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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Sunday, September 17, 2006
Back in the stable
After lunch, I drove over to my friend Dan's house to pick him up. He was going to help me out by driving the car back after I got the Vespa started. Hey, might as well be confident about it!

The drive out was fun in and of itself. We drove over Paris Mountain to get to Buncombe. It was a beautifully clear day and you could see for miles from the top of Altamont. The drive through the rural areas of northern Greenville County was nice as well. It was awesome weather for having the top down.

After arriving at the house where the Vespa was being kept, we pulled it around to the driveway where I had my tools in the trunk. The first thing I did was pull the spark plug. This time when I looked at it, it wasn't white like before. It actually looked quite normal.

I went ahead and put in a new plug just to give try it. I starting and nothing happened. Dan and I then tried push starting it. Nothing doing. It sounded like there was no spark. Holding the plug up to a grounded screw, we tried to determine if there was a spark. It was hard to tell with the bike shaking every time we tried to crank it and with the bright light of the day masking any spark that might have been there.

I discovered we were getting spark when I grabbed the plug the wrong way. Man, I hate it when the happens! However, there was some spark. So, I thought it might be the timing. I traced the wires back to the CDI. The only odd thing there was that the red wire coming out of the stator appeared to be pulled from the connector. Not completely, it was still being held in there, but some of the naked wire could be seen. I adjusted that and we tried again.

Still, we could not get it to fire when I tried to crank it. Once again, Dan pushed me down the driveway and, yes, it fired and kept running! We buttoned everything back up and I tried to start it... failure. We pushed again. It fired and I started down the road.

I didn't open the bike up. I kept it at no more than 80% throttle. The scooter glided right along down those beautiful country roads. This is what I had imagined for yesterday. Better late than never. We had no problems at all.

The test was coming when we stopped at a station to put gas in the bimmer. It is a station that I had seen yesterday with fuel at $2.06. Today it was $2.09, but that was still cheaper than anywhere in town. The bigger question was, would the Vespa start up or would we have to push it again?

The answer was a satisfying pop of the exhaust as the engine roared to life on the first kick. We were off once again with the next stop being home. No stalls later, we arrived and I parked and didn't mess with the bike again until after the family finished dinner following evening church services.

I went outside to put a cover on the car and to straighten up some things before going inside for the night. I just had to try and see if the scooter would start. No go on the first kick, but a couple more later and the engine roared to life.

I'll sleep a lot better tonight.

Just found your blog - very cool, not to mention helpful as I start off my Vespa maintenance journey. I thought it was amusing that this post is not all that old and you were commenting about $2.09/gal gas. I would kill for that now. Thanks for the great posts!

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