• Apr 7, 2024 from 9:00am to 3:30pm
  • Location: East of Melbourne
  • Latest Activity: Apr 8

VCoM’s Classic Scooter “Blue-Smoke” Ride is on once again. This year we’ll be riding in the cool dry days of Autumn on Sunday 7 April.
Note: This event is not open to modern auto Vespas. The event is also for VCoM members only.
This ride is organised especially for club members who own classic scooters. The event acknowledges the passion they have for older geared two-stroke motor scooters while also celebrating the joy of riding them. The older your scooter, the better. Vehicles from the 1940s - 50s are particularly welcome. Pillions are welcome too. If your ’stable’ includes more than just a Vespa, then feel free to choose a scooter of another marque to ride on the day. This event is not a race and will not be conducted as such. Slower scooters can ride at any pace that suits them. 
You need to be a member of the Vespa Club of Melbourne to participate. Due to the logistics of a big ride, places are capped at 40 so we ask you to register on this event page to reserve a place and to help us cater for lunch. Its free! Attendees will also receive an event sticker on the day.
This year we thought we’d be a bit more adventurous with our “Blue-Smoke” ride and get out further away from Melbourne. Last Monday (Labour Day Holiday) six classic Vespa owners tested the proposed route to Warburton. It has been designed to stay away from the busy highway with only two short 2-km sections of 80 km/hr to contend with. In spite of above 30 degree temperatures, the test team had a great morning out and endorsed the route as being suitable for all classic scooters. It is only 30 kms longer than previous Blue Smoke rides in the Hurstbridge area.
Warburton is an attractive town nestled in a valley between mountains 75 kms east of Melbourne. The brooding hulk of Mt Donna Buang frames the town. Behind the row of old quaint timber shops in the main street there is a delightful picnic spot along the banks of the Yarra River. Here you’ll find dogs, ducks and kids splashing amongst the rocks in its bubbling waters. In days gone by grand guest houses provided a retreat in fresh mountain air as an escape from the grimy city. The town still retains its health resort reputation. Pretty houses with woodfire smoke drifting from their chimneys set in lovely English gardens make “Warby” a very picturesque town. In the old days steam trains used to bring in flour and wheat for the Sanitarium Health Food Factory. A new factory was built in 1936 after floods washed away the original one. Although no longer in use, the building is considered a modernist architectural gem. Early Autumn colours should provide some postcard pretty views. 
The Route
The route provides sensational riding with magnificent picturesque rural scenery. It will be a lazy meandering ride on delightful sealed back roads. Mountains form a constant backdrop to rolling pastoral landscapes, farmhouses, vineyards, orchards, berry farms, creeks and rivers. At times our road provides an intimate experience where the forest canopy cocoons us, at others it presents an open vista as grand as a Wagner Opera. These are great roads for two wheels and for those who enjoy curves and the unfolding ever-changing narrative of a winding road. The route to Warburton is via Park Orchards, Wonga Park, Coldstream, Gruyere, Woori Yallock and Milgrove. Just before lunch at the cricket ground we will all fill up at the only petrol station in Warburton. Our 52 km return route to Mount Evelyn is via Yellingbo and takes us through the attractive red soil fruit and berry growing district around Wandin East. The ride totals about 128 kms. The ride will finish in Mount Evelyn with a farewell coffee. Participants can make their own way home from here as Canterbury Road is just a short distance away.
Ride Support
The ride will be corner marked so you don’t have to worry about navigation. Just follow the directions given by the rider who will be marker at each turn. We have organised a van capable of carrying two scooters in case of breakdowns. The van will sweep the route at the rear of the ride. The ride is covered by the VCM's Public Liability Insurance.
Lunch and Refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Vespa Club of Melbourne. After refuelling, we’ll assemble all our classic scooters for display at the Warburton Cricket Ground which is our lunch spot. 
Farewell Coffee break at Mount Evelyn.
Please be sure to indicate your attendance on this page as we need to know the numbers for catering purposes.
Departure Point and Time
Britannia Mall, 485 Whitehorse Road, Mitcham (about 24 kms east of Melbourne). Pull into the left (north side) service road at the start of the Mitcham shopping strip before Mitcham Road < map > Please consider other Britannia Mall patrons and quietly park your scooter neatly along the west wall of the Pet Stock Store as this side of the mall wall has no doorways.
Since daylight savings time ends the day before this event, we’ll head off earlier than normal in order to keep some extra light up our sleeve in the afternoon. Departure will be at 9:30 amsharp (AEST). Arrive earlier if you need coffee and breakfast beforehand. Remember to put your clock back 1 hour before going to bed on Saturday night. Please arrive with a full tank as there will be no fuel stops until Warburton. If your scooter can’t manage a distance of 80 kms on a tank, then you will need to carry fuel.
A full ride brief will be sent out to all registered participants in the weeks prior to this event.
Volunteers Required
We are calling for several experienced volunteers to act as corner markers for this ride. These people will ride at the front of the pack and drop off at various corners as required. The ride will be halted briefly at a number of safe locations to allow the corner markers to ride up to the front of the group once more behind the leader.
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    Loved every minute of a wonderful day out.

    Have been bragging about it ;)

    Thanks everyone.. great bunch of riding companions.

    A huge thank you to all 22 intrepid riders who braved the grey drizzly conditions for the “Classic Blue Smoke Ride.” I was staggered and delighted at how many attendees actually showed up, some coming from as far as Bendigo and Ballarat. For a number of members, it was their first ride with the club too so well done. The roads were wet, the corners were slippery but onwards we pushed. I was hoping our journey to Warburton would be bathed in clear Autumn sunshine to make the landscape sparkle but alas that was not to be. Low lying cloud meant the promised views of the mountains alluded us. Being cheerful in the face of adversity appears to be a character trait of classic scooter owners.
    Thanks to Pete and his big blue van, to Clare (The Pie Lady) for delivering our hot lunch and to Roy, Philip, Luke, Wes and Bo who tested the route some weeks before. There were many compliments about the pies which I shall pass onto the Woori Yallock Bakery.
    A special note of appreciation to Rolf and Adam who chose to ride the oldest Vespas from their stables in keeping with the spirit of the event. It was an amazing effort to get these 4 hp machines up and down all those hills on the winding 128 km route. A prize of a Vespa House T-shirt and a $50 voucher was to be awarded to the oldest scooter in attendance. A dilemma ensued when both handlebar era vehicles scooters turned out to be manufactured in the same year. Rolf graciously solved the issue by telling us he had a 1958 engine in a 1954 Douglas frame. A sterling effort lads and congratulations to Adam.

    There were three breakdowns perfectly timed to occur at the very end of the ride beside our farewell cafe. Anthony’s camel went lame but by the art of zen, meditation, incantation, incense or some such magic he managed to get it going again out of sight from the rest of us. 
    Next, Jay’s PX refused to start. With the collective power of our classic minds turned to the problem the issue didn’t have a chance of not being solved. There was spark, there was fuel to the carb float bowl, okay so the jets are blocked. Let’s clean them. Still no luck. It wouldn’t fire up. A finger placed over the spark plug hole came out completely dry. You can’t have combustion without fuel. There must be a blockage inside the carb body. None of us carried the large Allen key tool required to remove the carburettor from its mount. Then Ray remembered a trick he used to do to his Holden. I volunteered my thumb to place over the carburettor intake and block it off while Ray took charge of the electric starter. The piston sucked in air not from where the air filter usually goes as that was blocked by a thumb, but from the tiny hole in the bottom of the float bowl which feeds the jets. Whatever flotsam was hiding in the carb body didn’t have a chance and got sucked out through the brass Venturi tube. Jay’s scooter was back in action. This was a new “learning” for most of us.
    By now many riders were making their way home. However when Lisa went to start her scooter it refused to fire up. This time there was no spark. Stefano took charge. We tried a new spark plug. No luck. Fitted a new ignition lead, ditto. We swapped over the CDI unit to a spare. Still nothing. Well that just left the stator as the culprit. Now who on earth would be carrying a spare one of those? Well, somebody did - a brand new one too. It was a privilege to watch Stefano at work. So quick. The flywheel came off, the stator and wires hauled out, a new stator fitted. If you blinked you would have missed it. With no timing light, Stefano just guessed the firing point. At the traffic lights on the way home, Lisa said that her PX was running better than ever. Thanks to the new timing no doubt.
    So the day ended with two very informative outdoor workshops. What a giggle

    Fabulous ride David .👏😍🛵🛵
    The rain made the scenery even more spectacular. 
    Thanks Clare  "the Pie lady " for delivering a wonderful lunch. 
    Lovely tto sit behind some of older scooters as they made their way through the countryside . 
    Thank you to all who participated  and  supported the event and other riders
    So much Vespa love and commerardery

    A special thanks ffrom me 🙏 for David carrying a full work shop of spare parts and tools 😳😇👌👏😍And Stefano 🤩 for his skill and patience executing the fix . A new Stator replaced  in the PX and she purred all the way home without a hiccup. 



    Thanks for a great ride David. Well planned and a fantastic group of people to ride with


    Thanks everyone for the fun ride!


    Thanks David and everyone for all for help today. It was a great adventure. All repairs helped me to find my way home safely. Thanks again.


    Cracker ride today. Full of excitement. Thanks to all that organised it went very smoothly. Hope everyone got back home safe. My highlight was taking a left hand corner and scraping the centrestand on the gravel when the rear wheel locked and the tyre lost its grip. To fast. Worn tyre. But as shown the old scooters can still do the distance. The maintenance expo on the side of the road was a real bonus. Looking forward to in scooter engine rebuild.🛵


    This was going to be my first club event. Left Elwood on way to start and was riding into rain,  got a little too heavy so had to turn back.  Very disappointed to miss this ride.  Hope you enjoyed the ride and i look forward to my next "first" club event

    Stay safe



    I have woken up to sick children, Unfortunately I will have to be a late withdrawl.

    I hope everyone has a fun and safe ride, wish I could be there.


     Should be a good day. Lovely roads. Need to keep an eye on the weather. Camel checked and ready to go.👍

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