5 thoughts on “Asian restoration spotters’ guide”

  1. At our favorite pho restaurant, they have a scooter as part of the decoration and the spare tire cover looks exactly like the one pictured on the rovers site.

    Luckily, we’re all safe from the Vietbodge scooter at the restaurant because it is clearly labled: “do not sit!”

  2. Thanks for posting the link. That’s what I was looking for. After reading the thread carefully, especially Randall’s responses, I wonder if the importers won’t eventually wise up and lose the yellow centerstand boots, 10″ stands on 8″ scooters, and the plastic PX mats. Those big three are certainly a dead giveaway now that I see the examples.

  3. You’d think, but it’s been years now and they keep coming. I think that’s just what they have there, parts supply wise, so it’s what they use. As long as there are always new gullible buyers out there that won’t do research before buying, there’s no need to change.

    Randall’s comments were super-interesting, I’d always figured the resoration shops were just asian shop owners selling their bikes on eBay and chalked up the poor quality to just sort of being standard business/mechanical practice in SE Asia, but if Randall’s right, the sellers are American middlemen who are purposefully instructing the restorers to cut corners and they know damn well that they’re selling crap, I guess I was naïve about that, and that makes it worse.

    It seems like finding and outing these middlemen should be easy, but again, as long as there are new customers that don’t do research, someone will be ripping them off.

  4. and how long did Johnny Beware (love that name, you couldn’t make it up!) go on selling indo-bodges before he stopped? Long after being exposed, at least in the little scooterist part or the world.

    I also wonder if there are no hack saws in Vietnamese/Indonesian/Indian etc scooter shops? How hard is it to cut down a centerstand? I’ve had to when I couldn’t get any other than a P-series.

    slugrockets sc

  5. Great helpful articles
    If you think its scarey trying to buy a none -Asian Vespa in the US then you ought to come to Australia ! Its getting nearly impossible over here. They come from Vietnam and Indonesia due to our proximity to those countries.
    I have a beaut. 1964 VNB largeframe which dates in Aus from way before this Asian import stuff started happening but its cowls are a different colour from the chassis (painted by the original Aussie owner in the 80’s) and I would have no hope selling it as a result !!
    A few tips for all you in the US:

    The Asian ones frequently have very serious clutch /gear issues and the front fork shudders with breaking due to the fork alterations – SO TEST RIDE!!

    I have bought a couple of US Vespas and imported them back to Australia due to the limited genuine one here – so:

    Try to buy Allstate (US vespas) or for later models (post 74) the ones with the US indicators and tailights (these are never seen on Asian models ). The indicators were introduced in 74 and although a little ugly clearly show the scoot has been officially distributed in the US.
    The tailight is on a little stand and the indicatores screw into the chassis at the rear and into the front of the handlebars.
    If you buy either of these you are pretty safe.

    Otherwise dont but without a history dating back more than about 5-7 years as the mass Asian importing didnt occur prior to this – certainly not in Australia anyway.
    Otherwise buy an old unrestored one (again try to find an Allstate) and get a US shop to do the retore for you – eg Scooterworks.
    I like the split colours! – a popular US job is the cream and sea green/ blue – but yeah you have to be careful.
    It wont be long before the guys in Asia cotton on and start sending them over looking less garish -then we will all really be in the shit !

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