The Melody Chronicles: £µ©%, I Did It Again
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Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:03 am quote
I swear, the day started just swell: I woke up for what was going to be a lazy, rainy-but-mild day, mentally preparing myself for a pair of gigs scheduled for tomorrow…only, it wasn't raining, and it was already 47°F at 9 AM. Quick: do I want to ride into Gotham and work today, or suffer the subfreezing gods of tomorrow?

I quickly made some calls and texts: yes, both clients would gladly move things up to today. Splendid!

A quick shower, quicker breakfast, grab necessary tools and backpack them, prep my customary flask of tea, pack everything into Melody's pet carrier, top off the tires with a bit of air, then take off for the Big City with a bangin' vintage soundtrack, kicking off with a song whose lyrics should've been a warning:

Got to pay your dues
If you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy


The ride into town was contrary to what Le Wife feared, totally uneventful: roads were mostly dry, and side streets here and there had snowbanks that were almost laughably easy to maneuver around. Parking was easy as well; a good thing, since one of my two clients was in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a wonderfully funky place to live, but notoriously sparse in terms of public transportation. Without the bike, I literally couldn't make a go of it there. Client there was new, a referral from another client of mine in the Hook. Had to negotiate some seriously wonky cobblestone streets to get to him, which reminded me that I had to get serious abuot replacing the shocks when Melody's next service comes up, a bit less than 200 miles from now.

Gassed-up the bike, then got to my second gig in Park Slope a few hours later, doing technical and tutorial work for a client who's had a rather rough time in the past year, and was seriously glad to see me.

Started my way home just before dusk, through the Slope, past Sunset Park, skirting Bay Ridge by a good margin, then crossing the Verazzano (lower level, it was a bit gusty), and pretty stoked that I got so much done and still would get home in time for dinner with Le Wife. Still wasn't terribly cold, and while there was more traffic than in recent months, and most driving well over the posted limit, nothing was fazing me…

Until somewhere around Exit 12, on the Staten Island Expressway, when the bike nearly threw me forward as it seemed to be lurching to a quick halt…in traffic. I was three lanes from the outside median, two lanes from the inside (counting the HOV lane). A bit of a white-knuckle move, but I managed to signal and wave at the same time to warn traffic behind me, and made my way to the (narrow) inner median.

Took two minutes to process everything: first 30 seconds were all holy flaming shitballs, I didn't get rear-ended. Next 30 seconds were spent taking note of my approximate location, since based on the feeling of this sudden stop I had a sickening notion Mel and me weren't getting out of there on her own power. For another 30 seconds I recall that my smartphone had just had a major software update, meaning that the apps I set up for just such an emergency (AAA, Geico) might not have what I need Right Now, which turned out to be correct. Word-to-the-wise, and all that. But the final 30 seconds had me noticing something radically different from the last time (and first time) Melody stranded me for seemingly-mysterious reasons: the engine. It was still running.

I was momentarily confused. I gave the throttle a little twist.

Nothing. Engine revs, no forward motion.

I gave it a bit more throttle.

Still nothing, but now a faint, unfamiliar noise.

Now I had a good idea what happened this time. I shut the engine off (but left the lights on…would likely come to kill the battery, but besides not wanting to do further potential damage to the drivetrain, I wasn't too keen on getting myself killed). Put the centerstand up, then crouched down for a look at the transmission housing. Sure enough, there was grey angel-hair pasta from what used to be Melody's drive belt.

"Well", I said to myself, "maybe this won't be as bad as the fuel injector snapping in two…maybe."

Called Geico: I remembered that I had roadside assistance, but recalled that I didn't pop for the better version of that coverage, so it might not be a big help, and after some kibbitzing with an agent, decided to go with AAA. (In retrospect, this might've been a mistake on my part, since the talking lizard would've covered half the miles getting home.) In either case, there was the age-old problem: I was on an Expressway. Any thoroughfare that ends in "way" or "pike" is generally off-limits to any roadside assistance other than that provided by the authorities of said thoroughfare. This was pointed out to me by the rather friendly gent who pulled up in a snazzy Dodge Charger Police Special, who'd been dispatched to investigate my situation, and who helpfully had an authorized flatbed to get me and Mel off the Expressway, but only off the Expressway, which in this case was roughly a half-mile to a local Mobil station. (That'll be $136, please, refundable by AAA, hopefully.)

Call AAA again to coordinate getting a tow from gas station; confusing talk about what is and isn't covered (I tell them we have a powersports rider on our plan, a lesson we learned during my last debacle); I'm told I'm only covered for the first four miles of towing, and on the hook - literally - for about four bucks a mile from there. Then I'm told that all I'm on the hook for are tolls, which happen to be much higher (at least in these parts) for commercial vehicles than private. Yep, it's kind of a racket.

Have several conversations with Le Wife about this latest mishap: Are you okay? (Yes, fine, other than the first 30 seconds of panic.) Is that bike really made for what you're doing with it? (Yes, but I clearly need to keep a tighter eye on a few things.) Why can't you just take the train? (We've talked about this, dear, and it's mostly no-can-do, especially at this point in time.) If you keep riding like this, are you going to be more vigilant about maintenance? (I swear on a stack of Superman comics* I'll be mega-vigilant about keeping Melody on her toes after this…although you might not be crazy about the tab this time around**)

Second tow-guy shows up. Cool dude (aren't most towing peeps?), but he regretfully informs me that I can't ride in the the cab with him: COVID, and all that. I tell him it's cool, Le Wife's younger son (who's been living with us since last August) is getting off work and can pick me up. I help get Melody on the flatbed and properly lashed down for the trip home, and I wait in the cold until Younger-Son arrives, my helmet still on, but my heated gloves' batteries exhausted. Staten Island is an interesting place, but…

Me and Younger Son (not of my siring, BTW, but I dig him nonetheless) arrive home some 20 minutes before my bike does. It's about midnight, and I haven't eaten, and I'm going to cook dinner for myself anyway, since I'm truly famished. But I wait till the truck pulls up: the driver, who's almost a ringer for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, tells me he tried to call and tell me he stopped at his house to pick up a few extra straps to secure the bike. I thanked him profusely, help him roll Melody off the flat, pushed a twenty into his hand and said "thanks, man", and pushed the bike into the back of the driveway. The least I could do (and all the cash I had.)

To Be Continued.

* I got that from a recent John Cadogan YT video. Let's just say that he has an iconoclastic (read: Australian) sense of humor, which I don't always cotton to, but mostly do.

** As mentioned before, I'm petitioning this time around for a full set of Malossi shocks, which will bring the next service interval to a rather heady tab…again. But the bike does so much for me, and not just for shits 'n grins.

melodysnwfeb01.jpg
Earlier That Day: Snow in one part of Brooklyn.

melsnowfeb02.jpg
Slightly Later That Day: More snow in another part of Brooklyn: note "non-European-maintained" cobbles.

melodytow01.jpg
Much Later That Day: Melody On the Lift. Ugh.

melodyshreddedbelt.jpg
Evidence: Okay, tell me…how bad IS it?



Last edited by amateriat on Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:08 pm; edited 9 times in total
Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1232
Location: Toronto
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:42 am quote
Thanks for sharing the story so far. I could feel the fear with breakdown on such a busy road!

I'm a little surprised by a belt failure because I know you keep up on maintenance and have the work done by a dealer. How many miles were on it?

I hope everything works out for you. Let us know!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:03 am quote
In a few simple words ... what happened?
Keep us updated ... sure it's the drive belt? When was it last changed and / or how many miles did you drive with it?
Enthusiast
Stella
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 61
Location: USA
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:30 am quote
Gosh, how many miles on that belt?
Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1232
Location: Toronto
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:38 am quote
Attila wrote:
In a few simple words ... what happened?
Riding at speed on multi lane highway.
Drive belt blew apart.
Soiled pants.
Had bike towed home.

Addicted
2018 Vespa 300 GTS Touring
Joined: 04 Oct 2015
Posts: 839
Location: NYC
Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:19 am quote
You have a good sense of humor & a nice writing style.
Next time you come to Parkslope/RedHook, let me know & we shall meet for a socially distanced coffee.
As for Melody, if you plan to replace the drive belt yourself then I can let you borrow the tools one needs to do a belt service also I would say replace the rollers with sliders and replace the clutch bell too while you are there.
But maybe the weather being what it is, not easy top work on it outside unless you have a closed/covered garage.

Glad to know your adventure while letting you become brutally aware of how insurance coverage works or doesn't and finding it slightly amusing you got to stay safe.
I wonder besides maintenance I wonder if you will check with insurance to figure out what was/is covered for what you pay in premiums and what you paid out of pocket to get what you needed. In my experience I have found that the premiums we pay doesn't always cover us for when needed cuz of a clause on page 36 sub section iii....
Veni, Vidi, Posti
300CC Italian scooter, 750CC Russian Sidecar,1650CC Bavarian ADV Tourer.
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7945
Location: The Six
Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:21 am quote
berto wrote:
Attila wrote:
In a few simple words ... what happened?
Riding at speed on multi lane highway.
Drive belt blew apart.
Soiled pants.
Had bike towed home.

Sounds right.

Glad you got home alright amateriat and hopefully this does not happen again. If it does you may want to ask the tow service if they have a punch card for loyal customers.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:00 am quote
Well ... no sorry...actually bad, I am genuinely interested in the technical problem that caused the problem; in Italy, when you do the vehicle insurance, transport is also offered (for a fee, in the case of a scooter for about € 30 for year) to any destination (home or workshop) for breakdown or accident within 50 km.
PS: even in the case of a punctured or damaged tire, same offer for the car.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9652
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:15 am quote
Holy....

I sometimes worry about getting stranded by something like that, but that initial traffic situation would send shivers up my spine. Makes waiting by the side of the road nothing by comparison.

Yeah, that belt is history....

Glad you survived to tell the tale. Hopefully you're on the road again soon.
Ossessionato
2010 ThunderFly 190, 2008 250 GTS
Joined: 29 Apr 2011
Posts: 2816
Location: Springboro, OH
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:17 am quote
Drive Belt failure would almost always be an "oh $H!T" moment, especially in traffic.

I've never had a belt fail on me in over 50K miles on my 2 scoots, but I do change them pretty often at about 8K miles. I've used Malossi and OEM belts for both scoots.

That's one of those checks you can only do by taking the trans cover off, not something I do regularly.

Is there another, easier way to check the drive belt condition?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:44 am quote
You must always open the transmission cover and visually check the condition of the belt, if it is very worn it has a step on the sides and has small cracks on the flat side. Furthermore, it remains excessively loose, theoretically it must be removed and the diameter measured by placing it on a bench. Obviously the engine must be turned off when working on the transmission.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
300CC Italian scooter, 750CC Russian Sidecar,1650CC Bavarian ADV Tourer.
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7945
Location: The Six
Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:00 am quote
Attila wrote:
You must always open the transmission cover and visually check the condition of the belt, if it is very worn it has a step on the sides and has small cracks on the flat side. Furthermore, it remains excessively loose, theoretically it must be removed and the diameter measured by placing it on a bench. Obviously the engine must be turned off when working on the transmission.
How often is one supposed to do this? I can tell you right now the typical Vespa (hell, any bike) rider is not going to crack the transmission and check the belt on a regular basis. Most (like me) are just going to ensure the bike is serviced at the recommendation of the manufacturer based on milage. Blaming amateriat in any way shape or form makes no sense as I am positive he gets his little girl serviced at the correct intervals. A belt like many parts should be designed to be replaced well before it's best before date.

I love my bikes and have spent more that a little money on them. Cracking the transmission is not something I ever see myself doing and I leave that to the professionals. What happens if the seals are bad when you put it back on? etc, etc... I don't ask my clients to configure their firewalls, VLANS, or servers, etc and much prefer they don't fiddle with things.
Molto Verboso
Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: Hyde Park, New York
Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:34 am quote
I start to get nervous at around 8k on my scooter even with a Bando Kevlar. This is one of the checks on my trust list that puts my motorcycles ahead of the scooter. O ring chains and shaft drive can be visually noted.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39336
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:02 pm quote
I start thinking about changing belts at around the 6,000 mile mark. I've had them start to go well before the book time - but that is with very hard use!
Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 & 96 Elite 80s, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3886
Location: Oceanside, CA
Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:37 pm quote
Knowledgeable folks,

When a belt snaps, is it more common to shed tufts like that? Or, is it more common to just break cleanly? Or does it depend on the belt material? Belt guide? Whether Amateriat was wearing green socks that day? Something else I didnt list?

The only one I’ve ever destroyed and then worked on was a clean break. No tufts, just rubber teeth/ mess. In/ out in no time.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
300CC Italian scooter, 750CC Russian Sidecar,1650CC Bavarian ADV Tourer.
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7945
Location: The Six
Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:05 pm quote
MJRally wrote:
Knowledgeable folks,

When a belt snaps, is it more common to shed tufts like that? Or, is it more common to just break cleanly? Or does it depend on the belt material? Belt guide? Whether Amateriat was wearing green socks that day? Something else I didnt list?

The only one I’ve ever destroyed and then worked on was a clean break. No tufts, just rubber teeth/ mess. In/ out in no time.
I think you may be on to something with the socks!

In all honestly I just tell the dealer to change anything that they think looks worn even if it is well before the interval. This is true for Piaggio, BMW and Ural and I do not feel like I've been screwed so much as once.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:13 pm quote
In fact I'm not blaming anyone ... but ...
A couple of times I had problems with the drive belt, I suppose because the part was produced by an external supplier (like all components) of poor quality. In fact, they had worn out 3000 km before the replacement distance recommended in the use and maintenance booklet. How did I know I had to check it? It whistled under acceleration and when slowing down the clutch it jumped ... clearly because the belt did not "detach" gradually due to the lack of minimum grip necessary to do so.
I opened the cover and noticed the symptoms of premature consumption; bought the spare part and putting it superimposed on the old one you noticed an enlargement of the diameter of about 2 centimeters (sorry for the use of the metric system).

PS: I did not understand ... who put the green socks in the transmission cover and why?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:24 pm quote
jimc wrote:
I start thinking about changing belts at around the 6,000 mile mark. I've had them start to go well before the book time - but that is with very hard use!
Jim ... the material with which a transmission belt is made is not identical for each manufacturer, if you then add the excessive consumption given by an intense use of accelerate / slow down of a big city with a lot of vehicular traffic and maybe (my hypothesis) that the intense cold to which poor Melody has been subjected may have made the rubber of the belt fragile ... in short, a series of unfavorable factors can happen. My comments are not an empty criticism, we are here to try to help / solve situations that we want to avoid again.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39336
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:36 pm quote
All my belts (and I suspect Amateriat's) have been OEM Piaggio belts.

The usual first sign of failure is tufts of kevlar (or other para-aramid for the pedants) poking out of the rear air vent of the transmission case. If you're lucky, you have some miles left in it to take it very gently home or to a dealer.

Only once have I been stranded by a broken belt, that was on the Fuoco when the J Costa variator bushing went oval causing the break. That was a fairly new belt too.
Addicted
2018 Vespa 300 GTS Touring
Joined: 04 Oct 2015
Posts: 839
Location: NYC
Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:02 pm quote
On most GTS 300's the belt replacement is scheduled maintenance 9000 mile. I believe most MV members favor replacing it around the 6000 mile interval. I replaced the belt on my old GTS at 4500 mile mark well before that because I wasn't sure how hard it had been ridden or not when I purchased it and I put another 6000 miles before I replaced that.
I am sure amateriat takes good care of Melody I have met them both in Parkslope before the pandemic.
We shall find out in post mortem analysis by amateriat what may have caused premature belt failure assuming routine maintenance had covered its replacement.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:19 pm quote
berto wrote:
Attila wrote:
In a few simple words ... what happened?
Riding at speed on multi lane highway.
Drive belt blew apart.
Soiled pants.
Had bike towed home.

Well, not entirely accurate: I did maintain bowel control…barely.
redstella wrote:
Gosh, how many miles on that belt?
Approximately 7.5k miles. Last one was changed at 9k, but here's where I miscalculated badly: the first 3-4k on that previous (original) belt were infrequent and mild; the remaining miles were when I started my highway trips - early, often, and fairly aggressive. (Cold-weather riding doesn't help.)
jimc wrote:
All my belts (and I suspect Amateriat's) have been OEM Piaggio belts.
Yep, OEM, both times. Not anymore, though: more info forthcoming.

melodycharging.jpg
The Following Morning: Sun's out, Mel's out…of commission, for the time being.



Last edited by amateriat on Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:55 pm; edited 5 times in total
Addicted
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 668
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:21 pm quote
Angel Hair
Greetings:

Loved the Angel Hair Pasta analogy!

I once bought a discount Asian belt for the Honda for like $7, SHIPPED! On the first high-speed ride (The Fabrizi cylinder could push past 70) the belt grenaded and the Angel Hair wound around the driven shaft and JAMMED it solid. Left a 50-foot skidmark on the pavement, and 5cm in my shorts.

Don't cheap out on this part, and replace every time you have an excuse to lift the belt cover. Check the belt's production date if you can, too.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:45 pm quote
Indian/Vespa of Monmouth To the Rescue
Me: Imagine the Lone Ranger without Silver, Bronson without his Harley, Batman…

Le Wife: Knock it off! Just tell me how much we're in for.


She drove me to Indian/Vespa/Moto Guzzi/Zero of Monmouth an hour ago, only a blessed three miles away. She wanted to know how big a tab it was going to be, but insisted that anything that "made the bike safe" get done, even if the tab was going to be large. Here's what got signed-off on:

- New Malossi shocks, all-around

- Malossi Kevlar belt

- Scheduled 18k once-over (which ironically was going to include a belt-change)

Tab is somewhere below $800, which was actually less than I feared it would be.

And: they just drove up to pick Mel up. Since we're getting hammered by snow again shortly (6-8 inches tomorrow, another inch or two Friday), they wanted the bike in their hands ASAP. They're hoping to get all the necessary bits in quickly, but turnaround time is still up in the air. Stay tuned!

melodyrescue01.jpg
Monmouth: Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?

melodyrescue02.jpg
Ambulatory Care: Hopefully, she won't be away for long.

Ossessionato
2009 GTV250 (Gone), 2003 Inder trailer, 2001 BMW R1100RT
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 4688
Location: Santa Cruz California
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:00 pm quote
Just averaging over the MV comments I've read over the years wrt GTS belt breaks, most didn't use an OEM belt or didn't change it at the recommended 9K mile mark. Of course there are statistical outliers, some belts breaking earlier, some still working well past the 9K miles. But in general, those riders changing the belt either before or at the 9K mile mark, haven't experienced a belt break. If you ride your bike pretty sporty, as Jimc said, it seems more likely that you'd break a belt.

I bet Motovista, Greasy and Stromrider have a lot more to say about this if they respond.

Best
Miguel
Molto Verboso
Gina, 1965 Vespa 180SS, Bella,1968 Vespa 150 Super, Francesca, 2006 Vespa LX150, Sofia, 2007 Vespa GT200, Gabriella, 2017 GTS300 ABS
Joined: 21 Jan 2015
Posts: 1370
Location: Hamilton, NZ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:41 pm quote
Interested to know why you are choosing to go away from the OEM belt. My local dealer won't install non OEM belts as he has to wear the consequences of a moaning owner when they don't last. I am a fan of using the correct original parts; we pay a premium for our scooters because they are an above average product. The possible extra cost of an OEM belt gives me a feeling of security that it was designed in the same place, by the same team to operate the machine it is in.
However, I am aware many people have had good experiences with after market belts etc. Just interested to know why people change.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6332
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:46 pm quote
pigletpilot wrote:
Interested to know why you are choosing to go away from the OEM belt. My local dealer won't install non OEM belts as he has to wear the consequences of a moaning owner when they don't last. I am a fan of using the correct original parts; we pay a premium for our scooters because they are an above average product. The possible extra cost of an OEM belt gives me a feeling of security that it was designed in the same place, by the same team to operate the machine it is in.
However, I am aware many people have had good experiences with after market belts etc. Just interested to know why people change.
I get where you are coming from, but personally once the vehicle is mine I make choices. Sometimes (OK rarely) OEM, sometimes based on price, etc. I happen to use OEM belts, rollers, and sliders, but not oil, oil filter, wind screen, top case, etc.
Molto Verboso
Gina, 1965 Vespa 180SS, Bella,1968 Vespa 150 Super, Francesca, 2006 Vespa LX150, Sofia, 2007 Vespa GT200, Gabriella, 2017 GTS300 ABS
Joined: 21 Jan 2015
Posts: 1370
Location: Hamilton, NZ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:53 pm quote
Madison Sully wrote:
I get where you are coming from, but personally once the vehicle is mine I make choices. Sometimes (OK rarely) OEM, sometimes based on price, etc. I happen to use OEM belts, rollers, and sliders, but not oil, oil filter, wind screen, top case, etc.
Agree on the less important stuff (although I like the look of the Vespa top box the dollars kill it here, about $NZ1k for rack and case) but belts, rollers etc original for me, and have been using Motul scooter oil lately. Not the cheapest but not stupidly priced.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:47 pm quote
pigletpilot wrote:
Interested to know why you are choosing to go away from the OEM belt. My local dealer won't install non OEM belts as he has to wear the consequences of a moaning owner when they don't last. I am a fan of using the correct original parts; we pay a premium for our scooters because they are an above average product. The possible extra cost of an OEM belt gives me a feeling of security that it was designed in the same place, by the same team to operate the machine it is in.
However, I am aware many people have had good experiences with after market belts etc. Just interested to know why people change.
This was a recommendation from one of the shop techs. I did a bit of research and decided "why not?" In the realm of replacement powertrain bits this doesn't quite cost the Earth. I'm really looking for ward to seeing how my revamped ride rides…she has enough get-up-and-go for me to keep the engine bone-stock for now, but I'm hoping to get more from the power it has by way of better control and ride quality.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:15 am quote
amateriat wrote:
pigletpilot wrote:
Interested to know why you are choosing to go away from the OEM belt. My local dealer won't install non OEM belts as he has to wear the consequences of a moaning owner when they don't last. I am a fan of using the correct original parts; we pay a premium for our scooters because they are an above average product. The possible extra cost of an OEM belt gives me a feeling of security that it was designed in the same place, by the same team to operate the machine it is in.
However, I am aware many people have had good experiences with after market belts etc. Just interested to know why people change.
This was a recommendation from one of the shop techs. I did a bit of research and decided "why not?" In the realm of replacement powertrain bits this doesn't quite cost the Earth. I'm really looking for ward to seeing how my revamped ride rides…she has enough get-up-and-go for me to keep the engine bone-stock for now, but I'm hoping to get more from the power it has by way of better control and ride quality.
At the base of "consumable" spare parts there is a particular speech ...
If you read the "warranty conditions" you will see that they are not covered; in part it is obvious, it depends on the use you make of the vehicle and in part the vehicle manufacturer knows that in order to make "large-scale savings" he can buy parts that cannot be covered by the guarantee.
So ... saddle (if the damage is for consumption but it is an excuse not to replace it for free), flexible cables (throttle), light bulbs, clutch, rollers, belt, battery, tires, brake pads and often some types of gaskets ( depends on the vehicle brand) and something else (read all the warranty conditions carefully, only the meteorite damage is missing ...
Therefor buy the consumables them of good quality, not original (unless the guarantee, if in force, does not oblige to also replace with the original consumable) and change the pieces a little before the indicated expiry date.
Guys ... I have been using automatic scooters for twenty-five years and I have never had serious maintenance problems ... it can happen that the battery leaves you on the ground, it can happen that something imponderable but with slight consequences; do the maintenance indicated without exceeding the deadline and buy good consumables.
PS: amateriat ... are you the one inside the van?
Ossessionato
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4417
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:04 am quote
I have been using Malossi belts in all of my Vespas for the past eight years.

They have performed at least as well as the OEM Piaggio belts.

You should get a few tools and replace them yourself in the future.

Doing so is easy and fast. But not outside in the NY winter.

I doubt you really needed shocks. No shocks on a Vespa will smooth out cobblestones.

I got 55,000 miles out of the rear shocks on Rocket before they went bad.

The fronts have been replaced twice, but it does have 98,000 miles on it.

I am pleased that you survived the break on that highway. That must have been quite uncomfortable.

Bill
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 3222
Location: East Anglia, a dryer region of the UK than Israel
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:11 am quote
Sorry to hear of a belt breakage amateriat. They are really not that common as you'll know, especially on oem belts. Glad you managed to stop ok.

I tend to change out my belt, rollers and back plate guides all at the same time. This is usually between 7500-8000 miles. I do it this way because my rollers are always ok at 6200 miles (the recommended change time). By changing the belts at the same time as changing the rollers it means the bike is always performing at it's best, and in addition, the amount of wear on the crankshaft threads is reduced by 50%. I'm not having to do two lots of work ie: changing rollers, guides etc at 6200, and then taking it all apart again just 3000 miles later to do just the belt. So my belt gets changed on average 1000 mile early, and my rollers 1500-2000 miles later than recommended. But it's all good and the bike performs faultlessly.

I think the Malossi belts are ok. I've only fitted one for a customer and he never came back with any issues so I'm guessing it was ok.

Let us know if you can what if anything the shop finds regarding the early failure. Good luck and hoping the bill is as low as you can get.
Ossessionato
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2101
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:05 pm quote
I greatly enjoy your reports and writing. And I admire you have not said a bad word about the Vespa or mention of trading in for a Yamaha.

I have had three belts explode on trips, but I do a lot of long hard trips to the tune of thousands of miles per trip. Two were actually caused by variator failures. One with only 2,500 miles on the belt and the new variator put in by a reputable shop in Calif and blew up in Alabama on the way home. I too change the belts early. And saying that maybe I better change it for WLeothold adventure coming up.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:15 pm quote
lostboater wrote:
I greatly enjoy your reports and writing. And I admire you have not said a bad word about the Vespa or mention of trading in for a Yamaha.
...ouch..!!!
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:11 pm quote
WLeuthold wrote:
I have been using Malossi belts in all of my Vespas for the past eight years.

They have performed at least as well as the OEM Piaggio belts.

You should get a few tools and replace them yourself in the future.

Doing so is easy and fast. But not outside in the NY winter.

I doubt you really needed shocks. No shocks on a Vespa will smooth out cobblestones.

I got 55,000 miles out of the rear shocks on Rocket before they went bad.

The fronts have been replaced twice, but it does have 98,000 miles on it.

I am pleased that you survived the break on that highway. That must have been quite uncomfortable.

Bill
Thanks, Bill!

I'll be trying to get myself set up for a bit more DIY maintenance, but of course, it's a no-go in Winter up here, being garage-less and all. (Nice driveway, though.) However, the shocks are pretty much shot: springs are sagging even at max preload (and, as mentioned elsewhere, my COVID weight-gain, has been roughly eight pounds - not nothing, but not nearly enough to explain away the frequent bottoming-out I'm suffering with. I do blame in part the horrible state of our local roads at the time I bought the bike, along with the much more-robust riding regimen I've taken up over the last two years. I simply have to be a bit more on-top of stuff like the belt, which other than tires is the one item one doesn't want to fail catastrophically, for safety's sake.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5053
Location: Latina (Italy)
Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:33 pm quote
Is the driveway shared with the neighbor? Otherwise you could make a small illegal garage ... In Italy there are many illegal constructions (such as garages and home depots), it is a common habit but generally tolerated.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:02 pm quote
Attila wrote:
Is the driveway shared with the neighbor? Otherwise you could make a small illegal garage ... In Italy there are many illegal constructions (such as garages and home depots), it is a common habit but generally tolerated.
Technically. it's a shared driveway (see avatar), but as the owner of the adjacent house is renting the house out, the owner doesn't allow tenants' access of the driveway. I am playing with the idea of having a retractable awning on the side of the house, primarily to further protect Melody from the elements, but also to offer a sheltered area to work on her. What I'll also need is a compact lift to hoist the bike up at least a lot or two to better facilitate stuff like belt-inspection and other DIY stuff (like eventually swiping the exhaust again…haven't gotten around to repainting the original pipe that's languishing in the basement).
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2727
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:05 pm quote
Attila wrote:
PS: amateriat ... are you the one inside the van?
Nope, that's one of the tech staff from Indian/Vespa et al of Monmouth.
Stromrider wrote:
Sorry to hear of a belt breakage amateriat. They are really not that common as you'll know, especially on oem belts. Glad you managed to stop ok.

I tend to change out my belt, rollers and back plate guides all at the same time. This is usually between 7500-8000 miles. I do it this way because my rollers are always ok at 6200 miles (the recommended change time). By changing the belts at the same time as changing the rollers it means the bike is always performing at it's best, and in addition, the amount of wear on the crankshaft threads is reduced by 50%. I'm not having to do two lots of work ie: changing rollers, guides etc at 6200, and then taking it all apart again just 3000 miles later to do just the belt. So my belt gets changed on average 1000 mile early, and my rollers 1500-2000 miles later than recommended. But it's all good and the bike performs faultlessly.

I think the Malossi belts are ok. I've only fitted one for a customer and he never came back with any issues so I'm guessing it was ok.

Let us know if you can what if anything the shop finds regarding the early failure. Good luck and hoping the bill is as low as you can get.
Thanks for this info, Strom: I'm sure the wrenches at Monmouth will be on top of it, but I'll be checking in periodically. Right now it's a matter of how soon the shocks and belt get shipped to them.
Attila wrote:
lostboater wrote:
I greatly enjoy your reports and writing. And I admire you have not said a bad word about the Vespa or mention of trading in for a Yamaha.
...ouch..!!!
Nah, no dissing of other brands here, but I love the GTS to bits in spite of the belt blowing itself to bits.
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