Replacing Floor Boards on '65 Vespa Sprint (Updated May 30)
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Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:40 pm quote
I had a nice running '65 Vespa Sprint with not-so-great sheet metal. The floor boards and the tail end were in the worst shape. A previous owner covered up much of the rotten metal with bondo and paint. But rust-through was apparent in one area, and close inspection showed the floor boards and their stiffening ribs were in bad shape.

The scoot had been around for a while, reportedly coming to the US from Italy to a Denver Area Shop and then making its way further west to Seattle. From the number, the motor appears to be a '72 Sprint Veloce, presumably with the power increase of three ports. It runs strong.

Sprints are seemingly devauled somewhat, as they are a favorite of Viet-bodge. This scoot in not from Vietnam, and has the nice look of an early Sprint - and since it runs so well, I hated to let it continue to deteriorate.

After some research and finding an excellent metal fabrication man (Elliot from Elhot Metal Fab) in Seattle - who was willing to work with me on a budget, I decided to replace the floor boards with new ones. I sourced the new Italian-made floor boards from SIP in Germany. With shipping to Seattle, they ran about $150, but saved many dollars in labor had I tried to repair the original ones.

Here are a few photos of the repairs. The metal work is complete and the scooter is now with the painter.

IMG_0379-2.jpg
Work is about to begin. You can see one spot rusted through by the rear brake pedal.

IMG_0382-2.jpg
One side has been cut off. Bondo is now showing under the paint. More rust-through can be seen under the bondo.

IMG_0383-2.jpg
Peeling back the onion . . .

IMG_0384-2.jpg
The running boards are gone now. Rust in the tunnel looked superficial.

IMG_0386-2.jpg
Black colored POR-15 has been applied to the inside of the tunnel to protect it for the future.

IMG_0387-2.jpg
Ooops, more rust-through near the rear swing arm attachment. It had been covered with bondo.

IMG_0388-2.jpg
The new floorboards are test fitted. Notice how far they go forward. Not all the way, but at least they cover the worst area and all the reinforcement ribs are new.

IMG_0389-2.jpg
Surgery . . .

IMG_0390-2.jpg
Backing up the patch.

IMG_0391-2.jpg
Ahhhh, I'm whole again!

IMG_0392-2.jpg
Clamped in place and getting ready to tack weld.

IMG_0393-2.jpg
A close up. One spot ahead of the new floor boards required a patch. The rest was sound.

IMG_0394-2.jpg
Things are looking up now . . .

IMG_0395-2.jpg
Tack welds are in place.

IMG_0397-2.jpg
Welds are complete and ground down.

IMG_0399-2.jpg
Hey, this wasn't so bad. I like how this is looking.

IMG_0401-2.jpg
Primered to prevent rust bloom before the painter gets started.



Last edited by Augsburg57 on Sun May 30, 2010 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total
MV Saint
Haud yer wheesh't if ye cannae be nice
Joined: 12 Aug 2007
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Location: Camden, Maine
Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:49 pm quote
Great pics and a fantastic job

Thanks for documenting this mate.

Cheers
Ossessionato
Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 2633

Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:46 pm quote
Agreed. Well done.
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not-so-normal
Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 759
Location: Batavia
Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:05 pm quote
Yeah... good job
though without drop the engine... that's a little scary to me
does resulting straight body?
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:25 pm quote
veloce75 wrote:
Yeah... good job
though without drop the engine... that's a little scary to me
does resulting straight body?
I'll have to wait for paint and reassembly to see how straight the body is. It seems fine. The floor boards provide strength when the bike is upright and has weight of the rider on the seat. So as long as it is not loaded up, with the floor boards cut off, it should be fine. In any event, the approach was consistent with the available budget - about $3000 to $4000 for metal work, paint and parts. I know, more than the scooter is worth - but no one should by a '60's scooter as an investment . . .
Ossessionato
65 Sprint, 2008 150S
Joined: 31 Dec 2006
Posts: 2752
Location: MONTEREY COUNTY
Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:17 pm quote
nice work!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86 and a not so normal pts100 '82
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Posts: 5169
Location: Indo
Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:37 pm quote
nice work, thanks for posting the pics now i have a ilustration on how should i replace my sprint floorboard too
Hooked
Austin @ GTS
Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 164
Location: Mason City Iowa
Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:04 pm quote
Good Work.
FYI Your air hose is about to blow out!
I like the sequence of photo's showing it slowly getting worse.
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Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:48 pm quote
Nice job.
Good pic's too.
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:17 pm quote
Thanks everyone. I had not noticed the air hose until someone pointed it out. That's why Elliot mentioned he had an "air" problem . . . .

Here are a couple of more "before" photos and one more "after".

Tomorrow, I select the color from the painter's color panels. The painter is mixing up three versions of the color of blue similar to the light blue in the photo below as found on Flickr.

4302269402_6a7c83029f.jpg

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Many years of license plate abuse.

IMG_0396-2.jpg
The tail has been repaired too.

535200607_e6847625ee_o.jpg
This is the light blue I found on Flickr that I'm having the painter try to match.

Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Thu May 06, 2010 6:37 pm quote
Step 2, paint!
Here are some update photos of the scooter after going to paint. Paint was by SIK Werks in Seattle. The color is an early 1990's Vespa "benneton blue" (Piaggio Color #406) A big thanks to Brian and Ken at SIK Werks! The scoot is now in final assembly.

Can't wait to be able to ride it and stand on floorboards I don't need to worry about falling through!

More to follow . . .

65vespa2.jpg
Arriving at SIK Werks following addition of the new floor boards

002.jpg
Sanding has begun.

004.jpg
Beginning prep of the scoot for primer.

011.jpg
The engine is wrapped in tin foil.

014.jpg
Primer has been applied

018.jpg
Viola'! Paint has been applied.

019.jpg
Benneton Blue or Piaggio #406

020.jpg
The next step is final assembly.

Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
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Posts: 8113
Location: Atlanta, GA
Thu May 06, 2010 6:45 pm quote
Wow! Looks great!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86 and a not so normal pts100 '82
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5169
Location: Indo
Fri May 07, 2010 12:24 am quote
wow sweet what u do there is better what i did with my paint job.. ur sprint is more sweet then mine
Hooked
Super 150
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 292
Location: Southeast, GA
Fri May 07, 2010 6:12 am quote
Very exciting. I'm going to get around to this sooner or later. Can you provide a link for the folks you bought the floorboards from? I've got to start pricing this stuff.

Also, I know this is going to end up being a dumb question, but did the rust grow under the bondo because the guy before didn't get rid of it completely before covering up, or is it even possible to clean rust up completely on something like this before bondo-ing? My dad mentioned bondo-ing some holes in my scoot, and I haven't ever really heard anything good about bondo at all. Anyone got some tips?[/list]
Moderator
1962 GS160mk1, 1963 GS160mk2, 1965 SS180, 1974 Rally 200, wife's LI150
Joined: 05 Mar 2007
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Fri May 07, 2010 6:16 am quote
Get the floorboards from [redacted].com Dully - you just need the sprint / super ones.

You should only ever use bondo as a "Skim coat" and really sparingly...just to clean up minor perfections in the metal and such...tiny dings, etc. It should never be more than 1/8" thick at the most, or it will crack like plastic the first time your frame flexes at all.
Hooked
Super 150
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 292
Location: Southeast, GA
Fri May 07, 2010 6:48 am quote
Rover Eric wrote:
Get the floorboards from [redacted].com Dully - you just need the sprint / super ones.

You should only ever use bondo as a "Skim coat" and really sparingly...just to clean up minor perfections in the metal and such...tiny dings, etc. It should never be more than 1/8" thick at the most, or it will crack like plastic the first time your frame flexes at all.
$24 for these floorboards? How is this even possible? This....this is awesome. I expected to pay at least $100 plus shipping for this one part alone.

So happy right now. So Eric, I know you've steered people away from the mechanical stuff on [redacted].com in the past, but is the rest of the body stuff on here decent? I need a new left cowl (can't place a battery in there, the rust ate out the entire bottom) and a seat. I know these are pretty pricey in a lot of places, but you've just blown my mind, so I though I'd ask.

So, color me silly once again, but why would people use a huge amount of bondo if its just going to crack? Wouldn't it make fixes REALLY obvious? How to the bodgers get away with it? Again, it just doesn't seem like a good idea at all, but people seem to do it all the time. Maybe this is just another one of those things that I'm not getting because I use that pesky idea called "logic" all the time.
Addicted
'60 Allstate VNB1, '60 GS150 VS5, '61 Cushman VBB1, '62 GS160 Mk1 VSB1, '64 GL VLA1, '74 Rally VSE1 200 Euro, '78 P200e VSX, '06 LX150
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Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Fri May 07, 2010 6:57 am quote
Please don't take this as criticism on your nice job, but I can't imagine doing the extensive repair as you did without a complete tear-down to the frame.

I'm on my fifth resto and all went down to the last nut and bolt.

Two required new floors, done by the artist Mark Wilson at Bulletproof Paint in Grover Beach, CA. I do the dis and re assembly and all the mechanical. Mark does the body and paint.

But, doing it while the engine and fork are in the bike boggles my mind!




Moderator
1962 GS160mk1, 1963 GS160mk2, 1965 SS180, 1974 Rally 200, wife's LI150
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Fri May 07, 2010 6:57 am quote
Dullivan wrote:
$24 for these floorboards? How is this even possible? This....this is awesome. I expected to pay at least $100 plus shipping for this one part alone.
It's not THAT bad ( shipping costs) because sometimes they actually have those parts ready in their Canadian office. Even if it's shipping from Vietnam, i don't remember the cost being that crazy for those floorboards.
Dullivan wrote:
So happy right now. So Eric, I know you've steered people away from the mechanical stuff on [redacted].com in the past, but is the rest of the body stuff on here decent? I need a new left cowl (can't place a battery in there, the rust ate out the entire bottom) and a seat. I know these are pretty pricey in a lot of places, but you've just blown my mind, so I though I'd ask.
You have a Sprint / Super.. it's like a VBB or a P-series, parts are plentiful. Hell, [redacted] likely has a super cowl they'll throw in to your order. Otherwise you can try to source one here for cheap.
Dullivan wrote:
So, color me silly once again, but why would people use a huge amount of bondo if its just going to crack? Wouldn't it make fixes REALLY obvious? How to the bodgers get away with it? Again, it just doesn't seem like a good idea at all, but people seem to do it all the time. Maybe this is just another one of those things that I'm not getting because I use that pesky idea called "logic" all the time.
Someone who uses a lot of bondo either 1) doesn't know any better, like a hack vespa 'restorer' who's trying to make it look pretty 2) Knows better but doesn't care because he's selling you a bike on ebay from asia....and the only way it's going to look presentable enough to be saleable is by smoothing it out with a ton of bondo to cover up cracks and welds.

Ideally, if you're a good body guy, and are spending a lot of time on a bike, you can make it smooth with skillful hammer / dolly work and a grinder. That's a lost ( and expensive ) art ...and so the cheap / fast way to do it is just smooth bondo over it, sand that down, and then paint.

THe problem is when you end up laying it down, the bondo will either crack or come off like dust ( like one of those exploding golf balls ) and you're left with a total mess to repair. A stock vespa is just primer and paint over bare metal. When it's damaged, you just bend / hammer it back. If it had bondo on it, you couldn't do that because it would just crack and damage even more of the paint.
Hooked
Super 150
Joined: 19 May 2009
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Location: Southeast, GA
Fri May 07, 2010 7:21 am quote
So yeah, I was right. Logic was my main deterrent for understanding why someone would use it on big jobs.

Well, I guess I don't know where I got that price on floorboards, but I'm glad I was wrong.

As far as the other stuff, I was less concerned with availability and more with the quality of the stuff on [redacted].com. Just looking at some of the pictures on some of these things, not every thing seems to match up. For example, what appears to be a left cowl for my scoot has a picture of a more rounded left cowl (rounded? that ain't right), and then a teardrop shaped (which is appropriate for my bike) right cowl. I'm looking here btw. http://[redacted].com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=834 Also wasn't sure if they sold cheap seats that might crack the first time you sit on em or something. I guess I've just read too much debate on quality pertaining to [redacted]. If you say they're alright to do business with though, I'll just ignore it and press on.
Moderator
1962 GS160mk1, 1963 GS160mk2, 1965 SS180, 1974 Rally 200, wife's LI150
Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 6971

Fri May 07, 2010 7:28 am quote
*shrug* they are hit or miss on quality.

I'd think something like a Super cowl could be practically TRIPPED over in SE Asia, though. They're probably using them to cook prawns in!
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Fri May 07, 2010 4:16 pm quote
Dullivan wrote:
Very exciting. I'm going to get around to this sooner or later. Can you provide a link for the folks you bought the floorboards from? I've got to start pricing this stuff.

Also, I know this is going to end up being a dumb question, but did the rust grow under the bondo because the guy before didn't get rid of it completely before covering up, or is it even possible to clean rust up completely on something like this before bondo-ing? My dad mentioned bondo-ing some holes in my scoot, and I haven't ever really heard anything good about bondo at all. Anyone got some tips?[/list]
Thank you.

Here is the link from SIP for the floorboards I ordered:
http://www.sip-scootershop.com/EN/Products/PV15235/Floor+board+Vespa+125+GTGTR+.aspx

I paid just under $150 including shipping to Seattle.

I compared the SIP floorboards with the [redacted], (which can be found at this link: http://[redacted].com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=298 ) and at the time the [redacted] were more than twice the $24 quoted now. (Makes me think something is amiss with the $24 price.) Even so, I like the full stamping and cut out on the trailing edge of the SIP supplied product, which is missing on the [redacted] version - as least from what is shown in the photo on their website. Finally, I trust European steel quality. This was important to me, because I'm a big guy and I'm going to have to stand on the floorboards once in a while when a pothole jumps in front of me!

As far as the bondo, a prior owner clearly made a decision to cover up some pretty bad rust. I hope it was because they made a decision to improve aesthetics on a budget and not for reasons to deceive. In any event, by the time I acquired the scooter, the damage was beginning to reveal itself. So, I knew I was going to find some rust. Elliot at Elhot Metal Fab looked at it with me and we decided together to bite the bullet and go the route of new floorboards. It was the right decision.

That's not to say if you have only minor rust in a non-critical area that a little bondo might make the scooter look better at a reasonable cost.
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Fri May 07, 2010 4:25 pm quote
jwilliams wrote:
Please don't take this as criticism on your nice job, but I can't imagine doing the extensive repair as you did without a complete tear-down to the frame.
No offense taken. If I was retired and had more time on my hands, I might have considered taking on more myself - which might have allowed budget for a complete disassembly. But I have a million excuses - full time job, always traveling back and forth from Seattle to SF for work, etc. So I had to hire the work done and that meant trying to stick to some semblance of a budget. That plus, it is easier for me to ride a scooter that is not perfect. It looks nice now and is being brought back closer to original. So I'm happy. I commend you for finding the energy to take on so many resto projects. I'm sure it is rewarding.
Addicted
'60 Allstate VNB1, '60 GS150 VS5, '61 Cushman VBB1, '62 GS160 Mk1 VSB1, '64 GL VLA1, '74 Rally VSE1 200 Euro, '78 P200e VSX, '06 LX150
Joined: 09 Nov 2009
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Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Sat May 08, 2010 6:48 am quote
Augs,

It has become an obsession! Now I'm starting a '58 VB1.

My '62 GS160 and '61 Cushman Vespa 150 are down at Bulletproof for paint.

Brag, brag: My '64 GL was awarded Best '60's at Classico Moto Italia last week. (Well, I've never been that modest anyway.)

Just wait, you will get another one and then you will start complaining about running out of space to keep them. (Good thing the lady across the street lets me use her garage.)

Jim
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Sat May 08, 2010 7:01 am quote
Obsession
jwilliams wrote:
Augs, It has become an obsession!
Very cool Jim! Congrats on your recent GL win. Those are really nice looking scooters.

We are a bit obsessed too. Besides the Sprint, we have a fully original '67 VW split-window bus - talk about taking up space!

It will be a couple of more weeks and the Sprint should be done and ready to ride. Can't wait!

2741928.jpg

Hooked
63 VBB/ 63 Allstate
Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 261
Location: Northeast of Pittsburgh Pa
Sat May 08, 2010 11:20 am quote
jwilliams wrote:
Augs,

It has become an obsession! Now I'm starting a '58 VB1.


Jim
I hear ya.. I already want another one. Im bored and thinking about goin into my old allstate frame. And it's rotted up pretty bad.
Enthusiast
' 84 pk50, '67 v50
Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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Location: Scheveningen Beach
Mon May 10, 2010 10:19 am quote
Funny how old volks and old vespa's combine so well. I had a conversation with a fellow Volkswagen/vespa enthousiast the other week about this. So many people that drive vw's ride vespa's and vice versa!
good floorjob by the way!
Ossessionato
65 Sprint, 2008 150S
Joined: 31 Dec 2006
Posts: 2752
Location: MONTEREY COUNTY
Mon May 10, 2010 10:54 am quote
jwilliams wrote:
Augs,

It has become an obsession! Now I'm starting a '58 VB1.

My '62 GS160 and '61 Cushman Vespa 150 are down at Bulletproof for paint.

Brag, brag: My '64 GL was awarded Best '60's at Classico Moto Italia last week. (Well, I've never been that modest anyway.)

Just wait, you will get another one and then you will start complaining about running out of space to keep them. (Good thing the lady across the street lets me use her garage.)

Jim
Jim, your GL is beautiful!!! Well deserved best 60's! I'd love to see your GS160.

Aug, your sprint is awesome!! I love the color!
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: 2860
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Mon May 10, 2010 1:00 pm quote
Nice job!

I have always heard good things about Scootsrs floorboards.

What welder did you use? Mig , wire feed flux core??
Addicted
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Location: Canterbury, Kent. Magna Britainica
Mon May 10, 2010 10:07 pm quote
same colour as mine

30042010384.jpg

Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Tue May 11, 2010 3:11 pm quote
ScooterRaton wrote:
Nice job!

What welder did you use? Mig , wire feed flux core??
I believe Elliot said he mostly uses a MIG welder, as the weld is "softer". He said this makes the metal around the weld easier to straighten and shrink after it is distorted from heat.
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Sun May 30, 2010 10:05 am quote
Finished - well, they are never really "finished"!
Well, I finally have the scooter back from Big Peoples in Seattle. They gave it the once over and helped with final assembly.

You can see a short video at this link:


_DSC2353.jpg
I'm really happy with the color and how it turned out. The color rendition on the computer screen is pretty accurate in the photos, but not as much in the video.

_DSC2354.jpg
I found the correct fender crest and the aluminum trim strips for the fender and cowls.

_DSC2360.jpg
Time worn, but honest original Piaggio badge. Correct for the year, "Vespa S" badge.

_DSC2358.jpg
I kept the original speedo. The plastic lens is crazed with age, but the speedo still works. Reads in km, as this scooter is originally from Italy.

_DSC2348.jpg
The holes for the "Vespa Sprint" badge had been covered up with bondo by a prior owner.

_DSC2356.jpg
Notice the correct glove box lock - a transitional feature of the early Sprints that was carried over from Vespas from the early sixties. As far as I can tell, this is the correct taillight for a European '65. I'm 6'4", and the spare tire does not

_DSC2357.jpg
All the torn and rusted sheet metal on the tail was repaired.

Ossessionato
65 Sprint, 2008 150S
Joined: 31 Dec 2006
Posts: 2752
Location: MONTEREY COUNTY
Sun May 30, 2010 10:26 am quote
very very nice!!
Enthusiast
68 SS180, 74 Primavera
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Sun May 30, 2010 10:55 am quote
Awesome job! Love the blue.
Addicted
'78 Super 150 Mk II ported DR177, banded clutch, ASC Big Bore
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Posts: 664
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Sun May 30, 2010 11:32 am quote
Looks awesome! Very nice and clean. Starts on a half-kick, too. Had it been running before or is even like that if it's been sitting a while?

Quick question: when you were going to turn it off I noticed you didn't use the kill switch. Did you turn the fuel tap off or put in the choke and it died?

Just wondering, as if it was the fuel time mine doesn't respond anywhere as quickly...

Thanks for all the pics of the resto and congrats on a great looking scoot!!
Hooked
vespa primavera 125cc 1980
Joined: 20 Feb 2010
Posts: 118
Location: london
Sun May 30, 2010 12:10 pm quote
Inspirational job
Nice job mate. thanks for the pics and descriptions. very helpfull
Member
'65 Vespa Sprint, '05 Vespa PX150
Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Sun May 30, 2010 1:03 pm quote
phaetn wrote:
Quick question: when you were going to turn it off I noticed you didn't use the kill switch. Did you turn the fuel tap off or put in the choke and it died?

Just wondering, as if it was the fuel time mine doesn't respond anywhere as quickly...
I used the key to turn it off. This scoot was retrofitted with a key ignition by a prior owner. For the video, I'd actually forgotten to turn the fuel on. It started with fuel left over in the carb from starting yesterday - which was a first kick start too. The scooter has always run very well. That's one reason I restored it. It generally starts with full choke and one kick. Then I turn the choke off quickly.
Ossessionato
2009 Vespa GTS 250, TBA
Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 2272
Location: Green Valley, AZ
Sun May 30, 2010 3:10 pm quote
That is just lovely. You have a treasure there, as I'm sure you know.
Hooked
'66 Junk Bajaj, '80 100 Spurt, '68 Bajaj/Stella/Sprint V, '64 S3 Li 125
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Posts: 218
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Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:56 pm quote
why the redacted??
Enthusiast
1966 VLB Sprint
Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Adelaide Australia
Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:00 am quote
Hi

Did you just use a grinder with wire wheel to remove paint in trouble areas? Can anyone comment on the pros and cons of doing this instead of blasting?
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:18 am quote
Eeeewww weee

this thread is older than some of my underwear.
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