Retro Italians taking over the city

Italians! Bold, beautiful, elegant and authoritative. That is what defines the country and oh boy, I get to date one such personality straight from the land of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Ducatis. Short and sweet, that is how my rendezvous was with this ‘OMG, so cute’ looking scooter known as Piaggio Vespa in India and LX125 everywhere else. Vespa’s entry in India marks the re-birth of Italian manufacturer Piaggio in India, who initially invaded the country in early 1960s with Bajaj and then tried to survive the market with LML before calling it quits from India.

India is one of the fastest growing two-wheeler markets in the world and Piaggio’s strategy to tap the potential with Vespa is unique. Yes, they invented the term ‘Lifestyle product’ and clearly, Vespa is not launched for competition in the market, it is intended to be in its own class. And to be true, Vespa earned this image over the years of its existence.

Today Vespa enjoys a vintage tag against its name, and is no different than the league of MINI, Beetle or 500 who gained their popularity with time. The Vespa religion started when it started to feature in big Hollywood flicks and now the cute little but powerful wheeler has acted in more than 150 movies gaining a stardom status.

Piaggio is manufacturing these eye candies at Baramati near Pune and within months of red-tape cutting ceremony, the scooter started carrying a waiting period of over 2 months. Yes, that much with all the premium-ness.

Vespa might look cute like an Italian model standing alone on the empty street but it feels more than that when you twist the throttle. Play around with your right wrist holding the Vespa branded throttle grip and the 3-valve, 126cc, 9.9-bhp motor starts its operation with a mild buzz propelling its rather light monocoque aluminum body and the rider on it. The world around takes a quick reverse till the big analogue speedo shows 85 km per hour and then, it starts becoming lazy, running out of breath and signs of stress start to take over. Give the vintage looking scooter some time, space and your little courage with your luck, the needle might cross the 3-digit limit – now that is something which will send shivers down the spines of each and every other scooter in India. Icing on the cake comes in the form of the ARAI rated fuel economy of 60 kmpl which means ideally, in real world, you should get over 50!

The big Piaggio branded console, consists of a big analogue speedometer marked up to 120 km per hour, fuel gauge, turn indicator, head-lamp indicator, high beam indicator and a clock. Yes, digital clock lets you to keep track of time, when you are enjoying your Italian wet dream.

Vespa is an attention-seeker, said that, the crowd walking, driving or even standing around the scooter can’t take their eyes off it. The beautifully contoured and simple eye-soothing front with round head-lamp, flowing indicators and vintage-inspired round horn-vent is something which will always please the beholder. The stares don’t stop there. The curvaceous and beautifully designed rear looks rather beautiful and be assured, your mind and heart will ask you to spend some more time staring at the piece of work which is been worked upon extensively. The classic tail-lamp, single side swing-arm and the chrome dipped exhaust fuses the modern and classic work seamlessly.

Chrome, lots of chrome has been scattered smartly on the scooter, and the result? More premium-ness! Piaggio made sure they fit the scooter with top-notch quality; like the aluminum levers; which are very good to hold, rubber foot-pad, chrome mirrors and shiny little kick which dissolves into the overall scenario without looking out of the place. The shiny 3D Vespa logo on the rear body gives it the identity and the brand which makes it proud.

Vespa’s front cabinet is very aesthetically designed without any lock or knob to open it, a push of key is all you need to open small space, which is almost of no use, until you plan to keep your documents there. The under-seat space is very limited too with a 8 liter fuel tank sitting beside it.

When the world was testing Vespa in all its vibrant colors, we decided to become a little more retro and pick up the white and have my word, it was looking majestic, if that’s the right word to use.

Vespa is different, not only looks but the way it rides, the way it feels the road, the way it infuses confidence in you is just different from all other scooters. Vespa lets you take control and follows what you command! The monocoque comes into play when you take on corners and with increased level of confidence, the corners suddenly started feeling good, fun in right words. I wished for better grip from the MRF tyres on rain affected tarmac but on the dry surfaces, the agile scooter showed it’s prowess in true colors. Easily flickable and small turning radius gets you past the slow moving city traffic without much sweat and work.

It makes you happy and anyone looking at your face instead of scooter (by any chance), will see the ‘happy-grin’ even when you are tackling the potholes with old school trailing type suspensions in front, the Vespa takes it all and still doesn’t complain, neither do you.

The vibrant devil carries a premium price tag of Rs. 66,600 (ex-showroom) – it will make the Vespa unique and less-explored scooter but then this is how Piaggio planned for the Vespa! It gives you what all other scooters and the motorcycles in this price band cannot – exclusivity with performance and oomph factor. The Vespa indeed can be the Lifestyle in your life, literally and lifestyle never came cheap, did it?

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About the Author

has written 25 posts on this blog.

Shantonil believes in starting young and at just 20 years of age, he joined the content team of Gaadi in 2010. An avid biker and explorer, he soon learnt the art of four-wheels and his expert views can be found on both bikes and cars. Photography comes naturally to him and he simply cannot do without his S3!

16 Comments on “Retro Italians taking over the city”

  • sukul wrote on 24 July, 2012, 16:45

    is this a non geared scooter??

  • INDRIYAJIT MUKHERJEE wrote on 30 July, 2012, 14:53

    Everything “FINE” except  ”PRICE”…….. It should have been limited with in INR Rs 40,000/- to remain a mass scooter of early 60′s in INDIA. At least first 1lakh units ex showroom for early bird and mass approach. Rest is left to the Public of great republic of India.

  • Maganti ravichandra wrote on 2 August, 2012, 15:30

    This is good news,vespa is back with a bang. I am happy that vespa is being launched in a new avatar with a new look&style.I am happy because i was also a proud owner of avespa(NV 150) I am waiting for the new vespa to be launched.

  • anub kumar wrote on 2 August, 2012, 17:17

    whatever vespa may be the rate is  too high on this segment  of vehicle. It cannot withstand if it
    is not  rethink about reducing the rate .

  • A. Pereira wrote on 3 August, 2012, 3:08

    Have been delighted from the word go after hearing the news that Vespa is in India now. I would like to buy it, but there is no dealer in my city Mangalore (perhaps I have to get it from Bangalore). Also curious is service support. How good it is? There is no mention of it anywhere in the above article.Can Vespa-India write to me on my email on the above matters?

  • Lakshmisha wrote on 3 August, 2012, 3:11

    Price is very high on comparing with other vehicles like TVS Suzuki125, Activa, Swish, Hero’s Mastero., etc., If Piogio think about the price on road (including tax & duty, road tax and insurance) 60k, then it is worth buying, not only for brand name but also with its performance.

  • raaz wrote on 3 August, 2012, 4:09

    Good looking scooter to be kept in showroom so that you can watch.this is not for road so where the qustion of services arised.(bcoz for these price a 125 cc for me no no)

  • ANAND wrote on 3 August, 2012, 4:55

    I like this Vespa LX125 & need to know on road price at thane & dealers in thane.

  • ANAND wrote on 3 August, 2012, 4:56

    need to know on road price at thane & dealers in thane

  • DEEPAK wrote on 3 August, 2012, 8:26

    A 125 CC scooter, pretty small for its looks…is not worth buying for INR 70.000.00 on road the price comes to INR 80,000.00, i needed one for the city ride at andher, couldn’t locate the Show Room at worli, while on my way back went to the Royal Enfield Bandra show room and booked a 500 CC Desert storm…INR 178,000

  • vivek wrote on 3 August, 2012, 15:38

    Too much costly as Suzuki ans Mahindra already marketing 125cc scooter with low price 

  • vipul wrote on 3 August, 2012, 16:28

    WOW …..nic  schooter……..

  • navin jain wrote on 4 August, 2012, 13:37

    is there any showroom in jamshedpur if yes give me the no. and i want to purchase

  • ASHOK SHRIVASTAVA wrote on 5 August, 2012, 20:30

    Marvelous! i like this scooter & need to know what price.

  • K. Sundareshan wrote on 30 August, 2012, 17:10

    I use LML Vespa NV since 5/1990. Seven months before I thought about selling my LML and I am searching for other scooters, but I was never satisfied with others and was rethinking about selling my LML. At that time I saw an advertisement in Malayala Manorama News paper, which says that LML is coming back. I am very happy, But here in my city there is no dealer and I want to know about Vespa LX125, its mechanism, on road price and dealer in Calicut city and dealer’s phone number

  • Srinidhi wrote on 12 September, 2012, 6:34

    I simply cant get over seeing these pictures…Damn nice work bobby

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