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@mayorofnow avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1339
Location: 🤷‍♂️
 
Molto Verboso
@mayorofnow avatar
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1339
Location: 🤷‍♂️
UTC quote
It rained here hard enough yesterday that I won't have to wash my Vespa for a while. I noticed that it was hesitating on takeoff, like the ASR was kicking in. The handling felt also a little sloppy. It reminded me of riding a bike without enough pressure in the tires.

There was a time when I was in the habit of checking my tires (for pressure and punctures) at every fillup, but I've been a bit lazier lately. It was still hesitating today on dry roads, so I stopped by Costco on my way to work. Costco has these fancy air pumps that will add/remove air to get you to a set PSI. I set the front for 31PSI and it filled right up. I set the rear to 33 and… sPre. Tried the other machine: sPre. I asked someone in the tire shop what it meant, and he said my tires were too low to safely inflate. sonofabitch!

I finally did what I ought to have done when I first noticed the sloppy handling and checked the tire tread. Sure enough, there was a screw lodged in one of the rain channels. I dug out the flat fix kit I bought for a tour 2 years ago and popped open YouTube.

The first task was to get the screw out. After a few painful minutes trying to pry it out with the tools in the flat kit (certain that I was about to slice my finger open), I realized there's a screwdriver in the Piaggio toolkit in the glovebox. Then, it was a matter of filing the edges of the puncture clean with the reamer, freeing one of the gooey rubber ropes from its packaging, feeding it through the tiny eyelet in the installation tool (I pushed it through with my hands until there was an enough of an edge on the other side that I could grab and pull with a monkeywrench), dousing it with rubber cement, and plugging the hole. There was a little razor blade in the puncture kit to trim the excess rope, and one of the tire techs helped me reinflate it. (The hack is to start inflating a good tire, and then hurriedly move the nozzle to the deflated one. It bypasses the sPre alarm.)

Was an hour detour out of my morning - missed a meeting, but no big deal. Felt good to learn a life skill, and to know what to do if I ever get a bad flat out in the middle of nowhere.

Special shout out to the Costco SF tire techs who were super chill about letting a random guy fix a flat in their parking garage, and offered to advise as needed!
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
It's not quite flush with the worn tire, but I was reluctant to use the razor any more than I had to.  Hopefully it will file down with use.

The center of the tread looks more flat than it ought to - you can tell I put a few miles on with low pressure.
It's not quite flush with the worn tire, but I was reluctant to use the razor any more than I had to. Hopefully it will file down with use. The center of the tread looks more flat than it ought to - you can tell I put a few miles on with low pressure.
⚠️ Last edited by mayorofnow on UTC; edited 1 time
@greasy125 avatar
UTC

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14763
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14763
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
UTC quote
good catch and good job.

the extra rope will wear off almost immediately.

btw, if you're running low air pressure the *sides* of the tire wear, not the center.
@fledermaus avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS (on the bench) 2017 BV 350
Joined: UTC
Posts: 11962
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@fledermaus avatar
2007 LX150 2015 GTS (on the bench) 2017 BV 350
Joined: UTC
Posts: 11962
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
UTC quote
Clap emoticon Clap emoticon Well done, and documented!
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