Saturday, 7 January 2012

Strange Vespa cylinder head

Two years ago I bought a 128 cc JB-engine, a spare one for my Svalan Scooter. When I collected the engine in southern Sweden, the seller wondered if I would like to buy a Vespa engine as well. You bet! I thought it was a PX 200 engine, dirty and the piston was seized. But, the price was right.
With nothing better to do I checked it out this weekend. I managed to losen the piston after lifting the cylinder head. After a cleaning of the head I noticed that it was stamped with an item number followed by "U.S.A." and the Piaggio logo. 
So, why is it marked "USA", anyone who knows?
I'm pretty sure the engine comes from a Vespa sold here in Sweden.
Checking the engine number through Scooterhelp I discovered that it actually is a 1980 P200E engine (1977-1982), producing a healthy 12 bhp. 
An engine without a scooter, I have to think of something later on...


  1. All the P200 cylinder heads here in the US have that on them. I actually thought that all P200's had that cylinder head. Maybe in some countries, they used cylinder heads that had lower compression to lower the power for local regulations?


  2. Glen Beauchamp from Canada clarifies:
    "The cylinder head you posted about in you blog (good blog by the way, I've been following it for a while and enjoy it) is stamped "USA" because it was originally destined for the USA market. In 1979 the USA came out with stricter emissions laws so in order to comply the p200's for the USA market had a smaller main jet in the carburetor and a lower compression head to compensate for the leaner running engine. Piaggio ended up leaving the USA altogether in 1983 because of the emissions regulations. These engines are slower than the European specification versions so you might want to get yourself a European head and re-jet the carb as per the standard Piaggio specs. They are the engines that we get here in Canada as well from 1979 to 1983". 
    Cheers, Glen Beauchamp

    Thanx, Glen!

  3. We get those cylinder heads in Australia as well but I was always led to believe they were low compression for lower octane fuels. I was told that Standard pump fuel in Italy is 95 octane, in Australia it is 92 or even lower.