The first modification to my new Vespa was fairly urgent. The GT200s sold in the U.S. were made in Italy, just like the ones sold in Europe. The European ones had a center stand and a side stand. The American ones had, for reasons shrouded in mystery, only a center stand.

The GT200 weighs 308 lbs. I weigh about 110. I have a really, really hard time getting that bike onto the center stand alone, so a side stand is an absolute must.

A previous owner did install an aftermarket side stand, but it was in pretty rough shape. The piece you kick to lower it had broken off completely, and the springs had zero responsiveness. I ordered a $50 kit from ScooterPartsCo to replace the entire apparatus.

In addition to the kit, I picked up from my local auto parts shop a tub of water resistant wheel bearing grease and a tool called a spring puller. The latter was worth every penny of the $12 I spent on it by the way, because new, responsive springs are TIGHT. Get the spring puller. Or if you’re cheap and in U City, bring me a beer and you can borrow mine.

With everything in hand, I set out to replace the stand. Unfortunately, removing the old one proved to be the hardest part. The bolt was so rusted and the position of the thing made it impossible for me to get decent leverage to pry it loose. I ended up needing third-party assistance with bigger muscles and more appropriate tools.

Once that tetanus-harboring mess was off, though, installing the new one was super simple. The U.S. models have pre-drilled holes in the frame to install the kit. Bolt, grease and o-rings, add the stand. Use the spring puller to add the springs and you’re done.

In Conclusion:

This one is an easy A. The kit was competitively priced, shipped quickly, and installed with no surprises or modifications. The instructions on the website were very clear and easy to follow. Definitely take their advice and buy the spring puller.

So the first mod is in the books. I have a lot more planned, budget and time permitting, but with at least this one done, I know I’ll always be able to set my scoot up safely by myself.