I’m Rebuilding My Vespa P200E All By Myself… Part 9

This is it: last day of my Vespa rebuild.

I’m sure it’ll only take an hour or so, right?


Fitting the frame back on the scooter is definitely a two-person job. Chris was nice enough to help me sort of balance the looks-like-a-Vespa part over the engine while I sent a couple of giant bolts through everything to pin the bike back together.


Torquing these bolts to spec seemed -really- important; two bolts somehow did not seem like enough fasteners to ensure safety, but that’s how it works.


My little aluminum muffin-tins of parts were getting emptied one by one, and only a couple of missing or damaged bits needed to be purchased. My shopping list fit on a paper towel.


Kevin from Motorsport had given me a couple of tips about changing out cables and cable housings, so that dreaded job took moments instead of hours. Basically, he suggested threading both the old housing (still in place on the frame) and new housings together on one long piece of cable to simultaneously pull out the old cable housing and pull the new housing into place. Then the long cable was removed and the new cable was threaded through and attached to the bike. Brilliant.


This day was taking forever. I really wanted to get down to the shop before everyone left for the day. I was tired, both physically tired and tired of working on this project. A few things got really sloppy at the end: cables not tightened down enough, some loose fasteners, rushed electrical connections. I just wanted to get the engine kicked over. If it ran, I’d succeeded.


Lots of second-guessing at this point, and I’d sweat through my clothes and my hands were shaking. This was the moment of truth: was it folly or success?

IMG_2452 IMG_2458

Kinda both, like most things. After fussing and adjusting and adding gas and turing the gas on (…what? I was too nervous to think straight), the Vespa started. I sat on the bike sobbed my face off like a reality-TV contestant for many moments, calmed down and washed my face (all while the Vespa was happily idling in the yard), and rode it to Vespa Motorsport.

Go to Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, The Conclusion

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3 Responses

  1. Iain says:

    Nice job congrats!
    Enjoy your p…..
    How was the Tahoe run?

  2. Hey congrats! I know it’s 2016 now, but I’m almost finished rebuilding my first P200 and I think I saw your “first start” vid on Youtube. Amazing accomplishment! I’m having problems with misfiring so I haven’t reached that final gratifying ride on my fresh crank-up rebuild so wish me luck!
    If I see you in Florida I’ll race ya!

  1. July 5, 2014

    […] a good thing that I love having hobbies, right? Go to Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, The Conclusion I wanna know what you think. Post a comment […]

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