Vespa Miao

by Britt Heit
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*8/21/16 Update* Smeared the piston rings at the Denver rally, and finally getting around to fixing it. Put a new piston and rings in and smoothed out the cylinder. Converted the front wheel to sealed bearings. Also put some chrome stock maxi handlebars on it that are a teensy bit higher and put the black Tomos bars on my dirtspirit. The 41mm Polini is a ripper. This Vespa, when it runs, is fucking fast. *4/24/16 Update* Broke it in Sacramento. Come to find out the euro clutch likes to strip all its threads off and run naked, resulting in all kinds of drama. I used that opportunity to swap the new CIF gears into the rear trans and clean up all the damage the cheeks made. Got some new pulley cheeks (which worked out great since the old ones got fucked when the clutch went rogue) that I've never seen before. That ought to be interesting once I get it back on the road. The sidecovers look bomb as fuck. It took me ten hours of priming, planning, and executing. Who knew putting cat stickers on side covers was a such a strategic undertaking. *Past* Got this running a few days ago. With zero tuning I got it to go almost 40. Wheelies all day. Currently undergoing Meowification. I had to grind, cut, and modify things at every turn with this build. I had to cut the frame so the belt would fit in the 100mm Euro clutch. I had to cut a bigger window in the frame for the reed block. I had to grind the inside of the cases because the Malossi crank arm hit and wouldn't turn (see picture). I case matched, I had to drill into the frame to mount the taillight, and I had to fabricate a rear pipe mount, but all of that stuff is pretty standard with moped builds. Regarding the crazy looking small case half...I had the special opportunity to be one of the first (maybe THE first? idk, who cares anyways) people to run it stateside. It's definitely not a plug-and-play part. It takes some work to get it ready for installation, but when you do it's worth it. It does not come with a pre-cut transfer, so I had to grind that in. There was also a lip on the small case half that I had to grind down because it made the case half too thick to fit in the Ciao frame once it was installed into the engine. Also, the bolt holes on the case half are super shallow, and the bolts that came with the Malossi reed block are a bit too long, so I had to measure and carefully cut the bolts. Some of you may be wondering why I put a 15.15 SHA on it when I could've gone fucking crazy and put some big ass retarded carb on it, and the reason for that is because I really didn't know how this case half was going to work out, or if it was going to work at all. So, can confirm, a 15 SHA works great. Once I get the rest of the build finished up I'll think about putting a bigger carb on it. Here's my setup so far: *NEW 4/24/16* 9.49:1 CIF gears *NEW 4/24/16* New 100mm pulley cheeks Stock cases Fancy pants reed block case half (not sure what it's called) Malossi 4 petal reed block 15.15 SHA Malossi crank - 12 pin 41mm Polini kit Polini variator with the lighter weights Euro clutch with yellow Malossi springs Blue contra Lightened, anti-exploding clutch bell from some dude in Italy Gianelli Fire pipe EBR forks and crossbar Trailtech voltage regulator on the out-of-the-box setting Blue halogen headlight Tomos handlebars Ugly yet awesome cat face taillight


1977 Vespa Ciao




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Nicholas Koz: Purrrr