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Thread: SC250 Loud, Low-RPM Noise When Warm

  1. #1
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    SC250 Loud, Low-RPM Noise When Warm

    [VIDEO BELOW] -- I have an SC250 with 15k+ miles that I've had for 5 years. For the past 1-2k miles I've had an issue that has gotten worse over time. My mechanic can't solve it (Scuderia in SF) even though they've tried to twice.

    They've changed the belt, sanded the clutch, and inspected the rollers.

    The bike is totally fine when it's cold, but if I'm driving in traffic, particularly stop and go, or hills, after about 10-15 minutes it starts to make a very loud grunt / grinding sound in what I'm guessing is the 800-1,200 RPM range, that seems to be coming from the clutch / engine. It used to start after 25-30 minutes, now it's much sooner.

    It doesn't inhibit driving, but it's quite loud, and makes everyone nearby turn around. I'd love to get it solved. Bike is perfect otherwise.

    Side question, how long are these bikes known to last?

    https://youtu.be/L8lvk7bEgOQ
    Last edited by rjackson32; 09-07-2018 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Added Video

  2. #2
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    your shop doesnt know how to clean up a clutch pack or bevel the clutch pads??
    If youre stopping and starting alot... check the clutch pack and bell. Real easy to service/clean.
    Make sure your variator vent is in place and the inside of the variator assembly is clean.


    Also loop the video to 30 seconds in the future so people can actually see it when it loads.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Member Pinkscoot's Avatar
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    Have you done any service to the CVT in the time you have owned it? As Turbo sad you need to do a full service on the clutch and variator then see what you have.
    Italian scoots owned: 2003 Scarabeo 150, 1998 Italjet Velocifero, 2009 Vespa GTS 250, 2012 Vespa S50, 2007 BV 250, 1977 150 Sprint Veloce (future project) and Vespa ET2 (future project)

  4. #4
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    Yes, the shop I take it to (Aprilia dealer) has made two attempts:

    9/2015 @ 9.8k miles (issue was not present) - Performed major 12.5k mile service including new CVT belt and cleaning of rollers
    11/2016 @ 11.2k miles (first time they tried to solve it) - "sanded and chamfered clutch shoes and drum" (DID NOT IMPROVE THE PROBLEM)
    2/2017 @ 11.6k miles -- "installed new clutch spring" (DID NOT IMPROVE THE PROBLEM)

    I'm at 16k miles today and It has gotten progressively worse. By progressively worse I mean the noise starts sooner and sooner. Two years ago it would only happen after 25-30 minutes of riding. Now it happens after 10-15 minutes.
    Last edited by rjackson32; 09-09-2018 at 11:24 PM.

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    I should note that I took off the air filter cover today (that's about the extent of my handy-work / available time) and the filter was dirty. I rubbed a thin layer of black grime off the filter and some grime out of the cover.

    Turbo, what / where is the variator vent you're referring to?
    Last edited by rjackson32; 09-10-2018 at 11:45 AM.

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    its on the front of the variator cover.

  7. #7
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    Thanks - Is it just the small rubber hose?

    And, is the variator cover the plastic cover with the air fiter in it or is that different?

    I'm sorry to report that my cleaning of the air filter had no impact on the problem. Still pesky as ever.

  8. #8
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    correct... lil spongy thing that keeps debris out of the variator area.

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    To clean the CVT filter you have to remove it and wash it in warm soapy water. This needs to be done at every oil change if you ride on fairly clean roads and possibly every 1,000 to 2,000 miles if you ride on dusty roads or where there are a lot of birds/leaves/pollen present otherwise the belt will overheat and start flapping excessively.

    This is what the currently sold CVT filter cover looks like (you remove the two screws and gently pull out the sponge rubber filter to clean it):

    http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scrip...x+AP8580256%29

    The CVT Cooling Filter is a little over $3 and probably should be replaced by now:
    http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scrip...x+AP8577006%29

    Whenever the clutch is removed the needle bearings it idles on need to have the grease in them renewed or the shaft it idles on will get scored and the needle bearings worn making it so the clutch will wobble at takeoff and make a lot of noise.

    The final drive gears in the back of the bike need to have their oil changed at the same time as the motor oil and a high quality synthetic gear lube is required. If this is skipped especially if the CVT air filter has not been seeing regular cleaning then the gearbox may have overheated and burned out the bearings inside the gearbox or damaged the heat treatment on the gears in the worst case scenario.

    How long the bikes last is highly dependent on the user based on how they ride and maintain the bike. Its not unheard of for a bike maintained by the book to see over 100,000 miles. I see plenty with 50,000 miles on them still with the original clutch and variator and having nothing but scheduled maintenance.
    Last edited by Rockynv; 09-17-2018 at 08:47 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for the detail! - I removed the CVT air filter tonight (the original version) and cleaned it, but it wasn't very dirty. Just a bit of dust. I doubt it's the culprit.

    I'll change the final drive oil this weekend. Is 75W-90 what I need to use? Do I need to source a new gasket?

    Do you know the part numbers for the needle bearings or gear bearings or a good DIY for how to accress them?
    Last edited by rjackson32; 09-17-2018 at 11:40 PM.

  11. #11
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    Scooter Robot shows how on the Vespa 250/300 however its similar on the Piaggia, Aprilila and Gilera of the same displacement:

  12. #12
    apriliaforum newb thunderkat59's Avatar
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    I'll be watching this thread. My 250 only has 1900 miles on it, and when its up on the stand when I start it,
    there is a random, occasional, knocking noise coming from under the belt/CVT cover. Not that bad, but worried it could
    grow into something like this.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
    I'll be watching this thread. My 250 only has 1900 miles on it, and when its up on the stand when I start it,
    there is a random, occasional, knocking noise coming from under the belt/CVT cover. Not that bad, but worried it could
    grow into something like this.
    Most times that will simply be roller rattle at that mileage on a new bike however if you are talking about a near to decade old Sport City that has less than 2,000 miles the belt could be getting ready to shred due to its advanced age or the rollers could be delaminating. When the clutch gets extremely worn you may hear the plates start to rattle but that should not be for another 40,000 miles.

    Biggest mistake people make when they get these Garage Queens is failing to restore them using OEM supplies. At a minimum the tires, belt and rollers needed replacing and the grease inside the clutch renewed before the bike was even taken on a test ride unless you had verifiable proof that the seller already did this. I have yet to have a seller give me such proof so I play it safe.

    At this age think of how many 2 year brake and coolant flushes could have been skipped too. When I get one like this I treat it like it was just taken out of mothballs and ZeroSet all the services/consumables. Note that the original air filters did not hold up well to the fumes from ethanol fuels and need to be replaced too.

    Also do not use Brake Clean or any other solvent on the variator as that will dry out the Boston Bronze bearing that the moving sheave slides on. That is another big mistake that many folks make. You should expect to get 40,000 to 50,000 miles from the clutch and variator in a Piaggio powered bike if you take care of it.

    Do not neglect cleaning the CVT filter regulary in warm soapy water either. This is critical to belt, roller and clutch life. Minimum is at every oil change however there is no harm in doing it more often. After a long ride in the country where there is sand, dust, feathers, leaves, etc I will clean the filter when I get back.

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