The Society of Cool
I feel i have to warn my fellow mod G members about the danger of buying a scooter from Vietnam! Having done so myself,much to my own detrement and expense! The scooters are being turned out with immaculate paint jobs and accessories, but with engine parts that are not fit for the scooter graveyard!
Ive replaced a f'd engine with an Andy francis stage 4 GP 200 engine and the scoot is still a f'n disaster!
They have spent more time bodging every conceivable part rather than replacing it! gearboxes filled with Engine oil and a muddle of different series parts put together in a manner that will never work! I am lucky in the respect that i can afford to put it right, but for the people who save hard on a budget to buy there dream machine it would be disastrous. You have been warned, these scoots are being advertised on ebay with FREE SHIPPING, there is nothin free!! You have been warned, i'll put it right but for everyone else''' buy closer to home!! that way you can at least chap there door or ther noses!, whatever comes first. BE VERY CAREFULL FELLOW SCOOTER LOVING MODS!! Search on the web and you'll get all the heartbreak stories to back this up, PS there are 4 of these scoots destined for britain at this time that some one has bought to punt to unsuspecting buyers!!!!!! If any one is not happy about this revelation, im an easy guy to find.....:-)
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John is absolutely right! Don't buy Vietnamese deathtraps. I was in Vietnam in 2003 and I've seen the conditions where these scooters are restored. I've heard of horror stories where they used Coke cans to weld parts on the motor. Stay away!
John as you know i'm in the hunt for a scooter after 30 odd years. my big fear is landing one of these vietnamese one's without actually knowing it came from there. Most scooters for sale in OZ seem to have been restored in Nam but most worrying is the sellers are trying to hide this fact.
From what I've gathered so far the vespa's are mainly 125-150 vbb etc................both engines will fit in almost any vespa frame.The 125 engines can be re-bored to look like a 150. The paint jobs are imaculate, they all and I mean all have those dual type bucket seats! in my day only the real oldies had those. Low klms, the back lights are identical on nearly every scooter. All come with fancy chrome work. I contacted a scooter shop recently who offered me a 150 VBB for 5500 AUD with a 2 month warranty, when i asked certain questions they couldn't confirm that every part was italian vespa parts. 2 months warranty and the chrome fittings, that in itself told me to walk away.
Ebay Auatralia is full of these nam scoots. I've got no problem with them so long as I know what they are and that its my personal choice to buy one or not. I don't want a vitenam one, I just want to buy a plain old vespa to ride or to do up at my own lesuire knowing that I've got peace of mind that the engine parts turning over while I'm driving are legit and safe.
Now here is the new worrying trend, the scooters already here are now having the chrome parts dismantled and sold seperately, the two tone paint jobs are being re-painted in one colour, at the moment its mint and cream, they are roughed up a little, ie scratches etc. When advertised will mention needs some TLC but kicks over after 10 years in a shed, no registration or papers. A real old find at only $4000......wtf are you meant to do, hire a private investigator.
I've learned that here in Victoria you cannot personally import and register a scooter unless you have owned and driven it in the last 12 months. I had planned to buy an italian scooter in Turin and ship it over but now I'm told I can;t do this as it will not get registered...........how the hell are all these Nam ones in OZ then?, there must be a loop-hole or the imports are actually being done by registered bike companies.
Anyway I 've came accross one or two guys here that will restore scooters the way they were meant to be. I'm now going to hunt down an old model and take it to these guys knowing it will be done right.
BTW if any OZ mods have had sucess buying an overseas scooter and then getting it registerd here, I'd love to hear from them.
Thanks for this post John. Reading something like that is always a comfort - as a female wanting to restore her own scooter from scratch - especially when scootering is not just a passion for Scooter Boys, Skinheads and Nonners, but it is just as important to us Mods who want to take the more than necessary steps to have the best machines out there - mirrors, lights etc.
So sorry to hear that you're still looking for a scoot. :-( I know that they're very hard to come by these days, especially in OZ. Did you get in contact with Klaus or that Bullseye Imports I told you about? You could try Frank and his son Dean at Vespa House in Collingwood - 9417 2726 or Brenton at GPS Imports just up the road - 120 Johnston Street, Collingwood.
If you like, you can call me, and we talk about it some more and catch up soon for that coffee! ;-)
Tam, you say that people in oz are hiding the fact that there scooters come from Nam. Its the same over here mate, they are embarrassed to admit but not to buy! But you easily tell the most dangerous of these scoots, coz the f'n idiots keep using the same accessories and only slightly change the paintwork each and every single time! The engine in ma scoot would have wiped me out,had it not been for the kickstart breaking hence a bit of exploratory work. Now i have a first class scooter with an new engine etc and to be honest could still sell it for a profit,but that aint the point here, i was lucky to get to this point!!
Hi Tam,ive been in Oz 7 years now and know what you are on about with far-east scooters,seen a fair few.I bought my Vespa,VBB 150,about 3 years ago from a gut in Cairns,an old mod/scooterist from Staffs,England,who rebuild and sells em up there.I chatted with Dave many times,and checked out people who had previously bought from him,even drove up the coast and visited 2 people who had got scooters from him,and had a ride on one before i bought.Have to say have had no dramas with mine,and found Dave to be very helpful with any enquiries/spare parts etc.At one point i believe he was offering any prospective buyers the option to fly up to his workshop to have a look at the scooters being built,and if you purchased one he would refund the flight price up there.His website is called Mods or Rockers http://modsorrockers.com/Home.php,good luck in your search mate.
This is typical of the vespa nam imports, i dont know how these scoots are put together. I f any one has bought one and has any experience, we'd love to hear from you!! Ps, buying one of these scoots can still be a viable option but you will have to put a known history engine in it. This way you can ride it without the fear of being taken out at any given moment,and obviously to do this you will have to budget for that. Hence paying around £1200.00 and then replacing the power unit with a px or lml unit youve got a bloody good but more importantly'' Safe scooter''. Dont do what i done...dont buy with your eye unless youve got the money to put right.
Sorry to hear about your troubles JP mate.
It should be pointed out that just because a scooter is nice and shiny, it doesn't mean it's good quality. Think about it, if the engines are that bad, doesn't it stand to reason that hidden under that shiny paint job are potential problems?
Have a look here www.thevespawizard.com.au/the_black_vbb.htm
I was really shocked when I saw the images of the sandblasted scooter!
Well glen looking back is always easier than looking forward i suppose,and at the end of the day ive got a scooter now thats probably worth £4k.Ive seen the post u talk of and a few people have told me that there scoots were full of filler. A tell tale sign of this is a hellishly uneven weight distribution. My biggest concern here is for the youngblood who havent got the experience in buying/riding scooters and have saved bloody hard for!! ANYONE READING THIS POST HAS TO CLICK ON GLENS POST ABOVE!
Roberto - aka the Vespa Wizard - is good mate of mine. Being an "old school Italian", he knows his onions when it comes to Lammies and Vespas. You could also try and contact him too, Tam. However, if you ever want work done, he's THE MOST expensive in Victoria.
Thanks Bec - I'll keep this contact and the others you passed on so when the time comes I'm ready.
Thanks again Bec