It might not look like it, but this isn’t a classic Vespa, it’s a new model for 2011. Word is, it’ll be equipped with a hand gear change and a two-stroke engine, basically, it’ll be the engaging, exciting Vespa of old, targeted at the hardcore of scooter enthusiasts.
Modern Vespas are, unequivocally, wonderful. They’re convenient, frugal and flatter anyone, anywhere. They’re even amazingly good fun to ride; sort of like “with great power, comes great responsibility” turned upside down. Having said that, somewhere in all their modern efficiency, Vespas have lost their quirk. This won’t matter to 99 percent of the world, but if you’ve ever ridden an older hand shift, two-stroke Vespa, it matters to you.
With this model — we’re currently unsure of the capacity, it’s not due to be unveiled till tomorrow — Vespa is returning some of the character that’s currently missing. Powerbands, pre-mix, gear shifts clouds of blue smoke will again be a part of the scooter experience. Note the right-side trailing-link front suspension that offers a further visual differentiation and nod towards older models.
Apparently, the decision to release such a model was not an easy one for Vespa’s parent company, Piaggio, who sees it as a loss of face after it pulled all two-stroke/hand-shift models from the market in an effort to clean up its image. We hope that, instead of seeing the PX as a reminder of a past mistake, Piaggio will instead see that finding a way to create a product that appeals to fans of classic scooters can be enormously positive, re-engaging an alienated group of scooter enthusiasts with the brand in its modern form.
We’ve also heard rumors that this 2011 Vespa PX isn’t currently planned for the US market, but could find its way here if sufficient interest is shown by dealers and the public.