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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:57 pm 
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Newer rider here, owned a 150cc for about a year but haven't jumped on a scoot for a number of years & looking to buy a daily commuter. Non highway urban well paved streets about 30minutes a day. Southwest USA.

I'm looking at name brands (Vespa, Aprilia, Piaggio, Honda, Kymco, Yamaha, Suzuki) at 150cc & up though ideally 250cc+ solely for the rare highway jump. Would consider a maxi-scooter but 250-300cc would do just as well for me.

Arriving at the budget is a tough question. It's all in what I want from the bike. Reliable, cheap to operate & maintain (parts & labor as I'm not mechanically inclined), good resale & in demand, high build quality. But I don't want to tie up money in a vehicle so I'm working on the low end for budget.

I've set my price point at $2500, I could go up from that if it really warrants it. What I want is a cheap to own & operate daily commuter, hence why I'm buying a scooter over a car. My research & experience both tell me a scooter is cheaper.

I am not mechanically inclined & don't have much knowledge of bikes or maintenance. I expect to own the bike for at least 3-6 months at which time I will have a better grasp on where I want to go from there (might upgrade to a higher CC motorcycle, might even buy a *gasp* car). Or I may very well fall in love with the bike & do just fine keeping her for years.


Looking at a:


2007 Vespa GTS 250ie - 6,000 miles

Spoken with the seller over the phone & planning to see the bike in person in a few days.

    Great condition, had some front fender damage during a tow that was welded & fixed, still need to see in person
    2nd owner, bought from dealership which sold it on behalf of the buyer, says it was dealership maintained & that they have all the service records - he will get back to me regarding seeing those records
    Seller has only put 15 miles on it, older retired guy & found the bike too heavy for him, wants to downgrade to 150cc (I believe him, even lists the trade in the ad though don't see how a 150 will be much lighter for him)
    And so it sat for 7 months, but he is a motorcycle guy going way back, though he always took to be serviced & never serviced himself, he did say he kept it started up each week for those 7 months
    Windshield & matching trunk mount, front rack
    New tires & battery
    Clean title
    Priced at $2900, Kelly Blue Book is at $3000



On the phone he sounds honest, kept bringing up things he didn't have to, like the fender damage he said we welded & a few other small things so I suspect everything he told me is true to his knowledge.

After speaking with him the only concern is that it sat for so long, 7 months. Has the gas turned to varnish? Weird that being a moto guy he just let it sit there. Couldn't ride it due to age & health saying that it's too heavy for him at 400pds, he wants to drop down to a 150cc (how much lighter is he thinking he can find at 150? maybe a 50cc like a Honda Metro at 180pds).

Regarding Vespas in general, in another forum a user said this to me:

Quote:
if you don't have any particular desire to own a Vespa, I would go with something else. Vespas are not a good value proposition, in performance per dollar or in parts cost.
is that pretty accurate? I don't have a desire specific for a Vespa, but their GTS line looks really appealing given their quality & higher CC. The Honda PCX, for instance (which seems to be regarded as cheap to maintain), I would jump on a 2013-2015 150cc, but feel like after riding it awhile I'm going to wish I held out for a 250cc.

How much $xx can I expect in maintenance per 1000 miles? Parts are more pricey & routine maintenance costs going up by how much compared to the other brands? And for someone going to a service shop, Vespa dealers have higher labor costs by about how much? Is it relatively easy for someone to learn to change oil, air filter, on a Vespa, easy access etc?

Anything I should have prepared before meeting the seller?

Anything noteworthy about the 2007 line of GTS 250s I should check on?

Any & all help appreciate, thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Vespa's are nice looking scoots. If the maintenance is up to date then go for it. No maintenance should be needed in the planned 6 month ownership. I also wished that my PCX had a bit more power, but then again the MPG is what got me interested in it. The 250cc engine should be good enough for the highway speed. Have you looked at the Yamaha Smax, it's a 4 valve engine with more power than the pcx and a corresponding higher top speed.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:14 pm 
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One example of the Yamaha Smax.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/mcy/d/2016-yamaha-smax-150cc/6336551941.html

Gil

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Vespa? I'm waiting for member gn2 to pop in on this. Hmm...I seem to recall some issue with the 2007. But I can't pinpoint exactly what it was. Am I wrong about this gn2?

Sorry, thinking out loud. Stick around a bit ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:19 am 
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Don't buy a Vespa unless you want a Vespa.

Would have been better if it hadn't been started.
Idling may have caused condensation inside the engine.

Don't know about any 2007 specific problems but I think there was a fuel pump recall on the GTS.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:45 am 
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I think I understand your concerns. Somewhat similar to you, I recently bought a 2011 bike which had under 1000kms (genuine).

It had been sat outside part of the time and the rest was in a garage. Apart from some very slight corrosion as it was near the sea it was like new and hardly ridden. Emulsified oil does happen, especially in cold places and it relates to condensation (as per gn2's comments) but I wouldn't be concerned about it provided you change the oil. I've also experienced this bringing bikes from interstate to the tropics.

I changed the oils in my purchase (engine, transmission) , new lithium (nice and light) battery, new plugs (nothing wrong with the old ones but did anyway) and even kept the original tyres.

In my circumstances it was a great deal and I put another 3,500 kms on it over a year or so with zero issues (touch wood). It still rides like new.

I also like Vespas but have no experience with them mechanically so suggest get it checked over, serviced and change the consumables (oil/fluids/battery etc) AND get it for a really really good price. :D

Now I think about it, when I worked overseas I would lay my bike up for months at a time no issues. 7 months is nothing. Not sure where you live so you'll have a better idea how the climate might affect things.

I'd still get it checked by someone who knows scooters/bikes if you're not mechanically minded. Hope you make a wise decision.

Sounds like your gut instinct might be good. Still don't trust the seller though - get it checked and in writing ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:11 am 
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For less than $3K U.S. you can get a Kymco Like 200i OTD new. Only thing is the seat can be a PITA for some larger riders. Valves are easier to get to. Power and brakes are OK. Looks somewhat like a Lambretta. Underseat stowage not great but it comes with a trunk (nothing fancy). Keep it waxed. . .especially metal parts. . .chrome not heavy duty. . .will rust if left outside all the time or in salt air by the ocean. I almost bought one. . .looked at the PCX 125 also but decided to wait longer (years) before I made the plunge to the PCX 150. The Honda quality was obvious compared to the Kymco but the Kymco was $1K less and easier to work on. Honda also had many dealerships whereas the Kymco piggy backed on other marques dealerships (like Genuine here) for the retail market. Replacement parts may not always be available off the shelf. So if $$ is a real issue then the Kymco Like 200i or perhaps their new Super 8 150 is worth checking out. That being said there is a trade off in anything you buy when it comes to price vs quality and content. If there is a Genuine Scooter retailer in your area they are worth a look also. :geek:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:43 am 
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I think it is also important to sit on the bike and see how it feels to see if you feel comfortable riding a scooter with a flat floorboard, where you ride with your feet in front of you instead of on the sides. For some people it is fine to ride like that. For others it is not. You need to sit on it, and if possible ride it around the parking lot. It may have a lot of power, but comfort is very important as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Gil wrote:
...Have you looked at the Yamaha Smax, it's a 4 valve engine with more power than the pcx and a corresponding higher top speed. Gil


There's been a few listed for sale. Sticking with used & a few years old limits me. Nothing that stood out though but I'm keeping my eyes open.

gn2 wrote:
Don't buy a Vespa unless you want a Vespa.

Would have been better if it hadn't been started.
Idling may have caused condensation inside the engine.

Don't know about any 2007 specific problems but I think there was a fuel pump recall on the GTS.


There was a recall on the 06-07. I asked him about it, he's going to talk to the dealership that should have all the maintainene info.

Not sure why I shouldn't buy a Vespa if a want a good riding bike to ride for at least 6months. I like the form, they're good bikes with great engines. I'll take care of it, what am I missing?

PCX150Rider wrote:
...So if $$ is a real issue then the Kymco Like 200i or perhaps their new Super 8 150 is worth checking out. That being said there is a trade off in anything you buy when it comes to price vs quality and content. If there is a Genuine Scooter retailer in your area they are worth a look also. :geek:


Been looking at Kymco's & Genuine as I seem them listed. Called a few listings so far, nothing really grabbed me but still looking.

Mel46 wrote:
I think it is also important to sit on the bike and see how it feels to see if you feel comfortable riding a scooter with a flat floorboard, where you ride with your feet in front of you instead of on the sides. For some people it is fine to ride like that. For others it is not. You need to sit on it, and if possible ride it around the parking lot. It may have a lot of power, but comfort is very important as well.


Hrm, thanks I didn't think about that. It's the same Italian style of what I owned previously however & didn't have any comfort issues for the year I rode that older bike.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:15 pm 
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lucarog923 wrote:
what am I missing?


Metal bodywork corrodes and is difficult to repair properly if damaged.
Fuel tank is very small and range is about 100 miles, less at highway speeds.
Its also Italian so electrics are perhaps a weakness...
If you want to get a better feel for Vespa ownership, have a look at Modern Vespa, its an excellent forum.

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