Riding vintage in the rain
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Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:53 am quote
Do y'all ride your vintage scoots in the rain? And what do you think about it?

I worry about rust. There are some small random chips in the paint exposing primer, and a little surface rust on the underside of the floorboard.

Also, I worry about my own ability. I know that you change the way you ride by giving yourself more time/space to maneuver, and to slow it down in the turns, but I really do worry about these tiny tires. Maybe that's just my own self-consciousness about my inexperience. What do y'all think?

I live in an area that has high humidity, lots of rain, and standing water in the roads. If i don't ride in the rain or on a day that might have rain, I'm only riding half the time. Sometimes going weeks without riding.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:07 am quote
Meg

There are two parts to the issue.

1. Your ability to ride on wet surfaces
2. Is the Vespa weather worthy.

You have provided most of the answer to no 1. Different considerations are required for riding in the conditions you describe, and you can read up on that. We are often caught by unexpected rain storms here during the winter, and it's no big deal. Just a bit more caution, and dry clothes and a glass of red wine when we get home.

As to the scooter being subjected to your local weather, I would note that with normal rust control, you have no worries. Sand and prime exposed areas, and hose the underside occasionally in a bright sunny day.

Here's our "garage", and my PX is none the worse for wear.
Moderator
1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 6973
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:12 am quote
If you put wax or some similar protectant on the exposed metal areas of your scooter, and then be sure to DRY off your bike when you're done, wiping it down, etc ... then you can minimize damage to it over time. It's when the water is allowed to sit on your bike that it really messes stuff up.
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:15 am quote
thanks for sharing your experience, aviator.

Does your vespa handle differently in the rain? I worry because tiny tires = less surface area on the road. I look at the huge motorcycle tires and I wonder if it would be safer.

Also i worry about visibility. As in water on my face shield.

Apparently i worry a lot.
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:15 am quote
meg,i would not worry about puddles or light rain.

you will adjust naturally

the bike was designed to keep the rider clean in dirty wet conditions.

do you have rain gear and full face helmet!

out here we try not to ride in the grease line.

be safe
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:19 am quote
jimmyb865 wrote:
meg,i would not worry about puddles or light rain.

you will adjust naturally

the bike was designed to keep the rider clean in dirty wet conditions.

do you have rain gear and full face helmet!

out here we try not to ride in the grease line.

be safe
Thanks for the vote of confidence! Yeah, i have the gear, and getting wet doesn't bother me (comes with the territory).

Light rain is one thing, but how about full on rain storms? Waiting it out is sometimes not an option, as rain here can last hours or even days.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:28 am quote
megnez wrote:
Thanks for the vote of confidence! Yeah, i have the gear, and getting wet doesn't bother me (comes with the territory).

Light rain is one thing, but how about full on rain storms? Waiting it out is sometimes not an option, as rain here can last hours or even days.
When I brought the PX home from Athens, the ferry arrived at 10:45 PM, and the heavens opened up at 10:50. 25 km over the mountain on rural roads in a downpour, and no problems, other than being soaked (two glasses of red wine soaked).

The PX has reasonable traction on wet roads, but as Jim says, stay away from the "grease line" in the center of the road. Keep your turns as gentle as possible. Ride just as recommended in the "book" and you will be fine. Allow yourself more stopping distance, etc, etc.

Al
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:30 am quote
Louisiana is serious , constant humid rain.

why don't you get a ruckus for rainy days man?


is that blasphemy????

i'm gonna be in NOLA for mardis gras? you gonna be down there?
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:41 am quote
dannyw wrote:
Louisiana is serious , constant humid rain.

why don't you get a ruckus for rainy days man?


is that blasphemy????

i'm gonna be in NOLA for mardis gras? you gonna be down there?
Hey, awesome. No, I'm not going to be there, too many tourists (no offense). How long are you down here? Do you have some buddies in NO? They have a pretty awesome scooter scene:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ScootNewOrleans/

Are you bringing the rally? I'd make the trip just to see it. haha.

Not blasphemy to me. I love ruckuses. The engines are too small tho. Especially for the roads i take: 45-50 speed limits with everyone going 55-65.
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:44 am quote
my lady friend, her fam, a lot of my friends here in los angeles. all hail from the big easy.


i'm gonna be in a couple parades. dressed as a cockroach.

no scooters that weekend. i don't mix.
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:44 am quote
I'm thinking Heidenau K58's for my next tires. Anyone tried these on vintage?
Molto Verboso
79 P200e, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443
Location: Iowa
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:44 am quote
I rode my wife's Honda Metro to work yesterday. It hit in the 50's F in Iowa yesterday and the roads were clear.

The Metro is the pretty version of the ruckus. And yes, they are slow as shit.
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:49 am quote
a good friend of mine has a metro, and whenever i'm over there i drive it all over there yard, jumping curbs, driving down steps.

i tell people its like flying a cloud in super marios brothers.
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:50 am quote
i wish those fucking big ruckuses weren't so pricy.
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:51 am quote
dannyw wrote:
my lady friend, her fam, a lot of my friends here in los angeles. all hail from the big easy.


i'm gonna be in a couple parades. dressed as a cockroach.

no scooters that weekend. i don't mix.
Sounds like a good time, dude. I haven't been to mardi gras in new orleans for a few years. Sometimes i miss it. Then i think about how I smell when i get home, and it just ruins it.
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:53 am quote
dannyw wrote:
i wish those fucking big ruckuses weren't so pricy.
No shit. Ugly as sin, but it has some weird charm to it. I want a little ruckus with a 150 or 200cc engine in it, without paying for the mods myself.
Molto Verboso
79 P200e, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443
Location: Iowa
Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:53 am quote
dannyw wrote:
i tell people its like flying a cloud in super marios brothers.
That is a spot on description of what it's like to ride a Honda Metro.

Smooth, soft, quiet, and slooow.
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:06 am quote
and incredibly bouncy
WHOoligan
1985 PX200E Arcobaleno : 2010/14 GTS300 S: RIP GTS250 @ 40K
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Champions X2
Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:20 am quote
Ive done it on my old P200s, you'll be fine. Just take your time.

I would rather ride a P in the rain than my GTS, the P is lighter and has gears.


Ride Safe

Manny
Banned
Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1186

Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:25 am quote
my ET sucked in the rain. I always felt like it was gonna tip over. the buddy cranked in the rain. and because it was plastic, it was easy to clean afterword.
Ossessionato
ET2, PX150
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3410
Location: Denver CO
Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:43 am quote
Best ride I've ever had was on the ET in a down pour, great time!

Have not had a chance to ride the px in the rain yet but I'm sure I'll get it this spring at some point.
Hooked
1960 Series 2 Lambretta, 1962ish API series 2 Lambretta, 1974 Vespa Super 150, 1978 Rally 200, 1965 Allstate VNB
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:13 pm quote
Re: Riding vintage in the rain
megnez wrote:
Do y'all ride your vintage scoots in the rain? And what do you think about it?

I worry about rust. There are some small random chips in the paint exposing primer, and a little surface rust on the underside of the floorboard.

Also, I worry about my own ability. I know that you change the way you ride by giving yourself more time/space to maneuver, and to slow it down in the turns, but I really do worry about these tiny tires. Maybe that's just my own self-consciousness about my inexperience. What do y'all think?

I live in an area that has high humidity, lots of rain, and standing water in the roads. If i don't ride in the rain or on a day that might have rain, I'm only riding half the time. Sometimes going weeks without riding.
It's a Vespa P series not a Bugatti. Ride it when you want to ride it, be safe, and have fun.

Should it rust out in several years time there will be another waiting for you to buy.

Tom in WI
Hooked
1974 Rally 200, 2009 Yamaha C3, 2010 Honda SH150i
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 403
Location: san francisco
Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:39 pm quote
can't say i ejnoy riding in the rain, but i far prefer it to the hassle of owning a car in SF or subjecting myself to muni. just takes a few more moments to throw on the slicker and more attention to braking cuz these bikes brake like shit, and doubly so on wet roads.
Moderator
Stella
Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 1937
Location: Seattle, WA
Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:58 pm quote
Riding my Stella in the rain does make me a bit nervous. The braking is twitchy anyway and I've had a few close calls on my Stella in the rain when braking while I can't think of one issue I had with my Fly. On really crappy days here I'll usually ride our GT because its brakes are easier to control and it has larger tires. On regular Seattle drizzly days and on sunny days I ride the Stella...it is much more fun to ride!
Hooked
i have a few
Joined: 11 Jan 2009
Posts: 313
Location: edinburgh
Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:48 pm quote
ive rode my p210 in rain, sleet, snow and wind and never had a problem in fact i kinda enjoyed it.

especially when my club had a snow ball fight at the traffic lights with all the snow on our jackets!!!


i rode like this for over 200 miles at over 75mph [none of your vespa speedo crap mind]
Hooked
'78 P200E, 2009 TMax, 2009 S150
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Location: New Orleans
Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:06 pm quote
Just try it when there is light traffic and have good tires
I rode my P200 from new orleans to BR two weeks ago, with another bud on a PX150, and it started raining as soon as we got to BR, and most of the day after that. We just put our walmart rainsuits (PVC raincoat and rainpants) on and kept going. I did have some thin gloves on that got wet, so I put on my heavy gloves and it was alright. ( I read somewhere somebody recommended dishwashing gloves to keep your hands dry.)
We drove about 55-60mph most of the way, all over BR city streets, in the rain no problems. We both wore FF helmets, and I have a windshield which I really like in the rain and winter cold. I do recommend good tires, I have the michelin S-1 and they are pretty new but even when worn they stick good in the rain, better than the conti zippy 3's I used to have. (the contis were good until they were worn down).
I recommend just slowing down and leave lots of room between you and the car in front of you, but that's how I drive all the time. Watch out for metal grates, metal panels in the road, metal manhole covers, and railroad tracks, they are extra slipperily in the rain. Just try to keep the bike upright as possible, don't be leaning way over around corners like the sportbikers. Just ride conservative.
We took hwy 61 to gonzales and then took the road by the outlet malls hwy 30 into BR, right into LSU on nickleson. It was a nice route for the scoots, and we did it in about 2 hours each way, (78 miles one way).
Go practice on a rainy sunday when traffic is light, or at a large parking lot, and the more miles you put in the rain the more comfortable you will become.

Me On Vespa March 30 2008.jpg

Member
79 p200
Joined: 08 Jan 2009
Posts: 35
Location: pittsburgh, pa
Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:21 pm quote
I only had front brakes on my lambretta, it took me about a year to realize you need front and rear brakes to ride safe on wet ground. Now I have both I feel unstoppable.
Ossessionato
1964 GS 160 MK II, 1967 Vespa GT, 1968 SS180, 1964 Vespa GL, 1964 Vespa VBB, 2006 Buddy 125, 2013 BMW C650GT
Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 2912
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:34 am quote
I'm not a bif fan of riding vintage in the rain. Those front drum brakes can be...erratic
Molto Verboso
1979 p200e
Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 1203
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:25 am quote
Re: Just try it when there is light traffic and have good ti
Chas in NOLA wrote:
I rode my P200 from new orleans to BR two weeks ago, with another bud on a PX150, and it started raining as soon as we got to BR, and most of the day after that. We just put our walmart rainsuits (PVC raincoat and rainpants) on and kept going. I did have some thin gloves on that got wet, so I put on my heavy gloves and it was alright. ( I read somewhere somebody recommended dishwashing gloves to keep your hands dry.)
We drove about 55-60mph most of the way, all over BR city streets, in the rain no problems. We both wore FF helmets, and I have a windshield which I really like in the rain and winter cold. I do recommend good tires, I have the michelin S-1 and they are pretty new but even when worn they stick good in the rain, better than the conti zippy 3's I used to have. (the contis were good until they were worn down).
I recommend just slowing down and leave lots of room between you and the car in front of you, but that's how I drive all the time. Watch out for metal grates, metal panels in the road, metal manhole covers, and railroad tracks, they are extra slipperily in the rain. Just try to keep the bike upright as possible, don't be leaning way over around corners like the sportbikers. Just ride conservative.
We took hwy 61 to gonzales and then took the road by the outlet malls hwy 30 into BR, right into LSU on nickleson. It was a nice route for the scoots, and we did it in about 2 hours each way, (78 miles one way).
Go practice on a rainy sunday when traffic is light, or at a large parking lot, and the more miles you put in the rain the more comfortable you will become.
Cool. Thanks for the story. And for the route since I'll be riding down to NO for Big Easy Weekender. Next time you're in BR we should ride.

All you vintage rain riders that didn't mention, what tires do you have? I have zippy 3's, and they have plenty tread left.
Hooked
1960 Series 2 Lambretta, 1962ish API series 2 Lambretta, 1974 Vespa Super 150, 1978 Rally 200, 1965 Allstate VNB
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:04 am quote
Tires:

Winter - Heidenau K58 Snowtires (they're of a softer compound than regular K58's) bought from SIP in Germany

Summer - Heidenau K61's bought from Mark at jett200.com

Each have their own set of rims so I just swap 'em over whe the time comes.

Good tires are a must if you're going to ride in all kinds of conditions

Tom
Molto Verboso
2007 GT200 1979 P200E 1980 P200E 2011 Triumph America
Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 1260
Location: Sacramento
Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:51 am quote
I bought one of my P's from a guy up in Seattle. He rode it every day to work. He put Michelin's on it for better traction and used an apron. He also installed a front disc brake. No rust on this scooter either. Adjust your riding to the slippery roads.
Moderator
Stella
Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 1937
Location: Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:29 pm quote
Changing from Zippy 3's to Zippy 1's really improved handling in both wet and dry weather.
Hooked
'78 P200E, 2009 TMax, 2009 S150
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Location: New Orleans
Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:40 pm quote
I forgot to say don't jam the front brake in the rain, I use less pressure on my front brake in the rain than when dry.
Yea we were on a quick trip that last time to BR but we did get a chance to visit vespa BR new store, much nicer than the old location.

PS When coming down 61 to nola, cut down williams to west napolean to get into town, its much smoother and fewer traffic signals.
Addicted
not-so-normal
Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 759
Location: Batavia
Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:55 am quote
you have only two issues to confront: traction and vision. Traction seems to be the primary concern for most riders, usually because they aren't sure how much grip they have available. While some surfaces--metal fixtures such as manhole covers and bridge gratings, painted areas, and places where built-up oil and grease have not washed off--become much slipperier when wet, you can actually call on a surprising amount of traction on clean asphalt or concrete.
Some situations should be confronted with extreme caution. Railroad tracks can bite you hard when they are wet. The standard advice is to try to cross railroad or other metal tracks at a right angle, even in the dry.

The ability of other drivers to see us could be the single biggest issue a motorcyclist must confront in the rain. With low light, windows obscured, and a streaked and possibly fogged windshield, the driver of a car may have a very difficult time seeing the world ahead. If you are wearing black, or even worse, a neutral color like gray or olive drab, you blend into that gray world. A bright yellow rainsuit is probably the best choice for conspicuity and the single simplest way to make your wet-weather rides safer, though white is also an excellent choice and even better than yellow at night. Fluorescent colors also help during the day and retro-reflective striping or panels on your rainsuit, helmet or a pack also help at night. A visible helmet color also makes a difference at night.

me and my gang riding on the rain with vespa 60's

before


after
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:11 am quote
veloce75

Excellent post! Thanks.

Al
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:37 am quote
the red bike is beautifull.

better pic if you have one.
Hooked
Vespa GTS 250 + Vespa SS 180
Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 293
Location: Rome - Italy
Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:44 pm quote
ScooterRaton wrote:
I'm not a bif fan of riding vintage in the rain. Those front drum brakes can be...erratic
+1

This is the most important note of them all!

On my SS 180 when having been standing in extremely humid or rainy weather, the front brake goes crazy.

Just touching it will lock the front wheel, and it takes a few hundred meters of light braking to "warm it up" and dry it out before it can be used as normal.

If not used for a longer time the problem might come back while riding, so pay attention.

My drum and pads are in good shape, and the problem has been confirmed by fellow vintage scooterists, so it's nothing isolated to my ride.

However, the P200 might have a better construction than the bikes from the 60's.
Olivia Newton-John
p200, vbb, gt200
Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 4484
Location: chippewa falls, wisconsin
Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:49 pm quote
if you have a 2008 stella, DON"T DO IT
Hooked
1960 Series 2 Lambretta, 1962ish API series 2 Lambretta, 1974 Vespa Super 150, 1978 Rally 200, 1965 Allstate VNB
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:01 pm quote
chad wrote:
if you have a 2008 stella, DON"T DO IT
Chad,

Is there a story here?

Tom
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:39 pm quote
hi meg,not scooter related. i have a friend named bob forrest,he is from new orleans.

he has a couple albums you may or may not enjoy.

one is late 80's called "thelonius monster"

the other is mid 90's called "the bicycle thief"
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