Another Asian Scooter Saved!

Another Asian Restored Vespa "Saved"!
This is James' Story.

James is from Melbourne, he fell in love with a gorgeous old Vespa in Bali and decided to buy her. I mean have a look at it...why wouldn't you fall for her? :)

It had been 'restored' there and he wanted to bring it back to Australia.
After organising transport he awaited the arrival of his dream scooter.

Woooo Hoooo!

Scooter Day :)

Hmmm, I wonder what it is?

James soon discovered things were just not right. The old Vespa wasn't running that great so he decided to investigate.

What he found wasn't a 'restored' engine but something badly patched and bodgied in order to flog to the Western market.

Glue, Glue and more Glue!

Nice Machining Work in Bali....... what with?? a CHISEL!?! Auughhhh!!

When at first you don't succeed- Epoxy it!

That's The Asian Vespa Restorers Best Friend- Other than Bog!

"Nah, they'll never see the inside of the engine, just Epoxy it"

That's Better!
Good on you James...


Rear axle bearing retainer Welded in!! – a job for another day – seals and bearing OK thank, God!!)

A bit of a mess. Look restored to you?

Other buyers beware...they don't expect you to ever find this stuff, they want you to pay your few thousand bucks and just bugger off!!

Clutch Bell Gasket Gunk

More to fix

Getting her back together

Engine Back In
Motor Work:
a. Full strip down!
b. All seals and bearings (FW side – Oil Gallery blocked up and off set, Clutch side – damaged from Cush Gear Plate)
c. Cush kit (springs and plates)
d. Cruciform
e. New Carby


1. Machined cases where previously repaired (poor gauging of material to match cases - nice and smooth now)
2. Replacement of all cylinder studs (suspicious threads)
3. Drilled out bearing oil galleries (incorrectly blocked in previous repair - sure to fail eventually)
4. Dremel the seal seats flat internal and external (previous repair had left material that off-set seal seating - nice and flat now)
5. Machined cylinder bead flat (poor fit when cases were matched, needed excess gasket material to work. Also – heaps of ‘crap’ to help seal the ill fitted seal)
6. Machined cylinder head- piston not clear of head (piston would hit head, it had two thin gasket plates to compensate, now fitted without the two gasket - piston is clear of head)
7. Clutch nuts replaces (had normal nuts, not castellated with basket and butchered to remove original nut)
8. FW nut replaced (poor blunt nut replaced)
9. Main drive gear - nuts & retention washer replaced
10. 98mm engine stud added (missing, the long one next to swing arm - bodgey engine stud with nuts used)
11. 14 new X 11mm nuts and stainless steel washers / lock washers and heaps of other crap screws/nuts and bolts
12. Added correctly fitting shim washer on rear axle (leaked and had 3mm play, now nice and tight - and dry!)

13. All brakes
14. All cables
15. All cable adjusters (most missing or broken)
16. Repaired gear cable control plate / cable holder (had been welded and would not accept correct cable butt end - drilled to correct size, filed clean)
17. Rebuilt brake switch (clean, unbend and solder - removed masking tape)
18. Added cable crimps to all junction box cabling (wire twisted around terminals)
19. Added light to Speedo
20. Front light holder repaired (missing clips, bad connectors and just plain bad)
21. Bulb holder rear light repaired (bad connectors, bare wires and just plain bad)
22. New lights all round
23. Replaced head stem bearings (front end would shudder under braking - now nice and tight)
24. Added mirror
25. Wired in indicators and added switch (poorly added - now works fine, not sure I will keep these on)
26. All wiring joins now soldered, shrink warped or crimped
27. Rebuilt stator plate (Replaced bad wiring)
28. Fitted luggage/tire rack correctly
29. Fitted petrol cap rubber seals
30. Fitted FW points dust cover (Kidney shaped rubber on FW fan cover)
31. Fitted rear shocker (nuts under rear seat had com off!)
32. Renewed control lever bolts (old ones just crap)
33. Added cotter pins to brakes (nails used)
34. Added cotter pins to rear/front axles (nails used)
35. Refit luggage rack
36. Condenser
37. HT Coil
38. Points
39. Set timing
40. Educated myself about all things Zen and Vespa.......

ALL Done – NICE !!

Fingers crossed – starts first kick now, let’s see how reliable she is now.

So that was James story.
There's many many like them too.
Sad but true.
Now....if we can just convince some of the boofheads on the hardcore scooter advice sites that "trashing it" just isn't an option.
That means the Asian restorers win that battle and another classic Vespa is lost to the great scrapheap in the sky..
No Way!
Come on guys- you need to adjust the attitude a bit.
Don't look at them as Asian Bodges, look at them as a classic worth saving.
It's that simple, Just save their souls!


  1. Truly shocking! Poor little Vespa!

  2. omg, so the story truly tells of bodge jobs.
    im linking it to my blog. really informative. how is the bike now??? did he ever check for structural integrity????

  3. James should serve as a shining example to all of us timid souls who foolishly wish to live to see another day.

  4. Absoluty it's a stunning product of vespa having amazing outlook actually this james also fell in love with this vespa on a first look. haha but seriously it's a nice scooter and you did a really wonderful job.


  5. I agree. Adopt an asian resto and make it right.