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UTC quote
VintageScooterDude wrote:
I saw that video several months back. I was quite shocked when I saw it. I have had over 50 bikes total (in 46 years) 8 of them being scooters. I have ridden around one million miles. I have NEVER experienced anything like that. I certainly would not consider that normal. I would find it completely unacceptable. None of my bikes have ever done that.

I first heard about the Vespa "wobble" on another forum a few years ago. I have tried my best to duplicate it, without success. I have a GT, not a GTS. I do have a top box on it, an actual Vespa top box, and it is probably overloaded. I have what appear to be the original handlebar weights. I do balance my tires using the Marc Parnes balancer. I have tried lowering the air pressure in my tires, removing the handlebar weights, emptying the top box, lowering the preload on the shocks to the first notch (I usually keep it set at max preload) and never got even the slightest wobble. I even took it up to top speed, took my hands off the bars, and let it slow down to almost nothing. I tried it with 14 year old tires and brand new tires. Still no wobble.

The video clearly shows that it can happen, and I can think of a few things that could cause it. Worn front suspension, loose steering head bearings, worn wheel bearings, out of balance tires, tires with ply separation, and tires with seriously low inflation pressure. But none of those should present with a nearly new low mileage scooter, unless it had been crashed, and there should be signs of that.

So this this wobble thing is still a mystery to me. I have only ridden one "modern" Vespa, so I don't have a lot of experience with them. I would definitely have to test ride any Vespa before buying it, and would not buy it if it did that.
My 2006 GTS, the one in the video, wobbled since it was brand new. Again, unless I take my hands off the bars on deceleration it is steady as a rock. So not a concern for me. Over the years I've done many of the things others have tried. I have a Marc Parnes balancer. Didn't help on a wide range of tires.

I sat here wondering if I was buying a new one on a test ride if I would not buy it. Interesting question. I'm not sure.

On the other hand, I recently bought a new Royal Enfield Himalayan. I had read of stalling issues on them. I definitely would not have bought the one I test rode if it was a staller. But then stalling is something that would rear it's head all the time. Wobble would almost never show its face in use on a Vespa.

As someone said, its all weird. I wonder if any Piaggio official has ever responded to the question, "Why do they wobble?"
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UTC quote
VintageScooterDude wrote:
I certainly would not consider that normal. I would find it completely unacceptable.
It IS normal. If you consider it unacceptable, then don't ride a GTS. Every single GTS ever made will wobble under the right conditions. Every. Single. One.

That's as close to the definition of normal as you're going to get.
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UTC quote
VESPAsfw3 wrote:
As someone said, its all weird. I wonder if any Piaggio official has ever responded to the question, "Why do they wobble?"
I was working at the dealer when these debuted stateside.

I believe the official response was: we don't talk about that.
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
It IS normal. If you consider it unacceptable, then don't ride a GTS. Every single GTS ever made will wobble under the right conditions. Every. Single. One.

That's as close to the definition of normal as you're going to get.
The wobble "trait" on the GTS is entirely acceptable to me. Riding with my hands off the bars while decelerating isn't high on my list of performance needs.

I have had conversations with other riders who have never been on a GTS and they seem to confuse wobble with tank slap. And think it is always there even with your hands on the bars. For whatever reason, it is an unsettling trait for some.

And a few riders have contacted me to tell me their brand new 2022 GTS scooters wobble.

Perhaps its time for another award for self identified wobblers...
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greasy125 wrote:
I was working at the dealer when these debuted stateside.

I believe the official response was: we don't talk about that.
That's the same response Ford had with the Pinto.
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I was at the dealer for the launch of the GT as well. And while not *as* prone to wobble there were some real grasping at straws attempts (putting wheel weights in mirrors) when we got a few doozies.

I think the "official stance" was "keep your hands on the bars and it doesn't do it"

But they knew it. We (techs) knew it. And they knew that we knew that they knew.
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Sometimes.. just sometimes, I take my hands off the bars on deceleration just to feel the wobble. It's like my GTS is saying 'no, no, no.. why are we slowing down..?'

Like a skittish colt.
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My 2022 gts wobble also between 40 and 35 mph with only 480 miles, that doesn't bother me.
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The GTS will wobble because of its wheel size, front wheel geometry and chaos theory. A larger wheel and different geometry can be more stable but sooner of later a wobble can develop because of the butterfly effect. Putting all this into plain language, once you remove your hands from the handle bars while careening down the highway, any perturbation in the road will cause the front wheel to alter its direction. Due to gyroscopic forces the wheel will resist the change and counter steer. The smaller the wheel the greater the deflection of counter steer which causes the gyroscopic forces to counter steer in the opposite direction with even greater deflection. This results in the front wheel unstably oscillating (wobbling), getting worse over distance, so don't do it. Keeping your hands on the handle bars acts to dampen any instability keeping you careening along enjoying the ride. Keep in mind that a motorcycle can be designed to be very stable (wheel size & geometry) while not holding the handle bards, but you give up the ability to corner quickly because the more stable design has a greater resistance to changes in direction.
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The GTV models look like the head light is about the same distance from the steering axis so I would not expect a radical difference in wobble VS the GTS.

Is there any difference in wobble sensitivity between GTV and GTS?
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UTC quote
BarnacleBill wrote:
The GTV models look like the head light is about the same distance from the steering axis so I would not expect a radical difference in wobble VS the GTS.

Is there any difference in wobble sensitivity between GTV and GTS?
Can't say if there is any difference but do know wife's 2013 GTV will at times do the head shake if you let go of the grips. It does have a rear leather case and the heavy bar end weights. Don't recall ever having the shakes with both hands on grips even with a light touch on the grips.
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The new fancy front suspension linkage has resolved this. Yes, no?
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UTC quote
znomit wrote:
The new fancy front suspension linkage has resolved this. Yes, no?
Of course it has, until you let go of the handle bar.
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UTC quote
The one time I had a 2009 GTS300 wobble it was whats also called a tank slapper event and nearly crashed me in a very mild sweeping curve!
My various solutions were to re-balance tires by going from beads to stick-on weights, change handlebar weights to the heaviest ones sold from SIP and having found no other front end issues the issue was resolved. I tend not to ride with one hand unless I need to itch my chin, scratch other "stuff", so on.

IMO, the heaviest bar weights are a must have thing for Vespas to smooth them out, no matter any other factors.
FWIW- Beads worked fine for me for many miles on MC's but never again will I use them on my Vespa.
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Mayby the folks in Pontedera are just secret Norman Cook, a.k.a. Fatboy Slim fans...

OP
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UTC quote
Kantuckid wrote:
The one time I had a 2009 GTS300 wobble it was whats also called a tank slapper event and nearly crashed me in a very mild sweeping curve!
My various solutions were to re-balance tires by going from beads to stick-on weights, change handlebar weights to the heaviest ones sold from SIP and having found no other front end issues the issue was resolved. I tend not to ride with one hand unless I need to itch my chin, scratch other "stuff", so on.

IMO, the heaviest bar weights are a must have thing for Vespas to smooth them out, no matter any other factors.
FWIW- Beads worked fine for me for many miles on MC's but never again will I use them on my Vespa.
Tank slap is not the same as the Vespa deceleraton wobble. Apples and oranges. The Vespa shouldn't experience tank slap unless something is wrong.

Unless you were going through that curve, hands off the bars, off the throttle, slowing down...
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UTC quote
Mopmop wrote:
Of course it has, until you let go of the handle bar.
Yep. So it seems.
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VESPAsfw3 wrote:
Tank slap is not the same as the Vespa deceleraton wobble. Apples and oranges. The Vespa shouldn't experience tank slap unless something is wrong.

Unless you were going through that curve, hands off the bars, off the throttle, slowing down...
Lets call it a violent wobble? Hands were both on bars, what was likely very mild deceleration in a graded, smooth concrete, I-road off ramp that I've used many times. I got it stopped by avoiding doing anything abruptly then pulling over on shoulder to look things over. I then rode to a nearby gas station as I continued off the I-road. I re-checked air and saw nothing amiss. I did my appointment riding very guardedly and rode home the 75 mile back trip never noticing anything again.
This event was previously much discussed here several years back before I bought my 2018 Vespa-probably earlier that same summer. I sold that scooter to a man I know who has had zero issues since then. It was sold with the changes I made-biggest bar weights and tires balanced, etc.
I'm a pro wrencher and lifelong rider since 1963. It was in fact a scarry event even for me as a long time rider.
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UTC quote
Kantuckid wrote:
Lets call it a violent wobble? Hands were both on bars, what was likely very mild deceleration in a graded, smooth concrete, I-road off ramp that I've used many times.
That's definitely not the wobble we are talking about.
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UTC quote
Fact is the front end did wobble, call it what you like-which is what?
I'll plead guilty to miss-naming what happened.
Not seeking an argument here, just taking part in the discussion.
My 2018 GTS is smooth as glass, lucky me.
Another member named it tank slap when I first posted on it.
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UTC quote
Is it just me or is the gist of this video a mix of "So what?" and "Deal with it"?
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UTC quote
I've been driving a 1972 Pinto wagon for almost 30 years. Never had any serious problems. I'm on my third engine, but this thing has insane mileage on it. The other engines lasted a LONG time. No wobble.

I have never had any other bike with a wobble problem, out of more than 50. Three of the scooters had 10" wheels, including my Genuine Stella, and they didn't/don't wobble. The Stella has the same type of front suspension as the GT/GTS. I don't even balance the tires on it because of it low top speed and because I've never had a problem not doing it. Is the rake/trail any different between the GT/GTS? I thought they were pretty similar, other than the GTS being a little heavier. But a difference in rider weigh, carrying a passenger, or cargo would also change the weight. I also have a fold down front rack on mine, and have carried as much as 20 pounds on it. Right over the front wheel. Still no wobble. Do any other Vespa models have this problem?

While I don't see this issue as being dangerous for an experienced rider (at least what I saw in the video) if it applies to all scooters of this model, it definitely indicates a design problem. And could whatever is causing it also cause other problems? Could it do this in a sharp curve, with your hands on the bars?

To the OP, you did call the scooter in the video a GTS, not a GT. I thought the engine was the main difference between the GT and GTS. I have never ridden a GTS. But my 2006 GT is completely smooth with my hands off the bars. Others have claimed that changing the tires either caused it or stopped it, someone claimed that replacing the steering head bearings stopped it.


There is a long running myth that Harley Davidsons with rubber mounted engines and twin rear shocks can have a "death wobble" I have had 2 Harley Davidsons with rubber mounted engines and twin rear shocks and currently have one. Never had any kind of wobble issues with them either.

Like I said, your video makes it obvious that it can happen, There are also many besides myself that claim it has never happened to them. That makes me believe that the cause is something pretty subtle. Some tiny difference between the scooters that wobble and those that don't.
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personality wrote:
Is it just me or is the gist of this video a mix of "So what?" and "Deal with it"?
Yeah, pretty much that's how I felt about the "wobble." I made the video because someone asked me about it.

It seems people fall into three camps with the wobble. One, like me, is that's weird, lets go for a ride. Second, feeling there is something wrong that has to be fixed.

And third, feeling they've been duped by Piaggio into spending a ton of money on a fundamentally defective product.

All three opinions are fine with me. I happen to just not care at all about it other than the consternation in others that I unwittingly introduced the problem to them when they tried the hands off deceleration only to find it on what they thought was a perfect scooter. I guess it might be like finding out your significant other has Herpes...
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VintageScooterDude wrote:
There is a long running myth that Harley Davidsons with rubber mounted engines and twin rear shocks can have a "death wobble" I have had 2 Harley Davidsons with rubber mounted engines and twin rear shocks and currently have one. Never had any kind of wobble issues with them either.

Like I said, your video makes it obvious that it can happen, There are also many besides myself that claim it has never happened to them. That makes me believe that the cause is something pretty subtle. Some tiny difference between the scooters that wobble and those that don't.
Been riding a few years, like over 49.

I wouldn't call the Harley wobble a myth. It happened to me a few times on my 1999 FLTRI under certain circumstances, not all the time or a lot. I had that bike 10 years, traded it on a BMW K1200R. I only remember it occuring on relatively high speed sweepers. I think it was a specific combination of factors including speed, road surface/suspension movement, bike lean, etc. Really just oscillation that if not stopped could lead to a bad wobble and "tank slapper" or "death wobble" situation. I have heard mention by some that it is more likely to occur when someone either only has one hand on the handlebar or no hands. Supposedly when HD made the swing arm changes on the touring bikes, I think in 2009, it either stopped or became less common, but I stopped paying attention to it when I no longer road a Harley.

My 2016 GTS 300ie will wobble as mentioned here, totally different circumstances. No issue at all and goes away with both hands on the handlebar.
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UTC quote
VESPAsfw3 wrote:
only to find it on what they thought was a perfect scooter. I guess it might be like finding out your significant other has Herpes...
I've never experienced the wobble, Sprint did not have this.
Yet, based on your vid, this is pretty much how I would have felt...cheated, inteed. After which I would have tried to fix it And if failed in this, to ignore it...
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UTC quote
I've been riding on the street for 46 years, had over 50 bikes, and never seen anything like this. I do see it as a problem, one Vespa needs to fix. Has it ever caused an accident? I don't know. But if the 9 different manufacturers whose bikes I have owned and ridden can make a bike that doesn't do this, then Vespa should be as well. As an experienced rider, I would not be afraid to ride a scooter that wobbled like that, but I do see it as an issue, simply because none of the other bikes I've ridden did it. Since I saw this video, I rode three of my motorcycles and my Genuine Stella Scooter, with my hands off the bars, and none of them did it. So whether it is dangerous or not, I don't think it should happen. Vespa builds very well made scooters, some really good engineering goes into them, they have to be aware of this, and should be able to fix it. It seems specific to the Vespa GT/GTS. I've ridden a lot of Asian scooters, and none of them did it. That's all I have to say about it.
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UTC quote
Front wheel loading has a lot to do with it, as does the tendency for front tyres on Vespas to wear out asymmetrically due to the unique fork design.
Sunny (my 2013GTS) has recently shown worsening FWW tendencies
and so when the parts are in stock, she is going in for steering head bearing replacement (and clock battery replacement while it is open.)

It isn't unique to the Vespa, BTW...!

ALL BMW type 247 bikes (R75/R80/R100 etc) bikes also have a noticeable front wheel wobble somewhere between 80-100kph (50-60mph)
The effect is aggravated when loaded with panniers and/or pillion.
OP
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UTC quote
RRider wrote:
I've never experienced the wobble, Sprint did not have this.
Yet, based on your vid, this is pretty much how I would have felt...cheated, inteed. After which I would have tried to fix it And if failed in this, to ignore it...
I tend to more often feel grateful for what I have than I do cheated. Even when I am cheated. Life is too short for me to carry around resentments for things that don't really have any effect on the quality of my life.

Even so, I still am entirely capable of making mountains out of molehills. Just not about the dreaded WOBBLE!
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UTC quote
VintageScooterDude wrote:
I do see it as a problem, one Vespa needs to fix.
They haven't fixed it since the introduction of the GTS in 2006. It seems unlikely that they're going to read your message today, 13 years later, slap their foreheads, and say "Man, he's right! We should fix this! Why didn't we think of that?"

Would I prefer that the wobble wasn't there? Yes. Not because it bothers me, but because I have spent entirely too many hours responding to messages like this one from well-meaning people (who invariably seem to have owned 50 different bikes over many decades and/or have ridden three quarters of a million miles on two wheels) to say, repeatedly, that this is actually not that big of a problem, that Piaggio isn't interested in fixing it, and that yes, I'm quite sure that all of them do that.

To say that this subject is tiresome is an understatement. Please move on.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190 Friday afternoon special, [s]Primavera[/s], S50, too many pushbikes
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UTC quote
I don't get that wobble on the Primavera. I feel somewhat cheated out of the authentic modernvespa experience. Is there an aftermarket accessory I can fit? Searching for steering undampenerer is fruitless.
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