Lost and Found

The Vespa is up on the table again. This time it’s for a severely cracked and potentially unsafe series of cracks in the headset. More on this later.

While I was perusing Modern Vespa I came across someone who was troubleshooting a wiring issue on a scooter that is the same model and year as mine. The odd part about our scooters is the location of the ignition switch- under the seat by the fuel petcock.

There is no aftermarket wiring harness available for this model. There is also no known wiring diagram from which someone can troubleshoot.

That is, there wasn’t.

Years ago I was having shorting issues which blew all of the light bulbs eventually, but none of the fuses. The problem manifested itself in a before-sunrise 20 mile ride through the northern California countryside on the way to meet a friend to truck the scooter into the City for a rally.

After the low beam bulb blew, then the tail light and high beam bulb, I rode the last several miles into Petaluma blacked out. Lucky for me there was no law enforcement presence in the area. I have to admit it was kind of fun riding along in the pre-dawn light all ninja-like. If anyone had actually been awake at that hour, I might have even been able to sneak up on ‘em.

So anyway, when I saw the post about the scooterist’s troubles with his wiring I was reminded of a few wrinkled scraps of graph paper in the bottom of one of my box-type clipboards I salvaged from a previous job and use in the garage as a notepad. They have greasy fingerprints on them, seemed to be written in code, and included a fairly well drawn wiring diagram that I had created as I pulled the old harness apart. It is complete with terminal numbers from the back of the switch plates.

After scanning and posting the diagram, there is now at least one. I hope someone finds it useful, as I have no use for it anymore. When I rewired my scooter I made some modifications and the harness now looks nothing like what came out of it.

An Open Letter to Tim Calhoun, U.S. Manager- Leo Vince

Dear Mr. Calhoun,

Recently you wrote a nice tirade about the passage of Senate Bill 435, Vehicles: Pollution Control Devices.

“The Most Important Link in this Political Chain;” http://tinyurl.com/2526nzh

I read with interest your varied comments about the intricate aspects of this topic. Most importantly, you finish by encouraging us to vote- which by anyone’s standard is probably the best advice anyone could ever give regarding our government and it’s operations. I don’t understand, however, several points of your article which I will attempt to address here;

The meat and potatoes of your commentary start here; “The passing of this law is really a case of few understandably fed-up legislators (tired of excessive noise) …” You hit the nail on the head there, Tim, but it’s not just few legislators that are fed-up with the excessive noise coming from the pipes of motorcycles. It’s more like most of the population of California. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not going to grab my torch and pitchfork and organize a lynch mob. After all, I’m a motorcyclist too, and I’ve been on the RADAR as one since I was old enough to get my permit at 15.5 years old and ride into the sunset. I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in my 25.5 years of riding but the one thing I’ve never done is put louder than legal exhaust pipes on my motorcycles. You see, Tim, I am also one of those Californians who are sick and tired of loud pipes too. They suck to be near no matter what you’re doing. Hell, I can’t even stand them while I’m riding my motorcycle in full-face helmet wearing ear plugs. So in short, you got this one wrong. There’s a tide swell of anti-loud pipes people out there and Senator Pavley is merely the voice of it.

The MIC-developed J2825 sound test you mention isn’t really the solution your suggest. Any roadside test administered by anyone is subject to legal challenges. Challenges that the loud-pipes and anti-helmet crowd have plenty of time and money to hire expensive council to fight. Plain and simple, as good as the test may be, it’s subject to interpretation by any number of people in too many varying situations to suggest employing as a method to combat noise. For a peek at what the loud-pipes crowd will do to the J2825 sound test, just look at what the anti-helmet crowd has done with the DOT helmet requirement.

Discrimination. That’s what it all comes down to for most people. “You’re singling me out!” they cry. And so do you. So let’s turn the tables for a minute. Suppose that we were required to Smog Check our bikes like the bill originally planned. That would actually end the discrimination against cars and now diesel pickups that is currently in place. Yep, that’s right, we motorcyclists actually benefit from it. If you don’t want discrimination in the motoring public, suck it up and go get your motorcycles smog checked.

The part of this whole situation that I really think stinks is the fake disgust the entire motorcycle industry has about AB435. You’ve all been feigning a dislike for loud pipes, even adding to your editorials that people are “understandably fed-up” with loud pipes, yet you still continue to sell aftermarket pipes and mufflers that are too loud, don’t meet the current noise standards and then hide behind the “for off road use only” tag while you run to the bank with a big pile of money, knowing that a greater percentage of those pipes are going on street vehicles. Shame on you.

If you truly feel that people shouldn’t be putting loud pipes on their bikes, why do you sell them?