Thread: Vespa
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Florida Keys
Oddometer: 2,289
If planning on relying on the Vespa as a sole daily rider I would look much more closely at Kymco for 150cc or less and Japanese for 250cc plus. Vespa has created a niche for riders seeking brand name recognition. If you know Vespa's history you will pay the parent company Piaggio extra for the label. Piaggio owns Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Vespa and is Europe's largest manufacturer of two wheelers. However they are not very customer oriented relying on brand loyalty to make up for uncertain manufacturing reliability and parts availability.

I have owned two automatic four stroke Vespas, an early model GTS 250 which lasted ten months and ten thousand miles and left me stranded in continuation. The dealer couldn't keep it running and got sick of me and my "high mileage" GTS. In retrospect I got a $7200 lemon, fast comfortable and prone to blow the electrical system which wrecked relays like they were going out of fashion. Had it worked I'd still have it, lovely to look at, though complicated beyond belief. Changing the rear tire is an all day job- start by removing the muffler, finish by struggling to remove the almost welded on platethat supports the rear wheel/suspension assembly. My wife's ET4 150cc is after 10,000 miles reliable and capable of 65mph in perfect conditions, and will cruise at 50/55 in a relaxed manner on the flat. Freeway legal but not capable is how I would describe it for modern traffic conditions. If your riding involves blending with 75mph traffic you need a GTS which wil roll in perfect comfort at 85 flat out. If you plan to ride many miles beware of tire wear- every 3500 miles if you're lucky.

I am not a fan of modern complexity and am about to start a fresh relationship with an elderly, but restored P200 of similar capability to the 150cc four stroke but with a spare wheel, widely available parts (no really!) and simplicity that I crave after forty years in the saddle. If it doesn't work out I still have a motorcycle as my other rider.

I hope this helps. Vespas aren't cheap and if you get a bad one you are screwed. If the money doesn't matter but the prestige does, follow your heart. But have back up rides available! Good luck.

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