70th ANNIVERSARY SETTANTESIMO VESPAS
LIMITED EDITIONS OF THE PRIMAVERA AND GTS
Vespa is celebrating their 70th anniversary (1946 - 2016) with special editions of the Primavera 50, Primavera 150 and GTS. These models are available in limited numbers in both the USA and Canada (and worldwide).
For an extra $300, the Settantesimo comes in two unique colors: Azzurro Metallizzato (which looks like robin’s egg blue) and Grigio Pulsar (light grey). These editions also include gunmetal finished rims and an upgraded dark brown seat with a matching rear luggage bag and rack. Also included are 70th anniversary badges on the legshield and luggage.
The rear luggage bag is really nice, and since this includes the rack the Settantesimo is a pretty good value. Buyers who just want the bag and rack might want to opt for this in the more normal grey, while folks really into Vespa may prefer the light blue, which is sort of a classic Vespa color with similar shades being used on other notable models such as the 2004 limited edition return of the PX to North America.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2016 - PART ONE
9 NEW OR IMPROVED MODELS ARRIVING IN SHOWROOMS
With 2016 models mostly in showrooms, it’s time to review all the new and improved models. Please take a second to vote for your favorite. If you’re not familiar with the choices, read on!
As usual, complete details for each manufacturers lineup and specific models are found their respective pages here on MSG. A full report on 2015 scooter sales will be released in Part 2 of MSG’s State of the Scooter Scene, along with the winner of the poll. With just one entrant, it’ll be interesting to see if Honda can make 2016 their 4th straight win.
New 2016 Scooters
Genuine Buddy Kick
Genuine Venture 50
Updated 2016 Scooters
BMW C 650 Sport
Piaggio MP3 500 Sport
Vespa Primavera Tourer
Vespa Sprint Sport
Vespa 946 EA
Yamaha Zuma 125
Kymco MyRoad 700i
New scooters are sparse for 2016, comprising just two models from Genuine. These new models consist of a nice addition to the Buddy lineup called the Buddy Kick, and the low cost 50cc Venture. Thankfully quite a few more models received major updates.
For 2016 BMW resumed sales of their C Sport model, now calling it the C 650 Sport. It still uses the same 647cc motor so the new name just corrects the earlier non-sense of calling it the C 600 Sport. The 2016 upgrades include freshened styling, traction control and tweaks to the suspension, CVT and exhaust. Honda took 2016 as an opportunity to heavily overhaul their popular Metropolitan with a new liquid cooled motor, revised styling, new glovebox, 12V port, rims and an in floor fuel tank to increase underseat storage. The Zuma 125 from Yamaha is also less recognizable, with all new style, instruments, more room and improved brakes and suspension.
The Italians haven’t been sitting idle either. Piaggio surprisingly resurrected their MP3 in North America after several years in the grave (although it was on sale overseas). The new MP3 is called the 500 Sport but rather than resembling prior Sport models, it’s actually the softer original MP3 styling but with a new grill, rims and Piaggio’s larger 492cc motor. Vespa reworked three of their models for 2016, adding Tourer and S variations to the Primavera and Sprint models respectively. The Sprint S receives fairly mild styling tweaks while the Primavera Tourer gets the full set of Vespa racks and accessories similar to the LXV of years past. Last is the 2016 edition of the 946, called the Emporio Armani edition. This EA edition gets pretty neat green/grey paint but otherwise is similar to past 946 editions in style, function and price ($10g).
Also gone but not nearly as iconic is Kymco’s MyRoad 700i, which was only offered for two years in the USA and never saw much sales success against the big maxiscooters from the Japanese.
In total there are 52 scooter models being offered from the 9 major manufacturers covered on this site. That’s down 2 from last year but up quite a bit from 45 models 5 years ago.
VESPA ADDS SPRINT S, PRIMAVERA TOURER FOR 2016
2016 LINE INCLUDES UPDATED GTV AND NEW 946, SPRINT AND PRIMAVERA MODELS
Vespa has been busy refreshing their scooter line up for 2016. The first changes came in summer 2015 with the early introduction of the 2016 GTV 300 (not shown). This revised GTV gained ABS and ASR (traction control) like the GTS models did for 2015, but Vespa went a step further and also redesigned the saddle, added a new tail light with a chrome frame, chromed the rims and revised the front rack and windscreen. With the updates the GTV 300 rose $100 to $7499 in the USA. Pricing in Canada is $7795 which is steal with the Canadian dollar at $0.73. The only GTV color for 2016 is metallic grey.
Also new is the Emporio Armani edition of the 946 (aka 946 EA). This time around the 946 is offered in a neat dark grey/green color with handsome matte black accents including the rims. It’s a great look other than the over abundance of Armani logo’s on the machine. Some accents like the rear rack and mirrors are a nice pewter finish. As usual, the 946 is likely to list for around $10g and it apparently is only being offered from a few big dealers in handful of major cities.
More relevant to regular Vespa enthusiasts are the new versions of the Sprint and Primavera. Vespa has done a nice job putting together a sport version of the Sprint and a touring version of the Primavera. The sport version of the Sprint is called the Sport S 150 (no 50cc option) and it adds a ribbed seat, black rims and side striping on top of the unique titanium color for an extra $100 vs. the regular Sprint. It’s a nice option for the extra money. The rims in particular look great in black.
The new Primavera Tourer 150 is a tougher decision because it adds a substantial $400 to the price tag ($5399). This touring version adds a few functional features (windscreen, rear rack) and a few features that are more for style (ribbed leather seat, front rack). This model carries on where the old LXV 150 left off in the spirit of Quadrophenia.
Pricing is up across the Vespa range by $50-$100. The 50cc Vespa’s are up $50 to $3650 (Primavera) or $3750 (Sprint). The 150 models are up $100 to $4999 (Primavera) or $5299 (Sprint). The reason for the price difference between the Sprint and Primavera is because only the former comes with ABS.
With all the new features the Primavera Tourer is listing for $5399, which is the same as the Sprint S 150, so it’s your choice between ABS or a few racks and a windscreen. Color options are also updated for 2016, with Vespa typically narrowing the choices by a few colors.
USA MODELS: Primavera 50 / 150 / 150 Touring, Sprint 50 / 150 / S 150, 946, GTS 300 / 300 Super / 300 Super Sport SE / GTV 300
CANADA MODELS: Primavera 50 / 150, Sprint 50 / 150, GTS 300 / 300 Super /300 Super Sport SE / GTV 300
VESPA GTS 300 GOES HIGH TECH FOR 2015
GTS GAINS ABS, TRACTION CONTROL AND PHONE INTEGRATION
For 2015 Vespa has made a slew of updates to their GTS model. Unlike the last few updates, the motor is staying the same but the features list is getting some nice additions. Most noteworthy is ABS, which arrives as a standard feature for 2015 on all of the GTS models. Also debuting is traction control which Vespa is calling ASR or Acceleration Slip Regulation. ABS is a welcome addition, while ASR is mostly a burn-out killing gimmick.
Also new for 2015 is an updated suspension design that draws on the ideas implemented with the new Primavera and Sprint. It’s still the Vespa classic single sided trailing link design, but the angles have been reworked and a new pin + hinge has been added at the base of the shock. The shock is mounted to the trailing link via a new hinge which allows for some “suspension slide”. It appears the base of the shock can slide fore/aft slightly, but some saddle time will be needed to evaluate how well it works.
These updates appear limited to the three GTS models, as they aren’t specifically mentioned for the GTV. Also, the MSRP of the GTV hasn’t risen in price by $200 like the rest of the models. At $200, these upgrades seem downright cheap for all that’s been added.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2015 - PART ONE
MID-SIZED SCOOTERS ARE TAKING OVER IN 2015
With the new year almost here, it’s time to round up the news on new and departing scooters in North America for 2015. Before we delve into this, please take a second to vote in the poll for your favourite new scooter (If you’re not familiar with this models, read on!). As always, the full details on each manufacturers lineup is found on the respective manufacturers pages, and here we’ll just run down the new and departing models.
New 2015 Scooters:
Genuine Buddy Riot
Kymco Super 8 X 50 / 150
Kymco Super 8 R 50 / 150
News on 2015 models has been a slow trickle this fall, with full 2015 lineups still not announced from Genuine and the Piaggio group. Oftentimes these makers blend one model year into the next with little fanfare except for new models. Thus we’re assuming all the usual scooters will be back in 2015 except for models that have clearly been replaced, such as the Vespa LX and S.
All told, there are seven substantially new models launching in North America for the 2015 model year, which come in a total of 12 versions as many are offered in both 50cc and 150cc sizes. Interestingly, all of the new machines are either mid-sized (150-155cc) or they come in a mid-sized version. It’s a stark turn around in the mid sized segment compared to 4 years ago when mid-sized machines were less popular.
The first 2015 scooter was announced way back in February, which was Vespa’s new Primavera (above right). The Primavera is Vespa’s new small frame model and thus replaces the LX. Alongside the new Primavera is the new Vespa Sprint (above left), which is the same core model but with edgier styling that will replace the Vespa S. These scooters are available in both 50cc and 155cc sizes, with the latter featuring standard ABS.
The Japanese makers were also eying the mid-sized segment, with Honda producing a heavily overhauled PCX150 (above left) that gets new styling, a little more power and new amenities. The PCX looks like it’ll have stiff competition from Yamaha, who launched the new SMAX 155 (above right) in North America this fall. The SMAX is a physically larger scooter that looks like a great modern design featuring a high tech motor and long list of amenities.
The other new models for 2015 are from Genuine and Kymco. Genuine is launching a new limited edition of the ever popular Buddy named the Buddy Riot (below right), which features an upgraded suspension and a mean looking gunmetal and black color scheme. Kymco’s new models for 2015 haven’t been officially announced, but we’re expecting to hear new X and R versions of a new generation of the Super 8 announced soon. The X version has styling with an off-road slant, while the R version is a street style (below left) This new Super 8 aims to bring sporty transportation to a lower end of the cost spectrum by basing the new Super 8 off Kymco’s lower cost Agility model.
Kymco Compagno 50 (USA Only)
Kymco Like 50 (USA Only)
Kymco Movie 150 (USA Only)
Kymco Super 8 50 / 150 (USA Only)
Kymco Xciting 500 (USA Only)
Yamaha Majesty (USA Only)
The discontinued models for 2015 are disproportionately from Kymco USA, who have opted to refine their formerly huge range of offerings from 13 models to 11 models. Even with the trim, Kymco USA is still fielding the largest lineup of any scooter maker. Kymco’s lineup adjustments for 2015 appear aimed at targeting the lower cost end of the spectrum. Their more expensive small and mid sized machines have been dropped, and the new Super 8 X / R models appear to be based on their entry level design so the MSRP should be lower. Kymco has also discontinued the Xciting 500 for 2015, but this move likely reflects the popularity of the newer MyRoad 700i. Kymco Canada has yet to announce their 2015 line.
The other departing models for 2015 are older designs. The Vespa LX and S have been around since 2006 and 2009 respectively, but have now been replaced by the new Primavera and Sprint models respectively. Yamaha’s Majesty (left) hasn’t been replaced, but it is an old model dating back to 2005 in the USA. This model is cut in the USA but continuing on in Canada.
Overall the number of new scooters outnumbers the departing list by 1, and thus the number of scooters on the market increases from 53 models to 54 for 2015, assuming the Piaggio group doesn’t have any surprises in store. The slight increase in new models like reflects the overall health of the scooter market quite well. The scooter market plummeted in half during the 2008 recession and it’s recovery has been very slow with only 5-10% annual increases. When the scooter sales for 2014 are announced around February we’ll issue part 2 of this annual report to discuss the results.
VESPA SPRINT ARRIVES IN MAY
NEW VESPA SPRINT REPLACES THE VESPA S
Vespa has wasted no time in announcing the Sprint as a sporty derivative of their new Primavera platform. The recently unveiled Vespa Sprint will be sold alongside the Primavera in the USA and Canada, much like the Vespa LX and S duo of the previous small frame Vespa generation.
Vespa is introducing the Sprint in both 50cc and 155cc versions in the USA, while Vespa Canada thus far has only announced the 155cc. Vespa Canada has announced standard ABS, while Vespa USA hasn’t released all the details but the price implies ABS will standard on the Sprint 155.
The Sprint is mechanically identical to the Primavera, but achieves a mature look with the trapezoidal headlight, new mirrors and larger 14 spoke 12” rims with low profile rubber. The Vespa Sprint also uses a number of red accents including on the coil springs and glowing red upper edges on the front vents. The Sprint shares the same instrument panel as the Primavera, but with a switch to red backlighting and red speedometer needle. Vespa has also created a number of sportier accessories for the Sprint including blacked out rims, racing stripe decals and a solo seat (shown below left).
Vespa has talked about a new instrument panel for the North American market, much like the departing Vespa S which used different gauges than the LX. However thus far we haven’t seen any new gauge layouts and the Sprint is scheduled to go on sale in the USA mid-May and is set to be arriving in Canada this month, so it additional changes look unlikely.
When it arrives, the Sprint will be available in both 50cc and 155cc versions as early 2015 models. USA Pricing for the Sprint 50 is similar to the Primavera at $3699 (50), while the 155 is up $400 at $5099 which likely accounts for standard ABS. Vespa Canada is listing the price at $5295, which definitely includes ABS. Canadian colors are Yellow (Giallo Positano) and Shiny Black. No word yet on USA colors. Check out the Sprint page for full details.
VESPA's PRIMAVERA 50 / 150 NEAR READY FOR LAUNCH
VESPA’S THIRD GENERATION MODERN SMALL FRAME HEADED FOR USA, CANADA
Vespa’s most important model in years, the Primavera, is poised to hit North American showrooms this spring as a 2015 model. The Primavera is thought to be the eventual successor to Vespa’s top selling LX and S series of small framed scooters.
Vespa is making the Primavera available to the USA and Canada with either a 50cc or 150cc 4-stroke. The smaller motor option is the same Hi-PER4 motor as the LX50, while the Primavera 150 gets the latest iteration of Piaggio’s mid sized motor which is a fuel injected 3-valve motor with 12.7 HP. This motor is up 0.7 HP over the LX150, which means a top speed of at least 65 mph and a nice boost in milage as well to about 80 mpg.
The Primavera brings a number of new features besdies the updated 150cc motor and completely new body. Most notably, Vespa has moved to a larger 11” rear wheel, upsized the rear drum brake, added tasteful new rims, LED lights front and rear and created a tasteful new instrumentation cluster with an analog speedometer and a larger digital display that reads time, fuel and odometer including trip odometer.
The full details on the new Primavera can be found here. Look for this scooter to launch in the April - June window across the USA and Canada.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2014 - PART ONE
A SUMMARY OF THE NEW AND DEPARTING MODELS FOR 2014
In this first portion of MSG’s annual state of the scooter scene (SOTSS) address, we’ll run down the full list of new scooters arriving in North America for 2014. We’ll also pay homage to the departing scooters, of which thankfully there are few.
First, please take a second to vote for your favourite new model for our “Motor Scooter Guide 2014 Scooter of the Year” award. Last year Honda’s PCX 150 took the top spot.
New 2014 Scooters:
Aprilia SR Motard
Kymco MyRoad 700i
Piaggio Fly 50
Piaggio Fly 150 (USA)
Suzuki Burgman 200
Yamaha Zuma FX / X
Aprilia SportCity One 50 (USA)
Aprilia SportCity One 125 (Canada)
Kymco Vitality 50 (Canada)
Kymco Downtown 200 (USA)
Kymco People GT 200
Vespa LX / LXV 150 (Canada)
Vespa S 150 (Canada)
The new machines announced for 2014 are a diverse bunch, with motor sizes ranging from 50cc to 700cc. Overall there are 8 significantly new scooters for 2014, based on 5 completely new designs and a significant new take on the Zuma style. While the list of departing scooters is a bit longer, many of these machines are only leaving either Canada or the USA. Accordingly, the total count of scooters on sale in the USA rises from 49 to 53 models, while Canadians will be offered 39 models (from 38) from the eight major brands covered here on MSG.
In the mid-size category, Piaggio has also launched their new Fly design with a 150cc motor boasting similar technology. Suzuki’s new Burgman 200 also qualifies as a mid-sized
The Burgman 200 (above) is going to be an interesting scooter to watch, as sales could take off if buyers see it as a more affordable way to enter the maxi scene and aren’t put off by a marginal 75mph top speed. It’s Suzuki’s first new scooter in some time, and their smallest offering ever in the USA.
Buyers that are looking for a full speed scooter will also want to consider Honda’s new Forza (below grey), which picks up where the old Reflex left off. At 279cc, the Forza can close in on 100mph and does so with style and refinement. This scooter is a great model from Honda and early reviews seem to very positive as it blends maxi scooter features with a price tag and fuel usage that is easier to swallow.
The last new model for 2014 is Kymco’s MyRoad 700i (white), which makes no secret of its status as a highway devouring mega-scooter. The MyRoad 700 is big and heavy at 608 lbs, but it provides a supremely comfortable and powerful highway tool that offers a larger motor and lower price that Suzuki’s popular Burgman 650.
Appendum: Genuine Scooter Co. is also on the cusp of releasing two substantially new models: An all new 170cc Hooligan rugged scooter and a 125cc Automatic version of their popular vintage Stella model. Here is more details.
Kymco has also opted to drop the 200cc version of their People GT (below) and Downtown models, leaving the more powerful and top selling 300 versions to carry on. This decision is hardly worth lamenting except Kymco Canada was only offfering the People GT in 200cc form, which means the end of the end of the line for that model in Canada.
Aprilia Canada - which is managed by the Piaggio group like Vespa - has also dropped their lone mid-sized offering, the SportCity One 125. It’s too bad to see the shift away from mid-sized machines, but the SportCity One remains around in 50cc form, unlike the USA where Aprilia has dropped it to reduced redundancy with their new SR Motard 50. As Piaggio Canada also opted not to import the new Fly 150, you can no longer buy any 125-150cc machines from this major group of scooter brands in Canada.
2014 GETS EVEN BETTER: FOUR MORE NEW MACHINES
NEW SCOOTS: APRILIA SR MOTARD, VESPA 946, SUZUKI BURGMAN 200 + KYMCO MYROAD
2014 is continuing to shape up as an exciting year for scootering. In addition to the bounty of 2014 models already discussed, four more new scooters on their way. Three of these models have been tempting North Americans from overseas markets for several years, so their delayed launch here comes with a sigh of relief as we’d begin to doubt they’d ever arrive.
The longest overseas hold out is the Suzuki Burgman 200, which has been on sale elsewhere since 2007. In recent weeks it has received approval for sale in the USA, so we can expect the official announcement at any time. The Burgman 200 offers maxi scooter amenities in a far more affordable and fuel sipping package than its larger siblings. The 200 isn’t quite comfortable on the open road (top speed is 70-75mph) but it can hold its own if you don’t try sneak a passenger on the back. It’s great to see Suzuki bringing in more affordable options for people without five figures to spend on a scooter.
Also eyeing the North American market in recent years with some trepidation has been Aprilia’s SR Motard and Kymco’s MyRoad 700i. Aprilia Global initially announced the SR Motard for North America a couple years ago before changing their mind and releasing its Piaggio branded twin - the Typhoon - here instead. Finally for 2014 Aprilia gets new SR Motard for their North American showrooms (USA & Canada). Aprilia has opted to bring in the 4-stroke 50cc version, which means mediocre power and excellent milage. MSRP for the SR Motard 50 is an impressively affordable $1999. On the other end of the displacement spectrum is Kymco’s MyRoad 700i,
Lastly, Vespa’s magnum opus - the 946 - makes its debut this fall. Vespa has poured all their innovative ideas into t
EICMA 2012: NEW SCOOTS FROM VESPA, SUZUKI AND HONDA
2014 SUZUKI BURGMAN 650, VESPA 946 AND HONDA FORZA 300
As always, the EICMA show in Milan delivered as the years most exciting new scooter event. This time around there were many special edition scooters from all manufacturers as well as several new machines. In addition to the three new scooters highlighted below, Piaggio also revealed the production versions of their new Fly and X10 models which are going into production eminently. You can see the new Fly here (and read about it too if you’re Italian).
A year after debuting the concept scooter, Piaggio pulled the wraps off the production version of their new 946 scooter (aka Quarantasei, which is Italian for 46). The biggest surprise here was the lack of changes for the production variant. Vespa kept this one very true to the concept, which is great news for the enthusiasts out there. There hasn’t been an announcement for North America yet, but the 946 is expected to go on sale globally and there’s a good chance North Americans will see it for 2014.
The new 946 uses Vespa latest mill - a 3-valve single putting out 11.7 hp in 125cc form. However, a North American models would likely be equipped with a more powerful 150cc motor in the 14 hp range. Compared to the concept, the changes are fairly subtle. The rear end is less pointy and lacks the indentation on the sides. There’s also been a few body seams added to the flanks. Up front there’s been some minor reworking of the horn grill area and of course mirrors had to be added. Without comparing the two scooters side by side, it’s tough to spot the changes which is a good thing.
The new Forza (NSS300) is a successor to the Reflex that was offered to North Americans from 2001 to 2007. Compared to that scooter, the new Forza is a technical tour-de-force offering fuel injection, roller rocker arms, 4-valves and ABS. While ABS is optional in Europe, it’s slated to be a standard feature in Canada.
Canadian pigment options are Pure Red and Seal Silver.
Perhaps the most famous maxi-scooter of all time, the Burgman 650, was at a crossroads recently with Suzuki pulling it from their 2013 USA line. Suzuki’s lack of attention over the past few years left many wondering what the future held, if anything.
At EICMA 2012 Suzuki revealed what they had been up to when they unveiled an overhauled Burgman 650. The core frame and motor carry on with just small refinements, but the transmission is new and more efficient. Most noticeably, the styling is tastefully reworked to freshen the look and give it a slimmer profile. The instrumentation is also brand new and contains a mix of analog and digital instrumentation.
It wouldn’t be an update to the Burgman if new features weren’t added, so Suzuki continued to up the maxi-scooter ante with power folding mirrors, heated seats and even heated backrests. A number of Executive trim features have also become standard perks.
Even with the same motor, Suzuki is claiming a 15% increase in fuel efficiency due to the subtle refinements, a new clutch design and the slimmer shape. Also noteworthy is a new ABS system with uses floating discs and weighs half what the older system did.
The new Burgman will enter production shortly and hopefully we’ll see it arrive in North America mid-2013.
For more pictures of the reworked style and a look at the new dash, head over to the Scooter Station.
VESPA MMXIII: THE WASP STIRS
VESPA REVAMPS THEIR COLOR PALETTE AND ADDS SPORT SE VARIANT
After maintaining a steady lineup for the past few years, Vespa has stirred things up for 2013. No, the radical new 946 won’t be here for another year or more, and no Vespa hasn’t slipped their new 3-valve 150cc engine into any North American models, but at least there’s something to get excited about. Consider 2013 to be the prequel, the warmup, to the bigger news announcements that lay in the years ahead.
First off, all of the models from 2012 are back. Besides the new pigments, the LX (50 & 150), S (50 & 50) and GTS (300 and 300 Super) have all been nearly identically reincarnated. Also back are the collectors ‘V’ variants of the LX and GTS -known as the LXV and GTV respectively. So what’s new? Well, a few tweaks, some new colors and a pretty neat ’Sport SE’ trim version of the S and GTS.
The ‘tweaks’ to the existing Vespas are focused on the S and LX. Both of these scooters receive new ‘horn guards’ (think grills) and additional Vespa logos on the handgrips and floorboard. The instrumentation has also been revised, with the S boasting classy blacked out and easier to clear gauges, while the LX 150 enjoying a freshening of the instruments style.
Vespa has made quite a few changes to their color offerings for 2013. You can delve into all the color details over at Vespa’s website and I’ll highlight the main ones here. The Vespa S is no longer available in titanium and Satin black has become exclusively available on the Sport SE variant of the S. The LX gets a new Aquamarine option and black is back. The upscale LXV trades Portofino green for a new ‘Sienna Ivory’ shade.
The larger GTS scooters also get new clothes. The regular GTS 300 trades Plum for Bronze, while the Super trades Titanium for Dragon Red. The new GTS 300 Super Sport SE comes in exclusively Satin black, like it’s S counterpart. Also like it’s smaller sibling, the GTV trades its green pigment option for a new ‘Sienna Ivory’ tint.
Sport SE Trim
The Sport SE variants of the S and GTS are undoubtably the biggest news for 2013. These limited edition Vespa’s claim to amplify Vespa’s sport spirit using a minimal aesthetic and high performance. While ‘high performance’ might be a bit of a stretch (there’s no performance tweaks at all), Vespa has created a tasteful aesthetic.
The Satin black paint (and wheels) look great with the red (shock coils) and white (seat piping) accents. The ribbed seat adds a sporty element too. While the checkered (S 50/150) or ‘Super’ (GTS) graphics on the flanks might not have been necessary, they are the most obvious identifier of these limited edition models.
Pricing for the Super SE adds $100 (S 50/150) or $200 (GTS) to the price, which is quite reasonable for even just the seat alone.
LOOK OUT INDIA - VESPA'S COMING TOO
Not to be outdone by Yamaha’s announcement last week, Vespa has ended their 13 year absence and announced their re-entry into the Indian scooter market with a pink scooter. This will be their third time trying the Indian market and the first without a local partner. In the 80’s and 90’s Piaggio partnered with LML (now maker of the Stella) and before that they joined forced with Bajaj who would go on to sell the Chetek PX clone..
Piaggio / Vespa made the announcement January 6th at the Auto Expo in Delhi, India. The Piaggio group has been selling three wheelers and commercial engines in India for some time, but now they are really getting serious about scooters with a new factory in India that opens in March and will have the capacity to churn out 300,000 shiny scooters annually.
With over 2.5 million scooters sold in India in 2011 (out of 13 million total vehicles), scooters represent a huge portion of the vehicle market. Vespa is going after this segment with just one model - an updated LX 125.
Updated engine aside, Vespa also oriented this LX 125 for Indian roads by making the engine and wheel access easier. The improved wheel access is for changing flats caused by India’s rough roads. The improved engine access isn’t explained in the press release, but perhaps it’s because Piaggio hasn’t got all the bugs worked out of this new motor yet.
Look for this scooter at dealers in India’s 35 largest cities. Full Piaggio press release.
NEW VESPA QUARANTASEI - A CLOSER LOOK
VESPA QUARANTASEI - PRODUCTION BEGINS FALL 2012
At the early November EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Vespa pulled the wraps off a totally new style of Vespa - the Quarantasei (Italian for 46). The name is a reference to the year Piaggio began selling scooters (1946) and it’s also refers to how this scooters was based on the original 1945 MP6 Vespa design by Corradino D’Ascanio. It’s called 46 because it’s one step beyond the ’45 model. Perhaps the most exciting news for Vespa enthusiasts is that Piaggio has committed to getting this scooter in production by next fall.
Since the Quarantasei is meant to be a re-interpretation of the MP6 style, it shares several styling elements including the suspended seat and wasp like tail. There’s also quite a bit of deviation from the MP6 design, such as moving the headlight from the front fender to the headset.
The overall look is decidedly more edgy and aggressive then recent Vespas. While parts of the design may not suit everyone, there is a lot to like with this new Vespa. The more aggressive and mature look will broaden the appeal of this scooter to folks who find the LX and GTS series of scooters a little too cheeky. The lighting execution on this concept scooter is excellent, with a modern projector beam headlight and the integrated circular LED taillight that surrounds the gas cap, although there’s likely to be changes before production starts.
Other neat design touches from Vespa include running the cables inside the handlebar rather than externally, which really cleans up the handlebar area. Vespa also integrated the LED front blinkers into the ends of the handlebars, which is clever but likely doesn’t meet too many safety regulations.
Powering the Quarantasei is a fuel injected, 3-valve, air-cooled 4-stroke motor that will be sold in 125cc and 150cc versions. The 125cc motor is going to be for countries like the UK that limit learners to 125cc or less, while the 150cc version will be sold in areas like the USA that often require 150cc engines as the minimum for highway travel. While Vespa is calling this motor ‘state of the art’, it’s likely the latest reiteration of their long running LEADER motor. In recent years Vespa has been using a 4-valve, fuel injected LEADER motors in their mid-sized scooters, so the move down to 3-valves is interesting. Vespa may have found a way to beat the power or milage of their 4-valve version using
Production is slated to being in fall 2012 for the Quarantasei. Between now and then Vespa is going to be making changes to this design to meet safety regulations and tweak the style in a few areas. I personally would like to see the seat area re-worked a bit. The floating seat concept is nice, but I’d like to see it shortened and lowered a bit so it doesn’t stick out so much. The rear end of this scooter is a work of art and hopefully not too many changes are made here aside from the inclusion of a bracket to mount a licence plate. It’s also quite certain that the handlebar end LED blinkers are going to be gone on the production version. It’ll be interesting to watch this design develop over the coming year.
NEW SCOOTERS AT MILAN (EICMA) & TOKYO MOTOR SHOWS
NEW SCOOTERS FROM YAMAHA, PIAGGIO AND HONDA
It’s the season for motorcycle shows, with the important Milan (EICMA) and Tokyo motorcycle shows taking place in early November and December respectively. This year Yamaha, Piaggio/Vespa and Honda have all rolled out new designs.
Also of interest from Yamaha is an updated Majesty which gets new styling on the front end. No word yet if either of these updated scooters will be arriving in North America. Full press release from Yamaha.
The big news from Piaggio is a new X10 maxi-scooter with a far more modern/futuristic look than their current maxi, the X9. The scooter is going to be sold in some markets in 2012. There’s no word yet on North America, but this scooter looks like an obvious replacement for the aging X9.
The new X10 is going to be sold in 125cc, 350cc and 500cc versions, all of which are liquid cooled and fuel injected. The frame is the same for all engine configurations. The X10 boasts some neat amenities like traction control, backlit handlebar controls and optional electrically controlled rear suspension.
On the concept scooter front, the Vespa turned heads with their new Quarantasei
Lastly from Piaggio is a re-styled Fly (50, 125 and 150cc) and a 350cc SportTouring version of the Beverly (or BV 300) that boasts an all new 350cc engine cranking 33hp. The SportTouring variant also gets standard ABS and traction control plus a few nice design touches like different rims. The new Fly is a fairly cosmetic overhaul, with fresh yet familiar styling and the same motor options found the previous generation. Check out the full Piaggio EICMA Press Release with larger photos.
Honda also made a splash at EICMA, by releasing a smaller their new 700cc Integra model which is half bike and half scooter. This new bike/scoot uses a unique dual clutch transmission that is going to wind up in a few Honda motorcycles as well.
Joining the Integra at the Honda booth is a 50cc version of their also fairly new Vision 110 (released a few months back). The Vision is Honda’s larger wheeled scooter in Europe (as opposed to the smaller wheeled Lead) and this time around you have the choice of a 14” or 16” wheel up front. Lastly, a new model of the Wave110i was released. The Wave110i traces is ancestry to the famous Cub, but it’s a lower end model that’s usually not sold in North American or European markets.