Dan delves into fit­ting and dyno of the ever-pop­u­lar Malossi 210 this month.

With a stack of tun­ing and up­grade prod­ucts for var­i­ous Vespa ma­chines to hand, we in­tend to fit and an­a­lyse them over the com­ing months. Over the past six edi­tions, the PX125 has been pam­pered no end, so this month we de­cided to break things up a bit...

Scootering - - Contents -

Kit ver­sion

The Malossi 210 has been a defin­ing up­grade for many Vespa own­ers over the years, al­beit with a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing a wheelie-pulling rev-mon­ster. The fact of the mat­ter is though, it wasn’t par­tic­u­larly big on its bhp num­ber, it was more the fact it had a ra­zor sharp power band which came on so hard that you couldn’t help but lift the front wheel. The ac­tual peak bhp of these kits was of­ten quite sim­i­lar to a well set up Polini kit, the only dif­fer­ence be­ing the Polini had a bet­ter power spread.

Also, due to the peaky na­ture of the Malossi kit, it of­ten re­quired a T5 fourth gear to make the scooter pull top gear. One of the main rea­sons for this was a se­vere lack of trans­fer tim­ing on the orig­i­nal 210 kit, which was a pain, but could re­ally be im­proved by the in­tro­duc­tion of a 60mm stroke crank.

Fur­ther broad­en­ing of the power band could be achieved by port­ing the cylin­der trans­fers, and then with a de­cent tour­ing pipe on you could at­tain a good peak bhp fig­ure… as well as a de­cent torque fig­ure, and a nice power spread. At that point, the com­mon T5 fourth gear up­grade was of­ten not nec­es­sary and the kit would pull well. Such fuss and fet­tling spawned hy­brid ‘Polossi’ kits, us­ing the well­bal­anced Polini cylin­der, mated with the funky Malossi pis­ton.

Fast-for­ward to to­day, and the two new Malossi 210 kits no longer re­quire the cylin­der port­ing to the trans­fers. Malossi have vastly im­proved the kits in this area as well as im­prov­ing many other points. The kits are avail­able in both Sport (ac­tu­ally the more tour­ing of the two?) and the MHR ver­sions (read ‘peakier’). Hav­ing rid­den both, I can say the sport ver­sion is the one 90% of scooter­ists would want, and only the ab­so­lute peak-bhp-hunters should seek the MHR ver­sion. Ei­ther kit can still be im­proved with a 60mm crank, but it’s not nearly as nec­es­sary as it used to be on the old ver­sion. Other nice touches on the new ver­sions of this kit in­clude up­graded cylin­der head, bet­ter cut outs in the spigot area, im­proved port­ing through­out, and a ver­tex pis­ton which is coated for bet­ter heat dis­si­pa­tion and re­duced fric­tion (I’m told).

With read­ily avail­able off-the-shelf carb, crank and ex­pan­sion cham­ber com­bi­na­tions… it’s very easy to build a Vespa en­gine which can ei­ther be a stonk­ing 30bhp beast or a stump-pulling 24bhp torque mon­ster. The choice is yours. But fancy carbs, cranks, pipes and en­gine build­ing/tun­ing tech­niques aside, what can the av­er­age scooter­ist ex­pect from a bolt-on kit? Well let’s take a look…

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