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Modding my new GTS300

Last post 11-04-2017 08:04 AM by aspro boy. 104 replies.
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  • 05-06-2016 07:50 PM

    Modding my new GTS300

    Perhaps I should say "NOT modding my GTS300".

    My GTS250 was the most modded GTS around. Bitubo front shock, alarm, turn signal beeper, Brembo front caliper, chrome headlight rim, metal kneepads, GT200 saddle, Malossi V4 cylinder and head, Malossi clutch springs, Polini variator, Malossi Lambda Emulator, Malossi rear shocks, GT200 rack, Admore topbox lights, etc.

    So I thought I would carry most of these mods over to the new GTS300. Not that simple.

    The V4 cylinder doesn't fit, of course. The head can, but that is shelved for now. Maybe sometime in the future I will buy a 282 cc cylinder and re-use the head.

    The Bitubo front shock is not compatible with te new front suspension.

    The Malossi Lambda Emulator is not compatible, as the 300 probe has two leads where the 250 probe has four.

    I installed the Malossi rear shocks, but am not sure they make any difference.

    I bought the Zelioni adaptor for the Brembo front calipers, but it didn't work. Got everything in place, and when I tightened the bolts the wheel would not turn. I did a bit of filing on the original adaptor to get it to fit the new suspension, but got the same problem. Eventually I developed some shim spacers that solved that problem. Then found I couldn't twist the braided brake fluid line to get the nipple to mate up. So I have given up on the Brembo calipers.

    I've had the Polini variator running for a while with 13.5 gram rollers, but it gave me a flat spot. So today I set about removing it and installing the original variator, but with 14 gram sliders. Opened up the transmission and found the belt had been rubbing and destroyed the sump gasket!!! I've never heard of that happening with a Polini and standard belt and rollers!  Fortunately I had a spare gasket handy, so changed that and then installed the Piaggio variator with the original 13.9 gram rollers. All back to stock.

    So more and more this scooter is resisting mods, It is telling me "Leave it original". And the more I ride it, the more I feel that it is so near perfect as is, there is really no need to mod anything. It is by far the best and most beautiful scooter I have owned, in 57 years of scootering.

    I shall just leave the Malossi rear shocks, headlamp rim, alarm and Audicator turn signal beeper installed, and install the Admore lights in the topbox. Maybe I will try a Malossi Lambda Emulator some day. But I will enjoy riding the scooter as often as I can just as it is.

    Mike

    Postscript: Yesterday I installed the Akrapovic exhaust. It was an experiment, as I expected to find it too loud after enjoying the gentle purr of the stock exhaust. But to my surprise it just emitted a deep doof doof. Nowhere near as loud as it was on the 250. A really lovely sound. I guess the difference is that the 300 is a much lower revving scooter than the 250. So that is another mod that is staying. It is also beautiful, but I can't say yet whether there is any noticeable performance difference.

  • 05-10-2016 11:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

     Certainly seems like the scooter gods are telling you to leave it alone.   I remember hearing one of the Akropovic pipes on a scooter at Ace Scooters here in Perth.  Sounded fantastic. 

    Started out with a Zip 50. Now moving on to a HD 200. Wonder what's next....?? Not wondering any more.... TMAX!!!!!!
  • 05-27-2016 10:31 AM In reply to

    • bradr
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-13-2009
    • Nowra NSW
    • Posts 2,036

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Geez , and all this drama probably before its even had its 1st service lol ,the exhaust sounds like it will work if you're into the loud single cylinder thumper type noise (i prefer the silent purr myself),the seat is probably a good idea given that the original is too hard , i have an Airhawk cushion & the original seat because i need to be able to pillion now /again .As far as suspension goes i wouldn't touch a thing , the front suspension was very hard at first but with 28,000kms it has softened to just right , as for power i would not see need to touch a thing , mine has ample power to easily pop out & overtake @100kmh & overtakes very easily on places like Maquarie Pass,the brakes & traction control work very effectively & can haul me down from pretty high speeds , i think Vespa have done their homework fairly well in that the 300 motor is about as far as you can go before getting into hasslesome / unreliability issues , you should be able to get the speedo just past 140kph mark in std form .

    Red ones always go faster but blue ones go pretty quick , but now blue ones are the way to go😄
  • 05-27-2016 11:49 AM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    My 1 year old GTS300 only has 3,000km on the clock and is, so far, stock except for transfering a Scooterwest cig socket and harness onto the l/h knee pad from my old 250 for charger connecting. 

    When new, I thought the front suspension was really awful after the 250 and looked for a Bitubo replacement, but while I was waiting it all miraculously freed up a bit so I cancelled the order . Again, compared with the 250, the brakes are much heavier to use and seemingly further away from the handlebars, so one mod I'm thinking of is some dog-leg adjustable ones.

    The GTS (a present from my lovely wife) came with an OEM fly screen that looks fantastic but directs air straight at my neck and face: I removed it. A poster on Modern Vespa fitted the tall factory screen and gradually carved bits off the top until he could ride in still air and just look over the top: sounds like a plan, although I don't know if I have the skill to do it neatly and don't know any workshop that can do a good job of cutting the Perspex (or is it Lexan?). 

    The other candidate for a fix is the fly back propstand. I know what they say about safety but every bike I've ever owned and even Piaggio's own Fly models have a nice flick-down-and-stay-down stand. Being short in the leg department I like to pop the side stand down, safely get off the bike, and  then put it on the centre stand for more secure parking. I think the stand can be fixed by creating a different anchor point for the spring forward of its present location. 

    And lastly I covet an Akrapovich muffler but find it hard to justify the expense, given that I don't believe there is any performance gain, just a lovely (muted) sound. 

    The Red Menace
  • 05-27-2016 01:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    "And lastly I covet an Akrapovich muffler but find it hard to justify the expense, given that I don't believe there is any performance gain, just a lovely (muted) sound."

    You are forgetting the beautiful looks, and it is much lighter than the standard box, which alone must give some slight performance enhancement.

    I have the catalyzer in at the moment, but might try taking it out to see if there is any difference in sound or performance. 

     

     

     

  • 05-27-2016 03:10 PM In reply to

    • bradr
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-13-2009
    • Nowra NSW
    • Posts 2,036

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Dave , i assume you are meaning the genuine Vespa "flyscreen" ( small screen ) ?, i had the same problem with the wind , it hit right at the top of my helmet & also made a huge amount of wind noise at the sides of my helmet , i could duck my head down about 2'' & instantly no noise or wind pressure on my head , i first tried loosening the 4 screws that scure the screen to the brackets & sliding the screen as far upwards as was possible , that got the wind off my head but still had side helmet wind noise ,what i then did was take off the 2 brackets & gently bent them (only very slightly ) to give a very slightly more upright angle to the screen which appearance wise is hardly even noticable , this then all but eliminated the side helmet noise & dosen't seem to affect the scooter speed/handling except that when travelling behind large trucks @ speed on the highway i now don't get that terrible crosswind effect from the back pressure of the truck which is a big plus as it was quite frightening at times , give the angle adjustment a go before you go getting another screen .As for the side stand mate , their is only 1 safe way to fix it , remove it completely & store it in a drawer in ya shed , that way it can not hurt anybody , either the scooter will fall over using it or you'll get the leg of ya jeans caught on it & go down with the scooter on top of you , they are an absolute deathtrap & need more than a different spring , the whole angle of the dangle is wrong .

    Red ones always go faster but blue ones go pretty quick , but now blue ones are the way to go😄
  • 05-27-2016 04:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Brad, I frequently use my sidestand and have never had a problem. Just three rules. First, never use it on a soft surface. Second, always have the scooter on level ground or aimed slightly uphill. And thirdly, never use it in a situation where the scooter might get bumped.

    But I never use it when I am going to be away from the scooter for a while. I treat it as a temporary measure when I am dashing back into the house for something I forgot, or closing the garage door, or putting on my helmet.

    Mike

     

     

     

     

     

  • 05-28-2016 11:23 AM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Yes, Brad, it's the standard fly screen. I'll give your method a try. 

    Regarding the side stand I only want to use it as an aid to safely dismounting - I'm old and past my prime. 

    Re the Akrapovic, I must agree that it looks great, especially if it can be mounted parallel to the line of the bodywork. Does it make it easier to remove the back wheel? I must admit that the thought of getting a puncture gives me the heeby-jeebies and stops me travelling too far afield. It looks like removing either wheel is a nightmare job. The only saving grace is the tubeless tyres, which means I should be able to use a plugging kit. 

    The Red Menace
  • 05-31-2016 12:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Removed the catalyzer from my Akra exhaust, and the sound is a little louder and beautiful. Nice deep note.

    Performance definitely better. Haven't had it up my test hill on the M1 yet, or tested take-off from a standstill, but on my other test run, returning from Pie-in-the-Sky, I check that I reach 100 kph on that straight before the first curve. It didn't with the catalyzer in, but did easily this morning. 

     

     

  • 05-31-2016 03:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Mike -- Ive always thought that buying something new that the manufacturer would have a panel of experts there to try and present a product that was up to its maximum performance (costs being considered )

    All your playing round with a brand new scooter may provide some slight degree of extra performance but may possibly be detrimental in the overall life of the machine etc

    For me I would accept what the product offers and enjoy it --but then we are not all the same---- so have fun

     

    riding for fun
  • 05-31-2016 03:21 PM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Mike Holland:

    Removed the catalyzer from my Akra exhaust, 

     

    Is that a simple job Mike? And is it the same as removing the baffle or whatever that makes it louder/quieter?

     

     

    The Red Menace
  • 05-31-2016 05:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Rod, Piaggio cut a lot of corners to keep costs down. They use the same cylinder head and valves, the same air filter, the same exhaust and the same transmission (just different roller weights) on the 125cc (not the 3-valve version), the 250 and the 300. So Vespas are hardly tuned for efficiency or performance.

    The ECUs are tuned differently, of course, but they are tuned for European emission rules, not for economy or performance, and the resulting mixtures are all too weak.

    Dave, if you remove the Akra exhaust, then in theory the catalyzer will simply slide out. But if there is any carb buildup around the opening it is not so easy. There is no way to grip the thing and pull it. I had to clean up and polish the opening with emery before mine would come out.

    It is possible to shove a thin dowel down from the other end to push it, easier with the DB killer out. But behind the catalyzer there is a solid baffle with just a small hole in the centre, and you have to get the dowel into that hole to push.

    Mike

     

     

     

  • 05-31-2016 09:51 PM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Mike Holland:

    Dave, if you remove the Akra exhaust, then in theory the catalyzer will simply slide out. 

    So on a brand new one it should just fall out from the 'front' end, then.

    The Red Menace
  • 06-01-2016 09:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    Yes, but there is a little ridge inside it where you can use a small screwdriver to lever it a bit if it is sticky. The catalyser is a smooth cylinder, rather like a squat tinny. No protuberances to catch on anything, and it just slides in and out.  

     

  • 06-03-2016 02:35 PM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Modding my new GTS300

    So what does the cat actually do - or rather, stop doing once you have removed it?

     

    The Red Menace
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