20150826_212923 20150828_175739 20150828_175433 20150826_214423 20150826_214335 20150826_210541 20150826_210208 Canscootlogo

Canscoot Show Weekend Ride 2017

The annual ride with the Canscoot ones from Christchurch was another interesting journey into Central Otago with great weather and awesome riding conditions.

We had organised to ride up to Cromwell and then on to Bannockburn to meet up with the rest of the group on the Friday night and staying at the Cairnmuir Motor Camp. The Christchurch based ones had stayed in Geraldine on the Thursday night and their plan was to stay in Bannockburn then head back through the pig route to Oamaru for the Saturday night and then back up to Christchurch on the Sunday.

For the first time I was lucky enough to travel with Phillip, another local scooterist from Riverton, so that was great to have someone else along for the trip. The scooter he rode for this trip was a standard PX150 with a ScootRS pipe and he has a Sportique that he is currently working on getting it roadworthy. He has been involved with all sorts of bikes for a long time and is a regular Brass Monkey participant.

I got the SS180 ready for the trip and had checked everything off the list and we met at a local garage to get fuel and headed to Gore. On the back road to Dacre the SS was going great and then started missing a bit, which I thought at the time may have just been dodgy fuel. We were making good time and had a tail wind so a good start to the day. I got as far as the Edendale hill when the SS decided to spit the dummy and stopped halfway down the hill. Bugger. After a spark plug change and then swapping out the CDI unit the spark was still intermittent and fairly weak so leaving Phillip to hold the fort, I rode his PX back to collect my truck and trailer. Once back at my shed I pushed the SS into the naughty corner and loaded up my spare PX200 and we set off again. It was a bit of a pain but that’s scootering and the weather was holding up well so we ended up having an awesome ride up to Roxburgh, Alexandra and into the Bannockburn Hotel for drinks and tea.

2_pxsss180 Cairmuir motor camp










The Bannockburn Hotel had an interesting menu, nice beer and good service with the owner recommending our meal. They also provided their courtesy van for pick ups and drop offs so no one had their scooter there. We had stayed at the Cairnmuir Motor Camp before and knew that it was clean with the basic bunk bed accommodation we normally have for these trips. There was some disruption to some lighter sleepers in the cabin through the night due to some snoring activity. Prunes, you were missed mate.

It was a good turn out of scooters with a few PX’s, 2 very tidy Rallys and a GS160 and some auto’s making up the numbers. Pete from Christchurch was riding a black GT250 that had an interesting modification to it’s front guard that also came with a bit of a story. The bike needed the guard replaced and Pete just happened to have a guard off an old LD Lambretta in his shed – as you do. He got it modified and painted and it looks very good and is as functional as the original. Apparently the guard and some other LD parts used to belong to Ant, another well known scooterist around the traps, who I got the front shield head light holder and surround for my LC125 from a few years back.

Saturday was another good ride through Clyde to Alexandra for breakfast and then we headed off to Naseby for lunch. One of the most charming of Otago’s gold rush settlements, Naseby is often referred to as the ‘jewel of the Maniototo’. Situated 2000 ft above sea level, this historic town is located within Naseby forestry, 10 minutes northeast of Ranfurly. Set below the Mt Ida Range, below which are the classic high country summer runs of Mt Ida and Soldiers Syndicates, Naseby is a rich contrast to the surrounding tussock laden, golden rock lands. Gold was discovered in 1863 and as many as 5000 diggers once toiled on its goldfields, but gold recovery often went unheralded. Relics and tailings can still be seen along some of the many walkways in and around the forest. Extensive races built to supply the miners with water for sluicing are now used for irrigation purposes. 

In Naseby we met up with some of the locals and Ian offered to show us his workshop and some of his bikes. It’s so typical of the people that you meet when you are riding around on scooters or any motorcycle for that matter and Ian’s workshop and mancave were awesome with a good collection of bikes that he had owned and raced.









From Naseby, it wasn’t too far to Ranfurly where we fueled up and met up with Matt who had ridden up from Dunedin for the day. The rest of the Canscoot crew were heading back to Palmerston so we decided to turn off and go back to Dunedin through Middlemarch. After a comfort stop at Strath Taieri Hotel and a pool lesson for Matt it was back into the heat and an enjoyable ride through to Dunedin. Takeaways for tea and a few drinks with family was a great end to a good days riding.

On Sunday we had decided to head back south through the Taieri river mouth along the coastal road and into Waihola, a ride I hadn’t done before. When we got to the Taieri river mouth, Phillip’s PX stopped and wouldn’t start. It had spark and fuel but was hard to start and wouldn’t idle but he managed to get it running and we were off again however His PX was right down on power and it was a pretty slow trip along SH1 and into Balclutha. Just before Balclutha the back wheel on my PX got a bit twitchy and I thought I might of had a puncture so pulled over onto a grassy spot off the road while Phillip carried on up the road. The rear tyre looked OK but was a bit wobbly and as it turned out, the axle nut had worked its way loose shearing the cotter pin off. Out with the tools and after a brief inspection the wheel hub had worn out the internal splines and that wasn’t something we could fix on the side of the road. While working on my scooter Phillip walked up and said his scooter had stopped again and wouldn’t start. Bugger.

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We were lucky enough to find a nice spot up the road where we could lie in the sun with our broken scooters and wait patiently for the best support vehicle in the world (thanks Jane, you are awesome!) to come and collect us. Other than the breakdowns it was a most enjoyable weekends riding with some great people through some fantastic scenery and roads.

Hopefully the experience hasn’t scared off Phillip and as it turned out he had holed his piston and my new rear hub was an easy fix. The SS has electronic ignition and it was a dodgy solder join that was causing the issue so another easy fix for me.

Ride safe.

Winter is here

black roughieWinter is here and we recently had a -6 frost, just nippy enough really.

Not much to report on the scooter front as the new workshop is still under construction.

The Bajaj was left outside in the interim and has expressed its disgust by leaking oil in the new carport.

Looks like the Canscoot ones are organising another trip into central Otago this year for their show weekend ride so if you are local and want to meet some other scooterists, get in touch.

Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2017

Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2017Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2017

Another fantastic scooter event has finished and finally was located in the South Island. Sadly for some teams from the North Island, this years event was always going to be logistically challenging, however some would say the event was better with the fewer teams that came down to the mainland.

The roads around the sounds and down the west coast at this time of the year are just stunning. The earthquake damage to some of the possible routes that could have been taken were obviously a consideration for the event planners this year but yet again they got it right with some spectacular rides and scenery.

This year we entered a team in the tourist section, however we had some personnel changes that meant we only had 3 riders on the start line at Picton. TP had a break down on the way to the ferry on his Cosa and had to borrow a bike for the event – thanks to Mike from not a motorcycle shop for the loaner. Day one started badly with a breakdown 20 minutes out on my Bajaj and left the team down to 2 riders for the first stage. I was lucky that one of the other riders doing the route on a road bike stopped and we managed to fix the problem so that I could carry on and try and catch up with the rest of my team. Julian you are a legend.

Shaneo had a puncture by lunch time and his scooter was having some gearbox issues so his day one trip finished in the back up van. 

new cruciform please

last moto breakfast








There were a few break downs on the rest of the trip for our team especially with the Bajaj spitting out spark plugs and the front hub getting a little off centre but after Shaneo had fixed his cruciform on day 3 that meant we finally had a complete team for the finish on day 4 at Picton.

Team Bellajabi won the trophy this year with a flawless display of riding and by all accounts rode fast and safely with few breakdowns. The Dicksy Chicks and Numb Nuts got first equal in the tourist class with maximum points and the Christchurch based team, Hole in One, were third in their first event. It was great to finally see a south island based team in the Moto TT and Mark, Dean, Steve and Julian may get the fever to enter a team next year and perhaps may attract more teams from the mainland.

If you are serious about scooters than you need to consider this event as a must do. The friends you make and the rides you go on are exceptional and for some of us its one of the things on our calendars that we really look forward to doing each year. It can be challenging logistically, physically and mentally and there is a real cost to it but if you want to meet awesome people riding classic geared scooters a lot further and faster than they were originally designed to go then this could be for you.

It is the only event of its kind currently being run in New Zealand.

The engine in the Bajaj has now done 3 of these events and it is starting to show its age and after completing the event with no front brake, the front end, an upgraded 10″ wheel and after market suspension, is overdue for a replacement of probably a PK/PX disc fork assembly and upgraded shock absorber. One of the Calvary riders had a blue Super with a similar set up in it so it’s probably the go in the long run.








Some of the highlights for me this year were:

  • Catching up with Mack (no what I mean David ?), who got the support van job this year and had an awesome sidekick in Harley (not the Davidson)
  • Yay – finally a complete team from the mainland (thanks Julian and Mark for your help with the Bajaj) Julian had a last minute issue after “fettling” his Heinkel and rode the event on a tidy old BMW.
  • Brent from Ch-Ch entering as Team Hollings and providing the welding expertise.
  • Netty rode her SS180 from Auckland to Picton, did 1600kms on the event and then rode home again – EPIC.
  • The camping ground and views at Pohara Beach.
  • Collecting scooter cack and some tomatoes from Robin in Dunedin on the way home.
  • Team Tee shirts by Lee the printer from Ch-Ch


The Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2018 is supposed to be back in the North Island next year so if you are interested in participating get in touch with Christiaan from Retroscooter in Auckland. There will probably be a limit on entries so you had better be quick to enter and quick breakdown free on the road if you are in trophy.





2017 Events

nz moto tt

Friday the 21st April to Tuesday the 25th April.

If you can only go on one scooter ride a year, make it this one.

A 4 day, 1000 mile team ride for classic geared scooters.

An epic test of man and machine, taking in the best roads and scenery in the top of the South Island and West Coast with the chance to win the amazing handcrafted Moto TT trophy

Teams of 3 or 4 riding together with points allocated each day. This year’s event starts and finishes in Picton.



Thursday the 16th November to Sunday the 19th November

This year the Team from Christchurch have organised their annual event to take in the scenery of Central Otago.

3-4 days riding with 3 overnight stays

Bring your sleeping bag and earplugs.



Vespa SS180 project

Vespa SS180 project

The Super Sport, or S.S., was the successor to the G.S. 160 and was built from 1964 to 1968. With the exception of the increase in cc’s, the motor and suspension design are very similar on the two scooters. On the other hand, the styling of the S.S. was totally new. The new design was much more angular than the rounded G.S.’s Squared off edges and a trapezoidal shaped headlight gave the scooter a thoroughly 60’s appearance. This shape was based on the earlier Vespa G.L. However, the S.S. took the styling to an extreme. It was the G.L./S.S. body design that would influence all of the following full frame Vespas into the middle of the 1970’s.

This Vespa SS 180 scooter came with some other bits and pieces from Central Otago and was originally registered in Dunedin in 1966.

The engine is a 1965 serial number in an Airco body. It is complete but will need to be restored. The body, tank, headset are in great shape but will need sandblasted and some panel beating done. It came with a couple of spare rims and tyres and a box of misc bits and pieces.

I’m not sure what I will do with this at the moment but if your interested, read on. It might be worth my time “doing it up” as a restored one with original plate and papers could be worth good money.

  • Good Points:

Its relatively complete; the motor turns over freely, oil is old but clean; the original exhaust is in good condition, both side pods have had panel work done and are primered and the engine side louvres have been replaced; The airco seat is in great condition; The glovebox is off another SS; The tank is rust free and has the original cap and tap; There are all new bearings and seals in a box; It has the correct tail light, headlamp, badges and speedometer; The original stand is there and will replace the one I have on it; It has the original number plate, NZ ownership papers and handbook. 

  • Less good but no big deal points:

The front guard needs minor panel work and the body should be fine when media blasted; The RH engine case needs some aluminium weld adjacent to the kick start shaft; Someone has replaced the quadrant at one time with an earlier model one. It has a replacement SS quadrant and new kick start lever with it; Its missing the spare wheel cover and the speedo has a crack in it.

Its a good project either way for someone and if you are interested, let me know. Complete, non-seized examples are getting harder to find now but to the right person I may be interested in selling it, as is.

Project now Sold

Vespa SS180 project ss180

Burt Munro Challenge 2016

Burt Munro Challenge 2016

Recently we attended the 11th annual Burt Munro Challenge with scooter friends from around the country. This years event coincided with the opening of the new Classic Motorcycle Mecca here in Tay St. The Bill Richardson Transport World and Motorcycle Mecca are both world class collections now part of a local families vision for promoting the area.

Once housed in Nelson and known as NZ Classic Motorcycles the entire collection was sold to Transport World in May 2016. Given Transport World’s natural enthusiasm for wheels and, the regions celebrated obsession with motorcycles, it presented an opportunity of a lifetime. Widely regarded to be a world class display the collection houses over 300 motorcycles and motorcycle related artwork. 

“The true spirit of Burt Munro is surely one of the homemade budget tinkerer”

Like earlier events the weather was looking a bit dodgy but there was a good turn out of tents at the campsite and generally the weather was good until the Sunday with only the odd shower here and there. Matt and Pete, an Auckland based scooterist and bass player, made the trip down to the site and camped out to enjoy the rally experience with Matt looking to compete in one of the events at the Teretonga Raceway on the Saturday.

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Matt or Mr Skoot is a well known scooter identity in New Zealand and works on scooters for local scooterists in Wellington. Very much in the ethos of Burt Munro, Matt rode his Vespa scooter down to the rally site with a 177 PX / Quattrini race engine strapped to the floor, a gear bag, tools and a spare fuel container. After a long night in the shed the race motor was eventually transplanted into the frame along with a new carburettor, ignition, wheels, tyres, brakes and assorted cables and bits stripped from the original motor and some Southernscoot spares.

borrowed leathers how fast does it go? Matts spares.









After getting a license from the local motorcycle club, at the last minute, and some avgas from a local contact it looked like Matt would be ready to go however one of the officials wasn’t happy with his riding gear. Luckily a fellow competitor had a spare leather racing suit and was happy to lend it to the cause. The pits area at Teretonga had custom trailers, caravans with awnings and assorted tents all with spares, tools and generally somewhere to keep warm and dry but parked on the grass between a couple of trailers was the little blue vespa scooter that could. After removing the seat and the kick start and taping up everything that could break, N0. 51 was ready to go. There were a total of 3 races and a qualifier spread out over the day and other than a head wind into the straight, the race conditions were good.



The M-Post classic Pre 72, class had a field of approximately 20 riders and ended up with two DNF’s.

Matt’s best time for the day was – 1:42.493 at 92.026 kph.










Watching from the sidelines was fun as not many spectators could believe that a Vespa scooter was actually out there racing and to be fair, against faster and larger capacity machines. Even though the results were a foregone conclusion it would have been awesome to have beaten one of the bigger machines but when you have ridden over 1100 kms to the event and then race, then ride 1100 kms home again on that same scooter, that is gutsy stuff indeed. Pete’s contribution of a 3600 km round trip is epic in it’s own right as not many scooters, or riders for that matter, would be keen to do that. After a quiet last day, a wet ride to bluff and then a trip up through the Catlins to Owaka it was time to say goodbye.

What an awesome weekend of scootering with a couple of awesome scooterists.

Canscoot Show Weekend Ride 2016

Canscoot Show Weekend Ride 2016

This years ride started out well with fine weather and no wind being a real bonus for any scooter trip. I met up with some of the Canscoot guys at Smash Palace the night before for a plot and scheme session. The route had originally been chosen by Matt from Wellington but the consensus was that the distance was going to be too far for some of the riders participating so Craig organised another shorter ride to the West Coast.

Riding up over the Arthurs Pass is great for small capacity machines – when its dry. In the rain it’s not much fun but that’s scootering and after all, it does rain a lot on the West Coast. The first day was basically Christchurch to Punakaiki where we stayed at the local camping ground and enjoyed the pancake rocks and blowholes and the local taverns meals and drink selection. Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park. By the time we got to Greymouth, later in the afternoon, the rain was torrential. We had to stop at a local tavern to dry-out and just watched some of the heaviest rain I have seen for ages, hoping it would stop some time soon.

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We left Punakaiki to head to Reefton, which by the map, isn’t very far but we made a few stop offs on the way to keep things interesting at Cape Foulwind and some cross country riding at the old Millerton coal mine. The Westport Coal Company built the Millerton Incline in 1891 and the Millerton Mine began production in 1896. Mining at Millerton ended in the late 1960s. The Millerton Incline was a narrow gauge (2 ft or 610 mm) incline consisting of two parallel tracks on which the coal tubs ran, being hauled by rope. Remnants of tracks, trucks, bath house and other installations are still visible. The Millerton Incline was in its day quite a feat of engineering and the remains of this incline and its infrastructure are more accessible than those of the more famous Denniston incline. The Millerton Incline was used to convey tubs of coal from the mines around the Millerton area to the Bins at Granity, which in their day were the largest coal loading bins of wooden construction in NZ.

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Reefton is an old gold town and in 1888 became the first town in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere to receive electricity, the work of Walter Prince, and its streets were lit by commercial electricity generated by the Reefton Power Station. Some of us stayed at the old nurses home and some had organised local holiday homes. Lee was good enough to host a BBQ and a few drinks for the team and an excellent night was had by all. This ride was only the second I have been on where a family of scooterists was involved with all of Lee’s family either riding scooters, he had worked hard to have 3 scooters ready for the trip, or some travelling in a back up vehicle with a trailer. Lees partner Suzy put in a gutsy effort to even complete the ride in some very trying conditions, even for experienced riders and to his credit he rode all the way with her as she battled through after a previous scooter mishap had dented her confidence. You guys rocked.

Originally the ride was to go back through the Lewis Pass to Christchurch and some of the team did that while the rest of us went back through Arthur’s Pass instead. As per any long weekend there were a few idiots on the road trying to pass scooterists with boats and assorted trailers on, just stupid stuff when we were able to sit on 90kph anyway. It was good to catch up with Ian from Nelson and Chalkey. Joe 90 had an electrical breakdown on his Gilera which ended his ride on day 2.

Craig, thanks for organising a fun ride with some interesting stops. Looking forward to next year.





Recently we were lucky enough to travel to Rarotonga for a friends wedding and a holiday.

What an awesome place for a holiday and a beachfront wedding. Mrs JC and I travelled with another couple of scooterists and had a great old time exploring the island, snorkelling, fishing, swimming and just doing all the things you do when you are on holiday on a pacific island. The wedding, which had a very relaxed atmosphere and featured fire dancing, local music and cocktails on the beach was just fantastic. Two fishing charters were both highlights of the trip with four yellow fin tuna being caught on a small boat and a wahoo caught by the groom on a larger charter boat.

Our accommodation was first rate and if you are thinking of going there we would recommend the Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas. The pool, the Villa and the amenities are all first rate and our host Robyn looked after us very well. We stayed in Muri Beach and were well placed for the night food markets, cafes and shops. With bars just along the beach and plenty of recreational activities available it was quite hard to leave the place.

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Transport around the island is generally by one of two buses – a clockwise one or an anti clockwise one or you can rent a car or twist and go type scooters. We opted for some Yamaha Cygnus 125 scooters from a place just up the road. With electric start, good brakes and plenty of storage under the seat these were excellent for riding around the island. A lot of the locals and other people on holiday there didn’t wear helmets or shoes and were quite happy just riding around in shorts and bare feet but we didn’t do that. Some of the roads there aren’t in the greatest condition and falling off would have been very messy. Yes its hot and some riders were happy with low speed careful riding but there were a few that were racing around and getting very sun burnt.

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There weren’t any classic scooters that we saw on the roads but in the cafe at the botanical gardens we found a couple of Vespa scooters, a VBB from Bali and a P series. Incidentally the cafe there made an excellent curry. There were also some modified Bajaj tuk tuks at one of the local markets.

There’s not much to complain about in Rarotonga and the people we met there were very nice. Being able to ride scooters while on holiday was just an added bonus to an awesome trip.

If you haven’t been there, take lots of sunscreen.

Vespa Engine Stand

Vespa Engine Stand

I have been thinking about building a stand for vespa engines for a while now and have seen a few designs on different sites and forums and used a type that you clamp into your vice. The assembled engines can fall off your bench if you aren’t careful and having a stand makes them easy to reassemble and more importantly start and test the running engine before installing it into the frame. Most of the stands I looked at didn’t allow for the exhaust to be connected and some also didn’t allow for the kick start to work effectively.


Vespa Engine Stand











I managed to get some 6m lengths of 25mm square steel tubing for a box of beer and just had to hacksaw off what I needed for the stand and then run the bits past the wire wheel to take off the surface rust. I had already cut the end of an old shock absorber and welded a bolt to it. I only spent around $20 on hardware from E Hayes and sons for the threaded rod, wingnuts and a couple of plastic tube inserts.

Sliding the engine across the threaded rod allowed for the exhaust to fit with room to spare and then it was just a matter of lining up the suspension post to suit and then welding it all together. I wont be getting a welding job anytime soon but everything is pretty well stuck together and after a quick coat of rattle can primer it was on with the basic black top coat.




Vespa Engine Stand









I had been tidying up a 150 engine for another project and this was the perfect opportunity to test it. I turned the fuel feed on the carburettor upwards and jammed a fuel funnel onto it. So after a bit of choke the engine started and ran although it wasn’t quite right and after a cursory examination I had forgotten to put the idle screw in the carburettor….



Douglas 42L2 update 4

Douglas 42L2 update 4

All through this project the aim was to just get this back on the road and to retain the character of the scooter as it was when I first purchased it. As time has gone by the floor area has been a bit of a concern in how it looks and there have been some rust issues with the sidepods and parts of the frame that if left untreated would only have deteriorated in the long term. Removing the rubber strips that were originally glued to the floor then the glue and some paint left a bit of a mess and as a dry fit of a new floor rail kit showed, there was no way of hiding it and repainting the whole scooter wasn’t an option. A local paint company here – Southern Paints used a paint sample from the scooter to make up a spray can of paint for me to touch up the floor and other parts of the scooter.


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The Beige colour is very close to what was on there and other than my crap preparation and touch up painting the floor has come out looking not too bad. There is a bit of primer showing near the brake pedal but hopefully a bit of wear and tear will sort that out. The rail kits were a bit of a pain to install as the holes never lined up and not all of the holes in the floor could be covered by the rails. The outer edge rails needed small aluminium pieces placed in the edge channel to give a flat surface for the rail to attach to.

Also the pointy caps on the ends of the rails need a longer pop rivet if you are using pop rivets or they come with blind rivets that you can install with a ball pein hammer. By inserting the longer pop rivet from under the scooter into the cap, this made a tidier job than having the pop rivet showing out the front of the scooter. If you haven’t done floor rails before then inserting the rubber strips into the rails can be really easy or frustratingly difficult however, drinking beer definitely helps the process…


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Both of the sidepods had some rust inside them with the motor side being quite bad. A friend had recommended a spray on rust preventative as a good solution before priming and painting. The local Super Cheap auto store had a CRC product called Rust Converter Aerosol for $23.00. Once the loose rust scale had been removed and after following the directions on the can, the treatment was pretty straight forward and dried reasonably quickly. After applying some primer for the pods and the left side of the body the result was pretty good – maybe not restoration quality but good enough to get it fixed.


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Once the painting and floor rails were completed there was just some small issues to fix up with the centre stand and the brake pedal. Initially I was going to use a side stand as I liked the look of the scooter leaned over however after trying one it didn’t feel right to me when the scooter was on the stand and I was worried that it may fall over. A standard centre stand wasn’t wide enough for the scooter and the stand brackets just wouldn’t fit the existing holes in the floor. After cutting the stand in half and inserting an old axle bolt I had in my scrap steel pile, I managed to get the stand located correctly with the brackets using one of the original holes.

The brackets had to be adapted to fit the underside of the floor and a new hole had to be drilled as the original stand had quite a different mounting system in size and location. My first ever attempt at mig welding proved to be very rough looking but the stand is working OK so far. The scooter sits up quite a bit at the front so I may have to trim a bit off each stand leg to get it well balanced.













The foot brake had an annoying habit of sticking up vertically when adjusting the rear brake. This was because the pin in the rod the brake pedal pivots on was worn and allowed the pedal to travel backwards. Usually the pin can be removed with a bit of CRC and some needle nosed pliers however this one was frozen solid and had to be drilled out and replaced. Other than the cable scratching a bit of paint off the floor, it works great now. I had some whitewall tyres that I was saving for a scooter such as this and after painting the rear rim and changing the old continental tyres the scooter looks quite good.

After adjusting all of the cables and going for a short ride out the gate and across the road there was an issue with the gear change where the scooter wouldn’t shift into top gear. After checking the handlebar and the gear selector the issue turned out to be with the handlebar. On a factory 42L2 gear change there are only 3 gears and when converting to a 4 geared PX engine, the shifter has to be adjusted accordingly so that it can rotate far enough before stopping. The only way I could get it to work was to make the first gear position on the shifter actually select neutral in the gearbox. This then allowed the shifter to rotate far enough forward to select the extra gear.

Once the brakes and the gear shift were adjusted the test ride went pretty well. The new seat is very comfortable but doesn’t allow a lot of room for taller riders so care must be taken when turning sharply so as not to catch the handlebars with your knees. The riding position is quite comfortable and you don’t feel like you are falling over the front of the handlebars unlike on some other single saddle scooters I have ridden. The original speedo works but vary’s wildly depending on how fast you are going and seems to be reasonably accurate at 30mph according to one of those LCD speed signs up the road. The front suspension works well but to be fair this isn’t going to be raced so it is a vast improvement on the old standard spring and shock absorber that doesn’t dive dangerously under braking.

The lights all work except the brake light but the light switch may need to be re-wired as when you use the kill switch, the position the switch is then left in, has the lights off. Its probably a good habit to check the lights are on anyway so only have to sort out the rear brake switch. The rear suspension is quite hard over bumps and has been set this way to allow the air filter to clear the scooter body but is just something I will have to keep an eye on when riding on the open road. Around town is fine and the seat actually helps with this by being a sprung unit. The old battery box makes an ideal oil container in the left sidepod and filling the tank is just a matter of lifting the seat and un-doing the petrol cap. The 177 goes well and it will only be a matter of time before estimating how far one can travel on a tank as the original tank only has a 1.25 gallon capacity or almost 5 litres of fuel.


Looking forward to summer and some scootering.



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Douglas 42L2 update 3

Douglas 42L2 update 3

The original 8″ wheels on this have now been upgraded to 10″ with the standard PX wheel on the back and a ScootRS, atomic branded, GS150 replica conversion rim on the front. The front wheel has plenty of clearance from the guard and with the new Gabriel spring and shock absorber kit, it is miles better than the original. This is the first time I have used the Gabriel shocks and they were well priced so I’m not expecting Bitubo performance but they have to be better than the originals on the road and under braking. I will have to wait and see how they go.

The speedo is the original Veglia unit in MPH and if you are going to replace the cable make sure the hole in the fork is big enough for the outer as some newer cables are a lot thicker than others. It’s the same with the front brake cable, check the outer will go down the fork and out through the bottom as there isn’t much room in there and the only place to make it wider would be by drilling into the axle, probably something you don’t want to do.

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The control cabling on these old handlebar scooters is a little different to an enclosed headset type like the sportiques and supers and before you decide to change the cables for new ones make sure you can buy ones for wideframes. SIP sell them and you can get them off EBay but the PX/VBB/etc ones are too large in diameter for the holes in the handlebar. I couldn’t get the handlebar out of the headlight casting so drilling holes in the handlebar wasn’t an option for all of the cabling. If you can get the handlebar off, then this isn’t too bad of a job.

Its quite a fiddly job getting the throttle and brake cable along the inside of the handlebar to the right position while it is in place. The factory throttle assembly on these in the handlebar has the cable connected to a shaped, flat piece of steel and the original cable had a ferrule on the end of it for this purpose. You could crimp a ferrule onto the cable or what I did was to just use a screw connector similar to the gear cable screw connectors. As the throttle tube is rotated, the flat piece of steel is drawn along grooves in the tube, pulling the cable.

The clutch cable wasn’t too bad and the gear cables are routed externally anyway. You will need reasonably long gear and throttle cables depending on how you have to route them and if you are lucky the internal tubes, that the cables are run through in the floor of the frame are clear. My gear cable tube had 2 ends off the old cable outer stuck in there and that made it very frustrating to pull 2 new cables through however once you get all the control cables done then you can concentrate on the electrical system.


cabling 1 cabling 2 cabling 3 cabling done









On my scooter the throttle cable came out in the old carburettor compartment and the wiring for the front of the scooter came out on the opposite side. I tend to use my own cable loom, made with wiring from a local electrical wholesaler and following standard colours where possible instead of buying one. Its basically the same wiring on all of my non battery scooters, except with some minor differences around the brake switch or horn and I just keep a copy of the diagram on the wall. All of my non battery scooters are 12v electronic ignition with a 3 pole regulator and I have found this to be very reliable.


cable covers












This scooter had a GS/Sportique acorn type tail light on it when I got it so I will just re-use it with 12v bulbs. I dont think any of the original wideframes actually had a brake light however by using a PX inline front brake switch on the new rear brake cable, I should be able to get this working OK. The handlebar light switch is a thing of beauty and attaches to the throttle assembly via a screw in the switch however terminating the wires in the small space available can be a challenge.

Basically each switch position covers or uncovers terminals as the switch mechanism slides over them. The first position on the switch is to the left and this is just a push on, for the kill switch. then you have the headlight low/high and pilot light positions. The horn is just a plastic push tab that earths a copper connector directly onto the handlebar. The switch itself has rather small copper terminals that you can slide your cabling under however you may want to tin these first and then try to solder the wires on with out making one big mess. Good luck with that.

Once your cabling is run you can then cut the cable covers to length for the gear cables and the switch cable. Make sure you put the triangular gear change rubber cover on before terminating the gear cables on the handlebar.


headlight cabling headlight tail_light wired









Hopefully we aren’t too far away from starting it up although the weather here is crap for riding it at the moment.

Douglas 42L2 update 2

Douglas 42L2 update 2

The PX motor installation has provided some challenges although I never thought this would be easy.

Basically it seems there are 3 brackets available for changing the original Douglas 125 engine for a PX – two specifically for the PX200 and another for a PX150 or a standard VBB or Super 150 motor. The PX200 ones have either 12mm or 10mm mounting holes for threaded rod or a standard swingarm bolt. The SERIE PRO PX150 one I have used has the 12mm mounting holes. The top shock mount needs the thread changed for a modern shock and extension and the threaded piece just pops out of the rubber retainer. SIP has all the parts you will need or you could drill it out yourself and re-thread it.


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With the DR 177 barrell and head on this engine the standard PX150 bracket doesn’t allow the head and the shroud to clear the body. I tried fitting a standard VBB 150 engine and it clears the body no problem so it looks like the PX200 bracket would have been the better one to use, however with some grinding modifications to the head and barrell cooling fins the shroud now fits like it should.

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Once the motor is in the next thing is the rear shock and the carburettor and clearance with the body. A new rear shock, depending on what you get, is quite a lot shorter than the factory wide frame one and if you use the shock extensions you will need to experiment to see which ones give you clearance but doesn’t jack the rear end up like a drag car. I got the scooter floor looking reasonably level from the side but the carburettor box is very close to the body and the lid won’t go on as it is. Andrew, one of the scooter guys here that has done some work on these old wide frames, suggested removing the carburettor box and changing the air filter however this just opens up another can of worms.

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Removing the carburettor box is straight forward but you will need to put some spacers in for the 2 bolts that hold the carburettor on. Also I had to grind off a small corner on the top of the case so that the carburettor would sit flat and then made up a gasket to fit.


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So with that all done we gained a little bit of room but lost the adjustment for the choke and the throttle. I managed to gain a little more clearance by turning the body lip upwards away from the carburettor assembly without having to cut it. While the air cleaner fits on top of the carburettor its still pretty close to the body and while seated the suspension doesn’t move enough for this to be a problem but going over a reasonable bump will be a different story. I have stuck with it as is in the meantime as there is still so much more work to do. Making up a bracket for the throttle cable was straight forward but the old cabling was in bad shape and replacing it, is now proving to be difficult as well.


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Gone this far, may as well carry on..

Douglas 42L2 update 1

Douglas 42L2 update 1

Scooters made in the 1950’s had different frame styles and engines than the more recent scooters.

50’s scooter attributes

  • Engine side cowl has a bump that cuts into the frame.
  • There is a small door below the choke and fuel levers which hinges toward the headset. For models with 8″ wheels this is where the carburettor is located. For 10″ models this is a storage area.
  • The engine castings are in three main sections; the two crankcase halves and the swingarm, which can be unbolted from the engine.
  • The frame tunnel from the rear brake pedal to the rear flares out significantly
  • There are two frame to engine swing arm bolts rather than a single long one.

The Douglas 42L2 has been moved since its original purchase 6 years ago and has sat patiently waiting for some work to be done. I put some new wheels and tyres on it and started the reconditioning of the engine.

Originally I wanted to retain the old piston porter engine and just needed some time and parts to get it going but as time goes by and you eventually collect more scooter stuff the plan can change accordingly.

I really like the basic look of this scooter and the paint job is still in OK condition, where you can see it. It had some rubber strips glued to the floor which just retained the moisture and were a real rust trap, however I’m not sure what to do with whats left behind as heating the glue to remove it just takes the paint off as well…

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So the plan is to now put a PX engine in it to get it rideable, upgrade the lighting to 12V, repair the original speedo and retain the GS/Sportique tail light. The single seat is off a Puch or an NSU and while I’m not a big fan of the single seat riding position, I do like the look of it.

Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2016

Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2016.Motoretta Tourist Trophy 2016.

“It is the responsibility of riders to ensure both they and their scooter are road legal. All scooters must be registered and carry a current Warrant of Fitness. Registration plates must belong to that vehicle. If a scooter is found to be in breach, the rider will be disqualified”

This years awesome event tripped up a few riders who were either unprepared or just didn’t care enough to follow the rules and subsequently some teams were disqualified.

Team ARSCRAC had some scooter breakdown issues from day one and although rode hard where possible were down the placings in the trophy this year. This in no way stopped the enjoyment of the best Moto TT to date. Scooters breakdown no matter how well you prepare but this year there seemed to be a few more in the Lambretta camp than the Vespa one…

Congratulations to the trophy winners this year – Seizey and the Jets. All seasoned riders with well maintained Lambrettas.

Christiaan and his hardworking team continue to provide a premier event for scooter enthusiasts here in New Zealand with great routes, accommodation and prizes.

The word is the event will be in the mainland next year around the top of the south island so hopefully a few more south island based clubs will get on board and enter teams.

Douglas Vespa Wideframe project

Douglas Vespa Wideframe project

Scooters made in the 1950’s had different frame styles and engines than the more recent scooters. To differentiate them from 60’s and later era machines they have the following physical attributes:

  • Engine side cowl has a bump that cuts into the frame.
  • There is a small door below the choke and fuel levers which hinges toward the headset. For models with 8″ wheels this is where the carb is located. For 10″ models this is a storage area.
  • The engine castings are in three main sections; the two crankcase halves and the swingarm.
  • The frame tunnel from the rear brake pedal to the rear flares out significantly
  • There are two frame to engine swing arm bolts rather than a single long one.
  • The left side cowl is a glovebox with a small hinged door in the top. It is attached to the frame from inside with a series of bolts.

This Douglas Wideframe scooter came with some other bits and pieces from a local Invercargill man called Rex. He had advertised on Trade Me looking for a cash sale – not an auction, for his cack (thats scooter stuff mum) and had some photo’s of the scooters and parts.

Everything had been in a spare room for 8-10 years with the intention to “do them up” but time and life changed his circumstances.

I’m not sure what I will do with this at the moment but if your interested, read on. It might be worth “doing up” or just reassembling it and getting it going or maybe even selling it as is.

  • Good Points:

Original wiring; speedo, original exhaust in good condition, Body in good condition and complete with little surface rust.

  • Less good but no big deal points:

Motor doesn’t turn over; no carb but has air cleaner. Missing engine cover and shroud, right pod needs rust treated.

Its a good project either way for someone.

Project now Sold

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Vespa SS90 project

This 1970 Vespa SS 90 scooter came with some other bits and pieces from a local Invercargill man called Rex. He had advertised on Trade Me looking for a cash sale – not an auction, for his cack (thats scooter stuff mum) and had some photo’s of the scooters and parts.

Everything had been in a spare room for 8-10 years with the intention to “do them up” but time and life changed his circumstances. Rumour has it that it was brought new by a man from bluff but this is unconfirmed at the moment. The engine is a 1970 serial number in an Airco body. It is complete but doesn’t have the dummy tank as they weren’t used here in NZ and is in pretty good shape.

I’m not sure what I will do with this at the moment but if your interested, read on. It might be worth “doing up” or just reassembling it and getting it going or maybe even selling it as is.

  • Good Points:

Complete, all original parts; Motor turns over freely, oil is old but clean;  rear hinging airco seat, 7994 miles on original Veglia 80MPH speedo, original exhaust in good condition, Body in awesome condition with light surface rust.

  • Less good but no big deal points:

No number plate or ownership papers; tyres, cables and the shroud need replaced, paint; don’t know if motor goes yet (but will find out)

Its a good project either way for someone.

Project now sold

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NZ Classic Scooter Club Rally

NZ Classic Scooter Club Rally

This years NZCSC rally at Tatum Park in Manakau, which is up north on SH 1 between Otaki and Levin got off to a bad start for the Black Roughie.

Planning to leave early didn’t happen and while wanting to get to Ch-Ch on the first day, it all went downhill from there. Not to mention a breakdown within the town boundary putting paid to any chance of riding any distance for the day.

Like all long road trips on the scooter you check stuff like the tyres, the engine, tools, oil, spares and generally anything that may be loose you tighten it up and then you set off thinking you are good to go. You have your riding suit and boots on, it’s a stinking hot day with no wind, got the blue tooth hooked up to your phone and got a few tunes happening in the helmet – perfect for scooter riding. Every things going good and all of a sudden there’s no power and the scooters running like a dog. Pull over to the side of a busy road and try starting it (its always busy when you breakdown…) the scooter wont start, its stinking hot, get the side pod off and there’s fuel everywhere. Turn the fuel tap off, sit on the footpath in a shady spot and wipe the sweat out of your eyes with the dirtiest, oiliest (is that a even a word?) cloth you have in your toolkit and think nice thoughts…Bugger



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Luckily for me, Mrs JC wasn’t far behind in the truck with the trailer so a nice cool workshop, with a drink and change of shirt seemed the best place to fix it. The fuel hose clamp on the carburetor had broken off – go figure, so it was an easy fix. The scooter ran well after that, getting to Oamaru later in the afternoon. Part of the trip was about road testing the Roughie as it has had a few modifications done to it to hopefully make it reliable with a good range and reasonably fast to complete the Motoretta TT. With time against us and a ferry to catch in Picton the scooter went onto the trailer to get to Ch-Ch before midnight. Staying with family was a bonus and dropping off scooter parts to a local scooterist goes with most trips we make now days. The drive to Blenheim was uneventful except for part of the rear rack on the Roughie broke going over some rough road works and left a 5L fuel can hanging by a bungy cord. Bugger.

The plan was to drop the trailer off at a mates in Blenheim and then ride the scooter to Picton, leaving the car there for the trip back. By the time we got to Blenheim it was raining. By the time we dropped the trailer off it was pissing down. About half way to Picton it was torrential and dangerous. Not being able to see was offset by being soaking wet although luckily for me it wasn’t too cold however aqua-planing on 10″ wheels is no fun at any time. A brief stop to clear the visor and spectacles (for those who ride with glasses, its a real PITA to stop fogging up but somehow keep the visor down and the rain out) and with no break in the weather imminent I decided to push on and get to the ferry terminal as safely as possible
The Roughie ran out of fuel just as I coasted into Picton in monsoon conditions. Bugger


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A nice man saw me on the footpath and kindly offered his garage, thinking I had broken down but luckily for me I had the 5L fuel can on board. Mrs JC had a mission getting our car parked and the luggage sorted and I managed to get to the terminal and sit in a cold bike shelter to wait for the ferry which had now been delayed with the bad weather. Bugger

The only dry clothes I had on by now were my socks so things weren’t so bad and then another solo rider turned up and we chatted away as you do. Eventually some other bikers turned up wet and cold and we all sat in the bike shelter wringing out gloves and talking bike stuff. One of the guys mentioned that he didn’t have any problems with his visor fogging up in the rain as he had wiped the inside with a cloth he had put some shaving foam on. My new friend and I thought he was having us on but his wife got the cloth and the shaving foam out for us, so we tried it on our visors. I must say it worked very well and as an added bonus my helmet smelled minty fresh – very nice indeed. After a hot feed and a beer on the ferry with Mrs JC we settled down for the trip watching rugby league on the telly.

We were met at the Wellington ferry terminal by one of our good scooter friends and a short trip north soon dried out most of my riding gear.

I can’t say enough about the scooter friends we have made over the years whether here in NZ or in the UK or where ever we have been lucky enough to travel to. We spent good times with great friends, stayed in their home, then rode our scooters and then spent more time with more scooterist friends – good times all round. Thanks you lot – you know who you are.



NZ Classic Scooter Club Rally








Travelling up to the rally site over the Akatarawa Road through the Tararua Forrest Park was fun in the dry, unlike the last time we rode that way in the rain, however we encountered more traffic this time. If you haven’t taken your scooter over that road – do it now. We had a good ride up SH 1 and I was quite surprised about how much traffic there was as its not much fun not being able to sit on 90-100 kph with impatient motorists doing dumb stuff, however we got to the rally site fairly quickly. We had fairly salubrious accommodation and caught up with other scooterists as they arrived. Some had planned to stay in their van however a scooter leaking fuel soon made that not such a good idea, so some alternative bedding arrangements were acquired.

Like the last NZCS Rally at Inglewood this one was quite casual and well organised with a good turnout of scooterists travelling  from as far as Auckland, Nelson and Invercargill. The accommodation and meals were pretty good and a lot of good friends had put in the effort to get the work done behind the scenes. The “Table of Cack” was well supported with good bargains (or should that be bargins peeps 🙂 ) to be had.

I liked:

  • The tee shirts – good work guys.
  • I liked the 1961 Miele moped
  • I liked Marks Dayton Albatross
  • I liked Thorntons Prior and Stewart

I didn’t like:

  • The bloody mosquitos

The ride out to a local cafe was great however it was here the Black Roughie decided to go cross country as a right hand bend had the exhaust scraping and after quickly straightening up there was no road left. Luckily a vacant grassy section was there and a bumpy trip over the grass and back onto the road was a good outcome. On investigation it was noticed the scooter wasn’t sitting right at the rear end and was looking rather low, on reflection I hadn’t put a spacer in with the new shock absorber and the scooter now had about 3 inches less travel then it used to on the right hand side. While an easy fix it could have been worse. Bugger


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A man known as “Snow” who had traveled from Nelson, was riding a yellow small frame Vespa 50 he had restored but was having some electrical issues. It turned out to be a faulty capacitor. A replacement was secured and soldered into place with a team effort supplying tools, parts and soldering suggestions and the venue supplying a footpath to work on. Classic stuff.

For us the rally was more than just scooters, it enabled us to catch up with so many friends and family and turned a 2 day event into nearly a 2 week holiday. Luckily for us we are able to do this now and just have to plan accordingly and while some trips go without a hitch, its never, ever boring, on one of Jane’s Tours.


On a final note – lets be careful out there.





2016 Events

19-21 February 2016 events
Fri 12 AM · Tatum Park · Manakau
A weekend of scooter goodness.

The NZ Classic Scooter Club was started in 1995 as a register of owners of old, interesting or unusual:

  • scooters
  • mopeds
  • clip on bicycle motors
  • Stepthru’s
  • Autocycles
  • Power Cycles

The NZ Classic Scooter Club is open to all people who own scooters or mopeds, no matter when they were made, as well as people interested in them. We also cater for small  motorcycles (50cc).  A classic is generally but not necessarily more than 20 years old. Currently there are around 100 or so members throughout New Zealand, and increasing.






Friday the 22nd April to Monday the 25th April.

If you can only go on one scooter ride a year, make it THIS one.

A 4 day, 1000 mile team ride for classic geared scooters.

An epic test of man and machine, taking in the BEST roads and scenery in New Zealand’s North Island and the chance to win the amazing handcrafted MotoTT trophy

Teams of 3 or 4 riding together with points allocated each day. This year’s event starts and finishes in Taupo.






Saturday 4th June – Sunday 5th June (Queens Birthday Weekend).

Idaburn Dam, Oturehua, Central Otago.

Come to Central Otago, an area known as having a ‘World of Difference’ and join us at the Brass Monkey Rally. This is one of New Zealand’s best known and longest running Motorcycle Rallies where 1500 – 2000 motorcyclists gather annually at Oturehua to celebrate motorcycling in one of New Zealand’s coldest places to enjoy a large bonfire, live band, various events and displays which makes this Rally memorable.





11-13 November Canterbury Show Weekend

Christchurch to the West Coast

Day 1 – Friday 11th Nov: Chch to the Punakaiki via Arthurs Pass & Lake Brunner. ~ 290km. Probably leave Chch from somewhere about Yaldhurst, location TBD.

Day 2 – Saturday 12th Nov: Punakaiki to Reefton, suggest via Cape Foulwind and then Millerton (Mining ghost town above Granity). ~ 220km,

Day 3 – Sunday 13th Nov: Reefton to Chch: 255km




11th annual Burt Munro Challengebmchallenge

24-27 November 2016

Following the success of the 2005 movie about Burt Munro’s inspirational life – “The World’s Fastest Indian”, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge to honour Burt, his ingenuity, determination, and love of speed and motorcycles.

The inaugural event was held in 2006, and it has since forged a name for itself as one of New Zealand’s major motorsport events. It has a strong local & national following, and rapidly growing international interest. It attracts top New Zealand riders as well as all the weekend warriors, all provided with a variety of exciting events, fantastic entertainment, and famous southern hospitality.

Bajaj scooter update 16

So its now into a new year and we are a bit closer to the next Moto TT. From the last post I had done some re-cabling and purchased some bits and pieces from SIP for the Bajaj. The checklist from the last post was:

  1. Working 12v LED indicators
  2. A working front brake switch
  3. A registered and warranted scooter
  4. A working, backlit electronic speedo/rev counter with a temperature gauge and low fuel indicator
  5. A larger non leaking fuel tank
  6. A better rear shock and somewhere for the spare wheel to live

Everything has been done and the only changes have been:

  1. I blew up the LED flasher unit as while it was 12V, it was also a DC unit designed for a battery. I got a replacement Tridon 2 pin unit from Supercheap that ran the new LED indicators just fine.
  2. I had to replace the original speedo cable for a longer one with a thread that fit the SIP speedo unit as the speedometer part would only work intermittently. It still reads about 10kms too fast but that’s what the old one was like anyway.

sip speedo

tridon led flasher unit








The friendly team here at Rogers Yamaha did the warrant and registration bits and the larger tank and BGM rear shock are working very well.

I have decided to go to tubeless rims and tyres and am just waiting on the spare rim to arrive. Mr Skoot supplied the Michelin S1 3.50 x 10 tyres and they have been put on the SIP 2.5 tubeless rims.

If you don’t have a local tyre company that can put the tyres on these rims for you then you are in for a bit of a workout and some swearing, especially if you have never done this before. All I will say is use plenty of lubrication, I just used dish washing liquid and long tyre levers. Forget about marking the rim as its going to get marked.


tubeless rims Bajaj scooter








First ride out with the new michelin tyres today was great. A little different to the conti’s I normally run but the tyres seemed OK.

The NZCSC national scooter rally is on the 19th of February so it looks like that will be the test of the new scooter bits for the Bajaj.


Bajaj scooter update 15

It’s the change of season here in the deep south right now so one day you could be mowing your lawns in relative comfort and the next its howling a gale and wet. Today has been howling and wet, so after a couple of days in the shed once the jobs have been done has got the Bajaj scooter nearly ready to go with all the SIP goodies. After reading the instructions that came with the SIP speedo, yesterday was spent running the new cabling for the speedo and finishing the cabling for the indicators and front brake. The LED flasher unit I mounted in the headlight cavity to connect to the 12v headlight feed and ran the cabling for the indicator switch and the speedo switch through the headset. Some of the slack for the cabling ended up in the horn cavity but should be OK there.


Bajaj scooter indicator switch speedo switch

sip speedo





headset cabling

indicator wiring

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  • minor issue 1

Make sure before you run any of the SIP speedo cabling that the new speedo actually fits in the hole – my original speedo must have been a little bit smaller as the new one wouldn’t fit in the speedo cavity until I dremelled it out a bit with a drill and a metal filing bit thingy. I had to take out quite a bit and as you stand there with a drill having the new cables and connectors right there may be an issue if you slip with the drill.

  • minor issue 2

My speedo cable screw on fitting wouldn’t fit onto the new SIP speedo. However because the inner attached to the speedo quite well this may not be an issue. Obviously check and see if yours fits first as you may want to replace the speedo cable with one that fits properly.

  • minor issue 3

One of the two brackets that came with the SIP Speedo has to be attached to the speedo unit with 2 screws however the bracket catches on 2 screws already in the body of the new speedo. Not a problem if there were some rubber washers included but there aren’t. A minor thing to fix but added to the other two and for the price of the unit its a pain. Once attached the bracket does line up with holes for the screw that attaches to the speedo from the bottom of the headset. Make sure you tuck the cabling out of the way as the screw will go right into the cabling if you dont.

spark plug sensor

sip speedo power box1

sip speedo spark plug sensor






Running cabling through the body of a vespa can be frustrating by yourself, especially with new cabling that has largish connectors on the ends. I think SIP should standardise their connectors for the speedo as there are 3 different sized connectors which seems a bit dumb. Prepare yourself for some frustration and have a few cans of beer handy. I found it easiest to take the headset and the horn off and just get the cabling from the cavity under the tank to the horn cavity first and then use a wire to pull the cabling up through the holes surrounding the fork and into the headset. If you are careful they will all go through there as breaking a connector would be a real PITA. I had decided to mount the power unit for the SIP Speedo adjacent to the 12v regulator in the left hand side pod so that it would be straight forward to wire it up. This meant getting the power wire cable extension, the fast flow fuel feed cable and the spark plug heat sensor cable through from the headset. Make sure you check the cables connectors before you pull them through the frame so that you dont do what I did and pull the wrong end through so the connectors dont match. Just take your time and get them through to the horn cavity. Getting them through to the headset was easy enough however its a tight squeeze in there and you may need needle nosed pliers to help pull the connector through the cable slots. Cover the connectors with tape as they get covered in grease at this point.

fast fuel tap cabling

20151004_150740_001 sip speedo power box






Once your cabling is in place its just a matter of following the SIP Speedo instructions on how to connect the cabling to the scooter, spark plug and the fuel tank. The bajaj never had a battery but has been upgraded to a 12v lighting system for some time now so placing the speedo power unit next to the regulator made more sense than trying to hide it somewhere else. The 3 wires for the unit on my AC system are: black is earth, brown is the lighting system and red being power from the stator were crimped onto the existing connectors I had there for the regulator. There are 2 wiring diagrams depending on whether you have a battery/DC based system or not. The temperature sensor is connected at the spark plug and you need to be careful when tightening up the plug not to get the sensor cable stuck against one of the cylinder head fins or it will just break off. Take the shroud off before you do this so you can see what you are doing. The fast fuel cabling just plugs into the connector from the tap once you are ready to put the fuel tank back in.

And just while your at it upgrade the rear shock and chuck on a rear rack for the spare wheel and your Moto TT baggage.

xxl tank xxl tank1

xxl tank2






The SIP XXL tank seemed like a good idea as fuel can be a real issue when touring or doing the Moto TT event depending on how thirsty your motor is and how hard you are pushing your scooter. Yes most of us carry an auxiliary fuel tank but having more in the tank is only a good thing. The tank comes from SIP in the greasy plastic packaging and you just need to primer it and the fuel cap assembly and paint to suit. The cap seems a standard diameter but the arm it is connected to, is longer than a standard tank and the chromed one off the bajaj didn’t fit on it at all. The filler is located towards the rear of the tank so when you go to use your fuel tap tool you will find that the angle of where the filler is in relation to where the fuel tap screws in isn’t right and the tool is almost useless. I managed to “catch” the fuel tap screw with the tool, just enough to do it up. Un-doing it may be a real mission down the track…. Also you may need a longer fuel lever and the fast flow fuel tap from SIP comes with one and you may also need a longer fuel line, something I didn’t think about until I tried to install the tank using the old fuel line.

Hopefully in the next update I will have:

  1. working 12v LED indicators
  2. a working front brake switch
  3. a registered and warranted scooter
  4. a working, backlit electronic speedo/rev counter with a temperature guage and low fuel indicator
  5. a larger non leaking fuel tank
  6. a better rear shock and somewhere for the spare wheel to live