Every time the team reviews a scooter or a motorcycle, we all sing the song ‘how does it feel’. With the new Vespa being tested it was more than just this song that the review team sung. The song ‘She’s got the looks’ almost became an anthem for them. Piaggio launched the new premium Vespa VX 125 scooter in India in 2013 and we have reviewed it for you. The new Vespa feels exactly like it has got the looks and everywhere you take it people admire it —from the parking lot to the crowded market place.
The history of vespa dates back to the era of rock-n-roll and the pop-radio culture. Back in time, everyone who rode it had a style quotient of their own that matched to the Vespa they owned. Vespa has done a fabulous job with crunching the history of the scooter in the 90 seconds video called Vespalogy. Just you tube it!
The new Vespa launched in 2013 runs on an advanced 3-valve 125cc engine which is placed in the center of the rear of the monoque body frame giving an unrivaled styling. This means that you would be able to balance the scooter easily. Say goodbye to leaning on one side to balance the scooter. The price tag the Vespa has, it definitely belongs to and has started the premium scooter market in India.
The scooter will appeal to all; the young, the old, and the young at heart irrespective of the gender. The moment you push the starter button and open the throttle, the engine is peppy and you get that feeling where you would say— wow! It has a zing! It is definitely a lifestyle machine and not just a commuter. Whenever you would look at the Vespa you would only find clean lines and curves, the ones you would always admire—after a Sunday wash, when you come back to the parking to ride it again, or when you are sitting and sipping chai at a dhaba.
The ride is so peppy that it can change your mood instantaneously and you would be smiling away. The smile just gets better when the heads turn to admire the beauty of Vespa and that you are the proud owner. The Vespa rides and handles like a scooty but sounds definitely like a scooter.
The light weight and the agile body make it super easy to cut through traffic. While the world waits at a red light, you can easily find your way through those cars to get in the front from the rear of the traffic line-up. The handle bars are placed for an upright riding position, neatly crafted and holds the instrument console in between the bar ends. The instrument cluster offers a fresh look, not just the old wine new bottle concept.
The speedometer, digital clock, fuel meter, high beam indicator, turn signals are all cleverly but intelligently placed in the console with the Piaggio logo. The electric starter and headlight on-off switch is placed on the right hand side and the high-beam switch, and horn is placed on the left. The turn switch is on the left too and is placed slightly different. You would need some riding time to get used to it. The 35W headlamp means that even in pitch dark you would always have adequate light to guide you through on the dark lonely stretches. The side mirrors are done up in chrome, round shaped and help you watch your back always.
It is truly a timeless design, loved and admired over the years by Vespa fans. These patrons across the world have found a purpose in owning the classic scooters. In Mumbai, there is one such group of Vespa owners who meet regularly to enjoy the pleasure it offers. And who knows the Vespa club in your city, maybe you will start it. Vespa has that kind of radical effect. The pleasure that you get once you are seated, is a combination of the comfortable seat and the excellent shock absorber. The seat accommodates two adults easily without the pillion wanting more seat space. To hold on tight while you ride it with your companion, the pillion can hold on to the longer grab rail. There is indeed a lot of space on the seat and around it. One thing that is missing for the Indian market is the foot rest for ladies who sit sideways.
The front storage compartment doesn’t need an extra key for it to be opened. Simply push the ignition key further into the slot and it pop opens. One can store a 500ml cola, tool kit, cloth to wipe clean the seat and other such small items. Second storage compartment is under the seat that can hold up quite number of things. We were able to put our helmet and lot of things from our daily shopping. In case you run out of storage space in the front and under the seat, you can just pull out the hook which is built-in the front of the seat to hang the bags. The amount of thinking that has gone into designing this beauty is commendable. And, to lock-unlock the seat at the gas station or grocery store you just turn the key clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on your pit stop.
The Vespa makes absolute sense in the Indian market especially in a crowded space like metro cities where taking the car to the market is easy but parking it is difficult, actually impossible if it is not a paid parking area. Talking about the usability, Vespa never runs out of juice in the city. The new technology churns out 10.06PS at 7,500rpm and 10.6Nm torque at 6,000rpm. This means that the rider would have constant power at his disposal and especially when it is most needed like when its 10 seconds for the light to turn red and some cars to cut through. On a Sunday, you can even take it out for a fun ride and don’t be surprised with the top speed of 98km/hour. Even at high speeds and low speeds on a rough road the MRF shoes make you feel planted to the surface.
At the front is the aircraft-derived anti-dive single-sided trailing arm suspension fitted onto alloy wheels with disc brakes and at the rear, the drum brakes do a good job of assisting the front disc brakes to stop well in time. The result of 60-0km/h braking test shows that 26.8 metres and 3.08 seconds is what you need to stop. It is good enough time for a 114kg scooter to come to halt and avoid any mishaps.
The Vespa does have some flaws like the engine is placed quite low at the rear so you can’t just hop on-off a sidewalk to avoid traffic when you are in a hurry. Our guess, the company doesn’t want you to drive on the designated pedestrian space and neither would the police want you to do it but would you? The mirrors do take some time to adjust and if someone messes it, you have a task at hand. The turn indicator switch takes some getting used to. The seat height isn’t that low, 5 feet tall person barely manages to touch their feet on the ground.
Vespa belongs to an all-new premium scooter segment in the highly price-conscious Indian market. It comes at a price tag of Rs 71,000 (ex-showroom Maharashtra) which is definitely premium segment, but the equipment and features that come along with it are worth the money spent. We would recommend it to all the youngsters and young at heart, its peppy! Pretty! And
You would either be following the Vespa around or being followed on it.