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2009 Vespa LX50
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Hi all,

Recently picked up a 2009 Vespa LX 50. Clean little bike, but it is slower than a pregnant turtle. It sllllooooowwwwllyy climbs up to 25 mph. Engine seems to run clean, it just feels really slow, so I'm thinking the throttle cable maybe incorrectly adjusted, but I'm new to scooters. I do have 3 motocross bikes, but I'm new to the scooters and any where to start trouble shooting from this group would be appreciated.
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Michiganmafia wrote:
Hi all,

Recently picked up a 2009 Vespa LX 50. Clean little bike, but it is slower than a pregnant turtle. It sllllooooowwwwllyy climbs up to 25 mph. Engine seems to run clean, it just feels really slow, so I'm thinking the throttle cable maybe incorrectly adjusted, but I'm new to scooters. I do have 3 motocross bikes, but I'm new to the scooters and any where to start trouble shooting from this group would be appreciated.
There were two stroke versions, and four stroke (LX4 50). Not familiar with exact dates, or regions.

Which is yours?
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Lx50s are slow, no getting around it. You could throw a lot of money at it and then it will be semi-slow. There are good for flat ground, inter-city, 25 to 30 mph roads. Any hills will kill it. The ET2 models were 2 stroke, quicker and easy to mod for quicker acceleration. My 2 cents: if you want a faster Vespa, move up to a 150 model, rather than doing any mods to your LX50.
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I have a 2009 Sportcity 50. I believe the driveline is almost identical.

The previous owner sold it for exactly that reason. I've done two mods and it cruises at 40 with some to spare and holds speed up hills.

One, check the rollers. When I pulled it apart there were 9g - that right, 9g - rollers. No wonder that 240lb guys couldn't get it to go over 25. I can't find the order right now, but I believe I settled on 6.25g sliders. 5.75 were too light. It was quicker off the line, but it revved out to quickly.

The other thing is, the ignition is rev limited. there are instructions in places here on the forum about how to CORRECTLY cut the rev limiter circuit with a hack saw. I can't recommend it, but I can say it works. I found one online already cut and replaced mine with it and it's worlds different.

Also, while you are in the CVT, look for a restrictor washer that keeps the front pulley from closing. That can be removed.

I don't know if the exhaust was restricted on these. Anyone else?

Oh, and check this thread out.

LINK
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@michiganmafia avatar
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OscarSass wrote:
There were two stroke versions, and four stroke (LX4 50). Not familiar with exact dates, or regions.

Which is yours?
It says 50/50 4v on the VIN for trim, it's an LXS from vindecoderz, seems like a 4 stroke to me. VIN is ZAPC386B395009270 build date is 06/08.

Kind of a slow revving little engine. Takes me about 20 seconds to get to 20mph and it just hangs there, whirring along wide open. I am a 200lb guy. I recently have filled the gas tank with 91 octane ethanol free fuel and put in some mechanic in a bottle in case the previous owner put ethanol fuel in it. Trying to start with good, fresh gas and a clean carb.

Then I may look at the rollers, as they seem to be a likely suspect as well, seems like a common problem. Even in average shape, 35-40 mph should be no problem, 20-25 in a super slow, draggy response seems like something is wrong.
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Tierney wrote:
Lx50s are slow, no getting around it. You could throw a lot of money at it and then it will be semi-slow. There are good for flat ground, inter-city, 25 to 30 mph roads. Any hills will kill it. The ET2 models were 2 stroke, quicker and easy to mod for quicker acceleration. My 2 cents: if you want a faster Vespa, move up to a 150 model, rather than doing any mods to your LX50.
We don't have any hills, I was thinking 35-40 mph on the flats was what a scooter like this should run.
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seamus26 wrote:
I have a 2009 Sportcity 50. I believe the driveline is almost identical.

The previous owner sold it for exactly that reason. I've done two mods and it cruises at 40 with some to spare and holds speed up hills.

One, check the rollers. When I pulled it apart there were 9g - that right, 9g - rollers. No wonder that 240lb guys couldn't get it to go over 25. I can't find the order right now, but I believe I settled on 6.25g sliders. 5.75 were too light. It was quicker off the line, but it revved out to quickly.

The other thing is, the ignition is rev limited. there are instructions in places here on the forum about how to CORRECTLY cut the rev limiter circuit with a hack saw. I can't recommend it, but I can say it works. I found one online already cut and replaced mine with it and it's worlds different.

Also, while you are in the CVT, look for a restrictor washer that keeps the front pulley from closing. That can be removed.

I don't know if the exhaust was restricted on these. Anyone else?

Oh, and check this thread out.

LINK
I wish I could tell if the exhaust was restricted.
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I have a 2013 LX50 and so far it's top speed is 40mph but that was down a hill. I haven't tried to really max it out yet but was informed by the previous owners that they could do 43mph tops. I am 135lbs for reference.

No idea about the mechanics side of it but just thought I'd share in case it is helpful.
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So seems like yours is a four stroke (four valve) model (2008-13 if I'm correct). Is it a Vespa LX S?

There could well be restrictions on the variator (a ring/spacer of sorts, which when removed allows a higher to speed) and the CDI (a rev limiter - there are tales of cutting something to derestrict it). Derestricting both might help a bit (look into the vehicle's history to see if it's been done already, or if you're handy you can check yourself).

There are 79cc cylinder kits available for that model too, although you'll need to research what sort of increase in performance you're likely to get, and whether you need a few extras to get the most out of it.
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Michiganmafia wrote:
seems like a 4 stroke to me. VIN is ZAPC386B395009270
using http://recall.piaggiogroup.com/ and selecting Italian gives VESPA LX 50 4T GRIGIO 711/B so yeah 4 stroke. (if you select english on that site it doesn't mention the 4 stroke, just gives VESPA LX 50 CORTINA GRAY MY)
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BeachDrive wrote:
I have a 2013 LX50 and so far it's top speed is 40mph but that was down a hill. I haven't tried to really max it out yet but was informed by the previous owners that they could do 43mph tops. I am 135lbs for reference.

No idea about the mechanics side of it but just thought I'd share in case it is helpful.
Thank you! That gives me a reference point to start with.
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Do not cut into your cdi with a hacksaw or start removing parts from the Variator. Neither of those suggestions apply to your scooter.
Depending on how involved you want to get, 5 gram rollers do very well in the Lx50 4V. A free flowing open air filter, like the Malossi 1417227, is a good way to get more air without running it so lean you eat a hole in the top of the piston. A pod air filter that sticks on the end of your carburetor will make the bike run even more poorly than it does now. You might want to change to a 75-78 main jet, and a 36 pilot jet. Those are very popular with that particular model.
After that, it's big bore kit, cam, variator and CDI to get the most you can out of those little mice on a treadmill.
If you think your scooter is a dog, you should ride the 2 Valve version it replaced. Compared to the snails pace of the two valve engine, yours feels like someone let that snail hit the crack pipe. It's like a racing snail.
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Motovista wrote:
Do not cut into your cdi with a hacksaw or start removing parts from the Variator. Neither of those suggestions apply to your scooter.
Depending on how involved you want to get, 5 gram rollers do very well in the Lx50 4V. A free flowing open air filter, like the Malossi 1417227, is a good way to get more air without running it so lean you eat a hole in the top of the piston. A pod air filter that sticks on the end of your carburetor will make the bike run even more poorly than it does now. You might want to change to a 75-78 main jet, and a 36 pilot jet. Those are very popular with that particular model.
After that, it's big bore kit, cam, variator and CDI to get the most you can out of those little mice on a treadmill.
If you think your scooter is a dog, you should ride the 2 Valve version it replaced. Compared to the snails pace of the two valve engine, yours feels like someone let that snail hit the crack pipe. It's like a racing snail.
Thank you for correcting me on that.
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seamus26 wrote:
Thank you for correcting me on that.
When we had a shop, one of the scooters we sold had a green wire on the CDI that you were supposed to cut to derestrict it. Sometimes, people would decide to derestrict it even more, and just start cutting green wires until the bike stopped running.
These are people who think there's some secret derestriction technique that shops know that will make a stock 50cc two stroke go 70mph.
If the bike goes 20 mph in a state like Indiana, or 30 mph anywhere else, it's probably restricted. If it goes 32 mph, it's not restricted, it's just slow. Bikes are restricted to comply with the speed requirements in States, and Countries, that limit the power and speed of a 50cc scooter. I can't tell you how many Kymco CDI's I've seen destroyed by extra enthusiastic derestriction. That's one you cut into.
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Motovista wrote:
When we had a shop, one of the scooters we sold had a green wire on the CDI that you were supposed to cut to derestrict it. Sometimes, people would decide to derestrict it even more, and just start cutting green wires until the bike stopped running.
These are people who think there's some secret derestriction technique that shops know that will make a stock 50cc two stroke go 70mph.
If the bike goes 20 mph in a state like Indiana, or 30 mph anywhere else, it's probably restricted. If it goes 32 mph, it's not restricted, it's just slow. Bikes are restricted to comply with the speed requirements in States, and Countries, that limit the power and speed of a 50cc scooter. I can't tell you how many Kymco CDI's I've seen destroyed by extra enthusiastic derestriction. That's one you cut into.
That's part of the reason I was hesitant to do so myself. The thread that I quoted from - here on MV - is where I got the idea.

Rather than take a hacksaw to my own working ignition I found a unit for cheap online that from the pictures told me was already cut.

In my case it was night and day difference. I have been running the cut ignition ever since. The limited revs on my Aprilia didn't even let it get into the power band unless I put super light weights in the CVT.

With the 6.25g (IIRC) sliders and the rev limit removed I can hold 35 uphill and with a slight downgrade it pegs the 50mph speedometer. GPS shows it a little less, but it's in excess of 45mph. I don't do that often.

It was just enough to take the bike from sub 30 to cruising easily at 40 and letting me keep up (almost) with in town traffic.

Restricted is just that; the bike is CAPABLE of more, but we limit it for reasons.

That little Aprilia just hums. It's been a great little bike. But yes, very good advice. It's not for everybody or every bike.
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