Vespa Front Disk
Hydraulic disk brakes offer a simpler, more effective, and more controllable braking with far less pressure required at the handle bar. For everyone in the USA, the last classic style Vespas we saw were mid 80s P200Es. Since then this model has continued to evolve in Europe. In 1998 a new model came out with a standard fully hydraulic front disk brake. For years before there was a semi-hydraulic kit made by Grimeca which had a remote cable operated reservoir on the forks, and a new casting for the front wheel and back plate. Below is a shot of this kit which is easily identifiable by the hub casting. This kit is available for both the 20mm axle and the 16mm axle. See below for descriptions of each.
The new '98 Vespa hydraulic disk is very similar but has a spoked hub design and a slightly different caliper design. Both work equally as well as each other, but only when you make the system entirely hydraulic and remove the cable operated master cylinder attached to the forks.
The bikes that I know of that can be retrofitted with the Grimeca kit using the original forks are:
The axles on the above bikes are one of two types. This is a shot of a typical 16mm front axle type fork. The link between the fork tube and the shock is solid. This type of axle was used on all P200Es for sure. Only the older Grimeca disk is made for this axle size so be sure to let your scooter shop know what type of bike you have. (There may be a plastic cover over the fork link which needs to be removed in order to determine which axle diameter you have).
Note: Only the older Grimeca kit (not the 98 kit) will fit a 16mm axle.
This is a shot of a typical 20mm front axle type fork. The link between the fork tube and the shock is more open and has a triangular space casting. This type of axle was used on all later P-series bikes as well as the PK125. Both Grimeca disks kits are made for this axle size so be sure to let your scooter shop know what type of bike you have. (There may be a plastic cover over the fork link which needs to be removed in order to determine which axle diameter you have).
Note: Both the older Grimeca kit and the 98 kit will fit a 20mm axle.
The key to making the entire system work well is to get a fully hydraulic system. This means a suitable handlebar master cylinder with a hose to the caliper. Vespa now makes a P-series headset bottom specifically for a special master cylinder which is a a no-brainer way to add it to any P-series bike.
We will be mounting a fully hydraulic disk brake kit to a 1980 Vespa P200E in the next couple of months so this page will be updated.
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