It’s that time of year again, my Vespa is due for its yearly registration. Here in the Philippines part of our yearly registration requires at the minimum TPL (Third Party Liability) Insurance and for your vehicle to undergo an emission testing process. I guess the biggest fear of any owner of a 2 stroke is will it pass its emission test.

Again, I am not a guru, however most of the advice I will give does make engineering sense, all of them are advice coming from gurus who may be mechanics, dealers, and long time owners of 2 stroke Vespas.

Your Vespa should be well maintained, meaning Piaggios maintenance schedules or Haynes recommended schedules were followed. Every month or 500 miles/800 kms the Haynes Manual recommends that the plug be cleaned, re-gapped or replaced if necessary. Cleaning of the air cleaner or replacement if necessary. In the process of checking your plugs, a plug read should be done and an idle and mixture adjustment made accordingly. It is presumed you are using at least decent oil or some premium “less smoke” oil.

Haynes recommends a decarbonizing procedure of the head every 3 months or every 2500 miles/4000 kms. I find this quite extreme and have only done this at 8-10,000 kms. Not every Guru recommends this schedule, most recommend this as a “as needed procedure”. This procedure entails removing the cylinder head and scraping off the carbon deposits on top of the piston and those stuck on the head. The exhaust system can also be cleaned with caustic soda if carbon build up has been extensive. This however is a very tedious job due to the toxicity and the dangers of using caustic soda. The exhaust system has to be removed and will entail soaking the system in caustic soda, disposing of the caustic soda properly and rinsing the system thoroughly. I haven’t tried doing this and will probably ask a specialist to do it if my ride needs it.

Most owners just clean the plugs and air cleaner the day before the testing and just before the testing they look for a good length of road and let their Vespas rip. Some adjust their mixture to run a tad lean if their Vespa continues to be smokey before the test. For the past 4 years my Px200E has always passed its emission testing, all that I have been doing is keeping it well maintained.

Ride Safe Vespistis!