Friday, December 28, 2007

Floor rail kit -- salvagable?

If you have to replace your floor rail kit you have two choices:
1) Authentic will cost you $65 Euro ($130 USA) at
2) Rally kit will cost you $39-49, but does not have the correct width and length to manufacturer's spec.

I was really hoping that I could reuse my floor rail kit and my legshield trim. My legshield trim is shot to hell. It looks like the bike had been laid down on one side. I will not be able to reshape the legshield trim and I am nervous that I can not reuse my stock floor rail kit.
The metal is very pliable and can be worked with somewhat. My rails do have nicks and scratches in them as you can see when you click on the photos to enlarge.
I suspect Eric planned on replacing the kit when he cut the rivets, but the bottom of the kit is in bad shape at a couple spots.
I suspect that if I cleaned them up and they were all shiny and pretty the eye would not focus on the imperfections, but then again we have a good chunk of change put into body work and paint and I wouldn't want my floor rail kit to give the hooptie effect to the finished scoot.
I really hate to replace parts because (1) new parts are not part of the scooter's soul and (2) it lowers the value of the bike when items are not original or intended for the specific model (yes, I do know the non-stock color of paint on our SS also lowered its value).
To put on a Rally floor rail kit would not bother my wife, the owner/rider of the SS180; therefore that is always an option.
The other consideration is the rubber for this floor rail kit is not sold any longer. I spoke with Claus Studios and for $128 I could have new floor rail rubber. I would need a NOS sample rubber for Claus Studios to replicate as well.

Here's the break down:
$80 for set-up (I would email all GS/SS owner to see if anyone would go in with me on this)
$8 per strip

This bike is intended to be a beautiful rider and not a museum piece; therefore spending $130 on the rubber or even the entire floor kit may not be logical for this restoration.

There are probably ten scooterists in the USA that would know the difference between the SS and Rally kits.

At this point, readers please comment below and let me know if what I have is reusable in your opinion and how you'd recommend cleaning it up.

Thank you.

From Christopher Markley:
"You'd be surprised at the evil that you can eliminate with judicious
application of several grades of sand paper followed by steel wool. A little
ting ting ting with some little jeweler's hammers, some cleaning and
polishing and you might be ok."

You can purchase the rubber from Scooter Works (Part#56779) or from Mauro Pascoli.


Tinker said...

I guess I would reluctantly go wik the rally kit over the set you now have, and although it may be nice to have a NOS, I'd be reluctant to pay for. Unless you just take pity on all the other guys out there.

I'm worried that if I replace my 1978 CB400A headlight with something EFFECTIVE, that it won't be original, and that would affect the value, when and if ever I decide to sell it. And I'm wondering if anyone knows of a headlight bucket that would fit in the original space. Sealed beam, 35 watt lights are just not so fantastic.

Scooter Couple said...

Sorry Tinker,

I have no knowledge of motorcycles. You may look into BBS for motorcycles and post there. I think one exists.


Scooter Couple said...

From Paul C. on Vespa-Sports Yahoo Group:

er, they look like there crap to me, a rally floor kit does fit, its a bit tricky shaping them up to be perfect fit best to fit them to the frame before paint so you can manipulate them a bit, annealing them with some mild heat will make them softer to bend about, pascoli make a perfect fit kit its dear to buy and no better a fit than the rally set, but the channels are correct width and rubber correct profile, but look the same realy, check his site for price and avalability, (everything can be repaired but sometimes you need to let it go)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I put a Rally kit on mine,making sure to use only the pre drilled holes that matched the ones in the body, and redrilling teh ones that don't in the strip.
I have kept the original strips, I'll polish them up at some stage and am keeping on the lookout for rubbers.
Does that sound like a plan?keep ALL original parts together, even if they're broken or worn... you never know,what the next fashion will be...
I hope this doesn't reach you too late!

Scooter Couple said...

Oh, I am KEEPING EVERYTHING! I plan to try and save those stock rails before I die :)

I did give away my rust-bucket exhaust and engine cases with the chip at the gasket to Christopher Markley, who gave us at least $500 in FREE service on the SS180. I hope he can restore the exhaust and sell it. The engine case that is chipped at the gasket was recommended to NEVER be used. So he has 1/2 a good case. There was no room in the moving truck.

I planned to use the cases to decorate my next kid (when we have him/her) room, but heck Christopher may do something better with it.

Everything else I kept. I wanted to keep the cases and the exhaust originally, but I am cool with Markley having them. I am sure that stock exhaust will get restored at some point in the distant future.

He earned much more than those two parts.

I am keeping everything else.

Check my posts on floor rails. Aftermarket correct rubber is available. I heard that NOS rail kit was being bought on Vespa Super-Sports.