Saturday, May 1, 2010


When I bought the Vespa it had 1,304 miles (2,908 kms) on the odometer. Now it's got just over 1,880. 576 miles of happiness.

I've been keeping an eye on the back tire because that's the one that wears more quickly.

One the few drawbacks of the route I take is the number of railroad tracks that cross St. Patrick street. I haven't actually counted, but there are at least four or five sets [I subsequently counted, and in fact there are seven sets of tracks to cross]. The tracks are for spur lines that link the factories on the south side of St. Patrick street to the rail line that runs along the bank of the Lachine canal. The rails cross the roadway at forty-five degrees. Since the St. Patrick street portion of the route is also where the traffic speed is highest, I regularly hit them at 40+ mph (65+ kph). The tires really take a beating. "KA-CLUNK ~ KA-CLUNK", times 5, twice a day.

So at lunch time yesterday I took a ride to Alex Berthiaume et Fils, Montreal's main Vespa dealer. I wanted them take a look at the tire and have them show me how to check the oil as well. Good thing I did, too.

Turns out the dealer in Toronto who sold me the scooter and did the oil change, overfilled it. The Alex Berthiaume mechanic very kindly used a large syringe to remove the excess oil. He was shocked that any dealer would make such a mistake.

He asked me if I had noticed difficulty starting and loss of power (symptoms of oil overfill). I hadn't. But since I'm new to the scooter, I had no basis for comparison. But now I do.

Unbelievable! It's like someone added another 50cc's to the bike! I easily accelerated to 75kph going up the hill on Pine towards Peel on the way back to the office.

Today I'll pick up some tire levers at Canadian Tire and tackle the tire change. Here's a link to a YouTube how-to video. Should be fun.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.