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@jon651 avatar
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2016 GTS300ie
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@jon651 avatar
2016 GTS300ie
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UTC quote
Greetings Everyone,

I am a new member from Central Florida and my wife and I own a 2016 Vespa GTS 300ie. We bought it new in 2019 (it sat on the showroom floor forever...) and I just recently started riding it after selling my motorcycle.

Recently I started it up after about 6 months of it not being used. It has very few miles on it. For the past several days we have had no problems whatsoever. It starts quickly, runs smoothly, and has had no electrical issues - until today.

Today I was riding it around town and on a long, straight stretch I lost all electrical power - the speedo froze at 45mph, no malfunction lights lit up, the headlight shut off and I had to coast to the side of the road. It was operating smoothly and normally right up to that point (Yes, it has gas in it!). I can do a lot of routine maintenance, but I am not an electrical expert.

When I got to a safe area, the ignition key was dead, the dash was dead and I had absolutely zero electrical power at all. I had my wife bring my truck with tools and checked all the fuses - all six in the glove box and the main fuse next to the battery were still good. The battery itself was very hot. I tried to jump start it and it would turn over but not run. It exhausted my portable jump starter.

Thinking it might be an internal short in the battery we got a replacement. On first installation, the bike started and ran. I turned it off and packed up my tools and in the span of 10 minutes the battery was dead flat and very hot to the touch. Same symptoms as before, like there was a short somewhere. Running out of daylight and not wanting to risk yet another new battery, I had some neighbors help me truck the bike back home.

At home, the fuses are still good and I cannot readily find any burned or scorched wiring/connectors in the engine bay. It's not easy for me to get the bike to the nearest authorized dealer (Winter Park, 2 counties away on the other side of Orlando), so I'm hoping someone here will have some idea what's going on.

Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I will try my best to answer any questions.

Cheers - Jon651
@greasy125 avatar
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Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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UTC quote
I'd start with giving a hairy eyeball to the leads coming off the battery, and specifically the battery terminals making sure that nothing is grounding back to the frame.

sometimes it's possible that there's a dead short between two wires within the wiring sheath.

how good is your multimeter and how sharp are your electrical diagnostic skills?
UTC

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Beverly 350 and a whole bunch of Shovelheads.
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Beverly 350 and a whole bunch of Shovelheads.
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I would pay close attention to the starter motor wiring. It sounds like a dead short, and any kind of normal wire would heat up and burn the plastic off. The only wires that would survive a dead short are the thick wires in the starter motor circuit. Typically this circuit is also un-fused (it is unfused on my old Harleys) because of the high current.
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Addicted
Vespa GTS 300
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Addicted
Vespa GTS 300
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UTC quote
Did you also check the fuses in battery compartment?
@buggsy avatar
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Hooked
GTV / GTS
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Location: Somewhere on the Island of Great Britain, East Coast, Last time I looked.
 
Hooked
@buggsy avatar
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UTC quote
If you cant find a fault on the battery leads, cooked batteries no smell of burning, Id be checking the alternator stator, charging system, fault sending an overcharge to the battery ?
If so when repaired you will need a new battery as the other two wont recover or recondition.
@wbdvt avatar
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Molto Verboso
'16 Sprint S 150, 2 x '06 GTS 250, '12 GTS 300, '74 Vespa 150 Super
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Molto Verboso
@wbdvt avatar
'16 Sprint S 150, 2 x '06 GTS 250, '12 GTS 300, '74 Vespa 150 Super
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UTC quote
Did you look at the stator connector under the pet carrier? You may have the problematic brown connector which can melt. Have you checked that?
Please report what you find and the ultimate resolution to your issue
OP
@jon651 avatar
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@jon651 avatar
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UTC quote
Thanks greatly for everyone's input. Some of the things listed I am simply not qualified to test and diagnosis. I spent the morning doing a little bit of diagnostics (within my abilities) and I found a dead short between the battery cables. With the battery removed, of course.

I used my multimeter and there is only 1-2 ohms resistance between the cables. Since the main 30A fuse near the battery is not blown (or even scorched) then the short must be very close to the battery. I still cannot eyeball all of the wiring to physically see if there is anything scorched.

And now it's decision time. Do I dig into the wiring myself and run the risk of screwing it up or not fixing the problem, or do I take it to an inconvenient dealer for what will undoubtedly cost me a lot of money?

Thanks for any (more) advice!

P.S. - I think I should address a few of the suggestions already given:
- All the fuses are fine, including the ones inside the glove box.
- I don't know where the stator connector is to determine if it is burnt.
- I don't think I'm qualified to test the alternator or starter solenoid on my own.
- If I fry something or ruin the bike, my wife will kill me...

Cheers - Jon651
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Hooked
2001 ET4 "Mona"
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Jon651 wrote:
- If I fry something or ruin the bike, my wife will kill me...

Cheers - Jon651
Welcome to the forum. You made me laugh.

I'm willing to bet you can figure it out, especially with the help you'll get here.

Give it a shot!
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Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Location: Belgium
UTC quote
You measure 1-2 Ohms resistance between the battery cables. I guess with contact off so there should not be electricity consumption and you expect the resistance to be infinite.

What you can do is to remove 1 by 1 the fuses and check the resistance. If at a certain point the resistance goes to infinite then that is the circuit where you have the short circuit.
@buggsy avatar
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Hooked
GTV / GTS
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Location: Somewhere on the Island of Great Britain, East Coast, Last time I looked.
 
Hooked
@buggsy avatar
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UTC quote
Well done on finding it Clap emoticon , If you attempt to do the repair make sure you have the materials too hand to do it like self fusing silicone tape or shrink band the latter you need a heat gun or small soldering iron to shrink it, so the silicone tape maybe favorite, if you're sure its not far from the battery its not so invasive.
If its been laid up for 6 months and was running fine prior it would be nice to know the cause, any sign of rodent chewing if it is re-check with the meter as this may not be the only repair to do.

P.S didn't say earlier, Welcome to MV.c
@petercc avatar
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Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Molto Verboso
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Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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UTC quote
Jon651 wrote:
Greetings Everyone,

I am a new member from Central Florida and my wife and I own a 2016 Vespa GTS 300ie. We bought it new in 2019 (it sat on the showroom floor forever...) and I just recently started riding it after selling my motorcycle.

Recently I started it up after about 6 months of it not being used. It has very few miles on it. For the past several days we have had no problems whatsoever. It starts quickly, runs smoothly, and has had no electrical issues - until today.
(...)
Let me come back to what you wrote here.

It is a 2016. You bought it in 2019, new, was never used.
Then you say that you just recently started riding it.
Then you say: "Recently I started it up after about 6 months of it not being used."

Tell us a bit on what you did with it on driving it between 2019 and about several days ago.

More specifically: what did you do with charging the battery? I expect after long stand still the battery lost its load and you had to recharge it, or did you park it for long time with the battery disconnected?
@buggsy avatar
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Hooked
GTV / GTS
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Hooked
@buggsy avatar
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UTC quote
Thanks for any (more) advice!

P.S. - I think I should address a few of the suggestions already given:
- All the fuses are fine, including the ones inside the glove box.
- I don't know where the stator connector is to determine if it is burnt.
- I don't think I'm qualified to test the alternator or starter solenoid on my own.
- If I fry something or ruin the bike, my wife will kill me...

Cheers - Jon651

You can find the manual here for your model to give you some further help. but it cant help you with your last sentence... ROFL emoticon https://manuals.wotmeworry.org.uk/
@wbdvt avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
'16 Sprint S 150, 2 x '06 GTS 250, '12 GTS 300, '74 Vespa 150 Super
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Molto Verboso
@wbdvt avatar
'16 Sprint S 150, 2 x '06 GTS 250, '12 GTS 300, '74 Vespa 150 Super
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UTC quote
Remove the pet carrier and there is a large connector near the front. It may be brown
Melted one
Melted one
@buggsy avatar
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Jon651 hope yours doesn't look like that^^^^^ Wha? emoticon
OP
@jon651 avatar
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2016 GTS300ie
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Location: Central Florida
 
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@jon651 avatar
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UTC quote
PeterCC wrote:
Let me come back to what you wrote here.

It is a 2016. You bought it in 2019, new, was never used.
Then you say that you just recently started riding it.
Then you say: "Recently I started it up after about 6 months of it not being used."

Tell us a bit on what you did with it on driving it between 2019 and about several days ago.

More specifically: what did you do with charging the battery? I expect after long stand still the battery lost its load and you had to recharge it, or did you park it for long time with the battery disconnected?
This is a legit question. I've been riding motorcycles since the 80's and Harleys since '91 and recently sold my 2009 FLHTCU because frankly my hips and legs can't deal with that kind of weight anymore.

In 2019, my wife got the itch for a scooter so we found our current 2016 GTS 300 at a dealer, untitled and still with only low double-digits on the odometer. My wife has been using it since then but never put a lot of miles on it. She last rode it sometime early this year (6+ months ago) and it has been sitting in the garage ever since. I am religious about keeping all of my equipment on high-end battery chargers/maintainers, and the scooter was no different.

When I sold my bike the week before Thanksgiving, I cleaned up her scooter and got it running (started on the second crank) with every intention on using it locally for errands - until this happened. Now I'm here talking to you good folks...

Hope that clears things up a bit.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
GT 2.4
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GT 2.4
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UTC quote
Might be a bad voltage regulator. These will heat batteries right up until they boil.
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Member
LX150, GTS300ie
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LX150, GTS300ie
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UTC quote
I'm standing by waiting to see the outcome.
My GTS, bought last week, is similar.
2013 with only 12 miles on it.
I removed EVERY removable cover and searched for chewed/shorted wires. Found a few and repaired correctly.
A faulty voltage regulator will cook a battery especially a cheap one.
That's all I can add to the conversation.
@petercc avatar
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Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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UTC quote
Jon651 wrote:
(...)
Hope that clears things up a bit.
Clarifies a lot indeed.

The scooter has been in regular use, although low mileage, mostly driven by the wife, and if sitting for a longer time you keep it on a tender.
That should be OK. I am doing it the same way with my BV.
It looks like something must have broken down all of a sudden and without warning.
May I ask you what tender you are using?

Did you do that test with removing the fuses one by one? A resistance of 1 - 2 Ohms means with battery in 6-12 Amps will flow and that will not kill several of your fuses. You will have probably a 30Amps fuse and several 15Amps fuses.
@petercc avatar
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Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
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UTC quote
Spinmix wrote:
I'm standing by waiting to see the outcome.
My GTS, bought last week, is similar.
2013 with only 12 miles on it.
I removed EVERY removable cover and searched for chewed/shorted wires. Found a few and repaired correctly.
A faulty voltage regulator will cook a battery especially a cheap one.
That's all I can add to the conversation.
That is interesting.
You say you found a few. Can you explain in more detail what you did find faulty?
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LX150, GTS300ie
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My scooter seems to be running fine. For a tender I use a deltran. I have probably 10 machines with batteries. I rotate.
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LX150, GTS300ie
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UTC quote
There's some pretty sharp guys on here. The first thing they'll want to know what the voltage is at the battery when running at mid rpm
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@jon651 avatar
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2016 GTS300ie
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UTC quote
Progress Report - I think I narrowed the issue down to a direct short-to-ground in the positive battery cable. Even with the main fuse removed (the one right next to the battery, 30A) I'm still reading electrical flow between the positive terminal and ground. Unless I'm mistaken, the main fuse SHOULD isolate the battery completely from the rest of the bike, so I should get zero flow if it were removed.

I don't feel that it's a bad starter/solenoid because the starter has been working just as it should with the button. Also, a closer look in the engine bay shows no burnt or melted connectors or wiring at all.

I'm going to try to get into the positive wires between the battery lead and the main fuse - there are several places where these wires are zip-tied to metal brackets and it seems these ties are pulled really, really tight. Perhaps we just got to the point where even normal vibration has worn through some insulation.

Oh, and while we are stating preferences - I'm a big fan of the "Battery Saver" from Granite Digital. And No, I don't work for them...
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
Jon651 wrote:
Progress Report - I think I narrowed the issue down to a direct short-to-ground in the positive battery cable. Even with the main fuse removed (the one right next to the battery, 30A) I'm still reading electrical flow between the positive terminal and ground. Unless I'm mistaken, the main fuse SHOULD isolate the battery completely from the rest of the bike, so I should get zero flow if it were removed.
Not so - the main cable to the starter relay, and the output of that to the starter are not fused. The starter can take up to 75-80A as it starts to turn (the stall current) and you don't want a fuse in the way, as that'd drop considerable voltage. Fuses are just dim light-bulbs after all.
Quote:
I don't feel that it's a bad starter/solenoid because the starter has been working just as it should with the button. Also, a closer look in the engine bay shows no burnt or melted connectors or wiring at all.

I'm going to try to get into the positive wires between the battery lead and the main fuse - there are several places where these wires are zip-tied to metal brackets and it seems these ties are pulled really, really tight. Perhaps we just got to the point where even normal vibration has worn through some insulation.

Oh, and while we are stating preferences - I'm a big fan of the "Battery Saver" from Granite Digital. And No, I don't work for them...
Look for a chafed insulation on the big cable on its way to the starter relay. Also, double-check the terminal at the battery +ve wasn't anywhere near a frame point - the early 250's were prone to this as the batteries had the +ve to the right, rather than the left (front of the GTS, rather than towards the rear).
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LX150, GTS300ie
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LX150, GTS300ie
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UTC quote
Every panel came off of mine due to mice. Checked and secured every wire. Taped everything, tie wraps where needed, routed wire bundles, etc. wire bundles are packed in there.
The Italian that put my scooter together musta had a little too much vino for lunch that day; it wasn't a good job even before the mice got to it.
A little tricky taking floorboard and cover off, I've done a few. Plastic breaks so be cautious when removing and assembling.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@petercc avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
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Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Location: Belgium
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Not so - the main cable to the starter relay, and the output of that to the starter are not fused. The starter can take up to 75-80A as it starts to turn (the stall current) and you don't want a fuse in the way, as that'd drop considerable voltage. Fuses are just dim light-bulbs after all.



Look for a chafed insulation on the big cable on its way to the starter relay. Also, double-check the terminal at the battery +ve wasn't anywhere near a frame point - the early 250's were prone to this as the batteries had the +ve to the right, rather than the left (front of the GTS, rather than towards the rear).
Looks as good advice to me.
@petercc avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1136
Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
Joined: UTC
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Location: Belgium
UTC quote
Spinmix wrote:
Every panel came off of mine due to mice. Checked and secured every wire. Taped everything, tie wraps where needed, routed wire bundles, etc. wire bundles are packed in there.
(...)
So you found damage done by rodents, mice in your case.
That is a realistic possibility. We have had twice damage on the wiring caused by a marten on one of our cars.
OP
@jon651 avatar
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Member
2016 GTS300ie
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@jon651 avatar
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UTC quote
Solution!

After poking around as much as I dare (translation - as much as my wife would let me...), I decided a more experienced hand was in order and trailered the scooter to our not-so-local shop about an hour away. Got a call today and they discovered a direct short to ground in the positive battery cable and fixed it right up. While it's in the shop I am also having them replace a radiator hose that leaked out all the coolant so it looks like all will turn out good. We do have to wait for the hose to be ordered but we have lots of time since we are taking our travel trailer and dogs to St. Augustine next week to walk thru town, see the lights and do a little holiday shopping.

I VERY GREATLY appreciate all the helpful advice everyone offered to a new member, and I will continue to lurk around, enjoy the posts, and possibly even learn a thing or two along the way.

Cheers - Jon651
@petercc avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Posts: 1136
Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Location: Belgium
UTC quote
Thanks for sharing.
Did the mechanic give you more detail on what was or what caused that short circuit?
OP
@jon651 avatar
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2016 GTS300ie
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@jon651 avatar
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UTC quote
Yes, he did. He said the box that the battery sits in was missing, allowing the battery to move around inside the battery well enough to abrade a section of the positive cable against a panel edge. This shorted out directly to ground which caused the electrical issues.

My best guess is that when the bike was sitting on the showroom floor for so long before it got sold, it may have been the subject of a little "opportunistic scavenging". Since I would not know that there should have been a separate box other than the well it sat in, I had no idea it was missing in the first place! They apparently went over the bike as they replaced the rotted radiator hose, which I understand is quite an involved job. No mention of anything else out of order so I should be able to pick it up tomorrow.

All's well and all that, and thanks again for everyone's help and advice.
@petercc avatar
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Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Posts: 1136
Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
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Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
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Location: Belgium
UTC quote
That is a very clear explanation.
Thank you for that.

Now with the problem solved, I wish you many miles of pleasant and flawless driving.
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