How Deep a Water Can I Ride Through
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Stella 2T 150, Honda C70
Joined: 25 Sep 2019
Posts: 152
Location: Seattle
Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:15 pm quote
Tonight was really a new adventure in riding in the rain. Its been absolutely dumping in Seattle and tonight on the way home I really felt like I had to ford two rivers on my route. The deepest water I went through probably came up above the rim lip on the tires. It wasn't until I was already in it that I thought that maybe it wasn't the best idea. But I made it through and crossed another couple big swaths of standing water without incident.

I doubt you want to get the exhaust beneath the water line, but this Stella is already about 100X more weather-stable than my old Passport with the cracked airbox.

Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 2891

Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:06 pm quote
Zero problems on my P2 with water going over the tops of my shoes while they were on the floorboards. I probably wouldn't want to go much deeper. The engine fan was spraying water everywhere. Reason being I was cutting cross country and took a shortcut though a creek. Did i mention that i live in a rural area?
Vespa T5 251, Lambretta GP200
Joined: 27 Jul 2019
Posts: 23
Location: Leeds, England
Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:33 pm quote
I always seal CDI boots HT/suppressor and electrics below carb height with a low density silicon (Blue Hylomar). Living in a wet place you learn how to keep it going. The exhaust is not a problem so long as you keep RPM above 2k and go slow....always slow when fording.
85 Vepsa PX150E with sidecar, 80 P200 with sidecar, 96 Goldwing with Hannigan Sidecar, LR87aj5, LR91aj3
Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 570
Location: Central Washington State
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:25 pm quote
I have ridden with the water just coming over the floor keeping my feet up on the frame. The worst part was not being able to see potholes in the road surface.
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 7648
Location: San Francisco
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:42 pm quote
CDI deals with it way better than points
Molto Verboso
2007 Stella 225
Joined: 02 Nov 2019
Posts: 1404
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:15 pm quote
Rob98801 wrote:
I have ridden with the water just coming over the floor keeping my feet up on the frame. The worst part was not being able to see potholes in the road surface.
Or a section of road that is no longer there.
Joined: 24 Jan 2008
Posts: 2004
Location: Santa Margarita,Ca.
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:26 pm quote
When I brought home my first Vespa in 1986 my dads co worker, 'the motorcycle enthusiast", sent him home with one of the motorcycle rags of the day that had a cover article chronicling the lowly Vespa(P200). They made the claim that the air intake being located under the seat was so that the scooter could ride through water up to that level. I have a memory of the accompanying photos showing a test rider in MX gear fording a creek.
1964 V90, 1974 Rally 210, 1974 Primavera 135, 1974 Ciao, 1977 Rally 200, 1982 Bajaj Gopher RE (3 Wheeler)
Joined: 10 Aug 2009
Posts: 162
Location: Michigan City, Indiana
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:48 pm quote
My wife and I got caught in a torrential downpour a few years back - not the funnest ride ever. For the record the throttle cable seized up the following riding season. She snapped this as the fun ended. Soggy times!


Vespa PX200
Joined: 27 Jun 2010
Posts: 414
Location: Belgrade
Wed Dec 23, 2020 2:07 am quote
Here's a video of a mountain creek in Peru coming up almost to the floorboards:

No big deal. Something that shallow (just under a foot) can be safely traversed for a while. You might get some water in the exhaust if you stop and let it idle though.

When you get submerged deeper than that, beyond the floorboards, the first thing to go would be the stator. Water can get in there behind the flywheel and start mucking with the coils. The CDI connectors are another 4-5 inches higher up meanwhile, which would the next concern.

That said, if it's a narrow crossing and you keep the revs up and your CDI connectors are somewhat insulated, you can get away with a fair bit deeper, a foot and a half or so. Just pray that the area behind your flywheel doesn't turn into a fish tank.[url][/url]
63 GL, 76 Super (x 2), 74 Primavera (x 2), 06 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 5579
Location: So Cal
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:49 am quote
Awesome vid ^^^

First the heroic ease traversing of the stream, then the trek back to retrieve your camera. Both equally respectable in their own way.
Style Maven
74 50s x3 78 P200 x2 84 Cosa PK50XL2 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special '66(?) Super125
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 7999
Location: seattle/athens
Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:46 pm quote
I've been half way there during downpours in Greece for short distances, no big deal.

The thing that worried me more than all the rest would be possibility of cracking the cylinder if it caught a big wave? Never heard of it happening, but if I wanted a dirt bike to ford creeks, I'd want a smallie just because you keep a lot more out of the water! Now just figure out how to seal the flywheel and add a snorkel.....

Or just get a damn Ural!
Molto Verboso
LXS 150
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 1105
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:52 pm quote
Rob98801 wrote:
I have ridden with the water just coming over the floor keeping my feet up on the frame. The worst part was not being able to see potholes in the road surface.
Did that once. Ok, maybe twice within a couple of days during a rather wet period here. I think it contributed to -- but wasn't the only cause of -- an early variator belt failure. (8000 mile belt went out at 5000 miles instead; wasn't a Vespa.)
Sportcity 350ie
Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 133
Location: Zagreb/Croatia/EU
Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:25 pm quote
Air inlet point is limit. If water go above this point you're in deep s...
Hot cilinder, head and exhaust pipe also don't lime such thermic stress but maiy survive.
'79 P200, '74 VBC Super, '80 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 727
Location: 32 37' 40" N, 117 2' 53" W
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:11 pm quote
il refirimento storico


Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 7648
Location: San Francisco
Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:10 pm quote
Re: glugg
10in wheels is cheating!
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: 8055
Location: Victoria, Australia
Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:40 pm quote
This was close to a foot deep at the deepest point. Great 3500km ride with SubEtherBass.

Callum river crossing.jpg

1967 Granturismo 177, 1979 P200E, 1974 Primavera 125 Hooligans S/C Seattle/Austin
Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 582
Location: Austin, TX
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:55 am quote
"Unrelated problems"
Did a rally here in Texas a couple of years ago. Went through a low water crossing about 12 inches deep. All made it through just fine. Strangely towards the end of the ride, my ignition started to cut out and back in. My otherwise fine P200 suffered from that gremlin thereafter. The dreaded American green wire was rotted and that little bit of immersion did it in. Sensitive creatures these Italian beasts are.
Land of 10,000 Scoots Rally   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   Cool Ass scooter seat cover
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