined: 06 May 2019
Posts: 532
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:31 pm quote
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
whodatschrome wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
but there is no booger welds or odd seams anywhere. It's definitely an original frame,
said every every person who unknowingly bought a bodge (or dooped into buying a reconstructed vehicle)...

Just sayin'.
I've spent enough time restoring bikes and cars to understand when something has been muckled with by an amateur.

I appreciate your input, but being a bodge or poor resto is really irrelevant to the process of turning this into proper running and riding scoot. Whether the frame is a mash-up bodge, or just factory rotten, either way it needs repair or replace. Either repair or replace is fine with me, but I'd rather pursue the option which will offer a safer and more economical result.
With this perspective, the best option is to get a replacement frame. I'd also inspect all other parts with a discerning eye for any other damage / repair in any way. Rarely is a frame in such bad condition, while all the other parts are fine. I'd say they are suspect to say the least. If what you have is indeed a bodge, all the parts need to be inspected thoroughly.
Ossessionato
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 2923

Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:18 pm quote
GeekLion wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
whodatschrome wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
but there is no booger welds or odd seams anywhere. It's definitely an original frame,
said every every person who unknowingly bought a bodge (or dooped into buying a reconstructed vehicle)...

Just sayin'.
I've spent enough time restoring bikes and cars to understand when something has been muckled with by an amateur.

I appreciate your input, but being a bodge or poor resto is really irrelevant to the process of turning this into proper running and riding scoot. Whether the frame is a mash-up bodge, or just factory rotten, either way it needs repair or replace. Either repair or replace is fine with me, but I'd rather pursue the option which will offer a safer and more economical result.
With this perspective, the best option is to get a replacement frame. I'd also inspect all other parts with a discerning eye for any other damage / repair in any way. Rarely is a frame in such bad condition, while all the other parts are fine. I'd say they are suspect to say the least. If what you have is indeed a bodge, all the parts need to be inspected thoroughly.
^^^which is why it's relevant if it's a SEA-bodge...or has been ameri-bodged.
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 4006
Location: That bushfire place
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:13 am quote
Ginch wrote:
Dirty30Dillon wrote:
...I'm still at the tail-end of my Lambretta Cento rustoration...
DD, are you writing that up somewhere? I was gifted a bare Cento frame, know zilch about them and would like to see one in bits...
That sounds like it needs:
A: CR500
B: Elekrik Donk
C: Twistie Donk
Member
1965 Vespa VBB
Joined: 20 Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:25 am quote
I fully understand the complications that come from inheriting a vintage moto that has been dickered with, so no worries there.

Given the state of the frame, I am most likely going to pull all the assorted pieces off the frame and start bench rebuilding the motor while I search for a replacement frame. The weather is supposedly turning here soon so I will have a bit more time to escape to the shop and start pulling it apart.
Hooked
Too damn many
Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 297
Location: Seattle, WA
Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:09 pm quote
That's a good plan. You won't need to get very deep into the motor to answer the bodge question once and for all. If it's bad in there, then you just abandon the project.
Hooked
1958 Allstate Super Cruisaire 2005 70cc Yamaha Vino
Joined: 23 Aug 2020
Posts: 220
Location: Philadelphia
Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:55 pm quote
did you find a frame yet? I don't have one, just interested is all
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