Monday, October 26, 2015

She is Trying to Kill Me

My recently purchased 2007 Vespa GT, Vanessa, has been a problem lately.

I tried very hard to get her ready for last week's Iron Butt ride with Bill Dog, but the Monday before the ride, after getting a new fuel filter and fuel valve, while running flawlessly on a test ride, she blew the coolant hose off the carburetor, causing the engine to get very hot.  I, luckily, saw the high temperature reading and immediately stopped.  After a $110.00 tow home she was parked for the remainder of the week.
On the side of Interstate 10

Coolant on the floor board.

Walter the motorcycle tow service owner.

Nice machine.

Vanessa on the tow truck.  She appears to like it there.

So I borrowed a GTS from Shane Evans for Bill to ride in the Iron Butt.  It was a very gracious and generous offer that not many would make.

Shane and his GTS.

It had a Sava front tire that I felt was not appropriate so I changed it for the new Michelin Power Pure that I had recently put on Vanessa.  So Vanessa was left with this tire that carries a poor reputation around here.

Then I had Boris, my friend and mechanic, come to pick her up for the repairs.  He re-attached the hose, gave her a 10 mile test ride and declared her to be fit again.

So, yesterday, I decided to ride her on a nice comfortable country ride to Kingsland, Georgia for the funeral of Gary Readdick, a fine scooter friend I wrote about earlier.

To get to the good part, I headed out I-10 to Chaffee Road.  As I got over 60 mph the scooter felt very unstable.  So unstable that I turned off at the first possible exit to ride home to exchange her for a road worthy scooter.  I got caught up in a dead end neighborhood, but found my way to US90 and aimed for home.  In looking down, again, I noticed the temperature gauge was high.  Pulled over to see a little steam and some coolant on the floor board.

Called Boris.  But while waiting I put in a pint of coolant I had brought along and restarted the engine.  Coolant was coming out of the nipple on the head that supplies coolant to the carburetor.  The other end had come loose!  I reattached the end and called Boris and Neil, the driver who was coming and told them to hold off, as I thought I could ride to the nearest auto parts store to get more coolant and get home.  I rode about a mile, but stopped because the temperature rose too high again.  My assumption is that it lost much more than the pint I could put in.

Neil arrived and as I was moving the scooter to the ramp, I noticed it was difficult to push,  He looked down and said that she had a flat tire.  WHAT IS NEXT WITH THIS MACHINE!

Side of the road again.

Loaded up on Boris' work truck.

I have decided that she not only doesn't like me, SHE HATES ME!  So much that she is now trying to kill me.  What I thought was the bad Sava front tire was actually a brand new Michelin Power Pure going flat on the highway.  She is possessed by the devil.  I am going to ask a preacher friend of mine if he will perform an exorcism.


  1. Well, that's a pretty devastating couple of entries there. A human cut down in his prime apparently and a GT200 leading the race to unreliability.
    Try a Triumph Bonneville. It worked for me when my GTS insisted on not running reliably. As for the late Gary I have no advice other than keep on keeping on.

    1. Thank you Michael, As for devastating, Vanessa is not it. She is simply an annoyance that can be thrown away without a tear, only a hit to the wallet. I always have my Honda for reliability along with the perfect Razzo. But Gary was a fine fellow who will be forever missed by his family and many friends. He was a good one.

  2. For the record: I hate riding fast with that small Vespa flyscreen. I do not know how Bill Dog could handle riding on the interstate for over 1,000 miles at 75+ mph with it. When I returned home, I immediately took it off and replaced it with the medium-wide Vespa windscreen.

  3. I found the tire leak last night. No nails in the new tire. It was the brand new valve stem. The needle was too high, even after screwing it down as far as it would go. When the cap was put on, it released air.

  4. Bill, Vanessa doesn't hate you, she's been listening to Razzo who's been chewing her ear off with Cannonball tales. She figures if she plays hard to get, she can get off from having to do Cannoballs and Iron Butts.

  5. Razzo is to pretty to do the Cannonball next year, but might have to be brought into service. It has been my go to scooter for the past month, doing over 2000 miles in a week in that time. I am still going to try to get Vanessa fixed for the Cannonball. Or better yet, get Rocket in top condition for the run. I know that my friend George (Motovista) would like to run against Rocket again. He may even help me with parts.

  6. How long has Vanessa been in the family?

    1. I have been looking after her for a couple of years. But after an unfortunate mishap, I bought her a few months ago. I am now believing that we can get her back on the road this weekend. And the problems may be behind her. Cannonball scooter?