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Old 03-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
OKC99 OP
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Pulled the Trigger on a Vespa 250 GTS

Hello Fuel Sippers,

Sit back, grab a hot cocoa and let me tell you a story.


Im 35 now and my motorbike experiences over the past 5 yrs read like a serious case of 2wheel-turrets syndrome. Maybe some of you can relate.

Back in 2007, I got the hankering for some fun on 2 wheels so I conducted an extensive search and realized I wanted a 150 Aprilia Scarabeo. I found a used one near Chicago so I went and picked it up. A nice ride, but it would only hit 60mph and I soon grew out of it as visions of long distance touring danced in my head.

So 5 months later, I decided to step up to an 07 Yamaha Majesty. At the time that was a leap. My S.O. at the time and I embarked on many 2-up trips and had some great times. It was extremely exciting back then going long distances for the first time. We felt like pioneers conquering the country side (on 379 ccs!).

1 year later I was single again and found myself not using the Majesty much for short commutes or fun. I recall many a summer day looking at it, considering whether or not to take it out and thinking its not worth the hassle.

I sold it soon after and later I moved to OKC. While there I found myself getting the bug again and decided to get a brand new 2007 Buell Ulysses. ** insert hours of X-rated bike-love stories here, intermixed with frustrating days spent getting it repaired**

12k miles later I decided to sell it because I was living in DC and had done all the 3-day weekend trips I could think of. And this was NOT the bike you want to use for short city rides (think heated thighs!)

Anyway, its been 2 years since Ive been on 2 wheels and after extensive searching which included SH150i, Kymco Yager 200, Kymco People 250S, 2012 Vstrom (man is that thing light on its feet!), a new Burgman 400, and a Honda NT700v.I finally pulled the trigger on a new 2009 Vespa 250 GTS. I test drove it today and thought:

1) Tall windshield = no buffeting?, Check!
2) Great mpg?, Check!
3) Hwy capable? Check!
4) Big top case possible? , Check!
5) Decent dealer network? Check!
6) No chain? Check!
7) Fits my six two frame? Check!
8) Warm fuzzy for being eco-friendly? Check!!!


The great thing about owning several bikes and racking up miles is this:

You continually get closer to forming an opinion about what you really want in a bike, what you really value, and what you can do without. And thats priceless.


I take delivery next week and am farkling it out the ying yang.

Im moving back to DC this summer and look forward to weekend getaways to Lynchburg, VA. No one really cares for that town, but for some reason I love it! Civil war, that really nice restaurant. Excuse to hit Charlottesville on the way. Good times. Maybe even Roanoke.

In the mean time I will do some Indiana/Ohio getaways! Im in Bloomington, IN so brown county and French Licke are nearby. Great hills.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
klaviator
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250cc is a good size. I have an Aprilia sport city 250 with the same engine as your Vespa.

I lived near DC for 3 years. I loved the riding in the mountains to the east.

On last thing....on this forum, you need to post Pics or it never happened
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
starreem
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If you are buying this from a legit Vespa dealer, ask if the fuel pump recall has been performed. Starting in late 2008 production, defective fuel pumps were found. Piaggio finally acknowledged the problem last year, and started a campaign to replace the defective fuel pumps. Any dealer should be able to get this fixed for you, at no cost to you.

Defective fuel pump symptoms are inability to re-start when warm. Letting it sit for an hour, or a few will allow starting.

Another common issue is the lousy design on the EVAP canister system for emissions. Problems start with inadvertent overfilling of the fuel tank. Again, causing warm re-start problems. Most folks just remove the EVAP system all together, but to get yourself out of a jam, open the fuel cap. If you hear air rushing in, you were likely in a vapor lock situation with the canister full of fuel.

The QUASAR engine design is mostly bulletproof. Lots of good info at modernvespa.com

The only real problem I have had is a too short (IMO) spark plug wire. It eventually will work its way loose from the plug cap, due to the engine pivoting on the swingarm. If you look towards the front of the engine, you will see the plug wire coming form the coil under the left floorboard, and passing through a clip holding the wire to the body, just behind the battery compartment. I have disengaged the wire from that clip on several GTSs, with no adverse effects, and never again had the problem.

starreem screwed with this post 03-03-2012 at 07:23 AM
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
gogogordy
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Congrats

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKC99 View Post


6) No chain? Check!

You'll enjoy your new Vespa....I sure do love my 2006 GTS250ie.

The no chain thing...depending on your POV, (is the glass half full, or half empty?) as the CVT and variator is far from maintenance free, or inexpensive to service. The Vespa CVT seem to have some of the most involved service needs of any like sized scooters, IMO.

Belts last about 8k and run nearly 200 bucks plus labor and/or specialized tools to DIY. For high-mileage riders this adds up quick and makes lubing and cleaning a chain a minor, and very inexpensive inconvenience in comparison. Piaggio has addressed this with the new, yet-to-be-here-in-the-US BV350 with extended service intervals and parts life.

As Starreem suggests, join modernvespa.com as there is literally more info than you can use there on recalls, belts, troublesome areas (all bikes have them) etc.

You'll have a great time on it, they are great in town scooters and can be set up quite nicely for comfortable touring duty as well.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
emmettken
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Yeah! We need Pics. Good choice.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
cbolling
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I am glad to hear that at 6'2" you are comfortable in the Vespa. I think about getting one a lot. I am 6'1" and am told that I look way too big for my Zuma 125.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
OKC99 OP
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Thanks guys for the tips on Vespa maintenance. The dealer did do the fuel pump fix. Also, I know that this bike won't be perfect, but you have no idea how many Saturdays I spent in the Harley dealer getting my Buell fixed. I'll gladly pay $200 every 5k miles for a new belt :). In short, I know this scoot will be a huge improvement in stress-free riding. With the Buell, I was always worried what will break if I'm out on a weekend trip.

I haven't yet received the scoot yet cause I'm getting it farkled before delivery. My farkles include:

1) chrome kit for protection
2) E470 Givi top box (with light kit hopefully)
3) front luggage rack (like the GTV)
4) tall windshield
5) 12 v plug in

I'll post pics as still as I get it.

And to those taller riders out there, yes I was also surprised I felt so comfortable. Much more so than the maxi scooters I also sat on recently. Your legs turn 90 degrees at the knee as opposed to 70 or 45 on other maxis.

OKC99 screwed with this post 03-03-2012 at 06:15 PM
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:21 AM   #8
JerseyBiker
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I loved my GTS250 and sold it 'cause of a strong front wheel wobble. Now I wish I'd kept it and tried harder to reduce or eliminate that issue.

IMO the GTS250 is one of the finest scoots around. You are gonna have so much fun!!

Congrats!
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
cdwise
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Power point is easy on a GTS http://www.scooterwest.com/item_deta...OWER-PLUG/1708 unscrew the left shoulder panel plug in the connector on the above, set it in shoulder and replace the screw.

FWIW, I much prefer the upright position of the Vespa-Piaggio-Aprilia scoots to the maxiscoot foot forward position. I know people as tall as 6'4" who ride GTS & GTV comfortably though most of them have the single seat not the split GTV seat.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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Congrats on the new GTS. It is a great scoot overall that I'm sure you will enjoy tremendously.

If you care to change the belt yourself, check out http://www.psntuning.co.uk/

Last summer, I got a genuine Piaggio belt, oil filter, rollers and a spark plug for about $105 total. They sell it as a kit for tune-ups. Specialty tools to do the belt change are about $40 total.

The stock rollers are known for early wear. Consider replacing them with Dr Pulley Sliders. 11 gram is similar to stock, and 10 gram perks up performance a bit, with the trade-off of a bit revvier engine.

As Jerseybiker noted, some (not all) of the GTS models get a wobble. Mine was fine until I replaced the front tire (you will go through two rears for each front). Because so many people claimed long wear I went with Michelin City Grip, and it wobbled a lot. Bar end weights helped a little, but the big solution for my scoot was to run the air pressure of the FRONT tire to 37 psi. Anything less than 35 psi and the wobble comes back. Last week I was going down the road about 50 mph using the throttle lock without any trace of wobble. Overinflating the rear tire made no change on my scoot. NOTE - that big GIVI box you put on is going to enhance the probability of your scoot having wobble to near 100%. Be sure you get bar end weights - the bigger the better.

Enjoy it and don't forget the pictures!
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
JerseyBiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoldArt View Post

trimmed

NOTE - that big GIVI box you put on is going to enhance the probability of your scoot having wobble to near 100%.
agreed. When I put the Givi on the wobble was 10x worse. W/o the Givi it wasn't so bad. The larger/heavier bar end weights didn't stop my wobble. :(
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #12
OKC99 OP
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Is there any reason to think the 300 would no suffer the same chance/risk of this same wobble? I'll be getting the tall windshield so maybe that will right-size it if it happens.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:05 PM   #13
JerseyBiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKC99 View Post
Is there any reason to think the 300 would no suffer the same chance/risk of this same wobble? I'll be getting the tall windshield so maybe that will right-size it if it happens.
AFAIK the 300 would be subject to the same risk of wobble but I'd suggest you check out ModernVespa.com and read the posts there about. Those folks are very friendly and knowledgable.

Lot's of opinions on what causes the wobble on the 250 but no definitive cause I ever found.

If I go back to one I will try not to put a top case on since that definitely makes it worse. I don't' recall anything about the shields causing wobble but it has been a bit since I read those posts.

Wish you the best. Once you own a Vespa you will appreciate why they cost more. They are really quality machines.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
cdwise
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I had a wobble on my GTS that was improved with bar ends - I have a large Givi trunk on it but what really solved the wobble was a new tire. The one that was on the front developed a bubble and when I replaced the tire the wobble went away.

One of our BV 500s had a bad wobble at 75+ remounting and balancing the tire fixed that wobble and its now rock solid at all speeds.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:40 AM   #15
JerseyBiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwise View Post
I had a wobble on my GTS that was improved with bar ends - I have a large Givi trunk on it but what really solved the wobble was a new tire. The one that was on the front developed a bubble and when I replaced the tire the wobble went away.

One of our BV 500s had a bad wobble at 75+ remounting and balancing the tire fixed that wobble and its now rock solid at all speeds.

I tried the bar end weights without success but never got around to trying a new tire. Tightened the head bolt and a few other things also without success.

Every time I see a Red Vespa my heart beats faster. LOL If I find a Red one at a decent price I'm gonna scoop it up and do whatever it takes to eliminate the wobble.

BTW - Is the BV engine as smooth as the GTS engines are?
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