@attila avatar
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@attila avatar
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UTC quote
However I think we all still check "before" the recommended intervals all our vehicles, from the petrol lawnmower to the car.
Checking first and assiduously (not too much to make it a paranoia) is always a good thing; and with oil, other liquids and even tire pressure ... it is normal to take care of your vehicles, there is also satisfaction.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I don't have as many miles on my 2020 HPE as some here. The oil consumption seems to be less now at 4,800 miles than it was previously. My previous Vespa was a 2009 GTS 250, and it didn't use oil between changes. As far as performance, the HPE is significantly stronger on initial acceleration, mid-range roll-ons, and top speed. I did put a speed ring on this 2020, but not for the top end, but to make the speedometer more accurate - it is now within 1 mph of my GPS/phone throughout the speed range.

I have to say I like almost everything about this 2020 over my previous scoot. One thing that is a pain in the ass: accessing the oil dip stick. Really dumb design. I also miss the RPM bar and the outside air temperature readout that the 2009 had on the dash. Certainly not an "improvement" over the previous versions.

But, acceleration, handling, and comfort are so much better. Having to add oil once in a while isn't a big deal.
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UTC quote
professorcatfacemeowmers wrote:
It's bad, i think it's some bikes are worse than other ones. I have a suspicion it's either quality control problems or something is seriously wrong in the design. there's definitely something wrong with this engine, wish it weren't the case, worst bike I've owned. You can't realistically make the same kinda journeys in the same time frame as you could with the previous 300s. Might as well take the scenic route on a 150 than drive the highways and spend the same amount of time you would taking a 150, waiting for it to cool so you can add oil to it
I am getting 😫tired of your complaining about oil consumption. Move on!
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UTC quote
Max6200 wrote:
I am getting 😫tired of your complaining about oil consumption. Move on!
Fix it or flip it.
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UTC quote
Just to add another data point, my 2020 supertech has just over 2000 miles on it. I bought it with 500 miles on it so I don't know how it was broken in. I changed the oil when I got it, and have added 4 ounces in the 1500+ miles I have ridden it. I can live with that type of oil usage for the performance gains. I am not gentle with the throttle. It is not night and day, but it is noticeably quicker than my wife's 2018.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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UTC quote
Max6200 wrote:
I am getting 😫tired of your complaining about oil consumption. Move on!
+1 I think the horse carcass has been thoroughly flogged by now.
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UTC quote
I looked at some vespa pistons to see what is going on here. The 250, 300 and HPE all have one piece oil control ring with a coil expander behind it. All aftermarket kits use a 3 piece oil control ring. So that is not the issue, HOWEVER, the HPE piston is different and has energy conserving design features, namely the rings are much thinner. The oil scraper ring is 33% thinner and the oil control ring is 20% thinner compared to the GTS300 piston. But and this is a huge but, the oil return holes on the HPE piston are 44% smaller compared to the GTS300 piston. We have to also keep in mind that oil viscosity is same!!!! The other thing that I noticed is that oil return holes are moved to the middle of the ring groove and you can actually see a 'witness mark' from the expander coil that is obstructing the holes! Additionally, the expander coil is much tighter, which created a further obstruction.

So this is the problem, in my opinion, the oil control ring is too small and return holes too small to control oil consumption at high rpms. The two Vespas that had issues this summer are a 2019 Notte and 2020 racing sixties, so I'm going to rule out production date issue, and the Notte with second blown engine had a replacement engine that was two years newer production date so I'm going to assume it has same piston design (can't take it apart yet).

Since everyone likes pics here you go.

Gts300 on the left with 600km, HPE on the right with 1800km
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Gts250, Gts300 and HPE crown evolution.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

New hole location with witness marks.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Notice how much tighter the HPE expander ring is compared to the Gts300
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Gts300 piston and offset oil return holes. Notice, also, turbulence groove between compression and scraper ring that is now absent on HPE piston.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Gts300 oil return hole close up.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

New valve layout and head shape.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
⚠️ Last edited by pullmyfinger on UTC; edited 1 time
@attila avatar
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UTC quote
So if the bore and stroke are the same as the non-HPE 300 which (presumably) didn't consume excessively oil, could the pistons be interchangeable?
But then the ECU must be reprogrammed to de-power the engine otherwise the cylinder would suffer from less (presumably) lubrication ...
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UTC quote
The gts250 and 300 don't consume oil. I do a 130km daily commute on the highway and it's all full throttle bouncing off the rev limiter and there is no consumption on my Gts250 engine (30 000km). I have other customers with over 90 000km on their 250 or 300 vespas and no oil consumption.

The pistons have same compression height, meaning that you can install the gts300 piston into the HPE but there would be a loss in compression.

Maybe the HPE piston can work reliably if the oil return holes get drilled out to at least 2mm. Or maybe this engine needs thinner oil. When Honda introduced their tight tolerance, energy conserving car engines they switched to 5w20 oil.

Like I said, in my opinion the oil control ring is at fault, but I will look at the oil pump pressure valve and other stuff when I get the time. I know that crank bearings are destroyed since the oil filter is full of yellow metal, but the top end is not that bad. There is no damage to camshaft and the piston is not too bad considering that the bottom end is completely shot.
@attila avatar
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@attila avatar
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UTC quote
I said presumably, I have no direct experience but from a technical point of view the subject interests me a lot ... Without wanting to resurrect the dead horse that can stay where it is.
If the fault lies with the ring, perhaps it is because some HPE consume (presumably) more oil and others do not because presumably the supplier of the piston rings and pistons are different, with different material qualities and different tolerances. In short, when there is a high production of drive units it can happen that several external suppliers affect the overall quality of a vehicle.
Are destroyed bearings a sign of structural overload or insufficient lubrication, are they also different from pre-HPE motors? Good guess about a lubrication pump malfunction but it could also be that the flow rate is affected by the type and quality of the oil.
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UTC quote
GTS HPE owner here from early 2021, paid for it as a Christmas present last year which eventuated in early Jan purchase and handover.

Just turned 5000km yesterday. Have been checking engine oil level every 2 weeks since I bought it. Not a single time did I have to top up. Never.

So, following those comments people throw these days about HPE oil consumption I am either an odd one out, or the Piaggio fixed HPE's supposedly high oil thirst issue recently.

FWIW, mine has production date Nov 2020.
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UTC quote
pullmyfinger wrote:
The gts250 and 300 don't consume oil. I do a 130km daily commute on the highway and it's all full throttle bouncing off the rev limiter and there is no consumption on my Gts250 engine (30 000km). I have other customers with over 90 000km on their 250 or 300 vespas and no oil consumption.

The pistons have same compression height, meaning that you can install the gts300 piston into the HPE but there would be a loss in compression.

Maybe the HPE piston can work reliably if the oil return holes get drilled out to at least 2mm. Or maybe this engine needs thinner oil. When Honda introduced their tight tolerance, energy conserving car engines they switched to 5w20 oil.

Like I said, in my opinion the oil control ring is at fault, but I will look at the oil pump pressure valve and other stuff when I get the time. I know that crank bearings are destroyed since the oil filter is full of yellow metal, but the top end is not that bad. There is no damage to camshaft and the piston is not too bad considering that the bottom end is completely shot.
Very interesting. The standard GTS piston does not fit the HPE. The bigger valves in the HPE hit the top of the piston. I also very much doubt the oil control ring and the piston ring land oil drain holes are the problem. The thickness of the rings is not actually important. The marks in the lands you speak of are very common on lots of engine types where low friction pistons are employed and even on motors that don't use low friction pistons and rings. If the oil control rings were the cause we would be seeing huge failures of these engines. And we are not. As yet we don't know what the actual cause of failure is for sure relating to the engines you have in your workshop. I'd love to do the strip down to see what's going on.

You are correct though, the previous GTS bikes both 250 and 300's use very little oil even at very high mileages. A 250 and 300 that I had been servicing some while ago for some years, both with over 80,000 miles on the clock used almost no oil in-between changes. Nothing had been done to ether engine during that time except for routine servicing and replacement of variators, clutches, and usual consumables. Actual motors were untouched.

Let us all know what you find if you eventually strip the motors and thanks for posting your findings.
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UTC quote
babola wrote:
GTS HPE owner here from early 2021, paid for it as a Christmas present last year which eventuated in early Jan purchase and handover.

Just turned 5000km yesterday. Have been checking engine oil level every 2 weeks since I bought it. Not a single time did I have to top up. Never.

So, following those comments people throw these days about HPE oil consumption I am either an odd one out, or the Piaggio fixed HPE's supposedly high oil thirst issue recently.

FWIW, mine has production date Nov 2020.
This is what we are finding over here in the Uk.
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UTC quote
Stormrider, the reason I mentioned the 'witness mark' is because it shows clearly how the coil expander is right across the holes, whereas before, and traditionally, the holes are offset and left uncovered. You can't deny that oil control ring and holes are different. You can't deny that return holes are 44% smaller while expander coil bigger and right across the holes. I can't deny that since the release of the Gts250 and 300 I had only one new engine failure and it was cooling system related. And with the release of the HPE there are 3 engines in one summer? I'm not saying that this is a common problem. But that in the thousands of vespas I serviced I never had one issue with 250 and 300 engines but I'm seeing issues on HPE. There is something going on here but it's too early to jump to conclusions, though I am leaning toward the rings.

I've had complaints from customers who are experiencing hard start when engine hot, usually after highway riding. And by hard start I mean, the starter won't budge or it turns extremely slow like it's hydro locked. I'm starting to wonder if the problem there is also related to low oil and onset of crank seizure, since those bearings go before the top end. Time will tell. Due to covid people are not riding as much, in my area, so I still haven't seen many HPE's come back for their first oil change. The common factor for the 3 engines is fast highway riding. The oil is gone without a trace. It can only go one way, and that is out of the tailpipe. What is preventing it from doing that? The oil scraper ring, and oil control ring. And the reason I'm making comments about them is because that is the biggest change on the piston, compared to the previous iterations that worked without fault. I should also mention that ring gaps were in spec.
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@xantufrog avatar
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UTC quote
pullmyfinger wrote:
it shows clearly how the coil expander is right across the holes, whereas before, and traditionally, the holes are offset and left uncovered. You can't deny that oil control ring and holes are different. You can't deny that return holes are 44% smaller while expander coil bigger and right across the holes.
The thing is, can you prove this is a problem for the actual function? The way you summarize it it makes me think it's an absolutely critical and fundamental design flaw that any basic engineering training should have prevented. How could the piaggio engineers possibly have designed something where these holes are not only too small but actively blocked? Well, that, to me, is a red flag that maybe it doesn't work the way the implications are being made. They actually had to go and change the design and factory production from something else to this - a tempting counterpoint to your posts is that they moved to this design because others didn't work as well with the HPE platform.

*disclaimer*I don't know my way around 4-strokes so this is why I phrased it around my interpretations of the pictures and comparisons being provided
⚠️ Last edited by xantufrog on UTC; edited 2 times
@attila avatar
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UTC quote
Keep talking about design errors as the only plausible cause forgetting that if that were the case there would be a worldwide massacre of engines ..!
I don't think the Piaggio engineers are so inexperienced as to put a faulty engine on the market, I would add that the same engine is also installed on the MP3 300 and BV (Beverly) 300 and we should expect big problems there too.
These days I am checking the Italian forums Beverly (BV) and MP3, I am also registered there and I have friends on those forums too.
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UTC quote
I'm not qualified to tell anyone about engine design. I do know that a bigger hole = more flow, less pressure. If they were looking for more pressure and less flow, they've succeeded. Do the pistons have the same number of holes? A 2" hole has 4 times the flow of a 1" hole.
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UTC quote
xantufrog, I don't have means to prove my theory but it makes sense anecdotaly and theoretically. the reason this is a design flaw is because sometimes cost comes before function. I have seen this issue on VW and BMW car engines, and there is no way their engineers don't know what they are doing. there have been numerous warranty campaigns on vespas: faulty Chinese fuel pumps, faulty fuel gauges on HPE, gas in brake lines on HPE due to faulty surface finish on the banjo that causes gassing (so they tell us), and lets not forget the early 250s that didn't have downpipe protective rings to prevent brake line melting. these oversights happen, engineers make mistakes or are coerced into cost saving solutions. location of oil return holes is might come down to ease and cost of manufacture, maybe.

here is why I think the oil control is an issue but not widespread. under 'normal' conditions the marginally capable oil control works. but under hard acceleration - high loads - or high continuous speed the oil wedge created under the scraper ring overwhelms the oil control ring and dinky undersized oil return holes. the result is that oil is burned up. it has to go somewhere. there is no indication that compression ring is failing and leading the crankcase over pressurizing which can lead to excessive oil venting into airbox (oil is burned through recirculation). I stated many times that the common factor in these 3 engines is extended high speed operation.

breakwind, both HPE and gts300 pistons have same number of holes (8) which are 44% smaller on the HPE.

attila, the problem here is that there is a weakness in the design which manifests under certain conditions but not all conditions. how big is this 'massacre' globally? Piaggio tells us there a no replacement engines available at this time. you make your own conclusion how bit this problem is.
⚠️ Last edited by pullmyfinger on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
I'm not going to do the math but that's at least a 50% decrease in flow.
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UTC quote
Oil return hole discussion - an interesting observation.

A well known, global car manufacturer experienced first hand how small changes may make big difference.

They did have an issue with their piston ring & oil return hole design just a few years back. In the end, the holes were effectively found to be too small.

Interestingly, their holes worked just fine for quite some time. It was only after the engine mileage started to build up, that the holes, being too small, gathered residual this and that, i.e. got dirty. At this phase, instead of flowing through the holes, oil started to burn = oil consumption went up.

Now, the experiences with HPE engines described above does not seem to support excatly a similar phenomenom - the consumption going down with some engines with more miles.

For the car case above, the engine was never deemed to be 'faulty'. Yes, it burned a bit more oil than was optimal. And yes, the manufacturer improved the design after finding out that there was this issue. And yes, some piston jobs were done to old engines - not because they broke down, but because in the end the oil consumption grew quite a lot.

We had two of these cars in the extended family, that's why I'm familiar with the story. Even the manufacturer could not explain, why the phenomenom got worse in some cars than in the others. All consumed more oil than the previous (or the next) generation piston (ring) design, but some much more. In our case, one car gulped oil, the other with a similar engine just used it a bit more than we were used to. Oh, and they too had a specific oil recommendation for these engines, we used that one.

No specific moral in this story, likely to be irrelevant for the HPE case - just found the piston observation interesting in comparison with my car adventures.
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UTC quote
RRider wrote:
Are you referring to VW? We've got one of their notorious early 2000 oil guzzler 2.0s.
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UTC quote
pullmyfinger wrote:
attila, the problem here is that there is a weakness in the design which manifests under certain conditions but not all conditions. how big is this 'massacre' globally? Piaggio tells us there a no replacement engines available at this time. you make your own conclusion how bit this problem is.
To be honest, similar problems were (occasionally) also encountered on some non-HPE 250s and 300s ...
But never widely.
Evidently the dealer (Piaggio and other brands) where I occasionally help with sales (he's a friend ...) must be exceptionally lucky, a Vespa customer has never returned with the problem we are talking about.
Other problems yes but small and all solved.
The only generalized neo is the assistance from Piaggio Italia which is, how to say ... a liar.
It promises many things and keeps few, if any.
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UTC quote
I've owned numerous BMW GS bikes over time. Everyone of them except my current '18 used a quart of oil every 1000 miles up to the 12K mile mark and then oil consumption diminished. The current bike hasn't used a drop. Over time, initial oil consumption on this bikes was an accepted occurrence, with the dealer and other owners accepting as the norm. I had an 1150 which I put over 90K miles on without a failure and only consuming small amounts of oil between oil changes. I haven't ridden my HPE a lot, but have ridden it hard and haven't seen anything drastic with regard to oil consumption. I was told the BMM engines used oil due to the rings and valve guides needing to seat. What ever the reasoning, they stopped using oil
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xantufrog wrote:
Are you referring to VW? We've got one of their notorious early 2000 oil guzzler 2.0s.
Even the 1200 cc small cars of that brand had serious problems with the distribution chain a few years ago, it was underpowered and broke.
Fixed by widening the sliding compartment and resizing the chain but with noticeable increase in mechanical noise and vibrations ...
I never expected it from them.
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UTC quote
xantufrog, here is a link to the vw engine consumption problem. conclusion: small oil return holes.

https://metropolitan.fi/entry/magazine-uncovers-reason-for-audi-engines-high-oil-consumption
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"The piston rings are metal rings inserted in specially machined slots on the external diameter of the piston, whose task is to guarantee the best seal with the cylinder at the pressure exerted.

The oil scraper ring, on the other hand, is another sealing ring whose specific function is to eliminate any excess lubricating oil from the cylinder barrel, reducing hydrodynamic friction and the possibility of transferring lubricant.


Perforation or fenestration of the mantle:
consists in creating holes or fenestrations in the mantle.
In the case of the four strokes these holes are arranged on the seat of the oil scraper band, so as to be able to collect more oil."
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UTC quote
pullmyfinger wrote:
xantufrog, here is a link to the vw engine consumption problem. conclusion: small oil return holes.

https://metropolitan.fi/entry/magazine-uncovers-reason-for-audi-engines-high-oil-consumption
No. The early 2000s 2.0 problem that I and others have was a ring installation problem
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UTC quote
breaknwind wrote:
I'm not going to do the math but that's at least a 50% decrease in flow.
Way too many assumptions made with such a simple statement.
The whole concept that a hole twice as large grants 8x the flow rate is one such.

In actual dynamic flow of viscous fluids, a *LONG and straight PIPE* of 2x diameter of another length of pipe of same length, *AT THE SAME DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE* will experience ~8x the flow rate.

For a simple hole in a flat plane the flow rates are more closely related to the cross sectional area of the hole, though there are edge effects that come into play.

But all of this assumes there is some sort of constant differential pressure from one side of the hole to the other.

To my eyes the whole question of how big those holes are is a red herring, and most of the oil consumption comes into the combustion chamber through the intake valves, much like the MP3 500....
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Madison Sully wrote:
To my eyes the whole question of how big those holes are is a red herring, and most of the oil consumption comes into the combustion chamber through the intake valves, much like the MP3 500....
In this case it is the valve stem sealing rings that cause a greater increase in oil consumption.

"The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that distracts or distracts from the relevant or important problem. It can also be a logical fallacy."
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Yep, you are correct Madison. When I trained as a forensic engineer we were told to look at the obvious & then look for the cause because if something breaks it doesn't mean the broken part is the problem. Now that's obvious to many techs but finding the cause or causes isn't always straight forward.

I spent many years tracing faults at every level on new and older engines. Even aircraft turbine engines, the first engines I ever professionally teched on. Often, everything is not as it seems. Clearly pullmyfinger understands this.

It could be that the oil control ring & it's piston land recovery holes have some bearing on the problem. Personally I'm not convinced for lots of reasons. This is because the issue of engine failure appears quite small here & in Europe compared to the number of units sold. Given that so many HPE bikes over here get thrashed without issues or even high oil consumption, it does to me indicates a production problem on some engine components, rather than any fundamental design issue. Design issues occur with many car & bike brands but on a very much smaller scale these day than previous decades.

Frankly Piaggio central command will already know what is causing the issue & almost certainly it will have been corrected. In the past my investigations of faults on new engine types very often revealed production issues on small numbers of components caused often by a "rogue" robot/s not working to the specified "fits & limits" & safety protocols to pick that up have failed. This resulted in sometimes some batches of motors going faulty. Design errors are very low down the scale in reality due to modern design & testing methodology. But you always have to bear that in mind. Take nothing for granted.
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UTC quote
Madison Sully wrote:
The whole concept that a hole twice as large grants 8x the flow rate is one such.
Might want to re read my post. I said 4X and I started with a disclaimer about engines.
The surface area of a 2" circle is 4 times the surface area of a 1" circle.
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Stromrider wrote:
Yep, you are correct Madison. When I trained as a forensic engineer we were told to look at the obvious & then look for the cause because if something breaks it doesn't mean the broken part is the problem. Now that's obvious to many techs but finding the cause or causes isn't always straight forward.

I spent many years tracing faults at every level on new and older engines. Even aircraft turbine engines, the first engines I ever professionally teched on. Often, everything is not as it seems. Clearly pullmyfinger understands this.

It could be that the oil control ring & it's piston land recovery holes have some bearing on the problem. Personally I'm not convinced for lots of reasons. This is because the issue of engine failure appears quite small here & in Europe compared to the number of units sold. Given that so many HPE bikes over here get thrashed without issues or even high oil consumption, it does to me indicates a production problem on some engine components, rather than any fundamental design issue. Design issues occur with many car & bike brands but on a very much smaller scale these day than previous decades.

Frankly Piaggio central command will already know what is causing the issue & almost certainly it will have been corrected. In the past my investigations of faults on new engine types very often revealed production issues on small numbers of components caused often by a "rogue" robot/s not working to the specified "fits & limits" & safety protocols to pick that up have failed. This resulted in sometimes some batches of motors going faulty. Design errors are very low down the scale in reality due to modern design & testing methodology. But you always have to bear that in mind. Take nothing for granted.
If you read back, what you say I had hypothesized too.
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After reading the entire thread I have come up with two conclusion...

1) The old 300 engine is a better (stronger) design than the new HPE..

2) Some people now, don't mind having to top up oil every 1000 miles...


The second conclusion does concern me a bit as, how on hell Piaggio managed to make people believe that it is ok to have an engine that actually does consume large quantities of oil?!? Facepalm emoticon

They are bloody smart, you got to give them that...

My Landrover series 1 with the rope main rear seal use to do that.. ROFL emoticon
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Burt37 wrote:
They are bloody smart, you got to give them that...

Furbi... Questa è la parola giusta.

Smart, this is the right word.
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Burt37 wrote:
After reading the entire thread I have come up with two conclusion...

1) The old 300 engine is a better (stronger) design than the new HPE..

2) Some people now, don't mind having to top up oil every 1000 miles...


The second conclusion does concern me a bit as, how on hell Piaggio managed to make people believe that it is ok to have an engine that actually does consume large quantities of oil?!? Facepalm emoticon


The jury is still out on both points you make, simply not enough conclusive evidence and empirical data.

Speaking as an owner of 2008 GTS which needed to be oil-filled up quite often (less in its later years) and of now HPE which just clocked 5200km without a single oil top up required.
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babola wrote:
Speaking as an owner of 2008 GTS which needed to be oil-filled up quite often (less in its later years) and of now HPE which just clocked 5200km without a single oil top up required.
That's impossible. What is this, backwards day?
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xantufrog wrote:
That's impossible. What is this, backwards day?
If you say so, I guess.
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Burt37 wrote:
The second conclusion does concern me a bit as, how on hell Piaggio managed to make people believe that it is ok to have an engine that actually does consume large quantities of oil?!? Facepalm emoticon
personally it's not so much that I think it is ok design by piaggio, it's just that I don't find it a problem and the bike and engine is so much better than the old gts in every other way.
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since the above comments seem to suggest that it could be piston related (I'm only skimming the tech)

maybe we should design our own like this guy who made his own piston for an hpe with a polini cylinder

https://www-vespaforum-de.translate.goog/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=56659&sid=7ad0d8c7a1ad1defc018f9e60e934629&_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=nui,sc
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steelbytes wrote:
personally it's not so much that I think it is ok design by piaggio, it's just that I don't find it a problem and the bike and engine is so much better than the old gts in every other way.
Quite the opposite...
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