FLCL Replica - 1965 SS180 Restoration
Post Reply    Forum -> Scooter Gallery 1234Next
Author Message
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:32 pm quote
We'll call this my first post, since I've been unable to register for the last six months for some reason (no worries, lurking here has been so incredibly, amazingly helpful in the project!).





Video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QLJjb39VrA

It's a 1965 Vespa Super Sport 180 from FLCL (fooly cooly)




Hopefully the enthusiastically purist members will forgive me this indiscretion, as it is an all-out replica instead of just another member of the P! sticker army!



Last summer I decided to fulfill one of my wife's long-standing dreams of having a scooter. She would often talk about wanting a Ruckus or a superbike, but she would more frequently fawn over how cute a classic Vespa looked. She's also a pretty avid costumer, the kind of girl who spends hours dying and styling wigs, who has completely taken over the second bedroom of our apartment with rolls of fabric, buckets of resin, and all manner of crafting accessories.

I started a secret savings account last July and I've been putting little things into it since. eBay sales, tips from when we use the movie cars as charity limos, stuff like that. In February I reached my goal and started officially looking for a starter body. The SS 180 is a pretty sought-after type of scooter, it's not the rarest or most valuable, but it's really popular. Originally I planned to build a clone by buying a late 70s P-series scooter and swapping out the parts to make it into an comparable look-alike of an SS. At the end of February I lucked out. Someone in Arizona was selling an SS, the exact body type that I needed. The exterior was kind of rough, but mechanically it was sound. The original engine had been removed and replaced with a more powerful, more reliable, and easier to maintain engine from a P200. This made the scooter undesirable for a collector, but ideal for someone who wanted to turn it into a nerdmobile. I guess the meme of "and nothing of value was lost" might apply here!

So I made up a story about going snowmobiling across the divide with my brother as a cover to keep my wife from asking too many questions. I grabbed a good friend to tag along and we departed for Flagstaff, Arizona.

We drove through the night, planning to sleep in Socorro, but stopped in Albuquerque to visit Walt's car wash from Breaking Bad. That was pretty cool.

After leaving Socorro we headed west to another place I've been dying to visit for years, the Very Large Array.


Most famous for it's role as a location in Contact, Terminator: Salvation, and a handful of other films, the VLA is a set of 27 dishes arranged in a Y-shape that act as one large radio telescope. We hit the visitors center, watched the little video and looked at the exhibits, and I picked up some VLA swag for my nerd friends back home. The staff saw the car and got pretty excited (we must have been their only visitors in a while), and they let us drive around the access roads of the facility for some neat photo opportunities. Great people, awesome place. You should go.

Near Holbrook, Arizona we came across an old Route 66 Wigwam motel that had classic cars parked in front of each room to add to the atmosphere.

So it looks like Radiator Springs is a real place!

After that was Meteor Crater.


Which is pretty goddamn amazing. I was a bit disappointed that it felt like a tourist trap thanks to it being privately owned, but the crater itself is worth seeing. VERY cool.


We arrived in Flagstaff around 4pm and made our way to seller's house. He ran over the details of the scooter, things like modifications, damage, behavior, all the good stuff.


At this point, I had never driven a motorcycle or scooter by myself. Now that I think about it, the only two-wheeled motorized vehicle I'd ever been in control of had been a Segway! He took me around the block on it, gave me a quick lesson, and I tried it myself. It almost got away from me at first (the P200 engine is a goddamn MONSTER for this thing), but I figured it out and took my first ride in a neighborhood in Arizona. We loaded it up into the back of the Magnum, it fit perfectly. This was a huge relief as, eyeballing the space back there, it didn't look like it would fit. The measurements the owner gave me before I left were well within the confines of the car, so I had to trust the math.



The fuel tank was pretty empty, but it still reeked of gasoline, something we'd have to endure for the next 12 hours. We went home by going north through Utah. Moab, Grand Junction, Vail, and back in Denver by 2am, which was pretty good!


After getting it hope and secreting it to a friend's garage for storage away from prying eyes, we stripped it down and got it ready for paint. Kind of sad to see the flat black go, that looked REALLY cool...





A week later it was ready!


Initially I'd planned to get the scooter 100% complete before giving it to my wife. But she is pretty particular about her cosplay stuff, her favorite costumes are the ones she made completely from scratch. For her it's more about making them than wearing them. So I changed my plans and decided to unveil the scooter early so she could be a part of the assembly process, thereby turning it into something she helped make. When she first saw it, she didn't quite understand. She thought it was just someone else's scooter that would be perfect for a Haruko FLCL scooter. When I stated that it was hers, she looked at me confused, shoved me, and started crying.

God. Damn. Adorable. :3

We brought the Vespa home and wiggled it into the elevator and up into the apartment. Work started immediately.

And it was all back together a few days later!

Immediately after getting it roadworthy, one of the gear selector cables snapped and the scooter was back under my wrench.

Installing the bar-end turn signals.


The bar-end lights have been particularly frustrating. After many hours of researching online and chatting with the guys at Sportique, we determined that the headpiece of her scooter is an SS180, but that the handlebar "twist grips" are from a 60s or 70s Vespa Rally. I'm sure one of you could tell me tons of things about the scooter that I would have never known otherwise, though!

But it's nice to know that the original "production" Vespa is at least as much a frankenscooter as this one is.



People at anime cons will likely know exactly what the scooter is all about, but it's an obscure-enough cartoon that lots of people probably won't even know what the ****, so I made this for her to put next to it.


Vespas are sassy.


Tapping the holes for the fin.


Perfect fit!


The sticker on the leg shield was a placeholder, she applied the final vinyl and pulled it off - the finishing touch!


Things left to do for the scooter:
- replace a few gray seals with black ones
- replace the legshield beading the original, fatter trim
- fix the horn
- add the 3D "egg" shape on the side of the fin.
- I may or may not add the ignition slot on top of the headpiece. It's rarely drawn on the scooter in the show, and when it is, there usually isn't even a key in it.
- create an accurate "5656" license plate. "FLCL" is the current custom plate we're gunning for.

Things left to do for us:
- motorcycle safety class
- gear shopping

My wife cosplayed as Haruko back in 2007, so now she's in super go-mode to get that costume back up to her standards so she can wear it on the scooter at the next con!

A terribly fun project that will make for a terribly fun summer!




















Unbelievably huge thanks to Sportique Scooters here in Denver, and ScooterWest for tons of parts!

Last edited by Boomerjinks on Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:47 am; edited 5 times in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86, a not so normal pts100 '82 and a red lipstick '74 sprint
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5725
Location: Indo
Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:12 pm quote
touching..
awesome story
awesome bike

i bet ur wife will always remember you as a very romantc husband

good job on the restoration and on how u givin ur wife a surprise

enjoy the bike together and cheer mate
Moderator
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 5145
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:14 pm quote
Ride on Shooting Star!

(The OP will get the reference. )
Ossessionato
ET2, PX150
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3410
Location: Denver CO
Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:49 pm quote
I've never seen the the show but I've seen a lot of pictures and a lot of P's tossed on scooter but yours looks a hell of a lot better. Nice bike, very accurate right down to the missing dust covers.

Also I know that bridge. I've had my drunken ass hauled across it a couple times.
TEAM #68
ET4 & GT160
Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 1645
Location: S.West England
Tue May 01, 2012 3:33 am quote
I LOVE this.
TEAM #68
ET4 & GT160
Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 1645
Location: S.West England
Tue May 01, 2012 5:43 am quote
Just popping in again to say I love this!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86, a not so normal pts100 '82 and a red lipstick '74 sprint
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5725
Location: Indo
Tue May 01, 2012 6:26 am quote
aint yellow makes us mellow.. dang i also love that bike along with the story as well
Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Tue May 01, 2012 6:57 am quote
One of the nicest SS 180's I have ever seen !

Your wife must LOVE it !
Hooked
gt
Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 141
Location: high desert
Tue May 01, 2012 11:29 am quote
Awesome job on those turn signals. Can't say I'm digging the fin though.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Literider Envy
Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 7270

Tue May 01, 2012 11:35 am quote
I snapped some pics of your bike at Starfest a couple weeks ago! There was a black ET2 parked next to it for a while. Very very nice.
Member
vespa lx 190ie
Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Portugal
Tue May 01, 2012 12:02 pm quote
wonderful bilke!!!
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Tue May 01, 2012 9:40 pm quote
Witch wrote:
I snapped some pics of your bike at Starfest a couple weeks ago! There was a black ET2 parked next to it for a while. Very very nice.
Yep yep! The SS originally had rockstar parking up near the lobby, but one of the hearse owners moved it behind an SUV so they could get park their car in it's place... So I moved it down to the convention hall entrance.

I'm really happy to see so many Denver scooter owners on this site, how cool!
Hooked
Vespa GTS250, PX125
Joined: 04 Nov 2010
Posts: 291
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Thu May 03, 2012 1:33 pm quote
That is incredible! Looks just like it. SO awesome.
Mr. Clean
P,SUPER,V90, 50 Special
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 10207
Location: This is't my locker!
Thu May 03, 2012 5:28 pm quote
I would rock that in a millisecond... So f'in sweet... I was wondering what the plate on the fork was, but I get it... JUST AWESOME...AWESOME.
cheers


Just looked again... That color is the feek! Nectar all the way.
Hooked
2007 Avio Grey GTV
Joined: 22 Dec 2008
Posts: 485

Fri May 04, 2012 6:59 am quote
Quote:
tips from when we use the movie cars as charity limos
Movie cars? Do tell!
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Sun May 06, 2012 1:05 pm quote
Karmann wrote:
Movie cars? Do tell!
I have a replica movie car club in Denver. We use the cars as limos sometimes to help raise donations for the local children's hospital.


Colorado Movie Cars

Still questing to find the perfect location in Denver for an all-in-one photograph with power lines, a bridge, a river, and that elusive yellow sky!

Yesterdays sunset gave me a pretty good sky, though...



[/url]
Turnkey 79
2 helmets, 2 jackets, 4 spark plugs, 2 rear bulbs, some bolts, a spring, an ET rear rack, clear indicators and half a can of unleaded, but no bike!
Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 3646
Location: The British Countryside
Sun May 06, 2012 6:28 pm quote
I must add to this, what a super looking bike. Nice job mate!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
T5s
Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 17006
Location: The West Of Yorkshire ... Gods Country
Sun May 06, 2012 11:58 pm quote
simples
ohh yes that does look sweet ..... but is there a white oval missing on that fork link thingy
Ossessionato
ET2, PX150
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3410
Location: Denver CO
Mon May 07, 2012 10:37 am quote
Boomerjinks wrote:
Karmann wrote:
Movie cars? Do tell!
I have a replica movie car club in Denver. We use the cars as limos sometimes to help raise donations for the local children's hospital.


Still questing to find the perfect location in Denver for an all-in-one photograph with power lines, a bridge, a river, and that elusive yellow sky!

Yesterdays sunset gave me a pretty good sky, though...

South Platte River Dr down near the powerstation at sunset would work.
Hooked
2009 Vespa LX 150, Moto Guzzi V7II Racer
Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 372
Location: Redondo Beach, California
Mon May 07, 2012 3:45 pm quote
Very cool...love the color!
Hooked
2007 GTS 250ie
Joined: 01 May 2012
Posts: 218
Location: Lakes Region, NH
Mon May 07, 2012 4:10 pm quote
Wonderful story! Great job on the restoration and the photos and art tell the story so beautifully. Well done.
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mon May 07, 2012 7:46 pm quote
My in-line voltage regulator arrived today, hopefully I can go without blowing a the more tail light bulbs for a few months. I feel like my headlight is particularly dim and the tail light is nearly non-existent, are there preferred methods of upgrading to LEDs, or is there anything I should check through the electrical setup?
Ossessionato
ET2, PX150
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3410
Location: Denver CO
Mon May 07, 2012 8:29 pm quote
Boomerjinks wrote:
My in-line voltage regulator arrived today, hopefully I can go without blowing a the more tail light bulbs for a few months. I feel like my headlight is particularly dim and the tail light is nearly non-existent, are there preferred methods of upgrading to LEDs, or is there anything I should check through the electrical setup?
Convert to 12 volt or get your flywheel remagnitized. Post that question over on the not not so modern side.
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mon May 07, 2012 9:47 pm quote
nigelthefish wrote:
Convert to 12 volt or get your flywheel remagnitized. Post that question over on the not not so modern side.
It's a P200 setup so it should be 12v, I think. I'll check with the vintage guys.
Addicted
GTS250
Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 507
Location: Trowbridge - England
Fri May 11, 2012 12:02 pm quote
top job, best P! I've seen - still don't get the plate on the forks, but what ever.
great job.
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Fri May 11, 2012 1:18 pm quote
MartinB wrote:
top job, best P! I've seen - still don't get the plate on the forks, but what ever.
great job.
As far as I can tell it's just from the animations being all LOLstyleLOL and serves no purpose anywhere in the cartoon.

It's there for accuracy. I'm still working on ways to make the fin look a little less tacked-on, and I've still got to add the rounded oval to the side of it.
Hooked
GILERA FUOCO II, GTS 300 SUPER, & MP3 400(SOLD)
Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 324
Location: OAKSTERDAM
Fri May 18, 2012 1:55 pm quote
This is, dare i say it FOOLY COOLY!!!!
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Sun May 20, 2012 11:37 am quote
TIDWILLOW wrote:
This is, dare i say it FOOLY COOLY!!!!


Here's another photo dump, I've yet to take it into a more industrial part of town, but this was the perfect bridge/river, I think...






HDR is tacky to me, but I thought this had some nice colors...
Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Sun May 20, 2012 12:40 pm quote
Keep the pics coming !

I could look at that all day
Molto Verboso
LXS 150
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 1105
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
Sun May 20, 2012 5:29 pm quote
Outstanding, both as a project and as a gift.

When are we getting the stop-motion movie of it running around by itself, for YouTube?

-Rusty
'09 LX150S
Member
Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Ireland
Mon May 21, 2012 9:29 am quote
Deadly work mate
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mon May 21, 2012 9:33 am quote
Rusty J wrote:
Outstanding, both as a project and as a gift.

When are we getting the stop-motion movie of it running around by itself, for YouTube?

-Rusty
'09 LX150S
Sooon! Here was the prototype video from April 22.
Molto Verboso
LXS 150
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 1105
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
Mon May 21, 2012 9:41 pm quote
Amazing -- and definitely worth the effort!

-Rusty
'09 LX150S
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mon May 21, 2012 10:52 pm quote
Not at all FLCL-related, but this was fun, too.

I took my wife shopping for helmets and she settled on a sparkly purple 3/4 with rose-tinted visor that she's likely going to cover with stickers or something equally cute.

Initially I really wanted to get a Simpson Diamondback helmet and just spend my days being a Fat Stig, but since those cost $500+ I had to find an alternative. She made a suggestion and I started with a new 3/4 black helmet with a goofy pattern.



I tried so hard to find a used helmet that I could mod, but in the end this worked. Pulled the rubber trim.


I HATE taking something brand new and scuffing hitting it sand paper. This was almost as agonizing as when I put the drill to the roof of my brand-new Magnum in 2009, ugh.


Coat of blue - wetsand with 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 - repeat x3

Coat of clear - wetsand with 2000, 2500 - repeat x4

Then off to my vinyl guy!






Red vinyl is reflective, which I guess is redundant since if I am to wear the helmet at night I will have to switch the faceshield out for a clear one. But I rarely ride at night.

I actually need to trim the white stripe 2 inches away from the visor, and I am still debating whether or not I want a non-flip-up mirror visor. Right now the flip-up completely covers my face and jaw so I like it, but I know the simpler face shields would look closer to the actual design.

It's not supposed to be a straight-up replica or anything really worthy of the term "cosplay," but it was fun to make. It's hardly worth showing off compared so the AMAZING paint jobs and mods that people make to their helmets, but I like it.
Hooked
2007 GT200 1962 VBB Cushman
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 187
Location: st. louis
Tue May 22, 2012 8:12 pm quote
Great looking bike!! The fin on the front fork Other than that very nice! Enjoy!
Banned
Vespa GTS 300 Super & Vespa P125X
Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 4134
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Wed May 23, 2012 1:15 am quote
The bike looks fantastic but you must toss that speedometer in the garbage and get a OEM one thats sits flush and proper.
Member
1965 Vespa SS 180
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Denver, Colorado
Wed May 23, 2012 2:22 am quote
VEZPA wrote:
The bike looks fantastic but you must toss that speedometer in the garbage and get a OEM one thats sits flush and proper.
This is the sort of stuff I love hearing. I had NO IDEA that the speedometer was incorrect. I know it sits in there in a funky way, but I have no experience to compare this to. Do you have a picture of how a correct speedometer sits in there/looks like?

Thanks!!
Member
Hopefully owner of a GTS 250 in Yellow.
Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Clearwater, FL
Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:39 pm quote
This, my friend, is amazing
Hi, I'm new to the forums here at Modern Vespa, but I've been lurking for awhile, since i plan on getting my own soon enough. However, this thread caught my attention, not to mention I've seen picture bits here and there across the web. I gotta tell you, as an avid anime fan, especially that of FLCL (or Fooly Cooly) I find this absolutely amazing and inspiring! If I had that model my anime friends would go ape just to catch a ride on it. I can only imagine how your wife feels. Good Job!

Edit:
Surprised you don't have a custom plate with FLCL on it...Just sayin'
Mr. Clean
P,SUPER,V90, 50 Special
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 10207
Location: This is't my locker!
Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:45 pm quote
I'm glad this popped up top again... I do dig looking at it... one of my Favs.
Member
VESPA 2020 GTS SUPER SPORT HPE 300
Joined: 07 Mar 2012
Posts: 16
Location: London - UK
Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:38 pm quote
From a fellow Manga/Anime and Vespa Nut, It looks great.

Top Marks
Missouri Loves Company Rally   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   Cool Ass scooter seat cover
Post Reply    Forum -> Scooter Gallery 1234Next
[ Time: 0.1869s ][ Queries: 25 (0.0546s) ][ Debug on ]