Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

Any Vespa Fans Here?


10thumbs
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here's a pic of my 2nd one, adopted 2 years ago;

 photo SAM_1536_zpsvc9mghgy.jpg

The red one behind is a 98 model, 50,000 miles original motor, still running around in the city, different owner though.  That was my 1st Vespa;

 photo -SAM_1539_zpsm5zk5ytu.jpg

In the meantime, the seat is of red leather (like Ferrari red).

The motor is no longer a 125cc stock variety, but has an Italian racing cylinder and piston.  187cc now.  Nothing much else can be done as the head is very limited and shrouding is only less than a millimeter away.  Porting is not possible.

The hop up was a bolt on, the carb was up-jetted and nothing else done.  It is prone to wheelies though.  It's a fairly quick off the light thrill in the city!

Any scooter fans here?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember when Rome seemed to be a sea of nothing but tiny Fiats and Vespas...both of which I think are great fun and truly practical urban transport.

I'm sure you know the old joke...Q: How is a Vespa like a fat girl?   A: They're a whole lotta fun, but you wouldn't want your friends to see you riding one. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never heard the joke, sounds about right.

The things are definitely not well regarded from any of the older types in Europe whom, well situated, overweight and gray, but their fat butts on brand new Harleys.  Disgusting.

Decent folks love Vespas over here....:D  Many, many guys have owned one in their youth and the gals loved riding with them.  Still do.

One wannabee tough guy asked me once at a gas station if I felt silly by just sliding my leg in front of the seat to get on it, kinda like girls would rather do?  I told him rather do it like I do, than like him wishing he had a crutch to help him get on his.  He gets stuck in rush hour traffic, I don't sit any longer than one red light and I'm gone.

I can park downtown right in front of the store or place I visit, on the sidewalk!  The cops don't care, as long as there's enough room for moms pushing baby carriages.  I've asked numerous times, no cop has ever told me different.  The only way to get from A  to Z in crowded old Euro cities.

Plus they're fun and cheap.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dennis, absolutely correct.

Business wise, the last years I was winding things down, heading for retirement.  For years I employed freshly retired guys who liked a little extra cash and something to do, delivering and picking up my work.  2 hours in the morning, 2 hours afternoon.  A leased new VW Golf, lots of red lights, gas at horrendous prices, and sitting in traffic and occasionally not delivering on time, plus often having to wait way too long for the stuff to be delivered.  Read traffic congestion.

A while back, I became free.  The new life became a DIY act, all alone.  Turned out to be a thrill.  Low costs, less work time, more cash in pocket, then the Vespa.

The case on the back can carry 22 lbs. legally,  that's a lot of small type stuff that needs to be picked up and delivered.  No parking problems, no traffic jams, and it's great to get out during the day and goof off.

It can ride highways, goes 60mph.  With the new motor, add the rear end gears that are actually needed, then 75mph.  Just too fast for my taste, the wheels are really small for those speeds.  This is why the thing accelerates so quickly now, a low gear and 50% more displacement and 40% torque make for a quick deal.

I like Vespas in the city.

Edited by 10thumbs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small-displacement runabout two-wheelers seem to be catching on fairly well here, particularly with young people, owing to the extremely low operating and insurance costs. There's even a no-tag-required class for some of the smallest-engined ones. There is in fact a Vespa dealer close to my home.

Still, with the terminally-distracted US drivers, I wouldn't feel entirely secure on such a vulnerable little machine around this town  ;). Last time I was driving the old Geo, some smart-phone-encumbered soccer-mom in an SUV practically ran me off the road.

Time to get a JC Whitney diesel-horn.  :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sam, yep that one is set up to carry lots of groceries.  Plenty of storage room on that one.  He had no hassles with traffic, for sure.

Bill,  there are times a loud horn is necessary.  Mostly though, Euro car drivers are aware of scooters, they're everywhere over here.  For the most part, only the Audi and BMW drivers take offense when a scooter slips in front of their grill at a red light.  Those drivers get rowdy and readily make fools of themselves.  Big identity problem.

I can remember riding and driving in the US after living in Europe for so long.  I always thought it was difficult in the US, because so many drivers did not use blinkers and seemed to be too unpredictable in traffic,  plus the cars often had burned out lights front and/or back, and driving too slow in the left lane.  In Europe the drivers are more disciplined by a large margin, therefore more predictable.  The French are the best drivers.  Very fast, but safe, I like their style.  The Germans will ride on your bumper at high speed, they're crazy. like one car length behind you at 75mph.  NASCAR on the highway.

I think there should be something like revoking of a driver license if caught using the phone while at the helm.  Really stupid!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi James, thanks for dropping by.

I've had motorcycles in my younger years.  About 15 years ago I realized that during the day when time is important and stuff has stuff to get done, that something has to change.  A motorcycle was never a thought, they're not well accepted in Europe among car drivers.  The wife says, "hey, look at that beautiful Vespa over there".  Lets go Saturday and have a look.

Soon I was hooked.  The Vespa in Europe is cult.  No other 2 wheeler has a higher status, and is positively viewed by young and old.

While riding downtown, there were lots of opportunities to see how the pros ride these things.  The pros, are young high school girls!  They weave in and out of traffic, do slingshot starts as soon as the light turns green, split lanes, ride directly in front of stopped cars to switch lanes to get further up to the red light.  All done with a smooth ease that's fun to watch.

They taught me how to ride a cool scooter in the city.

I never sit more than one light out, that's a waste of time.

Motorcycles can't touch me, they're too big and not as nimble.

My hot rod is quick too, but I don't like riding over 60mph on 2 small wheels,  but I like getting there quick.

Parking is no problem, anywhere.

So, for city life on the road, the Vespa is my pride and joy.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Clayton, thanks man for posting the pic.  The two in the back are fantastic!  The silver one is a killer!  Talking vintage 50's and I'll bet it really scoots too, it's gorgeous.

The red on the left is a model that was never popular, they really missed it on this design.  It is a street fighter though, check out the front fender right  and the chrome strip....little rub-de-rub with something too close. Looks like the chrome ring around the headlight needs replacing too.  He's had it apart recently.  Still around these days, vintage early 80's.

The front left is a sweetie for sure, fully dressed with lots of TLC.  Not sure of the model though, maybe not even a Vespa, but a Lambretta.  Valuable rides and very collectable.  The seat is as comfortable as it looks.

The back left scooter just kills me, I'd take that one in a heartbeat.  The low mirror about ankle height is great by the way.

A couple of folks are real proud of their rides, they should be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

While riding downtown, there were lots of opportunities to see how the pros ride these things.  The pros, are young high school girls!  They weave in and out of traffic, do slingshot starts as soon as the light turns green, split lanes, ride directly in front of stopped cars to switch lanes to get further up to the red light.  All done with a smooth ease that's fun to watch...

 

I think some parts of life may be better where you live... :D

Image result for audrey hepburn vespa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a great poster, I used to have a collection of those on tin plates.  They had a relief and were wonderfully painted, looked just like that one.

One thing for sure is, seeing a pretty pink Vespa and a babe riding it, she has a skirt and high heels on....gotta love it.  Better yet, in short, real short shorts....yep, they're back again!

Wonderful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Clayton, thanks man for posting the pic.  The two in the back are fantastic!  The silver one is a killer!  Talking vintage 50's and I'll bet it really scoots too, it's gorgeous.

The red on the left is a model that was never popular, they really missed it on this design.  It is a street fighter though, check out the front fender right  and the chrome strip....little rub-de-rub with something too close. Looks like the chrome ring around the headlight needs replacing too.  He's had it apart recently.  Still around these days, vintage early 80's.

The front left is a sweetie for sure, fully dressed with lots of TLC.  Not sure of the model though, maybe not even a Vespa, but a Lambretta.  Valuable rides and very collectable.  The seat is as comfortable as it looks.

The back left scooter just kills me, I'd take that one in a heartbeat.  The low mirror about ankle height is great by the way.

A couple of folks are real proud of their rides, they should be.

It was a group of old bikes. A club of sorts I'm guessin. These are the other bikes that were there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh man!

....and they're actually being ridden!

Wonderful.

Even a guy that's not into 2 wheelers has to appreciate these rides.

The last pic, the red one on the right.

The new 2016 Vespa has a similar tail.  Retro, and it's a beauty!

 

 

Actually, the red one in the last pic is a 50s(?) Indian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small-displacement runabout two-wheelers seem to be catching on fairly well here, particularly with young people, owing to the extremely low operating and insurance costs. There's even a no-tag-required class for some of the smallest-engined ones. There is in fact a Vespa dealer close to my home.

Still, with the terminally-distracted US drivers, I wouldn't feel entirely secure on such a vulnerable little machine around this town  ;). Last time I was driving the old Geo, some smart-phone-encumbered soccer-mom in an SUV practically ran me off the road.

Time to get a JC Whitney diesel-horn.  :D

I have a 93 MR 2 Turbo that I bought from a friend who had similar problems.  He fitted it with a set of Maserati air horns. They will get the attention of inattentive drivers.  It is also great fun to watch the carwash guys when they are done with the car.  When they hit the horn to alert me they are done, it always brings a smile to their face!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All the Mods had either a Vespa or a Lambretta,  and were typically done up in "Quadrophenia'  livery .

Are you a Mod or a Rocker?  ;)

Well, going back to around 1963 in Britain, I guess you could make that choice, mod or rocker.  Some Mods, not all, rode scooters, Rockers rode motorcycles.

In '63 I was 12, and was in to drag racing.

Nowadays, as an old motorcyclist, I'd rather think its just a lot of fun riding such a nimble fun machine, and really a smart way to ride very smoothly and quickly through congested, modern day big city traffic.  Think about it the next time you have to sit through more than one traffic light.  I never do.

Actually I kind of liked the Mod style back in the day.  Smartly dressed and aware of their presence, while the rockers seemed to outdo themselves in a trashy way of presenting their form of culture.  I still to this day don't go outdoors without having applied my makeup.    :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...