Sunday 27 January 2013

Give It A Chance

For the past month, I had been having problems with my Vespa. It was getting harder to start.

First, I had to crank if for a while, just to get it to start. Then, I had to give it a little gas. Then a bit more. Last week, I was giving gas before I started it and then a bunch of gas to get it to cough and cough and then go. Finally, the battery died.

I couldn't very well phone Vespa Vancouver as they are now closed. I know that there have been a number of people who have not been happy with Vespa Metro but I thought, what choice do I have? I phoned them up and made an appointment. After charging up my battery with my new battery charger ($29.99 at Canadian Tire!) the Vespa started fine and I rode her out to Vespa Metro.

It was interesting at first - I brought it around back and their whole warehouse was filled with bikes - Vespas, other scooters and motorcycles - and I mean filled! They were storing some bikes for a motorcycle shop in the same block and they also had old stock and new stock coming in. "I'll take a dozen!" I thought.

Lorenzo, the mechanic, was very knowledgable, in my estimation. He thought that the problems were caused by the battery - the lack of power was making it so the fuel pump was not delivering the gas to start it up. I left the scoot there for further investigation.

He called up after looking at it a day or two later. On his advice, I ordered a new battery. I picked up the Vespa, rode home, and then returned yesterday for the new battery.

First, the battery was only $92, taxes in. My LX50 battery replacement cost around $150!

Second, he only charged my for the battery - no charge for diagnosing the problem, no charge for installation.

Third, he told me that I actually didn't need to do an oil change - that I can go much longer between oil changes than I had previously been doing.


So far the new battery has made a big difference - the scoot starts up instantly and the starter is a lot more energetic. Lorenzo's also given me some tips, appreciated (charge the battery every week during the winter) and not so much (How to Park Your Scoot 101).

It's important to listen to what other people say when forming an opinion - the comments that are made can be valuable. But it's also important to make your own impressions. So far, Vespa Metro has been good with me. Also, the reality is, if I want to ride my Vespa (and I do!) then I have to take it somewhere that knows Vespas (as I have no desire to become a scooter mechanic).  I guess I'll stick with Vespa Metro for the next while and see what happens.