(NOW! With 50% more bling!)
I thought it would be wise to get the crash bars on the Vespa ASAP, considering the fate of the Frankenstella – that scooter went down three times while the crash bars were still lying uselessly on my garage floor. I was determined to install the chrome on the Vespa myself, not only to avoid the $90/hr labor charge, but because I can.
Oh yes, I can.
Of course, what should have been a two hour affair dragged on for three weekends due to lack of proper tools (Vice grip? Ginormous allen wrench?!) and the loss of a nut. Now I understand the old adage “for want of a nail the war was lost”. That singular piece of hardware put a wrench in the machine, as it were, of the whole installation. The nut rolled off somewhere — perhaps into the storm drain — never to be found again. I had already installed half of the crash bars on the other side, so I rode around for a week sporting only 50% bling.
I tried to pick up a replacement at three different hardware stores, but of course it was a certified Vespa® nut and engineered specifically for the 2007 GTS left cowl. I finally bit the bullet and rode all the way down to Big People Scooters to pick up a replacement nut so I could finish the job.
The chrome was not quite at the right angle so the placards had to be bent with the vice grip in order to match it to the bolt on the cowl. The left cowl chrome is a little too bent, over-projecting from the bike an inch, but that is both subtle and fixable.
The wind screen was the trickier part because it involved so much assembly and came with so few directions. The directions that were provided were (poorly) translated from Italian and contained hand-drawn not-to-scale diagrams that had been photocopied a million times. This was no illustrated Ikea “how to”. But I figured it out, mostly with the assistance of a friend’s windscreen as a model. The windscreen I installed is one size larger and works quite well at deflecting wind, rain and road-spray from my face and chest.
All in all I’m quite pleased with the results. And I highly recommend the DIY method, especially for non-critical items like this. I learned a ton and got set up with some new tools I needed. And the Vespa is all shiny!
I’ve been admonished that “chrome won’t get you home” — but damn if you don’t look good on your way…