Vespas - have you ridden one ?

muzz67, Aug 27, 7:59pm
Mine had the twistgrip gearchange, never really liked that arrangement.
Clutch lever was not easily reached in either 1st or 4th, and gear cable was always going out of adjustment, so sometimes had to move off in second (only 50cc I think), or ride home in 3rd ,again.

slarty45, Aug 27, 8:24pm
Had a mint red 1968 180SS that seized between Te Hana & Wellsford.
Walked to Te Hana garage for an ice cream and then back to the Vespa.
It fired straight up and seemed to run slightly better.
Sold it for sod all (late 70`s) but reckon it would be worth plenty today.

Also had a early 60`s Douglas Vespa 150 Sportique that was gutless compared to the SS

Never had a problem with clutch cable but the 2 gear change cables needed regular tinkering

electromic, Aug 27, 8:25pm
I rode a 200cc model with a twist-grip gear change in the early '90s.
It was a great machine for cruising around town or short trips out of town. 100km/h was a blast on it.

sw20, Aug 27, 9:19pm
I've got a yellow '67 180 SS. One of the Airco CKD's assembled in Newmarket. My late grandfather bought it new in '67 from the dealer in Christchurch when he sold his farm at Oxford and was moving back to Blenheim.

kazbanz, Aug 28, 8:42am
I ran track days for a few years and at a couple of them had a “scooter” class for the Vespa piiagio guys. Dang they could crank those things over. I had a 1990s 200 cc (from memory) traded in and rode it for awhile to the bank . I just couldn’t,t get to like the agricultural gear change

yz490, Aug 28, 11:29am
Worked on them [mostly gear cables] most weeks, maybe months back in the "60's. God a hated doing those cables.[even god woulda hated doing them lol]. Had an asian university customer with a 180SS that used to fly around town far too quick till he hit something. I took it for a squirt after repairs & remember thinking--this'd head of my BSA B33 500. Bit scary to ride & too lightweight in the front, plus trailing axle front would dive to the bottom under front braking. Can't fault the motors for reliability though. Remember looking down the spout of a 90ss by memory probably thinking reed valve inlet but no--had the inlet controlled by the right half crank wheel cutaway running close to the case--vespa's rotary valve i'll call it. Thanks for the memories. Come to think--in more recent years where i worked we sold the PX200's, electric start & all that, but don't think it had the getup n go of that early 180ss--modern engine restriction requirements, or memory fade maybe.Loved the Lambretta's to ride. & Triumph Tigress till they bumped into something & locked up the front forks [two forks on one side sliding in a big allow housing with easily removed front wheel] Think they broke the frame too up by the steering head. Sorry, reminiscing! . Give me a heavy old Rabbit 125 or an 11000rpm VIcta 50. We used to do big jumps on our Victa by increasing the rubber band front springs. Thanks--Ok over & out.

gph1961, Aug 28, 12:05pm
you better have a lie down cos being over excited you wont sleep tonight

tamarillo, Aug 28, 1:36pm

glang, Aug 28, 5:22pm
I had a brief ride on a Vespa 180cc in 1971 and my memory of it was how easily it was to lift the front wheel under acceleration. No wonder as most of the weight is over the rear wheel.

tub4, Sep 1, 8:44pm
I used to steal my brothers one when I was 13, brought my first motorcycle at 14 and have a few now at 63, never been without one. My mother often told people it was an illness 😂😂

gblack, Sep 1, 9:27pm
Nice thing is that Piaggio are still churning Vespas, or at least a 2020 version of the same:

Never really liked 2-strokes, but newer models would still be good if you lived downtown Auckland or similar with no open road running

tamarillo, Sep 2, 6:58am
You know vespas are 4 strokes now? Certainly quieter, more efficient etc but boy I miss 2 stroke noises.
Paul Owen, motoring journo and Rider has a Vespa 300.

pfemstn, Sep 7, 11:19am
i had one in the 1960,s, 125cc 45 mph flat out, dangerous off road [used to ride it around the farm] terrible gearchange, had a habit of seizing up if you kept the throttle full open for long periods of time, was 1958 model!

bjmh, Nov 24, 3:02am
My uncle had one,we used to take it up #9 which is now the Pureora Timber Trail. we shot deer and brought them out on the "Vespa". We had to cross a gorge that had a wire and a flying fox for your gear.My last memory of that vespa was it whistling through space below the flying fox.It had worked heaps of times before,but this day the #8 wire connection broke.Its about a 70 metre fall to the river below.I remember lots of plastic.

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