Read About Life With a Vespa

Dead Battery?

By lem at 11:25 pm on September 27, 2006 | 6 Comments

I’ve noticed for the past few weeks that the electric starter on my Vespa LX 150 has been a little sluggish. I had to hold the button longer to get the engine to kick over properly. While I didn’t consider this to be normal behavior, I wasn’t sure if it was something worth making the drive out to the Vespa service center for.

And then tonight, my girlfriend and I were downtown picking up dinner at Lindy’s with a plan of taking it home to eat. When I went to start the Vespa, I noticed the headlight was considerably dimmer, and the starter was barely cranking. Immediately I recognized the problem: a nearly dead battery.

My girlfriend is an AAA member, and after waiting for over two hours for them to show up we decided to try kick starting the Vespa. When I first bought it, I read the instruction manual cover to cover (well, at least the English portions) and the only part about kick starting said something about why it was a bad idea. But I figured getting stranded downtown DC at 11 PM on a weeknight couldn’t be much of a better option. After several attempts, we figured out how to get the kick start to work properly and we were off.

I know that like cars, motorcycle batteries charge themselves while the engine is running. We drove around for a while and parked back at home. My hope is there will be enough charge to get the Vespa started in the morning. We’ll see how it goes in a few hours!

Filed under: Maintenance6 Comments »


  • 1
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    Comment by Larry

    October 31, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    The dealer closest (40 miles) to me ( installs leads for a trickle charger as a standard thing. $40 buys the charger. They say most folks don’t drive their Vespa enough to keep the battery charged. Sounds like you run it often enough, but maybe not far enough.

    You may consider this option.

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    Comment by ModVespa

    January 2, 2008 @ 11:54 am

    I am having similar problems with my ET4. It was not able to start this morning – so I was forced to ride my bicyle As it’s been christmas/new year etc, it hasn’t had as much use as normal so I suspect its the battery however with Vespa’s I know that i should expect that it could also be something random.

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    Comment by Alistair

    March 5, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

    I have a Vespa LX 125. After a few failed kick start attempts I had to get recovery to jump start me the other day. After this I rode around for approx 45 mins and for a few days the battery seemed fine, but today I had to make a couple of attempts at starting it after eventually starting and also when I was on my way back home at night I went to turn my High Beam light on and the light went very dull. I had no high beam. It just went dim and the console seemed to dim also. I am thinking my battery might be dead. Not looking forward to starting it in the morning!! Anyone else seen this the bike was brand new less than 2 years ago.

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    Comment by lem

    March 5, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

    I learned from the local Vespa dealer that the batteries apparently don’t have a very long life. After about a year, they will hold a charge less and less. If you have a newer battery, I was told that you should have the alternator checked out. It may not be charging the battery very well. Hope this helps!

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    Comment by scooter

    April 3, 2010 @ 12:34 am

    There are several ways to handle the vehicle with a dead battery.The right tool is a Battery Charger. Normally their is a refreash setting that takes the battery all the way down to a zero charge and give it a slow trickle charge untill full.

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    Comment by AnnaMaria

    August 24, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    How did you get it kick-started? What did you have to do besides use the kick start lever?

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