VESPA RESTOMOD.

Detailed restoration story

of a 1979 Motovespa 160 GT.

MOTOVESPA 160 GT

Model: 1979 Motovespa 160 GT
Motor: Malossi 210 MHR in Malossi VR One Case

Carburetor: Mikuni TMX 30

Crank: Mazzucchelli 60mm stroke

Clutch: BGM Pro Superstrong
Exhaust: Polini Box
Front Suspension: SIP Performance 100psi shock absorber, STO spring
Rear Suspension: SIP Performance 2.0
Tires/Wheels: stock wheels, 3.5-10 Heidenau K80 SR
Brakes: Crimaz disc brake (front), stock brake (rear)
Electronics: JBS wiring harness, SIP Vape ignition, SIP Digital Speedo, Motogadget M Blaze Disc indicators
Other Modifications: Carbon Fiber fender trim, carbon fiber tail light cover, custom Streamline seat, BGM Pro Faster Flow fuel tap

Motovespa S.A.

Motovespa S.A. is the Spanish license holder for the production of Vespa motor scooters. The Madrid based company produced their own range of models between the 1950's and 90's. These Spanish Vespas often differed in composition from their Italian counterparts. For example electronic ignition on a Vespa occured for the first time on the Spanish Vespas, while Italian models only introduced electronic ignition with the later Rally model.

Vespa 160 GT.

Type: Motovespa 160

Frame number: 09C

Engine: 09M

Power: 7,8 PS at 5200 rpm

Capacity: 161 ccm

Weight (full tank): 98 kg

Wheels: 3.5-10

Top Speed: 95 km/h

Consumption: 2,5 l/100 km

Wheelbase: 1240 mm

Length: 1780 mm

Width (at handle bars): 680 mm

Height: 1040 mm

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Photo Credits: The Snails

The frame of the Motovespa 160 and 160 GT consists from a variety of Vespa models, partly Sprint/Rally in the front, partly VNA/VNB in the rear. The side covers are super wide and almost identical to the 180 Super Sport. Handlebars, fork, fender are Sprint/GL parts. The engine is similar to a GS4. Contrary to the Sprint the Motovespa has a glove box, the brake pedal is off a V50. The legshield carries a chunky chromed trim piece compared to the aluminium trim on Italian models.

Engine is a direct injection 160ccm unit with a 19mm Dell'Orto carburetor and electronic FEMSATRONIC ignition. The coil sits hidden under the tank. The main shaft is a mix between Sprint and older models. The crank is symmetric, so a special tool is needed to remove the clutch off it. Fan wheel, cylinder, cylinder head and piston are unique Spanish parts and the exhaust coming out on the right side is similar to 180 Super Sport.

Inspiration.

The Motovespa 160 and the later 160 GT clearly took their inspiration from two of Piaggio's most iconic and desirable models. The Rally 200 came in vibrant colors, sports stripes, a practical glove box and a spare wheel hidden under the left side cover.

The 180 Super Sport had a beautiful trapezoidal head light, a shell shaped speedo and was the widest Vespa to ever be built.

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ORIGINAL FIRST PAINT.

ORIGINAL 4.714 km.

ONE TRULY RARE FIND.

The Restoration.

For the best part of its life this Vespa ran in Barcelona and presumably was taken to the beach on a regular basis. Sand was literally everywhere.

The project direction was clear straight away. Restomod – A complete technical restoration whilst being mindful of the 41 year old patina. The original paint was in such incredible condition, that all it needed was a clean and a polish. Hardly any rust or dents, only the typical two dimples due to the standard mounted luggage rack on the rear.

1979.

In spring of 1979 a red Motovespa 160 GT rolled off the assembly line in Madrid.

All chrome, steel and aluminium parts were polished to look like new, the well preserved rubber parts went in the dishwasher, others needed replacing. Once nice and tidy, it was time for some brand new components. Teflon coated shift cables, conversion wiring harness and a fully hydraulic front disc brake by Crimaz. The basis for the seat is from Streamline Seats and got shaped and upholstered in black leatherette with gold piping.

2020.

Moving on forty one years later. Time to take everything apart again. After disassembly all reusable parts had to be thoroughly cleaned. Sand, dirt and grease were literally in every little gap. Away with that, partly using dry ice blasting for frame, fork and fender, partly simple soap, brushes, brake cleaner and elbow grease for the rest. Since a new paint job was out of question, it just required a good old clean and a polish.

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Stopping Power.

The beauty of the Crimaz brake system is that the fork doesn't need to be changed for a later PK style fork. The old drum brake components have to be removed and the holding plate for the caliper mounted between the fork and the drum plate. A special Crimaz drum holds the disc in place and the caliper grabs it from the inside. The brake pump is mounted to the underside of the handlebars and actuated by a special brake lever. I actually drilled and tapped the original lever so it matches the clutch lever.

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Every project needs a little contrast between vintage and modernity in my eyes, so the front fender trim and the taillight cover are now finished in satin carbon fiber and a CNC machined aluminium reservoire holds the brake fluid. Fully adjustable front and rear suspension improve the ride considerably and a SIP digital speedo doubles up as rev counter, shows engine temperature and fuel reserve.

Being a 1979 model, German TÜV requires indicators. These had to be integrated as invisible as possible. LED bar end indicators from Motogadget do the trick just fine.

Not exactly being blessed with tons of electrical skills, I had a steep learning curve when figuring out the custom wiring. Ignition, regulator/rectifier, flasher relay, wiring harness and LED indicators were never meant to work together in that constellation, but now do.

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The Heart...

...and soul of the restoration.

Vespmoto's custom built engine in a Malossi VR One Casing. The Mikuni TMX 30 carburetor sits on a Malossi diaphragm intake manifold. A Mazzucchelli crank with 60mm stroke pumps capacity up to 221ccm and gives the Malossi MHR cylinder and piston sufficient "Oomph" to produce solid 26 bhp and plenty of torque from low revs. Clutch is a BGM Superstrong and the Polini Box exhaust is basically a race exhaust in Sunday church clothing.

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Gallery.

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Contact

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