OP
@duomatic avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
 
Enthusiast
@duomatic avatar
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
UTC quote
Trusty fellow enthusiasts,

Over the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that the steering on my GT200 will suddenly become resistant to turning right.

It lasts just a few seconds, and then it is gone. The resistance is sudden and strong, but not so strong that I can't turn the wheel. It feels much the same as getting caught in a rut in the road, and at first I thought that was the cause. It took several instances on different road conditions to convince me that it was even happening at all. The only similarity between occurrences is that, so far, it seems to happen at slower speeds, below 20 miles per hour (lucky, that!).

Today it happened as I was coming to a stop at a light, repositioning in the lane a bit, on a nice smooth road surface, and this time it was very clear to me that it was a mechanical issue with the Vespa. As such, I shut off the ignition, and walked it between the stopped cars and onto the sidewalk.

I think it may just be something getting caught, wires for instance, or perhaps some object has fallen down along the steering column somewhere, and is catching occasionally as the vibrations of normal travel shake it around.

Before I take it into the shop for an official diagnosis, I would like to take a look myself, as the problem may be easily solved by removing a stray bit of plastic that wandered in there, or by using a few well-placed zip ties on a loose bundle of wires, etc. (Plus, I am always looking for an excuse to take my scooter apart and see what makes it tick...)

My question is this: Where should I look first? Inside the headset cover, or behind the glovebox panel? This would be the first time I have removed either, so I don't have a good mental map of the terrain in there yet. My searching around on these forums has been somewhat helpful, but not enough to get me up and rolling, screwdriver in hand.

Or, any other suggestions?

Thanks up front for your help in turning my scooter back into an "ambi-turner."


Safety note: I should add that, until I have found the cause, I will not be riding the scooter. If the cause is not crystal clear after taking a look inside, off to the local mechanic it will go. Steering issues are right up there with "iffy" brakes in my book, and are not to be trifled with.
@brodyfrompa avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
04 GT200 & 2005 PX150(sold), 2005 Bajaj Tuktuk
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1759
Location: pa
 
Molto Verboso
@brodyfrompa avatar
04 GT200 & 2005 PX150(sold), 2005 Bajaj Tuktuk
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1759
Location: pa
UTC quote
whats the tire pressure?
OP
@duomatic avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
 
Enthusiast
@duomatic avatar
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
UTC quote
A wee low, at 26 or 27 psi at the moment, but I typically keep them a little high, so I think it has been well within range of late.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43717
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43717
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
Do you by any chance have a Faco front rack?
OP
@duomatic avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
 
Enthusiast
@duomatic avatar
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
UTC quote
I do not. Although I have planned to buy a front rack, I have yet to add such an accoutrement to my Vespa.
@scoot avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa 946
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1379
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
 
Molto Verboso
@scoot avatar
Vespa 946
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1379
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
UTC quote
If you remove both pieces of the headset you should get a good enough look. Taking the glovebox off too would help but not sure how big of a project you want!!

It happens at lower sLeeds cause thats when you actually turn the wheel. The rest of the time you're just leaning. I've had to coat a few of my wires with silicone so they don't bunch up like that. Pretty easy fix.
UTC

Ossessionato
2018 GTS Super
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2107
Location: Googleville
 
Ossessionato
2018 GTS Super
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2107
Location: Googleville
UTC quote
duomatic wrote:
My question is this: Where should I look first? Inside the headset cover, or behind the glovebox panel?
My vote is for glovebox panel.

Throttle cable, brake lines, wire harness all need to move with side-to-side movement of bars. Sounds like something's hanging up.
@jess avatar
UTC

Petty Tyrant
0:7 And counting
Joined: UTC
Posts: 37274
Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
@jess avatar
0:7 And counting
Joined: UTC
Posts: 37274
Location: Bay Area, California
UTC quote
I agree with the assessments so far, and I'll add another one to the list of possibilities: notched steering bearings.
@tomjasz avatar
UTC

Grievance Farmer
Joined: UTC
Posts: 15921
 
Grievance Farmer
@tomjasz avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 15921
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Do you by any chance have a Faco front rack?
Where are going with that?
@gtdespatchcourier avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
GTS 300ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1655
Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
 
Molto Verboso
@gtdespatchcourier avatar
GTS 300ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1655
Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
UTC quote
i just had the same problem - i though it might be the cables getting jamed up because i have heated grips installed and there are extra wires in there.

but at 20 000 miles i also new the steering bearing would need some attention.

when i did take the steering bearings out they simply fell out in a pile of rust, and needed replacing.

make sure you have a new set of bearings handy before doing the job.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43717
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43717
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
tomjasz wrote:
jimc wrote:
Do you by any chance have a Faco front rack?
Where are going with that?
If the lower front hook isn't bent just right (away from supplied shape), it can stay proud of the under-surface of the front legshield and foul the top of the front fender. Guess how I know.
@tomjasz avatar
UTC

Grievance Farmer
Joined: UTC
Posts: 15921
 
Grievance Farmer
@tomjasz avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 15921
UTC quote
YS told you? Razz emoticon
Good bit to put in brain trust!
OP
@duomatic avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
 
Enthusiast
@duomatic avatar
GT 200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 61
Location: Tucson
UTC quote
Thanks to all for your usual sagely advice. I will remove both the headset cover and the glovebox panel for good measure. I'm hoping it is the wires, and not the notched steering bearings.

The timing couldn't be better to give my old scoot some down-time. Last month I picked up a pristine '07 GT200 with only around 1100 miles on it for a song. The seller was a casualty of the local real estate market downturn. He still owed $225k on his house. It sold at auction for $125k. Ouch. I gave him cash and my heartfelt sympathy, and knew better than to haggle on the price. Poor guy. There but for the grace of [insert deity] go I...
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