OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
Hi all,

I've been out of the vintage Vespa world for about five years, and I'm kind of missing it, so I'm considering different ways to get back in.
In the interim I've ridden motorcycles (a couple of older BMWs) and a modern Vespa GTS300, so I've gotten used to pretty stable, if not always nimble, handling.

My question is this:
Imagine if you take one old largeframe (like, for example, a VBB or a Super) and one P (like a P200E) and equip them exactly the same - same engine, the same suspension (like Bitubos, the VBB gets a PK front fork for this), and the same brakes (disc up front).

Would they then ride differently, in regards to handling and stability?

Were there significant updates made to the P-series frame that improved the ride, beyond what typical updates can achieve?

Like many I'm more drawn towards to old styles, but I wouldn't want to make a bunch of upgrades and still end up with a wobbly, bumpy, jalopy.

Thanks for your input!
UTC

parallelogramerist
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5080
 
parallelogramerist
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5080
UTC quote
I don't know how it is for others, but for myself, I just get used to riding whatever I'm on at the time...whether it's a Lammy, Smally, newer low mile PX150 or a old P200 with a severely bent frame. Sure i'll notice the difference between them when I swap bikes, but i'll get used to it in about 5-10 minutes. That being said, if the suspension/brakes are completely worn out on one of the said bikes, it will be blatantly obvious that that I will have no desire to push it to the limits. Mainly it's bringing said bike's suspension and brakes up to date, then get used to its handling.

There were no significant updates that Piaggio did to the P to improve the ride...in fact there were no updates at all. Just the disc brake update to stop the ride was it.

I have a '63 Allstate (P200 engine) that has a disc brake (with a PKXL fork) and performance shocks. It rides different from my P200...different, but not better.

If you want different (better) handling, get new performance engine mounts,
front and rear performance shock mounts, nice tires, lower profile seat, performance shocks, double check the steering column bearing are good, disc brake (for stopping fast), oh and a 80's Faco anti-dive kit (if anyone has one, I'd love to have one!).

My opinion is, get whatever scoot you're visually attracted to, then dial in the suspension, tires, and brakes.
@v_oodoo avatar
UTC

Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
 
Style Maven
@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
UTC quote
There is one major improvement that the P has but older models do not. I think* I'm right that the chassis fork tube only shows up on scooters w/ the removable plastic horncast. This tube locates the fork geometry with your fork bearings mounted at the top & bottom and the tube assures that the bearings stay aligned & in the right place.

On older scooters with integral metal horncasts, the top bearing is mounted in a round hole in the cap at the top of the 'spine' and the bottom bearing is mounted in a hole in a heavy flange that's welded to the lower frame. I believe the newer system is more rigid and less likely to get out of alignment, but this is mostly opinion.

My one old P doesn't really feel much different than a healthy older largeframe for handling & stability, but it's located a long ways from my other largeframes so never had a chance to ride them one after the other. OTH, my Cosa is definitely stiffer and more stable at freeway speeds than any of the others.

* I'm shooting from the hip here, please correct any misinformation - I know very little specific about P's.
Stella fork tube, P's are similar
Stella fork tube, P's are similar
UTC

Addicted
Old douglas ..smallie with polini 115..super with nasco 177
Joined: UTC
Posts: 683
Location: New Zealand
 
Addicted
Old douglas ..smallie with polini 115..super with nasco 177
Joined: UTC
Posts: 683
Location: New Zealand
UTC quote
.hmmm
I mostly ride an 8 inch super...when I ride a px it feels like Im on stilts on skateboard and as a result I dont lean as far ....this is prob to do with me personally not the Px...ie 8 vs 10...but

on a smallie (ten inch same as PX) I feel like Im back on the Super...nimble...solid.......but ride and steer with my hips rather than leaning

agree with whodatchrome...more time on either scoot helps get to know what it(or you) can and cant do.
UTC

Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4473
Location: London UK
 
Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4473
Location: London UK
UTC quote
Motorcycle 'Rake' and 'Trail' also applies to scooters. I think pretty much every scooter model has slight geometry differences on the front. Bound to make the handling feel better on some more than others.

If anyone knows what the angles/dimensions are it would be interesting.
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
Thanks everyone for the input!

That's encouraging, that means I might just wait for an oldie that tickles my senses, and build it up from that.
Obviously the 2 port vs 3 port engines is another thing to consider. And 3 speed vs 4 speed.

I didn't know about the pre-P's not having a fork tube. I can see the upper and lower mounts seeing a little flex if they aren't rigidly joined.

I was imagining that the P series might have had changes in the body geometry or perhaps some kind of reinforcements, but what I'm hearing it doesn't seem that anything too significant was changed.
Interesting how they DID improve it for Cosa. Not many of those around here, and they are a bit of an acquired taste!

For performance shock and engine mounts, they often seem to bring a nasty harshness to the ride. On my P200E I added Hot Rod Al's swing arm stabilizers, and that had the bonus effect of transmitting all engine vibrations to the entire scooter!
@subetherbass avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4727
Location: Australa, Mate
 
Ossessionato
@subetherbass avatar
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4727
Location: Australa, Mate
UTC quote
Re: .hmmm
Bluecati wrote:
I mostly ride an 8 inch super...when I ride a px it feels like Im on stilts on skateboard and as a result I dont lean as far ....this is prob to do with me personally not the Px...ie 8 vs 10...but

on a smallie (ten inch same as PX) I feel like Im back on the Super...nimble...solid.......but ride and steer with my hips rather than leaning
I agre 100%
My first time on a "PX" (new LML NV 150) was simply scary... Such poor handling. After a bit of time , new shocks & brakes etc it was far better... BUT 8" is way way way more agile & far more fun... A bit like a "new" Mini vs the "original" mini... Which is more fun?

You can always add a port to a 2-port is you so dire.
I've change a 3-speed into a 4-speed before, so it's all possible
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
Coming from a 12" Vespa GTS and then a 19" BMW, I'm not sure if I could go all the way down to 8".
Also, I've told myself that if I go back to a vintage, it will at the very least get a disc front brake. What's the current status on disc brakes for 8" wheels?

What IS the actual difference in the outside diameter of a 8" vs 10" tire anyway?
@socalguy avatar
UTC

bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7093
Location: So Cal
 
bodgemaster
@socalguy avatar
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7093
Location: So Cal
UTC quote
About 1"
@philos avatar
UTC

Banned
2001 LML 150 2t
Joined: UTC
Posts: 382
Location: Queensland, Aus
 
Banned
@philos avatar
2001 LML 150 2t
Joined: UTC
Posts: 382
Location: Queensland, Aus
UTC quote
SoCalGuy wrote:
About 1"
I would have said more like about 25 mm.. but anyhoo.
UTC

Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 166
Location: New Zealand
 
Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 166
Location: New Zealand
UTC quote
I find the extra weight of the PX vs. Sprint makes the difference. The Sprint is much lighter and "bouncier" whilst the PX feels more "stuck to the road".
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
Philos wrote:
SoCalGuy wrote:
About 1"
I would have said more like about 25 mm.. but anyhoo.
Let's get our numbers straight here, people!
25mm is a far cry from 25.4mm...

So with a difference of only one inch, I'm surprised there is that much difference in the ride. A reduction of one in diameter only lowers the body ½ inch.
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
PC73 wrote:
I find the extra weight of the PX vs. Sprint makes the difference. The Sprint is much lighter and "bouncier" whilst the PX feels more "stuck to the road".
Good point, I didn't think about the weight!

Some Googling tells me that there is almost 35lbs difference between a VBB and a P200E. That's quite significant, and an advantage if you want fast acceleration and quick handling.

For a more planted feel on a VBB I'd hope that high end suspension, tuned properly, would help a lot.
@frank_n_stein avatar
UTC

Hooked
Jet 200, P200E (x2), T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 448
Location: Paris & Los Angeles
 
Hooked
@frank_n_stein avatar
Jet 200, P200E (x2), T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 448
Location: Paris & Los Angeles
UTC quote
The wheel diameter (and width) will vary depending on the brand of tire, even more so if you try wider tires (100/90 or 100/80) for better handling.

Another difference between P-series and earlier bikes I find quite noticeable is that the Ps are perched higher. Longer fork and rear shock extension nut. The good thing is, you can mess around with those to attain the correct height.
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6533
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6533
Location: Tega Cay, SC
UTC quote
Going from a 74 Super to a P200. I could flick the Super around, the P200 felt like a boat. I'm sure the stock shocks were shot on the P200. I like riding on 8s, my 2 cents.
@scooterraton avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2 - Many
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3164
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
 
Ossessionato
@scooterraton avatar
2 - Many
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3164
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
UTC quote
OK...I think I can give you a good comparison...that sucks at the same time.

I have had a stock P 200, Malossi 210 heavily modified to stupid fast Stella's and PX's

My Cannonball scooter is a 67 GT right now with an 05 stock PX 200 crate motor (Thanks Vader), and full hydraulic front disc. In the 2016 CRB I was the oldest scooter to complete every leg.


To me the P and PX feel more planted, heavier, and stable. The GT has killer handling. Set up for touring, stock with a pipe and Cosa clutch it hits the sweepers and the twists are a blast!

Now I have Malossi RS24s front and back So...gonna be in the mountains load them up...running across the plains...loosen up for a softer ride.
That's why it's hard to compare. For me my 67 GT with full front hydraulic disc and the stock 200 or Pinasco 225 motorin it it's just an super fun scooter to ride...but it is no where near stock.

To me a PX 200 is like an old F100 or F150 truck. Pretty reliable, it has power, Not real fast off the line but nice cruising speed, handling is...meh.

I don't think either is right or wrong but I really prefer a well set up largeframe. Ps will probably start being desirable soon instead of having motors pulled out of them...I just like largeframes better.

Now a stock GS 160 or SS 180...you just can't compare anything to them as far as I'm concerned. Piston ported rocks!
@ginch avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8613
Location: Victoria, Australia
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@ginch avatar
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8613
Location: Victoria, Australia
UTC quote
Voodoo, the earlier models do have a fork tube.

So for a start, the P fork setup is way better than the previous models.

I stand to be corrected, but I'd bet that a P is better braced against twist and flex than earlier models, and that that will contribute to the 'solid' feel of it.
The tunnel section is 2 or 3mm taller.
The P has a slightly longer wheelbase. Sprints, Supers etc are 1200mm, the Rally 1230. P's (according to Tecnica) are listed at 1235, 1250 and 1260 (which is kind of odd in itself but Tecnica has a few mistakes apparently).
The extra weight means the suspension works a bit more and gives you a more solid feel. If you've loaded up the scoot for a rally (front and rear) it does tend to feel a bit more planted once up to speed.

A few little things like that together will have an effect on the feel.

I thought initially that perhaps the P had a touch more rake in the forks as Jack suggests. So I got in touch with the guy in the UK (can't recall his name just now) who uses a Piaggio frame jig to straighten bent frames. He said that the rake is exactly the same on P and earlier largeframes.

There's more info here -
P & pre P - differences and impressions?

*edited for wrongness
⚠️ Last edited by Ginch on UTC; edited 1 time
UTC

Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4473
Location: London UK
 
Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4473
Location: London UK
UTC quote
Even with the same rake, the trail still has to be different, as it depends on fork length and tyre diameter.
@mike_holland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS300 Super 2015 Blue, GTS300 Super 2023 Beige
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3359
Location: Sydney, Australia
 
Ossessionato
@mike_holland avatar
GTS300 Super 2015 Blue, GTS300 Super 2023 Beige
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3359
Location: Sydney, Australia
UTC quote
I have had 8 Vespa over the past 60 years, GS150, GS150, Rally200, P200, PX200, GT200, GTS250 and now a GTS300. By far the most stable on the road was the PX200, because I had Bitubo shocks front and back, and polyurethane bushes on the rear shocks and the swivel bar. Was like riding on rails. My wheels were always exactly where I wanted them.

My GTS300 with a Bitubo in the front and Malossi RS24 in the rear comes close, but not quite as good.

Mike
@v_oodoo avatar
UTC

Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
 
Style Maven
@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
UTC quote
I was wrong
Ginch wrote:
Voodoo, the earlier models do have a fork tube.

This has come up again w/ somebody asking about a VBB that they want to convert to disk brake.

Well I did say I wasn't sure but now I've had a chance to pull some horns to check to see when they might have added the tube between the bearings. I now agree that it was pre P but not on all largeframes as some may suppose. My '58 AllState has no fork tube, it's pretty much like the '58 VB1 widebody. On the other hand, the '74 Sprint has the tube much like a P. Pictures to follow after I check a '62 VNB and a '58 VBA.
@v_oodoo avatar
UTC

Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
 
Style Maven
@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9537
Location: seattle/athens
UTC quote
I was half right
It looks like they may have added the tube when they started building mainly 10" models and probably included the 8" Supers as well, but all my 8" largeframes have no tube while the 10"Sprint has it.

Looks like a VBB wouldn't be quite as rigid as a newer bike as far as the fork mount goes.

Anybody know if GS 160's, SS 180's and GL's have the tube? Where's Hodge?
'58 AllState, fuzzy but you can see the fork in the gap
'58 AllState, fuzzy but you can see the fork in the gap
'62 VNB, it's easy to see the silver fork stem above the lower brearing
'62 VNB, it's easy to see the silver fork stem above the lower brearing
'58 VBA, no fork tube
'58 VBA, no fork tube
'74 Sprint, finally a tube welded to the lower bearing carrier & fork is out of sight inside the tube
'74 Sprint, finally a tube welded to the lower bearing carrier & fork is out of sight inside the tube
@ginch avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8613
Location: Victoria, Australia
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@ginch avatar
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8613
Location: Victoria, Australia
UTC quote
We the undersigned unreservedly withdraw our claim that all Largeframes have steering tubes. The assumption was made by an idiot.

Sincerely,

M. Ginch, esq.


Nice sleuthing there Voodoo... I have an old very bodgy vbb frame and never saw that. Doh.
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
Very interesting... so how do you think the fork tube/no fork tube difference would manifest itself in terms of the ride/handling?

It seems that perhaps the upper frame might twist more easily, and when it does it could offset the upper and lower mounts, giving you a bit squirrely steering over bumpy turns?
Any risk of a frame-twist pinching the steering bearings, briefly preventing the fork from turning? Or perhaps that's too much guesswork.
UTC

parallelogramerist
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5080
 
parallelogramerist
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5080
UTC quote
mathias wrote:
Very interesting... so how do you think the fork tube/no fork tube difference would manifest itself in terms of the ride/handling?

It seems that perhaps the upper frame might twist more easily, and when it does it could offset the upper and lower mounts, giving you a bit squirrely steering over bumpy turns?
Any risk of a frame-twist pinching the steering bearings, briefly preventing the fork from turning? Or perhaps that's too much guesswork.
I think you might be over thinking it a little bit mathias...if it happened to be a issue, surely there would be many threads discussing the dangers of riding an older Vespa that didn't have a full length fork tube? To quell my curiosity, i just checked my old Allstate...yup, no fork tube. It has 10" rims, and quality shocks front and rear. I feel that it handles excellent. Yes, it feels different from my P200, but different shocks, engine mounts, seat height and foam density, tires, handgrips, ect...will all change the feel of the ride. My Allstate feels lighter than my P200, neither a good way or bad way, just different. My P2 front end does feel more "planted" though. If you're looking for all out track bike handling, then get an older VBB/Super and weld all of the body seams up.
OP
@mathias avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
 
Hooked
@mathias avatar
Vespa P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 413
Location: Portland, Oregon
UTC quote
whodatschrome wrote:
I think you might be over thinking it a little bit mathias...if it happened to be a issue, surely there would be many threads discussing the dangers of riding an older Vespa that didn't have a full length fork tube? To quell my curiosity, i just checked my old Allstate...yup, no fork tube. It has 10" rims, and quality shocks front and rear. I feel that it handles excellent. Yes, it feels different from my P200, but different shocks, engine mounts, seat height and foam density, tires, handgrips, ect...will all change the feel of the ride. My Allstate feels lighter than my P200, neither a good way or bad way, just different. My P2 front end does feel more "planted" though. If you're looking for all out track bike handling, then get an older VBB/Super and weld all of the body seams up.
Oh yes, I agree, I'm totally overthinking!
That's just my "engineer" brain looking for problems to solve. I say "engineer" in quotes, because I don't actually have any engineering training.

In my spare time I build design and build electric guitars, and I spend quite a bit of thought and effort trying to come up with new and clever ways to increase strength, reduce weight, and streamline the building process. I guess the same applies for how I think of mechanics.
DoubleGood Design banner

Modern Vespa is the premier site for modern Vespa and Piaggio scooters. Vespa GTS300, GTS250, GTV, GT200, LX150, LXS, ET4, ET2, MP3, Fuoco, Elettrica and more.

Buy Me A Coffee
 

Shop on Amazon with Modern Vespa

Modern Vespa is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


All Content Copyright 2005-2024 by Modern Vespa.
All Rights Reserved.


[ Time: 0.0297s ][ Queries: 4 (0.0101s) ][ Debug on ][ 313 ][ Thing One ]