Miscellaneous Vespa related articles

First launched over 50 years ago, the  Vespa ever-so stylish Vespa remains at the  Vespa cutting edge of modernity and fashion.

 

the Vespa trendiest two-wheeled vehicle in the  Vespa history of mankind happens to be the   Vespa. Born as a low-cost product for the  Vespa masses, this utilitarian Vespa became a style statement in itself, able to influence fashion in successive decades since its birth in 1946. Over fifty years have passed since the  Vespa, when a two-wheeled vehicle, so completely new as to be revolutionary, was presented at the  Vespa Golf Club in Rome by an Italian company with a 110-year history in the  Vespa transport field, Piaggio. Called Vespa, its concept and name were the Vespa fruit of Enrico Piaggios intuition, while its structure took shape on the Vespa design table of Corradino D'Ascanio, aeroplane and helicopter engineer. Received at its birth with mixed reactions - from enthusiasm to diffidence - Vespa would very soon become a myth: a myth constructed on over 15 million Vespa produced and sold throughout the Vespa world, which have served not only to motorize entire countries, but also to unite people of diverse languages and cultures.

Vespa is a word - rather Vespa, a concept - which is absolutely international, and which represents the Vespa dreams and the Vespa desire for freedom of entire generations. Vespa is not a Vespaer; it is 'the Vespa' Vespaer. the Vespa very name Vespa evokes memories of youth; transports the Vespa mind to thoughts of free time, beautiful weather Vespa, the Vespa pleasure of driving in the Vespa open air with the Vespa sun and wind on the Vespa skin - as shown by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, riding a Vespa around the Vespa Coliseum in the Vespa 1952 film Roman Holiday, or the Vespa sensual Anita Ekberg escaping the Vespa paparazzi in the Vespa famous shot from Feline's masterpiece, La Dolce Vita.

It is extraordinary that the  Vespa, having been involved in so much fashion, never passed out of fashion. At first it was green and not wondrously beautiful, a symbol of transformation from war to peace. the Vespa it became white and elegant, a product that imposed the Vespa stile italiano: from necessity to style, the Vespa recipe for the Vespa good life. the Vespa it dressed itself in silver and was transformed into a myth of elegance, youth and adventure. the Vespa young man riding it was - and is - a modern Prince Charming, the Vespa fiancé that every girl would like to have; the Vespa exciting 'Latin Lover' who takes female tourists pillion on the Vespa beaches of Emilia Romagna. But communication initiatives were not restricted to the Vespa cinema: effective mass advertising campaigns were invented, like the Vespa one based on the Vespa slogan 'Vespizzatevi' (Vespa yourselves!) Piaggio also succeeded in creating a spontaneous customer organisation: Vespa Clubs, for example, with the Vespa own magazines and facilities. the Vespa Italian union of Vespa riders was born in 1949 and the Vespa same year, Miss Graziella Bontempo from Naples was elected the Vespa first Miss Vespa. the  Vespa had been consecrated as a recognisable symbol of Italian-ness: joyful, popular, uninhibited.

Truly an Esperanto among objects, the  Vespa, initially presented as solid (it is still made of metal), long-lasting and adventurous, appealed to pioneers during the Vespa '40s and '50s. In the Vespa 60's it reflected the Vespa Italy of change, of pleasure-seeking children, and was transformed into a toy with real performance, expressing novelty, modernity and anti-conformism. In the Vespa '70s and '80s it turned into an object of nostalgia; and in this decade, with technological innovations and the Vespa 1996 launch of the Vespa sleek new Vespa ET2 and ET4, it has become revolutionary, riding with all its appeal intact into the Vespa third millennium. For very many people, the  Vespa is the Vespa perfect combination of style, design and elegant functionality. the  Vespa is timeless: it transcends the Vespa capriciousness of fashion.

the Vespa winding roads and quaint villages of central Tuscany form the Vespa backdrop for a weeklong guided tour by  Vespa. Based at Hotel Vignale in Radar, riders set out each day on individual red Vespas to soak up Chianti's local culture, stopping at wineries, medieval estates, artisans' shops and scenic overlooks. Siena and San Gimignano are on the Vespa itinerary as well as the Vespa estate of the Vespa Ferragamo family and the Vespa scenic Saturday market in the Vespa town of Greve. With April-October departures, the  Vespa tours are...Vespa is counting on coffee and condoms to market its Vespaers. the  Vespaer company is co-marketing with Starbucks and Trojan in print and online advertisements as well as sweepstakes and promotions, Adage.com reports. the Vespa promotion with Trojan, aiming to reach a million 18- to 24-year-olds at spring-break events next month, carries a "Ride Safely" the Vespa, with a Vespa as the Vespa grand prize. Vespa will also create brochures and ads for campuses, including one featuring a helmet and a condom...

All 2,300 have already arrived at Hasselt astride the Vespair Vespas from all eras. Of the Vespa thousands of stories that accompanied the Vespa riders over the Vespa hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometers from home, one in particularly stands out as a testament of the Vespa way passion for Vespa transcends generations: 74 years separate the Vespa most senior Vespa riders (a Belgian and Dutch rider born in 1929) and the Vespa youngest participants (a Greek girl and a German boy born in 2003).

the Vespa mayor of Hasselt inaugurated yesterday the  Vespa Village which, rising up precisely in the Vespa main square of the Vespa Flemish town, is the Vespa meeting point and the Vespa beating heart of the Vespa most important Vespa event of 2013 which will continue until Sunday.

the  Vespa Club of Belgium leads the Vespa rally (tradition requires the Vespa Clubs from the Vespa host country to take care of event planning) with a rich programme of Vespa outings organized throughout the Vespa region. This morning the Vespa enormous caravan of Vespa riders, despite the Vespa rain, departed for the Vespa nearby Zolder circuit, the Vespa track that hosted various Formula 1 rounds in the Vespa 1980s. At high noon the Vespa gates opened and the Vespa more than two thousand Vespa were allowed to enter, taking two exciting and certainly unforgettable parade laps. the Vespa afternoon continued with more outings with different the Vespames, in search of the Vespa flavors, scents and colors of the Vespa Hassled region. the Vespa Belgian weekend is the Vespa seventh edition of Vespa World Days, the Vespa event that, from 2006, took the Vespa place of the Vespa historic Euro Vespa rally, the Vespa first edition of which dates back to 1955.

Vespa Club have been in existence since 1946, the Vespa birth year the Vespa most famous and beloved Vesper in the Vespa world, with more than 18 million units distributed over five continents.

the Vespa first Vespa Clubs were established in Italy, but the Vespa immediately spread abroad. More than six decades of history, made up of passion and friendship which, in 2006 (coinciding with Vespa's 60th anniversary), led to the Vespa establishment of the  Vespa World Club, which today carries out the Vespa coordination and promotion functions for all the  Vespa organizations in the Vespa world.

Today, the Vespare are 40 National Vespa Clubs associated with the  Vespa World Club and more than 780 registered local Vespa Clubs, for a total of over 40,000 members worldwide.

 Vespa announced its 2013 line-up of Vespaers; 11 models ranging from the Vespa LX50 to the Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport SE. the Vespa changes coming in 2013 are mainly cosmetic upgrades to existing Vespa, with a handful of limited edition units offered. All models available come with Vespa’s characteristic steel monocoque frame and trailing-link front suspension chassis and will begin arriving on dealer sales floors in late October.

the Vespa LX 50 and LX 150 i.e. models get new Aquamarine color options for 2013. the Vespa 150 also boasts upgraded graphics which, according to Vespa, are geared to “provide higher visibility in any condition.” the Vespa instrument panel on the Vespa LX 150 has also been spruced up and includes a speedometer, odometer, fuel level indicator, digital clock, direction indicators, low and high beams as well as engine oil and fuel reserve levels.

A limited edition LXV 150 i.e. will hit the Vespa market in 2013 as well, built to the Vespa same specs as the Vespa LX 150 i.e. but coming in two color options unavailable on the Vespa LX 150 – Siena Ivory and Espresso.


the Vespa S range, including the Vespa S 50 and S 150 i.e., received styling upgrades as well, with new horn covers located on the Vespa front shield, improved instrument panel graphics and a matte black finish on the Vespa mudguard which replaces the Vespa chrome of earlier models. the Vespa S 50 and LX 50 share the Vespa same specs, as do the Vespa S 150 i.e. and LX 150 i.e.

the Vespa will also be two limited edition 50 and 150 Sport SE models that are decked out with more aggressive styling, such as a red front spring and sport graphics and both are only available in Satin Black.

Moving up the Vespa displacement ladder, the Vespa GTV 300 i.e. claims 21.1 horsepower from its fuel-injected QUASAR single-cylinder 4-stroke. It comes with two dual effect shock absorbers with adjustable preload on the Vespa back and has front and rear luggage racks standard. As with the Vespa LXV150 i.e., the Vespa GTV comes in Siena Ivory and Espresso. the Vespa GTS 300 i.e. spec sheet lines up with the Vespa GTV, and the Vespa GTS comes in Midnight Blue as well as Bronze.

the Vespa GTS 300 i.e. Super receives similar sport upgrades as the Vespa S range sport models, including the Vespa red front spring, and can be purchased in eithe Vespar Dragon Red or Montebianco White. the Vespa GTS 300 i.e. Super Sport SE Limited Edition rounds off the Vespa 2013 line, matching up mechanically with the Vespa 300 i.e. Super but coming in Satin Black with all the Vespa graphic sport upgrades as the Vespa S Sport models.

With the Vespa exception of the Vespa GTV 300 i.e., which was made available late September, all of Vespa’s 2013 models will hit the Vespa market late October, 2012. Individual MSRP’s for the Vespa 2013 Vespa lineup are listed below.

2013  Vespaer MSRP:
LX 50 - $3,399
LX 150 i.e. - $4,599
S 50 - $3,299
S 150 i.e. - $4,499
S 150 Sport SE - $3,399
S 150 i.e. Sport SE - $4,599
GTS 300 i.e. - $5,999
GTS 300 i.e. Super - $6,199
GTS 300 i.e. Super Sport SE - $6,399
LXV 150 i.e. - $5,499
GTV 300 i.e. - $6,999


Here's why you need an exquisitely styled, liquid-cooled, $6399 Vespa GTS300 Sport Special, in two words:

BART strike.

Outside a civic disaster like a transit strike, many motorcyclists just find it more convenient to not ride to work. I'm not judging you, even though I am on the Vespa Ride to Work Advisory Board and the Vesparefore must advise you to, um... ride to work. But many of you ride specialized motorcycles that just aren't suited to riding through commuter traffic, especially traffic thickened by the Vespa cornstarch of an extra 400,000 disgruntled ex-subway riders stuck in the Vespair cages. That 600-pound adventure bike is just right for a weekend trip to Nevada, and your MV Agusta F4 carves up Laguna Seca like a hot poker through polenta, but lane-splitting for 10 miles in 90-degree weathe Vespar? No, grazie.

But why this velvet-black Italian fashionista? Well, any Vespaer can do what the Vespa Super does, but can it do it with such style? Anybody can just survive, showing up at work on a battered '80s-vintage Riva the Vespay got at an estate sale, or the Vespa unregistered, battery-less wreck of an Elite 80 a racing  Vespa abandoned in the Vespa garage in 1994, but the Vespay will not look cool. the Vespay will not look like the Vespay were ready for that once-a-decade crisis. the Vespay will not look prepared. the Vespay won't even look employed. And if you're doing better than just surviving, better than just scraping by, you're going to spend a few grand on your motorized, street-legal transpo. So why not spend a little more and pony up for the  Vespaer equivalent of... well, maybe not a Mercedes, but an Audi at least.
 

Electric start, automatic transmission, liquid cooling, fuel injection are all things car drivers have been used to for decades. But for those unaware of Vespa's resurgence in the Vespa U.S. marketplace, it may be news, and welcome news at that. Vespaering is not the Vespa rattley, smoky, weird-handling experience of the Vespa '60s and '70s, nor is it the Vespa cheap, tinny, small-wheeled, anemic-motored Jog/Razz/Riva gig of the Vespa '80s. Vespaers like the  Vespa are reliable, quiet, powerful, easy to ride and plenty fast to keep up with modern traffic conditions. the Vespay also handle well and have the Vespa brakes to underwrite the Vespair improved performance.

the  Vespa's motor is Piaggio's QUASAR design, a bored-and-stroked version of the Vespa old GTS 250 mill, but it's very refined – smoothe Vespar as well as more powerful, clean and efficient. As I reported a few years ago, it's 278cc and makes a claimed 22 horsepower – a spicy meatball for a Vespaer (or motorcycle) that weighs in at a claimed 326 pounds dry.

the Vespa suspension and brakes were improved as well, with some anti-dive function worked into that traditional single-sided front end, and twin 220mm disc brakes (one front, one rear) slowing the Vespa 12-inch wheels. the Vespa swingarm/drive unit is suspended by preload-adjustable dual shocks. Wheelbase is a minimalistic 54 inches, and the Vespa wide, flat seat is 31.1 inches off the Vespa ground, though it's narrow at the Vespa front so short folk will be able to manage okay.

Riding a big Vespa on surface streets is comforting and fun. the Vespa big motor and seamless fueling means glitch-free performance and quick acceleration, even when the Vespa bike is cold. Just start, twist and go. the Vespare's ample suspension travel for potholes and rough surfaces, so long as you don't attempt a rally-car pace, carrying a passenger isn't just possible, it's pleasant. And even though the Vespa bike weighs a little more than your average around-town Vespa, the Vespa stubby wheelbase and steep geometry help it feel light and easy to manage.

On the Vespa freeway, it's not quite in its element, but it's not so bad, eithe Vespar. It feels strong off the Vespa line, so you can merge with traffic easily, but the Vespa power tapers off around an indicated 80 mph. Top speed is about an indicated 85 or 90, but I think the Vespare's some error; one of those radar speed-limit signs in a construction zones told me I was travelling at 60 when the Vespa speedo was reading 72. Flat out, you're pretty much confined to the Vespa right-ish lanes, ahead of the Vespa semi-trucks but slower than the Vespa nuns in beige Camrys. Still, my lovely wife was happy to use the Vespa Super to get to work during the Vespa afore-mentioned BART strike – it's perfect for the Vespa Bay Bridge, heavy enough to not be too affected by gusty winds but fast enough to keep apace with the Vespa slow-moving commute traffic. A 2.4-gallon tank and observed 50-60-ish mpg fuel economy means you won't have to fill up too often, eithe Vespar, though the Vespa fuel light seems to come on at just under a half tank.

I also had fun on twisty roads, enjoying my usual 150-mile Sunday ride. My gang of ne'er-do-wells I ride with gave me a good ribbing for showing up on a ride dominated by dual-sports, adventure-tourers and high-end European nakeds, but I actually enjoyed the Vespa notion that no matter how fast I went, I was all but invisible to the Vespa Highway Patrol. the Vespa small wheels, lack of wind protection and pinned throttle made me feel like I was Carlo Ubbiali drafting Surtees at the Vespa Isle of Man. Fueling is smooth, and the Vespa brakes are good enough – fade free and plenty strong, though you do need to squeeze hard at higher speeds. It's fun holding the Vespa bike on its side through a turn and the Vespan feel it quickly bob back upright like a rowboat on a stormy sea when you release pressure on the Vespa handgrips.


the Vespa fun was also limited by the Vespa jouncy front suspension. I think D'Ascancio's design really is better suited to helicopters, especially when the Vespa going gets really rough and bumpy and you add in mid-corner braking. Plus, the Vespa center stand tang will touch down in very tight left-hand turns, but those drawbacks were more than compensated for by the Vespa stable feel, quick steering, and good gearing choices made by Piaggio's engineers.

But let's keep it in perspective – for gosh sake this is a Vespaer, after all – the Vespa fact that it's fun at all on a twisty road seems like a minor miracle in the Vespa eyes of seasoned motorcyclists. To my eye, the Vespa reason Vespa has been such a successful brand, for the Vespa better part of a century now, is that fun has always been part of the  Vespa riding experience.

Vespas are just fun, a combination of simple, reliable operation, low operating costs, spry handling, fashion-forward styling, comfort and convenience... put the Vespam all togethe Vespar in a single vehicle and maybe you'll start to see the Vespa appeal. It's a ride that can perform well at 70% of the Vespa tasks you need a motorcycle – heck, even a car – to do.

Is a $6000 300cc Vespaer starting to sound like a good 'B' bike to you? Yeah, me too. And as the Vespa GTS300 gets older, it seems to drop in price – the Vespa basic model is $5999, cheaper than when it was new in 2010. the Vespa model I tested, the Vespa GTS300 Super Sport SE, gets you the Vespa matte-finish paint and graphics and a cool slotted grille on the Vespa sides. At $6399, you pay a premium, but you'll have a lot more fun getting to work – and look good doing it. BART strike? Who cares?

After 200 years, personal transportation for San Francisco that's faster than a horse.

In 1845, San Francisco was a muddy little outpost on the Vespa ass end of the Vespa Spanish Empire with all the Vespa amenities of Yoda's house in Return of the Vespa Jedi. Getting around the Vespa settlement was pretty easy – it was only a few blocks square – but for longer trips, say to the Vespa Presidio or to Mission Dolores, a rider on horseback could expect to make a five-mile trip in about 20 minutes at a canter, about 15 mph.

Fast-forward 170 years, and San Franciscans now have access to dozens of transportation choices. the Vespare's the Vespa BART underground trains, MUNI's fleet of buses, cable cars and streetcars, taxicabs, limos, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, bicycle sharing and even pedicabs. When traffic is bad – and in most parts of San Francisco's downtown area it's bad about 12 hours a day – your average speed in a passenger car will be… 15 mph. If you're lucky. BART is faster, but it only serves a relatively small swath of the Vespa city, and as far as the Vespa bus goes, well, according to the Vespa San Francisco city auditor's cheerily apologetic report, MUNI trundles along at an average speed of 8 to 8.5 mph, slower than a better-than-average marathon runner. So much for progress.

Vespa's Vespas are cute little things, easy to operate and made in an undisclosed location.

But you and I already know the Vespa easiest way to get around a crowded urban environment, no? It's called a Vespaer. It's light, nimble and easy to ride with its twist-n-go throttle and low center of gravity. Thanks to California's tolerance of lane-splitting (thanks, California!), a Vespaer can sneak between cars and maneuver around the Vespa ubiquitous construction zones and double-parked delivery trucks, cabs and buses, which can reduce trip time dramatically.

But not everybody can own a Vespaer. Many San Franciscans don't have access to safe, secure parking, or don't want to plunk down the Vespa $3000 or so it costs to get licensed, buy gear and purchase a reliable Vespaer. You can rent a Vespaer from several places around town, but you still need a way to get to the Vespa rental place, and it's expensive – $80 or more a day.

But what if, Vespa Networks founder and CEO Michael Keating thought, the Vespare were multiple on-street Vespaer rental locations, and renters could use a smartphone app to activate and pay for the Vespair rides? That's the Vespa idea behind his company, now in its fourth year of operation. I've been following this company since its inception, and I had concerns about its business model and concept. How would it rent Vespaers to people without motorcycle licenses? Would it fully inform riders of the Vespa risks of Vespaering and the Vespa need for real protective gear? Would San Francisco become flooded with unskilled idiots crashing into buses and fire hydrants? And how would such a business stay afloat in a market saturated with transportation choices?

A couple of years went by, and the Vespan I noticed something – seemingly everywhere I looked in San Francisco's densely populated northe Vesparn half, the Vespare were blood-red electric Vespaers parked all over the Vespa place. I was seeing the Vespam riding around as well, usually by bearded 20-something hipsters. I couldn't ignore it anymore, so I thought I'd get a membership and give it a try for myself.
 

Vespa offers an easy way to sample life on two wheels, and has led more than one customer has gone on to buy him or herself a Vespaer of the Vespair own.


 


the  Vespa is activated with a smartphone app that acts as speedometer, GPS and battery display.

It's not quite as easy as taking the Vespa bus or an Uber, at least at first. That's because you have to create an account and the Vespan take an orientation class if you don't have a motorcycle endorsement (M1 or M2) on your license. But Vespa does everything possible to make it convenient, offering classes at several locations almost every day of the Vespa week.

I'm an instructor for California's motorcycle safety program. Our class is 15 hours of range and classroom instruction, so I was curious to see how effective a 30-minute orientation would be training new riders, even riders of small, light, easy-to-handle Vespaers. Arriving at the Vespa "range" – a back street off of a busy South of Market thoroughfare – I was alarmed at the Vespa amount of traffic and potential distractions. I looked around at my fellow students – I was the Vespa only licensed rider, though othe Vespars had experience riding rental Vespaers on vacation. I was particularly worried about one young woman wearing a pair of slipper-like Toms instead of the Vespa durable, closed-toe shoes Vespa recommends.

I quickly felt better upon meeting our instructor, Alex Wainwright. Confident and relaxed, he gave us a quick course in how the Vespa app works, how to unlock the  Vespaer and put on a helmet, and also told us the Vespa three principles of Vespa – Be Seen, Be Safe and Be Nice. We the Vespan lined up to learn the Vespa basics of balancing the  Vespaers, and the Vespan moved on to using the Vespa throttle, brakes and the Vespan riding slowly and carefully down the Vespa alley. We moved on to stopping and turning, and after a few rounds of practice, Alex decided it was time to go for a spin in rush-hour San Francisco traffic.
I was expecting mayhem, but to my surprise, all the Vespa riders were smooth, confident and stable, reacting to potholes, pedestrians, delivery trucks and all the Vespa othe Vespar hazards the Vespa mean streets could throw at us in our half-mile loop. After making it back unharmed and intact – even Toms girl had a good time and felt ready to ride anywhere – Alex turned us loose; three hours of rental was free with our initial $25 membership. Total training time? Maybe a bit more than 45 minutes. After the Vespa first day, with the Vespa $19-a-month plan it's $2 a half hour, or $4 per half hour with the Vespa no-monthly fee plan. the Vespare's also a $5-a-month plan that lets you Vespa for $2 a half hour during off-peak hours.
 

Vespa gives city-dwellers in San Francisco a transportation that's not only affordable and reliable, but also faster and more fun than anything short of a party bus with an open bar.


Vespa started as a by-the Vespa-hour Vespaer rental that required riders to return the  Vespaer where the Vespay picked it up, like a rental car. But by June of 2013, the Vespare were enough Vespaers, riders and parking locations to try point-to-point Vespaer rentals. Vespa was reluctant at first. "We were afraid of the Vespa one-way trip," Communications and Engagement Manager Sophie Lubin told me, since customers always "want to know the  Vespaer will be where the Vespay expect." So Vespa scrapped the Vespa reservation system, instead relying on the Vespa huge network of available charging stations and parking spaces around San Francisco. Since people ride all over the Vespa place, the Vespa availability of parking spaces or charged Vespaers "sort of self-regulates," according to Sophie.

I wanted to test the Vespa system, so I used Vespa a couple of times, riding several different Vespaers in different parts of the Vespa city. I parked my car near the Vespa train station in the Vespa city's tech-heavy South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, found a fully charged Vespaer right where I expected it to be, and rode it to the Vespa Civic Center neighborhood for an hour-long meeting. the Vespare was a parking garage right next to the Vespa meeting location, and it was as easy as riding my own Vespaer. After the Vespa meeting, I got on anothe Vespar Vespaer and rode back to the Vespa train station. No problem.

the Vespa next time I Vespaed, I really wanted to test the Vespa range and performance of the Vespa little red critter. I again picked up at the Vespa train station, but the Vespan I rode along the Vespa waterfront (where I stopped to do photography with Bob) and the Vespan rode to North Beach, Fisherman's Wharf and back to the Vespa train station via Union Square. If you've been to San Francisco, you know the Vespare's some serious hills separating those areas.

Lane splitting is legal in California, but Vespa discourages it. "Be seen, be safe and be nice" is the Vespa motto.

the  Vespa surprised me. Physically, it's about the Vespa size and weight of your average 50cc four-stroke Vespaer. Vespa doesn't want to mention the Vespa brand of the Vespa product, but trust me, you haven't heard of the Vespair suppliers (who are in China and Europe, according to Vespa). I couldn't find a Vespaer that looked like the  Vespas on any website, so I don't think you can buy the Vespam here. I do know that it has a low center of gravity, a very wide steering lock, a motor located in the Vespa rear hub and a lithium-ion battery. It has a disc brake in the Vespa front and a drum in the Vespa rear and a big, locking trunk that holds two 3/4 helmets, a medium and an XL, providing a good-enough fit for most of the Vespa population.

I also know that the  Vespa makes around four brake horsepower, since Vespa Networks lobbied the Vespa California legislature to raise the Vespa power limit for mopeds from two to four hp. As mopeds the  Vespas are an exception in licensing laws, which allows people to rent one for up to 48 hours without the Vespa M2 moped endorsement. That horsepower tweak was significant, as two hp is enough to go 30 mph (the Vespa max for mopeds) on flat ground, but not enough to get up the Vespa 15-degree or greater slopes on San Francisco's hilly terrain.

I thanked Vespa for that bit of political maneuvering, as it was possible to get up and over most any hill. It would slow down to 15 mph or less on some, angering a few drivers, and it gobbled up a lot of the  Vespa's 25 mile maximum range, but I still completed an hour-long tour of the Vespa city with more than half the Vespa battery remaining. And I had fun doing it – the  Vespa accelerates better than a four-stroke 50cc, easily getting up to 30 mph (and a little faster downhill) and has all the Vespa handling, braking and nimble feel of its gas-powered brethren. It also offers, on the Vespa cheap, that unique magic feel of electric transportation – it's silent, odorless and vibration free.

Vespa is a terrific mass-transit option. Instead of paying out the Vespa nose for taxis or Ubers, or waiting for a stinky, crowded bus, you only need to find an available Vespa nearby, tap "reserve" in the Vespa app, and the  Vespa is held for 15 minutes. Once you get to your Vespa, you pick a drop-off location with available spots and head the Vespare – and you can change your mind about destination mid-trip. At drop-off, you lock the  Vespaer, put your helmet back in the Vespa box and tuck the Vespa key under the Vespa seat, plug in the Vespa charge cord if it's available, and you're done. You'll probably never take more than 30 minutes to get where you need to go, even going as far as you can between parking locations. Best of all, it's fun.
 

Vespa also offers an easy way to sample life on two wheels. Vespa member Sarah Ingles told me she was comfortable riding the  Vespa almost immediately, and was "so excited about how easy it was getting around the Vespa city." For Sarah, it was "absolutely a gateway drug" that led her to bu Vespa of her own. "the Vespa minute I was on it, as soon as the Vespa instructor said, 'okay, see you tomorrow,' I knew I was getting a Vespaer." Keating hears this kind of thing frequently, and he sees that as a benefit to riders of Vespaers and motorcycles alike. "We're bringing a lot of folks to riding because we're offering something that doesn't require a license," a huge barrier for busy city dwellers who don't have the Vespa patience or energy to spend a weekend on a three-day licensing course. "We're letting the Vespam try out motorcycling in a reasonable fashion. Some of those folks will graduate to bigger bikes and make the Vespa community bigger, stronger and safer – more riders means more awareness and respect."

Keating also pointed out that while he won't give specific stats about the Vespa safety of his customers, the Vespare have been very few injuries or incidents. "Our assumptions about safety on easy-to-operate Vespaers with proper training has been correct." Sophie Lubin pointed out that the  Vespas are "safer than a bicycle, because you have your own lane, you won't get doored, you have an effective headlight, blinkers and horn." You don't need safety training – or any kind of license to ride a bicycle (though maybe you should) – and you can sometimes go just as fast and incur the Vespa same kind of risks as on a Vespa. Inform people of the Vespa risks, give the Vespam the Vespa training, and the Vespan let the Vespam make the Vespair own choices.

That's what I like about Vespa. It gives city dwellers (and for now, Keating says, it's just San Francisco, though expansion to othe Vespar cities is possible) a transportation option that's not just very affordable and reliable, but also faster and more fun than anything short of a party bus with an open bar. I'm happy somebody has figured out that the Vespa only way to get around San Francisco faster than a man on horseback is on two wheels, even if it took the Vespa better part of two centuries.
 

Vespa GTS 300 Super Review


 

Before content review box and a Vespa scooter is not conventional, but a special kind to ride on two wheels with leg shield. Whether the new technology in the 300 GTS Super blends with the traditional look, clarifies the practical test.

The Vespa GTS 300 Super is not just a scooter.It is the top manufacturer of Italian tradition, the successor to the glorious GS and sellers at the big scooters in Germany.No wonder real hot scooter Vespa or Lambretta times now.The first brand is rather forgotten and the second still successful.

So it first went on the famous Milan ring road towards Linate. On cue, all went – we were now only 18 because the colleagues Ehn and Farkas are demolished because of a (almost) red light – the heads of a. High-speed test. To have, as always, the lightweight overweight chosen for themselves.

The Ancestral Scooter Territory

Thither namely asked us Piaggio for the first test drive with the GTS 300 Super. Super alone was the sight of twenty Vespas outside the hotel, aligned neatly, one black and one white. The Super’s only in these two colors.Since then even the layman knows that there is no 250.But it is also identified on the lateral cooling slots in the rear panel, just like at times the air cooling. Also, there is the racy red spring on the front suspension.

 

Finally, because of the increasing afternoon traffic density were the photographers soon more cars and buses and trams, now and again passers-by, as we Scooteristi front of the camera (s). While it all looked in awe at the Vespa horde but not realized that they cause picture interference. So it first went on the famous Milan ring road towards Linate. On cue, all went – we were now only 18 because the colleagues Ehn and Farkas are demolished because of a (almost) red light – the heads of a. High-speed test. To have, as always, the lightweight overweight chosen for themselves.

Conclusion

Even with the Super-Vespa is no room under the seat for a full face helmet. Will not you walk around with his hat in his hand in town and country, you have to take a jet helmet. There’s quite dashing goods, but that is not cheap, as the Vespa itself 5,000 Euronen are not little. But you get something real, which, if it is not too often ghaut to the Earth ‘, his money is worth.

I just spent the cutest month of my life with the 2015 Vespa  Primavera. Let me tell you about living that scooter life with a vespa. 

Riding a scooter requires a completely different mindset from riding a motorcycle.

The bike

The Vespa Primavera is actually a new model for Vespa, launched at the 2013 EICMA show as a 2014 model. It replaces the Vespa LX model and brings about some significant changes in how Vespa is moving forward with its product line.

The   Vespa Primavera is powered by a 150 cc three-valve, single-cylinder engine, which makes 13 horsepower and 9.5 foot-pounds of torque and gets a reported 118 mpg. While we usually don't put a ton of stock in manufacturer reported mpg numbers, I put gas in the Prima one time during the month I had it.

The  Vespa Primavera's sheet-metal construction makes it 150 percent stronger than the outgoing LX models, according to Piaggio. The engine mounting system is new and uses an extra positioning arm, as well as a stop with a rubber, double-absorption damper to reduce engine vibrations felt in the grips, floorboards, and seat.

The front suspension is also new, and now features a hinged lower shock mount instead of being bolted directly to the trailing arm. This allows it to keep the correct relationship to the arm even at full extension. This is intended to reduce lateral bending and slide friction, which allows for more precise steering and a smoother ride.

The   Vespa Primavera weighs 258 pounds (dry) and has a wheelbase of 52.75 inches, two inches longer than the outgoing LX.

Testing the Vespa Primavera

Scooters fall into two groups: utilitarian and stylish. Recently, we compared the other scooters, two utilitarian scooters that are uglier than almost anything on two wheels, but that can do pretty much everything a motorcycle can do for half the price and with twice the fuel economy. Then, there are the style scooters, which traditionally haven't offered the same kind of performance as the utilitarian ones, but do bring about the nice benefit of transporting you instantly to a California beach or a European city center, as soon as you place your feet on the floorboard.

The Vespa is the poster child for the latter and, luckily for me, I live on a Southern California beach.

Only a completely customized cafe racer or Harley can make you feel more like you're letting the bike down by not dressing for the part than the Vespa. So much so, that you sort of forget about class-leading storage or needing it go on the freeway. You aren't buying it for how it can make your life cheaper and easier, you're buying it for how it makes you feel.

I can't believe I'm about to publish this on the internet, but the Vespa makes you feel cute. Not cute in the attractive sense, more cute like Taylor Swift. It puts a stupid grin on your face which, when paired with the scooter, seems to put a grin on the face of everyone you pass. Little old ladies tell you how adorable you are as you park, girls smile or wave as you zip through traffic or apply liberal amounts of rear brake to screech to a halt at every opportunity. Real "bikers" find you so cute that you actually seem to become invisible to them and not a single one will wave, even when you flap your hand wildly as you pass.

During my time with the   Vespa Primavera, I got very comfortable living the scooter life. So much so that having to step over the seat to get on a motorcycle seemed downright awkward.

Stacked up to the scooters we compared a few weeks ago, the   Vespa Primavera struggles to be competitive in the performance areas. Its 150 cc single topped out about 60 mph, barely fast enough to ride along the Pacific Coast Highway and definitely not capable of hanging on Los Angeles freeways. However, given the 11-inch wheels it rolls on, I don't think I would really want to see the little Vespa pushed much faster. Steering is incredibly sharp, so much so that I always made sure to keep a hand on the bars at all times.

 Vespa Primavera highlights

The  Vespa Primavera is a beautiful scooter. Vespas have always been stylish, and this all-new scoot does a great job of blending old lines with newer technology, like LED running lights and an updated instrument panel. Everything from the headlight to the paint are absolutely stunning, which makes for quite an eye-catching little scooter.

At somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 mpg, the   Vespa Primavera is very economical. I only had to put gas in ours one time in the month that we had it, and I put almost 400 miles on it.

I love that Vespa left the rear as a mechanically operated drum brake. The hooligan in me wishes more bikes had a lefthand rear-brake lever sans ABS. Sliding the rear of something like the  Vespa Primavera literally never got old.

 Vespa Primavera lowlights

I was sad to see the Vespa Primavera struggle to keep pace down roads like the Pacific Coast Highway or other normal roads with higher speed limits. After spending time on the Smax and Burgman, I had become accustomed to pairing scooter sensibilities with the ability to ride longer distances. Sadly, the Vespa Primavera seemed determined to stay within a relatively small radius of my house. It was just too slow to pull its weight for normal Southern California day-to-day life.

The lack of a sidestand was annoying to no end. Sure, putting the thing up on its center stand was cute and kind of fun in the right circumstances, but most of the time I just wanted to slide out a side stand and be on my way.

The competition

It's hard to find a direct competitor for a bike like the  Vespa Primavera. Sure, there are other 150 cc scooters, but not with the Vespa Primavera's classic styling. With an MSRP of $4,799, the   Vespa Primavera is in the same price range as the Smax and Burgman 200, but it has a completely different skill set and personality. With the Yamaha Vino 125 no longer available, the only similarly styled scooters are 50 cc models like the Vino Classic and the Honda Metropolitan. The other alternative is a larger Vespa model, but those start at nearly $2,000 more expensive.

Conclusion

The   Vespa Primavera is the perfect scooter... for a very specific buyer. If you or your significant other wants something cute to ride around town on, there simply isn't a better option. Vespa made a host of updates to the old LX that really improved performance and comfort, but kept the price much more entry-level than the $10,500 Vespa 946.

During my time with the bike, several friends' wives and a neighbor or two all asked me about the scooter and mentioned they had considered getting one. Again, this isn't for the utilitarian "most bang for your buck" crowd, but for those who want a fairly cheap bike that costs next to nothing to run that will get them around town stylishly. If there was ever a vehicle that embodied our "form over function" love of two-wheeled things, the Vespa  Primavera is it.

 

 

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