OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
Hey everyone,

My p2 just turned over 10000 km.
I bought it in 2014 with 800 km on it and well now here I am.

I have never done any engine work to it aside from rebuilding the carb and swapping a clutch cable.

The bike still runs strong but I am very fearful of pushing it like I used to. (I did have two heat seizures on my other freshly rebuilt bike seven months apart).
My question is——what is the rule of thumb when these little engines get tired?
Is a rebuild in order? Or should I just ride until something happens?

Should I swap the piston rings?
Rebore?


I really don't want to touch the engine. It cruises at 80 without effort and I'm not even at half throttle. But I do want to ensure this bike keeps running well.

Thoughts?
@markosmarkos avatar
UTC

Hooked
Joined: UTC
Posts: 200
Location: no matter where you go, there you are
 
Hooked
@markosmarkos avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 200
Location: no matter where you go, there you are
UTC quote
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Ride it and just enjoy riding it.
Especially if it is still running well and you seem to be keeping up with the maintenance on it.
Just my two cents.
@robbie_11 avatar
UTC

Hooked
PX
Joined: UTC
Posts: 329
Location: Switzerland
 
Hooked
@robbie_11 avatar
PX
Joined: UTC
Posts: 329
Location: Switzerland
UTC quote
You Wrote:
"I have never done any engine work to it aside from rebuilding the carb and swapping a clutch cable"

But you made the services right?
Oil changes, Adjustments, etc?

10,000km is not that much…
@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: 5138
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: 5138
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
To see if she's really tired, I'd check 3 things.

First, get a compression tester and test out the spark plug hole. That'll show how the rings are holding up. 100 psi or less and it's time to freshen up the top end.

How's your spark plug color. Should be chocolate brown or darker. Anything lighter and I'd upjet so you can safely push it harder. If the spark plugs a mess, I'd swap it then.

Last, I'd pull the head and inspect for leaks. If she's warped or rough, I'd get a piece of glass with wet dry on it and freshen up that mating surface.

If the shifting is slipping or something in the clutch is feeling off, then it's time for a deeper dive and I'd do the above 3 anyway.
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
Robbie 11 wrote:
You Wrote:
"I have never done any engine work to it aside from rebuilding the carb and swapping a clutch cable"

But you made the services right?
Oil changes, Adjustments, etc?

10,000km is not that much…
Completed. Yes. Mandatory.
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
MJRally wrote:
To see if she's really tired, I'd check 3 things.

First, get a compression tester and test out the spark plug hole. That'll show how the rings are holding up. 100 psi or less and it's time to freshen up the top end.

How's your spark plug color. Should be chocolate brown or darker. Anything lighter and I'd upjet so you can safely push it harder. If the spark plugs a mess, I'd swap it then.

Last, I'd pull the head and inspect for leaks. If she's warped or rough, I'd get a piece of glass with wet dry on it and freshen up that mating surface.

If the shifting is slipping or something in the clutch is feeling off, then it's time for a deeper dive and I'd do the above 3 anyway.
The plug is a beautiful sensual chocolate. I was proud yesterday when I checked.

Shifting is fine.
Haven't touched the cylinder head but I can do a compression test.

Thanks for the tips!
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
MJRally wrote:
To see if she's really tired, I'd check 3 things.

First, get a compression tester and test out the spark plug hole. That'll show how the rings are holding up. 100 psi or less and it's time to freshen up the top end.

How's your spark plug color. Should be chocolate brown or darker. Anything lighter and I'd upjet so you can safely push it harder. If the spark plugs a mess, I'd swap it then.

Last, I'd pull the head and inspect for leaks. If she's warped or rough, I'd get a piece of glass with wet dry on it and freshen up that mating surface.

If the shifting is slipping or something in the clutch is feeling off, then it's time for a deeper dive and I'd do the above 3 anyway.
Also——if I had to do a top end which direction should I take. New rings? Or a rebore with new piston and rings?

Thank you.
@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: 5138
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: 5138
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
Nelluch125 wrote:
Also——if I had to do a top end which direction should I take. New rings? Or a rebore with new piston and rings?

Thank you.
Just depends what you find. Last time I had a clean cylinder but stuck rings. De-coked the head and piston and reused the rings. Another, the piston was rattling with a slight seize, so I rebored.
@garncarz avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
1964 Allstate Cruisaire, 2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, 1972 Suzuki T500J
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1021
Location: York, PA (the intellectual center of the universe)
 
Molto Verboso
@garncarz avatar
1964 Allstate Cruisaire, 2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, 1972 Suzuki T500J
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1021
Location: York, PA (the intellectual center of the universe)
UTC quote
Here is a maintenance schedule from the 1959-78 Haynes manual. Should be pretty close. Definitely, give the rings a look/cleaning while you are in there.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@v_oodoo avatar
UTC

Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9618
Location: seattle/athens
 
Style Maven
@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9618
Location: seattle/athens
UTC quote
Nelluch125 wrote:
I really don't want to touch the engine. It cruises at 80 without effort and I'm not even at half throttle.* But I do want to ensure this bike keeps running well.
...

Also——if I had to do a top end which direction should I take. New rings? Or a rebore with new piston and rings?

Thank you.
*Sounds pretty healthy to me...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Our P200s are practically twins, I got mine two years ago from the original owner w/ 9,xxx km on it, but only ride it the 3 months of the year I am here. It runs the best of ALL my bikes - totally stock, starts so easy and lots of torquey power. So your post made me curious and I just checked its compression before replying to you. I was a bit surprised but pleased that it hit 150 psi, so should be good still for quite a while. 10,000 km is only a bit over 6200 miles, still nearly new! Does yours have autolube? Mine does not, but I wish it did, it gives you more oil w/ more throttle when under load and should help avoid seizing.



I would just follow MJR's good advice, but skip pulling my head if compression is strong. If it's weak, then check the head for leaks and if that's not it, I'd try new rings and a professional hone before I'd spring for a new oversize piston, rings and having my cylinder bored. I've done just this on 3 motors and had good results, but a close examination of your cylinder will tell you if this should work or not. Post pics if in doubt. If you do replace the rings, be SURE to check the end gap as this can also cause seizing if too tight.

Just my impression, what do others experience? - but it seems to me that seizes happen more often on freshly built motors, and usually modified that may be 'tighter' and not yet tuned in just right, than on older stock motors with several thousand happy miles on them.
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
V oodoo wrote:
*Sounds pretty healthy to me...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Our P200s are practically twins, I got mine two years ago from the original owner w/ 9,xxx km on it, but only ride it the 3 months of the year I am here. It runs the best of ALL my bikes - totally stock, starts so easy and lots of torquey power. So your post made me curious and I just checked its compression before replying to you. I was a bit surprised but pleased that it hit 150 psi, so should be good still for quite a while. 10,000 km is only a bit over 6200 miles, still nearly new! Does yours have autolube? Mine does not, but I wish it did, it gives you more oil w/ more throttle when under load and should help avoid seizing.



I would just follow MJR's good advice, but skip pulling my head if compression is strong. If it's weak, then check the head for leaks and if that's not it, I'd try new rings and a professional hone before I'd spring for a new oversize piston, rings and having my cylinder bored. I've done just this on 3 motors and had good results, but a close examination of your cylinder will tell you if this should work or not. Post pics if in doubt. If you do replace the rings, be SURE to check the end gap as this can also cause seizing if too tight.

Just my impression, what do others experience? - but it seems to me that seizes happen more often on freshly built motors, and usually modified that may be 'tighter' and not yet tuned in just right, than on older stock motors with several thousand happy miles on them.
Thanks for your response.
This p2 is my best running bike as well. Literally has me spoiled. It is a pre mix bike and it still runs strong.
After reading some responses, I did a few checks. Compression is high (around 120). Dropped the oil and it came out beautiful. Plug colour was sexy.
I'm just going to continue to enjoy it.

To address your question: I am unsure if the seizures happen on freshly built motors due to human error or undiagnosed issues.

I've rebuilt a few engines over the past few years and none of them have run like this p2. I've always has some small issue. Could have been my installer error, or an undiagnosed gremlin that ends in me pushing the bike home.

Maybe the old untouched bikes are just seated so well that the essentially do become indestructible (if cared and maintained well).
@safis avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1979 P150X, 1983 P200E, 1987 PK125XL Elestart, 1988 T5, 1995 PX200E, 2011 Yamaha Fazer 600 S2
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4310
Location: Veria, Greece
 
Ossessionato
@safis avatar
1979 P150X, 1983 P200E, 1987 PK125XL Elestart, 1988 T5, 1995 PX200E, 2011 Yamaha Fazer 600 S2
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4310
Location: Veria, Greece
UTC quote
I bought my P with 67k on it from its first and only owner and the engine was never split. He would only bring it in for maintenance and corks when needed. 10k is nothing. Enjoy riding it and don't sweat about it…
@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
Nelluch125 wrote:
Thanks for your response.
This p2 is my best running bike as well. Literally has me spoiled. It is a pre mix bike and it still runs strong.
After reading some responses, I did a few checks. Compression is high (around 120). Dropped the oil and it came out beautiful. Plug colour was sexy.
I'm just going to continue to enjoy it.

To address your question: I am unsure if the seizures happen on freshly built motors due to human error or undiagnosed issues.

I've rebuilt a few engines over the past few years and none of them have run like this p2. I've always has some small issue. Could have been my installer error, or an undiagnosed gremlin that ends in me pushing the bike home.

Maybe the old untouched bikes are just seated so well that the essentially do become indestructible (if cared and maintained well).
You worked the gremlins out years ago and forgot about them .
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
Christopher_55934 wrote:
You worked the gremlins out years ago and forgot about them .
Actually, I never touched that engine.
That's probably why it's still running.
(Knock on wood) lol.
UTC

Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 952
Location: Planet Earth
 
Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 952
Location: Planet Earth
UTC quote
My 2003 PX125 stuck one of its piston rings at 11000km. It might have even happened before that, incredibly it was running on full power no issues with one ring. I only happened open it when I took barrel off to fit a DR177, luckily the ring hadnt disintegrated and fallen into my crank mouth. Im now on 17000km and Im at the point of thinking to have an engine tear down just for safety sake. Its a bit weepy between the engine halve gaskets and around the clutch bell. Things like a bit more vibration at high speed are telling tells that the old girls inner parts need some TLC. I think your P200, youve got a good, 5000kms in it before you consider having a recondition. My mates had 40,000 Miles on the clock and that including a period of no speedo for a while so likely more than that. Those engines in theory can go on and on. If you start kitting them, then that statement isnt accurate Facepalm emoticon
@v_oodoo avatar
UTC

Style Maven
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9618
Location: seattle/athens
 
Style Maven
@v_oodoo avatar
'74 50s x3 '87 PK125XL '92 PK50XLS Plurimatic - & - '58 AllState '68 Sprint '66(?) Super125 and '72 DanMotor Super150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9618
Location: seattle/athens
UTC quote
Quote:
I think your P200, youve got a good, 5000kms in it before you consider having a recondition.
Typo? Surely you meant 50, 000 km on a stock motor for a total of 60,000 or only around 37,000 miles.
@orwell84 avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3198
Location: northern New York
 
Ossessionato
@orwell84 avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3198
Location: northern New York
UTC quote
I'm currently rebuilding a P200 engine and was asking myself some of the same questions. It has low mileage on it, but had the crank replaced after a clutch seal failure. I ran the engine for a short time and decided to rebuild it after soft seizing. It also was sucking gearbox oil.

I have had this mentality of rebuilding any new to me engine as the only way to be certain of it's condition. So I replace bearings, seals, gaskets and cruciform. I'm pretty sure there was nothing wrong with the bearings, but have no idea how to check them. It's one of those, while I have the case split I might as well. But sometimes less really is more.

My attempts at building a mildly tuned engine have been frustrating so far. Seizes, broken rings and endless jetting.

My own opinion is that stock engines are rugged, chunky and generally detuned. Wide tolerances allow for variation in manufacturing tolerances. Stock engines are forgiving because their detuned state keeps the average owner from blowing it up.

I was comparing my stock 200 to the 187 small block I have been building. The 200 cylinder has much more mass and thicker walls than the 177 kits I have seen…but a 177/87 is getting close to the same displacement.

Even with mildly tuned engines, the generous margins for error are narrowed and there is less room for mistakes in jetting, timing, etc. At that point you are building an engine and not just reassembling. I am still trying to figure it out.
OP
UTC

Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
 
Hooked
'81 Vespa P200e, '85 Vespa PX125e, 1985 T5
Joined: UTC
Posts: 366
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
UTC quote
orwell84 wrote:
I'm currently rebuilding a P200 engine and was asking myself some of the same questions. It has low mileage on it, but had the crank replaced after a clutch seal failure. I ran the engine for a short time and decided to rebuild it after soft seizing. It also was sucking gearbox oil.

I have had this mentality of rebuilding any new to me engine as the only way to be certain of it's condition. So I replace bearings, seals, gaskets and cruciform. I'm pretty sure there was nothing wrong with the bearings, but have no idea how to check them. It's one of those, while I have the case split I might as well. But sometimes less really is more.

My attempts at building a mildly tuned engine have been frustrating so far. Seizes, broken rings and endless jetting.

My own opinion is that stock engines are rugged, chunky and generally detuned. Wide tolerances allow for variation in manufacturing tolerances. Stock engines are forgiving because their detuned state keeps the average owner from blowing it up.

I was comparing my stock 200 to the 187 small block I have been building. The 200 cylinder has much more mass and thicker walls than the 177 kits I have seen…but a 177/87 is getting close to the same displacement.

Even with mildly tuned engines, the generous margins for error are narrowed and there is less room for mistakes in jetting, timing, etc. At that point you are building an engine and not just reassembling. I am still trying to figure it out.
I. Feel. Your. Pain.

This is why I want to ensure my p2 lasts as long as it should. If I need to do any preventative maintenance to avoid soul taking pain, then I will.

I do feel you have a point with the original engines being detuned and high higher tolerances. We have to realize that those engines were built to take people to the market, the beach and to work. They weren't designed to be made into racers and driven as hard as we do. (even though I love ripping on those little machines.)
UTC

Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 952
Location: Planet Earth
 
Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 952
Location: Planet Earth
UTC quote
V oodoo wrote:
Typo? Surely you meant 50, 000 km on a stock motor for a total of 60,000 or only around 37,000 miles.
. I said good for another 5000km , at least before a recondition of some inners , such as seals, bearings, gaskets , clutch etc . The engine case will go on and on . I don't think I've ever owned a px that's got past 20km that hasn't needed an engine tear down for some internals needing refurb. I've had four px125 , one t5 and one p2 and in my experience never got past 20k without needing a case split and refurb . Maybe it's my driving ! The current scoot is only one that's been kitted , the others all standard other than an expansion pipe of some description .
UTC

Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4598
Location: London UK
 
Jet Eye Master
PX221 MHR, O tuned PX200, PX125 and some motorbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4598
Location: London UK
UTC quote
Just a note on changing bearings. I never change any unless obviously worn.
The reason for this is the aluminium can get looser with every change.
Using good quality bearings minimises the changes. Taking out quality part worn bearings and fitting a full engine set for £10 from eBay is not helpful.
@scooterist avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
71' Sprint Veloce , 05' Vespa PX150, 1978 P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1558
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Molto Verboso
@scooterist avatar
71' Sprint Veloce , 05' Vespa PX150, 1978 P200E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1558
Location: Tucson, AZ
UTC quote
I had 3 engine failures on my P200E within 2000 miles. The first engine failure was the POS Pinasco 210cc. The "mightly" nickasil cylinder liner and its piston broke into 100 pieces as it if was crackers.

Then I put a stock cylinder, it was running OK but one day I ran it without the air filter while I was adjusting air mixtures and tshooting and some how I had a bizarre accident in which the idle screw got loosen and the spring somehow got sucked into the rotary and got wedged between the cylinder and the piston. The rotary was fixed with special heat resistant paste used on mining, it is a bond that glues well to the metal, similar to JB weld but much tougher.

Lastly, I also put a hole in a piston one time on Insterstate I-10 doing 65mph (GPS) with the throttle opened for a while. It lefts a lot of glitter inside the hand cases.

I am on my fourth cylinder/piston set with Malossi. I am at about 6800 miles but I purchased the P200E back in 2010 with 2500 original miles.

I echo what it has been said, test for compression. As far is the maintenance, I think that the Vespa maintenance booklet calles for decking every 4000 kilometers. Basically removing the cylinder head and cleaning it and inspecting it for hardened burnt two stroke residual. My engine runs very healthy now, it starts typically on the first kick or second kick at most.

Make sure that your spark plug is always clean and that your coil wires and spark plug wires are making good contact. The air to fuel mixture is critical, if you don't fine tune it you can't foul the spark plug (wet) and you have to kickstart it 15-20 times when the engine is hot.
⚠️ Last edited by scooterist on UTC; edited 1 time
@ginch avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8693
Location: Victoria, Australia
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@ginch avatar
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8693
Location: Victoria, Australia
UTC quote
My friend did about 85,000km on her PX 200 before needing to rebuild the top end. That was 2 or 3 years ago, it's close to 110,000 now I believe.
DoubleGood Design banner

Modern Vespa is the premier site for modern Vespa and Piaggio scooters. Vespa GTS300, GTS250, GTV, GT200, LX150, LXS, ET4, ET2, MP3, Fuoco, Elettrica and more.

Buy Me A Coffee
 

Shop on Amazon with Modern Vespa

Modern Vespa is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


All Content Copyright 2005-2024 by Modern Vespa.
All Rights Reserved.


[ Time: 0.0216s ][ Queries: 4 (0.0054s) ][ live ][ 313 ][ ThingOne ]