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@nicod avatar
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2022 Vespa GTS 300 Supertech
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@nicod avatar
2022 Vespa GTS 300 Supertech
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
UTC quote
Hi everyone

I really wish I was introducing myself under much more cheerful circumstances.

I've been lurking for a couple of months reading up on Vespa lore and all of the great advice that is regularly shared by forum members ahead of finally purchasing my own (first) Vespa - a new GTS SuperTech 300 a month or so ago.

I finally passed the riding test here in Australia last weekend. And I've had a brilliant first week on the scoot, commuting to the office, which is only about 6km away.

One of the things I've been conscious of - having read much of the commentary here - is that my particular scoot can be thirsty on the oil. So today, I thought I would do the responsible thing and check the oil. So, I unscrewed the dipstick and saw that it looked a little low, gave it a wipe and thought I would replace it and get another reading just to make sure.

Unfortunately, after patiently trying for a good 10 minutes, I just couldn't get the dipstick seated and able to be screwed in. After removing it and replacing it and trying this numerous times, I pulled it out once again and to my shock, the bottom 2/3 of the dipstick had snapped off. Devastated would be an understatement.

Weirdly, When I again attempted to screw the dipstick back in the next time it seated it self and started screwing in but after a couple of turns it got very tight and wouldn't screw any further than about a third of the way in.

I'm now at a loss as to what to do. Fortunately my dealer and service centre is only about 6km away. But I'm unsure how I will be able to get it to them.

So, a few questions:

1) Would it be possible to ride my scoot there? Or does having a random piece of dipstick floating somewhere around in my oil pan make this a no go?

2) One of the things I am very keen to do is get the replacement oil pan with the spyglass installed (as has been discussed in numerous threads here), probably at my first service at 1,000km, but I was wondering if asking my dealer/service centre to do this for me will have any impact on the Australian warranty on my new scoot?

3) Has anyone ever heard of this or had something similar happen to them? Or am I just extraordinarily unlucky?

Cheers, Nicholas
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GTS 300ie Touring 2013 - Signora D'argento
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@touring300 avatar
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UTC quote
Hi Nicholas and congratulations on your first post. Sorry to hear it's under unfortunate circumstances.

The oil dipstick seems to be a design fault for the new HPE engine, especially after they switched the position of it from the older style engine. You are not alone, many new owners have done the same, so don't feel bad about it.

The oil filter screen should prevent the offending broken tip from doing any internal damage, so I would ride it to your dealer and get them to do the oil pan modification.

I doubt that adding a revised oil pan will invalidate your warranty, especially as it will be done by a authorised dealer. The very fact that your flimsy OEM dipstick broke on insertion into the oil filler is proof of the fallibility of the Piaggio design.

Good luck with the replacement and lets have a picture of your new scooter when you get over your trauma.
⚠️ Last edited by Touring300 on UTC; edited 3 times
OP
@nicod avatar
UTC

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2022 Vespa GTS 300 Supertech
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@nicod avatar
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UTC quote
OK. Did a quick forum search and I'm not the first person this has happened to - which is somewhat reassuring, though no less frustrating.

Previous threads Dipstick cracked while checking oil on an HPE is bike toast? and Engine Oil Dipstick broke

The big question from my perspective is whether it might be safe to ride my scoot the b6kms down the road to the service centre to get it fished out and the dipstick replaced?
@steelbytes avatar
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2019 GTS300 Supertech E3 60,000km
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@steelbytes avatar
2019 GTS300 Supertech E3 60,000km
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UTC quote
nicod wrote:
3) Has anyone ever heard of this or had something similar happen to them? Or am I just extraordinarily unlucky?
I've heard of people breaking the stick

It did take me a while to get used to the dipstick on my Supertech.

Re the sight glass: although it will reduce how often you have to use the dipstick, you're still going to have to master the dipstick for when the sight glass informs your that you need to top it up
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@nicod avatar
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UTC quote
Cheers.

Feeling slightly less awful now. And reassured that I can ride down to the service centre.

Thanks for your reply.
Touring300 wrote:
Hi Nicholas and congratulations on your first post. Sorry to hear it's under unfortunate circumstances.

The oil dipstick seems to be a design fault for the new HPE engine, especially after they switched the position of it from the older style engine. You are not alone, many new owners have done the same, so don't feel bad about it.

The oil filter screen should prevent the offending broken tip from doing any internal damage, so I would ride it to your dealer and get them to do the oil pan modification.

I doubt that adding a revised oil pan will invalidate your warranty, especially as it will be done by a authorised dealer. The very fact that your flimsy OEM dipstick broke on insertion into the oil filler is proof of the fallibility of the Piaggio design.

Good luck with the replacement and lets have a picture of your new scooter when you get over your trauma.
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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steelbytes wrote:
Re the sight glass: although it will reduce how often you have to use the dipstick, you're still going to have to master the dipstick for when the sight glass informs your that you need to top it up
Why? The sight-glass should be perfect for the job of ensuring the level is OK.
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jimc wrote:
Why? The sight-glass should be perfect for the job of ensuring the level is OK.
Don't you still fill the oil through the tube the dipstick screws into?

I've been thinking more and more of a new scooter, and the SuperTech appeals in many ways. But some of the things I hear about it...
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2021 GTS 300 HPE +2013 GTS 300ie + 294 Polini
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It is a PITA.

Just be gentle and patient.
Don't try to force the dipstick into the channel.

I find that I have to move the top of the dipstick slightly towards the wheel to extract and replace smoothly.
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Touring300 wrote:
The oil filter screen should prevent the offending broken tip from doing any internal damage, so I would ride it to your dealer and get them to do the oil pan modification.

I doubt that adding a revised oil pan will invalidate your warranty, especially as it will be done by a authorised dealer. The very fact that your flimsy OEM dipstick broke on insertion into the oil filler is proof of the fallibility of the Piaggio design.

Good luck with the replacement and lets have a picture of your new scooter when you get over your trauma.
My dealer will only install OEM parts and accessories that are purchased from them so might be worth asking your dealer first if they'd be willing to install the sight glass oil pan. Some could argue that it's not technically an OEM part since it's been modified by a third party and you can't buy it directly from Piaggio.
@steelbytes avatar
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Why? The sight-glass should be perfect for the job of ensuring the level is OK.
ya don't stick oil in through the sight glass, it still goes in through the dipstick hole. or are you thinking that when nicod sees a low level in the sight glass that they'd take it to their dealer to top it up? and of course an hpe is thirsty so ...
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steelbytes wrote:
ya don't stick oil in through the sight glass, it still goes in through the dipstick hole. or are you thinking that when nicod sees a low level in the sight glass that they'd take it to their dealer to top it up? and of course an hpe is thirsty so ...
Ah, I see what you mean. Yes, you'd still have to top up via the dipstick hole, but you wouldn't be screwing it in and out all the time - just unscrew, tip some oil in and check with the glass, screw up again. All done while cold of course, so no hot exhaust problems, as that's when you check the level...
@motovista avatar
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the issue seems to be inserting the dipstick without burning your hand and arm. Lot of bikes have that issue, but most of them are provided by manufacturers who have been making dipsticks longer than two weeks and know how to make one that doesn't break. I would suggest checking it cold next time you have the oil changed and know the level is correct. That way, you can check the level when it's cold and add oil accordingly.
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Motovista wrote:
the issue seems to be inserting the dipstick without burning your hand and arm. Lot of bikes have that issue, but most of them are provided by manufacturers who have been making dipsticks longer than two weeks and know how to make one that doesn't break. I would suggest checking it cold next time you have the oil changed and know the level is correct. That way, you can check the level when it's cold and add oil accordingly.
Agreed, and surely one should *always* check the oil level when the engine is cold!
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Yes, that dipstick is an awkward sod of a thing to get aligned and seated. Mine became tighter in the thread the further I screwed it in. At first I thought this was a deliberate design to ensure its security. Yesterday I had a close look at the threads and found two threads down to be 'clogged' by the plastic material that it's made of. Having a set of knife edge files I recut and profiled the two 'stuffed-up' threads. It felt like reprofiling a stick of liquorice ...of which I am rather partial to Fits much better now. Although, I've ordered a new metal one.
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Hooked
PX 150 and GTS 300 HPE Super Tech
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UTC quote
I installed the sight glass oil pan. It is an OEM Piaggio part that has had a sight glass added so hopefully your dealer won't refuse to install one if you do not wish to do it yourself. If you are gentle when inserting your dipstick it will eventually drop in correctly--don't force it at all. I will probably snip my dipstick off and just keep it as a plug since I have the sight glass, which is 100% perfectly accurate if the scooter is on level ground and I wait a few minutes for oil to drain into the pan. Halfway up the glass is perfectly at the full mark on the stick.
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so if you only check your oil level when the engine is cold what do you do when your in the middle of a 3-400 miles ride? sit there and wait for 5-6 hrs till it cools down?

No


do your regular cold check go for a 20 min ride and check your oil level hot. that way you KNOW what you oil level is and should be at any given time whether your riding or its just sitting in the garage.

if you have a hard time trying to remember the marks on the levels when hot or cold make a cheat sheet and put in in your pet carrier or glove box or tape it next to you tire pressure data. write it with a sharpie under the seat.
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That's silly. Just check the level every morning when it's cold if you have a sight glass. No reason to check it again, even after 350-400 miles in a day if it was OK at the start. If it had fallen below low in that time, you'd be looking for a tow anyway. On my GTS with a dipstick, I just monitor the cold oil level every couple of weeks or so, certainly not in the middle of a long ride! On Cannonball, sure, every morning, but that's it.

Anyway, after hot riding, the oil level gets back to 'normal' after about 10 minutes of being stopped - I don't know where you get 5-6 hours from.
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I've ordered the sight glass oil plan (delivery expected in about 3 weeks to Australia) and the service manager at my dealer is happy to install it.

I like the idea of snipping off the rest of the dipstick and just keeping it as a plug - I'd then feel much more comfortable topping up my own oil if required based on a reading through the sight glass, if I only had to unscrew and screw-in the plug and not have to navigate getting the dipstick in the right spot.
apex wrote:
I installed the sight glass oil pan. It is an OEM Piaggio part that has had a sight glass added so hopefully your dealer won't refuse to install one if you do not wish to do it yourself. If you are gentle when inserting your dipstick it will eventually drop in correctly--don't force it at all. I will probably snip my dipstick off and just keep it as a plug since I have the sight glass, which is 100% perfectly accurate if the scooter is on level ground and I wait a few minutes for oil to drain into the pan. Halfway up the glass is perfectly at the full mark on the stick.
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