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I have been riding the PX range of Vespa since 1986. My first PX being a 1985 PX125 EFL which i foolishly sold to buy a Lambretta. I soon realised that i needed a reliable workhorse so i bought an older P125X a 1982 model which i used to commute the 10 miles to work and back every day during 1987. I attended Four Scooter Rallies during this year. Great Yarmouth, Margate, Lowestoft and Scarborough. This scooter was very reliable and cemented a deep down trust of this make as a reliable, sturdy, faithful machine.
The only problems i experienced were Punctures which are easy to repair as i kept a spare tyre under the left hand blister. Spark plug replacement due to the vehicle being a two stroke. A snapped clutch cable which i repaired myself and a brake lever when the scooter was blown over in the wind in 1987. Since 1986 i have owned four of these machines with the latest being a 2009 model in White with 400 miles on the clock. Fuel consumption is very good as long as they are kept standard and i would recommend that you buy one with the front disc brake rather than the older drum which is not really good enough for modern traffic. I would also recommend that if you bought an older model to upgrade the front light and lens to the halogen type used on the modern PX.
Before i rode my first Vespa i heard people moan about the Vespa as being an unstable machine with the engine on one side and small wheels however i have found the displacement of the engine not to affect handling or be at all noticeable.
I currently own a 1993 PX200 EFL which i enjoy travelling around the country as when you buy a Vespa you are not only buying just a scooter you are buying into a whole lifestyle with scooter clubs and lots of friendly people to meet.
I have owned both Lambrettas and Vespas since the sixties (YES, I really AM that old:-) Inbetween have owned a Piaggio FLY100 (4 stroke...YUK!) and an older SKR 80cc....same sort of thing as the Skipper, twist and go 2 stroke and that used to go pretty well....but my hankering was after a "Proper" scooter again......Clutch and Gears... and when LML (Longria Motor Limited) in India were finally allowed to export to the UK, then THIS was the time to have another look.
It had to be the understated "Black" and everything I put on it will be Black.....Givi back box, flat type rear carrier, and my own manufactured front mudguard protector....
These scooters do NOT hold the road like a modern design. My TGB R50X had 13" wheels, disc brakes both end and gave a feeling of great confidence....IF TGB had made a TWO stroke 150cc then I would have bought one.
So, back to the LML....same positive gearbox action of the drive directly to the rear wheel....no chains and sprockets to worry about as with a motorcycle.....no rubber belts, as with the twist an go style.....ALL feels as solid as it did when i was first riding them over 40 years ago....AND the same "choppy" ride and slightly bouncy road holding. Something you learn to live with.
MY BEST EVER VESPA?
A 1962 "Sportique" 150......It was the cheapest, running (almost) dual seat vehicle the shop had in when I was BROKE!.
Had just written of a car and was lucky to get out alive.....chugged this scooter home on the Saturday afternoon wondering if it really was going to be the worst 30 quid I had ever spent on the biggest pile of poo on wheels.
Had the cylinder head off on the Sunday morning...."decoke" and cleaned out the exhaust port....New Bosch Spark Plug (They never did seem to run right (to me) on Champions) and I road that little scooter with its EIGHT INCH WHEELS.....Oh so close to the ground, all over the country,....days out at the seaside and it never missed a beat.
18 months later (and nearly another 5000 miles on the clock) I sold it for £45.00...The ONLY vehicle I have ever owned that I made a profit on :-)
The EU has ruined the two stroke scooters with "emission controls" but once they are "derestricted"...>IE, put back the way they were MEANT to work, then you have a solid reliable means of transport which is still capable of giving you the enjoyment you have paid for.
Happy Scootering, but jst remember one thing....
NEVER RIDE FASTER THAN YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL CAN FLY....
There's something oh so irresistible about Vespas. If it's either its Retro design, or the nostalgia factor from having one when you were a teen, the Vespa is a classic. And we love it.
I got my Vespa PX last year after a 12 year love affair with them, admittedly not knowing anything about them bar they were cosmetically pretty, I had a mild panic attack when having to face its gears and clutch.
Within the first weekend of owning my Vespa I'd stalled it about 100 times, fallen off it, popped an accidental wheelie, almost ran my Dad over.. twice and been given the two finger salute by a very angry looking Lady in a people carrier.
Although I believe she was just jealous of my 'ride', I had a sneaking suspicion, as she quickly over took me, it was because I was going wobbly 30 miles an hour and managed to stall twice. It wasn't my fault, I wasn't used to the speed.
It was a fortnight before I managed to drive home from work without stalling.
Now, I don't know all the technical terms. But I can tell you this:
It currently costs me £6 to fill my Vespa up from empty. On this I can do about 80 miles, which works out at 7p a mile. Very nice!
It costs very little to insure, I've been driving scooters for 2 years (since I was 16) and it cost me £150 to insure this year.
Road tax was about £16 this year.
That 2 stroke engine sound (and smell) is just perfection!
Getting to grips with the gears and clutch after using auto can be hard (as said above!) but it's really worth the hassle once you've grasped it, and to be honest I'd find it pretty hard to switch back to auto.
The only storage on the PX (unless you get the chrome racks) is behind the leg guard - unlike on mopeds where it's under the seat. I can easily fit my bag, lunch and a spare pair of shoes for work in here. And haven't yet had any problems with not having enough room.
Like most mopeds/scooters, they're best driven in the summer on those 'no breeze, sunny cloudless sky' sort of days - a bit of wind can knock it for six. A few times I've been pootling along for a random gush of wind to almost slam me into the gutter. Not the nicest thing, but something you learn to handle in time.
I'd personally recommend the Vespa as an alternative (and extremely fun) way to commute too work for people living in the City. It's so cheap to run, more reliable than the busses, and hardly decreases in value if you take care - Although my one word of advice is, keep a brush in your glove box. Helmet hair isn't too Office Chic. - it ticks all the boxes!
So if you're wanting something different, trying to recapture your youth or just trying to find more recession friendly way to get around the Vespa PX is the perfect solution!
The Vespa, they are one of those scooters you will either love or hate. only moan I have is original parts being so much more money than race parts, so you find most are no longer 125 but 152,166 or even 172 so beware when buying 2nd hand a friend brought one so raced up would do 38 mpg but touch close on 100mph. insurance would be void so be warned keep them serviced :-)
Having wanted a scooter for many years, I finally got the chance when my car blew up! A Lambretta would have been my first choice, but I needed a reliable vehicle to commute a round trip of 30 miles each and every day so I chose a PX125 Disc. This scooter has had mixed reviews, especially from Scootering Magazine who rate it quite poorly compared to the Vespa T5. Don't be put off!!! This is a cheap, reliable, comfortable scooter that has that fantastic 2 stroke exhaust note that a modern auto just cannot match. With good dealer backup and many, many spare parts and add-ons you will have no problem customising or maintaining your PX. I have never found the gears to be a problem, and in buying a geared Vespa you are not only buying a great looking machine, but also a piece of history and a key to an exclusive club of scooterists. If you need a learner legal scooter and 100mph performance isn't one of your requirements, then look no further.
Having come across these and other Vespas quite a few times before, I finally decided a couple of months ago to save up some money and look for a second hand Vespa PX125; summer was on its way, and I wanted something to get out and about on that was cheap, fun and convenient. So eventually I found one that I could afford and which I liked the look of ? a yellow T5 classic, basically a PX125 with a very slight engine difference, still 125cc. I instantly preferred it to the other modern style scooters on the market. Although the model I bought is only from 1996, the shape is faithful to the classic design, and so it is beautiful to look at. But this was only the beginning? The PX125 runs from a mixture of petrol and synthetic oil (fully synthetic is recommended). The oil needs changing once in a blue moon, and the tank capacity is just over 8 litres including approximately 2 litres reserve. The reason for me explaining this is to help show how economical these things are ? when I fill the tank (which is usually filling it up with 5 litres) it costs me £4, and I won?t have to fill up again for another 70 miles. This is fantastic if, like me, you are poor because you are a student and you have just bought a scooter. What?s more, they are cheap to insure, and very cheap to tax (about £30). As for the driving itself, this is brilliant fun. There is a short period of terror to get through first, as you learn to use the thing and realise just how fast everything seems. The controls are fairly hard to get used to, the left-hand lever being the clutch and the right-hand lever being the front wheel brake. The back wheel brake is on the floor and it is not a simple case of using both at all times ? using the front brake whilst turning a corner will probably make you slide off the bike, whereas slamming your foot down on the back brake will just make you skid into the wall that you?re trying to avoid. The gears are also fairly hard to get us
ed to. The PX125 has 4 sequential gears, operated by swivelling the left handle bar. Don?t let all of this put you off though ? to legally ride this scooter you need to take a CBT anyway, and if you do it on the scooter this is the best way to get yourself familiar with all the controls (not only that but it will take down the cost of your CBT training by quite a lot of money). Once you are used to the scooter, you will wonder how you couldn?t do it before, and you really start to enjoy driving it. It certainly is worth having the manual gears, for the sake of general acceleration, and for those cases where you need more power (for safe overtaking, slowing down or for steep hills). The PX125 is really nippy ? it goes up to about 60-65 mph and has fantastic acceleration. It is especially good for town use, since you can park it anywhere (legally on pavements etc.) and you can get off and wheel it places such as over bridges, where cars can?t go. Obviously they aren?t practical if you?ve got any considerable luggage ? the only storage space is a small glove compartment, although it is surprising what you can cram in there if you try! Certainly a couple of Sainsburys carrier bags full of pasta salads and olives would fit, as demonstrated by popular TV chef Jamie Oliver. The only real disadvantages of the Vespa PX125 are the safety aspects, and these are by no means exclusive to Vespas either. A helmet is, obviously, essential and compulsory when riding. It might be worth adding here that a class A (blue sticker on the back of the helmet) is highly recommended. It might also be worth investing in a fully facial one, firstly because of those cold, face-stinging winter nights, and secondly because of those huge, face-stinging wasps. Scooters and bikes in general mean that the driver is far more vulnerable than the driver of a car. Also, it can take quite a while to get used to the steering (quick note here ? you tend to go towards where you a
re looking, so whatever you do DON?T STARE AT THE KERB OR AT THAT GIRL!) but again this is a case of practice making perfect. The main danger is, unfortunately, other road users (they are usually car drivers) who either do not see you or assume you can nip out of the way on your little scooter. It is worth being extra alert when riding because of this. One extra thing which is not essential but which may be worth bearing in mind is the fact that the engine is on one side and so the scooter tilts slightly. This is correctable by buying a spare tyre for the other side! The prices of the actual scooter vary depending on the age of the scooter, owners, miles, etc. Although mine cost me £900 a new one will cost approximately £1800-£1900. If you plan to shop around for one, it?s definitely worth going to the Piaggio approved reputable dealers, which are listed by area on the Piaggio UK web site. It really is worth taking your time and seeing what is available, because you never know if you might find a nicer one that screams "BUY ME!" Also the second-hand ones are being traded all the time, so if one dealer doesn?t have any second-hand ones in, try them again in a week, and keep trying if you have no luck, it will pay off in the end. Vespa PX125s really are great fun, especially if you know someone else who has got one. They have character and are customisable with anything from paint jobs to white tyres and luggage racks. They are collectables and there are also various clubs for enthusiasts. Plus, when you go past someone else who is riding one, you tend to get a beep from the horn and a friendly wave ? which is nice. This scooter has made life a lot more convenient for me, as well as more economical. I enjoy going places on it, and even the pub, which means I save further money and improve my diet by sacrificing drink for using it to get there and back. Ooh, and now I love it even more, just been down to the post office
to get it taxed for another year, and it actually only costs £15!
I bought a Vespa towards the end of the summer and I must admit that the maneuvrability and handling of this scooter is very good. I bought it new with all the guarantees and specials. The replacement parts are cheaper than other scooters, but take time to order. The look of the scooter has barely changed in 20 years and has great classic/retro value. While purchasing this machine I did realise that the resale value is very good...I even saw a C reg Vespa for £1100! Additionally, many of these are stolen a year so do make sure you lock it to a lamppost whenever possible...you could have an alarm and both wheels locked, but at the end of the day people steal the ones that are easy to lift and put in a van. One of my major gripes against the scooter is the 4 gears on the left-hand side handlebar which between 1st, Neutral and 2nd can get stuck and cause all kinds of bother: you think you are in 1st gear and before you know it are slowly pulling away at lights while being honked at in 2nd gear. Also after long rides the wrist does take quite a pounding from the constant changing through gears. I do have problems with the scooter because I use to own a motorcycle which is sturdier and more responsive. The scooter is very light and not really made for 2 passengers. A slight loss of the steering will cause the bike to fall over. Additionally, there is no space for the helmet under the seat like other scooters, but it does have a spare tire...which I could never envisage myself replacing and have no clue how to replace given the situation. Overall it is a fun ride and can take a London city traffic jam in a heartbeat, but do be careful when riding at high speeds, because although it can go fast (100kph), the sturdiness is not there to go with it!
I must confess to having owned a Vespa for 4 years and I will be riding it for many years to come. The PX is truly a classic design, very little has change mechanically or aesthetically over the years which is either a good thing or not depending on your point of view. The engine certainly hasnt changed much and still has its unmistakeable 2 stroke phut phut sound, you do get a disc brake on the front wheel now which slows you down a bit quicker than before! Performance is not outstanding but quite quick enough as long as you are happy to lose traffic light grand prixs with more modern scooters, top speed is probably 55-60 mph and you get there quick enough to leave most cars behind. The PX still uses a clutch and manual gears on the left handgrip so I would not recomend it for complete beginners unless you are quite patient, it takes a few days to get the hang of it and with so many auto Scooters around is probably not worth it for anyone other than diehard fans of the look of the scooter. For those that persevere the gears are ultimately more satisfying than the auto drag scooters that seem to be everywhere these days, having had gears you will find it hard to change to auto. For anyone living in a big city i would recomend a scooter,(IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER I PROMISE!! FREEDOM TO TRAVEL FREELY QUICKLY AND CHEAPLY IS A VERY VALUABLE COMMODITY THESE DAYS,TRY IT ONCE AND YOU WILL BE HOOKED) For nostalgia lovers out there who value design as much as function buy a PX, if you are looking for a purely funcional mode of transport buy an Vespa ET4 or other modern bike. Remember Audrey Hepburn rode a Vespa...
The vespa say it again VESPA that sounds so nice I`LL say that twice. This is the real classic scooter the only other name that comes to beating this machine is the lambreta there will always be a debate about which is best, But if you are thinking of getting a classic scooter the vespa is a good option because of the amount of scoot shops who would only love to put their oily hands on your scoot to repair. With this bike you will find a wide verity of clubs to join if you wanted to take scootering further and then a good magazine to get from your newsagent is scootering this mag is real scooter porn just slaver at them custom scoots. For me the vespa is good scooter and I know that Iam going to get emails for calling it a scoot and for what Iam about to say. I find the wheel base to short and if you are tall like me the seating and the whole machine feels just to small and uncomfortable.Not really that great to travel to all them scooter rallies on with out feeling like 60 miles travelled is more like 600 hundred. if you really can put up with this this is the scoot for you you will be the envy of ment other scoot rider with this machine.
I saw this section and it just brought back many happy scootering memories, made me think about the lovely px125 I had. At least 13 years ago I was mad about vespa scooters, my first was a little pk50 which did nothing but give me grief, probably due to it being old when I bought it for £30 It did last me a few years until I was old enough to upgrade to a 125. Upgrade I did, there was no way I could afford a brand new scooter, so hunting for a decent second hand one was a task in itself. Eventually I found one that I just had to have. It was a Vespa PX125cc and customised with a gorgeous gold respray, upholstered seat, backrest, chrome crash bars, and a built in radio cassette, this was buit in to the butty box at the front. So the deal had to be done, I parted with £250 got a cover note and drove home on it. Pure joy and freedom. The scooter took me everywhere, it was so cheap to run, and not very hard to maintain, I learnt how to change and clean the spark plugs, do the oil filters and change the oil. The vespa is a very easy scooter to drive, the gears and clutch are on the handlebars and you have one brake on the floor panel and one on the other handle bar. Sadly my scootering days were not to last, after having a pretty nasty accident the scooter was wrote off, I just never got another one. How I wish I did.