The first Vespas were seen on Italian roads shortly after the war, in 1946. The first model was still simple, economical and easy to ride. It did not need a battery at all. But in the course of time, the demands for comfort and convenience became higher and higher. That’s why in 1970, with the Vespa 50 Elestart, a Vespa with an electric starter and 3- and 4-speed transmission, which was 40 km/h fast, was presented for the first time. Of course, a Vespa battery was also installed here. 7 years later, in 1977, the Vespa P 200 E with electronic 12 V ignition system was presented. Finally, in October 2018, the Vespa Elettrica was launched. A scooter powered by an electric motor with 4 kW and 200 Nm. It reaches a top speed of 45 km/h and a range of 100 km, which can go up to 200 km with the range extender of the X version. It also delights its riders with a modern multimedia on-board system.
The right battery
Here you can see that there is no such thing as “the” Vespa battery, but as technology has developed, the specification of the battery has also changed. Most models will run without a battery because the pole wheel makes about 14 volts. On the Vespa, the battery not only serves as a power source for the electric starter. It is also a voltage buffer. Without this buffer, many of the electronic components can break down.
Which battery for which model
It always depends on the particular model. Modern scooter batteries are usually maintenance-free, sealed and pre-charged. They should read 14 volts on the multimeter. Acidic batteries of the type YB4L-B with 3Ah are installed in many Vespas. Changing the battery varies from model to model. If you are not sure about this, it is advisable to consult the owner’s manual. On most models, the first step is to remove the cover under which the battery is located on the Vespa. On the Vespa Primavera 125 model, for example, the battery is located in the middle side member of the footrest. To change the battery, remove the plastic cover that is fastened with screws.
Charging and changing the battery
When changing the battery, first connect the plus pole with the red cable, then the minus pole, which is marked with a black cable. The poles with the corresponding designations can be found on the battery.
The order should be strictly followed!
If the battery is to be charged, a 300mA charger is recommended. On average, a complete charge takes about 12 hours. When charging the battery, first remove the negative terminal and then the positive terminal. Then the charger can be connected. Always connect the positive pole first and then the negative pole of the switched-off charger to the battery. Only when the poles are connected is the charger switched on.
If the Vespa is parked for a long time or if the outside temperatures approach zero degrees in winter, a battery can sometimes go flat. Even if only short journeys are made, the battery cannot recharge. Then it usually has to be recharged. Old or defective batteries can no longer be charged and must be replaced. In this case, repair is no longer possible. When the battery is about 5 to 7 years old, it usually needs to be replaced. No special tools are needed to replace the battery. A simple screwdriver is often all that is needed. It is recommended to use terminal grease or terminal spray when installing the battery. This neutralises any escaping acid and helps to prevent oxidation of the contacts.
The old battery must never be disposed of in the household waste. It is a part for hazardous waste. As a rule, workshops and shops for car accessories also accept old batteries.