More Vespa articles

Importing a Vespa

 

Importing a Vespa purchased across the ocean is not as easy as it may seem, but with this guide you will understand the process and be successful. Many times the headache of importing a Vespa from overseas is handled by a domestic dealer which of course increases the price. Setting clear expectations about the vast amount of regulations and paperwork necessary to import a Vespa will keep you from becoming frustrated throughout the process.

There are a few U.S. government bodies that regulate the importation of scooters. Understanding their purpose in the transaction guides the process.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority (NHTSA) sets scooter safety standards that must be passed upon entry of the U.S. If a scooter is deemed out of NHTSA compliance, it must be modified to meet safety standards or barred from entry.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for clean running scooters. Taking a look at the EPA's website will help buyers confirm a prospective scooter's emissions. Most scooters have pollution controls but they must meet EPA standards before U.S. entry. Non-conforming scooters will again be barred from entry.

The State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also places regulations on scooters. You should double check with your local DMV office that an intended scooter can be registered. A scooter must be street legal in each State and lists of acceptable models can be found online.

The rest of the Vespa importation process lies within seller verification and shipping procedures. Here is a step-by-step overview of the procedure:

1. Find an international shipping service in Italy.

2. Have the Vespa seller deliver the Vespa to the shipping service of choice.

3. Buyer pays freight charges to the international shipping service. Be sure to prepay duty charges.

4. Confirm with the shipper where the first port of entry will be in the United States. Then choose a port closest to your home location and have the scooted connected from port of entry to home port. This information can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website.

5. Before finalizing the international shipping transaction, be certain to have a copy of the shipper's bill of lading and any registration documentation from the departure Country.

Now that your Vespa is on its way to the United States, be sure to fill out forms EPA 3520-1 and DOT HS-7 from the EPA and NHTSA websites respectively. These forms will take care of the emission and safety provisions listed in the first section. A final inspection will be completed when the Vespa arrives at the final home port. Be sure to allow the international shipper or U.S. customs to contact you if any issue arises. Do not forget to bring all of your Vespa paperwork with you as you collect your Vespa from the home port's custom clearance department.

With some extra diligence you will have saved hundreds to thousands of dollars and avoided all sales claims of a scooter dealer! Enjoy zipping around town in your brand new Vespa.

How to start a Vespa Club

If you are planning to start a Vespa club, the first thing to consider is that time commitment is often underestimated. The thrill associated with starting a club is often closely followed by realizing how much effort it really takes. Just as in any other venture, a great plan works as long as there is commitment and dedication, and every club succeeds when leaders, organizers and key participants are willing to donate their own spare time and effort to keep the club going.

That said, here are ten tips that might help. Just make sure you have everything organized before officially launching your club.

1. Think of a name for your Vespa Club, better if catchy.

2. Decide on a club symbol.

3. Create a motto or a slogan to keep everyone in the club on the right track. Make it inspirational.

4. Decide where and when your Vespa club will meet. Will you be meeting just once a month or twice a week? It is important to have these details ironed out so that your members do not get confused. Make sure everyone can get to the meetings easily. If they can not come to every meeting, it is okay! On the other hand, you need to try to always attend your own Vespa club meetings - if you are not interested in your own club, other people won't be either.

5. Begin recruiting members for your Vespa club. Make sure that your club does not become (or is perceived as) an exclusive one, which would give it a negative connotation.

6. Have your first Vespa club meeting or event. Contact members to remind them of this inaugural appointment. Usually a periodic meeting or event helps to keep things going in the club and to increase activity. It is also a great way for club members to get to know each other better and share information.

7. Decide what (if any) officers your Vespa club will need. Members should vote on who the officers will be. This can happen at the first meeting or at a later meeting. Typical officer roles include: president (runs the club, meetings, and enforces the rules), vice president (is in charge when the president cannot make it), treasurer (handles the club's money; keeps track of dues for memberships; pays the bills for the club's operations and activities; keeps records of all debits and credits for accounting purposes), secretary (keeps minutes of every meeting; assists with the club activities and events), historian (keeps a record of club events and achievements), organizer (coordinates and delegates club members to help in planning and hosting activities), communications coordinator (responsible for flyers, newsletter, website, social media).

8. Have a good constitution to help clarify what your Vespa club wants to achieve and how - this will help your officers know what they should do and how to behave.

9. (Optional) Print the Vespa club identification cards with the member's name, rank (if you decide to have any), contact info for the club, club location, and the time since the member joined the club.

10. Advertise your Vespa club by creating an email list group or an electronic newsletter for communications with the club members; by setting up a website to showcase the Vespa club to members, prospective members, the media, and the general public; and by using social media (MeetUp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) to engage existing members and recruit new ones.

Piaggio is reported to be planning to revamp its entire Vespa lineup for Model Year 2016 upgrade mission. In the process, if the report is to be believed, the Italian scooter maker will dump the entry level Vespa LX version and launch new Vespa 150 variant in the sub-continent as the new flagship offering.

The next major iteration of Vespa 125 variants could be seen with noticeably revamped front fascia, striking new body shades, additional features and existing ones spruced up. As for the latter, one example would be upgraded instrument cluster with semi-digital gauges.

Piaggio Vespa LX was already removed from international markets last year. It was replaced by Vespa Primavera which is not expected to be brought to India anytime soon.

Piaggio India (Vespa division) had been promoting itself as a brand that does not go behind sales volume. It is indeed a brand that offers a pretty niche range of variants in the premium scooter segment. But considering the falling numbers that were already quite low to begin with, it is high time Vespa runs behind sales to keep the business afloat. In a matter of two to three years, Mahindra Peugeot may launch its wide and diverse range of scooters in the country, that would make Vespa look puny and insignificant if better models aren’t added in the brochure.

New range of Vespa scooters are expected to be launched ahead of Diwali festive season, in September, 2015. It should be comprised of only the new avatars of Vespa VX and S models.

No change is expected in powertrain of Vespa 125. Same 10.06 PS max power and 10.6 Nm peak torque would be delivered by the 125 engine. New Vespa 150 can be expected to produce 12.1 PS max power at 8,000 rpm and 11.8 Nm peak torque at 6,250 rpm. This will obviously be priced higher than the 125, but reportedly only by a fair margin of around Rs. 4,000.

Vespa have reduced prices of their premium scooter to Rs 61185/- ex-bangalore According to the company, there are more than 25,000 Vespa scooters on the road in just eight months since its launch.  The Vespa brand is now present in more than 49 cities through 69 dealerships in India.

The Piaggio Vespa a brand globally known and loved has already made its mark in the Indian market. With its retro looks, matching tag line “fashion unchanged” Vespa received a tremendous response despite the high price tag. Now Vespa seems to be looking at expanding its customer base and increasing the sales.

Vespa LX125 is a 125cc, 3-valve, 4-stroke engine producing 10 PS@7500 RPM and 10.6 Nm of torque. Post price cut, Vespa will definitely attract customers from rivals Honda Activa, Suzuki Access and Yamaha Ray.

Piaggio has finally launched the Vespa LX125 scooter officially in the Indian market at a price of Rs.66,661 (ex-showroom, Maharashtra), after a lot of wait and speculation on its arrival.

Vespa will be positioned as a premium product in the Indian market with its re-entry into the market where-in the company will concentrate on making a brand name and not on the sales numbers, thanks to the retro design and feel that will definitely bring back the memories of old vespa users who would want to treasure it now.

The Vespa is powered by a 124cc single-cylinder, 3-valve air cooled engine  that produces 10.06 BHP of peak power at 7500 RPM and 10.6 Nm of peak torque at 6000 RPM mated to an automatic CVT gearbox unit.

 

The USP for the Vespa LX125 lies in its built quality that is believed to be top notch that will be manufactured at the company’s Baramati facility, that has an annual production capacity of 1.5 lakh scooters. 

Piaggio says The scooter has been aerodynamically designed with a engine made specially for India, which is now a global engine, high on economy and environmently friendly motor. The Vespa is built on a monocoque chassis, single sided front suspension.

Piaggio is planning to sell 12,000 scooters this year where-in currently there are 50  Vespa dealers to begin with in 35 cities with an aim is to sell 3 lakh scooters by 2013.

After a lot of speculations and waiting, the Piaggio Vespa scooter will be launched on the 26th of April 2012. The Piaggio Vespa has taken its own twist and turns since the unveiling at the Delhi Auto Expo 2012 sighting reasons to the delay in the setting up a viable dealership network.

Piaggio is all set to re-start the era of the Vespa with 50 dealers of the Vespa and is on the lookout for an expanded network all over the country in the months to come. The Piaggio Vespa will be launched in Mumbai, that will be followed by the inauguration of the Vespa plant in Baramati. Mr. Matteo Colaninno, Group President, Piaggio will be present on the occasion.

 

This time, the Piaggio Vespa will be aimed at pisitioning as a lifestyle product and hence Piaggio is not looking at high sales numbers mainly because the Vespa hold a sort of the uniqueness based on its styling that gives it a ‘retro’ look that Piaggio has managed which brings back olden memories from the 1970’s and 1980’s when the Vespa was used as a day-to-day commuter in India.

A range of accessories will be offered on the Piaggio Vespa LX125 for the riders to upgrade according to their taste. The Piaggio Vespa LX125 competes with the Suzuki Access 125 and upcoming Yamaha Ray scooter and is expected  to be priced at a premium at an ex-showroom price of around Rs. 60,000/- for the Vespa which is close to Rs.15,000 more than the competitors.

The Piaggio Vespa LX125 will be available in 5 colours namely red, silver, yellow, orange and blue and will be offered in two variants (with disc brake and without disc brake).

Piaggio Vespa LX125 will be powered by a 124 cc petrol engine producing 10.26 BHP of peak power at 8250 RPM and 9.6 Nm of peak torque at 7250 RPM that is mated to an automatic CVT gearbox.

The Piaggio Vespa boats of an air-cooled engine that is expected to deliver a fuel efficiency figure of around 50 km/l which is due to the light weight of the scooter at 114kgs and fuel tank will store 8.5-litres while the front tyre is 110/70/11 and the rear tyre is 120/70/10.

Vespa brand is owned by Piaggio, the fourth largest producer of scooters and motorcycles in the world was present in India as JV with LML until 1999, making geared scooters that were popular amongst the common man. 

Piaggio will launch its flagship scooter nicknamed the Vespa LX 125 later this month. The Vespa LX 125 is an automatic, retro looking scooter, that derives lot of styling cues from the original 1946 Vespa. With plenty of rounded curves, a cute looking headlamp and chrome rear-view mirrors. The front apron sports a centre cowl, rectangular indicators and a chrome grille that houses the horn.

The instrument cluster in the Vespa LX 125 sports a speedometer, fuel gauge, low-fuel warning light, tell-tale lights and a digital clock. Inside the apron sits a glove box, Footboard below is ridged , the seat is wide providing ample comfort for both rider and pillion. The storage under seat is large and seat is flanked by a grab handle. The stop lamp and turn indicators give the bike a retro feel. Vespa LX 125 is a all-metal body should endure the tough Indian conditions. 

The Vespa LX 125 will use a 124cc, four-stroke, fuel-injected, air-cooled single cylinder engine a standard displacement for Vespas. Peak power output is 10.7bhp at 8250rpm, while maximum torque produced at 6500rpm is 0.97kgm. The Vespa LX 125 will carry a automatic CVT transmission churning out decent power and torque.

Front suspension is a single-side, while at rear sits a hydraulic monoshock. The LX 125 uses a 200mm front disc brake, with a conventional 110mm drum behind.

Vespa LX 125 is expected to be position as premium offering in India so expect the LX 125 to cost a bit more than its competition. Only time will tell, if Indian’s are willing to shell out extra for a premium scooter like Vespa LX 125.

Vespa has been one of the leading scooter production units in the world. With the increasing demand for scooters in the market, Vespa has always been doing that since many years.

 It has produced some of the retro, classic, stylish and modern day bikes. Be it male oriented scooters or may be the female oriented bikes; it has managed to satisfy all the sections of the people. Affordability, reliability, comfort, efficiency are some of the key features that the brand is based up on. It is only due to these features that the company has kept its name among all other two-wheeler brands.

This company is also credited for bringing back the vintage style scooters with the square headlights but powerful engines. So, it has tried to give the old style, a modern touch. Moreover, the new models have come up with analog speedometers, fuel gauge, digital clock and many more features.

Vespa is the brand name for the Italian scooter produced by Piaggio and the name was derived from wasp of Italian.  Vespa has greatly grown since its introduction as a single motor scooter produced by Piaggio in 1946. Now it has a whole line of scooters and is among the 7 companies owned by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. The Vespa brand of scooters have been offered with unique body styling which off comprehensive protection for the engine, prominent front structure providing wind protection and the flat floorboard offering foot protection to drivers. Piaggio engineers Vittorio Casini and Renzo Spolti designed the MP5 with full body enclosure covering the Drivetrain. The model had a tall central section to straddle. The design was not acceptable to Enrico Piaggio and he summoned aeronautical engineers to redesign it. The new prototype the MP6 had its engine mounted at the side of the rear wheel. Direct transmission drove the wheel and eliminated dirt and oil and the drive chain. It looked like a wasp and was approved by Piaggio for production under the name Vespa. Vespa GTS 250ie a scooter under the Vespa brand manufactured by Piaggio, Italy. The GTS denotes Granturismo Sport and the 250ie the displacement and electronic fuel injection. The Vespa GT200 is the inspiration for the GTS in terms of design and style. Other change than the engine include digital gauges, chrome fender-crest, tachometer, restyled taillight/rear fairing, chrome horn grille, chrome foldable rack, front suspension without paint restyled seat and redesigned centerstand. The GT200 had a Leader engine of the Piaggio and the GTS is offered with the variants of the new Quasar engine architecture. The water cooled engine has a power of 244cc and electronic fuel injection, 4-valves and an overhead single camshaft. The lessened emissions and the enhanced engine capacity have increased the output and offer a top speed of 73mph (118km/h). The special edition of GTS released by Piaggio in 2008 with 278cc capacity offers 22bhp power and 16.5 lb-ft torque.

Vespa ET4 scooter produced by Piaggio of Italy made its appearance in the US in 2001. The scooter had pressed steel monocoque body frame and a single cylinder Leader 4-stroke engine producing a power of 11.26bhp. The size of the engine was 149.58cc, used a 4-stroke synthetic oil and unleaded 91 octane fuel. The two-wheeler has the capacity of 2.4 gallon fuel storage and offers a mileage average of 42mpg. It is offered with electronic CDI and variable timing ignition and can be started either by kick start or by electric starter. Transmission is CVT and is featured with automatic centrifugal type clutch. The curbside weight of the Vespa ET is 107kgs or 236lbs and is of 69.3 inches or 1,760mm length. The width of the scooter is a 26.4 inches and it has a wheelbase of 50.4 inches. The scooter was priced at the maximum sale retail price of $3,999 and is offered with 1 year warranty with unlimited kilometers. 

Vespa, the iconic scooter manufacturer, announced today that they will re-introduce one of their classic models, the PX Series. The latest generation 2012 Vespa PX150 will have its world debut at the Sydney Scooter Expo in Australia. Vespa introduced the PX Series 34 year ago and has sold over 3 millions units since. The new generation 2012 PX continues the tradition of the timeless classic in terms of design and overall feel. It has a steel construction and a 4 speed manual transmission.

The 2012 Vespa PX 150 features a spare tire, a re-designed seat, a new tail light, embossed handgrips and of course, a new horn.

 

History of the Vespa Scooter

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

 

The trendiest two-wheeled vehicle in the history of mankind happens to be the Vespa. Born as a low-cost product for the masses, this utilitarian scooter became a style statement in itself, able to influence fashion in successive decades since its birth in 1946. Over fifty years have passed since then, when a two-wheeled vehicle, so completely new as to be revolutionary, was presented at the Golf Club in Rome by an Italian company with a 110-year history in the transport field, Piaggio. Called Vespa, its concept and name were the fruit of Enrico Piaggios intuition, while its structure took shape on the 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 scooters produced and sold throughout the world, which have served not only to motorise entire countries, but also to unite people of diverse languages and cultures.

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

It isextraordinary 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. Then it became white and elegant, a product that imposed the stile italiano: from necessity to style, the recipe for the good life. Then it dressed itself in silver and was transformed into a myth of elegance, youth and adventure. The young man riding it was - and is - a modern Prince Charming, the fiancé that every girl would like to have; the exciting 'Latin Lover' who takes female tourists pillion on the beaches of Emilia Romagna. But communication initiatives were not restricted to the cinema: effective mass advertising campaigns were invented, like the one based on the slogan 'Vespizzatevi' (Vespa yourselves!) Piaggio also succeeded in creating a spontaneous customer organisation: Vespa Clubs, for example, with their own magazines and facilities. The Italian union of Vespa riders was born in 1949 and the same year, Miss Graziella Bontempo from Naples was elected the 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 '40s and '50s. In the 60's it reflected the Italy of change, of pleasure-seeking children, and was transformed into a toy with real performance, expressing novelty, modernity and anti-conformism. In the '70s and '80s it turned into an object of nostalgia; and in this decade, with technological innovations and the 1996 launch of the sleek new Vespa ET2 and ET4, it has become revolutionary, riding with all its appeal intact into the third miflennium. For very many people, the Vespa is the perfect combination of style, design and elegant functionafity. The Vespa is timeless: it transcends the capriciousness of fashion.

Early Vespa History


 

Beginnings of Piaggio

Vespa is the most famous two-wheeled vehicle of the twentieth century and coming from the ashes of postwar Europe to provide safe and reliable transportation for masses, it has become a true lifestyle and design statement. Piaggio, company responsible for this gem, was originally founded in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and concentrated on heavy machines like railway cars and planes. Especially during both World Wars, Piaggio was one of the best manufacturers of planes in Italy. In the 1940s Piaggio was doing great and manufactured all sorts of transportation vehicles from trucks, railway cars and engines to planes and trolleys. However, the loss of World War II meant economic ruin for the country and completely destroyed main plant in Pontedera.


 

First Vespa scooters

It wasn’t until 1946, when the son of Rinaldo, Enrico Piaggio, asked his engineer to develop a vehicle, which would provide easy transportation for impoverished masses and the first Vespa scooter was born. Vespa history started with great aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio, who worked for Piaggio since the thirties. D’Ascanio was asked to develop an easy to operate vehicle for both men and women with the ability to carry a passenger and their belongings. One of the requirements was also protection from the mud on ruined roads to keep the passengers clean.

 

D’Ascanio, who is also responsible for the concept of a modern helicopter and who also coincidentally hated motorcycles, created a scooter with rear mounted engine, strong steel frame, rigid suspension, wide front protective panel and easy twist grip gear selector on the handlebar. As soon as Enrico saw the new prototype, he exclaimed: “It looks like a wasp!” and the scooter was named Vespa (Italian for a wasp) on the spot thus started a Vespa history that will always continue.

This 98cc model has been so successful that it sold 12 500 units within first two years and enriched the Italian language with the verb “vespare”, which means to go somewhere on a Vespa. The scooters has become a symbol of transformation from war to peace and Vespa became one of the most recognized brands in the world. Company has been on its way with over million scooters sold within the first decade.


 

Vintage models until 1978

 

 

Vespa scooters skyrocketed in popularity through the 1950s, particularly because of their success in Hollywood movies. Audrey Hepburn who rode a Vespa in 1952 film Roman Holiday helped the company to sell over 100,000 scooters. Other movie celebrities soon followed the suit: John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin and Abbe Lane all became Vespa owners and contributed to the spread of a worldwide phenomenon that would continue throughout the Vespa history. Vespa fan clubs’ membership was growing significantly and the company supported this growth with important improvements to the original design. In 1948 Vespa 125 first came around and featured brand new rear suspension and the front wheel was placed to the left of the column for better riding stability.

1953 Vespa 125 U is one the most recognizable models of the whole Vespa history and a highly sought after scooter by collectors. The “U” in its name stands for utility and it was relatively cheap to compete with Lambretta. This model is also the first in Vespa history, which has the headlamp moved up to the handlebar. 1955 Vespa 150 GS (Gran Sport) was the beginning of large frame stronger scooters for the Vespa brand and later production of GS also saw the handlebar electrical wires hidden inside the body, as opposed to the earlier models sporting the maze of wires right on top of the handlebar. 1960 Vespa 150 Standard with model numbers starting with VBB quickly became one of the most famous large frame models in Vespa history. In the 1960s Vespa basically started producing two separate lines of scooters. Small frame cheaper scooters up to 125 cc displacement, all based on the three-speed Vespa 50 V5A of 1963. One of the main reasons for these smaller scooters was its price along with the fact that you didn’t need a drivers license. This line later evolved into the PK scooters in the 1980s. Stronger large frame versions started with 125cc engines all derived on the most innovative Vespa 125 N of 1960. This scooter was very different from all previous ones in Vespa history (alloy handlebars, hidden cables, carburetor connected to the cylinder, four-speed transmission, shock absorber mounting) and became a standard for large frame scooters transformed into the PX line in the late 1970s.


 

 

 

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