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They all do that

November 12, 2007
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Yes, it’s not the answer you want to hear when your expensive vehicle has an annoying quirk, but after nearly 12,000 miles and much discussion with other owners it has become obvious that PX 150s have some minor issues. Hey, it’s a 30-year-old design… and these quirks make it all the more lovable.

Handgrips: Over time, they slide off. It happens faster if you go on long trips, because you spend more time hanging on for dear life in the aero wakes of semis and such. I did notice some residue of what might have been rubber cement when this happened initially, but that obviously didn’t work. The only solution is to slide ’em back on. We are talking about the squishy original-equipment items, which feel nice and afford good grip if you (gasp!) don’t wear gloves.

Slide handgrips, part 1  Slide handgrips, part 2

To get them back in their intended position, think of the way a worm moves: wrap your thumb and forefinger around the far end, squeeze and push toward the center, letting your hand move from outside in. This works even better with leather gloves. Yes, you could probably take them completely off, spread some silicone adhesive around the inside, and put ’em back on, but what if you needed to remove them later?

Lights: Notice how the headlight dims when you apply a brake or turn on the turn signal? If there’s a voltage regulator in the electrical system, I haven’t been able to find it. (UPDATE: Yes, a PX 150 has a voltage regulator. That’s how the battery gets charged) And as long as the headlight dims a little, it shouldn’t be an issue. Old Vespas with 6-volt electrical systems will often have really dim lights, and a suggested fix for that is to have the flywheel remagnetized. A 2005 PX 150 does benefit from contemporary automotive electrical practice; it has 12-volt electrical system, and a nice, bright H4 headlight bulb.

Goop: As in the stuff that accumulates on the gearbox side of the engine, especially on the underside of the transmission oil reservoir. The gasket is actually smaller than the bolt head, that’s why you don’t see it. Of course, the whole back side of the engine will be covered with oily schmutz over the miles. Since oil is mixed with gasoline, and since a lot of it gets past the cylinder, about all you can do is clean it up once in a while. I squirt Simple Green on everything, let it sit for a few minutes, then hit it with a high-pressure shot of water. The nozzles at self-serve carwashes work even better. You would probably win the title of “favorite customer” at your local scooter repair shop if you cleaned the engine regularly. Favicon

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