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Vintage Vespa Forum

VNB front suspension

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Robmc Robert McConnell
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi All
I am hoping I might get some recommendations or help improving my front suspension.

It’s been a while since I rode a scooter but the front end seems a bit skittish, even as if the handlebars shake from side to side over bumps, it’s hard to describe. Like the Scottie has a scuttle over bumps in the road.

On advice from Joe another local owner, I checked front wheel bearing but there is no play there. There is minimal play in the fork bearings only able to be felt with the front jacked up, I am not sure if this is normal.

The front seems to dive very easy, so I presume this needs a new shock or stiffer spring. Any ideas how to test or what to go with.

Cheers
rob

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Robmc Robert McConnell
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Gents
Any ideas
Cheers
Rob

hjarvis Avatar
hjarvis Hugh Jarvis
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
1974 Vespa 125 GTR "Isabella"
Hi, Rob. I believe you're describing the 'normal' behavior of a vintage Vespa.

The front suspension tucks its nose when it dips especially when you brake. You can stiffen it up, using a slightly better shock and spring, but that's it.

I have experimented by changing out my rear shock a couple of times, but never been very happy that I did anything significant. I have tried to change out my front, but the replacement stiffer spring mounts did not fit my '74 GTR.

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Vila Avatar
Vila Robert Beers
Mechanicsburg, PA, USA   USA
1933 Chevrolet Master "The 33"
1962 Triumph TR4 "The TR4"
1964 Vespa VNB 125 "The Old Vespa"
1984 BMW 633CSi "The 633"    & more
Hi Robert

I have the same issue with my all original 1964 VNB 5T. This scooter was last inspected in 1967 and sat in a garage for 50 years unused prior to me buying it in 2017.

I always assumed it was the front shock absorber, but have yet to do anything about it.

Robmc Robert McConnell
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Robert
Mine is going in for a service a week on Monday to a vintage specialist. I will let you know what he finds. If I don’t post, send me a reminder.
Cheers
Rob

gmvillan Gregg Miller
Mesa, AZ, USA   USA
There is the option of doing a front fork conversion also. I’ve seen (somewhere on the internet) where folks have put small frame or PX front forks onto older large frames. Requires some welding at the top end of the fork to get everything lined up and grinding to get the mudguard to fit but it would be a significant upgrade in terms of ride quality. SIP has a range of suspension parts that will stiffen things up a little on your original forks but that early large frame front end is notoriously “floaty”...

Robmc Robert McConnell
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Gregg
Thanks for those ideas, I really apapreciate your knowledge. I am going to live with it for a bit and see if I can get used to it. Otherwise I might go with the SIP stiffer spring to start with.
Cheers
Rob

OlympiaScooterCompany Avatar
OlympiaScooterCompany Silver Member Matthew Gatlin
Olympia, WA, USA   USA
Check with Rob at Saints Cycle Works as he is the master at front end suspension issues. email: joe@saintcycleworks.com



Matthew Gatlin
Olympia Scooter Company
Cell: 503.954.4043
Email: sales@olympiascootercompany.com
Website: www.olympiascootercompany.com

Robmc Robert McConnell
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Cheers Matthew

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