Yes, it's an old joke, but quite appropriate. I picked up my first Modern Vespa last night, and it's a rescue mutt.
Lost Dog. Three Legs, Blind in One Eye, Missing Ear, Tail Broken...Answers To The Name "Lucky".
I've several friends who ride GTs and GTSs that have teased me about coming to the dark side for years. I have a couple of P200Es, but they're almost old enough to drink again and lack the panache of the newer machines.
On a recent club outing, one of our members who rides a 2019 Primavera was lamenting the performance of his machine. He loves the size and the comfort it affords, but after a 130-mile loop through Elgin and Sonoita, he was put off by it's performance on the trip down AZ-83 which includes 8% grades and faster traffic. At the post-ride lunch, he vocalized his his discontent, but made it clear that even the GTS seemed big and heavy to him. Offhand, I mentioned that there had been 190cc kits for the old ET4 and LX, so maybe there was one for the Primavera. He wanted to know what that would do for him, but since I hadn't ever wrenched or ridden one, I referred him here for evidence. While the rider has yet to make a decision, I kept thinking about it and decided it would be fun to see what a kitted modern smallframe would ride like...
Three weeks later, a friend in Phoenix sent me an OfferUp link to this bike. It was apparent that it had problems, but the price was so low and the fact that it had paper made it hard to resist. I sent him the funds and a finder's fee.
Lucky is now home and I'm assessing what ails him. There is some body damage (the fender looks like it was removed with bolt cutters...), a non-trivial number of wiring sins (T-taps, hacked wire, weird homemade harnesses and a toggle stuck in the center cover) and other hamfisted attempts to get Lucky running. The carburetor is a Chinese clone with a pull-knob choke...this one is more sensible since the pet-carrier is missing; just lift the seat (latch destroyed), reach down and pull the choke. VGG-approved!
Keys are gone. The previous owner got tired of trying to make it run and wanted some quick cash to put into an RC car project. Smart move, since they weren't going to get Lucky going as he sat, since the immobilizer/CDI/flasher relay module was missing.
On the upside, Lucky has low mileage (~4800) and a set of Bitubo shocks. There is compression, though the kicker is slow to return. Engine oil and final drive oil is cleaner, but not suspiciously so. Aside from the fender and the horn cover, the rest of the bodywork is present.
I've already more than doubled my investment in Lucky in replacement parts and there's more on the way. After a cursory engine inspection, I feel the next step is to go over the wiring harness with a fine-toothed comb and test/repair the harness. Then I'll get a new immobilizer with antenna and pair it to the new lock set. If Lucky decides to run, then I'll look at bodywork and maybe some mods.
Anyway, I'll tag on some photos of Lucky as he currently sits and update as he moves towards being roadworthy again.
Less photogenic side.
WTH with that fender!?!
Yup, that may have something to do with Lucky's problems.