This is the story of my '64 Vespa 150 - how it became mine and how it has given me a new vespatude.  I'll be recording the neat places I visit, the different things I do to make the Vespa my own, and - oh yeah - those reactions I get from both friends and strangers.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006
To buy or not to buy, that is the question
This bike picture came from Chris. Now, Chris doesn't own this bike, but he is wondering if he should buy it. Guess what? It is in Indonesia. I got this email asking for advice on purchasing this scooter. I will admit it is unique...

Here is what Chris had to say about it:
I wonder if this bike is a good deal? This guy says he's from california but he now lives in Indonesia and he restores bikes for a living. he says he will give it to me "as is" for $2500 free shipping, and will supply me some extra parts so i can finish restoring it myself.

Is this is a good idea or not, this would be my first bike and i want a cool vintage vespa to work on as a summer project (w/out much engine work).
Well, at least the fellow isn't saying that it is fully restored with all new parts, yada, yada, yada. I'm not so sure I would buy the bike. My rule of thumb for buying from Asia is... I know what you are thinking, "Don't"... but seriously, I'm not all down on purchasing from Asia... the rule is, buy as though you are just buying a frame with plans to do a full restore yourself. Here is what the seller says:
Body has been stretched 15cm from front to back and the width stretched 8cm across from right to left. To add to this monster of a vespa are modified/enlarged side pods giving the rear end of this vespa a big beefy look, custom chrome sports handlebars, custom chrome exhaust pipe (gives the vespa a nice deep sound), 10 inch rims an tires, headlight lowered to the leg sheilds, custom chrome rear tail light & a left side Kick stand (added for easy on an off action). Also has a rear mud flap. The engine is a 1974 Super 150 Piaggio Vespa 4 speed and has been fully restored, runs excelent and has great get up. All big parts in the engine have been re-surfaced & re-machined by a Piaggio mechanic w/ NEW coils, platina, points, starter, all new seals, spark plug, clutch & brake cables, body cable, front & rear brakes, shocks & tires. I use this bike everyday and she is great, the true German tank of all vespas, a definate 1 of a kind.
Now, if you are looking to get a vintage Vespa, I don't know if you want to go the modified route. Of course, that would depend on whether you like your vintage cars stock or hotrod. Personally, the bike doesn't interest me and I would be scared that a scooter with so many modifications would have issues. It's Chris' call. $2500 might not be too much if you really knew the condition of the bike... I would look for a summer project that you could look at first.

Anybody else have any input for Chris? I do think the handlebars are cool.

Yup, this bike has certainly had some significant modification work done to it.

There is no doubt that once it is 'restored' it would draw quite a few onlookers. However, I tend to agree that bike with that many changes from a stock Vespa could present some unique problems. Moreover, you may find that once you spend your money it would not be that easy to sell (if you should ever want to). You would have to sell it to someone who is interested in a custom bike rather than a standard, restored, vintage Vespa.

So, if it is a custom scooter that you're after, and you're looking for a bit of fun with restoration and a completely unique bike, then go for it. Otherwise, I would suggest using your $2500 elsewhere!

Run away, far, far away.

With the aluminum for floor boards makes me think that its rusted out. It may be streched because the welded two halfs togather to make one frame.

Just by a Bajaj, it runs and its new, and no annoying 2 stroke oil smoke out the pipe.

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