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Matched scratches

July 6, 2010
Scratches

The GTS now sports scratches on both sides (Orin O'Neill photo)

Many of you have offered compliments on the GTS, saying what a beautiful bike it is. If only you knew…

If you like taking pictures of your scooter, black is the color you want. It photographs really well, and unless you shoot at some insanely high resolution, the little, uh, imperfections will be mostly invisible.

Of course, it’s easy to miss scratches like those in the picture if you don’t think to look for them.

The GTS hadn’t had a bath in I don’t know how long, and with a weather forecast of sunshine until nearly the turn of the next century, it seemed worthwhile to hit the self-serve car wash and clean it up. It should stay clean, for a while anyway (the GTS lives outdoors).

I got home as the sun sank lower in the sky, and thought a fresh coat of wax would minimize the fine scratches resulting from removal of a magnetic sticker that melted onto the paint. While I’m at it, I think, let’s do the whole right rear quarter.

WTF?

Is my mind playing tricks? No, the damage on the left is still there. These scratches are new.

The GTS sat by itself for several days while I bounced back and forth between the old and new place. The first time riding it, I noticed the handlebar counterweight had worked loose, as had the right-side mirror.

Falling over would cause such issues, though at the time that thought hadn’t occurred to me.

Without seeing what happened, I can only speculate, but it would appear someone knocked the GTS over and put it back upright, possibly in hopes nobody would notice what had happened. Well, they almost succeeded.

Okay, I know I shoulda gotten crash bars. And should I ever acquire, say, a new 300i.e. that’s exactly what I will do.

But at this point, all I can do is shrug and say meh. The one-piece body that gives modern Vespas the substance and heft that inspire confidence at high speeds can only be repaired to as-new condition by a body shop. In Seattle and Portland, that’ll run you upwards of $150/hour.

Even if I had that kind of money, cosmetic damage doesn’t affect how the scooter runs and handles. Nearly all the modern Vespas I saw in Europe were shopworn workhorses. Old-skool, in the case of this here blog, means the GTS is transportation, not a precious toy. In over 15000 miles of almost daily riding, a few blemishes are to be expected.

In fact, damage like this is liberating. The GTS is now officially a beater, future dings and scrapes being no big deal. Hell, in 10 years it might well be an honest-to-God rat bike with 50000 miles on the clock. It would be far cheaper to buy a new one than repair all the damage it has now, and will likely have in the future.

Of course, if I’m ever able to think about a cosmetic restoration, it’s going to get painted the color I’ve wanted but Piaggio has never offered on the GTS: Taormina Orange. Favicon

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One Comment
  1. Jack Riepe permalink
    July 7, 2010 9:55 am

    Dear Orin:

    What can I say? I have two hair-line scratches on the K75’s front fender. They need touching up with the finest of brushes. A paint blob would look worse than the scratches, so I have done nothing.

    I really thought your machine was pristine.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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