Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rekindling the blog.

Welcome back. almost a year to the day, well a week out.....
Over the last day or so, the ever present discussion about the pros and cons of scooters restored overseas, Viet Nam specifically in this case, has reared it's head again in the Australian Scooter scene. While I put my own grievances to bed years ago now, I feel compelled to comment, as I have on the forum that this discussion is currently taking place.
Planet Vespa has been the focus of the discussion and the person running the show out of HCMC is involved in the said conversation, this was always going to happen, this person has put himself out there to cop all manor of comments in order to put some faith back into the one or two restorers based in Viet Nam that stand by their work, while the dozens of other bodgy back yard operators give them a bad reputation.
My experience has been what most would deem typical, expected, that I should have known better and all that shite, it's true, that fact cannot be changed now.
I found out some information some time ago that I decided to keep to myself.
Through one of the many people that have contacted me over the time to ask questions, offer help, advice, racially based arrogant closed minded criticism, I kept in contact with one man who also got his bike from the same place, through the ordering process, the build, shipping to kicking the scoot over, riding it up the road, applying the front brake and flying over the handle bar to injure himself significantly enough that the time off work was substantial. During the process he mentioned this blog to the owner and wanted reassurance that he wouldn't be buying into the same experience. This is when the owner disclosed that my bike was in fact outsourced due to he needing to go home to Australia for personal reasons, A fact that would not have been shared with me had I not been chatting with this particular bloke. He showed me pictures sent from the PV workshop of the pile of new parts that were to be used, a frame spotlessly stripped back ready for painting. I contacted the owner and we exchanged a couple of emails, cleared the air and left it at that.
Now I am a fair and reasonable man, patient too, as some of the followers have pointed out, at the time I was a little taken aback by why someone, a fellow countryman with the same values as myself, wouldn't just say, "Mate, I've gotta head home for this reason, it's going to delay your build, I can get it done but it wont be done here, what do you want to do?
"Fucking wait, do what you need to do, I don't want one of those busted arse troublesome bikes everyone is bitching about on the internet."
And I'd have been pissed off about waiting, but sometimes things happen and everything else has to wait. I get that.
All that said, the next opportunity was disclosed once I had found out, the owner had seen my blog and still decided to not contact me, not even apologise at the very least and offer an explanation.
Fast forward to now.
The original mismatched engine is in bits and serving other purposes, I have given away some parts, thrown away others, kept some as a reminder. I have an original Sprint V set of cases 3/4 rebuilt and I have just done a rebuild on the P200E engine that had a few minor problems, clutch side seal being the main one. The speedo is reading 13138, the P engine has 3275kms on it and the other big reason for the overhaul is so I can ride 650kms interstate for the annual Australian National Scooter Rally in a couple of weeks time. I will be rekindling this blog for what is my first National rally, a long weekend of stuffing about with the scooterists from across Australia and turning around and riding the 650 kms home. cant wait.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spring update.

I have been a bit quiet, sorry about that, life gets in the way when you are busy making other plans, so they say.
I have been documenting a few bits and pieces, lots of photos etc. here -
Swing by and have a look if you are on fb.
Brief update is that the 200 engine is running well after a few teething problems, the small frame project hit a standstill for a while but I am now reassembling the engine. The Sprint V cases and parts from the first engine is also going back together. Not sure what I'll do once all the projects are finished.....sure I'll find something.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Woo Hoo

Ok it's been a while again, just so easily distracted, and I was just procrastinating as well.
The update is this. P200E engine in and sorted, HT coil was the culprit, would idle fine, perform badly when given throttle. I have a replacement stator on the way, it's dragging its bum a bit though, been over two weeks since I arranged it, in the meantime I have a borrowed stator that's  just fine...
Yesterday I rode to Geelong for a club breakfast, started out having only done about 120-130kms on the new engine prior, but it was the perfect weather, cold and the road is also perfect, mostly flat, some hills varying in slope and of course some sweeping bends. I've opted for a ride it like I normally do type of run in, sans taking it WOT, so far it hasn't missed a beat, other than a few idle adjustments and clutch tweak, I haven't had to do anything, all I need now is for the rain to give me a break to ride more.
As for the other engine, it's pulled down, cleaned and is going into a real Veloce case, no rush on it though, like the 75cc rebuild, it can wait, I'll do it bit by bit.
What a journey from A to B it's been. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I have been meaning to catch everyone up on what's been going on. It's been a long period of silence and I'm sorry.
I have had a few problems with the 200 and ended up putting the 177 back in to go on a ride out, I have finally run out of patience with the 200, I've tried everything with no joy. So now I'm going through a process of elimination, firstly after I dropped the engine I cleaned it up, found that the stator was rubbing the flywheel, I made good the connections in the wiring to be certain, redid the earth from the CDI was solid and I put it back together and in the scoot, same result, checked the timing again, it was fine., Plug was still fouling....fuck it, plan B is to try the ignition from the Veloce, points but hey they've been using them for a hundred years, I'm comfortable with them. Anyone that hasn't followed from the start won't know that my "Veloce" had a P125 set up on it as the 12v conversion, um yeah whatever, so it will fit the 200 crank fine, that's happening tonight, should that fail, Plan C is I have a borrowed a known to be working CDI, stator and flywheel. I'll just have to wait and see. Last option is rebuild the 177 parts into the set of Veloce cases I have.

Monday, July 15, 2013

State of affairs

Since I pulled the 200 out, I have found that the flywheel had been rubbing on one of the stator coils, evident from the scuff in the thin yellow paint on the inside of the flywheel and a slight polishing on the coil in mention. I hit the flywheel with some fine wet and dry and gave it another dusting of paint, I gave the coil the slightest buff as well. I read that I should check for play in the flywheel and the crank, the crank moves only slightly, I haven't put the flywheel back on yet, but will soon. I checked all the stator wiring for any signs of wire damage that may have earthed out at higher revs, all seems well there too, I double checked the earth from the CDI to make sure it was the best it could be. I've given the carb and jets another clean, I plan to lap the base of the air box as well, replace the gaskets and fit the carb off the running engine straight to it when I swap them out. If this doesn't get results. the next plan is to take off the electronic ignition flywheel, stator and CDI and try a new 12v points stator I have waiting to go into the Sprint V and I have got hold of a Veloce flywheel to match it, big thanks to K at Kickstart Scooters for that. If THAT doesn't work I'm going to rebuild the Sprint V cases with all the parts I have already in the bodgey, yet very reliable, engine and I know the Sprint V will have a matched case Veloce engine with a DR177 upgrade.
Looking back, I've learnt a bit from when I first replaced the clutch arm o ring to stop the oil leaking and felt like I accomplished something me stuffed what I'm going to do when I'm finished, hold the phone I forgot the 75cc smallframe engine I'm yet to put back together, good.
On another note, this Blog will soon pass 15000 hits, I hope by stuffing things up and figuring it out, I have helped someone somewhere get their scoot back on the road, spreading the love. Cheers.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back in the saddle

It was foggy and cold but riding to work was the best start to the day, the 200 is on the bench at least for the next three weeks, I'll have a good look to see if I can find any reason for it not to work, it's gotta be electrical, it continues.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

P200E - 1, Me - 0

Dropped the engine, defeated for now, time is running out before I need to ride it to events, no time to run it in properly before riding 200 kms on the open road on consecutive weekends. 177 is clean, fresh oil, I'll get that back in today and get it going, then I'll go over the 200, I've got a list if potential causes from good folks across the globe trying to help. Hopefully it will be an obvious fix with the block up on the bench.