Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
 
Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
I have owned at least a dozen scoots in my life, starting with a Rally 200 that I bought in 1985, followed by various Lambrettas, P200s, GS160s, and then later in life another couple Lambrettas. Until last week I had no scoots in my collection. Living in the Santa Cruz Mountains is not terribly conducive to them, and I don't even ride my motorcycles.

A dear friend of mine transitioned last month and I was gifted with three Vespas. None of them run, and all require major work. I will be selling the 90, and 1980, P200E but keeping the SS 180, which I worked on almost 40 years ago when we were just kids.

The SS 180 is pretty rough, and at some point someone modified the engine quite substantially. It does have a cool Giuliani seat which needs to be re-covered. According to Scooter Help the engine is out of a Rally 200. My knowledge of Vespa engines has faded and I forgot that the early engines were piston ported rather than crank ported. Did the latter induction method begin with the Rally 200?

I'm not concerned with originality but I would like to get the SS running again, but I'm curious about the engine for the following reason.

My understanding is that the SS 180 used equal width wheel halves, which is obviously quite different from later Vespas. Was the offset of the those wheels matched with the engine? I ask because I always remembered that the rear wheel did not line up with the centerline of the rear frame, which I never understood. My Rally 200 had the unequal wheel halves and I'm wondering if the reason for the SS rear wheel being offset to the left (when viewed from the rear) is that the Rally engine doesn't work with the early wheels.

Attached are some photos of the scooter and frame/engine numbers. As I said, it's rough but it does have a cool period appropriate legshield embellished and trim.

The other two scoots will be listed as soon as I accumulate enough posts to prove my merit…which may take a while.

The SS will get stored until I'm able to start tinkering, which will happen once I finish this 11 year Alfa Romeo restoration project.

-tj in the Cruz Mtns








Ossessionato
Gigi, '13 GTS 300ie Touring
Joined: 26 Mar 2018
Posts: 2411
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
 
Ossessionato
Gigi, '13 GTS 300ie Touring
Joined: 26 Mar 2018
Posts: 2411
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
DorianBebop, welcome! It looks like you found the right place to hang out, and we look forward to hearing about your adventures in bringing the SS 180 back to life.

Ossessionato
GTS300 Super 2015 Blue, GTS300 Super 2018 White
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 3149
Location: Sydney, Australia
 
Ossessionato
GTS300 Super 2015 Blue, GTS300 Super 2018 White
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 3149
Location: Sydney, Australia
I know that the GS160 had equally split wheel halves, but didn't know that the SS180 did. My Rally180 (later converted to a Rally200 eletronic) did not.

According to one of my books, the 180SS was the last Vespa to use a piston-ported engine.

Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
 
Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
Thank you Gigi and Mike.

My one Vespa book mentions that the SS 180 was the last piston ported Vespa and I *thought* that it said it used the same equally split wheel halves as the GS series but I'll have to check that to make sure I'm right. Your assertion that the Rally did not might support my belief that the engine was not designed for them, thus the extreme (and candidly unusable) left offset of the rear wheel. Vespas are inherently unbalanced, this would make that even more pronounced.

-tj in the Cruz Mtns

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 12202
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 12202
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
look forward to seeing the pics of the SS180 and the bikes you're selling on.

Enthusiast
too many
Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 76
Location: Norway
 
Enthusiast
too many
Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 76
Location: Norway
Hi,

The SS has the equal split rims.
-the rally don't.

But remember that the engine is centered in the frame, so when running a later engine (Rally, PX etc), you have to use the later rims to keep the wheel centered.

I'm running a Quattrini 244-engine in one of my SS180's, and using a standard 2,10X10 tubeless rim for that, and the wheel is centered. But front I still use the equal split rim.

Good luck with the SS180!

Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
 
Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
Thanks SVint. Your comments make perfect sense. What I'm most curious in finding right now is an Engine Serial Number guide for SS 180s. Does anyone know what an SS 180 Engine Serial number should look like? Being that the Rally 180 and SS 180 engines were similar, I'm not sure if the guide I used is accurate.

-tj in the Cruz Mtns

Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
 
Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
greasy125 wrote:
look forward to seeing the pics of the SS180 and the bikes you're selling on.









Ossessionato
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 4312
Location: Tempe, AZ
 
Ossessionato
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 4312
Location: Tempe, AZ
I like the Benz wheel cover!

Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
 
Member
Vespa SS 180
Joined: 06 Nov 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Cruz Mtns
Yeah that was a thing we used to do back in the day….they fit without any need for mechanical attachment…it's like they were made for Vespas.
Syd wrote:
I like the Benz wheel cover!
-tj in the Cruz Mtns
   

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