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Just in case

July 4, 2009

Just prior to the GTS’ hospitalization, I succumbed to a fit of pique and put it on Craigslist, cheap. In order to maximize the return, I took off the topcase and windscreen, with the idea of selling them separately.

Needless to say, I’m glad I didn’t sell the GTS. After riding it in a (for a lack of a better term) “naked” state for a while, I decided to put the topcase and windscreen back on.

How the windscreen mounts

As you can see, the windscreen’s pretty easy; just slip the two fingers all the way into the bosses inside the holes on the front of the headset cover, and tighten the long nuts. You do need to slip the fingers in simultaneously, which can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.

The top case (this is the Vespa-brand accessory; a third-party item will be different) is really not difficult to install, and in light of the fact that it costs over $400, you can save significant cash putting it on yourself.

These instructions apply to the standard rack on the GTS 250. If you have a GTS 300 Super, you will need to buy this rack in order to install the topcase. It attaches to the passenger grab rail via threaded holes that are filled with little plugs.

This bracket holds the rack down

Orin O'Neill photos

First thing to do is install the bracket that holds the folding part of the rack in the down position. You’ve probably noticed the spring is really strong, so you might need a helper to hold the rack in place.

You can see from the picture that the bracket goes in one way. It needs to be mounted correctly, and tightly, to keep the rack and the case in place. There are three screws, and they’re different from the others. Tighten them securely, and you’re ready to mount the case.

These hold the case in

You should have two short screws that pass through holes in the rear of the case bottom to threaded holes in the rack (remove the plugs in the holes before inserting the screws) You should also have two long screws, two square nuts and two lock nuts. These pass through the bracket.

The square nuts fit between ribs that surround the holes in the bracket, which will make your life a bit easier because you won’t need to use a wrench—just hold the nut up with your finger and thread the long screw through it, until the screw is tight.

To make sure all the holes are aligned, don’t tighten the screws completely until you have all four of them correctly threaded and nearly tight. You can move the case around as needed to get it firmly placed before you tighten the screws down.

These screws go into the bracket

The screw set shown above fits into the forward holes in the bottom of the topcase

Once you have the case securely mounted, thread the lock nuts onto the long screws and tighten them down. You’ll need a 10mm deep socket. The lock nut will prevent the long screw from working loose, which can happen as the scooter traverses bumpy roads.

Replacing the counterweights is easy

A new top case also comes with new headset counterweights, which are intended to absorb front wheel shocks and (I guess) balance the case’s weight. I got the GTS used, and for whatever reason the original weights remained. I don’t notice any difference in the way it corners or handles with or without the topcase, but if you do want to change the counterweights, just get a proper size Allen wrench, remove the screws, replace the counterweight, and re-tighten. Not at all difficult, just don’t force the screw. It should spin in easily, at least for the first few threads.

Back in touring mode

The GTS is now back in touring mode. The question is, where to tour? Favicon

  1. July 4, 2009 8:35 am

    I really like the topcase/windshield combination. I’m glad you got the Vespa back, but that long for a coil?

  2. July 4, 2009 10:21 am

    That long to determine the coil was the problem, yes…

  3. Ken permalink
    July 5, 2009 1:15 am

    My expert here says the diagnostic tool should have picked a coil failure and he is baffled as to why it took so long. Good to have you back in full scootering mode!

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