Monday, November 28, 2011

My Dead Vespa

It happened today -- pressed the starter on the Vespa but it would not start. First thought was an empty fuel tank but that couldn't be true; I monitor fuel closely.

With Kissell Motorsports a mile away and pressure mounting to get back to work I made the call. Fifteen minutes later the scooter was on the back of a truck headed to the shop.

Good fortune had my friend Paul and his girlfriend Mary just down the road.

In a few minutes Paul was inspecting the Vespa and quickly found the spark plug lead had come off the plug. Worse, the end of the plug had come off and was lodge in the plug boot.

So the Vespa will get a new plug along with the 30K kilometer maintenance . I'll be ready for winter.

I'm posting from my iPhone using an app I've never used before so I'm unsure where the picture of Paul and Mary will appear.

Paul is serious with his inspections.

Should have the Vespa back soon.

25 comments:

RichardM said...

And here I was expecting "so I had to pick up the Ural. No other options." Nice that it wasn't anything major...

Richard

HoweverComma said...

Steve,
Im thinking you need to get yourself one of these http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AwQw_lwcRu0#!

Cant wait to see you in it haha. -Cody K.

Sergei Belski said...

Hope you will get it back soon! :)

Brady Steffl said...

Keith,

Spark plug, huh? That's kind of strange, they really shouldn't wiggle out... When I first bought my '78 Honda it was running funny and (it still is, come to think of it) but I found that the spark plugs weren't even screwed in to "finger tightness." I hope your mechanic is better than the wahoo that serviced my machine.

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com

Fuzzy said...

Sorry to hear the Vespa is under the weather. Does this mean... *gasp* that you are now driving a c-a-r in the meantime?!

Steve Williams said...

RichardM: I thought about seeking out a replacement ride but my work schedule has me focused on other things at the moment. So I'll patiently await the return of the Vespa...

Steve Williams said...

HoweverComma (Cody): I'll try a lot of things but I think wearing a tent while riding is beyond my limits of exploration.

I can see you with it though!

Steve Williams said...

Sergei Belski: I'm sure I will. Maybe I can visit with the tech and take some pictures of the surgery.

Brady: It makes no sense to me either. Someone suggested sabotage but here in Happy Valley nothing bad ever happens. Oh, wait...

Fuzzy: Not only am I driving a cage -- I'm driving a minivan. How did it all come to this? And worse, I like the minivan...

bobskoot said...

Steve:

I'm glad it was just a minor thing to fix. I mean, how did your spark plug break in half ?

I've already passed through the miniVAN stage. The older you get the more sporty you have to be but at least you don't have to wear your helmet . . . or did you ?

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

Loose spark plug connector? I dunno Steve, I must assume you were in a big rush and didn't have time to do the troubleshooting.....

Now, if you get the Ural, it'll force you to become a mechanic! See, it's a win, win!

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Steve Williams said...

bobskoot: Didn't break in half -- just the end came off. Somehow. Whatever it was the plug wire wouldn't stay on.

Steve Williams said...

Charlie6: I could have jammed something between the plug wire end and the body of the scooter. That would have kept it from falling off.

I've lost all desire to do any wrenching. Period. Except I'm willing to turn the key...

Chris Luhman said...

lucky it is an easy fix, and that you are so close to mechanical aid.

Mary said...

Glad we could help you out, Steve. I was happy for my new car battery today. Hope your wheels are back on the road soon!

Paul said...

Hi Steve. I was trying to find the key hole to raise the seat (in the photo). You pointed the loose spark wire out. I was looking for vacuum lines like the one on Bob's ET4 that broke and shut the fuel tank off. I never saw a spark plug nut/top come off like that. Not on a car not on a motorcycle. I don't know why it did that. The threaded part was stripped out. Just an hour previous Mary's car died from a dead battery. It was an odd morning getting a distress call from you while on a car repair trip with her. Got the good "Gold" rated battery too. It was spendy. Paul R.

irondad said...

How many tinmes have I told you that riding at a sustained speed over 80 requires a platinum plug?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve Williams:

Let me get this straight: you called the shop to send a flatbed to pick up your VESPA moped because the sole spark plug wire came loose?

Was that it?

Tell me it isn't so? You, the guy who is riding Ural's — the official poster bike of the East German Mechanic's Union and The Collective Of Russian Women Tool and Die Makers?

I can't believe the guy who is riding German motorcycles with 87 -piece tool kits called the shop because the sole wire (meaning the one major wire in the whole engine) popped off the only spark plug.

You should rewrite that paragraph to read, "The wolverine emerged snarling from the rotted stump , and went for my leg. Not wanting to have to kill the savage creature with my K-Bar knife, I managed to keep the VESPA between us, and it gnawed through the only visible wire on the whole damn bike."

Isn't that better than saying, "The silence of the starter made me scream like a child?"

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
In Exile In Cape May, NJ

hrw115 said...

*laugh* Love Jack's comment. I also love the picture of Paul. It looks like some sort of new yoga pose for vespas.

Steve Williams said...

Chris Luhman: Indeed! So far I have not been left along the road far from home.

Steve Williams said...

Mary: Thanks to you and Paul I did not have my day go completely wrong. Got to work in time for an important meeting.

The Vespa will be back on the road soon. I slowed down the repairs and maintenance so I could interview the technician doing the work.

Steve Williams said...

Paul: I thing a passing UFO tried to take the Vespa to the mother ship. In the process the plug was damaged.

Steve Williams said...

irondad: While the Vespa speedometer has shown 80mph once or twice it was never a sustained speed like it seems to be confessed by everyone who rides a motorcycle.

I think I need a titanium plug to handle all the unique power from the engine on the scooter.

Steve Williams said...

Mr. Riepe: You comments are too psychologically and emotionally complex to respond to here. I think I will have to address them in my next post.

Steve Williams said...

hrw115: You should not encourage Mr. Riepe in any manner. And certainly stay away from him. He will put far too many ideas in your head.

Paul is starting his own system of yoga...

3-wheel scooter said...

3 wheel scooters are available in many different brands and designs. Different brands and models offer different features of 3-wheel scooter. These scooters are usually sold through retail outlets, although not all makes and models will be available everywhere.