I love restoring vintage motorbikes. The classic Vespa is a particular favorite. Its swooping curves are a great example of industrial design and perfectly demonstrate the balance of form and function.


Restoration Gallery:

Model: 1958 Vespa VNB 125

One of the early generation VNB roundtail largeframe Vespas. 125cc engine, non-battery 6V electrics. 8 inch wheels.

Story: Bought on craiglist in rough but rolling state. Very little rust on the body. But had not run in years and needed a thorough restoration.
Replaced: Tires, clutch cable, front brake pads, horncast, seat, all bulbs, stator plate, brake light switch, gas tank, gas lines, carburetor intake boot, cowling rubber, floor rails, legshield trim, Vespa badges.
Repaired: Holes in frame (required some welds on the main frame tube where a previous hack had opened flap in order to route cables. Fixed clutch basket, carburetor jetting, tail light wiring, shifter cables operation.
Repainted: Stripped the accumulated ~7 layers of paint from previous owners. Did some body work. Had a local shop spray it up (primer and single stage urethane paint), using the color codes for 1957 Chevy “Larkspur Blue.”

Model: 1978 Vespa P125X

Original un-restored condition. Early P-Series Vespa. Non-battery model, 12V electrics, fuel injected. 10in wheels.

Story: Bought from the second owner who’d had it since the 1982. He said it had been in storage for most of it’s life. Just needed some love. Original everything (paint, tires, etc) and only 2700 miles on odometer.
Repaired: Cleaned and tuned the carburetor. Adjusted shift and brake cables.
Replaced: Ignition switch and key barrel. Neutral indicator switch. Replaced Gas line.
Repainted: Body and paint was in great shape and the only required buffing compound to bring back the soft shine and reveal the brightness of the deep royal blue color. However front rim was rusted and required removal, sanding, and repainting (found a great match to the original metal flake grey wheel paint).

Model: 1986 Honda Gyro TM50

Bizarre tilting three wheeled scooter only sold in the US between 1984–1986

Story: Only ~400 miles on the odometer. Sat in a makeshift barn in Maine for roughly ten years since it ran last. Mostly complete, had all plastics. Chrome decent, some surface rust.
Repaired: Carburetor completely clogged and filled with hardened white gunk, almost a paste. Never seen anything like it. Floats were cracked too. Many parts no longer available for this model. Was able to repair the float cracks using a wood burning tool to melt and seal the cracks shut. Electric starter motor did not work. Since this scooter had no kick start, that posed a considerable challenge. Was able to refurbish/rebuild the starter motor. The commutator brushes were very worn, so they were replaced and motor windings thoroughly cleaned, which did the trick.
Replaced: Needed a split throttle cable with one end to pull the throttle slide and the other the regulate the oil injection. Replacement cables were not available for this model, but I was able to find a part match from a different Honda scooter model. Some blinker lenses needed replacement, and I also put in a brand new battery.
Repainted: Removed, sanded and repainted front rim back it’s original Shasta white.