Vespa 946 priced at $9,946

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RideApart has confirmed that the all-new Vespa 946 will be priced at $9,946 when it goes on-sale in the US in November. Production of the technologically advanced scooter will be “very limited,” delivering a bike equipped not only with a 129mpg motor, but also ABS and traction control.

That price is probably raising your eyebrow, and it should. The current 150cc Vespa range starts at just $4,599.

So what’s going on here?

The 946′s new motor is an air-cooled, fuel-injected 3-valve 4-stroke. It’s a 150cc with 11.6bhp at 8,250rpm and 7.6lb/ft at 7,000rpm. Why air cooled? Water pumps and radiators are expensive and scooters are supposed to be cheap. The modern fuel injection system works with a three-way catalytic converter to cut emissions by 30 percent (!) and Vespa says that it will be good enough not only for the current Euro3 standards, but future emissions regulations as well.

Much attention was paid to fluid dynamics within the cylinder as well as reducing fictional losses by mounting all moving parts, for the first time, on bearings.

The 946 does adhere to some traditions. The monocoque body doubles as the frame, but instead of the traditional all-steel construction, it incorporates aluminum side plates, fenders, seat unit and handlebars to drop weight. That’ll make it both more efficient and easier to ride.

Also contributing to that ease of use is a wheelbase longer than current long-body models, but steering geometry sharper than that of the short-bodies. More stability and faster steering than either in the 946.

All that sounds like a much-needed update to the traditional Vespa formula, right? Well, pricing the 946 at $10k seems to indicate that there’s two potential paths forward: 1) it serves as a design-led halo product for the brand, with the technology and that new motor trickling down to other, more affordable models in the range. 2) This initial model year of the 946 is intended to capture early adopters and will eventually reduce its price as production volume ramps up.

Either way, the investment it took to develop this new motor means that it must be used in a volume product and Piaggio is adding TC and ABS to literally every other bike it makes, so it’s logical those safety aids will make it to other Vespas too.

  • Sasha Pave

    It’s gorgeous but I think they priced themselves out of the market for most.

    I wish they would make an Allstate replica, now that would command a big price.

  • Damo Von Maciel

    I think you could have alot more fun on the two CRF250R’s you could buy for the same price.

    • JB

      Can you really talk a dealership down that far on a crf250r? I thought list on those was around $7,500.

      • Damo Von Maciel

        Damn you got me, meant CRF250L!

  • Zachary Laughrey

    That price is outrageous when you consider that BMW C650 GT lists for $9990 with ABS and all the convenient storage normally associated with a scooter. Besides styling and ABS how is this better then a 150 Buddy? Its pretty, but $5k more? I think Vespa has missed the point of the scooter

    • Mathieu Delarue

      Exactly! (editing because I misread your post). C”650″GT. As in 647cc and 60hp, not 150cc and 11hp. The difference between something you take on the highway and something you scoot around town. The C650 is more of a commuter motorcycle… a motorcycle with lowered seating and an auto tranny. No comparison.

      The Honda GROM at $3k is 10 times more appealing in terms of what you get.

  • Bruce Steever

    Ridiculous. Thought it was a typo. Maybe Piaggio is getting their pricing from Honda’s DN-01 playbook?

  • Stuki


    So darned stylish that it no longer has room for a helmet under the seat, like every other scooter designed since the 50s or so…..

    And only 10K! Only a grand per hp!

    And it even comes with traction control, which is bound to be useful, when you have a 10hp engine muted through a CVT, almost every time you decide to ride around a skating rink on summer tires!

    I’ll hold off for the ultra-hipster edition, though, which will come with a Prada crocodile seat and suede tires from Hermes. That will be the ultimate for the Vegas strip, where you cannot even lane split this thingy between Paris’ party at the Wynn, and whatever strip joint you end up going to when it dawns on you that it takes even more than a 10K scooter to impress Miss Hilton.

    • Justin Turner

      Not to nitpick, but the helmet ring is exactly where it always is. Also, I’ve never seen a large-frame Vespa with anything but a gas tank and oil reservoir under the seat.

      • Stuki

        That’s because the large frame Vespa was designed before the 50s; back when people smoked for health, and helmets were for soldiers only :)

    • Stu Chan

      I don’t think you know what hipster means. What you’re describing is the Paris Hilton edition. Hipsters are generally gravitating towards CBs from the 70s and dreaming of cafe-ing them to match their vintage looking bell open face helmets to match hand-me-down wayfarers from their uncle.

  • mrtasty

    I wasn’t sure if I read this right: “reducing fictional losses”. But they are probably doing that too ;)

  • Porter

    I thought I read 129bhp for a second there. Now that would be a scooter worth $10k.

  • drivin98

    Shut up and take my…no, wait a sec. Never mind, carry on.

  • Mean Chuck

    So it is air cooled to reduce the price because scooters are supposed to be cheap? Glad to see that it worked!!

    • Pancho Griffith

      That made me chuckle a bit ; )

    • JimmyDell

      Amen, to that!

  • Frick

    “Why air cooled? Water pumps and radiators are expensive and scooters are supposed to be cheap…” LOL $10K

    • Tony

      I flipped out at the price and the 4ucking article! Those (unts are going to say all this BUIISHIT in the name of keeping price down and then they say $9946 for the price. $uck my fat a$$!!! I could buy TWO KLR650 for that!

  • MrMotoWise

    Bwahahahaha if you wanted a design icon you could get a Ducati 998 for 10 large.

    Traction control and ABS are ridiculously superfluous on a scooter, for anyone who has even marginal riding skills – and I don’t think any newbs will go for this.

    Basically it’s an exercise in separating fools from money. I miss the days when HFL had some balls and would call a spade a spade.

    • Wes Siler

      At 10k, they can’t expect to sell many of these. There’s something more interesting going on here than just an over priced scoot, as detailed in the article. So fuck you and your balls.

      • MrMotoWise

        My fault – I didn’t see a ‘modern’ fuel injection system! Bearings! Some aluminum! My, that IS a technological tour-de-force halo model! It’s so very INTERESTING!!!

        If you hadn’t railed so hard against “the establishment” when you started, the contrast wouldn’t be so stark…

        • Wes Siler

          I’m sorry for your lack of reading comprehension. But seriously, RTFA.

          • AHA

            I think Wes has a point here people. I saw this in the metal at the UK bike show on the Aprilia stand just before Xmas and I would have stolen it there and then except I got into a conversation with a young hotshot insider from Piaggio/Aprilia over from Italy instead. He gave me a bit of a lowdown. Piaggio are offering collect from the factory packages or the importer as UK dealers won’t see them. Piaggio will lose money on every one they sell – they are meant as a gesture of intent, a flagship concept-for-the-road if you like.
            The UK price projected was lower than the dollar price you are quoting here but the UK allocation is just 50 so everyone is going to go to a collector pretty much. Any that go onto the market will likely be sold for more. Just wish I had the dough for a toy…

        • Jason

          I am pretty sure this is the Italian Scooter equivalent to the VW XL1 Diesel Hybrid as opposed to a Ducati. I seriously doubt the Bean Counters at Vespa were thinking consumers will be cross shopping new or used sport bikes for a Vespa.

  • Alec Boyle

    10 Grand is patently insane for something with only 11 horsepower, and no long distance capability. As for the lack of storage though, my bet is that Vespa noticed that Genuine manages to sell plenty of Stellas (which have to storage room) and decided that it’s not actually as important of a feature as people may have assumed.

    • Vespaman

      I don’t see anything insane in it. Those who need storage, power and long distance capability go with GTS or maxi scooters. My rides are primavera and PX. Primavera matches your description of 946 :) I love my primavera, I will love my 946.

  • karlInSanDiego

    I’d buy a Honda Dream 50R use the other $3k for a trip to Europe. Clearly you’d be more hip in the end.

  • Robotribe

    Obviously, it’s a clever ploy to make the 300 GTS look like a relative STEAL. I like the looks and the tech, but not THAT much. Yeesh. I suspect this will sell in proportional numbers to the other Vespa models as a La Ferrari does to other Ferraris. I also wonder if every dealer (not that there’s many in N. America) will get one.

  • KeithB

    $10,000 scooter ?!?!?!
    Where is the effin’ Espresso maker?
    Better sound like a Lambo!

  • Mark Desrosiers

    I’d say the people who bough this, rather than the inevitable $6k version coming out in a year-ish, would feel stupid, but the type of early-adopter, price-is-no-object consumer of this would probably get sick of it in 6 months anyways, and move on to the next status symbol. And the cycle goes on…

  • Mario C.

    I’ll happily wait for one more year and get the less
    technological enabled, but fairly priced Chinese copy.

  • Troy Rank

    One more potential on the pricing strategy: Convert it to electric and keep the price. At 10 grand they have to be able to afford a battery or two.

  • orthorim

    I’d like to know why this bike is so expensive. Sure there’s lots of impressive tech in it… but that still does not explain the price tag?! Scooters cost around $1 – $2 k new in SE Asia. A brand new Vespa 125ie costs $3,300 here. A 2013 Honda Forza 300cc – with loads of impressive tech specs – goes for $6k.

  • Jose

    I’d find a 5.000$ price a tad high, but with the Vespa brand and all, I’m sure people would pay it. But 10k???? who would be dumb enough to pay that kind of cash for this when you could get a much better scooter from other brands?

    • Vespaman

      Because it is Vespa. It is new generation, new DNA, it is beautiful. That’s it. Don’t even try to call me dumb, I ordered one last week. I don’t need plastic scooter from other brands. I have classic Vespas and 946 is, in my opinion, the first modern Vespa in real Vespa style. I don’t mind paying $10k for such a beauty. I don’t care BMW sales 650cc tourers for the same price. I am not interested in BMW.

      • Jose

        Well, I can’t understand it, but to each it’s own. Enjoy it man.

  • Wgtn trader

    I am normally a sucker for these exclusive and unique models, and the 946 is certainly a cool design. I have had a LX150, GT60 and currently daily ride is a matte grey 300 Supersport which I love. Around $13K in New Zealand dollars, only a 150cc engine and no storage even an aficionado like me will struggle justifying the buy of one of these. Let’s hope they put some of these design cues and technology into a more practical model in the near future.

  • Dan

    Why so expensive?People could buy a Hyosung GT650R or Honda CBR 500X….

  • rlw

    As a new scooter owner (PCX150) I like the scooters and like the look of this one but it is definitely overpriced. Vespas in general are pricey. As far as quality goes, I shopped and saw some excellent examples of nice product – Genuine Brand, Honda, Aprilia, Yamaha – they all exhibit quality and in most cases reliability and future dealer support. Vespa though has really one thing going for it – the look. Everything else is really been met or exceeded by the competition. Even Italians’ top two choices for scooters are both Honda brand.

  • JimmyDell

    I believe that at that price point people will stay away in droves.Think of the many things that can be had for $10,000.00. Some will even have windshield wipers and doors. You could have a new 2013 Nissan Versa for just $1500 more. Yes I know that’s not the point, but it’s my point about value for $$. Add up all that you don’t get in the Vespa vs. the Nissan and you walk away saying “this is quite a premium for owning a Vespa”. A Piaggio Fly 150 MSRP is less than $2900.00. So yes the Vespa is a finer machine; but $7,000.00 finer?