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R Scooter Club of Monterey County

Need some advice? Here is a collection of repair advice (in no order) from the kids on the scooterist BBS.

P Repair Advice

I'm trying to take the front fender off of my P200. I've got the four screws out and the fender is disconnected from the disc. so now what do i have to do so the fender will come off so i can paint it? thanks for any help...

You must remove your forks to remove the fender. This can be done by 1.diconnecting the spedo and ft. brake cable (at the headset),

2 loosining the headset pinch bolt (the large one that is sticking out from the lower headset)

3. Wiggle the headset side to side and pull up, to free the headset from the forks (but all your wiring/cables are still connected)

4.loosing the 2 large threaded circular nuts that attach to the threads on the forks (use a large flathead screwdirver and a hammer)

: *note for step 4 it helps if the bike is off the stand (moves forks up, releasing pressure on the nuts)


Does anyone have any advice on kitting a '79 P125 up to a 177?

I've got to replace the clutch side seal anyway, and as long as the engine's off,

Do I have to replace the carburetor and crankshaft too? Any other tips?

No you don't.But it seems like a waste to put a kit on and not put on a bigger carb.I think the one you are supposed to use is the si24/24,a stock item on a p2 so it shouldn't be to hard to find.

Be sure to use the carb box that matches the 24/24 carb. Also, you won't get maximum performance out of a kit without matching the transfer ports. However, if it is not worth the hassle just bolt the kit on with the 24/24. It is wise to at least have a good expansion chamber to increase your back pressure.

WIRING HARNESS P200 - removal

First, remove the gas tank and the headset top. Remember to unscrew the speedo cable from the speedo or you won't get the headset top loose. You'll need to do this to get at wiring on the inside. Disconnect all electrical connections, don't forget the inside wires, horn, turnsignals, taillight, and rear brake pedal. Slowly pull the wiring harness down through the body while helping the end stickout of the neck back into the tube cavity of the neck. Carefully pull the rear wirings back into the tank cavity, making sure not to loose the various grommets that protect the wiring as it passes through the body.

: Next, you will put the new harness in through the tank cavity. First, tape with electrical tape the top ends, as small as possible because it has to go through some tight spots. The top end is the side that has a real long length. Use a wiring diagram to identify which end is which. I have the P200 diagrams available at .

: Install the rear wiring first, including the tail, battery, and engine side. Do not tape up the rear brake pedal wires for now. Use a gear cable and fish it through the tank cavity to the front horn cavity. You'll need to take the horncast off to do this. When all the way through, tape one end to the wiring harness securely. Then fish the harness through the body and out the horncast. This may take a couple of tries and getting your hands dirty. When through, untape the front turn signal wires, the junction box wires, and the horn wires. Then continue fishing the rest back into the horn cavity and up the neck to come out of the headset. Connect your turnsignal wires, and horn, and connect your junction box wires per the diagrams. Then connect the headset wires. Getting the wires through the neck is tough, so be careful not to yank it hard and tear the connectors off. If you've never done this before, get someone who has to help you the first time. And just think, P200s are the easiest Vespas to install wiring harnesses in. So it helps to have a six-pack and a weekend put aside for this.


I was wondering if anybody has had any experience in fabricating bar accessories (crashbars or racks or whatever), or could give me some practical suggestions on selection of metal tubing and the bending of it.

-I think seeing a photo of a nicely restored scooter that has those cheap ass bars (vigano) with the red/blue plastic ornament is sickening,, Ive toyed with the idea of fabricating custom bars, went out and bought some 1/2 inch soft copper rod and bent it to a cool shape but thats as far as it got.

: you would need to talk to a tubing bender in your area or a ornamental iron shop like the guys that do the custon fences,,,they always have tubing benders. My brother just had a rollcage made for his landcruiser and he designed it himself. real tight bends on it look great

: triple plate chrome whatever you get made for the best look or powdercoat them.

-I've seen similar projects done where first a mock-up was made using stiff wire. This was held together either with spot welding or with zip ties. The tubing of choice was then filled with DRY sand and corked at each end to prevent kinking and collapsing as you bend it into the shapes you need to match the mock-up. Once all the pieces are bent/formed to shape, the sand is emptied and notches are cut in the ends where they will be welded. After all welding is complete, dress the welds, polish everything, and have it chromed, or clearcoated if it's stainless.

-stainless steel is the cheapest way to go.tig welded.try a hydrolic shop,they got stainless pipe in different thickness.they also got the bender,the big curves you use anything round!also a marine repair shop (good one) can tell you a fabricator of costs but it dont rust and you dont have to fork over for chrome.also you can change the design later w/o recrome.I made a whole scooter trailer frame from the stuff


I'm looking for some information on whats the most effective equipment and paint to get. Looking to paint bikes, and perhaps some finer detailing stuff.

I have restored some motorcycles, small cars and 1 scooter. I don't even own any special hammer/dollies. I use a ball pein hammer, a 3" - 1" thick block of round steel, wood blocks etc for straightening. I use a 1 HP portable air compressor which easily powers a touch up paint gun. The paint gun is a copy of a Binks, you can get most guns for about $39.00. Most importantly is a resperator which is rated for Iso-Cyanate Paints. Of course none are, so you could pipe fresh air in from the oil-less style air compressor. I don't have a spray booth and figure since the finish has to be wet sanded and buft it doesn't matter too much about the dust that gets stuck in the paint. I painted part of my Bella in a booth and the rest out behind my house in Santa Cruz mountains! The paint you use depends on your budget. I use Glasurite which costs $40.00/qt. that does not include hardener which is another $26.00/pint and reducer at $9.00 qt. Another one I have used and like is Limco which is about half the cost. Many paints are not available in large cities. Many times all you can buy is base coat/clear coat. Laquers are phasing out and besides they don't hold a gloss very long. Glasurite is available in Urethane and base coat/clear coat types.

As far as paints go, I've found that the line they carry at Grand auto (maybe Duplicolor?...can't think of the name) isn't too bad... But I've gotten some bum cans and some good ones... What helps is those little "gun" attachments that hook onto the top of the can, cheap and eliminates finger cramps.

One of the best quaility rattle can paints to use is Plastic Kote. I have seen it look better than some "pro" jobs! you can get clear coats also from that company. You should shoot the bike in at least 70F and if you want to speed up the process put some flood light type lights on it or the parts sprayed. but remember the paint job is only as good as the prep job. Krylon makes a paint that they call "epoxy" paint. It dries harder than regular krylon.

Duplicolor is lacquer. That's fine if you're painting a shiny show bike, but it isn't going to hold up to what we do to our bikes. It's brittle and prone to scratching. It can't be painted over enamels as it will crack and craze (some like that). I've had good luck with rattle cans, but buying a cheap gun and compressor is the best way to reward oneself after spending so much time doing the unfun prep work. It generally takes me 10 days- 2 weeks to paint a scooter. That's 80% prep work, at least. I bake whatever parts of the bike I can (cowls, fender etc...) at about 200degs if I have filler w/ normal paint, higher if there's no filler and I'm using engine (hi heat) paint. Air bubbles in Bondo tend to expand with heat, then contract leaving a small blemish, so be careful. The engine paint comes in some pretty cool scooter colors and is oil, gas and heat resistant. I bake for as long as I'm patient: usually several hours. The good thing is you can wet sand after it has cooled off, rather than waiting for a day or two to dry. I bake in my food oven- you only live once.

What grit sandpaper do you use for final wet sanding? I've been thinking of painting myself, but the old story of dust always gets me. What sort of finish do you get (and how much buffing?) I wait several days before wet sanding. In the mean time you are supposed to submerge your sandpaper for days anyway before use. Depends on how many fish eyes I have in the paint. I usually use 2000 grit paper. It comes in half sheets and you buy it at the automotive paint supply store. You also need a rubber squeegee to move the water away while you are sanding so you can see the surface. The surface should be really *flat* before buffing. I use a DA (dual action) sander with 6" buffing pad. I start with Meguires #7, cleaner. For the best depth in polish I used Meguires Yellow Wax. Don't wax urethanes or enamels until after 1 month, this is because the paint has to fully *kick*. Paintguns- I used the same touch up gun to paint my friend's BMW Isetta. For small parts you will use less paint and have less overspray.

Use Lubritech Brand spray paint if they still make it. The other option is Michael

Mariner sells color in spray cans, check the scooter trader for more info.

For a quickie job sand it down with 400 grit wet & dry, do it wet. Prime it, sand primer (if it's sandable) again with 400 wet or 600 wet and paint it.

More Paint Advice...

: 1) Remove and label all little trim part and lights and just about everything that will get in the way of sanding all the paint off.

: 2) Using an orbital sander, use about 80 (or as much as 180) grit paper and sand down the surface to bare metal. (an alternative is to sand blast or use a chemical remover like ZEP, very toxic) Sand out all surface rust. If you have big gaping rust holes, i recommend grinding them until they are shiny then wither use liquid metal patch or weld sheet metal patches to cover the holes, first cut the holes into squares, then cut patches that fit snugly into the holes and then weld a fine bead over the seam. Once that is done you will have to sand it down to a smooth finish.

: 3)If you have dents there are a few ways to fix them depending on your skill level. A)use bondo or some other body filler, this is the easiest and least desirable, first you grind the area, then clean it, mix the filler with the hardener and spread on really thin. Let it dry well and then use your orbital sander to sand it down to the level of the surface. B) Drill a hole in the center of the dent and use a body puller to "pop" the dent out, then weld the hole shut and grind it down. C) use a hammer and palm anvil: depending on the dent, use a ball peen (sp?) hammer on one side and a palm wedge metal anvil type thing on the other to give you support. D) this is the hardest, i don't recommend trying it on your scooter for the first time, you will permanently alter the thickness of the metal. Use the hammer and palm anvil but first heat the dent with a torch, this will make the metal more supple and it will stretch and shrink depending on how quickly you cool it with water.

: 4) now that you have fixed all your dents and your surface is bare metal (or metal and bondo) you must give it a good 2 or 3 coats of primer (grey, red or black depending on the final color of the scooter) Now you will sand this down by hand to make sure there are no dents or bumps or what have you. i recommend 180 grit or higher, even as high as 600. You will probably go back down to the metal in places, don't worry.

: 5) Give it another coat of primer.

: 6) give it a coat of spot putty, or red-lead compound, this is usually applied with a spreader and takes a little skill, you want to make it as thin as possible to fill any minor dents or scratches. The stuff dries quickly.

: 7) After letting the spot putty thoroughly dry, wet sand it with 360 grit or higher, depending on how thick you put it on. Do this by repeatedly submerging your "wet sanding" paper into a bucket of water and then sanding the surface.

: 8) these last three steps can be repeated as necessary to get a perfectly smooth surface.

: 9) clean the surface with prep-all grease and dirt remover.

: 10) prime it, 3 coats or so.

: 11) Sand it down by hand with super fine grit sand paper.

: 12) Clean it again. Paint it. Make sure that you have a pretty dust free well lit and well ventilated environment. If you don't, i recommend taking it to a body shop and having them paint it. I don't recommend maaco or earl shives.

: 13) Reassemble, It's just that easy!

A few things to remember: paint doesn't stick well to dirt or greasy surfaces (duhh). The final outcome may look beautiful, but if you haven't primed it properly (ie cleaned it first) the paint may begin to crack and peel. The temperature when you paint it is very important. read the can before painting.

All the chemicals that you will be using are toxic. Paint, thinner, prep-all, etc... Be sure to always wear particle masks or respirators and take frequent breaks for fresh are. Do not smoke while around paint or thinner, they are flamable (duhh). Be sure to read all directions on the cans carefully. There are many different types of paints you can use, certain ones can be combined with special adative to make a polyurethane finish, etc... The final coat of paint is always the most difficult.

Don't forget to use Metal-Prep on any bare metal surface after sanding/sandblasting and BEFORE coating it with bondo or primer. It will kill ALL the rust so it won't come back to haunt you.

I made the mistake of just sanding down rust until it was all shiny, putting primer etc. over it, then painting. It looked good for about six months, then started rusting again UNDERNEATH my primer and paint.

Metal-Prep. It kills rust dead.

Try these places for welding:

Antique/Classic/Muscle car restoration shops

Motorcycle repair/restoration/custom shops

Local technical high schools (either they'll do it for free, or sometimes they have night classes where you can learn welding, bodywork, etc.)

Look up "Welding" in the Yellow Pages and start calling them, smaller independent guys should give you a fair deal if you tell them you need some sheetmetal welded "on an antique motorcycle"

Ask around at motorcycle dealerships for anyone that does custom cycle work - Harley shops are a great place to find leads on guys that do concours-quality work out of their garages.

Any welding a scooter will need should be VERY easy for a decent welder to fix, compared to an antique car, classic motorcycle frame, etc. You will save much $$$ if you do all the prep work yourself, like grinding away all rust, paint, etc. and trimming off any damaged sheetmetal. Good luck!


If you want a new motor, on a complete rebuilt, you must change the cruciform, the kickstarter gear, clucth plates (these parts are not expensives to change). After that, if the compression is low, expect to install a new piston and do a rebore.

: When thegearbox is open, check for the condition of bearings, maybe they are good, but you must change all seals (around the crankshaft). Finally, if you want to be sure that everything will be fine, rebuilt the carburator... And don,t forget to change points and condensor on the stator plate....

But this is an expensive rebuilt.Maybe you will only need to change the cruciform, kickstart gear and all seals.. Only way to know is to check and inspect the inside of the gearbox.

A proper rebuild at minimum involves cleaning all parts, replacing seals and gaskets and reassembly after complete dismantling. You can do it in the scooter, but it is recommended to take the whole engine out.

Depending on how many miles are on the scooter,


1. Your clutch plates. They are cheap so while in there, replace them. Its more important to change them than the rubber bits..

2. The bearings. New Bearings are tight and do not make a noise when spun. Worn bearings will make a "loose" noise (cant describe it any other way)

Also check for hesitation like Tom mentioned

If the scooter has sat for a long time without use, you could change the bearings. However, if used regularly and correctly lubricated, they should not wear out too soon. How many miles are on your scooter?

3. The clutch caged roller bearing usually does not need replacing. Thats the most expensive one.

4. The gear selecter cruciform. If the edges are well rounded, you could change it.

5. Ring wear. Take the rings off the piston, and put them into the barrel. Use the piston to make the ring level, and then check in the haynes manual to see what gap is correct for your model. The gap is the distance between the ends of the rings, where they are almost touching.


The oil pump works fine if it's put together properly. A good way to check is when you a rebuilding the clutch area, spin the little drive gear that turns the oil rod metering gear. If it jams up, locks, pushes the rod up, or anything screwy, either the drive gear or the oil rod metering gear needs to be replaced. Once this is setup and the oil gear parts in the carbbox are checked, then make sure to clean out the carb box of any oil residue if you are switch oils. Too often people swap mineral to synthetic without cleaning out the carb box channels. The two will gum up in those small tunnels and block the engine oil from getting through. Other than that, the oil pump works okay. Some synth oils tend to be better made though these days, and oil pump is not built to compensate. As a result, your scooter may run richer at lower speeds. So use a hotter plug for in-city driving.

If you premix then make sure to plug up the oil pump channels completely, including the hole in which the oil metering rod gear is inserted. If you don't you will get an air leak and run too lean. It's not as simple as just disconnecting the oil hose and dumping it in the gas tank. NOTE: I was just told by a reliable source that this is not true... it's ok to just pull the oil line, plug the inlet, and do a premix.


When you replaced the cork plates, did you soak them in gear oil first? Not doing so could cause your problem. In addition, any time you do a clutch rebuild, if the metal plates are shot, you have to replace those too.