I left the house with the Vespa this morning, and the gas warning light came on. Based from experience, I can squeeze roughly 30 miles from the onset of the yellow warning light. I usually like getting gas from a specific station by the corner of my house, since putting gas into a 2 gallon tank is a finicky matter – depending on the build of the fuel dispenser, some pumps tend to shutoff the gas too late, resulting in spillage outside of the tank. No bueno! So for the reasons just described, I opt to get gas by my house when I come back home because of its consistency in shutting off at the right moment.
Fast forward to after lunch, when I’m powering down on the 5 superhighway southbound, half a mile from my exit, when the power starts to cut out. Then the power goes out completely. I pull over to the shoulder, and try to start the engine again. Engine turns, but does not start completely. I do this a few more times, hoping that I can squeeze in a little more just enough to reach the freeway exit because standing right next to trucks and SUVs driven by coked up soccer moms pulling at least 70mph is by no means entertaining. AAA says it’ll take 30 minutes for a service call, so I say screw it, and walk the bike 1/2 mile down to the gas station.
So I start noticing that the idiot lights on the console have dimmed, probably indicative of a dying battery. Lo and behold, with a full gas tank, I depress the brake and push the ignition – dead silence. Great, battery is dead.
Phone call to Vespa Sherman Oaks, and I get some instructions from Drew how to do the kick start mechanism. Basically tells me that it’s really a worst case scenario option. Well, the situation is that I have a flight to catch in a few hours for Manila, which doesn’t give me the luxury of having several hours to charge up the battery. Sounds like worst case for me. So I try the kick start a few times, and figure there’s nothing to lose (except if I bust the transmission case which I heard has happened before). Push a little bit on the lever, and kick down to the floor. I can feel the engine turn over the first time, and the second. Push a bit, and kick.
Third try, is the charm. :) I love the Vespa. I really do.