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Reader’s Ride: Vespa GTS

July 20, 2012
Jeff's GTS

Orin O’Neill photos

Jeff Roddick’s punked-out Vespa GTS is a familiar sight in Bellingham. There’s quite a story behind it, too, which you can read about after the jump.

Front view

Jeff is really handy. He has a way-cool workshop at his place at the End of the County Road, which is fitting for someone who, among other things, builds houses single-handedly. Not to mention lots of other cool stuff.

He acquired this Vespa GTS after its previous owner took a wrong turn on Chuckanut Drive. That road being mostly carved out of the side of a mountain, wrong turns are not a good thing.

The previous owner spent several days in a hospital. The bike was, to put it mildly, a bit bent. Three of the four turn-signal lenses were broken, which considering how thick the plastic is, should give you an idea of the impact(s) involved.

Rear quarter

As the GTS has a solid unit body, repairing the damage required lots of pounding. And a bit of reshaping. The grab rail had been broken in the crash; Jeff welded it back together and covered with heat-shrink wrapping. The chewed-up seat was sent to Pirate Upholstery, seatmakers to the Teutels, and others.

Leg shield

The legshield trim was gone. As you can see, it still is. This is what’s underneath, in case you didn’t know. The turn-signal lever came from a 1968 BMW. While the wiring is still there, the instruments are not. Jeff uses a bicycle GPS as a speedometer when needed, and says the wiring for a gas gauge is still there. He just looks inside the filler neck, however.

Front fender

Jeff notes the GTV front fender and headlight were a particularly lucky find, because 1) there are not that many GTVs being parted out, and 2) the front fender and headlight are usually the first things to get smooshed in an accident.

Not only has this scooter been all over Bellingham, it’s been all over the U.S.—Jeff drives truck for Atlas Van Lines (no, he hauls cool stuff like x-ray machines, auto show concept cars and art exhibits) and takes the GTS along. Sightseeing is much easier that way. Favicon

Wanna show off your ride? Drop me a line. Tell me how you acquired it, what you’ve done to it, what attracted you, that sort of thing. And take lots of pictures!

  1. Martha permalink
    July 21, 2012 8:04 am

    This is a beauty. I’d like to see these in production!

  2. July 24, 2012 10:07 am


    A bit of pounding, huh? This Jeff character must be busier than the proverbic one-legged man at the competition. (ass-kicking competition if the saying doesn’t translate culturally)

    I’m often astounded to hear about the characters behind the scooters. Over here, I think people – riders of a certain sort, anyhow – have an idea about scooter riders. Then to find one who’s this kind of busy and builds houses all by himself. Well, goes against that convention to say the least.

    Behind Bars – Motorcycles and Life

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