Lower vespa?
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Member
'08 yellow LX150
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Montclair, NJ
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:10 pm quote
My feet don't fully touch the ground when I am stopped. Is there a way to lower the vespa so it fits? Would the dealer do that for free?

Thanks for any help.
Enthusiast
GTS 250
Joined: 14 Feb 2009
Posts: 85
Location: Washington DC
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:16 pm quote
Re: Lower vespa?
wanderful wrote:
My feet don't fully touch the ground when I am stopped. Is there a way to lower the vespa so it fits? Would the dealer do that for free?

Thanks for any help.
Heels

Sorry could not resist. There are lots of information about lowering seats. Try the search function.
Addicted
Vespa GT 200L
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 615
Location: Vista, CA
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:19 pm quote
There are several ways to lower the rear. First make sure you are on the lowest position. The springs are adjustable, but not too much. Your Vespa came with a wrench to perform the adjustment. If the Vespa is still too low, you can have the springs cut, or better, remove the stops from the shock tube. You can purchase an additional stop that slides in where the bottom (just below the shock tube) of the shock mounts to the engine. My friend found a stop at an auto supply store. It worked perfect.

Not sure what a dealer would charge. Make sure they are not just going to perform the factory adjustment. This is why you should make sure the Vespa is already at it's lowest position before going to the dealer.

There are many posts on this site about lowering. You can shave the seat also to get closer to the ground!


Lothar

Last edited by Lothar on Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Rock Star
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 3780
Location: San Diego, CA
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:21 pm quote
Trim some of the cushion from the seat. Have Corbin.com do it. Or Pirate Upholstery in Kingston, NY.

Here's a similar post. http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/topic43250
Banned
Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 6035

Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:25 pm quote
Re: Lower vespa?
wanderful wrote:
My feet don't fully touch the ground when I am stopped. Is there a way to lower the vespa so it fits? Would the dealer do that for free?
It's better to get a lowered seat than to mess with the suspension
The Pirate lowers seats and makes lovely custom seats locally to us,
see: http://www.pirateupholstery.com/Services.html

Also, being inseam-impaired myself,
I find it's not really necessary to get your feet fully flat

With good boots, like my hiking boots below,
you only need to be able to get the balls of your feet down to get a good grip


If you can't do that on a seat that's been lowered an inch or two, then yes!
You need to go back and have a chat with the dealer
about why they unscrupulously sold you a scooter that's too big for you
Member
'08 yellow LX150
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Montclair, NJ
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:28 pm quote
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ask this because today I fell off the scooter, or really, it fell on me when I was stopped at the top of the hill. AH I felt like an idiot. I wondered if I had both my feet fully on the ground if it would have happened. The balls of my feet touch the ground, maybe I'll invest in some better shoes now. If anyone else has ideas let me know. I'm looking into this seat shaving thing right now. Thanks again.
Banned
Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 6035

Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:31 pm quote
wanderful wrote:
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ask this because today I fell off the scooter, or really, it fell on me when I was stopped at the top of the hill. AH I felt like an idiot. I wondered if I had both my feet fully on the ground if it would have happened. The balls of my feet touch the ground, maybe I'll invest in some better shoes now. If anyone else has ideas let me know. I'm looking into this seat shaving thing right now. Thanks again.
I live fairly near you, in Morristown

Please do PM me if I can help
Member
'08 yellow LX150
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Montclair, NJ
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:38 pm quote
Thanks L, I've actually got a pair of hiking boots that look just like that. I guess I'll ride with those and change into whatever I'm wearing when I get where I'm going.
Banned
Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 6035

Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:54 pm quote
wanderful wrote:
Thanks L, I've actually got a pair of hiking boots that look just like that. I guess I'll ride with those and change into whatever I'm wearing when I get where I'm going.
Good plan! That's what I do

When you're up on the balls of your feet,
it really helps to have good ankle support & good arch area support from a nice stiff boot
(and also check for that non-slip tread)
Ossessionato
Vespa 2005 GT200 & Honda Metro
Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3517
Location: Honolulu
Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:54 pm quote
I hope you're O.K. and don't be discouraged. The seat height of Vespas are on the high end. There is a list of seat heights of scoots and motorcycles and you find the Vespas on the upper tier.

Hence, you are not alone regarding the seat height issue. I am also inseamed challenged. Please use the Modern Vespa Search function and you'll find a wealth of information on how various owners have attempted to address this issue.

Below is a recent message string. I included a couple of pics on what was done to my seat (removal of seat cover housing [the hump] and cutting seat down). Went from tip toe to at ball of foot. I had to also adjust my habit of placing foot down from slightly forward drop to a straight drop and slight tilt left. Am still considering Corbin or Pirate to have custom seat made.

http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/topic44032?highlight=

By the way, although I feel more comfortable with my foot drop I continue to practice "stop and go's" [this is important is stop and go traffic], sudden stops [make sure you got your wheel straightened...balance and foot drop] and stops on inclines [sometimes you just have to be aware of the route you take and avoid serious inclines].

Also be cognizant of where you're placing your dropped foot...don't come to a stop that will place your foot in a depression or on a slick surface (i.e. painted surface or wet [it could be oil or gravel]

Hope this helps...ride safe!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX 150 (memories)
Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 8295
Location: New Hampshire
Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:33 pm quote
My thoughts on lowering a Vespa are that any suspension mods should be applied to both front and rear wheels in order to keep the scooter level, maintain caster and avoid weight transfer to the rear. It would also maintain headlight aim.

I know that a couple of inches isn't much, but these machines aren't very large to begin with.

Personally, I wouldn't do it, but my feet do reach the ground.

Maybe the dealers should have one of those medieval racks that they used to stretch people on. Make you fit the scooter before they hand you the keys. Consider it like a tanning bed without the sunburn.
Ossessionato
65 Sprint, 2008 150S
Joined: 31 Dec 2006
Posts: 2754
Location: MONTEREY COUNTY
Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:33 pm quote
I'm up on the balls of my feet on my S150 also and usually lean over to one side when I stop. I can balance pretty well on my tippy toes though.. I also wear boots, but have been known to wear Vans.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Literider Envy
Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 7267

Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:49 pm quote
NightWing wrote:
My thoughts on lowering a Vespa are that any suspension mods should be applied to both front and rear wheels in order to keep the scooter level, maintain caster and avoid weight transfer to the rear. It would also maintain headlight aim.

I know that a couple of inches isn't much, but these machines aren't very large to begin with.
I understand the reasoning for applying suspension mods to both ends of the bike. But with the single-sided fork, how exactly would you mod the front end to make it shorter? I would not personally be too concerned about it. But I am curious if anyone has seriously thought of that, and if they've come up with any viable ideas.

Overall, the Vespas aren't large. But they are a bit on the tall side when comparing other similar scoots. And even an inch or two can make all the difference as to whether someone can handle a bike safely or not. If my GTV were any taller than it currently is, I would never be able to safely handle it, even with the years of riding experience I have.
Ossessionato
Vespa 2005 GT200 & Honda Metro
Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3517
Location: Honolulu
Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:50 pm quote
Witch wrote:
NightWing wrote:
My thoughts on lowering a Vespa are that any suspension mods should be applied to both front and rear wheels in order to keep the scooter level, maintain caster and avoid weight transfer to the rear. It would also maintain headlight aim.

I know that a couple of inches isn't much, but these machines aren't very large to begin with.
I understand the reasoning for applying suspension mods to both ends of the bike. But with the single-sided fork, how exactly would you mod the front end to make it shorter? I would not personally be too concerned about it. But I am curious if anyone has seriously thought of that, and if they've come up with any viable ideas.

Overall, the Vespas aren't large. But they are a bit on the tall side when comparing other similar scoots. And even an inch or two can make all the difference as to whether someone can handle a bike safely or not. If my GTV were any taller than it currently is, I would never be able to safely handle it, even with the years of riding experience I have.
See attached seat height comparison. You'll see the the absolute seat height for the Vespa line overall is on the high side.

http://motorcycleviews.com/general/seatheights_scoot.htm

Need to focus on your effective foot drop length vs. seat height.

A wider seat width / girth of the seat will also decrease your foot drop length. Specifically, the GT200 @ 31.5" seat height with a wider seat width and girth compared to the LX150 @ 30.5" with slightly slimmer seat width and girth. Hence, the GT200 foot drop distance difference is more than just 1".

If you compare this to other scoots and in particular mopeds you can see a difference of over 2.0"...that's quite a bit.

So if you have a GT200 you need to consider both seat height and width / girth. If it's the LX150 more on the height. However, what I find to be the most annoying issue on both seats is hard seat covering housing which I find uncomfortable and had it removed from the seat of my GT200.
Member
'08 yellow LX150
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Montclair, NJ
Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:14 pm quote
Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. Being on the broke side of money right now, I decided to give a good pair of hiking boots a shot and now my feet touch all the way down.

I was a bit confused about whether my feet HAD to touch down all the way or not, but with sneakers on I can reach the balls of my feet down and now the hiking boots are an even bigger help. So thanks for the suggestions. I hope this thread helps others who are searching for a solution to this problem.

Also, I had a hard time finding posts that had to do with this on the site, I received a bunch of posts back when I searched but only 1 per page actually had to do with my search topic.
Molto Verboso
LX150, MP3, Buddy
Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 1526
Location: California
Lurker
ET2
Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Vancouver
Mon May 04, 2009 10:08 pm quote
Just some thoughts from my 20+ years experience with selling bicycles... and about 4 days with a Vespa! I also have a 5-foot-nothing girl friend whom I have watched struggle with both bikes and scooters.

Boots are going to help; too often people think their flipflops are fine but not on a bike or a scoot, for a whole bunch of reasons. Not to mention the sole thickness, try rubbing the tops of your toes at 30 or 50 kph on asphalt and see if you agree.

Moving forward on the seat might help as you come to a stop, as it narrows in the front which will help your leg reach as your thighs get closer together.

Stay closer to the center line of the roadway if possible. Many roads (especially non urban roads) will have some camber (which I think is to help water runoff during rain), or in other words be lower to the outside edges meaning that foot will have a loooong reach to the ground. If you try to get that foot on the ground solidly, by the time you do so the bike will be almost falling into the ditch!. If that is the type of road, its better to lean the other way and get one foot well planted.

In general one foot well planted is better than two barely touching ones. As long as you did not have to lean too much to do so, you'll feel like you have well and truly stopped and are not teetering from toe to toe.
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