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2008 Stella Review - 6500+ miles logged

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Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Scottsdale AZ
08 Stella, cloned into a 1983 Vespa PX

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: 2008 Stella Review - 6500+ miles logged Reply with quote

This review was written by a member of our scooter club in Arizona. “Just a note to all out there who now own, or are considering buying a 2T Stella. Even more so, since the 4T is about to be released for the first time in the USA. First off - great scooter. As many of you know, LML built these for Vespa in India since around 1978 until around 1986 when Piaggio decided to pull the plug on the relationship. LML fought them and won the right to continue to build the scooter for their domestic market. Enter in Genuine Scooter Co, who worked out an agreement to import them to the USA. The same bike (also in 125 CC size) is imported all over the world under different labels (Star, Star Italia, Bella Donna and a few others). The thicker steel in the Stella vs. the real Vespa is a fact, to test it out while riding (at low speed) on a Vespa PX 125-200, stand up and do a few rapid knee-bends, and feel the chassis flex, especially toward the front of the leg shield in front of the rear brake pedal. Do the same on a Stella, you will experience absolutely no flex, and no upward/downward movement at all.
For the first 4000 miles or so, no issues, or major problems. None of the electrical foibles that many others have had, and no daily rider reliability issues at all. Changed the gear oil myself ever 500-600 miles, adjusted all the cables, and nothing else. The fuel gauge stopped working, was replaced under warranty, and then the new one stopped working 500 miles later. One minor well documented problem on many Stella blogs and forums. After my one year warranty was up, I ordered one from Garners Classic Scooters in Texas, since Genuine would not sell me one direct. (Dealer favoritism, which is a huge problem with me, not a fan of Scooterworks, owned by the Genuine Scooter Co. Then a little after this, out riding around in a residential area, I hear a loud, high pitched whining noise coming from the engine. Pull over and kill the motor, and walk the nearly 2 miles home. Then I truck it down to Scoot Over (great group of folks, by the way) and they replace the lower crank bearings, another well documented problem on Stella blogs and forums. It seems the cage that holds the needle bearings in place is made of an inferior metal, broke apart and sent pieces and loose bearings helter skelter inside the engine, damaging the piston and entire top end. While the engine was all apart, Scoot Over replaced the stock parts with a new Pollini 177 CC top end and a Mazzuchelli full circle crankshaft. This did make a big difference in performance, both off the line and on the top end, now an actual 60+ MPH is easily obtainable, even with 2 up.
The moral of the story is if I had to do it all over again, wanting an old-school shifty scoot as I love, I would have scouted around and spent my nearly $4000 on a solid used REAL Vespa PX 200, and I believe I would not be out the extra bennys for the major motor work done due to the weak bearings that are used in these scooters. So now, over 1500 miles after the new parts are in, no problems to date, and I have what appears to be a very solid engine and a great scooter in the end.”
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