OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
OK, so here goes...

A friend and I am joining the Florence (Italy) Vespa Club on a road trip from Florence, Italy to Nordkapp, Norway in June 2023. It is a 4000kms road trip via Germany, Sweden and Finland.

Our trusty steeds are a 1979 P125X and a 1983 P125X America.

I am especially interested to hear from fellow enthusiasts who have done long(ish) road trips and the issues that they experienced so that I can make sure that we are as well prepared as possible.

I have or will be taking care of the obvious preparations and will also be taking along the common spares, but as stated above, I am interested to hear about the unexpected issues that people experienced.

Thanks!
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@christopher_55934 avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2007 Stella 225
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3547
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
 
Ossessionato
@christopher_55934 avatar
2007 Stella 225
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3547
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
UTC quote
Sounds like fun, you could read about scooter cannonball. It's a coast to coast trip in United States on a scooter.



https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=AJOqlzXJyE6-E7DVsWN2-ekVXcvVZVY6HA%3A1675418555618&q=scooter+cannonball+preparation&oq=scooter+cannonball+preparation&aqs=heirloom-srp..
@mjrally avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 59 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5098
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@mjrally avatar
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 59 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5098
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
Sounds fun! Longest i've ever done was 1600Kms with a friend.

The biggest thing I found after years of multi day trips is to go through your scooter beforehand and torque everything to spec! Simple as that. Flywheel, cylinder head, exhaust, carb box, tires, rims,hubs, steering. I noticed the random breakdowns disappeared once we started implementing that. Its also a good time to replace anything worn or suspect. Give your scooter some love before!

Since you are traveling with a partner, you can share things for your scooter. You both do not need tools so create a joint toolkit. You both have same size tire so you can share spare tires (which allows you to carry less tubes). One person carry fuel and siphon hose. That allows the other to carry luggage. Etc. etc. Divide and conquer!

Definitely have the address of a few destinations beforehand. That way you can have packages mailed and waiting for you. You dont need mountain gear at the beaches. Mail it home and lighten the load! Running low on spark plugs? Have someone mail you some to a destination a few days ahead. Amazon lockers are in every metropolitan area and are helpful if you dont know an address.

Every few days stay somewhere with a hot tub (jacuzzi). You can heal/ rest your body so the aches and pains go away! Those hotels usually have laundry machines so thats a double bonus. Take a wine bottle opener for roadside lunches.

Quality soft luggage containers and packing cubes have been my friend. Everything has its place and its easy at night to find. Rok straps (google them) are a must! Easy on, easy off for luggage.

The first few trips, the breakdowns were all preventable. Flywheel coming loose, flat tires, cables, engine seizes, bolts and screws falling out. The seizes being the only catastrophic on the list.

Ensure your jetting favors the richer side slightly as you'll be running harder than normal. Carry spare jets in case you need to change them for altitude. If you are still running the stock exhausts, replace them with a quality modern box style replacement built for touring (that way you can keep your spare tire).

Wire up a phone mount/ sat nav beforehand. You can use the scooter battery to charge your devices when you ride. As it will be daylight when youre riding, the phone battery will drain quicker as the brightness level will be 100%. Having the scooter charge it will save you the headache of a dead battery.

Last thing i'll say is before your trip, do a practice run. Have a cousin you havent visited in a while? Load up your scooter and go visit them. When you return, re-evaluate your packing and route for the big trip.

Good luck.
@jess avatar
UTC

Petty Tyrant
0:7 And counting
Joined: UTC
Posts: 37218
Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
@jess avatar
0:7 And counting
Joined: UTC
Posts: 37218
Location: Bay Area, California
UTC quote
Some things I learned doing Scooter Cannonball in 2008 and 2012:

- On a long trip, comfort is key. Set up your bike so that you can do long days, day after day, and not be in pain by the end of the trip.
- Eliminate any excess weight you can from the bike. Not for speed or performance, but because the bike will be more comfortable with less weight.
- Work at the smallest, lightest, but still completely functional on-the-road toolkit. Make a point of using the toolkit exclusively when you are at home. If you find something lacking, your toolkit is incomplete. You might also decide that something in your toolkit isn't worth the weight.
- Depending on the format of the ride, having a way to drink water while underway might be beneficial. Something to snack on (e.g. trail mix) is also helpful.
- Rubber parts (in your case, primarily the rear wheel) will wear faster than you expect on long days. This is because hot rubber sheds faster than cold rubber, and the long days spent in a hot state mean you will experience maximum wear most of the day. Your tire mileage at home should not be used as a meaningful estimate.
- Exhausts seem to be the weakest link on many, many Vespas on long trips. This is true for modern and vintage Vespas.
- Stretch as much as you can while riding. Legs, arms, back, neck. You'll be very stiff at the end of the day otherwise.

I'm sure I will think of more after I hit the submit button. But those are off the top of my head.
UTC

Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1978
Location: UK (South East)
 
Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1978
Location: UK (South East)
UTC quote
I rode 2000km around Northern Spain on a PX225 with my wife and luggage. We found the weight messed with the fuel gravity feed to the carb and so it would splutter and lose power when at half a tank. The simple fix was to stop every 70km to top up the tank. It meant we were stopping more than we had planned and the journey time was longer. Otherwise the Vespa was great, although very slow getting up some of the steep climbs in Cantabria and Asturias! Great fun on the downhill motorway towards San Sebastien
@subetherbass avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Location: Australa, Mate
 
Ossessionato
@subetherbass avatar
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4787
Location: Australa, Mate
UTC quote
I've done a few epic rides with The Dark Lords S.C. & Il Ginchi.

3500km in 11 days was probably one of the longest.

Wrists were sore, arse hurts, and holding/pulling in clutch was a killer, woke up one of the last days & couldn't straighten arms, nor pull in clutch lever, or twist throttle.... but, damn it was fun!

How many days are you doing the ride over
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OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
SubEtherBASS - the trip officially starts on the 3rd of June and ends on the 16th of June, so 13 days. We are planning to finish on the 14th or 15th to give us some wiggle room, but we need to hand over the Vespas to the shipping company by the 17th in Alta, Norway. No way I am riding back!
@socalguy avatar
UTC

bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
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Location: So Cal
 
bodgemaster
@socalguy avatar
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
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Location: So Cal
UTC quote
Quote:
Definitely have the address of a few destinations beforehand. That way you can have packages mailed and waiting for you.
^^^ Best advice ^^^

Expect that no matter how well you prepare, you'll either forget something or need a part or a tool that you didn't bring along (spare clutch, spare cruciform, spare piston, spare shock bolt, spare exhaust, etc etc.)

4000 is a lot of kms. Sounds like fun!
New kit delivered to air b n b after seize, back on the road next morning
New kit delivered to air b n b after seize, back on the road next morning
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6752
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6752
Location: Tega Cay, SC
UTC quote
^^^ That sure looks like it was fun.
@socalguy avatar
UTC

bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7144
Location: So Cal
 
bodgemaster
@socalguy avatar
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
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Location: So Cal
UTC quote
It was! Got the kit on in a couple of hours, and continued on … didn't miss a beat.
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UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6752
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6752
Location: Tega Cay, SC
UTC quote
Good man. Life kicks you down so you can get back up again and ride.
@oopsclunkthud avatar
UTC

Banned
3:5
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Location: San Francisco
 
Banned
@oopsclunkthud avatar
3:5
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UTC quote
Plan on getting ~1500km out of a rear tire, the front should last the whole trip but I often move the front to the rear and put the fresh tire on the front.

With a 125 keeping a good pace will be key. minimize the time stopped, and try and keep the wind resistance down by packing things as compact as can be. saddlebags hanging off the side adds a lot of drag.

When riding with someone, you will have a better pace if you don't stick together to closely. play cat and mouse, with agreed stops for fuel and regroup.
@greasy125 avatar
UTC

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Posts: 14899
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
UTC quote
SoCalGuy wrote:
It was! Got the kit on in a couple of hours, and continued on … didn't miss a beat.
What road trip is this? Because sign me up!
@bobo avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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Location: Sydney, Australia
 
Ossessionato
@bobo avatar
'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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UTC quote
What's a PX America?
UTC

Molto Verboso
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '78 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1095
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Molto Verboso
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '78 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: UTC
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Location: Tucson, AZ
UTC quote
Bobo wrote:
What's a PX America?
It's a limited run of PX150s that Piaggio imported to the US in 2005. They didn't make as big a splash as hoped and they sold very slowly.
@bobo avatar
UTC

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'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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Location: Sydney, Australia
 
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@bobo avatar
'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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Location: Sydney, Australia
UTC quote
az_slynch wrote:
It's a limited run of PX150s that Piaggio imported to the US in 2005. They didn't make as big a splash as hoped and they sold very slowly.
Is that what they called the 'Touring' elsewhere? Neither of those pictured scoots look like an '05 model.
@bobo avatar
UTC

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'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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Ossessionato
@bobo avatar
'70 Super 150, Medley 150S, '23 Ducati Monster SP
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Location: Sydney, Australia
UTC quote
SoCalGuy wrote:
^^^ Best advice ^^^

Expect that no matter how well you prepare, you'll either forget something or need a part or a tool that you didn't bring along (spare clutch, spare cruciform, spare piston, spare shock bolt, spare exhaust, etc etc.)

4000 is a lot of kms. Sounds like fun!
I'm sure most bike mechanics in Europe have Vespa parts on hand or can get them within a day or so.
@scooterist avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
71' Sprint Veloce , 05' Vespa PX150, 1978 P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1553
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Molto Verboso
@scooterist avatar
71' Sprint Veloce , 05' Vespa PX150, 1978 P200E
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Posts: 1553
Location: Tucson, AZ
UTC quote
I never rode long distances like that but I have done a few 70-100 miles weekend trips. To me the tire pressure is very important, invest on a good top tier quality tire pressure gauge and keep monitoring the pressure every day.

As far is the engine, to me the most single handedly component of the engine would be a top quality full synthetic oil.

One thing that gets underrated is the fuel mixture screw on the back of the carburator, it can get your spark plug fouled constantly and if you stop sometimes you can kick start it 30 times and it wouldn't start.

Address your weight and balances, pack everything tight and neat, the drag on this scooters is terrible, anything sticking out a few inches will slow you down, you need to compact everything and use as many banjo cords and flex nets as you want.

Take light bulbs, cables and sparkplugs. I wish you the best of luck.
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
Bobo wrote:
What's a PX America?
The red Vespa is a 1983 and is the P125X America. What I was told is that the main difference at the time was that in order to sell in America they had to make it an autolube. Apart from that, I have not seen any differences. Of course, this is second hand knowledge, so I stand to be corrected...
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
greasy125 wrote:
What road trip is this? Because sign me up!
This is the flagship event of the Firenze (Florence) Vespa Club. Details at raidtribe.com . They provide a detailed map on secondary roads and each participant gets a satellite tracker so that friends and family can track your progress. Apart from that, it is unsupported and they advocate strongly that one has to be self sufficient. Hence my original post!

Up to Stockholm is probably OK support wise, but Finland seems to be where one will be truly on your own.
UTC

Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1978
Location: UK (South East)
 
Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1978
Location: UK (South East)
UTC quote
My friend has a 125 t.s. which has autolube and the US style indicators like they have on their Rallys. We don't know if it was imported from the US or if European buyers could specify these as options back in the 70s.
UTC

Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 168
Location: New Zealand
 
Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 168
Location: New Zealand
UTC quote
Choice trip!

Is it your first "big one"?

If so, don't over think it. Keep it simple.

Standard bikes, serviced and in tip top shape, is the way to go IMHO. Say no to the big bore kits, performance exhausts, carb mods, intercoms, temp gauges, GPS etc. to stare at, distract you, and / or worry about.

I replace the consumables / wear (worn) items BEFORE departure as part of the service (e.g. cables, brakes, rings/piston, clutch etc). Using proper (matched set) tyres (e.g. Pirelli) and factory shocks I'd recommend too. Take wet weather kit, that you have tested, solid waterproof riding boots and 2 pairs of gloves.

Are you camping?

I'm no expert , but I have done multiple long trips, over the years, and have a few packing tips to offer, that may be helpful, once we know your specifics.

Replacement tyres as previously said, is the way. I have them already mounted on rims, and use new nuts and spring washers each time. Same with extra 2 stroke oil. In New Zealand we use sheepskin seat covers for extra comfort. Just tie it on with a bit of string under the seat. The one I have was my mates cousins nephews ex-wife.

EDIT: I forgot to say that I find a windscreen (decent size - not too big but not a token one) to be helpful. Makes for less tiredness as reduces wind buffering (less unconscious micro-muscle adjustment).

EDIT 2: I found a pic from a weekend trip from winter last year.

Big waterproof tube bag on the floorboards. Big is good. Its out of the wind and fills a void. Tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc. cram in here. Secured with ratchet strap and can be pushed to the side to allow easy access glove box. Give it a kick, at the bottom, and you can make room for your foot for the rear brake. It doesn't much get in the way of the handle bars. Put some hooks on floorboards using the stand bolts holes to secure it.

Top box for feedie and other kack (keep it light as possible). Make sure the carrier is a strong quality one and use big bolts through the number plate holes. Tools and spares in glove box helps distribute weight forward and low (heavy stuff). Heaviest stuff goes on non-engine side of glove box. Chuck in a packet of big fat strong cable ties.

I don't put anything much on the front rack (any weight / bulk here makes the bike shitty to ride and lift off the centre stand - just don't)- this is good, however, for quickly ridding yourself of wet weather gear if it gets hot, or for buying supplies (e.g. beer) when you are nearly there for the day.

Using a side stand is ideal for short stops. Don't fill up autolube or petrol using this. Can't leave bike idling on side stand either (spits oil out clutch breather) I don't park it up overnight on it either. Keep centre stand too.

The yellow stripes on the side is reflective tape stuff for extra safety / visibility. There are red ones on the back of the top box and and a small white one on the front mudguard trim thing.

The covers on the indicators just might save them if you have a spill so you can carry on safely. Torch and tape in glove box for emergency headlight. This bike also has heated handle grips.

If you put crash bars on the pods (removed here) you can bungy your tent to one side on top of the pod and a fold out camp chair on the other side. You can also tuck in a pair of converse sneakers. Bungies go under the seat so you can still gas up. You don't want anything on the seat you have to take off each time you get gas. It gets annoying very early on.

That's Karen on the seat.

Unforeseen things?: New Schwalbe (WeatherDeathMan) rear tyre delaminating after a few days (never ever ever buying anything from them again). Heidenau, supposedly, winter tyres were awful too (unpredictable grip on wet roads). Brand new front shock leaking oil (Escorts). Sandflies. Fallen trees, slips, gravel, etc. on the road around blind corners.

Chur, hope this helps.
PC
Basic touring set-up
Basic touring set-up
@orwell84 avatar
UTC

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Location: northern New York
 
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@orwell84 avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3049
Location: northern New York
UTC quote
PC73 wrote:
Choice trip!

Is it your first "big one"?

If so, don't over think it. Keep it simple.

Standard bikes, serviced and in tip top shape, is the way to go IMHO. Say no to the big bore kits, performance exhausts, carb mods, intercoms, temp gauges, GPS etc. to stare at, distract you, and / or worry about.

I replace the consumables / wear (worn) items BEFORE departure as part of the service (e.g. cables, brakes, rings/piston, clutch etc). Using proper (matched set) tyres (e.g. Pirelli) and factory shocks I'd recommend too. Take wet weather kit, that you have tested, solid waterproof riding boots and 2 pairs of gloves.

Are you camping?

I'm no expert , but I have done multiple long trips, over the years, and have a few packing tips to offer, that may be helpful, once we know your specifics.

Replacement tyres as previously said, is the way. I have them already mounted on rims, and use new nuts and spring washers each time. Same with extra 2 stroke oil. In New Zealand we use sheepskin seat covers for extra comfort. Just tie it on with a bit of string under the seat. The one I have was my mates cousins nephews ex-wife.

EDIT: I forgot to say that I find a windscreen (decent size - not too big but not a token one) to be helpful. Makes for less tiredness as reduces wind buffering (less unconscious micro-muscle adjustment).

EDIT 2: I found a pic from a weekend trip from winter last year.

Big waterproof tube bag on the floorboards. Big is good. Its out of the wind and fills a void. Tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc. cram in here. Secured with ratchet strap and can be pushed to the side to allow easy access glove box. Give it a kick, at the bottom, and you can make room for your foot for the rear brake. It doesn't much get in the way of the handle bars. Put some hooks on floorboards using the stand bolts holes to secure it.

Top box for feedie and other kack (keep it light as possible). Make sure the carrier is a strong quality one and use big bolts through the number plate holes. Tools and spares in glove box helps distribute weight forward and low (heavy stuff). Heaviest stuff goes on non-engine side of glove box. Chuck in a packet of big fat strong cable ties.

I don't put anything much on the front rack (any weight / bulk here makes the bike shitty to ride and lift off the centre stand - just don't)- this is good, however, for quickly ridding yourself of wet weather gear if it gets hot, or for buying supplies (e.g. beer) when you are nearly there for the day.

Using a side stand is ideal for short stops. Don't fill up autolube or petrol using this. Can't leave bike idling on side stand either (spits oil out clutch breather) I don't park it up overnight on it either. Keep centre stand too.

The yellow stripes on the side is reflective tape stuff for extra safety / visibility. There are red ones on the back of the top box and and a small white one on the front mudguard trim thing.

The covers on the indicators just might save them if you have a spill so you can carry on safely. Torch and tape in glove box for emergency headlight. This bike also has heated handle grips.

If you put crash bars on the pods (removed here) you can bungy your tent to one side on top of the pod and a fold out camp chair on the other side. You can also tuck in a pair of converse sneakers. Bungies go under the seat so you can still gas up. You don't want anything on the seat you have to take off each time you get gas. It gets annoying very early on.

That's Karen on the seat.

Unforeseen things?: New Schwalbe (WeatherDeathMan) rear tyre delaminating after a few days (never ever ever buying anything from them again). Heidenau, supposedly, winter tyres were awful too (unpredictable grip on wet roads). Brand new front shock leaking oil (Escorts). Sandflies. Fallen trees, slips, gravel, etc. on the road around blind corners.

Chur, hope this helps.
PC
I recently got back into scooters with the hope of going on long trips. My two biggest worries: My body falling apart…and the scooter falling apart. Last time I went any distance on a scooter I was 19 and a competitive distance runner. I remember it took a couple hours to stop feeling like I was still riding a scooter. I'm 53 now, fairly active and in good health. I would probably start small and build up and just see how it goes.

My strategy for having a scooter that doesn't fall apart: A straightforward close to stock mildly tuned engine build. Put some miles on it first to work out the kinks.
@chandlerman avatar
UTC

Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9768
Location: Nashville

24 Days Since Last Explosion
 
Lucky
@chandlerman avatar
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9768
Location: Nashville

24 Days Since Last Explosion
UTC quote
Kudu wrote:
Up to Stockholm is probably OK support wise, but Finland seems to be where one will be truly on your own.
Shoot FinYoshi a PM and connect with him before you head out. He hasn't been posting much on here of late, but he's got a bunch of both large and small frame bikes and so probably knows the lay of the land pretty well, I expect.

This sounds like an awesome trip. I hope you have a blast!
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
PC73 wrote:
Choice trip!

Is it your first "big one"?

If so, don't over think it. Keep it simple.

Standard bikes, serviced and in tip top shape, is the way to go IMHO. Say no to the big bore kits, performance exhausts, carb mods, intercoms, temp gauges, GPS etc. to stare at, distract you, and / or worry about.

I replace the consumables / wear (worn) items BEFORE departure as part of the service (e.g. cables, brakes, rings/piston, clutch etc). Using proper (matched set) tyres (e.g. Pirelli) and factory shocks I'd recommend too. Take wet weather kit, that you have tested, solid waterproof riding boots and 2 pairs of gloves.

Are you camping?

I'm no expert , but I have done multiple long trips, over the years, and have a few packing tips to offer, that may be helpful, once we know your specifics.

Replacement tyres as previously said, is the way. I have them already mounted on rims, and use new nuts and spring washers each time. Same with extra 2 stroke oil. In New Zealand we use sheepskin seat covers for extra comfort. Just tie it on with a bit of string under the seat. The one I have was my mates cousins nephews ex-wife.

EDIT: I forgot to say that I find a windscreen (decent size - not too big but not a token one) to be helpful. Makes for less tiredness as reduces wind buffering (less unconscious micro-muscle adjustment).

EDIT 2: I found a pic from a weekend trip from winter last year.

Big waterproof tube bag on the floorboards. Big is good. Its out of the wind and fills a void. Tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc. cram in here. Secured with ratchet strap and can be pushed to the side to allow easy access glove box. Give it a kick, at the bottom, and you can make room for your foot for the rear brake. It doesn't much get in the way of the handle bars. Put some hooks on floorboards using the stand bolts holes to secure it.

Top box for feedie and other kack (keep it light as possible). Make sure the carrier is a strong quality one and use big bolts through the number plate holes. Tools and spares in glove box helps distribute weight forward and low (heavy stuff). Heaviest stuff goes on non-engine side of glove box. Chuck in a packet of big fat strong cable ties.

I don't put anything much on the front rack (any weight / bulk here makes the bike shitty to ride and lift off the centre stand - just don't)- this is good, however, for quickly ridding yourself of wet weather gear if it gets hot, or for buying supplies (e.g. beer) when you are nearly there for the day.

Using a side stand is ideal for short stops. Don't fill up autolube or petrol using this. Can't leave bike idling on side stand either (spits oil out clutch breather) I don't park it up overnight on it either. Keep centre stand too.

The yellow stripes on the side is reflective tape stuff for extra safety / visibility. There are red ones on the back of the top box and and a small white one on the front mudguard trim thing.

The covers on the indicators just might save them if you have a spill so you can carry on safely. Torch and tape in glove box for emergency headlight. This bike also has heated handle grips.

If you put crash bars on the pods (removed here) you can bungy your tent to one side on top of the pod and a fold out camp chair on the other side. You can also tuck in a pair of converse sneakers. Bungies go under the seat so you can still gas up. You don't want anything on the seat you have to take off each time you get gas. It gets annoying very early on.

That's Karen on the seat.

Unforeseen things?: New Schwalbe (WeatherDeathMan) rear tyre delaminating after a few days (never ever ever buying anything from them again). Heidenau, supposedly, winter tyres were awful too (unpredictable grip on wet roads). Brand new front shock leaking oil (Escorts). Sandflies. Fallen trees, slips, gravel, etc. on the road around blind corners.

Chur, hope this helps.
PC
Thanks for all the info PC73! Definitely a couple of things I have taken note of. We are not planning to camp - so we'll hopefully avoid a lot of the luggage requirements. Interesting note about the tunnel bag - I have read similar views elsewhere and was starting to move into that direction. I will need to buy something soon so that I can do a couple of 200km trips to see how everything fits together...
@moto64 avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '65 VBB, '66 Allstate SF, '66 180SS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1836
Location: S.Salem, NY
 
Molto Verboso
@moto64 avatar
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '65 VBB, '66 Allstate SF, '66 180SS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1836
Location: S.Salem, NY
UTC quote
" In New Zealand we use sheepskin seat covers for extra comfort. Just tie it on with a bit of string under the seat. The one I have was my mates cousins nephews ex-wife."
UTC

Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 168
Location: New Zealand
 
Hooked
1970 Sprint 150 & PX 200 / 225 and a shed full o shit
Joined: UTC
Posts: 168
Location: New Zealand
UTC quote
Kudu wrote:
Thanks for all the info PC73! Definitely a couple of things I have taken note of. We are not planning to camp - so we'll hopefully avoid a lot of the luggage requirements. Interesting note about the tunnel bag - I have read similar views elsewhere and was starting to move into that direction. I will need to buy something soon so that I can do a couple of 200km trips to see how everything fits together...
Good luck! Happy to help.

That red scooter of mine won't be winning any prizes in a beauty competition - but yours might. Watch out for scuffing and rubbing the paint if you gonna strap a tube bag on.

Cheerio,
P
@jimvanmorrissey avatar
UTC

Addicted
Vespa PX200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 553
Location: Belgrade
 
Addicted
@jimvanmorrissey avatar
Vespa PX200
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Location: Belgrade
UTC quote
Just adding some pointers here that might not've been brought up:

-The best place, bar none, for a jerrycan (and I'd recommend one -- there are some 100km stretches of that run with absolutely nothing) is on the centreboard, held in with a strap connected to hooks on the Floorboard. SIP sells some decent ones and I also see that VMC just released some floorboard hooks that have a handy-dandy right heel support so using the brake isn't so unpleasant.

-Talk to some folks who've done that run. I haven't done it myself but I know some who have -- I believe Magg here on Modernvespa has, and Ilario Lavarra, and Markus Andre Mayer. What I remember from their tales is that the ride is 1) mostly pretty dull on the eastern Swedish route; 2) very very scenic on the longer, Norwegian route; 3) *expensive*. Bring a tent. Anyway it's very much its own thing, that ride north, and it's got its own set of problems and pitfalls.

-You'd do well to start the trip with a fresh set of tires. By the time you're back you'll have a good 5,000km on them, ready to be replaced.

-With a whole crew of you going, with some of you on 125s, you could reasonably expect to cover 400km/day. As I understand it it's a whole lot of trees along the way, not much there to stop and pull over and see. It's just ride, ride, ride.

And that's about all I've got off the top of my head!
@jimvanmorrissey avatar
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Vespa PX200
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@jimvanmorrissey avatar
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UTC quote
A few more things -- weight distribution on the scoot is important. Don't overload the back. A front luggage rack *will* mangle the legshield trim somewhat from all the battering it'll take, and leave two suction cup marks on the legshield paint, but if you've got a sleeping bag and tent (or whatever) hanging out over the front, you'll have a much more planted front wheel. It makes cruising way more pleasurable. A poster above says the opposite, that weight on the front makes it shitty to ride, but I disagree -- 7 kilos or so on the front helps tremendously with the rear weight bias on these bikes. Crap on the front can interfere with your headlight but considering you'll be heading into the midnight sun, probably not really an issue.

Speaking of feeling planted, long days on questionable roads on clapped-out, pogoing stock shocks isn't that fun. So many people chase after power, power, power without paying any regard at all for suspension. A set of decent, reliable, rugged shocks makes for way safer and more comfortable long-distance touring.

Re. the kit to bring, well, as with everything packing-related it's all tradeoffs between utility and volume and weight. I'd recommend:

-The basic tools -- all the sockets and wrenches and screwdrivers and flywheel tool and a multi-tool of course
-Hand-operated air pump just in case
-Spare bottle of 2T oil (might be hard to come by in the middle of nowhere, though Scandinavia's pretty 'country' and chainsaw/lawnmower 2T, which is good enough, might grow on trees for all I know)
-Zip ties
Plus things that are known to fail:
-Spare CDI
-Spare stator
-Spare voltage regulator
-Spare bulbs
-Spare sparkplugs
-Spare H/T wire
-Spade connectors
-Spare clutch, brake, gearchange, and throttle cables
-Spare nipples
-Spare clutch plates and discs
-Spare tube(s) (if you're not tubeless)
-Spare nut and washer for the rear hub
-Spare clutch repair kit
-Jets? Will you need extra jets? I don't think so, I don't think this run ever crests 1000m in elevation.

Other things to consider before you leave:

-Torque a brand-new rear hub nut and washer down to the exact spec. And install the cotter pin and retainer cap correctly. Rear hubs coming loose are so, so common and chewing through the teeth in the hub, which results in 4 extra neutrals, can be heartbreaking.

-Look at the fuel line into the carb. Is that thing original? Is it old, and about ready to crack, usually right in the grommet at the bottom of the air box? Replace it with a proper reinforced fuel line with O-ring clamps. The way that comes out of the factory, it cracks after about 30,000km.

- What condition is the gear selector box in? One common failure point is that pin in the arm coming loose, which makes the bike barely (or un-) shiftable. If things are wiggly anywhere in there, either fix it yourself or replace.

-Make sure the nuts holding in your fork, under the headset, are tightened correctly.

-Check the seating of the exhaust. Tighten down the clamp at the downpipe and especially tighten up the big bolt into the swingarm mount. That last one is known to walk itself out.

-Tighten the cylinder head down to spec, in the right order for the nuts. Another routine maintenance thing.

-Check all the wheel nuts

-Check tire pressure. With a loaded up PX, 2.4 BAR on the back is good, as is 1.9 on the front. If the front wheel is a bit skittish on crap roads, you can take it down to 1.7 or thereabouts.

-Give your carburetor & air filter a good cleaning. And plan to clean your filter regularly, even every day, if you're on dusty roads

-What's going on with the rubber suspension buffer at the top of the rear shock? I've had two of these come apart. Seems to me that 25,000km of bad road is the service limit of this $8 part. Replacing it is a tank-out operation but it does give peace of mind.

-Make sure the two bolts holding down the carb are torqued to spec (and not a newton-metre more). This is another common failure point in the design. Some blue loctite wouldn't go remiss here.

-Is anybody else in your gang riding a PX? You might want to consider pooling your spares and tools.

-Don't do like I do and just freshen the bike up the night before and head off on a big trip. Days or weeks before you head off, load it up, and burn a tank of gas. Shake it down. Learn how shit's stored and strapped down on the bike. Figure out the best system. You'll thank yourself later. You don't want to be 'that guy' in the group holding people up because this that or the other isn't working or something keeps falling off etc. etc.

-One last thing: this ride is going to involve a *lot* of wide open throttle. Make 100% certain that your WOT jetting is correct and that your ignition timing isn't too advanced. You want to get into the headspace of being able to sit there all day at 90km/h and *not* think to yourself, am I going to seize? Otherwise you won't be able to relax and look at the scenery.

Aaaand after all that overthinking, all I can say is, don't overthink it. Touring on two-stroke Vespas might seem like a stupid idea on the face of it, but I can happily report they're actually a pretty wise choice for long-distance trip. They're cheap, easy to fix, and are *just* enough tech for the job. Also they're like little tanks -- they can really take a beating.

EDIT: Just saw above that you're *not* planning on camping. Ok then, less crap to bring -- great. Even still, if there's something you can chuck on the front rack, assuming you'll have one, go for it.

EDIT (II): Also just saw that you're riding up and shipping back. OK. No need to bring extra rubber, just the onboard spare. HOT TIP: Swap the spare with the rear wheel somewhere around Denmark. The back tire wears out twice as fast (or more) than the front, as oopsclunkthud mentioned above.

EDIT (III): Might I recommend a set of these Michelin City Extras that came out last year. I've put 6,000km on a set of 3 and there's still life in them yet. They bill themselves as a commuter tire but they look pretty tread-y, almost like they'd have some offroad utility. Point is, I haven't had a single hairy moment on a wet road with them -- it take a lot to skid the rear wheel with these things -- and they wear pretty slowly. And they're good for touring. I used to swear by Heidenau K80s until production was paused during COVID, so then I tried these, and was very pleasantly surprised. The K80s are nervous and racey, whereas these Michelins are a more sedate all-rounder. Just throwing that out there.
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
A big thank you to all those who have replied. While my To-Do list has become intimidating, I am also gaining some peace of mind in terms of what to prepare for and what to look out for.

A question that has come up from my friend who is joining me on the trip:- What are the merits of a screen? Based on my own riding, I am not convinced but, once again, there is a lot I don't know and I would welcome any comments on that...
@jimvanmorrissey avatar
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Vespa PX200
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UTC quote
Re. a windscreen, I've tried it all: Giant windscreen, medium-sized custom-cut windscreen, flyscreen, no screen.

Each approach has its pros and cons.

The wind protection of a giant screen really helps when it's below 10C, you're freezing your nuts off, and the more screen the better in that case. Especially if it extends out over the handgrips. The tradeoff is that you now have the aerodynamics of a barn door -- you really feel the woosh of oncoming trucks. Also it looks goofy.

A more medium-sized screen is where I'm at now and I do swear that it helps with the back and stomach muscles and also the cold. It's not very good looking (I think with Vespas, less is more, but then again if you're loaded up with luggage who gives a crap) -- and the other tradeoff is that screens of this size usually end around the chin. Blasts a whole lot of air right at the helmet.

A flyscreen doesn't do much, just reduces the wind blast to your chest a little bit.

No screen really opens up the view, weighs nothing, and appeals to the hardcore minimalist in all of us. Just you and the wind.

Given that you're on a 125, and you'll be crusing between 80 and 90 probably, and it'll be summer, it might be that a windscreen won't add much value. Also they're a pain to remove every time you need to get under the headset. Then again, for the last couple days of your ride it'll be probably getting down near 6 or 7 degrees C. A screen could be *some* help, though some decent cold-weather clothing would go a long way futher than that keeping you non-hypothermic.
@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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24 Days Since Last Explosion
 
Lucky
@chandlerman avatar
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
Joined: UTC
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24 Days Since Last Explosion
UTC quote
JimVanMorrissey wrote:
-What's going on with the rubber suspension buffer at the top of the rear shock? I've had two of these come apart. Seems to me that 25,000km of bad road is the service limit of this $8 part. Replacing it is a tank-out operation but it does give peace of mind.
Depending on whether you think it's worth the effort, you might also consider installing a Clauss Studios upper rear shock mount. It requires drilling second mounting hole into the frame, but it helps stabilize the shock up top and the shock definitely won't come loose from it.
@mod_eric_the_skin avatar
UTC

Hooked
'59 VBA, '05 Stella 177, '80 P125X
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Location: Athens GA
 
Hooked
@mod_eric_the_skin avatar
'59 VBA, '05 Stella 177, '80 P125X
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UTC quote
Karen looks "rode hard".
@svint1 avatar
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Enthusiast
too many
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Location: Norway
 
Enthusiast
@svint1 avatar
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Location: Norway
UTC quote
If the rubber mounts in your engine aren't too new, I would recomend changing them prior to the ride to avoid too much vibrations transfered from the engine to the frame.

And yes, I definitively recomend the "Norwegian route" instead of Finland/Sweeden.
-much more interesting scenary in Norway.

Enjoy the ride!
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
100 days out from departure, with the temperature finally becoming "outdoor workshop" friendly and following a lot of good advice, I started the preparations…

Nothing earth shattering - changed the remaining tires, new air filters, new plugs and adjusted the carburetors to see how far that takes care of basic performance issues.

Also took photos of coils, carburetors, etc. to make sure I order the correct spares. Fuel lines seem OK but will likely be replaced closer to the trip as well as the gear selector and seat on the red one.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@subetherbass avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Posts: 4787
Location: Australa, Mate
 
Ossessionato
@subetherbass avatar
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4787
Location: Australa, Mate
UTC quote
100days out & you are preparing, WOW!

My prep with Speedy:
A: Usually by that stage (100days out), I'm about "ready" enough to go for a ShakeDown ride with Il Ginchi, where I end up seriously screwing my engine & need to rebuild

B: I'm considering doing some riding, but need to do things before partner will let me actually go for the ride & therefore Speedy stays in the shed, covered in craptill the week before, wherein I drag it out, start making a big pile of "essential crap to take", add to it... realise there was a list of things taped to headset that I noted down on the last ride that involves about 2-weeks of work & numerous parts that I never ordered..
Then decide to go out to do whatever it was i was going to, return knackered to find that the house needs to be tidied & some project that I promised would be done before the trip that needs to be completed... then try to work out how to get the actual things I need from the pile into some form of logic that will fit however possible onto scoot, search for all the "essential bits n pieces " & tools required just in case the entire scooter needs to be rebuilt... and the night before leaving, finally starting to work out why I noted that the front brake merely "needs adjustment " when it is actually not connected, and the tyre is bald (& flat) from doing burnouts after the last successful ride & the bracket thingee (which I'm sure is somewhere in that place i put it, possibly) is missing.... then at about 4am, I head to bed , wondering if i will have time before getting up at 6am to leave to look at, print, highlight, prepare, laminate, cut & get onto roller all the maps required so I actually know where we are supposed to be going...

Then I wake up excited, check things are tightly secured, kick-start Speedy, put the plug back in (that I cannot actually remember why I took it out), duct-tape up the numerous bare wires that are randomly poking out..
Put on lots of safety gear, get the ETHER out to get it started, then ride off into the distance, noting hat I also really should have tightened (or at least checked) the clutch, as it currently is not working, hoping there is oil in motor & ride off into the sunrise with a huge smile on my face!

Well, actually ride to the nearest servo to fill up (coz there currently nothing in the tank!) put air in tyres & check if I can identify what that rattle is & what the hell just fell off & tighten that thing that is about to fall off.
⬆️    About 1 month elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

Lurker
Vespa 180 SS. Vespa PX 200. Vespa GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2
Location: Denmark
 
Lurker
Vespa 180 SS. Vespa PX 200. Vespa GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2
Location: Denmark
UTC quote
Sounds like a fantastic trip. If you guys have mechanical problems in Denmark 🇩🇰 find "Peters Garage" and he can 100% help you. When will you be in Copenhagen ? Could be fun to meet and have a ridout. We have quite a Vespa community here in Copenhagen.
⬆️    About 3 months elapsed    ⬇️
OP
@kudu avatar
UTC

Member
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
 
Member
@kudu avatar
1979 P125X, 1983 P125X America
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Florence, Italy
UTC quote
Hi guys,
I thought I'd post a post trip update....

So, what did I learn?
Covering 500kms on day one (some of it due to road closures following the flooding in Emelia Romagna) of a trip is extremely painful in several ways.

Crossing the Alps (photo 2) on secondary roads was drama free since it was cooler and all vehicles were moving along slowly.

Germany was a very pleasant ride, but entering the large cities (Munich and Berlin - our checkpoints) were problematic since one got stuck on suburban traffic for miles/hours on our way in and out.

Southern Sweden is an easy, albeit boring, ride.

Reindeer and moose are very unpredictable, especially when they are on both sides of the road. One or two will always cross when you are 20m away from them.

Norway is really as beautiful as it is depicted in photos. What photos do not show is the wind blowing constantly at 40-50km/h. We stopped to change a tire and the wind literally blew over both Vespas! The previous day the wind blew over a RV at Nordkapp.

Scandinavia is an easy area for English speakers to travel to - everyone speaks English, even in the smallest town in Finland.

Vintage Vespas are amazing vehicles - they carried us safely for 4200kms without any breakdowns!
Nordkapp
Nordkapp
Fjords of Norway
Fjords of Norway
Finland's Scooter Enemy #1
Finland's Scooter Enemy #1
Stockholm
Stockholm
Berlin
Berlin
Top of Reschen Pass
Top of Reschen Pass
Start
Start
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