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Vespa clutch: tuning and improvement possibilities

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Higher, faster, further. This motto, which applies to many areas of our lives, hardly applies to the Vespa. Nevertheless, smaller tuning measures are also possible here, which may make the Vespa faster. While the first choice is initially the installation of larger cylinders for more displacement or, for example, a different gear ratio for a faster top speed, few initially think of tuning the clutch. Yet tuning the Vespa clutch is no less effective.

Our following short overview should briefly summarize some common tuning measures that make sense on a Vespa or are possible at all.

Adjustment of the clutch springs

Clutch springs: Replacing the original clutch springs with more powerful springs can help the clutch grip at higher RPMs. This allows for better acceleration and speed. Especially with engine overhauls or further tuning measures, small things such as clutch springs are often mistakenly neglected.

Tip: In the past, we have already dealt with the functioning of the clutch and presented it in more detail: “The Vespa clutch a review“.

To allow the greatest possible friction, the clutch springs press the linings against the separator discs. In the process, high mechanical forces act against them. Only when the friction between the clutch discs exceeds the torque of the crankshaft can the engine power be optimally transferred to the transmission. Over time, however, the springs lose strength for this reason or may even break. They should therefore be replaced regularly.

Even with minor tuning measures, appropriately reinforced springs are recommended in order to be able to transfer the released power to the road. These springs, which are available in different degrees of hardness, allow optimum tuning to the vehicle’s own combination of transmission and engine.

The complete package: sports clutch

Installing a sport clutch with higher quality and better material improves both durability and performance. It can usually withstand more heat and higher loads, which is enormously important for powerful engines.

While standard clutches usually have only three linings made of cork, sport clutches have four cork linings and a reinforced spring. To all screwdrivers for whom even this is not enough, the Vespa experts from SIP Scootershop in Landsberg offer special race clutches that are equipped with four linings made of carbon. These pads are more heat-resistant and have better grinding-in behavior. They are therefore the ideal choice for all more heavily tuned Vespas.

Often, some Vespa riders decide to install a modified clutch housing in this context. Sometimes the housing must also be modified to accommodate the new clutch with more linings in the housing. However, this requires a lathe to make the adjustments precisely and safely. Therefore, an expert should always be consulted for such measures.

The magic word: clutch rollers on modern Vespas

It is clear that tuning measures are easier on older Vespas because of the clear components. Nevertheless, measures in the area of the clutch are also possible on new automatic Vespas, which have a similar effect as on old Vespas.

By replacing the small clutch rollers, the shifting characteristics of the scooter can be adapted to the personal driving style in a relatively uncomplicated manner. Another advantage is that the rollers can be easily replaced. With a suitable blocking tool, the pulley is prevented from turning further. Subsequently, a simple socket wrench can be used to remove the clutch, which usually contains six rollers.

Lighter pulleys result in faster acceleration, as this allows the V-belt to reach the outer end of the pulley more quickly. Heavier rollers, on the other hand, tend to reduce acceleration by slowing the V-belt’s travel to the end of the pulley. However, this logically results in a higher final speed.


All in all, it can be seen that there are various adjusting screws in the area of the clutch that can be turned by mechanics. Even if the motto “Higher, faster, further!” mentioned at the beginning is still inappropriate, an adapted clutch at least enables the acceleration or speed to be optimally transferred to the transmission. Whether accelerating away from the ice cream parlor in a relaxed manner or changing gears during extensive touring under adverse conditions, the classic wet clutch and the modern centrifugal clutch offer all possibilities.

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