GETTING TO KNOW YOUR VINTAGE VESPA
Before starting your Vespa
Remove the tape from the tip of the exhaust.
The tape has been placed there to prevent
moisture from entering the engine.
Remove the leather piece from beneath the
gas tank cap. The leather is used to prevent
penetrating moisture from inside the gas
oil for the transmission is already inside
and ready to use. Although you will need to
change this oil about every 3 months, you do
not need to add oil before starting the
gas tank is located in between the two
seats. (See figure 1)
Loosen the nut and fold it over the bar.
Lift the bar with the gas cap to open the
tank. Make sure you screw the nut back
tightly to secure the gas cap.
This is a 2 stroke motor and requires both
unleaded gasoline and oil (2 stroke motor
oil - i.e. SAE 30). The tank holds about 2
gallons. Since there are many new parts in
the engine, the engine needs to be broken in
properly. Start with higher mix ratio and
continue to standard mix of 3% after you
used 6 tanks of gas or ridden over 200
Since there are many new
components in the engine, the engine must be
broken in properly. It is very important not to
drive the scooter over 30 mph (or over 1/3 of
the throttle)for the first 500 miles. Use the
following mixture ratio to break in the engine.
tanks of gas - use 5% (or 20:1) mixture of oil
and gas. Each gallon of gas requires 6.4 fluid
ounces of oil
2 tanks of gas (or until you reach 200 miles) -
use 4% (or 25:1) mixture. Each gallon of gas
will require 5 fluid ounces of oil.
this initial break in period, use standard
mixture of 3% (or 32:1), where each gallon of
gas requires 3.85 fluid ounces of oil.
Make sure your key is in the ignition and
turned on. (See figures 2 and 3)
the OFF position
Key in the ON position
The fuel switch must be turned to the ON
position as shown on figure 4 below. This
switch also includes a position for the
reserve tank. There is no fuel level
indicator as on most older motorcycles, so
the reserve gas tank allows you to travel up
to additional 10 miles in case you run out
of gas. When operating the scooter make sure
the switch is in the upright position as
When the Vespa is first started (or the
engine is cold), use the choke to help start
the scooter. The choke is located under the
seat directly above the fuel switch. Refer
to figure 4, where you can see the choke
pull. Pull the choke out every time the
engine is cold. When you get your Vespa, it
might take several kicks to start it since
it has been traveling for a while. After the
engine starts, slowly push the choke back to
the off position.
make sure that the choke is
pushed all the way back to the
off position before driving the
Ensure your Vespa is in the neutral gear
before starting it (between gears 1 and 2).
(See figure 5) Also make sure that the
throttle is pushed all the way forward to
the idle position.
Starting your Vespa - Operating instructions
Kick start your Vespa. Make sure you push
through on the starter. Think push, not
the scooter is running and you need to know
how to operate it. The throttle is on the
right side handle and as you rotate it
backwards it increases the engine speed.
There are two ways to stop the engine. You
can either turn the key in the ignition to
the off position or you can use the kill
switch located on the right side handle.
(See figure 6)
the kill switch button in and hold it until the
engine stops. On the left side handle you will
also find electronic operators as depicted on
the picture. Make sure you learn what each
button/switch performs before you take your
Vespa out on the streets.
Clutch and shifter are located on the left
side handle, while throttle and front brake
are on the right side handle. (See figure 7)
Pull in the clutch and move the shifter to
the first gear position (number 1 must be
aligned with the dot). You are now in the
first gear. To complete the shifting let the
clutch out slowly and pull the throttle
towards you slowly. You will be able to
shift the gears depending on your speed with
the same procedure. Make sure that when you
start and stop the engine, the shifter is in
the neutral gear (the two dots are aligned).
Should you need to access the engine for
maintenance or oil change, there is an
engine cover release, which allows you to
remove the whole cowl covering the engine.
Do this slowly and carefully so that you do
not scratch the paint. (1) Rotate the engine
cover release locates on the right bottom
corner of the cowl (See figure 8). (2) After
you open the lever, pull the cover slowly
away from the body in order to release the
pin on the left side of the cowl. (3) Lift
the cover straight up and rotate along the
curvature of the pin to release from the
body. There are two pins in the bottom
corners of the cover and one "U" shaped
holder in the center top portion. Please
remove the cover slowly and do not force it
in directions it is not supposed to go.
Please be sure to check
the brake lines before using the scooter, it is
possible that they have been loosened during the
shipping period. Just check the correct response
and adjust accordingly.
brakes (pedal brake) for primary braking, drum
brakes are harder to stop than the disc ones.
The rear brake works better and should be used
for most of the breaking power.
I have taken the scooter
out of the crate and followed the instructions
and the Vespa does not start, what do I do?
the scooter has not been started for a long
journey sometimes some fuel in the lines clogs
the fuel flow, or the spark plug gets fouled.
Simply remove the spark plug and spray starter
fluid into the spark plug hole. Replace the
spark plug with the new one shipped with the
Scooter. Try restarting. If this does not work
try turning the fuel on off switch to the
reserve position and repeat the proceeding
instructions. If none of the steps and tips
work, it is possible that the gas in the tank
got compromised after a long journey. Pump out
all the gas from the tank and replace with new
mixture according to instructions above.
Tilt the scooter to the right side to help get
the fuel flowing when the scooter is cold. This
is better then using the choke and works for all
Replacing your spark plug once a month
regardless of use will reduce any problems, and
improve performance. This is especially
important during the break in period running
higher oil mixtures.
Problem: After driving for some time the clutch
needs some adjusting.
Solution: After the break in period the clutch
may need a minor adjustment. Under the chassis
there is a clutch adjustment arm. Tighten or
loosen the cable to make the clutch perform
properly. Consult your original manual for
Routine maintenance (for
specific and advanced information, please
consult your original manual)
Replace the spark plug monthly. 90% of all
engine trouble is related to the spark plug.
To ensure a highly reliable engine, please
replace the spark plug monthly regardless of
use. Please put the spare spark plug
included and universal wrench on the scooter
and take with you at all times.
Crank case oil needs to be replaced every
three months. New oil was put in after the
engine was rebuilt. he scooter uses SAE 30W
or ST90 Oil.
Instructions for replacing the oil in your Vespa
stroke engine lubricates itself in two separate
ways. The gearbox, clutch, and drive assembly is
lubricated by standard gearbox oil. There is no
oil pump but instead the gears running in the
oil manage to pass enough oil around the gearbox
to lubricate it properly. Gearbox oil in a Vespa
scooter should be changed about every 3000 miles
with new SAE 80 gear oil, which is the same as
SAE 30 motor oil. For some reason oil
manufacturers have different viscosity
definitions for motor oil vs. gear oil. This is
a constant cause of confusion when buying
transmission oil for your scooter. If in doubt
remember that oil for car engines is crankcase
oil and oil specifically for scooter
transmissions is gear oil. Below are directions
for most large frame Vespas. These are all the
scooters we offer except for scooters with the
optional 50cc engines.
Tools you will need:
10mm wrench or a socket and driver
Large flathead screwdriver
About 1 1/4 pints of ST 90 gear oil (SAE 30
motor oil) with a syringe or hose attachment
to the container
It is a
good idea to run the bike around for a while to
get the oil hot as it will flow much more
easily. Place the bike on its kick stand on
level ground and look underneath the right hand
side of the engine. You’ll see a small bolt that
(if it is not covered in grime) should have "OLIO"
printed on the head.
an oil drain pan below the bolt and loosen it
(see figure 9) allowing the oil to drain. Be
careful not to lose the small sealing washer
around the outer rim as this can be reused if
necessary although it is best if replaced. Once
the oil plug is removed the oil will flow out of
the crankcase into the oil pan below.
all the oil has drained out, refit the oil drain
plug, but only turn it about 1/2 to 1 turn past
finger tight. Once the oil has drained refit the
drain plug with a new felt or brass sealing
washer. DO NOT tighten more than about a 1/2 to
3/4 of a turn more than hand tight. The small
diameter and soft aluminum casing make it easy
to strip the threads. If you find that the
threads are stripped or you strip them yourself
we’ve had success with using white plumbers tape
around the threads. It can be bought at any
hardware store and is basically a very thin
plastic tape that plumbers use to seal threads
when connecting gas or water lines. Wrap a 2"
length around the threads and carefully tighten
it in place.
the oil filler hole which is just to the rear
and slightly below the gear selector box. Remove
the slotted bolt with a large screwdriver. The
new oil goes in this hole and needs to be filled
up to the filler hole level when the bike is on
the stand on level ground. We use an attachment
tube which screws on to a standard quart of oil.
These are available at most auto parts stores.