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Author Topic: Restoration of a 37 year old 1981 Vespa P200E  (Read 509 times)
Virginian
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« on: June 24, 2018, 02:51:03 AM »

I've had an itch for another old bike build and decided to go with a classic Vespa P200E. Not the most handsome of all the Vespas made but has proven to be very reliable. They have/were in production for 30 years and Stella in India bought the dies and have been producing them I believe to this day. Translation of all that is parts are not a problem restoring a 37 year old scoot.

I found this one in Minneapolis, MN so a road trip was in order. Wow, long drive to get this scoot... I wanted one with some miles on it, the worst thing you can do is buy an antique that's never been ridden much. This one has 15k on the clock and  

Here are the CL ad photos, not much to go buy on these photos so I took a huge chance.





Off I went to MN and when I arrived I first laid eyes on her, she's rough, but it was all there and 100% functional. Exactly what I was looking for, a good platform to work from.

A pic on the boring drive home.


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Virginian
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 02:51:45 AM »

Here's the first pics I took of her when I got home with a few comments.



Missing the on/off switch.


OEM grips.


Nice topcase with a backrest and rack.


Cracked rear bumper.


Floorboards are a rust issue on these model and these look great.


The front fender has seen better days.


The headlight nacelle is beat up.


Someone painted the gas tank red?


37 year old seat and spring. Look at the detail compared to seats of today.


The chrome racks are pitted.


OEM toolkit with the origional wooden handled screwdriver and pouch. Keys that fit nothing and some spare fuses.


The right cover removed and the engine is decent shape and it's all there.


The left cover removed houses the spare time and battery. The spare tire is an original 37 year old tire. It's sad to see manufacturers get away from this thought process. The front, rear and spare tire are all interchangeable. Awesome!


What's interesting about this pic of the front wheel is that Piaggio made aircraft during WWII. With the demilitarization after the war companies that made weapons of mass destruction  had to shift gears. Piaggio started making scooters, if you look hard at this pic, its design is basically a landing gear from a plane. Vespa/Piaggion still uses this design to this day, kind of their marque.


The rear wheel.


The junction box (a know problem on this model) is in very good shape, only one wire needs attention.


Next update I'll dig into some of the restoration.

(more to come)
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 01:23:17 PM »

Doesn't look like much of a restoration project...you'll have it done before winter!
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 09:33:34 PM »

Doesn't look like much of a restoration project...you'll have it done before winter!

We shall see, there's almost always some lovely surprises lurking.

I started by taking apart the rear end of the scoot piece by piece and somewhat reconditioning each piece as I went along. The focus was to get a couple coats of wax on the rear of the scoot and massage the pitting on the chrome.

You can see in this picture where the cover has been rubbing against the body and now it's just start to rust a little.


Spare tire removed to get access to more painted surfaces.


The wiring harness has one wire that has been stripped and I assume grounded out at some point. The negative ground to the battery is fired and needs replace. I'm assessing whether to patch or replace the entire wiring harness. I think I'll patch for now and see if any other issues surface.


The factory sticker that was tucked behind the spare tire.


The seat post stud after some chrome cleaner looks pretty good.


Here's a shot of the taillight assembly tucked up under the rear rack. I'll show an after pic when I'm done.


I've never seen a taillight lens that the clear portion that illuminates the tag slides out. Washed these up in warm soapy water.


All rubber gaskets and bits got a couple coats of 303 to help make them supple and pliable.


Topbox removed and shined up the rear rack. This pic does do it justice as if you were closer it's pretty bad.


Here' a pic after I detailed it and reassembled.


My antique plate came if from DMV. I'm kind of disapointed as it's just a black sticker on a plate. What happened to prisoners making license plates? ;)


A little bit of luster is starting to come back.


I pulled the rear wheel and detailed and scrubbed the grease off of the entire rim. The upswing to a greasy wheel is when I cleaned it, it looks great.

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Virginian
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 03:01:42 AM »

I want to take a second to maybe explain some of the features on this scooter that make it a bit unusual to ride. Modern Vespas are twist and go CVTs while the previous gen are all shifties. In this case it's a 200cc two stroke at the heart coupled with a 4 speed manual transmission.

What makes it a bit unusual is the clutch is in the normal place that we are all used to but instead of having the shifter down by your left foot, you pull the clutch in and twist the entire grip. (apologies if this seems juvenile to the Vespa aficionados)


Another unusual feature of this scooter are the cowls or side covers. They pop off with a twist of the spring loaded catch. Literally you can pop them both off in under 30 seconds.


The turn signals are built into the cowls but if you look closely there's no wires. Circled in the red is a connector that completes the connection when attached. Circled in blue is the lead/probe that you slide in then flip the spring latch and you're good to go.


A box of tidbits showed up from Germany and I don't have time for wrenching tonight but here's a minor update. A new kickstarter pad installed and polished the kickstarter.


New rubber insulators for the probes on the cowls.



This item was stock on some Vespas and others not. It's a helmet hook that allows you to lock two helmets when the seat is locked.



That's it for tonight, until next time.
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 03:11:19 AM »

Looks like it's coming along!
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 08:47:39 PM »

IPA means Intense Piaggio Attention!
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 12:46:07 AM »

Crosspost on ADV?
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Virginian
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 12:55:24 AM »

Crosspost on ADV?

Correct.
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Maggie
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 04:53:08 AM »

Looking great, Eric as does the  Vespa ;)
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 10:52:07 PM »

You have a very nice bike there.  I restoring old unique bikes.   Cannot wait to see the finished product.
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 10:03:07 PM »

A bit late checking thread but that's nifty. Currently appears you are looking at preservation along with restoration, that is nice. While a 37 year old motorbike looking like it just rolled off the assembly line is impressive I find a clean survivor with patina, a few battle scars just as admirable, maybe more so. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2018, 03:47:20 PM »

A bit late checking thread but that's nifty. Currently appears you are looking at preservation along with restoration, that is nice. While a 37 year old motorbike looking like it just rolled off the assembly line is impressive I find a clean survivor with patina, a few battle scars just as admirable, maybe more so. 


This.  I think its so much better to revive and recondition than to restore to assembly line condition.  The Virginian is doing an admirable job preserving that Vespa.
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Virginian
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 04:40:27 PM »

A bit late checking thread but that's nifty. Currently appears you are looking at preservation along with restoration, that is nice. While a 37 year old motorbike looking like it just rolled off the assembly line is impressive I find a clean survivor with patina, a few battle scars just as admirable, maybe more so. 


Thank you! This actually is my winter project but I can't just let it sit there. lol I'll get back on this thread with some updates soon.

Eric

A bit late checking thread but that's nifty. Currently appears you are looking at preservation along with restoration, that is nice. While a 37 year old motorbike looking like it just rolled off the assembly line is impressive I find a clean survivor with patina, a few battle scars just as admirable, maybe more so. 


This.  I think its so much better to revive and recondition than to restore to assembly line condition.  The Virginian is doing an admirable job preserving that Vespa.

My intent is to leave the patina look as I like it better than making it show room condition. I'm at a lose on the damaged front fender which is a bit of an eye sore. I have a few more updates to post on this thread when I get some more time. Many thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting.

Eric
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 11:37:11 PM »


.... This actually is my winter project but I can't just let it sit there.....

Eric

That was a nice buy, but what are you going to do for a real winter project?
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Virginian
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2018, 12:30:15 AM »


.... This actually is my winter project but I can't just let it sit there.....

Eric

That was a nice buy, but what are you going to do for a real winter project?

There's always a winter project in my garage! ;)
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