Thursday, March 27, 2008

Great USA shops to do biz with

I have become a bit of a snob this far into the restoration process (regarding parts) and I have done a lot of business with different companies and many of them have been great for odds and ends. Danell at Scooter Parts Direct is awesome and they do have some NOS parts. ScooterWorks gets stuff out the door fast. After hunting for a crank for over two months, Garner saved me. Nice guy. Scomo, when it was Scomo, told me which after market parts to avoid and urged me to reuse all I could, because of the poor quality of parts. The list goes on . . .

But at the end of my restoration I have come to a conclusion, that I hope that many new restorers start from. I do 95% of my business only with shops that were licensed by Vespa to officially restore and work on vintage Vespas. These shops know there stuff like few in the business and they tend to have the most NOS parts in the business. If you ask, they will help you keep your bike period correct and hand check all parts for quality for you (they did for me).

Motorsport Scooters -- ask for Steve
Both David and Mic told me that these guys are very knowledgeable and Steve is. Orders ship out that day. Parts cost a little more from time to time, but on the flip side it's guaranteed to be high quality and you don't have to worry about receiving crap. Another important thing is that Steve ALWAYS had 99% of the parts in stock that I needed.

First Kick Scooters -- ask for David
David is knowledgeable as well and a very honest and upfront guy. Order go out within 24 hours and he will spend time with you on the phone to help you out if you have questions. He hand checks the parts and will not ship you junk. First Kick has good prices.

Scooter Shop -- ask for Mic
Mic is a good and honest guy. He is also one of the more knowledgeable people I have spoken with. He is detailed oriented with your parts and does have a bit of NOS available.

Bottom line is many of the after market parts that available are garbage and that is all many shops can get. The Indian-rubber is poorer quality and is made from Bajaj-molds; therefore it does not fit your Italian Vespa correctly. That is just one example. Maybe many of the new Vespa restorers don't mind this as much as I do, but then again I am becoming pretty snobby and probably can tell you if something looks out of place externally on an SS180. Hell, there are minor things out of place on our SS180 and I had to come to terms with.

If you share the same view on this stuff as I do, I recommend buying from these three guys from the start. You can find lots of good parts from other companies and I urge you to do so (see SPD's "NOS" section online) and buy as you find, but for bulk orders or small parts you can't do wrong working with three.

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