1981 Vespa Grande Project

Well here we go...

I am trying to get a 1981 Vespa Grande running. Its been awhile since this lil guy has recieved any love. It was givin to me by my boss to play with. Check the picture if you want to see its current state.

First off. I'm retarded and don't know how to start a bike like this. I put the bike on a stand and pedaled the bike to see if i can hear the piston pumping. It seems it i turn it very fast the belt drive on the left side of the bike grabs for a second and then loses it. I suspect some sort of wheel weight that catches at a certain wheel speed. But.. I have no idea.

So if someone would happen to know this bike please help me out with a general description of the workings of this bike.

Thanks for the time,



Re: 1981 Vespa Grande Project

I just purchased one of these. Please bare with me but I simply peddle mine with the smaller lever on the left handlebar and when the motor starts to rev you let go and it should start right up.

I have noticed that if the gas is old you will take a little while to get it going. You also have to have the fuel dial on the lower right side set to on or reserve and pulling the choke and giving it a wee bit of gas helps.

Hope this helps you out. I am still tinkering with mine. Hopefully I can figure out how to get a little more power out of it.

Man I need a vespa mechanic.


Re: 1981 Vespa Grande Project

Well, I just went through the same thing with a 78 Vespa Bravo, although mine was not in as bad of shape as yours looks.

If you haven't already done this you will need to clean the carburetor very thoroughly, mine was all gummed up. Also make sure you have good gas and good oil mix (mine calls for 50:1), probably won’t hurt to change the spark plug

I also had to clean the decompression valve; this is the valve on the cylinder head next to the spark plug. There should be a cable attached from this valve up to a small lever on the left handle bar under the brake. The idea here is you pull this lever to relieve some of the engine compression so it will (Pedal) turn over easier, then as soon as you here the engine start turning over, release this lever and the engine should fire right up.

You should also look at the top of this page under "Resources" and go down to the link for "Fred’s Guide on how to fix your moped" This is a great article.

Good luck on your new project!

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