I normally drive a car to most places if it is more than a few kilometers from my house (saw a deadly scooter accident several years ago). Right now within a few kilometers of my house there is not that many places so I almost always drive a car.

Now that I will move to place n the city, and I wanted to sell my Yamaha scooter which I hardly ever drive much, for IMO a more stylish Vespa. I wanted to get a an antiqueone, but I want to ask if anyone has ever driven or ridden on one? Are they a rough ride? How are the brakes?

My wife also wants to drive it herself ever so often so I need to know if these Antiques are heavy or difficult to handle for a petite Taiwan lady? Also, do all of the antique Vespas have gears that require manual shifting?

I will only drive it around for short little jaunts in my neighborhood that are just beyond short walking distance. Probably won’t drive it but 3-4 times a week at most. I mention this to let you know that reliability isn’t that important if old Vespas need TLC, I can provide that as well as regular maintenance.

If it is a rough ride, requires manual gear shifting or is especially tall or heavy, then I will go for a modern Vespa. I was thinking of the GT200 that I saw someone had imported and was selling on Yahoo Bid! I think that might be overkill for short jaunts around my neighborhood (plus it is super expensive), but then I was afraid the ET8’s for sale in Taiwan were totally 100% made and designed in Taiwan and I would prefer an import. Anyone know if Vespas are even made in Italy now? Which models? The LX? The ET4? PX or GT? Any of these imported besides the Granturismo GT200?

Any Vespa advice would be appreciated. I know they might cost more, or not be as good as some of the new Yamaha or PGO models, but I am kind of becoming a fan. Only ever test driven an ET8. Not too impressed, but well, it has that Vespa mark…OK OK OK…someone else must also feel this way about Vespas no?


Granturismo GT200

I thought most of the modern Vespas were also manual shift…at least the newer ones I’ve owned over the last 10 years or so. I don’t think a manual shift is tiring once you get used to it – just like anything else.

I have always ridden a 149 cc kick-start model. The kickstart could be a bit tiring for a small woman. She will also have to deal with comments about how that bike is much too big for her (I got that all the time and I’m not petite by any means). And if it ever tips over or if she has to change a tire, she probably won’t be able to stand the bike up again unless she knows an awful lot about using leverage.

The smaller ones might or might not be easier for her. I’ve never ridden one of them so I can’t really say.

The only regular maintenance my Vespas have ever required was a new clutch cable about every 6 months – they tend to snap at one point where there is a bend in them. Learn to shift on RPMs unless you want to push the darn thing to the nearest repair station. :smiley: See, the old “Dukes of Hazzard” show was good for something!

By the way, umm…err…my wife is no go for shifting gears, big bikes and definitely not interested in changing tires. She is could do it, but doesn’t want to. She is no Ironlady. Whatever, forget the wife. She can get an electric bike, I will get what I want.

They stop having manual shifters with the introduction of the ET8. But all the older classic ones will be manual shifting. You have to get use that, and to using a foot break as well on the classic models. Another thing is that they are kinda smokey and noisy. But still, Vespas are a blast to ride. One more thing, if anything goes wrong, you will have to find a Vespa shop, most Taiwanese shops won’t have the parts or knowledge to fix Vespas. Being hip comes at a price.

Very true. You will soon develop a mental map of every Vespa repair place you’ve ever passed, and automatically plot the shortest course to one in case of emergency.

But I’d never ride anything else.

Foot brakes and gear changing is alright by me, but the smokey part I don’t like. Do you also have to mix the gas with oil? Is that what makes it smokey, or because it is old and not sealed or tuned properly?

Why is it that on the Vespa webste there is an ET2 and ET4 but no ET8? Is ET8 the same machine exactly, but with a different name? If you search ET8 you seem to only find them in Asia, mostly Taiwan. I am hoping that they just decided that since 4 was such an unlucky number (sounds like the word for death in Chinese) they changed the name to ET8 in Asia.

[quote=“Hobart”]Foot brakes and gear changing is alright by me, but the smokey part I don’t like. Do you also have to mix the gas with oil? Is that what makes it smokey, or because it is old and not sealed or tuned properly?[/quote]Well the old ones are all 2-strokes aren’t they? Hard to stop an old, 150cc 2-stroke engine from smoking. I’m sure there’s some restoration work and maintenance you can do to reduce smoke, but you won’t stop it smoking.

I believe that some of the newer Vespas are 4-strokes so you could have the classic looks with a cleaner and probably more reliable bike.

In another thread I wondered whether there are places turning out replacement parts for old Vespas here. There are in the UK and I see quite a few of these bikes here so surely someone must be making parts.

Hobart, get the classic one in the pic above and just slap the wife around a bit if she complains. The new ones aren’t very cool at all, but that classic – ohhh, baby!