Making Custom Panels for the GTS
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Member
Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 32
Location: USA
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:18 pm quote
It's been a few years since I've torn apart the GTS that I found on the street and rebuilt it from the ground up.

Total Vespa GTS 300 Teardown and Assembly

It has acquired a few scratches and dents and I think it's time to revamp it yet again. I'm looking to do something a bit more unique that involves making custom panels.

Can anyone point me in the right direction regarding making such panels. I don't even know where to begin. I doubt I'd do that myself (I don't have body shop tools, equipment, or space). What sort of shop am I even looking for. How do we go about making these panels?

Any advice would be Mega-Appreciated!!

In essence, I'd like to go from this:

To this:

IMG_8798.jpg

vespa-300SS-gill-21.jpeg

Hooked
2007 Vespa 250 GTS
Joined: 15 Sep 2016
Posts: 209
Location: Nashville, Tn
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:53 pm quote
Trying to improve on the original? Good Luck with that
Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 4795
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:43 pm quote
To do the types of modifications you showed above, you need to be a skilled metal worker. It involves cutting out part of the stock panels and welding in your custom pieces. It's a bit tricky because the heat from welding can easily warp the panel. You have to go slowly to keep things from getting too hot. Then the welds get ground down. Often the final finishing is done with a hand file. Of course there is a lot more to it than I described. It is a long process but the result is very rewarding.

Regarding your question of where you can go to get this sort of work done... Look for a shop that specializes in custom hot rods (chop tops, sectioned bodies, etc). But be prepared... this kind of work is very expensive.

-Craig
Hooked
Vespa Supertech 2019 (EURO3/APAC)
Joined: 17 Nov 2020
Posts: 165
Location: Australia
Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:58 pm quote
caschnd1 wrote:
Regarding your question of where you can go to get this sort of work done... Look for a shop that specializes in custom hot rods (chop tops, sectioned bodies, etc). But be prepared... this kind of work is very expensive.

-Craig
Also places that restore classics as it's common to chop out badly rusted sections and replace using the same skills
Addicted
2010 gts 300 super. 09 MP3 500 lite
Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 733
Location: tampa
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:49 am quote
I welded the blinkers holes on my vespa project using mig welder.. I can confirm the front will warp the front shield. the back is substantially thicker metal and didnt warp. but yeah, its a metal welding project that should be left to someone with good bodywork skills
Member
Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 32
Location: USA
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:29 am quote
This sounds mad complicated and expensive.
I might have to scrap the idea

Does anyone have any tasteful mod ideas for slightly customizing the look of the GTS.

I particularly dislike the giant rear brake lamp.
Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 2012
Location: Minneapolis USA
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:44 am quote
Moding your Vespa
Even though I am a stock look kind of scooter owner, I do appreciate
those who are really into changing the look for personal expression.

I think that tail light is off the Vespa retro "946".

Bob Copeland
Ossessionato
2014 Commuter BV350(45,000)/2015 Scoot Life BV350(11,000)/2010 El Diablito SH150i(30,000)
Joined: 27 Dec 2013
Posts: 2579
Location: Orange Park Florida
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:57 am quote
1wheel_drive wrote:
Does anyone have any tasteful mod ideas for slightly customizing the look of the GTS..
I like murdered Vespa's. That rear tire is going to murder you
Addicted
2018 Vespa 300 GTS Touring
Joined: 04 Oct 2015
Posts: 873
Location: NYC
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:14 am quote
What if you were to build fiberglass/carbon fiber plugs for the turn signal holes and use epoxy to glue them in and cut out the slits for the new turn signals in.
Also for the brake/tail light similar mod, cut out a hole to fit the light fixture.

I think given your skills rebuilding the Vespa, you are fully capable of building it out without welding sheet metal.
There is a guy in Canada who is rebuilding a Volvo (similar car that TheSaint used) making carbon fiber body panels. I think if he can get it done, you are likely to succeed for sure.
Molto Verboso
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: 08 Nov 2014
Posts: 1418
Location: Central New York
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:35 am quote
baba12 wrote:
What if you were to build fiberglass/carbon fiber plugs for the turn signal holes and use epoxy to glue them in and cut out the slits for the new turn signals in.
May not have the same wow factor as doing it in steel but might even be reversible at a latter date if none of the original steel is cut.
Hooked
PX200
Joined: 08 Apr 2014
Posts: 193
Location: Dublin
Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:36 am quote
If you're going for the look as per your image above, then go full swing at it. Either do it yourself to the highest quality, or pay someone to do it properly... Doing a half arsed job is a waste of time and will look crap.

It kind of reminds me of all those awful choppers that were done in the late 90's... Destroyed so many Vespa's and means there's less bikes available now for people who want them...

I'd also say, that if you don't have the budget to get it right, and the funds for all of the other details to complement the back end, like the aftermarket exhaust shown above, led lights, anodised components... Then what's the point...
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5438
Location: Latina (Italy)
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:00 pm quote
It's cheaper to buy a 946.
Hooked
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 27 Sep 2019
Posts: 390
Location: San Francisco
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:35 pm quote
I'd love to know more about the legal part of this process. Sounds like this was abandoned on/near a laundromat, and the laundromat gave you permission to take it? How do you get the DMV to give you plates for it? (Also makes me wonder if it was stolen in a past life, but that's no longer relevant.)

As for your question about the tail light, I know Rizoma makes a license plate mount that replaces the 2020 tail light. No idea what it would take to fit that into an older GTS. Personally, I think the Piaggio tail light looks better than Rizoma's solution, nevermind the price of Rizoma parts.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 5438
Location: Latina (Italy)
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:40 pm quote
The problem is that the sheet metal of the modern Vespa is too thin.
Hooked
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 27 Sep 2019
Posts: 390
Location: San Francisco
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:41 pm quote
There are also a whole bunch of tail lights, which might get you closer to the look you're looking for without all the bodywork. For instance: https://www.scooterwest.com/smoke-tinted-power1-led-tail-light-gts-2015-2020-1d000570-led-sm.html
Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 4795
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:57 pm quote
mayorofnow wrote:
I'd love to know more about the legal part of this process. Sounds like this was abandoned on/near a laundromat, and the laundromat gave you permission to take it? How do you get the DMV to give you plates for it? (Also makes me wonder if it was stolen in a past life, but that's no longer relevant.)

...
Here in the USA, the exact process varies a bit from one state to the next. But in general, this is the process:

1) Take the VIN and have it searched to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen in the system. If not, proceed...
2) Go to your local DMV and apply for a "bonded title". The bonded title requires you to purchase a bond (think of it like an insurance policy) that would reimburse you or the original owner if the vehicle gets reported stolen in the next few years (here in Arizona, if I recall, it is a 5 year bond).
3) Once you have the bonded title, it is your vehicle to register and drive legally on the road. There are rules with a bonded title that do not allow you to transfer ownership to another person.
4) If the original owner does surface and claim the vehicle, they have the option of taking the vehicle or claiming the bond. If they take the vehicle, you get the bond. If they take the bond, you keep the vehicle.
5) After some period of time (if I recall, it is 5 years in Arizona) if the vehicle was never reported stolen, you can apply for a regular title. At that time, the vehicle fully belongs to you and cannot be claimed by anyone else. Also, now that you have a regular title, you can transfer sell/transfer the vehicle to a new owner.

It's kind of a long complicated process, but eventually you get a clean title.

-Craig
Hooked
PX200
Joined: 08 Apr 2014
Posts: 193
Location: Dublin
Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:04 pm quote
... so what happens to the bond in the end? Do you get it back? Seems like allot of cost up front, but, I suppose, with the benefit of getting cash back?
Member
Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 32
Location: USA
Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:18 pm quote
breaknwind wrote:
1wheel_drive wrote:
Does anyone have any tasteful mod ideas for slightly customizing the look of the GTS..
I like murdered Vespa's. That rear tire is going to murder you
I hear ya Partner! Going to change that tire ASAP over one of those Zellioni rims.
Ossessionato
2014 Commuter BV350(45,000)/2015 Scoot Life BV350(11,000)/2010 El Diablito SH150i(30,000)
Joined: 27 Dec 2013
Posts: 2579
Location: Orange Park Florida
Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:25 pm quote
caschnd1 wrote:
mayorofnow wrote:
I'd love to know more about the legal part of this process. Sounds like this was abandoned on/near a laundromat, and the laundromat gave you permission to take it? How do you get the DMV to give you plates for it? (Also makes me wonder if it was stolen in a past life, but that's no longer relevant.)

...
Here in the USA, the exact process varies a bit from one state to the next. But in general, this is the process:

1) Take the VIN and have it searched to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen in the system. If not, proceed...
2) Go to your local DMV and apply for a "bonded title". The bonded title requires you to purchase a bond (think of it like an insurance policy) that would reimburse you or the original owner if the vehicle gets reported stolen in the next few years (here in Arizona, if I recall, it is a 5 year bond).
3) Once you have the bonded title, it is your vehicle to register and drive legally on the road. There are rules with a bonded title that do not allow you to transfer ownership to another person.
4) If the original owner does surface and claim the vehicle, they have the option of taking the vehicle or claiming the bond. If they take the vehicle, you get the bond. If they take the bond, you keep the vehicle.
5) After some period of time (if I recall, it is 5 years in Arizona) if the vehicle was never reported stolen, you can apply for a regular title. At that time, the vehicle fully belongs to you and cannot be claimed by anyone else. Also, now that you have a regular title, you can transfer sell/transfer the vehicle to a new owner.

It's kind of a long complicated process, but eventually you get a clean title.

-Craig
When i was a gas station attendant in the 1980's my boss got a 1958 Corvette convertible this way. Lucky bastard.
Hooked
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 27 Sep 2019
Posts: 390
Location: San Francisco
Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:39 pm quote
Damn, that's a lot of money for a used vehicle. If the owner does turn up, sounds like they get a sweet deal (50% premium on the new price).

I wonder how they determine whether to issue a salvage title or a real one.
Hooked
Vespa Supertech 2019 (EURO3/APAC)
Joined: 17 Nov 2020
Posts: 165
Location: Australia
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:18 pm quote
custom vinyl wraps can look good
Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 4795
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:32 pm quote
bluefoam wrote:
... so what happens to the bond in the end? Do you get it back? Seems like allot of cost up front, but, I suppose, with the benefit of getting cash back?
If you purchase the bond from a company, it costs a lot less, but you don't get the bond back in the end. Sort of like using a bail bondsman. If you have the cash yourself, you can put up the bond and get it back at the end.
Addicted
2010 gts 300 super. 09 MP3 500 lite
Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 733
Location: tampa
Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:59 am quote
bonded title in florida is three years when I checked. the bond is double the book value. book value 3k. bond would be for 6k. I got quoted $90 for a 6k bond.

I never even considered what really happens if someone claims ownership during bond period. I think I was told I would be on the hook for the 6k if the owner surfaced and claimed bike. I wasnt worried as there was info online about the owner dying in a vehicle accident.

a new thread should be started on this subject. more and more people will be interested in getting a title this way.
Member
Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 32
Location: USA
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:16 am quote
In my case, even though the scooter was abandoned, I managed to track down the owner (through the VIN) and he was kind enough to sign over the title.
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