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@zagato avatar
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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Location: Louisville, KY
 
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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Location: Louisville, KY
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I've been a modern Vespa rider. (08 GTV 250) now for 14 years and still ride it 3 season daily but have always wanted a vintage bike with the pre-70s curves. As I'm approaching retirement, I've been thinking more about it and an opportunity came up close to the house. I'm going to see it tomorrow morning and hoping for some guidance. Mechanical work is no issues with me and I've rebuild a few Alfa Romeo engines so not concerned. Bodywork will be a bit more challenging but I'm sure I can get by.

The opportunity is a lot of 2 Vespas. The seller knows little about them as it's part of an estate sale. No title for either. The seller thinks the 90cc (per seller) small frame is late 60s and 150cc large frame is early 60s. My biggest concern is ending up with an Asian cobbler up mess.

I read quite a bit but don't have the in-person experience to be comfortable. Fortunately, quite a few photos from the seller. Anything pop up as a cause for concern?
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@chrispa avatar
UTC

Hooked
1964 V90, 1974 Rally 210, 1974 Primavera 135, 1974 Ciao, 1977 Rally 200, 1982 Bajaj Gopher RE (3 Wheeler)
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Location: Michigan City, Indiana
 
Hooked
@chrispa avatar
1964 V90, 1974 Rally 210, 1974 Primavera 135, 1974 Ciao, 1977 Rally 200, 1982 Bajaj Gopher RE (3 Wheeler)
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Posts: 171
Location: Michigan City, Indiana
UTC quote
The smallframe looks to be original, the other one looks suspect at best…Happy Retirement!
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1968 VBB150
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1968 VBB150
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UTC quote
I see yellow boooots...
@v_oodoo avatar
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'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
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'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
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UTC quote
They're right, the smallframe is gonna be legit American import likely, but it is an older one with the smaller engine door and more challenges to make as enjoyable as a newer one would be if you wanted to upgrade the original motor. The motor shown may or may not be original, get the motor serial #s on both if you still want to pursue and we can help you sort it all out.

The black one shows all the signs of the feared bodge, besides the yellow booties, I spied a sheriff's badge hub cap and chrome gas cap, both strong indicators. Both motors are currently 'who knows' and sadly none of the parts for one work in the other, same w/ the frames & hardware 99%. The smallie motor is unlikely a bodge, but likely an older 3 speed w/ some odd parts and limits unless you spend more. The other motor IS likely a bodge w/ bodge repop parts and who knows what else... There's a reason it's not in the bike being ridden around.

Unless it's all dead cheap, you'd do better elsewhere first time out. Could you settle for a nice P range that will be easier to find? Just start combing Craigslist and have patience for ONE bike worth fixing up would be my advice.

But if you DO buy all that crap for $100 or some such nonsense Facepalm emoticon , we won't abandon you, OK? The smallie motor could be a newer 4 speed replacement(it looks'fresh') so if you are serious, get the numbers from it ASAP.
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@zagato avatar
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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UTC quote
Thank you Chrispa, Dsnyder, and V oodoo.

I'll call the guy in the morning and let him know I'm not interested. FYI, he wants $2k for the lot.

I'm patient and have some time before actually retiring.
@v_oodoo avatar
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Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
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@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
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UTC quote
2K.....


ROFL emoticon
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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@zagato avatar
Vespa GTV 250ie
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Location: Louisville, KY
UTC quote
If legit, I didn't think $2k would have been bad ($1k per bike). You guys saved me big time.
@chandlerman avatar
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Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
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78 Days Since Last Explosion
 
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@chandlerman avatar
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
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78 Days Since Last Explosion
UTC quote
I saw the same thing as everyone else. Legit small frame, but almost certain bodge on the largeframe. And a ripoff at $2k.

By way of comparison, I just picked up a Stella and Smallie both with titles and both minimally rideable, though in need of rebuild, for $2,500.

Also, I'd suggest finding a project that's in one piece when you start. It'll make figuring out how it all goes back together a whole lot easier.
Reasonable expectation of $2,500
Reasonable expectation of $2,500
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Location: Racing Capital of the World
 
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the black/red one is a fake handlebar bike. This is 100% Vietnamese.

The red one appears to be a US market. not even worth 1k. maybe if together, running, and with title. $400 tops as is.
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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@zagato avatar
Vespa GTV 250ie
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Location: Louisville, KY
UTC quote
chandlerman wrote:
Also, I'd suggest finding a project that's in one piece when you start. It'll make figuring out how it all goes back together a whole lot easier.
That's a good point. Puzzles are a lot easier if you know where the pieces go.
UTC

Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
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Location: Siam
 
Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
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Location: Siam
UTC quote
I wonder how many times I have read this from people starting out:

"Mechanical work is no issues with me and I've rebuild a few Alfa Romeo engines so not concerned."

Small frames torture the uninitiated with merciless impunity.
@christopher_55934 avatar
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2007 Stella 225
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Location: Rochester, Minnesota
 
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@christopher_55934 avatar
2007 Stella 225
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Location: Rochester, Minnesota
UTC quote
nomadinsiam wrote:
I wonder how many times I have read this from people starting out:

"Mechanical work is no issues with me and I've rebuild a few Alfa Romeo engines so not concerned."

Small frames torture the uninitiated with merciless impunity.
I haven't had the joy of a small frame yet, however sounds like when I'm working on something and say "A 10 year old girl must have put this together at factory" I'm not a big guy and can't fit my hands in to work on it.
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@zagato avatar
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Vespa GTV 250ie
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@zagato avatar
Vespa GTV 250ie
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Location: Louisville, KY
UTC quote
nomadinsiam wrote:
I wonder how many times I have read this from people starting out:

"Mechanical work is no issues with me and I've rebuild a few Alfa Romeo engines so not concerned."

Small frames torture the uninitiated with merciless impunity.
Fair enough but there's always a first for everyone and with reference material and the scooter community, I up for it. Also, I'm really interested in a large frame.
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Parmakit Primavera -74, Polini Primavera -68, VR-One 228 150 Touring -59, VMC 177 Bajaj Chetak 125 -95
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Parmakit Primavera -74, Polini Primavera -68, VR-One 228 150 Touring -59, VMC 177 Bajaj Chetak 125 -95
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UTC quote
Smallies have some quirks that are kind of annoying due to the size of the frame. Mainly related to engine and working on it.

Working on the engine usually means dropping it off. Clutch can be worked on without to some degree but that's quite it. Get yourself a pair of old sofa pillows to lay the scoot over and it will be a lot nicer to work on.
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Every time you pull the engine, a new set of gear cables are likely to be needed. This in turn means taking off the headlight and some fiddling to get the adjustments right after that. I fitted a connector on the wiring for quick disconnecting.
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Another annoying thingy is that the carb sits inside the frame and the intake bellow between the intake manifold and frame opening. Sometimes it is a real pain to the bellow in place properly and requires some flexible hands. A must-have mod is to fit a captive nut inside the fender for the bench latching post. Remember to weld one in before painting or be prepared to get creative like this.
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After working on a smallie, I've really learned to appreciate the possibility to pull the cylinder off a largeframe without dropping the engine
@exmayor avatar
UTC

Hooked
64 V90 survivor '65 Allstate survivor. '75 V90 SOLD. '77 P200 SOLD
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Location: Madison WI
 
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@exmayor avatar
64 V90 survivor '65 Allstate survivor. '75 V90 SOLD. '77 P200 SOLD
Joined: UTC
Posts: 469
Location: Madison WI
UTC quote
I chose a smalldoor smallframe for my first vintage Vespa.
Working on it has been an absolute joy.
When I got her she had the stock 90 motor with a 19/19 carb and a prima clone pipe.
It ran and rode but needed some attention.
I sent the motor to Gickspeed where Jonathan bored the case to accept a Sport100 3 port barrel, Pinasco crank.
Ran really well and rode it for 3 seasons. It's a great upgrade will run near 50 on the flats and is perfect in town.

Lady in Red
Just do it. There is a lot of help here and smallies are a kick to ride.
And enjoy your retirement. I'm 77 still riding and looking forward to my fourth winter project. Will always keep the red smallframe.
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UTC

Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2537
Location: Siam
 
Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2537
Location: Siam
UTC quote
That's just it. They are a joy to ride. The only thing that stops me from selling it after going through hell working on it is that I recall how much fun it is to ride it. Then I tell myself I will not give up on it.

If you have someone else work on it, then it's the perfect scooter.
@xantufrog avatar
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Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
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Posts: 8892
Location: Atlanta, GA
 
Moderibbit
@xantufrog avatar
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8892
Location: Atlanta, GA
UTC quote
Yeah I'll be honest I hate working on my et3 compared to my p200. It's rarely enjoyable, because every little tinker is finicky and hard to reach, whereas the same tinker on the p2 is usually easily accessible and often more forgiving. It's more fun to ride though
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