I have an 81 p200e and the front end steering feels squirrelly doesn't seem to be stable while driving. There is no clunking from the bearings. Just wondering what I should look at first. The bike had just over 61,000 km on it.
Howdy Bruce Here is what I know from my study.
The first thing to do is the steering fall away. This would be the steering bearing adjustment. The tension on the fork bearings is very important. If it is to tight then it will wonder and if it is to lose then it can go into a wiggle at high speed. If your center stand boots and center stand is working properly the you can check your fall away or if not then use a some wood under the center stand just enough for the front tire to be off the ground so the steering can turn freely. Tighten down the bearings till the steering is tight then loosen till the steering has a fall away of 3/4" or 19mm from centerline. If this does not take care of your problem then you should look into a fork replacement. You may have a bent fork. Cheers
problem has been solved I installed new shocks front and rear and engine mounting bushings. wow what a difference it is so much nicer and feels much better
60.000 km is quite a lot for a Vespa and not "just only".
So obviously your Vespa doesn't seem to be subject of regular maintenance. It's recommendable to check & eventually replace certain parts of your front suspension.
Not only your front steering tube bearing could be loose - I would also not assume a bent front steering tube at first (We call it steering tube, not front fork).
Here's what I ususally do when I have a Vespa with a problem like yours to take care for:
- Check the bearing seat of the steering tube's lower ball bearing race - if the upper bearing is tightend and under full tension, and nevertheless you'll find radial clearance on the lower bearing, it's seat is worn out (bad!)
- remove the steering tube and check the condition of its upper and lower bearings. Eventually it has run dry (no grease anymore) and therefore is damaged. Also a long standstill can cause damage of the bearings as the rollers imprint themselves into their runways
- Check front suspension (still the original shock absorber?)
- state of the front wheel bearings (1 roller bearing + 1 needle roller bearing located inside of the front brake drum)
- radial clearance of the swing's needle bearings (you have to remove brake drum and shock absorber in order to identify too much clearance).
It is recommendable to consult an experienced Vespa mechanic.
Please remind that all possible reasons are linked together - if you find something defect please consider possible other defects connected with the first one you've found.