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Hi all!

First post. Super noob. Read the sticky on tips for buying a Vespa.

A little about me: Industrial designer, has replaced automotive headgaskets/done other horrible jobs. Not my first motorcycle.

So, I found a good looking PX200 for sale. 11k miles. Everything looks clean. Inside the carb, inside the tank, etc. No rust anywhere I can see. Minimal scratches on body.

The guy said he had it running last summer, but it doesn't start now.

Not knowing much Vespa, I quickly replaced the plug and battery with new ones I'd brought. Added new gas. Kicked it over for probably 15 minutes. Wouldn't fire.

He wants $1,000.

Are there big trouble areas I should be looking for before I buy a non-running PX?

Any hypotheses on what's wrong? CDI?

Is $1,000 too much? The cheapest runner I've found locally is $2,500

Thanks in advance!
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I paid 550 for my P200E non-running disassembled. almost all parts there but many needing replacing from rust. I would say $1000 is on the border of where I'd walk away from it if frame and other elements of it aren't in better shape. But, if its a simple fix thats a good price for something you can get running with little trouble. Albiet, I am way stingier than most here when it comes to buying these bikes. I spend more money on parts over time then up front on something in better condition. "the slow blade penetrates the shield" is my motto when spending money on these things.
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parallelogramerist
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parallelogramerist
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PX200 or just a P200? I don't think the PX200 was ever offered in the US.
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Like I said, total Vespa noob. Must be a P200. Kick-start only. Blinkers as part of the front cowl (or whatever you'd call the front/leg shield on a scooter).

Brings up an interesting point though; is there a vin number on the engine? Should it match the vehicle vin, or is it particular to engines only?
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That does not seem like a terrible price to me, especially for what they sell for in the PNW. I just paid the same for a running Stella, but it still needed about $300 in bits and pieces to make it roadworthy. I'd venture a reasonably solid P200 is worth more than a Stella.

Does it have a title? That's always a plus. For $1K with a title, I'd run, not walk, and pick it up.

Pull the plug and crank it over with the plug in the boot. Is there a spark?

Go borrow a compression tester from an O'Reillys and see if it has compression.

Are you sure you're getting fuel to the plug? Seems like a simple thing but the line could be clogged, especially if the carb was allowed to sit with gas in it. Also, make sure fuel tap is on. Been there more times than I should ever admit.

Could be lots of other things but generally checking for spark, compression and fuel will tell you a lot.

I'm in Seattle (Ballard) so if you do get it and want to split shipping on parts from ScooterWest or ScooterMercato, I'd be game. There are always a few more parts I can use.

Hal
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swiss1939 wrote:
I spend more money on parts over time then up front on something in better condition. "the slow blade penetrates the shield" is my motto when spending money on these things.
Yeah, been there in the past and lost my hat. Thinking a Vespa is for the long haul, but still want to know I'm not going to go over the barrel.

Any thoughts on what to look for?

Thanks!
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whereshaldo wrote:
That does not seem like a terrible price to me, especially for what they sell for in the PNW. I just paid the same for a running Stella, but it still needed about $300 in bits and pieces to make it roadworthy. I'd venture a reasonably solid P200 is worth more than a Stella.

Does it have a title? That's always a plus. For $1K with a title, I'd run, not walk, and pick it up.

Pull the plug and crank it over with the plug in the boot. Is there a spark?

Go borrow a compression tester from an O'Reillys and see if it has compression.

Are you sure you're getting fuel to the plug? Seems like a simple thing but the line could be clogged, especially if the carb was allowed to sit with gas in it. Also, make sure fuel tap is on. Been there more times than I should ever admit.

Could be lots of other things but generally checking for spark, compression and fuel will tell you a lot.

I'm in Seattle (Ballard) so if you do get it and want to split shipping on parts from ScooterWest or ScooterMercato, I'd be game. There are always a few more parts I can use.

Hal
Wanted to check spark via the plug, but had a hard time checking while he was kick-starting.

It's possible the fuel wasn't getting to the plug, but with the air cleaner off, it was definitely misting out the top.

Good call on the compression tester.

What should the compression be?
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Molto Verboso
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At $1000, and with it being a P200 in good condition, I would take a punt on the starting issue being something relatively simple and cheap to fix. If you can get the price down, it would be a bargain in the UK, but I realise that means very little in the US.

That price would be quite a bit higher in the UK, the appeal being that it's an early rust and damage free P series and it's a 200.
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Molto Verboso
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How about some pictures of the scoot?

A non running p200 for $1k is a great deal. If the frame is straight and the floor and tunnel is not rusted through I would get it. Best vintage vespa for new owners.

You will actually have to open the carb and clean or at least spray the jets out if you want to try to start it. Today's gas are not made for these carbs to sit for a long period of time. If the clutch plates are dry from sitting the scoot will not move if you get it started but that is another simple fix. Pressure testing is irrelevant right now. Other things are required before that thing runs again.

These are very simple machines and if you have the mechanical experience this will not be a problem. Just don't make it complicated. Get it, clean carb, and go from there to indicate your next step to running. This forum can walk you through fixing anything on that scoot.

But again, where are the pics!!??

Good luck!
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I have been looking just for a P200 engine for around that price. Getting a complete scooter would be great.
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Johnny Two Tone
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I'd do it, the fix won't be that hard so long as the engine isn't locked up.
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Use Greasy's pricing tip:

If a P200 is worth x dollars

If it doesn't run it's worth half that amount

If it doesn't have a title it's worth half again

If it's being sold as a complete scooter but in pieces in a box, it's worth half again.

So the strikes against a scooter really do add up
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meteredair if you aren't going to buy it can you at least PM me the contact for who has it? I'm interested if you're not.

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I think Greasy's was Price of runner = X
Not running = half of X or X/2
All there but in pieces half again or X/4
Title plays into it, but there are ways to obtain one legally without too much trouble.
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Got off track a little, sorry. Meteredair, 1k for a P200 is a good price. These scoots are fairly simple machines, fairly easy to figure out any problems and people here to help. Grab it.
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Thanks everyone for the tips! I'm working out a time to go pick it up this week.

As I kinda expected, you all aren't too worried as long as it kicks over.


whereshaldo

Once I get it running, we should get together for a ride.
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we expect pictures and a thread to follow your progress!
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meteredair

I'll come drink and watch while you scrape your knuckles.
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Like others said, post the pics! And a vin...
1k for a p200 is a good price, but also depends where you're at..
Just for information: I paid double of that, just for the engine (but it was completely rebuild off course).
These engines are getting rare these days by the way.
If the engine is not locked, I would certainly go for it!
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Well, it was definitely worth it. Titled and trucked home for less than $1250.

It's a '79, by the way.

Cleaned it up, reset the carb via this tutorial:

http://www.vespamaintenance.com/fuel/carbtune/

and it started right up!

Front brake is non-existent.

Bogging some, but Ok to drive around the neighborhood. Seems fun! Can't wait to get a new battery and carb kit.

Suggestions on which kit to buy and the best place to learn about rebuilding it?
Thanks, u-haul.
Thanks, u-haul.
Pretty clean
Pretty clean
Removed all the extra chrome
Removed all the extra chrome
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Congratulations on getting the P! Non-existant front brakes can be quite common on a P. The are a few things that cost little to nothing that might make them work better. Second is that it might need a new front brake cable, but first i would remove the brake hub and lube the brake shoe and linkage pivots. Then skuff up the brake drum with some sandpaper. Something around an 80 grit would work well. I would also brake the glaze on the brake shoes themselves (if there is still a lining on them) with the 80 grit as well (don't breath the dust). Then slap it all back together. If that doesn't work, then replace the brake shoes. If that doesn't work, convert to a disc brake and be done with weak brakes forever.

I'd also remove that chrome exhaust pipe extension. Not because of looks, but because it will probably mess with your jetting.
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That's a great deal with simple fix. Good condition.

YouTube @thatscooterthing and @mista freakmoped are the best video resources for these. That scooter thing has multiple videos going through engine rebuilds over and over again. Fmp has great single topic videos that you will find useful.
⚠️ Last edited by swiss1939 on UTC; edited 1 time
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Where are you in Seattle, I wanna come see it!
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congrats. good score!

just as an aside on the scooter maths. there can be some variables.

like if a bike is cheap-- such as this one, you can't really employ the full equation on it. stuff that's complete and hovering in the 1K range is more wheeler dealer territory. like maybe knock off 30-40% if it doesn't run

hard rules:
-anything in boxes or partially disassembled is worth half. end of.
-no compression, same as above
-no tags, tags out, no plate, no title knock off 3-500 all day, every day
-never look at something at night
-always be willing to walk away

because i'm in CA the tags/title thing is a rough go. bikes with tags out just a year could easily be several hundred dollars add that to the transfer/title fee and you could be looking at 6~7 on the back end of that "smokin" deal.

basically any bike that's about a G is probably worth close to that give or take a few hundy so long as it's complete and not blowed apart or wrecked.

-g
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