New to mopeds... Need help...!

I've just got my hands on two mopeds, a seventy-something Vespa Grande and a 78 Vespa Grande Super Deluxe (has battery and turn-signals). Both have been sitting outside for a few years and won't run. I've started working on the Deluxe because of it being 'the better/bigger one' and the fact that it looks like it's in better condition. I've replaced the rear innertube on it, the tires seem fine, I've also installed a new spark plug, it hasn't got a battery, the headlight and speedo glass is smashed, and there is no ignition key/knob (?). I haven't gone so far as to drop the motor and open it up yet, but after cleaning and oiling and greasing and all, it still didn't start when I held the small left handlebar lever and pedaled. Upon closer inspection of the two I noticed the regular Grande had a motorcycle-style turnable right handlebar grip (throttle?), but the Deluxe didn't (though it did have a grip). I then noticed that a small plate (#8 [14, 15 also] at was missing from the Deluxe. It was on the regular Grande so I looked over it and followed the cable coming out of the top to it's destination, the right turnable grip. I took it off and installed the entire mechanism onto the Deluxe (the cable may need tightening). I noticed that when I turned it (one direction) it would pop out the lever I assumed to be the choke (#7 at the webpage indicated above). Again I try and try, but cannot start it. Any help would be greatly appreciated and much obliged. Thanks.


RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Visit You'll probably find what you need there.

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Yipe! I don't see anything there, and the links don't seem to be working!

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Tabris..... You need to follow basic troubleshooting procedures that you will find in any motorcycle repair book.

But.... I wrote some of them here 2 weeks ago....... go back to a post dated.... 9-01-00-00-00 ..for the basics on carburetors and ignitions.

The first thing you need to get a motor running is to see if you have spark,,,,,, to do that go and buy a new (and proper) spark plug and put it in the spark plug wire and hold the threads of the spark plug against the metal of the cylinder head while you kick it or pedal it.... it helps to have 2 people and to do it at night so you can see the spark.... if you have NO spark follow the instructions there to clean the ignition points.... when you get spark try to start it.... if it doesn't start try squirting some gasoline in the carb. and then try to start it again.... if it fires and runs for a few seconds and then dies then you will have to clean the carb like the instructions 9-01-00 say........ Good Luck

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

I am almost positive it is sparking, for I bought and installed a new spark plug almost immediately when beginning work, and can hear the tap when I pull the small handlebar lever. I've now dropped the engine and opened the front of the carb (#89 at Upon manually turning the shaft (right shaft on #100 at link above), the piston moves, but carrying the entire rear carb (rightmost part of #92) with it! So the piston is stuck, does this explain the engine not starting, that is, (knowing that when I held the lever and pedaled absolutely [!!] nothing happened aside from the rear real moving) will unsticking this allow the engine to start, or should I expect another problem? I've soaked it in WD-40 and still haven't been able to budge it, so I ask, is there a procedure or chemical I should use?

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Any motor that has not run for a long time should have it's ignition points and carburetor cleaned....... just like my instructions (or any manual) says....... To say you "are almost positive it is sparking" is wasting time .....machine don't run on "maybe's"..... and a good mechanic doesn't guess..... he PROVES to himself that each system is functioning correctly and proceeds to the next system.....

First he checks for compression..... which tells him that the piston, rings and cylinder bore are adequate.

Then he checks for spark.

Then he makes sure he is getting fuel

If you get your piston and rings unstuck and cleaned and inspected and reassembled correctly.... then proceed with my instructions on that older post I mentioned about spark and carburetor...... If all those things are done correctly the engine will run.

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Reeperette /

Minor question, out of curiosity...

Did you happen to purchase those two bikes via E-bay ?

I've been hearing a lot of Vespa horror-stories from folks who did, and am curious to know if this problem is continuing.


RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

okay, i have a deluxe, '80. about the "headlight and speedo glass is smashed, and there is no ignition key/knob (?)" the ignition keyknob is on the headlight. the cable that goes to the right handlebar goes to a little box that says: off engine stop run, which basically kills the engine at one touch. there is also turn signal switches on this box. (mine don't work)

also, do you see a knob by the right pedal? this has three posititions: reserve, off, and on. pointing forward is off, and your bike won't start. point it down, and you get fuel. point it up when you are really low on gas, and i guess the reserve kicks in. i don't know about engines, but if you have anymore prt questions, feel free to ask.


RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Yeah, I saw those, and I see the space for the knob on the headlight (and the speedo [how the hell am I going to replace, repair this!?]), but the knob itself is missing. Is it imperative that I replace it, or can I just hotwire it somehow?

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Forgive me, I did not mean to offend you. By the way, I can't find any 9-01-00 post.

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

No, I didn't get them from Ebay, I don't even have a credit card available for me to use!

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Tabris.... you didn't offend me at all...... honestly..... sometimes I don't put in enough words to appear "nice"...... because I don't like to type....

As far as the old post.... go to the lower right hand corner of the message list and find the words ..."older messages"..... each time you click that it will take you back one more page...... and that post...... (read the number carefully).... is back about 4 pages.

I would "cut and paste" it and bring it up here but I have a new computer and for some reason the c & p doesn't work....yet.

Good mechanics make no guesses..... they PROVE to themselves each system is good and proceed to the next..... if the systems are correct the engine doesn't have a "choice"... it WILL run.

RE: New to mopeds... Need help...!

Tabris... forget about all the other stuff... just get the engine running first, what good is a moped with lights or a speedometer if the engine doesn't run?..... make sure the piston, rings and bore is good and then get the ignition to spark and get the carb to flow fuel.

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