Friday, 18 September 2009

Have transport will travel - WARNING! - For Vespa freaks only


Here's the boring bits about my Vespa.
If you are not a vespa freak, I would skip this part

It's a 1974 Vespa Rally 200. I bought this over a year ago as pictured above. The engine was in a box of bits, rusting away. The body work had the usual rust for a 70s Vespa. I wanted to save the original paintwork but it was flaking off in between my fingers on some parts and the rust needed to be treated somehow. Lacquer wasn't going to work.
So I found an Orange 'hammerite' type of paint and used a roller brush to apply it. It was missing both side panels but I finally managed to source them. Thanks to all who helped me find the elusive engine side panel I needed. Also thanks to James at Classic Scooters for almost giving me the other panel needed.
But no thanks go to the next guy...
Nil point

I decided to let a 'professional' (I use that term loosely in this case) rebuild the engine. I wanted it totally standard as I knew way back then that I would probably ride it to Morocco or somewhere further than the shops.
Unfortunatly it took the 'mechanic' almost 12 months instead of the 4 weeks he quoted me to finish the engine. And finish the engine he did.
It is no more.
Monkey spanner

He tried to fit the 150 Super gear box instead of the standard gearbox I supplied him. It worked long enough to get an MOT but not much longer. He never changed all of the bearings or seals, copper plumbing pipe was used to make the primary drive shaft fit, nothing was cleaned, blah blah blah, moan moan moan. I could go on and I probably will. Basically he took an extremely long time to do a very bad job.

Since then I've had to rebuild the engine myself. The engine now has the proper gearbox and I fitted a cosa clutch as the cheap copy I had, although new, just didn't work too well.
Another thing that is not standard is the upgraded 12 volt ignition. The lights are still rubbish but at least they won't attract too many insects.
Most of the parts in the box of bits were past the wear by date and covered in rust so I had no choice but to buy new parts.
I wanted to do this cheap.

Cheap as chips

It now has MOT, tax, I've re-registered it as it had no documents, have run it in (650 miles in 4 days) and now need to change the 'new' main bearings.
This was the only piece of work that the 'mechanic' had done which I didn't re-do myself. This time I'm getting a highly recommended chap by the name of Ian to change all the bearings and seals for me as I don't have the tools or the knowledge to do this. Then, re fit the engine and we're away. This will take a couple of weeks.
In the meantime I've been re-adjusting my rear carrier that I nicked off my SS180. I needed something to carry my tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc. It now fits after I found a big hammer and a drill.
Tomorrow I will attempt the Front Carrier Manoeuvre.
Another assault on the SS180 I'm afraid.

Pictures coming soon


  1. Why on earth would anyone ever put a Super gearbox in a Rally 200... are you sure this guy is a mechanic??

    I am starting to read your blog because I'm think on doing this trip next year...on my Rally 200 ;)

  2. That so called mechanic was a complete #@#~#*!
    Rally 200....1st class choice.

    Tech Tip: Do it yourself.

  3. Name and shame the spanner monkey.

    Looking forward to reading more of this, although your time between posting makes my blog efforts look energetic...