Our new blogger, Scarborough Col may not have had much riding to do at Easter but he’ll make up for it on his trip to Weston this weekend. If you cast your mind back to ‘A year on a PX125’ you’ll remember rally regular, Col will be doing all the rallies this year on a 125cc Vespa PX, just for fun. Here’s what he’s been up to since his last blog…

Col PX125

A weekend wasted is never a wasted weekend

And boy was I wasted at the Easter National Scooter Rally! So much so that I didn’t feel normal until the Wednesday night, two days after the rally finished. It’s the daft logic that because I had little, or nothing of a journey home from the rally, I would party on harder than normal.

Scarborough was a well attended rally and seemed popular with everyone I spoke to. The number of scooters flooding into the town (I call home) was impressive to say the least. I still get goosebumps seeing packs of fully-laden scooters heading into town all these years on.

Sadly though, I always feel cheated out of a journey when the event is literally on my doorstep, so not much to blog about in the way of riding, but my target was to cover about 30 miles of riding around over the weekend, for reasons you will read about in this update.

Support aplenty

I’m very humbled and flattered as to how many of you reading this right now, spoke with me at the rally and offered advice, help and general mickey taking in my quest. This online scooter magazine is indeed a wonderful communication tool.

Just to repeat my plan, I’m hoping to ride to all 9 National Rallies in 2017 on a standard 125cc PX Vespa. I’ve already (hopefully ) bought enough parts to see me through the season, IE. tyres, exhaust , oil, spare cables, spark plugs and plug caps. All parts are from SIP Scootershop in Germany and to be honest I’m delighted with the fitment and quality of all the parts. If all goes to plan the only thing left to buy throughout the summer will be petrol.

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SIP Road 2

The most noticeable change I’ve made so far is the SIP Road 2 exhaust. Over the standard item it is superior in every way – more of that when I’ve covered more miles on it, but first impressions are that it’s transformed the way the scooter rides. I am delighted to say the least. When your top speed is slow any improvement is good, but this pipe makes a surprising difference.

Going tubeless

The tubeless rims shown in the photos are shod with SIP Performer tyres, speed rated to 120kmh or 75 mph, a speedo reading I’m not likely to see this summer! They’ve got a decent looking tread pattern that will perform (excuse the pun) in both dry and wet conditions. The instruction booklet supplied with the wheels recommended torque wrenching the wheel nuts to 25Nm or 18.5 pounds feet, ride for 50kms/30 miles then re-torque.

Vespa tyre pressures

The genuine Piaggio manual and the Haynes manual give conflicting advice on tyre pressures, but after a bit of road testing I’ve found 19psi in the front and 27psi in the rear to be the best for a solo rider. The standard steel split rims with Pirelli inner tubes and SC30 tyres that I removed weigh 3.9kgs per wheel. A tubeless SIP rim with Performer tyre weighs 3.2kgs, so fitting front, rear and spare wheel is a saving of over 2 kilos on an already under powered bike. Not forgetting the massive peace of mind a tubeless wheel gives you.

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Socket to ’em

One thing to remember is that the hex wheel nuts supplied with a SIP rim need a 12mm socket, not the regular 13mm fitment as standard.

Col’s wheel tip

I have no reason to doubt or not trust the Nordlock washers supplied, but if you see in the photo I put a pen mark to line up a fully torqued wheel nut with the wheel rim. Any movement or loosening of the nuts stands out visually a mile, without having to get the socket set out at each petrol stop to check them.

Again this is just me being over cautious, but a basic tip all the same. So far the mileage I’ve covered has shown no loss of tyre PSI and no wheel nut movement at all.

So there we have it ‘Project PX’ is ready to set off to Weston-Super-Mare this coming weekend, the scooter is proudly wearing some Scooterlab logos so if you see me there (or fly past me on the way) come over and say hello…

Ride safe fellow SLUKers

Cheers Col

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